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Walking Towards The Sun

Tissue and Cough Drops

Posted by , 13 June 2011 - - - - - - · 349 views

I kept waking up groggy and annoyed. Almost like clock work, happening every 20 minutes or so. throw the covers aside and bear the bite of coldness. Wipe my eyes and try to make it to the bathroom without knocking the guitar over again. Probably three times already, The loud twang of it getting further out of tune. Atleast I didn't put my foot through it, like the last one.

Draining, constantly, having to blow my nose this often is getting frustrating. At this point, I'm wandering If I even want to try to go to sleep again. With my tissue in hand I let things go. Feel like I must of filled it up this time. But the odd disappointment happens again. As I look down all that there is half a cough drop. Perplexed, I'm off to bed, only to repeat this in twenty minutes.

When I finally did awake, It was merely two in the morning, and I still can't get that image out of my head. Starring at a yellow cough drop split in half. Seems like ever since the sun reach up here in the north. I've been having the hardest time sleeping through a whole nite. I'm plagued by weird dreams that keep me up.

Kylar's adventure

not much been going on with Kylar's adventure, atleast nothing spectacular. I'll post, some concept art I've been working on, by Saturday. I think I've flush out a decent draft, it'll take the player through 8-10 levels. I'm hoping to get a full list of art assets that will be needed for the game, give or take 10%.

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Atom Game Concept

I forget what got me thinking about this again, but I started thinking about this old concept I had. Though I could never think of how it would be exciting and not turn into repetitive moves just to win.

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Above is a super simple version of an atom. The idea of the game is a box full of electrons. You can manipulate these electrons to form atoms, and chemical reactions. Which would be used to take over territory or destroy the other players electrons. The idea is that an atom has four slots, each can have 0-2 electrons occupying them. Every atom/element has a pattern. Take the two patterns in the picture above. The left and right could be considered to type of elements, sodium and nitrate. When these elements are generated, they will always start with the same pattern.

The open slots, can be filled with other electrons though. if a single electron fills a slot and the element is no longer in it's own pattern, that electron is considered volatile. These will damage the atom, which might cause the atom to react based on what element it is. But if, the new pattern matches another element it could change into that element. So more and bigger elements can slowly upgrade to bigger and more useful types.

Atoms can be combine, like show in the bottom 2 pictures, notice that the slots fill up when put together, if the two side aren't a perfect match, then it won't combine.

I just keep picturing playing it in my head, and it's always seems like it would really fun. Though I think once you learned the best combos, you'd just spam those over and over again. So I'm trying to think of different ways to judge whose winning, or changes the way effects work. Maybe make them over time, so it's like a rock paper scissors thing. One player use's a gas element to fill an area with an flammable gas. You have the chance to use a counter element or focus else were. Or the opponent can use a fire reactive element to ignite the gas and damage you.

Maybe make every thing take two elements, So there is always a setup and a trigger. Exceptions, would need to be low damage trigger. Like a spark.

Well it's still a concept... maybe I'll try it again after this project is done.

Blacking out the Friction

Posted by , 01 June 2011 - - - - - - · 266 views

Wham!, Boom!, Kapow!, Slam!, ahh how life can just slap you around sometimes. It's so precious sometimes. Cute and cuddly little thing that life is, but if you forget to feed it, you got ploughin' Cujo on your hands. Loosing out on a lot of hours at work, but the bills keep coming. They seem to bring they're friends with them every time. Ofcourse along with it comes a dip in my motivation.

I told myself at the beginning of this project I wouldn't on any other projects until it was done. Stick to one idea and actually take it past the finish line. I've been hooked back on an old iphone game, and after beating once again. I've got the urge to mess around with the idea of making something similar so I can have more levels to play. It's been uplifting, just messing around with a simple layout in Photoshop, of how I would layout the game. Unfortunately this has been a distraction, and made my progress slow even further.

I've got the basic skeleton finished of how the story animations will integrate into the level. There is still a little bit, design wise that I still need to get past, to actually commit to the animation code though. I never really though about the story in detail. I kind of designed how I want to be able to to play the game, and all the features i wanted in it. But I never put too much thought into themes or why you're doing what you're doing in the game.

I started this project with the idea that it will focus 80% on game play, just like any other arcade game. Who knows why you're there protecting those cities, more like you're playing to win the level and this is how you got to do it. But I did want to have a reason for why you're doing what your doing, it's not completely about getting highscores. That's why I contrived the idea of using a simple rpgish story telling style. I could make it corny, funny and have little importance but to explain why you're there and why this thing is trying to destroy the world.

I originally, had this whole concept of a race of beings that were super advanced, but had one rule. No one was aloud to leave they're solar system in fear that another species would discover them. But you being the main character, and like all other main characters you don't follow the rules. Let alone you plagued by main-character-itis, with the worst symptom of all... curiosity. You take your favorite space ship and proceed to escape the solar system to explore the universe. Ofcourse your race can't let this happen so they send the army to capture you and bring you back, but unfortunately you do find other civilizations. They can't just let these people live now that they know aliens exist, so they proceed to try and destroy the planets and erase any evidence.

Again your main-character-itis sets in and another symptom... heroitis makes you feel obliged to save these planets. Which brings you to the main portion of the game, saving the cities fdrom the threats of your species.

So to derail once again, I'm revising my schedule, and pushing the story engine to next week. I'll be trying to put my writing skills to use and actually flushing out the story you just read, and planning the areas and themes I'll be using. Try to put some meaning behind why I'm designing things a certain way and if my story would be possible under the constraints I have put in place.

As always here's a couple musical suggestions, check out "Foster the People", very laid back but still kinda poppy and electronic. Not sure if they're irish too but "Two Door Cinema Club" is and they're another great band for some easy music, to listen to while coding.

Here's that layout I was working on, it has nothing to do with Kylar's Adventure, I just like to brag and show of.
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Until next time, keep coding... And keep 'er howlin'.


Posted by , 27 May 2011 - - - - - - · 383 views

The skeleton of the game how been laid out and hooked together. It's not gonna blow your socks off, atleast I wouldn't expect it too. Maybe you got really loose socks, that have a tendency to fly off. Don't worry I won't judge you.

Things are still on schedule, to have the engine of the game finished and ready for scripting by July 1st. I am still looking for an artist and sound producer, despite the amount of replies I got, none have responded to my follow up reply. For those that I might have forgotten to tell, I can't skype at the moment, I have no mic, and embarrassingly dropped/destroyed my phone over the weekend :angry:. As dumb as it might have been I wish it was on video... me plowing into a pole, while texting and walking.

Up next on the docket is something I've actually been looking forward to. I'll be putting together the script-able story telling portion of the engine. It'll be fairly basic, and resemble the typical JRPG style conversations. Though I want to allow simple animations while the talking is going on. IE imagine, two people conversing and suddenly a ship flies across the screen in the background. Simple things like that.

Looking forward to a crappy rainy memorial weekend so I might actually do some work over the weekend. After the story component, it's time to finish the player's persistent profile, and make sure it syncs up with the level based player, then the shop and upgrade system.

I still need to find a decent (free) sound library to implement into the game. I've been messing around with making my own, and it really doesn't need to be robust, just working with no bugs. Though I didn't plan time for writing my own, so if anyone has some suggest feel free to message me.

Till next time, and don't eat the jelly beans.

My Brain Falling Out of my Mouth

Posted by , in KylarsValcano 23 May 2011 - - - - - - · 326 views

Music music and more music. I stumbled upon this awesome artist, Ewan Doboson. Google, Bing, Yahoo or just search for him. He's a crazy mask wearing guitar playing master.

I've been on a weird rock phase lately... which isn't too weird, but really isn't the usual thing I listen too. I mainly reserve it for work, cause it keeps me going like a shot of caffeine. I'm more of a fan of obscure grungy indie style music, and it doesn't hurt to throw in an electronic twist every once an a while.

I recently pick up a copy from a close friend, of a bunch of Gorillaz songs, but without any of the singing. (that just sounded like horrible grammar) Not sure if it was a karaoke cd or not, though I can't see the songs that are on there being all that geared towards karaoke. It's a great listen while coding away.

To all you guys that suggested I watch Psych, good choice. Granted I don't 100% get all the references they throw into the show, but the guy that plays Sean is great at coming off as a know it all goof ball. Along with a ton of cameos, which usually turn into making fun of the characters that actors has been in the past, it is great. Even with it's extremely episodic structure, I find myself laughing at every episode.

Oh and one other sided note, the title of this entry... where did it come from? I go to check the comments and noticed it underneath the title of my last entry? I don't remember ever writing it, and can't find it in any of my other posts. The cool part though, if you google it, my journal pops up as the third link.:cool: I like it though, sounds very much like an Isaac Brock lyric.

Enough with the ranting.. atleast for now.

Milestone for this week is to put together the menu system, aka the underlying skeleton that will link all the portions of the game together. After reviewing my notes over the weekend, i decided to revive an old half baked state machine, I used in my Conquest game. It's extremely simple and would probably get alot of laughs and rude response to the hardcore engine techies. It's that it worked so well in the past, it fits with what I'm trying to accomplish and it's already coded. Just got to migrate it and tweak it to fit with the function types I'm using in this project.

The basic run down of the machine. It uses a base class that I will call a Task, these tasks are nothing more than an empty object, with a loaded flag. And functions to start, update, pause, stop, and resume. I basically make the major components of the game tasks, and have the main menu control, which task is active and whether one needs to be activated. Tasks can't interact with tasks they don't own, and the main goal is to make sure there isn't too many of these tasks.

The tasks will be simple like, CampaignTask, SurvivalTask, OptionsTask... and so forth, so anything you can access from the main menu will be a task. Then internally these task are responsible for they're own actions. To communicate back to the main menu, the task can only tell if it wants to stop or pause. But can't tell the main menu to start another task, only the menu can decided if a new task needs to start and can only start one if it is actually in control ie when no other task is running.

The difference between pausing and stopping, is that stopping unloads the task and frees anything within it. Pausing keeps it loaded and simply returns control back to the main menu, this allows the player to access the menu from within the game. The menu checks every time it needs to load a task if one with that id exists already and is loaded, if it is there it will resume it instead of starting it.

Also it's time to revive another old tool, my widget class for doing the buttons in the game. I designed it for my TD game i put on hold, but atleast it's not going to waste. I just don't like that I put it in a namespace related to that game... so there is alot of ztd this and ztd that. Which just beats my OCD to death.

No video or pictures this time around, but if everything goes as planned, I'll be showing off again Friday... so keep tuned, and don't walk towards the light unless you're trapped in a rubiks cube.

Looking For an Artist

Posted by , in KylarsValcano 17 May 2011 - - - - - - · 570 views

I'm looking for two teammates who would be interested in working on the project alongside me. I need a 2D artist, and sound producer. If you're interested you can check out my help wanted post or message me.

No huge breakthroughs this time around. Been doing a little bit of clean up, and trying to make the code more localized to the objects it interacts with. I did implement the levels representation of the player, just need to finish the persistent portions of the player. Such as information on what types of upgrades are actually being, used...etc.

I'll be spending the rest of the work, taking everything I've done so far and linking them together into a level. That can be loaded, cleared restarted and played over and over again. Of course there will be some more cleaning to do, but I've already finished what was planned for this week :D so I have a little breathing room. The extra maintenance should help keep me on track with the design I had planned... hopefully.

Another quick Video and screen of my design ideas.

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By the end of next week I plan to have the major portion of the menu system done. If I get started Thursday or Friday I'll probably be ahead of schedule on that aswell. The intro splash screens, the main menu and navigation between the main menu and sub menus like options and campaign mode.

After that it's onto the story telling system, and implementing the sound system.

I'm looking for two teammates who would be interested in working on the project alongside me. I need a 2D artist, and sound producer. If you're interested you can check out my help wanted post or message me.

Blast from the past

Posted by , 13 May 2011 - - - - - - · 339 views

Keeping it short and sweet. Just re uploading my old games. Combo Blocks and Conquest

The smell of summer dreams.

Posted by , 12 May 2011 - - - - - - · 312 views

From atop the light post, starring behind myself. The back seat of a Dodge dart, down the street with only one building. Backs of heads with no faces, whispers but no voices. Walked to the front door, and entered the second floor. A balcony, looking down on the basketball court. Loud beeps and a bad feeling. Ran to the bathroom, and talked to the urinal. Freaked out and jumped through the hoop. Woke up and Howard stern was on my alarm.

Not only do I have to have my alarm out of arms reached, but I realize I can't have it set to the radio. My brain just doesn't want to wake up when the alarm is going off... but for some reason I constantly wake up ten minutes before it does go off thinking I slept through it again. We got talking about weird dreams at work, and that was the one dream I've never forgotten... probably the most lucid dream I've ever had. Have you ever had any weird dreams that you remember?

Bombs away...

Been actually getting ahead of myself and little off track with the project. I've been taking the day to review my designs, and make sure I'm following them. As well I'm trying to put together a half decent script for the story. I've had the basics of why, and where. Though I just never really thought about how I want to portray it... dialogue wise.

As you can probably see from the video, other than the player I've just about got everything to do with the main game play finished. Just needs to have some levels scripted. If I can keep pushing myself, I should have a rough outline of the player coded by the end of the week. :D With my motivation so high lately, I've been getting quite alot done.

Something I've always liked doing, during down time is taking all my design notes and lay them out graphically so I can get an easier view of them instead of constantly referring to the many pages in my notebook. Which by this time, is about to run out of room, with 180 pages of notes and ideas. Should go get another one before it runs out.

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Tongue tip tied to the roof of my mouth

Posted by , in KylarsValcano 10 May 2011 - - - - - - · 304 views

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Gotta stop using testing as a reason to play with my project for an hour instead of coding <_<. Things are moving along quite nicely, though I've been having to work later in the day to get around my new my new schedule.

I've started implementing, what I will from now on call 'Threats' and 'Projectiles'. Threats are split into two type, cannons or bombers, what you see in the pic is an example of a cannon threat. These are static objects, and can't be directly effected by you as the player. They instead die over time, so long as you prevent they're projectiles from destroying the buildings below they will die after a certain amount of time. They can also be setup to die after they launch a specific amount of projectiles.

If you've seen my original video, the volcano would be another example of a cannon type threat. It cant be interacted with, and instead just sits there spitting out lava rocks (projectiles). Similar to the volcano all the cannon types rise from the ground, or kinda expand to simulate coming out of the background. This would be used for things like tanks that appear to destroy the city. I just couldn't convince myself that a tank could rise from the ground in the same fashion that a missile silo or mountain could?

Bombers on the other hand would be things like... uh bomber planes :blink:, or basically flying/hovering threats that drop projectiles. These will be interactive, like the projectiles you can eventually shoot them down if damaged enough. They also will be able to move so it won't be as easy to manage they're projectiles but removing them will do wonders. The idea behind these guys to use them as secondary flak along with the cannon type threats.

I do plan on using them as bosses and as the only threat in some levels though.

I'm really gland I spent the first couple weeks flushing out the state driven animation object, dubbed SDO (state driven object). It's made incorporateing assests and designing the graphics feel of everything in the game so far. There is no need to hard code 99% of the graphics, except a couple things that are entirely specfic to the actual object. Such as the specific emitters that are active when the threat rises from the ground. These had weird positioning parameters that, on paper, bloated the script file to the point I was basically coding a whole section of the game, when it would only take 5-15 lines of code in the actual source code.

Well time to finish up some assets and make another video... or is that another excuse just to play with the game :cool:.

For you people that don't spend hours on youtube when you should be working... god i love my job. Check out "Your Favorite Martian" for some funny songs, and his "Tosh.0" style videos called "Equals 3".

Sunspots in the house of the late scapegoat

Posted by , 07 May 2011 - - - - - - · 234 views

Work continues, I decided to take a break from the boring stuff and implement a couple features into my particle system, to make some of the planned animations easier. I just spent 3 hours cleaning up, and refactoring the messy 2 year old code. Boy was it a mess to, if it wasn't for my insanely long variable names, I would've just rewrote the whole thing. I love just trying to think why I would go through the trouble of typing emissionBehaviorBoundaryWidth or emissionBehaviorVelocityAccelerationInterval...:blink:. Whatever it works, If I get really bored I'll simplify things... maybe.


Just a simple video showing the multiple sprites per emitter, along with fading through multiple colors. Now I'm going to start implementing the needed changes; outside forces, to simulate wind, gravity, for from explosions, etc... The other being the death boundary, basically if a particle leaves a certain boundary it dies are collides with the boundary.

I wanted to make it so that falling debris or particles could hit the ground (boundary), and stay there till they timeout. Also gravity is one lacking effect from my previous videos. The buildings would explode and shoot out debris, but that debris would just fly into outer space, They should fall to the ground right?

I just got to make my mind up on if i want these forces to be constant or allow adding and removing of them over time? Also if they should have an area of effect or effect everything equally? Well back to coding... until next time.

Later that nite ;), finished the assets for testing, and setup a test subject. Time start destroying things.

Iron Horse

Posted by , in KylarsValcano 05 May 2011 - - - - - - · 308 views

Something about music always helps me concentrate. If you're into the indie genre, check out Iron Horse especially the album, 'Pickin on Modest Mouse'. It's a great bluegrass tribute to Modest Mouse. Before i go on an endless spurt of my musical tastes, I've been doodling up some assets to test the script system.

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I found a strange bug with the way I was parsing the script/xml file, and I honestly don't understand what it doesn't work. I'm glad I realized it early though, cause there is a good handful of conversions like these.

TiXmlElement* data;

if (data->Attribute("string") == "Foobar")
	id = Foobar;

This is using TinyXML, and attribute does return a std::string but for some reason that comparison always fails. Despite the fact that the value being return does match up. I would hope the debugger isn't lying to me about the values. Simply setting a string for use in the comparison avoids the issue. But I'm curious what is actually causing the problem.

Back to finishing the last animation, I wish I had a tablet. I love drawing, but using a mouse is such a pain. Next time I'll have a little app put together that can force the triggers that cause animations and effects to work. Just for the viewing pleasure.

PS. A small peek at the script that will be used.
	<sprite name="hutNormal" file="data/bld/hutNormal.png" u1="0" u2="1" v1="0" v2="1" alpha="1" />

	<action type="DrawSprite">
		<trigger type="StateTriggered" id="FullHealth" value="100" />
		<qualifier type="StateNotActive" id="FullHealth" value="100" />
		<asset id="hutNormal">
			<offset x="0" y="0" z="0" />
			<size x="64" y="64" />

	<fullHealth   id="FullHealth" trigger="Health" value="60" />
	<highHealth   id="HighHealth" trigger="Health" value="45" />
	<mediumHealth id="MediumHealth" trigger="Health" value="30" />
	<lowHealth	id="LowHealth" trigger="Health" value="15" />
	<noHealth 	id="NoHealth" trigger="Health" value="0" />

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