Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Beals Software

Goodbye Weekly Update

Posted by , in Weekly Update 12 November 2013 - - - - - - · 498 views

Hi everyone! We're back with another weekly update. For those that are wondering where we've been and what's going on, I'll get to that in just a moment.

But first, let's Kick Start Your Week with Mikeyo:

YouTube Link
We're a little behind with our Indie Spotlights:
For the week of October 25th to November 1st our Spotlight was of Cloaks & Spells, a 2D platformer/metroidvania game:
Beals Software Project Page

YouTube Link

For this week, our Indie Spotlight is Approaching Infinity, a 2D space roguelike:
Beals Software Project Page

YouTube Link
Approaching Infinity has a Kickstarter that is currently running: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/181428952/approaching-infinity-a-space-adventure-roguelike (ends December 11, 2013)

Now, we're really far behind partly due to our day job, but mainly due to working on the prototype for Lord Sen's Battle Arena (it was supposed to be the alpha, but we weren't able to hit that mark.) Basically, early last month I said that we were going to have the alpha for Lord Sen's Battle Arena ready by the end of October, so I put everything aside and focused on that. I realized in the last week/week and a half that I had the project nowhere near alpha ready, let alone prototype. So, I "fell off the grid" to put all of my time and energy into that. The prototype (version 0.1) was put up for download on 11/04, but I didn't really promote it due to the fact that it really is still quite unstable and featureless. Version 0.2 was just put up for download which is less broken, but still quite featureless. It is playable though; you can create a lobby, have people join, change teams and game settings, start the game and play (you can download it from it's project page, but it requires multiple players to "play".)

So, what was the hold up? Well, I implemented the initial system using plain a TCP set up. I know from reading forum posts and many articles throughout the years that TCP isn't the way to go. So, I then converted and refactored our core networking library over to Lidgren. While this was a very smooth process (seriously, if you're doing any networking I highly recommend Lidgren), it did still take a week due to my lack of networking knowledge.

The major hiccup though has been my lack of multiplayer game development experience. In all my time programming, every time I've attempted to develop anything remotely "online", my hold up is usually what to send and where. I've spent countless hours searching, but I have never seen an article that touches on this and trying to decipher it from others' projects (even tutorial projects) is close to impossible. I've come to realise that this is due to the fact that it depends so much on how your engine itself is written. I've also come to realize that using a component based engine wasn't the best choice

Anyway, things are moving along rather well now. We have everything planned out from our current version (0.2) through alpha (0.5) and beta (1.0.) We're going to be posting a new version every Monday (most likely evening), so keep your eyes out.

On other fronts, we've made the decision today to move The Lost Chapters to the background so that we can make room for a different project (Operation D.A.V.E as Mike has dubbed it.) We're going to discuss some details about it in our meeting later, so we should have some more info soon. I do want to say that it is kind of a time limited thing, which is why we are pushing it to the head of the line (well, third in line; Lord Sen's Battle Arena and Seeking Imagination are still leading the charge.)

Now, on to the topic of this blog: I'm not really sure about the future of it. I've come to realize that this really isn't the place for the weekly update; it is meant for game development and that's the content we should be providing here. So, I'm going to be shifting this journal back to more game development related topics, but I probably won't be doing "scheduled" posts. Basically what I was doing before I started the weekly update, but hopefully a little better (I'll obviously plug the weekly update in the blog posts though.)

As for the weekly update, we're kind of splitting things up and "expanding". Since the Let's Play Indie Games idea has expanded a little bit (we're showcasing our videos plus other let's players), we're talking about doing a Let's Play Recap video that would include those. Mikeyo's Weekly Update and Kick Start Your Week videos will continue as normal; we'll probably start putting up a news items for those (he also tweets them from @mikeyothedj.)

Anyway, I think that's all for this week and to catch up what we've been doing over the past couple weeks. I'm not sure what format I'll move forward with for the blog posts, but they'll definitely still be coming. Thanks for stopping in!

Weekly Update # 15

Posted by , in Let's Play Indie Games, Battle Arena, Weekly Update, Indie Spotlight 07 October 2013 - - - - - - · 531 views

Welcome back for our Weekly Update!

Mikeyo kick starts our week with some more crowd sourcing projects:

YouTube Link

He also wraps up last week in this week's Weekly Update video:

YouTube Link

Let's Play Indie Games
Last week I mentioned that we would be doing five games a week...I failed to reach this goal. I had some games, but they are android and I really don't have a way to record those at the moment; I'm going to discuss that in our meeting this week.

I'm also having a hard time with it this week as well - I found some games that looked good, but they didn't record well, wouldn't record (not OpenGL or DirectX) or they crashed multiple times. I use FRAPS for my recording, which isn't a cover all, so I'm looking into some alternatives.

I'll warn you...I had a hard time cutting out anything from today's video so it is extra long (20 minutes.) I played through the human tutorial for Savage XR, by Newerth:

YouTube Link

You'll be able to see this week's games on our site, LetsPlayIndieGames.com (check out the archive for last week's videos.)

If you have any PC games with a demo/release that you'd like a Let's Play video created for (along with some social media traffic and a chance at being in our Indie Spotlight), please send us your information at letsplay@bealssoftware.com .

Also, if you do Let's Plays of indie games, please let us know so that we can add you to our wall of Indie Let's Players (letsplayindiegames.com/?module=letsplayers.)

Indie Spotlight
This week's Indie Spotlight is last week's Monday video, Blood Alloy. Their kickstarter is still running for the next couple days and could use a hand: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/63518568/blood-alloy (ends October 10th.) Here's the video for those that missed it:

YouTube Link

Lord Sen's Battle Arena
As Mike mentioned in the weekly update,we have named the battle arena "Lord Sen's Battle Arena" and are aiming to have an alpha done by the end of the month. As such I have put everything (well, other game projects) aside so that I can focus on that task. The focus this week is the base for the networking system and it is going well so far (though, I've yet to get to the hard part.) Here are some screenshots, including the newly finished team system:
Attached Image Attached Image Attached Image

And here's one where I've created a lobby (right) and connected to it (left.)
Attached Image

And the placeholder title screen:
Attached Image

That is all for now, thanks for dropping by!

Weekly Update # 14

Posted by , in Weekly Update, Indie Spotlight 01 October 2013 - - - - - - · 505 views

Hi everyone and welcome back for another Weekly Update!

As normal, Mikeyo kick starts our week:

YouTube Link

He also wraps up last week in our Weekly Update:

YouTube Link

Let's Play Indie Games / Indie Spotlight
We're expanding our Indie Spotlight segment to help promote more indie games. We will be playing one game a day, Monday through Friday and then we'll do the regular spotlight from those games on Saturday. I am still working on the website, so for now we have a temporary page up on our main site; you can check it out at www.letsplayindiegames.com. For more information, check out my news post.

Today's Let's Play Indie Games is the awesome Blood Alloy!

YouTube Link

This week's Indie Spotlight is RedNeck Assassin, you can check it out on it's project page.

If you have any games that you'd like some extra marketing for, please let us know! Just remember, we're sticking to games that have playable versions and we're going to be making a video of it.

Battle Arena
This week saw a great milestone - the feature used in both Battle Arena and Seeking Imagination are done, so Battle Arena has been separated into it's own branch.

Just to cover what the game is - Battle Arena is a 2D, skirmish-based multiplayer game. It will support 8-person local and network-based multiplayer. It's going to include all of the features from Seeking Imagination, but molded for the multiplayer experience.

So, obviously one of the biggest focus points is going to be game types - deathmatch, capture the flag, etc. This was my first task to tackle and it seems to be working pretty well; I have a lot more testing to do, but I'm happy with it. We have 7 game types planned so far and probably more to come.

This coming week will be focusing on developing the team system and getting the rest of the network core done.

Seeking Imagination
Seeking Imagination's development will be slowing down a bit now until Battle Arena is finished. I finished implementing the basic AI functionality and that covers the major features needed for that, so once we come back to it we should just need to get content and artwork done.

Here is some concept art that was quickly sketched out last weekend:
Attached Image Attached Image Attached Image

And here's a teaser screenshot for a future project:
Attached Image

That's all for now, have a great week!

Weekly Update #13

Posted by , in Kickstarter, Weekly Update, Indie Spotlight 23 September 2013 - - - - - - · 682 views

Hello everyone and welcome back for another weekly update!

Mikeyo kick starts our week with another group of crowdsourcing projects.

YouTube Link

Indie Spotlight #3 - Shadow of Arawyn
The Indie Spotlight for this week is a great action adventure game, Shadow of Arawyn by DC3S. They are currently running an indiegogo project that you should go check!

YouTube Link

Seeking Imagination Battle Arena
This week saw the implementation for a bit of the AI sub system.; mainly line of sight (a poor, initial implementation) and some reaction mechanics. I'll have some more information on those once I've improved them and fleshed them out more. For now, here's a screenshot:
Attached Image

More importantly, this last week saw the implementation of the date/time and day/night cycle. Our date/time system supports minutes, hours, days, months and years; all of which are based off of ticks (just like the normal date/time system.) We can specify exactly how many ticks make up each components, which allows us to control what a date calculates to.

The day/night system allows us to specify how many in-game minutes a real-time second equals (basically, each real-time second X amount of minutes are added to the game time.) It also allows us to specify a palette that will be used for the "lighting"; we can supply any size palette and it lerps between two values depending on the time.

With the two systems, we could theoretically start a game at 01/01/01 0:00 and could run it through the end, one second at a time. Here's a video showing the current setup:

We start off at 1 RT second = 1 IG minute, then 15 IG minutes, then 30 and finally 60.

That's all for this week; we'll be back with more next week.

In the meantime, don't forget to like our Facebook page to be entered into our contest and if you have a game you'd like us to spotlight, contact us in any one of the ways below:Take care!

Weekly Update #12

Posted by , in Kickstarter, Weekly Update, Indie Spotlight 16 September 2013 - - - - - - · 530 views

Kick Start Your Week with Mikeyo

Youtube Link

Weekly Update with Mikeyo

Youtube Link

Indie Spotlight #2 - Don't Starve
This week's Indie Spotlight is Don't Starve by Klei Entertainment. Don't Starve is a great survival adventure game with a focus on crafting and a procedurally generated world for the PC. You can find out more information on our spotlight page.

Facebook Contest
Our Facebook contest is still going on (facebook.com/bealssoftware), we're getting close to a drawing. We have just 12 likes to go, so let your friends know to get in now for the best chance to win. You can find the rules in this Facebook post.

Seeking Imagination
I'm not sure what Mikeyo is talking about, I don't remember saying I was going to switch from MonoGame to SFML...

So, originally our plan was to use MonoGame in combination with Xamarin.Android to deploy to mobile and OUYA. However Xamarin has changed their licensing, so now to use it with Visual Studio will cost about $1000USD per developer per platform so...EFF THAT. This defeats the purpose of using MonoGame anyway, so that takes away points.

The issue in particular that broke the camel's back is issue #998, which appears to have been resolved, but there has been no mention of a stable release (I'm not a fan of building from source code as that has resulted in bad results in the past for me.) I'm not sure why, but for some reason it just appears randomly for me (and once it appears it won't go away until I restart my computer), so not really something I want to ship my game out with.

The major issue is the features missing from MonoGame - dynamic sound instances, proper support for Xbox 360 gamepad (actually an issue with the underlying library I believe), streaming audio and, most of all, the lack of issue resolution - they're far more interested in "getting it running" on different platforms and adding new features than fixing the issues in (https://github.com/mono/MonoGame/issues/894 has remained an issue for over a year.)

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate what they've done with it so far, but I don't have the time to implement their features and track down their bugs so that I can work on my project and track down bugs in it. So the idea was to switch over to SFML...but that leaves us in the same position as I would have to implement all of the features that MonoGame offers. So, we're going to continue with MonoGame for now and if it becomes an issue we'll switch over to XNA for PC and probably SFML for Android.

Feature wise this has been a good week! I was able to get a simple status effect system in place, stat points and leveling in place (core, not UI.) More importantly I've started working on brains - the basic implementation for wandering is started and I've started implementing the symbols needed for more advanced abilities.

Bugwise it wasn't so good: I fixed angle-range detection which means you can only activate entities if you are facing and also allowed for line of site detection (or rather "facing" detection). However I found another - enemies are not clearing when changing from one map to another. I haven't had a chance to look at it, but it has me confused as enemies and other NPCs are all handled the same way.

That's it for this week; we'll be back with some more screenshots and videos and more next week. Thanks for stopping in and have a great week!