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Merry Prankster Games

Planning the Real Game

Posted by , in 10FF 05 April 2013 - - - - - - · 546 views

So, with 10 Fantasy Fights fully functional on iOS, I've got my proof of concept... games with my engine work fine on iOS or Windows. So, now it's time to make the actual game! I'll roll out a good announcement soon, but in the meantime I'll post enigmatic progress reports. Right now I'm working on the locations for the game, which (it turns out) is really hard, because that is also tightly bound to the quests in the game. Which is tightly bound to the factions and characters in the game. Which is tightly bound... OK, it goes on and on. Basically I need to iterate on the whole game plan.

But, for you, here's a preliminary, in progress, version of the overland map.

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10FF fully playable on iPad

Posted by , in 10FF 01 February 2013 - - - - - - · 695 views

I just played through 10 Fantasy Fights on the iPad. Fixed a few little bugs on the way, but you can win the game, as this screenshot proves:

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Only problem is, the interface is still a ported-over mouse interface, not a touch interface. So, it's pretty painful to go all the way through. Next big task is to make touch work the way it should.

Having just played, the things that really stand out are:

* 10FF is pausable real-time. It's more of a tactical game than action, so being able to pause and issue orders is really important. On the PC, this works great with spacebar. On the iPad, with no spacebar, the tiny little pause button is not nearly enough. I'll definitely make pause easier to hit, but also experiment with pausing whenever you select one of your characters, or even an auto-pause feature.
* For things like inventory and stores, I use drag and drop to move stuff around. Also, scroll bars when you have too much stuff. However, I'm going to have to make the scrollable stuff drag to scroll, as that's how touch interfaces work. What happens to the drag and drop of objects? Do I try to detect what the player is doing? Switch to "click the object", "click the destination"? Or what?
* Organizing your party right now requires clicking on tiny little buttons. Doesn't work at all.
* I was worried about hit detection on characters and monsters, but it actually works pretty well.
* On the PC, I have hover, which is useful. Currently, as a workaround, you can generally pause and then click on something to get info, but this also triggers actions. So, I need to make this better for touch.
* On the PC I use r-click to enter an info dialog for just about everything. I switched to long-press for iPad, which is OK. However, there are a lot of places where a tap could just do that too. Also, the UI needs some indication when you've held long enough when there is different behavior.

There's more, but enough to worry about now. My next plan is to sit down with all of the screen and figure out exactly what the behavior should be. Then try it out, and iterate until it is awesome.


iPad version

Posted by , in 10FF 24 January 2013 - - - - - - · 804 views

Here it is, a screenshot of 10FF running on an iPad Mini!

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I am really psyched about this. This isn't just test or partial code; the complete engine is working, with "little" things like audio and everything. I believe the game is fully playable at this point, though I haven't gone through it to the finish yet.

The discerning will note: FPS: 0.96432 (and so on) at the bottom. Uhoh... When I first noticed the FPS, I was horrified. I mean, that isn't just a little slow. Step 1, I tried the Release version. No difference. Oh dear.

Step 2, I turned on the debug tracing. This was even more horrifying, as even running a game tick (without rendering anything) was taking 30ms. Getting 30 FPS isn't likely when you only get 30 FPS without even rendering! And rendering a frame was taking almost a full second.

Step 3, I turned to the XCode profiler. After some tomfoolery with debug symbols, I got it going, and at last, some good news. Under the profiling, doing a game tick is really fast, a millisecond maybe. On further reflection, I believe that tracing from the iPad to the debugger (on a Mac) is really slow, taking almost a millisecond just to trace a line. So with tracing on, performance craters.

I'm left with the rendering code, which I know can be much more optimized. But, I got even better news from the profiler. The actual level rendering code is quite speedy. The vast majority of the bad performance is coming from the HUD rendering! Well, I can optimize the heck out of that... in fact the majority of the bad perf is from text rendering, which should be super easy to cache on a texture. So, that's good news.

Just to verify, I turned off the HUD and the game did actually render at 30 FPS. There were a few little glitches here and there, but I suspect I know what that is, and can optimize that away. So, all in all, good news.


Level rendering

Posted by , in 10FF 09 January 2013 - - - - - - · 777 views

Got level rendering working on the iOS simulator:

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I had to show a screenshot of the very start of the beginning level, as I don't have the touch events wired properly yet and you can't move at all. The discerning eye will also note some face culling issues. And perf is crap. But definite progress.


10 Fantasy Fights runs on iOS! Sort of...

Posted by , in 10FF 04 January 2013 - - - - - - · 747 views

Yes, the moment you've been waiting for! In all its glory, 10FF in the iPad simulator:
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Oh wait, you thought that not only the game would run, but the graphics would render too? Well, that's asking a lot. You'll have to take my word for it that the game is, in fact running. But it seems there is still some work to do...


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