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YodamanJer's Journal

It's been a long, long time...

Posted by , in Uncategorized, A*Little*Epic 28 April 2013 - - - - - - · 672 views

Well, it's been a really long time since I've posted here on GD.net, or used this journal. A lot has happened over the last year.

Aside from continuing pre-production on my game project (previously known as "A Little Epic"), I've been really busy with figuring out what I need to do with my life, and trying to get things in order. I've decided to pursue game design and will begin online classes this summer.

Anyway, I probably won't update this journal very much. I'l be posting in my more public blog. However, I will post occasional updates here as well, for those who don't feel bothered to go to yet another blog (I don't blame you :P ).

Along with everything else, I've decided to use GameMaker: Studio for my game project. GML is a decent scripting language, and the features of GM:Studio are just too nice to pass up. Basically, I had a basic sidescroller working in about an hour, after following all of the tutorials I could find on the subject, and it's really easy to use. It could even do 3D games, though with Unity available, it may be difficult to compete. :P

Anyway, I'm back now, and hopefully I can start working on making this game soon!


Life Update

Posted by , in A*Little*Epic 05 June 2012 - - - - - - · 863 views

Well life has certainly gotten in the way of my developing desires.

I work almost full-time at my job now, earning $7.50 an hour, paying bills with said check and occasionally taking my girlfriend out to dinner. It's also pretty much summer now, so I spend less and less time on my computer, enjoying the nice weather outdoors.

I'm also about to head a Youth Group project at my church, so time on the computer will be less and less. Does this mean I'll not be able to develop my game, A*Little*Epic? No!

Part of the reason I haven't been working on it as of late is that I've been looking for a suitable language to code it in. GLBasic was great, but I just can't afford the price of it and honestly, the fact that the code had to be written in all capital letters drove me insane. I then looked into Panda3D, and while that is a GREAT engine for small games, it slows down massively when you add sprites and super-detailed models. It's also ridiculously hard to configure Panda programs to your requirements. It may be an open-source engine but they sure try to make you stick to their specifications.

So I've gone another direction; OpenGL and Java. Thus, I discovered the Lightweight Java Game Library (LWJGL for short).

Interestingly, it's what Minecraft is programmed in, so you know it's quite the capable engine. Paired with a networking library (LWJGL does not support networking off the bat) and some assets, LWJGL will give me the power that I need, in a language I'm finding easier and more powerful than I dreamed possible. Yep, I actually love Java. Time to do some work with it!

Some notes on my future game

Posted by , in A*Little*Epic, GLBasic 03 October 2011 - - - - - - · 464 views

Something that I've realized recently (over the last couple of days) is that I have NO idea how to program 2D games. When I first started programming back in 2007, I jumped head-first into 3D and never even looked into the 2D stuff. Normally, people start out with 2D, but not me; I was too excited about making an explorable world, similar to "Super Mario Galaxy"...but that never happened. :P

So I have a LOT of research to do on making a sidescrolling 2D platformer, as that's what my first game with GLBasic is going to be.

The photo below is simply to prove that I've been working on sprites and that I'm just messing around with them to see how to make them seamless. I keep going back in GIMP and editing the sprite, but I think I finally have found a final design I really, really like, but I might still change a couple of things.

Posted Image

Originally, "A*Little*Epic" was going to be a 3D game, but with throwbacks to old 2D sidescrollers. The levels would be completely linear, the player locked to the X/Y coordinates to simulate the old days where the Z coordinate wasn't yet in use, and the old high-score-gets-you-lives thing would certainly come into play.

But before I could even start work on the 3D engine, I started looking into better tools to design it with. First, I thought that DarkBASIC professional would be perfect, but it has a lot of troubles with Windows 7 since SP1 was released. Blitz3D was my second choice, but I didn't want to be restricted to just Windows, as I also enjoy working on Linux every now and then. XNA was my next choice because I could develop it for the Xbox 360, but again, it used DirectX so it was restricted to Windows. Plus, as much as I've tried learning C#, it confuses me more than C++!

GLBasic was discovered, and it's the perfect tool for this game, I just know it. It supports so many platforms it's almost unbelieveable!
Now, I'm making this game 2D because I not only want to start making 2D games, it's the only type I can make with the demo version of GLBasic. :P

Here are some notes on the features this game will have...

  • Cutscenes. These will be very key to the whole game, as there's simply no other way to tell the story. It will be reminiscent of the old cutscenes games used to have, with no spoken dialog, just a simple box with scrolling text...I like retro.
  • Bonus Levels/Bonus Worlds. This is something I love about certain video games; unlockable levels/entire worlds. If the game has hidden the paths to these unlockable areas pretty well and lays out clues to their existence, it keeps me coming back to the game in an attempt to find them. I plan on at least four very hidden, very unlockable worlds, and once the player has won the game and found every secret, something truly Epic will happen... :D
  • Built-in Level Editor. This is for replay value, as is the last note. I want players to be able to design and play their own levels, and to be able to share them online. With that functionality, the game will almost never be over, as people can submit and download new levels every day!

Granted, that's not a lot of features, but they're very important ones. And there's a lot I haven't shared yet, and won't until the first demo of this game (due out in twenty years, give or take a couple of decades) is released for testing and review. :) Stay tuned if you're interested, and I'll post more about this when I have an actual game up and running!

Time to look into how to make this thing....

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