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Beals Software

Weekly Update # 15

Posted by , in Let's Play Indie Games, Battle Arena, Weekly Update, Indie Spotlight 07 October 2013 - - - - - - · 530 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:
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And here's one where I've created a lobby (right) and connected to it (left.)
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And the placeholder title screen:
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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:
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And here's a teaser screenshot for a future project:
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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:
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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 - - - - - - · 528 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!

Weekly Update #11

Posted by , in Indie Spotlight, Weekly Update 10 September 2013 - - - - - - · 502 views

We'll start off with Mikeyo's video:

Youtube Link

I apologize for the absence, Mike has been out of town and I haven't had much to report other than disasters.

I keep all of the game assets on an external drive that is connected to my development server; this makes them easily accessible from anywhere. However, I had an issue the week before last with files disappearing momentarily, most notably video and audio files (mainly because I use those for an extended period of time.) I've backed everything up, but I'm not sure how to move forward as neither the server nor the drive seem to have any issues. I was thinking it was a connector issue, but I had no issues with it connected directly to my laptop; now I'm thinking it may be a network issue.

Then this last week I spent most of my time over at my mother's house due to an infestation of yellow jackets. We're back home now and it is mostly dealt with (I hope), but I didn't get much done as I was running back and forth between my house, my parents' and the store.

This last weekend was not much better. I spent most of my time trying to track down an error that was being caused by MonoGame. Basically every now and then the game just won't run, it throws an error about failing to find the entry point for one of the opengl DLLs. This is just one of a long list of issues I've had with the library, so I'm moving away from it; playing around with SFML at the moment to see how well that works. I originally chose MonoGame as I wanted easy cross platform, but the cost to develop using C# on Android is just getting to high at this point ($1000USD per year, per platform, per developer just so that I can use it with Visual Studio? No thanks.) This is another reason I'm looking at SFML, they have bindings for C# and Java, so it should be easy enough to have two separate builds. We're having a meeting today to discuss the alternatives though.
Top Down Shooter Engine
I was able to get the TDS engine I created for LD27 converted over to MonoGame (from XNA) and got it updated to use our core libraries. This was pretty painless; I've written the code a lot of times, but it changes each time and it is usually just enough to make it a PITA when I try to convert it. There is still a ton of features that it needs, but it is a pretty good starting point. The first thing I'm going to work on is adding thinner walls and collision detection that will work with that.

Seeking Imagination Battle Arena
I fell behind on development for SIBA because I was trying to make the two engines the same since SIBA is supposed to be the prototype for Seeking Imagination. As you can imagine, this doesn't work very well. While they both have the same core mechanics, the engines themselves are very much different - SI is a singleplayer action RPG, SIBA is a multiplayer action arcade game (with RPG elements); SI has saving and loading, SIBA does not; etc. So, going forward I am focusing on SIBA and once I'm done I'll fork the code and alter it for SI.

I did manage to get melee combat in; I need to update the code so that it (and activation) takes the player's facing into consideration. Once I have some AI brains completed I'll post a video showing off the combat.

Lastly, I completed the implementation of a new feature - item instancing. We added this as we want to allow customization of items (think enchanting or sockets.)

Game Jolt Integration
I've mentioned Game Jolt before, but I haven't really been using it. Back in February I created an open source API on CodePlex (gamejolt.codeplex.com) and I've now completely integrated it with our base library. The API provides simple solutions for game news (new DLC, kickstarter, etc) and cloud saves at the moment, if I think of anything else I will be adding them as I go. Here is a screenshot of the login screen and trophy screen running in Young Minds Memory Game:
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Obviously the project will be changing shortly, depending on which library we decide to go with.

Indie Spotlight
We chose our first Indie Spotlight entry - Steam Marines. You can find out more information about the game on our spotlight page. It's a great game and I highly recommend checking it out.

We have chosen the game for our second Indie Spotlight, but we plan on continuing to do them, so if you'd like to be featured on our front page, our Facebook, our Indie Spotlight page, our weekly update video and have a permanent project page on our website then let me know. It doesn't have to be a specific platform (though we are limited to recording Windows only at the moment) nor does it have to be free. We'll also update the page whenever you'd like; so if you add DLC/expansion packs, start a Kickstarter, etc you can just send us an email and we'll help spread the word.

Facebook Contest
Our Facebook contest is still going on (facebook.com/bealssoftware); we're just 15 likes away from our first drawing. So let your friends know to get in now for the best chance to win. You can find the rules in this Facebook post.

I've rambled on enough today; if I missed anything I'll cover it in next week's post. Thanks for stopping in and have a great day!