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OddGames development journal

Testing testing testing

Posted by , in Medieval Story, Programming 30 October 2012 - - - - - - · 1,023 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 - - - - - - · 918 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!

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