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OddGames development journal

Testing testing testing

Posted by , in Medieval Story, Programming 30 October 2012 - - - - - - · 1,022 views

Hello again!

I have been doing a lot of play testing lately; finding bugs and things that aren’t supposed to behave like they are. Other times two features might collide and be in effect when I hadn’t thought they would. Much of the colliding features are due to my design choice of having two different control methods. I am beginning to realize that this was a rather brave and/or foolish choice. Well, I’ll just wait and see how it plays out in the end.

Most of my programming is done on my stationary computer at home. It runs an older graphics card (ATI Radeon 4850). When I am on holiday or some such I often take my laptop with me. It runs with a built in nvidia mobile graphics chip (GeForce 8600 M G). It’s a pretty poor graphics card that is really only capable of running fixed function OpenGL rendering. However it is a pretty good thing to be able to test my shaders on two different graphic implementations. I thought that I was well covered until I realized I wanted to try Medieval Story on my brothers computer, he runs a newer GeForce, I don’t know the exact version (GTX something I think). It did run pretty well, but I found out that some times the shader breaks and draws black pixels when it should render lit pixels. After some testing we found out that it was due to the material shininess being 0 and the specular components calculation. I fixed the issue with a “hack”, adding 0.001 to the shininess as a minimum value. After that we tested quite a bit more and found out that the game also could randomly crash, well seemingly randomly anyway. The bad thing is that the compiler didn’t go to the line where the fault was. It just closed the program (sad face). Later we found out this was something wrong with the compiler… not being able to go to debug mode when a runtime error occur. Back home I ran my game again trying to replicate the bug and I found a small bug that was connected to the health bar drawing. A modulo by zero could sometimes occur when the health was very low, below 1.0. This could result in a division by zero according to the internets. I have since then fixed these bugs and I am now continuing to hunt for new ones.

Along side this development I am trying to come up with a half decent story. I think this is actually going worse than programming right now. I’m afraid the demo story is going to be very generic and boring. Any articles in regards to game writing or story writing in general are much appreciated. Again, thanks for reading!!

Things inside

Posted by , in Medieval Story 05 October 2012 - - - - - - · 917 views


It has been a while since my last post but I have been keeping busy. Here are some of the things I have completed (sort of):

  • The journal – Journal entries can be added from script. As an example, the player is engaged in a conversation and accepts a task/mission… then a summary of what was said is written. Journal entries can also have an image associated with them such as a scribble/drawing for a puzzle. The journal font have also been customized to have a more handwriting feel to it.

  • NPC pathfinding – A system for determining when pathfinding is needed has been implemented. A homing capability is sufficient most of the time but when the NPC get stuck or is far away from its waypoint a pathfinding search is done.

  • NPC inventory – Until now the inventory for NPC have been added from script, this can become rather tedious after a while. The system is still in place but some enemies will have hard-coded inventory items. Skeletons will for example always have a weapon equipped. If there were many skeletons in one area I had to script each skeleton’s equipment manually, no matter if they had exactly the same things on them.

  • Store – I have been working on a store system. The player can drag individual items between the store and their inventory to buy or sell items. It is also possible to mark several items and only buy/sell those in one click. I have not yet settled on an “economy system”… that is how items will increase or decrease in value when buying/selling.

  • Collision detection – I have been fiddling around, trying to find the best shape for the player collision shape. Right now I am using a compound shape consisting of a sphere and a capsule. It seems to play nice so far. I have to be careful and not build maps so the player can get stuck.

  • Particle system – NPC can now spawn different or no particles when hit. For example a rat would spawn blood when hit by a sword but not when only hit by fists. A skeleton would spawn small bone/splinters instead of blood.

There is more to tell but I have run out of time. The next post will hopefully have some nice images and/or a video showing some of these things. I am aiming for a small demo in the near future.

Thanks for reading!

Entry #129, show must go on...

Posted by , in Graphics, Medieval Story, Nimrord Editor 30 July 2012 - - - - - - · 1,313 views

Hello, time for a new post! :-)

I've quietly continued working on the save mechanisms, it's rather intricate to get working right... hence there has been no new journal entries for a while. Right now the inventory is acting up between maps (occasionally) but I think I am going in the right direction.

However, sometimes the inventory doesn't act up. This allows me to go down a cellar and beat some rats with a new found sword. Too bad they are immortal at the moment...

Posted Image

DIE RATS! DIE! *doh*

On the editor side I've implemented a raise and lower map function. By pressing either button the entire map is shifted in the desired direction. This allows for instance building cellars to buildings that I maybe didn't think of in the initial design of a map. I have been thinking of doing a X/Y offset to the total map also... but my UI-space is getting more and more crowded. Having X/Y offsets would probably be just as useful as the raise and lower feature. I need to make more room, move some UI elements around a bit (ugh).

Thanks for reading!

Forest graphics

Posted by , in Graphics, Medieval Story 31 May 2012 - - - - - - · 1,712 views

Been drawing a lot lately. Especially forest graphics, there needs to be a good amount of variation in order for it to look natural. A bit tedious doing roughly the same things over and over. Here's what I have come up with so far...

Posted Image

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It looks better animated, the pines going slightly back and forth. The player and NPCs are "see-through" when they are behind something. This can be toggled in the options but I would recommend leaving it on since it's pretty hard to fight or do something when the player or the target is obscured.

I made a few steps while I was drawing a tree stump for those who are interested.

Posted ImageBasic stump shape.

Some more work on the shape, still just a silhouette.

Filled with the base color.

Trying to draw some shape with darker and lighter colors.

Some detailing, ridges of bark.

More work on the bark, doing some pointy splinters on the top of the stump. Make it look like the tree has fallen by wind or something (not cut down with an axe).

More detailing, the bark has a ridge going down the trunk.

Making a mask for some moss.

... And done!

Here is a screenshot showing the stump together with a stray log. Hope you like! =)

Posted Image

Thanks for reading!


Posted by , in Medieval Story, Programming 11 May 2012 - - - - - - · 884 views

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The whole idea of scripting is a bit fuzzy to me, I been working a lot with lua the past few days. I think I've got most of it on the left side of the brain now, how long it stays that way is another matter...

In any case I've started to script some of the NPC dialogue and done some logic in their behaviour depending on the players choices. There won't be a whole lot of different paths to take in the game but it is always nice to have the illusion of it ;-) I have thought about doing voice-over for the dialogue, asking around family and friends to help me out... But that is not a priority right now. It would probably double the resource/asset memory size.

Some big things that are left to do:

- Flesh out the combat system, test test test and test.
- Implement user defined controls.
- Finally decide on a control scheme and STICK WITH IT! :-) Do I want point n' click or do I want direct control with cursor keys. Is having both methods available a consideration? Keep in mind a future iPad port. Both are implemented right now and I use them 50/50 each.
- Look over the player profile and save/load system again.
- ... more things.

As you can see there are a bunch of decisions to make still. I am however considering releasing an alpha just to get some feedback and response. Just have to make the game behave a bit more like an actual game first.

Oh, and I've noticed one or two bugs with the editor that needs fixing too... they popup the more I use my editor. There is always room for improvement Posted Image

Thanks for reading!

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