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Member Since 25 Sep 2002
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#5184540 Space Empire (4x strategy) storyline, aliens and other things

Posted by jbadams on 02 October 2014 - 05:08 AM

I wonder how to explain/handle the spaceships

Maybe they spread on pirate/rebel/refuge ships, either by hiding out or by entirely taking over?


How to make them not to aggressive vs the player? Note: I made them partially self contained in terms of territory (for example The Hive have 3 overminds on various planets and they can/want to colonize only up to 3-5 jumps from the overmind) so it helps to an extend...
But I'm not sure I want all of these local aliens contained this way.

Maybe they're in smaller clusters controlled by these overminds, but after a certain time a larger overmind unites them all and causes them to agressively expand?  If the player kills this overmind the expansion stops -- maybe those further from the smaller overminds even lose morale or become disorganised and can be easily removed, until a larger overmind grows again.

#5184043 Making a shot harder to pull off.

Posted by jbadams on 30 September 2014 - 06:28 AM

Oh, and sorry you lost your post contents; unfortunately this sometimes happens, and it's something we'd like to improve longer term.


There is an auto-save function when using the quick or full post editors from most desktop browsers when JavaScript is enabled.  When this function is available post contents are saved every two minutes and when available can be viewed and restored from a small text link in the lower left of the post editor; it's a simple over-write with no versioning, but it might be worth a look if you lose your post contents in future.



If this functionality doesn't seem to be available for you or if you'd like something more reliable unfortunately all I can recommend for now is composing longer posts in an external editor as many of our other members have taken to doing.  We have very limited resources and a lot to work on, but we will try to improve this in future if Invision (the providers of the forum software) don't provide an improved feature in the meantime.

#5184040 Making a shot harder to pull off.

Posted by jbadams on 30 September 2014 - 06:18 AM


I'm closing this topic because you're acting like a child throwing a temper tantrum; you're swearing excessively, expecting people to infer information you haven't provided whilst also lambasting them for incorrectly inferring other things, and insulting those who are trying to help you.


We'll cut anyone some slack for occasionally losing their temper -- especially if something frustrating has happened -- but you have been consistently rude through a number of posts in this topic (as well as in a number of your previous topics) and have continued to directly insult other members hours later when your frustration with the post editor should no longer have been in play.

#5183018 Need help with boss ideas

Posted by jbadams on 25 September 2014 - 05:47 PM

A small but very fast boss that moves in a pattern - the player isn't fast enough to keep up and must figure out the pattern and get ahead of the boss.

A boss that is actually a collection of tiny creatures that join together and separate. While joined together the boss is very dangerous and must be avoided. While separated the creatures are vulnerable, but the player must identify the leader and destroy it to win.

A fire boss who can't be attacked directly but can be lured into or indirectly attacked by manipulating sources of water around the level.

#5182602 Using a free game engine.

Posted by jbadams on 24 September 2014 - 04:26 AM

It's actually a bannable offence to admit to or encourage piracy here, so yes it's very much "taboo" -- see our posting guidelines.


Rather than banning you outright however I'm simply going to close this topic, issue you with a warning, and make a simple suggestion with the hopes that you'll do the right thing and can continue to be a productive member of our community.


Don't use a cracked version of Unity -- just use the free version, which is more than capable enough for both learning and prototyping and can even be used to create commercial games as long as you don't need the additional features offered by a professional licence; if you check the licence comparison you'll see that the free version has a significant portion of the feature-set and is more than enough for you to learn with.  Why do something illegal when they already provide a free version that's very capable.


Another legal alternative would be to consider Unreal Engine instead; a fully featured licence with source-code access costs $20/month and you pay 5% royalties on earnings from games, but if you simply cancel your subscription before the first month is over you can continue to use the version of the engine you have downloaded legally -- you just won't receive any updates unless you resubscribe, and of course you still have to pay 5% royalties if you make a commercial game.  For a one-off payment of $20 you get a world-class engine that you can use without doing anything illegal.


Want still more alternatives?  Look into the many free and/or open-sourced engines that are available!  Urho3d (Lua or AngelScript), jMonkeyEngine (Java), Irrlicht (C++), Panda3d (Python, C++), and many others are great options.



There is absolutely no legitimate reason you should need to resort to pirating this software.  Many of our members create games, write engines/middleware, etc. for a living, so piracy really doesn't sit well with a lot of the community, and it simply isn't necessary for your learning.

#5182556 Where can i buy good 2D Art assets?

Posted by jbadams on 23 September 2014 - 08:34 PM

There's not a lot there, but you can find some 2d packs in our GDNet Marketplace.

GameDev Market and Indie Game Stock are probably worth a look as well.  You could also try Graphic River and Graphic Buffet.


Then there's the various asset stores and marketplaces provided by different engines and providers: Unity Asset Store, YoYo Games (Game Maker) MarketplaceScirra (Construct 2) Assets, etc.



There are also some freely available packs that may be worth a look -- be sure to check the specific licencing terms though:

Kenney Assets (lots of free graphics available, or get them all in one bundle plus some extra stuff by donating $20 or more).





If you can be more specific about what you need we might be able to offer more specific suggestions.

#5182368 Simple 2D Game Idea

Posted by jbadams on 23 September 2014 - 05:45 AM

You could take a look at "Three Hundred Mechanics" for some ideas or try some of the prototyping challenges on Lost Garden (Fishing Girl, Shade, Play With Your Peas).

#5181822 Space Empire (4x strategy) storyline, aliens and other things

Posted by jbadams on 20 September 2014 - 11:09 PM

Why they prefer outskirts and not the center?

Why would they prefer the outskirts?  Personally I would just drop this entirely; the aliens start on the outskirts because they're arriving from elsewhere, and if the the player is doing well they'll stay on the outskirts simply because they're prevented from moving inwards.  If the player does a bad job and the aliens are allowed to move inwards there's no reason (other than proximity to the player) they shouldn't do just as well there.  If they really had a preference/better conditions on the outskirts compared to the centre they probably wouldn't have any interest in trying to move in on that territory and the player could just leave them to the outskirts without interacting.


Rather than making aliens (and other threats) stronger towards the edges of the map, just make that their starting location and have them be equally strong in any location they manage to reach.  The player could still be stronger towards the centre (this will probably happen to some degree naturally/without you explicitly making it so thanks to the reasoning Wai provided anyway) to discourage them moving towards an edge.



If you really do want a reason for them to prefer the outskirts however, perhaps they don't like to move too far inwards because it opens them up to attack from behind as other aliens arrive?



Why they pick on the player instead fighting each other?

The player is probably the biggest threat, and the player also holds the most territory; further, the territory that the player holds is also the most desirable territory.  Maybe the aliens do fight each other occasionally, but not as much as they fight the player because it's more beneficial to do so.  If the aliens do occasionally fight each other perhaps an observant player who is unable to hold a certain planet outright could use this to their advantage by specifically allowing a certain group of aliens to take that planet because it's likely to cause a fight between two alien groups (distracting the aliens from pressing their advantage and taking more territory) while the player re-groups.


If the aliens sometimes fight each other it also provides further value (for all parties) to planets towards the centre of the galaxy, as those planets aren't subject to the sudden unexpected arrival of additional aliens like the outer worlds are.  The aliens want to move inwards so that they can be safer from the arrival of other aliens.



Where is their homeworld (another galaxy?)


You could probably just not bother to explain this at all and allow players to come up with their own explanation.  The aliens are coming from somewhere and they'll take your planets if you don't prevent them from doing so; you don't necessarily know where they've come from or why they're doing it.

#5181502 My teams all hate eachother.

Posted by jbadams on 19 September 2014 - 04:46 AM

Another thing you can do to help minimize these sort of problems -- especially with a volunteer team -- is to keep your team as small as possible.  Do you really need more than one programmer, and more than one concept artist?  Many hobbyists try to recruit large teams because they know that professional games are typically created by large teams, but the many successful indie developers tend to work with very small teams; just the minimum to cover all required skill-sets.


By keeping the team smaller you minimize the number of people to be dealt with, and the number of potentially clashing personalities.



Also take a read through the topic "what programmers want from a designer", there are some good posts in there that will probably be relevant to your situation.

We also recently published an article  "communication is a game development skill" that may be beneficial.

#5180062 The basics of explaining concepts and ideas

Posted by jbadams on 13 September 2014 - 07:31 AM

Have you read this recently published article?  "Communication is a game development skill".


It contains some useful information, especially if you're planning to discuss your concepts after explaining it.



In addition to the above:

  • Use standardised/common terminology rather than making up your own terms when possible.  Try to avoid using a commonly understood term in a way that is different than normal, as this will confuse people.
  • Take the time to explain any unusual terminology.
  • If you're having a forum discussion and need to add additional information or correct something after others have responded it's often better to add your corrections or new information in a new post rather than editing an older post, as editing the older post can sometimes make the conversation difficult to follow.


Hope that helps! :)

#5180044 how to balance my game?

Posted by jbadams on 13 September 2014 - 05:37 AM

Some reading material for play testing:

You might consider getting more data about your game by using a testing tool such as "Viewback"embedding a web server in your game, or by rolling your own analytics.



Hope that helps! :)

#5178276 Unreal engine 4 free for students !

Posted by jbadams on 05 September 2014 - 06:00 AM

Try the official Unreal website:


Unreal Engine 4 Goes Free for Academic Use (blog entry)

Unreal Engine "education" page

"Education" section of the Unreal Engine FAQ


"The engine can be installed and used on all school-owned computers, and personal copies can be provided free of charge to all students enrolled in accredited video game development, computer science, art, architecture, simulation, and visualization programs."


You just need your professor or teacher to contact Unreal using the form on the website.



#5178270 Inexpensive, relevant game development IDE for the classroom?

Posted by jbadams on 05 September 2014 - 05:29 AM

You may not still be looking in to this, but Unreal Engine 4 is now free for academic use.

#5177416 How to exit the game gracefully?

Posted by jbadams on 01 September 2014 - 06:43 AM


Personally I would say that overriding standard OS level commands is a bad thing.


- generally, the all current object-oriented programming language, has an independent "on close" event, where we can choose the outcome.
Good luck.


That's so barely relevant that I can only assume you're only responding in order to share the link in your signature -- and I've noticed that a lot of your other posts are pretty similar -- so I've removed it from this particular post.  Please try to ensure you're only replying if you have something relevant, meaningful and on-topic to say.

#5176399 Welcome your new Visual Arts forum moderator

Posted by jbadams on 27 August 2014 - 05:17 AM

We have a new moderator for the Visual Arts forum: riuthamus


He's a skilled artist and very helpful community member, and we hope you'll give him a fantastic welcome to the new role! :)