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  1. Welcome to a very special day of my 100 days of VR. Day 10! That’s right. We’re finally in the double digits!

    It’s been an enjoyable experience so far working with Unity, especially now that I know a bit more about putting together a 3D game now.

    We haven’t made it into the actual VR aspects of the game, but we were able to get *some* foundational skills for Unity, which I’m sure will help translate into the skills needed to create a real VR experience.

    We’re starting to get the hang of what we can use in Unity to make a game. Yesterday, we created the beginning of the shooting mechanism.

    Currently, whenever we hit something, we just print out what we hit. Today we’re going to go in and create an enemy player that we can shoot and make some fixes.

    Updating the Shooting Code

    The first thing I would like to fix is that when we shoot, we shoot at whatever our cursor is pointing at, which is kind of weird.

    Looking the cursor to the middle

    This can be easily fixed by adding:

    Cursor.lockState = CursorLockMode.Locked;

    To Start() in our PlayerShootingController script

    We’ll have something like this:

    void Start () {
        _camera = Camera.main;
        _particle = GetComponentInChildren<ParticleSystem>();
        Cursor.lockState = CursorLockMode.Locked;
    }

    Now when we try to play the game, our cursor will be gone. It’ll be in the middle of the screen, we just can’t see it.

    Adding a Crosshair

    At this point, we want some indicator to show where our “center” is.

    To do this, we’re going to create an UI crosshair that we’ll put right in the middle.

    In the hierarchy, add an Image which we will call Crosshair. By doing this Unity will also create a Canvas for us. We’ll call that HUD.

    By default, our crosshair is already set in the middle, but it’s too big. Let’s make it smaller. In the Rect Transform, I set our image to have Width and Height 10, 10.

    You should have something like this now:

    Before we do anything else, we need to make sure that our mouse collider doesn’t send a raycast onto our UI elements.

    In HUD, attach a Canvas Group component and from there, uncheck Interactable and Blocks Raycasts. As you might recall, the Canvas Groupcomponent will allow us to apply these 2 settings to its children without us having to manually do it ourselves.

    Go ahead and play around with it. If we observe our console, whenever we fire we hit where our little “crosshair” is located at.

    Creating our Enemy

    So now we fixed our cursor to be the center, the next thing we need to do is to create an enemy.

    We’ll improve upon this, but for now, let’s create our first enemy! A cube!

    Add a Cube to your hierarchy, name it Enemy, and then drag it near our player.

    Boom! First enemy!

    Now currently, nothing really happens when you shoot at it, so let’s fix it by adding an enemy health script. We’ll call it EnemyHealth

    Here’s what the code looks like:

     
    using UnityEngine;
    public class EnemyHealth : MonoBehaviour
    {
        public float Health = 10;
    	
        public void TakeDamage(float damage)
        {
            Health -= damage;
            if (Health <= 0)
            {
                Destroy(gameObject);
            } 
        }
    }
     

    It’s relatively simple:

    1. We have our health
    2. We have a public function that we’ll call our player hits the enemy that’ll decrease the enemies HP
    3. When it reaches 0, we make our enemy disappear

    Now before we update our script, let’s make some optimizations to our raycast.

    Go to our Enemy game object and then set its layer to Shootable if it doesn’t exist (which it most likely doesn’t), create a new layer, call it Shootable, and then assign it to the Enemy layout.

    Now let’s go back to our PlayerShootingController and grab the EnemyHealth script that we just created and make them take damage:

     
    using UnityEngine;
    public class PlayerShootingController : MonoBehaviour
    {
        public float Range = 100;
        private Camera _camera;
        private ParticleSystem _particle;
        private LayerMask _shootableMask;
    	void Start () {
    		_camera = Camera.main;
    	    _particle = GetComponentInChildren<ParticleSystem>();
    	    Cursor.lockState = CursorLockMode.Locked;
    	    _shootableMask = LayerMask.GetMask("Shootable");
    	}
    	
    	void Update () {
    	    if (Input.GetMouseButton(0))
    	    {
                Ray ray = _camera.ScreenPointToRay(Input.mousePosition);
                RaycastHit hit = new RaycastHit();
    	        if (Physics.Raycast(ray, out hit, Range, _shootableMask))
    	        {
    	            print("hit " + hit.collider.gameObject);
    	            _particle.Play();
                    EnemyHealth health = hit.collider.GetComponent<EnemyHealth>();
    	            if (health != null)
    	            {
    	                health.TakeDamage(1);
    	            }
                    }
    	    }
    	}
    }
     

    The changes we’ve done is very similar to what we have seen before with Survival Shooter, but here’s the addition that we added:

    1. We created our LayerMask for our Shootable layer and passed it into our Raycast function
      1. Note, I tried to use an int at first to represent our LayerMask, but for some reason, the Raycast ignored the int. From searching around online, I found that instead of using the int representation, we should just try the actual LayerMask object. When I gave that a try, it worked…. So yay?
    2. Next, when we hit an object, which at this point, can only be Enemy, we grab the EnemyHealth script that we added and then we make the enemy take 1 damage. Do this 10 times and the enemy will die.

    Now with this script attached to our enemy, shoot our cube 10 times (which should happen really fast), and then BOOM, gone.

    Conclusion

    And that’s about as far as I got for Day 10! Today was a bit brief, because I didn’t get much time to work, but I think we made some good progress!

    We created the basis for an enemy and added a basic crosshair UI that we can use. Tomorrow, I’m going to start looking into seeing how to add an enemy from the Unity Asset Store into the game.

    Until then, I’ll see you all in day 11!

    Original Day 10

    Visit the 100 Days of VR main page

  2. dovodi
    Latest Entry

    59c4b9367564a_.png.9faf48ccdf2d923394c7c4f49dee82de.png

    The magis is a terrible power. Especially if there is a powerfull stuff in your hands! To turn a sworn enemy into a pile of ashes, you just need to choose a right trajectory for the deadly ray: hold your finger on the screen to cast a spell and release when you're sure you'll roast a sorcerer as needeed) The goal of the game is to completely incinerate your enemy. If your strength is at an end, then try to pick up a bonus to heal yourself a little. When you become the master art of magic you need to show your friends that you're the most imperious wizard in the world playing together on one phone. The guild of wizards has been waiting for you and your magical stuff!

    Play Market - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.io_games.two_player_games.witch.wizard.magic.spell.mage.pvp.pixel_art.sorcery.warlock.free&referrer=utm_source%3Dgamedevnet

    1.thumb.png.d1b0afb228e96777109c7ab2a93e686e.png2.thumb.png.cd58a5d9e5272224557c7d86e2835549.png3.thumb.png.541309542339b7f2d0b015dcf0d46fd1.png4.thumb.png.c4a3af5ab3a52e378a7e3f890030323d.png5.thumb.png.5433ff903002c6b0dc214250bb829f52.png

    Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/IOGamesDevelopment/

    VK - https://vk.com/io__games

     

  3. title.thumb.png.8bbc9a606adfdb2bee95fbb4a6437866.png

     

    Ok now that my build and store page have both now been approved by Steam I have a new release date October 6th. It will be available on Steam, Itch.io and GameJolt. As far as I know everything is setup and ready to go on GameJolt and itch.io so I just have to push the release button and they should be good. From the documentation it appears it should be that easy with Stem as well. So mark your calendars and be ready to play.

    On another note I also, while waiting for Steam, have started the work  on a new game. I'm still working out the details and getting everything figured out so I can start development soon. I can't wait to apply what I learned through making Farkle Friends and apply it to a new game. I have a few other ideas for future games as well. More details on my next game will be coming soon hopefully.

  4. Now that iOS 11 has been officially released, there are several things you must do to prepare iOS apps for submission to Apple. Also, the upcoming iPhone X creates some unique challenges when creating a user interface, so we’ve added some useful new APIs to help you adjust your UI.

    Icons

    Starting with iOS 11, Apple now requires that you include an Icon-1024.png file in your app package. However, current Corona-built apps cannot find that file correctly using the CFBundleIconFiles table. Thus, to make this work today and going forward, you must switch from using static icons to using the modern Images.xcassets package.

    Starting with daily build 2017.3144, you can easily implement the Images.xcassets method — simply consult our Managing Xcode Assets guide for instructions.

    Safe areas

    The iPhone X creates a unique challenge for app developers. Between rounded corners and the sensor housing protruding into the screen, developers need a way to know where they can safely place critical UI elements so that they are fully visible and accessible to users. Toward this end, Apple has provided this helpful guide outlining what you need to do.

    Pasted-image-at-2017_09_15-02_25-PM-e150

    In short, you need to fill the entire screen, including areas outside the “safe area” (the darker region bounded with the red line in the illustration). Also note that the iPhone X has an extra-tall aspect ratio of 2.165:1 — surpassing even the 2:1 aspect ratio of the Samsung S8 — so for a Corona content area size of 320×480, you will need to fill a total area of 360×693 for the iPhone X screen and iPad screens.

    Even more importantly, your app should not place important UI elements like buttons, scores, navigation elements, etc. outside of the “safe area” on the screen. In truth, the “safe area” is not a new concept with the iPhone X — for instance, TVs have overscan areas and some mobile devices utilize status bars and soft button rows where you shouldn’t be placing UI elements.

    To address this, starting with daily build 2017.3135, we added several new properties and a new function which you can use to determine the safe zone on the screen. These additions to the display library include:

    Please click through to the documentation for examples on how to use these.

    Conclusion

    In addition to the above features, we are preparing a new iPhone X skin for the Corona Simulator, to be released soon. In the meantime, you can start preparing your apps for the iPhone X, test them in the Xcode Simulator, and submit them to Apple using the iOS 11 SDK.


    View the full article

  5. OK Everyone, so basically I've decided to leave my Arcade Game project alone at the moment, and instead explore a field that is interesting to me. Level Design, I just borrowed a book on Level Design and I've found the perfect place to start.

    OK, so this is about the Daytona USA 2:Battle On The Edge track Astro Waterfall Speedway, AKA Forest Island. Which I consider one of the most underrated levels in Video Game History in my opinion.

    So here we go.

     

    Astro Waterfall Speedway is more than just any track, it is an Oval circuit located inside a massive dome, that has a forest in it. And the dome is just amazing, the forest section is on the 2nd straight. And as well as that, it is a fully functioning racing circuit inside a dome. Now the Dome's location is undisclosed, but strangely enough, there is something similar to this dome, called Tropical Islands just 50 Km south from Berlin. The dome is like I said, one of the most intricately designed levels in Racing Game history. And it might not be one of the best levels in the world(it's too underrated), but it has several waterfalls with realistic water particles, birds flying ahead. 

    Apparently though, International Speedway Corporation weren't too pleased about this speedway, so they asked Sega to make a "Power Edition" of the game so that it looked more like Daytona International Speedway.But I like this version better.

    Now what I also like about this circuit is it's realistic implications, so indoor kart racing circuits are a thing at the moment, and so is a basic Indoor Stock Car racing league in Virginia called Arena Racing USA. I watched Logan Lucky last week, and they said that Charlottesville Speedway is "Practically a City" so it's got a condominium and all that. Stuff like this Speedway could only possibly exist in the future. But revenue through the racing means that they probably realistically would make a lot of money.  Also this circuit is larger than Tropical Islands resort, and unlike Tropical Islands, which was converted from an Airship Hangar, this must have actually been the original case for the Structure, who knows how much it costed. But when Daytona was recently Facelifted, it cost $400 Million. So that's one thing.

    Anyway, I think I know what inspired the "Forest Island Dome", Center Parcs in the UK. They have a dome similar to Tropical Islands and I'm pretty sure that this "Subtropical Swimming Paradise" may have been a research location for Sega.

    Daytona USA 3 is merely a rehash compared to Daytona USA 2, which actually features original, intricate track design and really good graphics. The main mechanics of Daytona USA 2 and graphics just make this level work. Here it is in action.

     

     

    Anyways, that's it, I'll see you later when I do more level design featuring Kingdom Hearts II, Tomb Raider 1 and Ridge Racer.

     

    Shinji.

  6. In this daily blog (and video)-series I take a first impressions look at the best mobile games that I come by. Be sure to share your favorite mobile game with the rest of us in the comments below!

    Clash Royale rip-off... ehm... I mean... Clash Royale-inspired Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics is pretty much a military-skinned Clash Royale. 

    Developed by Gameloft, the game is super polished and runs smoothly, but the game doesn't bring anything new to the table. On the positive side, however, you DO get premium currency for free from completing missions.

    There's a 40 mb additional download after installing the game.

    My thoughts on Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics:


    Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gameloft.android.ANMP.GloftTAHM&hl=en
    iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blitz-brigade-rival-tactics/id1154058623?mt=8

    Subscribe on YouTube for more commentaries: https://goo.gl/xKhGjh
    Or join me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mobilegamefan/
    Or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nimblethoryt/
    Or Twitter: https://twitter.com/nimblethor

  7. Hi everyone!

    Game Developments
     

    We apologize for not releasing the update we talked about last week, unfortunately it was a lot harder to implement the new inventory in the game and we’re also a bit sick (laughs). These weather changes are killing our noses.

    We promise to update this week and it should already have the new inventory and the new furniture. (smiles) The players will be in a future update. (winks)

    731331_7157b0095f634e23a6ec654140b4db38~

     

     

    So remember how placing the new player model went? Now check out how it looked like when we tried to make her walk!

     

    731331_2bcac5dae78b4a54be455a478a5a88fe~

     

     

    PlayStation Awards Portugal

     

    I think we’ve talked about this a long time ago.. We decided to apply for the PlayStation Awards Portugal. Basically this is a competition where small game developers apply with games and have the chance of it being published for PlayStation 4. They also help with marketing and give financing to the winning team. So… what do we have to lose..?

     

    For this application we had to write a Concept Design Document, and film a trailer. Since we thought sharing the document would be boring we are going to share the video with you instead! Click here to check it out! :)

    Event

     
    Yesterday we also had the opportunity to be apart of the Lift Off - Entrepreneurs Launch Workshop. This consists in talking to business experts, marketing, lawyers, etc.Whatever you need to open a business they were there! We it was nutritious
     
     
     
    731331_13a1eced416e4bc28340c933d0dc8c3c~

     

     

    See you all next week,

     

    The FAXIME Team

     

    Follow us and keep updated at:

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FaximeGames
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/faximegames
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/FaximeGames
    Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.pt/faximegames

    SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/faximegames

    Website: https://www.faxime.fun

     
     
  8. Hey, Hell Warders! Its the week 16 of Hell Warders weekly dev blog. Hope you guys enjoyed reading the blog, although there have been some delays with the development, I want to give you guys some updates about the game.

    Firstly, we will be attending Tokyo Game Show, both me and my partner. We have scheduled a few meetings with publisher and producer, hope it will bring us more insights about the game industry and improve our work.

    Secondly, we are finally close to releasing our next update. We sincerely apologize for the delay in the update, as we are testing out different settings, which is very different from the previous version. We have shifted from a "Party co-op" mode into a campaign mode, which is a huge challenge for us, we hope to be able to release the update within two weeks time, we are VERY VERY close.

    Give you guys some screenshots of our work in progress!

    2017-09-20_17-43-59.png

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    2017-09-20_17-45-57.png

    2017-09-20_17-46-08.png

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    2017-09-20_17-48-49.png

  9. Visuals easily grab attention and particularly the video content just give users all the relief from the exercise of reading a text. Watching a video is a passive exercise allowing a sense of comfort while always explaining things better. Even then, we detest videos that instead of telling us straightforwardly what it is all about just beats around the bush.

    What happens when such a lengthy and monotonous video appears on the app store trying to explain the uniqueness of an app? Obviously, such app preview videos instead of captivating attention make us quit. Do you think it is interesting to use a video as part of your app store preview? Before venturing to create it just have a look at some important stats and tips.

    Deciphering the Stats about app preview video

    Most studies say that preview videos not only boost app store conversion but also boosts the Lifetime Value (LTV) of an app. App marketplaces are tremendously competitive with every new app needing to compete with millions of other apps across the niches. With such huge competition and decreasing user attention, every app needs to impress its potential audience at the first chance and quicker it happens the better. Naturally, preview video perfectly fits into this requirement being both impressive and less time-consuming compared to text.

    Many Indian app developers made app store preview videos central to their marketing strategy. In the time to come, we can see most app marketers adopting to this trend. Here are some key statistics about the preview videos used for both Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

    ●    on an average among the Google Play visitors, only 15% prefer to play a video.
    ●    only 7.5% of average App Store users prefer playing the preview video.
    ●    While 55% of iOS users complete watching the preview video just 45% of Play Store visitors watch preview videos till the end.

    From the above-mentioned stats, it may seem preview videos as still not popular and they may not be as successful as they are presumed to be. Many of these videos just lack the attributes necessary for impressing visitors quickly. On the other hand, the people who watch preview videos offer far higher conversion than people who do not watch them. Here are a few more stats about what the visitors do after watching a preview video of an app.

    ●    among the watchers of these videos, 50% of iOS users and 25% of Google Play visitors scroll down the gallery.
    ●    a whopping 70-80% of visitors on both App Store and Play Store scroll down further to look for contents about the app.
    ●    only 5% of watchers read the App Store description.
    ●    20% of visitors on both platforms take an instant call on installing or skipping the app just after watching the video.

    Lastly, it is a sordid fact that most users across the platforms are seen to be so reluctant to go deeper into any app description or preview that they are less likely to watch it. But still, with a great preview video perfected in every respect, your app can boost conversion to a significant extent. Lastly, among the top 50 successful apps, 84% of them use a preview video. So, if you want to learn from the leaders, a preview video is something you cannot do without. Some app developers in India and elsewhere seem to be rather enthusiastic about this visual tool.

    But, preview video needs to be perfect in all aspects since it is your first and last chance of introducing an app to a potential buyer. Here we go with a few tips for preview video that can help pushing conversion.

    Video Content

    The attention span of mobile audience irrespective of the platforms has touched the bottom low, and it's only a span of few seconds that you get to grab their attention. Do you know among the visitors who start watching a preview video both in App Store or Google Play Store, 10% of them just leave the video within every 5 seconds? So, you need to deliver your message quicker and most straightforwardly.

    First of piece of truth that you should remember while creating a preview video is that it is not a tutorial video and so you do not need to go into details about how to use the app. All you need to focus is why the users need it. Just explain the biggest USP of your app in a short, impressive and direct manner.

    Game app preview

    Games are different from all other apps in terms of audience and user intentions for downloading them. In most cases, games are downloaded by judging the graphics quality and game playing experience. So, your game preview video must deliver the excitement of the actual gameplay.

    Video length

    As we have discussed earlier, your video length must be short and precise enough to keep their attention throughout. Mobile users are already a restless lot with almost frantic attention span, and so any dragging and pushing around a few points will only make them leave undecided.

    Sound and Narration

    A nice audible narration and background score is nice as long as the video is watched in private places. For public viewing, your video should come with muted video options with subtitles, transitions and callouts to ensure a rich watching experience without sound.

    Let's cut a long story short by telling you that preview videos are good as long as it can work as a captivating piece of content for your target audience. Give your most important message within a few first seconds since most decisive users can take a call much earlier than the span of the video. On the other hand, so-called casual explorer audience can eventually like the app by watching the video and so make the rest of the video impressive by explaining the value it offers.

  10. Empire Rising

    The next thing we felt critical to add was an computer player to play against. Both for when there happens to be no one online, or if you want some practice to get used to the game before playing against other people.

    1 1

    We ended up with two AI's, a normal and a hard. On normal the AI does basic country farming and maintains his lands without doing anything special, eventually making an army and slowly working towards capturing other counties. It should be a good match for someone just starting the game and is still learning the ropes.

    2 2

    The hard AI is mostly the same but stronger. It takes over counties faster and has bigger armies. By no means unbeatable but definitely a challenge, this AI is for people with confidence. We were thinking about added a third, even harder AI but decided against it at this time because we believe putting an impossible difficulty would detract at this point. We might add, or tweak AI's in the future.

    7 1

    Another big addition is the music we added to the game. The music is by Kristen Morales (see her profile at Kristenmoralesmusic.tumblr.com ). We have two fantasy tracks that alternate randomly and they really help get you in the mood of the game.

    3 1

    Once again there was a bunch of smaller things we fixed so I'll mention a few: We fixed an anti-cheat mechanism that was over zealous and punished players that weren't cheating.

    5 1

    We made it so you can move unit stacks around in the army to change formation. The top line is the front and the bottom is the back so you can, for example, move your archers to the back to protect them. We also made it so you can split your stacks so you use more strategies.

    8 1

    We decrease the number of people you need in an army you need to burn fields from 200 to 100, because we felt burning fields was never viable.

    4 1

    Lastly (that I can think of anyway for now) we changed the way the castle upgrades affect sieges. Before when you upgraded your castle it would take more seasons and more units to siege. We found that in more case the increase units requirement was annoying rather than helpful so we changed it so that only the number of season increase.

    6 1

    We took a video of the two of us playing against 2 hard AI's.

    You can play the updated game at www.empirerising.net

  11. Art of Bug

    Introduction

    Finding a bug has always meant that half the work is done. Validating the bug with the developers makes or breaks the effort taken in finding the bug. Usually, a lot of bugs are overlooked due to the fact that the explanation has been poor/incomplete/ under-defined. At the other end of the spectrum, the bug’s explanation has been extended to the point of exhaustion. The following blog will break down the factors that need to be considered while writing any bug.

     

    Background

    Since my entire career has spanned around the video game industry, I will be citing examples based on my experience. I have been in the industry for over 14 years and have witnessed a lot of trends changing in the approach. This may not be the most modern in comparison to the available technology and reporting tools. But this is the core learning that every tester should have and I feel that it is an important skillset to upgrade with the testing knowledge.

    Any tester who has his core concepts set right in the testing industry will have the potential to excel in any form of QA. While the topic is very simple, mastering it is a challenge that is faced by many. This blog will not just explore into the base rules of writing a bug but will also help to map the tester’s thought process. This will help them articulate and convey what they want to say in real world scenarios.

    Problems

    Following are the problems / overlooked issues while writing a bug:

    • Lack of game knowledge
    • Usage of phrases/terminology
    • Condense steps to reproduce
    • Proofreading
    • Review of bugs
    • Severity versus priority
    • Easier method of reproducing the bug
    • Summary
    • Reproduction rate

    Solution

    Research on documentation  

     

    This is probably the most important aspect before testing the game. The game documentation will contain names of objects used in the game world. Knowledge of these names creates the world of difference between the explanations being vague / research-on-documentationcommonly worded to specific instructions which are to the point. This does not just help to explain the bug but to show the developers that you are aware of the game and know all the intricate details while writing a bug. Most of the games also have zone markingsin each level which is usually not shown in-game. These markings on the documentation will help shorten the bug and be very specific in the description.

    Example: the sentence “Level 18: After crossing the barricade of cars, observe the abandoned bus near the wall. If the bus is to the left-hand side, continue straight till you find the 4th house to the right. This is the gray house with the broken window on the first floor. Enter this house through the back, head to the living room and observe the missing texture above the fireplace.” Can be rewritten as “Level 18: Zone 3, House no 18. Enter the back door and head to the living room. Observe the missing texture above the fireplace.”

    Also, with bug writing, it’s helpful to use the consistency of words while describing a bug. Words like user/player, input names, character names, game specific objects, weapons and other game factors need to follow the same game terminology. This consistency will help to describe the game better.

    Usage of phrases/terminology – A lot of games use real-world objects. Even the game environment settings are taken from famous buildings/areas and some games even are set in famous cities. A back research of the place where the game is set and the culture research will help to not just test the game but also give inputs on things which do not align with the game.

    The areas of research which can help in identifying the culture are:

    • Game environment – City/Famous places etc
    • The involved city’s background
    • The people’s way of life
    • Art/Music /Entertainment
    • Climate
    • Basic flora/fauna
    • Social festival/events

    Steps to reproduce

    The best way to write a bug is to write the STR before writing the rest of the bug. By focusing on the STR at first, the bug is easily divided into sections. This will help to break down the bug and explain it better.

    The best way to write a bug is to have the STR condensed to 5 basic steps. This helps in keeping the main explanation of the bug focused and removes all unnecessary information. To make this easier, I have broken down how a typical bug needs to be described:

    • Step 1: Game mode (Single player, multiplayer, campaign, mini-game etc.)
    • Step 2: Which area/level/map
    • Step 3: Which location?
    • Step 4: Steps were taken to create the bug
    • Step 5: What is the bug

    I find this practice not just useful while writing a bug but by putting it in any real life explanation, I find it very easy to explain multiple varieties of things. It helps you keep your mind object oriented and focus on the end issue you want to convey.

    In the above 5 step analogy, there will be issues where step 3 and 4 may need a further breakdown. This is not a hard and fast rule but a basic interpretation of what needs to be conveyed. While there can be more or lesser steps, this is the optimal approach to writing a bug. This method will remove the unnecessary information and keep the focus on the main issue.

    It is human nature to drift away when exposed to a long explanation. Keeping it short will definitely retain the focus and convey the point. With these points in mind, the maximum acceptable STR needs to be within 8 steps.

    Proofreading

    Gaming Bug ReportingThe best way to write a bug is with Word or any other formatting tool for documents. They not only help you with spelling errors but also assist you with grammatical mistakes.

    One area which has been a concern with a writing of bugs is the usage of tenses. Many, who write bugs, do mess up when it comes to writing a bug while explaining the tense. The below link is a small example of how the sentence needs to be structured.

    http://www.english-for-students.com/Tenses.html

    Bug review

    bug-reviewThis is a personal growth progress. Testers need to keep a track on how many bugs they reported, the severity of the bug and the days when they reported it. This helps to track a pattern of their areas covered, the maximum productivity of the week and the amount of contribution they have to the project.

    One major thing that they need to track is a number of bugs they reported versus a number of bugs that returned with ‘need more information’ or ‘moot’. This will help to track the quality of bugs reported. This is important in a tester life as it reveals two important things:

    • The bug did not make sense
    • The tester did not understand if it was a bug or a feature

    The second part is a bigger worry because the tester has not had the knowledge transfer and hence, he/she are not empowered with the game. As testers, we are expected to be masters of the game and the tools we work with. Any issue in this area shows weakness and does not instill confidence of the developers.

    Severity versus Priority

    Severity-versus-PriorityThis has to be the most challenging debate with testers and developers. An A class bug need not be fixed even if it feels important. Now suppose the player entered a car, drove it to a port, took a boat, hooked the character to a plane, jumped off and stole a bike, then ran into the wall which crashed the game. This bug is an A class in severity. But, consider how many gamers will attempt the same stunt while reproducing this bug. This will be less than 8% of the gamers who find this issue by mistake. If they reload the game and they’re saving progress is still intact, they don’t even bother about this issue. Consider all the games that have a strict schedule or timeline. When the game is about to release, an issue with this probability is low, will be overlooked. On the other end of the spectrum, if the player chooses the left side of the bridge to cross, the screen goes blank for 5 seconds, there is still a 50% probability that gamers will face it. This is not an A class issue, but since the probability of gamers facing that issue is still high. This issue will feel important to the end user’s overall game experience.

    Hence the priority of the issue does take a front step. The entire development team does focus on releasing the product on the issued date while maintaining the maximum quality. We need to respect the fact that everyone works on a certain timeline. As a QA member, we need to focus on the issues which will change end user experience. This does not mean a tester does not report all edge case issues. We as testers have our primary fulfillment to report any issue that we encounter.

    Alternate bug repro steps

    alternate-bug-reproWhile we find a bug, it’s not necessarily the best way to find the bug. We may be testing some other function in the game while we encounter the bug. The tester needs to be intelligent enough of the end cause of the bug and then retrace the steps that actually caused it. In this method, we encounter several other possibilities which caused this issue. We can take the simplest form to reproduce the bug. This will also teach us the root cause of the bug.

    Example: On a calculator app, if I did 2*5, it crashed. While this scenario might be correct, it may fix the bug only for this calculation. But had I done 10+0, 20-10, 200-190, 20/2, etc, I would have found the same issue. The end result proving that the app has an issue with 10 being the result rather than 2*5 being the error. Hence, research into the issue and come up with alternatives. This will always help to narrow down the issue.

    Summary

    This is vital not just to explain the bug in a short form but it helps other testers to check if a bug is logged. Most database search strings involve looking at summary first. If the summary is optimized, the tester will spend lesser time searching for an issue instead of logging one. The summary needs to be crisp, precise and hold all important information within a sentence.

    While writing a summary, know that the issue always takes precedence over other factors like location, game mode, user level etc. This will help to narrow down the issue and create a referral point for any other tester who wants to look up the issue.

    Reproduction rate

    This has been ignored by most testers. The above point of having alternate repro rate is vital to me having to emphasize this. Just because you find an issue doesn’t mean it’s down to the code or art. There are several other factors involved. There can be issues with the hardware or any software in the background which is causing interference. This may not seem like the bug you wished for but it is worth its weight 10 times in gold. Any background app/hardware which causes an issue to the running game, the developers spend much more time fixing this because they wouldn’t want the user to be deprived of any other app to accommodate the game. This can be a big deal since most users will blame the game and leave it to accommodate the app instead. This can be a huge negative publicity to the game and most developers tend to avoid being in this state.

    As this blog tends to dwell on the issues that need to be addressed while writing a bug, it isn’t necessarily a bible to enforce how a bug is written. The tester has full control on what needs to be conveyed in the bug. All this article wishes to cover is the fact that a bug can be so much more powerful when carrying the right message. Do follow these steps and believe in it for it can be a useful method to showcase the thought process. It will not just help you in writing a bug but also assist you in formulating your thoughts.

     
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    Last night I decided to completely trash my A* pathfinding, it just is not good enough for big maps and huge number of subjects. After 14 hours, everything is now re-coded and re-thinked. Now game can run 2000 population simulation at 1920×1080 resolution and maintain solid 30+ fps (tested on late 2016 Macbook Pro, i7, Radeon pro 455).

    Before optimizations even population of 1000 forced frame rate to drop below 20 fps .

    Main problem was with pathfinding and zombies human detection, but now with multithreaded pathfinding with heap-indexing and whatnots I would think that real gaming setups could easily simulate over 5000 people infections.

    But with great speed, comes great sacrifices :(

    • My glorious civilian models were about 3500 verts each. Now they are only 413 and look horrible from close distance. But in game it does not really show.
    • No more realistic collision detection, characters will overlap and no more zombie-piles. Collision detection is playable at 1000 humans, but after that only really beefy CPU:s can handle them (I will try to find some middle-ground solution for this).
  12. Still just a few years ago, you could not play a video game with your apparent body movements from a distance. It just happened in the span of last few years, and now you can fight with your game avatar just with real body movements. You have entered the era of virtual reality. More than any other industry VR came as a harbinger of change to the gaming industry. 

    In the recent past, we have seen the launch of an array of VR devices and gadgets including VR headsets, VR game playing shoe, etc. Is this the ultimate promise we can expect from VR in games? No, rather it is just the beginning of VR which soon going to leave behind these stand-alone devices and hardware to become more compatible and affordable. As a game development company, you must know how virtual reality is changing gaming.

    59c1fcf220e22_VirtualRealitywillchangeGaming.thumb.jpg.c848c19a5585b851a73b13e8291431a5.jpg

    More VR gadgets at more affordable price 

    When talking about the imminent change that virtual reality games are supposed to bring to the gaming world, we must take into account the huge competition among the VR device brands and the sloping price as well as increasing affordability of these devices. Yes, VR devices represented for too long an expensive game niche that could have only been afforded by rich gamers. But with more brands hitting the VR game scene, the price continued to drop making it affordable for more people. But still, they are not mass products within easily affordable reach of everyone but is slowly tending to be so. 

    Until a few years back you could have told all the major names in the market of VR gadgets and headsets that include pioneers such as Oculus Rift, Sony PlayStation, and HTC Vive. Now you have more than a dozen players who have unleashed their sophisticated VR gadgets or just preparing to do so. This gave rise to fierce competition in terms of feature offerings as well as price. 

    While virtual reality is defined by its ability to take you to an entirely different world, augmented reality (now more commonly referred to as “mixed” reality) augments the one in which you’re living. With Microsoft’s Hololens, a self-contained computer rather than one powered by a separate device, you can watch an actual wall deform in real time and begin to spew out spiders. And as you walk around, that hole in the wall stays locked in. It is, as far as your brain is concerned, there. After Microsoft ambitious Hololens the VR scene is eagerly awaiting another major launch and it's nothing but Google Daydream which is expected to arrive with a single handed controller. Most importantly, some of the newest mobile phones have arrived with VR capability built in. Axon 7 and Moto Z are good examples of mobile handsets with built-in VR support. 

    Deeper into the simulated reality

    Virtual reality gaming was conceived to allow us playing games in a simulated atmosphere or to allow us to play a digital game with real life interaction and environment. A game environment transporting the gamer to a life-like virtual reality was the quintessential aspect of VR games. It was limited to the most popular game niches involving strategy and actions. But with the VR games getting popular other game niches where game environment plays a vital role are going to be transported to virtual reality. 

    Google Daydream is expectedly going to make online VR casino games possible. With this trend settling in later on we can see other arena games and e-sports also coming with their VR versions reaping the advantage of the technology to drive more engagement. VR will continue to dig deeper into simulated reality to transport many games with a life-like environment. 

    Social and collaborative gaming is going to take over

    Social gaming is already a robust and most popular trend in the recent times. Now with VR games becoming an everyday phenomenon for gamers, it is bound to hit the social space as well. Already most of the top game titles allow players to collaborate with their friends and other players online. Now, VR games allowing the same collaborative playing will only help VR reach more players. 

    With the huge promise and possibility of collaborative virtual reality games, a whole new breed of games can soon sweep the web. With VR devices and headsets continuing to be more affordable for people, we can see a huge upsurge in the type of games in which collaboration and social interaction play a vital role. 

    Time for interactive gaming

    Finally, virtual reality in the gaming world is no longer going to be kept aside as a niche and special gaming technology. Instead of being a niche gaming technology for few it is going to string together many established and upcoming gaming trends. Other technologies that also stretches the sense of reality and helps to broaden interaction of games with the surrounding reality are going to be a part of this offering. This means we can expect some devices and games to come equipped with both VR and AR capabilities. 

    This new approach widely being dubbed as mixed reality will push the horizon of VR and AR games further. They are not going to be two separate technologies anymore, but going to help gaming interactions even more by allowing a mix of virtual and augmented reality environment. In future, you may not need a headset anymore to play a VR game. A game playing screen can be created anywhere while you play the game with your gestures instead of touch. You can play a game right on your coffee table and play it single-handedly with gestures while still sipping your coffee. With VR and AR together offering a mixed game reality, that day is not far away. 

    To conclude,

    So, the gaming world is really going to experience a revolution with so many things happening and a lot more waiting with virtual reality. The virtual reality which until now has mainly been limited to sophisticated and high-funda headsets will soon become an everywhere gaming reality blurring the division between reality and game environment further.

  13. Hello Villagers!

    I seriously can't believe it’s only been a week since I launched the Village Monsters Kickstarter. It’s been a tremendous experience, and though there’s a long way to go I couldn’t be happier with the support I’ve had. To all current and future backers - thank you!!!

    As you might expect, development of the game itself has been impacted. However, I’m happy to report I’m still hard at work! Let’s take a look at what I’ve been doing.

    Alpha 1.03 is out - Now with Linux support!

    A new version of the Alpha demo is now live and ready to download. This includes a demo playable in Linux for the very first time.

    You can grab it right here on my website.

    Beyond Linix support, this demo also contains a number of crash fixes, some new items and dialog, and the new ability to switch to a female player character from your home.

    Imgur

    Simulating your life

    Speaking of female characters, many folks have recently asked me if it’s possible to customize your character’s gender and look.

    The answer is a resounding yes. In the final game you’ll have total control over your character’s gender, skin color, hair, and much more.

    Imgur

    I haven’t done the best job of mixing it up in my screenshots, but that’ll change from here out. Similarly, the next demo will contain some more options for customizing your look.

    Did someone mention ‘variety’?

    This past week I’ve also begun work on adding more variety to the game, even for things that are still in progress. This includes adding more personality and life to villager homes…

    Imgur

    Adding text variations to places like this end-of-day message…

    Imgur

    And a whole lot more. This is just the next step of many to ensure that the world of Village Monsters never feels stale no matter how much you play it.

    it is a mystery

    Late last week I wrote up a detailed post explaining how exactly Mysteries will work in Village Monsters.

    Imgur

    This week I’ve begun to flesh out the system even more with the intention of letting you solve some of the very early mysteries in an upcoming demo. More info will be coming on that later, but I’m pretty excited by how things look now.

    A new title screen

    Finally, I want to talk about the very first thing you see in game - the title screen.

    The current title screen was a first draft of an idea that I’ve grown increasingly unhappy with.

    I’m now working on a new title that better matches the style of game I want in Village Monsters - colorful, bright, and inviting.

    The below mockup shows the new look I’m going for. I hope to have it completed this week so I can begin the ‘rebranding’ process.

    Imgur

    That’ll do it for now!

    Hope everyone is having a great start to their fall - in my area it was like a switch was flipped, and we’ve had low 50s and rain all week long. It’s definitely putting me in the mood to start working on some autumnal aspects of the game :)

  14. Building Block Heroes - Mechafolk Capital City

    Once they leave the Mechafolk Factory, the Building Block Heroes find themselves among the bright neon lights of the Mechafolk Capital City. In this article I talk about the area itself and some of the design decisions that went into it.

    Description

    Map_CapitalCity.png

    The Mechafolk Capital City is a flashy metropolis whose multi-coloured neon lights assault the senses.

    BackgroundCapital.png

    For those of you that have played the original Sonic the Hedgehog game, you might recall the Starlight Zone, which essentially provided a respite from the difficulty of the zones before and after it. I went for something similar in the Capital City area of Building Block Heroes. There are no new gameplay hooks for this particular area - instead, I just got a bit creative with the level designs and tried to make the music easy to sit back and listen to (more on this later).

    Level10.PNG

    To emphasize the city theme, I created a few levels that are reminiscent of city skylines. They aren't even that difficult, they just look kind of neat.

    Level01.PNG

    The enemies move diagonally, which makes them a bit less predictable than previous airborne enemies, but otherwise aren't terribly difficult to deal with.

    CityEnemy.gif

    The boss, unfortunately, doesn't follow the same mellow, laid-back vibe of the rest of the area. The boss of the Mechafolk Capital is a jet-shaped Mechafolk who doesn't like to sit still for long.

    Boss06.PNG

    This boss flies back and forth across the screen at regular intervals, smashing any blocks in his path. He zooms back and forth frequently enough to prevent the player from simply camping on one side of the screen and running to his weak spot, so the Building Block Heroes need to get a bit more creative in their approach.

    Boss06Flyby.gif

    Design

    Because the Capital City doesn't introduce any new gameplay elements, I had to increase the saturation and contrast of the colours used in order to distract the player. For this reason, the lights of the buildings use neon colours that might hurt the eyes if you stare at them for too long.

    Tutorial.1.PNG

    The boss was probably the most difficult to draw, because I had to animate his turn. This required me to carefully draw all of his features at the proper angles, which forced me to make sense of the sketch below.

    Boss06TurnGuide.PNG

    Needless to say, it took me a while to get it done.

    Boss06TurnGuide02.PNG

    I deliberately wanted the music of the Capital City area to be relaxing and reminiscent of a piano bar or jazz bar, so I used a mellow piano hook and a catchy bass line to set the tone. For the percussion I used a TR-808 beat to give the whole thing an almost 80's-style vibe, since the pink and purple reminded me of a vapourwave aesthetic. I then topped off the song with a jazzy saxophone theme to punctuate the relaxing nature of the background music.

     

    Let me know what you think!

    Feel free to follow me on social media as well if you're interested!

    Twitter

    Instagram

    SoundCloud

    The Steam store page is also up, so feel free to check it out and wishlist the game if you find it interesting:

    Steam Store Page

    Thanks for reading!

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    Welcome to the first official post about Beneath the Waves!

    A month into development and we are starting to see the concept take shape as we flesh out exactly what this will be and how it will be played.

    The Game

    Player character concept

    What can we say about Beneath the Waves so early into development? Well… We can say that it is an adventure game filled with mystery.

    We can’t really talk too much about our story as we don’t want to spoil anything for you. We can say that we are hoping to write something that will be filled with mystery, maybe even a little scary! Something that will keep you wondering about what it is that hides Beneath the Waves?

    Gameplay wise it is greatly inspired by the classic adventure point and click genre. We want to have a bit of a fresh take on it so we are considering how we can do that. Our thoughts now are along the lines of having it play like a 3rd person game where you transition out of action mode and into puzzle mode. The classic adventure games often have a static camera and you go from scene to scene and we are aiming for one location where you can move freely within that space, think free roaming but in a small environment.

    The Setting

    Beneath the Waves will take place on a remote island cut off by the tides. We are greatly inspired by Mont Saint-Michel located in Normandy, France. The player, a 35ish travel author are doing and article series about popular tourist places during off season and for reasons not yet revealed takes aim on this beautiful island.

    The game takes place in modern day but the popular tourist island with its rich history has the feel of, and aesthetics of a medieval city last renovated during the 30s.

    The Team

    Progress on the model of the player character.

    Well whenever it comes to us at KJ Interactive you will have Krister and Jona. Krister being a coder he will naturally handle the programming of the game. Jona as the marvelous technical artist that he is will handle that side as well as being the lead of the graphics people helping them doing what they do to the best of their ability.

    We are also getting help from our friends at Red Line Games. Juras is our character artist and he is currently working on the player character that we will talk more about in an upcoming article.

    With us we also have Kalle that together with Krister is focusing on the story and dialogue.

    The Future

    Our short-term goals are to produce a demo to test the idea of Beneath the Waves on players to see if this is something you will enjoy and see if our direction with the game will be enjoyable for you. Therefor we are focusing on the beginning of the game and releasing that as a free demo and from there we’ll continue if you enjoy it as much as we hope you will.

  15. Hello there!

    I'm still alive and working on the game so I jump right into what I worked on in the last month or so. Even though I was pretty silent a lot has "changed". The topic will be polishing, because it never stops :P , some input handling tricks and another pretty complex one: game balance.

    Polishing

    During a series of play-test sessions with friends, family and old colleagues I gathered some really valuable feedback on how to enhance the user experience. Thankfully the game itself was well received, but the mentioned "issues" really bugged me, so I sat down for a week or two to further enhance the presentation.

    Cost indicators

    This was a tiny addition but helped a lot. Now the color of the chest and shop item cost texts reflect the state whether you can open/buy them.
    2017.09.02. GIF - Cost indicators

    Animated texts

    I went into an in-game UI tuning frenzy, so I added a "pop" animation on value change, besides the existing yellow highlights, to gold and attribute texts.
    2017.09.03 GIF 1 - Animated texts

    Health bar

    The health bar got some love too! I implemented a fade-in/out effect for the heart sprite slowly turning it into a "black" one when you are low on health. I also added a maximum health indicator and the same value change "pop" animation I used for the gold and attribute texts.
    2017.09.04. GIF 1 - Health bar

    Battle events

    Battle events and various skills (hit miss, dodge, fear or cripple events etc...) got many complaints due to their visibility being insufficient, leaving the player puzzled sometimes why a battle didn't play out as expected. Besides using the existing sprite effects I added text notifications, similar to the ones used with pickups. No complaints ever since :) .

    2017.09.05. GIF 1 + 3 - Battle events

    2017.09.05. GIF 2 - Battle events

    Critical strike

    This one was an "extra". I wanted to beef-up the effects of the critical strikes to make them look more ferocious and better noticeable.
    2017.09.06. GIF 1 - Critical strike

    Level transition

    Play testers shared my enthusiasm towards having a better level transition effect, so I slapped on a black screen fade-in/out during dungeon generation and it worked wondrous.

    Input handling

    I knew for a long time now, that the simple input handling logic the game had will not be good enough for the shipped version. I already worked a lot on and wrote my findings about better input handling for grid based games, so I'm not going to reiterate.

    I mostly reused the special high-level input handling parts from my previous game Operation KREEP. It was a real-time action game, so some parts were obviously less relevant, but I also added tiny new extras.

    I observed players hitting the walls a lot. Since the player character moves relatively fast from one cell to another this happened frequently when trying to change directions, so I added a timer which blocks the "HitWall" movement state for a few milliseconds towards each walled direction for the first time when a new grid cell is reached. Again, results were really positive :) .

    2017.09.16. GIF - Input handling

    Balancing

    My great "wisdom" about this topic: balancing a game, especially and RPG, is hard. Not simply hard, it is ULTRA hard. Since I never worked on an RPG before, in the preparation phase I guesstimated, that it will took around 2 to 3 days of full-time work, because after all it is a simple game. Oh maaaaaaan, how naive I was :( . It took close to two weeks. Having more experience on how to approach it and how to do it effectively I probably could do it in less than a week now with a similar project, but that is still far off from from 2/3 days :D .

    Before anyone plays the judge saying, I'm a lunatic and spending this much probably wasn't worth it, I have to say, that during the last 6 months nothing influenced the fairness and "feeling" of the game as much as these last 2 weeks so do not neglect the importance of it :| !

    Now onto how I tamed this beast!

    Tools and approach

    Mainly excel/open-office/google-sheets, so good old-fashioned charting baby :) . And how? I implemented almost all the formulas (damage model, pickup probabilities, loot system etc...) in isolated sheets, filled it with the game data and tweaked it (or the formulas sometimes) to reach a desirable outcome.

    This may sound boring or cumbersome, but in reality charts are really useful and these tools help tremendously. Working with a lot of data is made easy and you get results immediately when you change something. Also they have a massive library of functions built-in so mimicking something like the damage reduction logic of a game is actually not that hard.

    2017_09_07_balance_1.png

    That is the main chart of the game, controlling the probabilities of specific pickups, chests and monsters occurring on levels. It plays a key role in determining the difficulty and the feel of the game so nailing it was pretty important (no pressure :P ).

    If balancing this way is pretty efficient why it took so much time? Well, even a simple game like I Am Overburdened is built from an absurd number of components, so modeling it took at least a dozen gigantic charts :( . Another difficult aspect is validating your changes. The most reliable way is play-testing, so I completed the game during the last two weeks around 30 to 40 times and that takes a long while :D . There are faster but less accurate ways of course. I will talk about that topic in another post...

    Tricks and tips

    2017_09_08_balance_1.png

    #1.: Focus on balancing ~isolated parts/chunks of your game first.
    This wide "chest chart" works out how the chests "behave" (opening costs, probabilities, possible items). Balancing sections of your game is easier than trying to figure out and make the whole thing work altogether in one pass. Parts with close to final values can even help solidifying other aspects! E.g.: knowing the frequency and overall cost of chests helped in figuring out how much gold the player should find in I Am Overburdened.

    2017_09_11_balance_1.png

    #2.: Visualization and approaching problems from different perspectives are key!
    The battle model (attack/defense/damage/health formulas) wasn't working perfectly up until last week. I decided to chart the relation of the attack, defense and health values and how their change affect the number of hits required to kill an enemy. These fancy "damage model" graphs shows this relation. Seeing the number of hits required in various situations immediately sparked some ideas how to fix what was bugging me :) .

    2017_09_11_balance_2.png

    #3.: ~Fixing many formulas/numbers upfront can make your life easier.
    Lot of charts I know, but the highlighted blue parts are the "interesting" ones. I settled on using them as semi-final values and formulas long before starting to balance the game. If you have some fixed counts, costs, bonuses or probabilities you can work out the numbers for your other systems more easily. In I Am Overburdened I decided on the pickup powers like the + health given by potions or the + attribute bonuses before the balancing "phase". Working out their frequencies on levels was pretty easy due to having this data. Also helps when starting out, since it gives lot of basis to work with.

    Now onto the unmissable personal grounds. Spidi, you've been v/b-logging about this game for a loooooong while now, will this game ever be finished?! Yes, yes and yes. I know it has fallen into stretched and winding development, but it is really close to the finish line now and it is going to be AWESOME! I'm more proud of it than anything I've ever created in my life prior :) .
    Soon, really soon...

    Thanks for reading!
    Stay tuned.

  16. A while back (years, because I'm ooooold), I came across some articles about a "game development language". It was apparently a hotly debated topic at the time. The idea was that there should be a programming language, just like Python, C++, Java, or many others, which was directly designed for making game development in it easy. I never really got the deeper points about structure and features that they made, but the notion stuck with me, mainly because it smelled a lot like the stuff done by modding communities, i.e. creating tools for modding various games. I know modding mostly from Minecraft, and things like Forge (if I remember the name correctly) provided a basis (language) for more easily modding the game. As a, back then, fairly newbie hobby game programmer, I liked the idea of not having to deal with memory structures and screen formats to 'just' create a game.

    Fast forward to now. I have set routines for programming most game projects, and like most low-level devs I know or know of, I have libraries of standard methods for getting things done. If I need to do something, there is a 50/50 chance I already have most of it done somewhere, ready for transfer into my project. But once upon a time, I, too, was starting from scratch.

    Yesterday, someone in the forums asked about how to start programming games, and there were some suggestions of GameMaker and such. I added OpenGL/C++. Why did I add something that seemingly advanced for what was clearly a question about taking the first babysteps? Because I have built a routine that makes it pretty easy to get moving in OpenGL/C++. It takes a minute to explain, and then the newbie can start putting some things together. And instantly, I started to think back to the whole 'game language' and modding thing. And an old thought struck me. I think it might be time we made a new way of getting into game development.

    It's an old thought, as mentioned, which I have been kicking around again lately, trying to update it to where I am now in game development. So please, bear with me, not everything is 100% thought through. But the main point is.

    I am a fan of open source. Not that everything open source is amazing, but the concept is, to me, the entry to a whole new worldview. Like many others, I learned OpenGL/C++ from the ancient Neon Helium tutorials (they are now called 'Legacy Articles', I believe). They are basically a set of open code, which does stuff in 3D, and they're great, especially considering their age (many parts are obsolete now, but the main points are still strong). Imagine being a newbie game dev, wanting to get your feet wet, and finding something similar, but with a fully functional game. Good documentation, functions set up for easy use by newcomers, and tutorials for integrating new ideas. All the rough and hyper-technical parts just done.

    For a quick example of this idea, I can say that I use wxDev-C++ for programming my games. Not because it's new or snazzy or anything. In fact, it's behind on many, many things. And it's ugly, and a bit buggy. But it has one feature that makes me love it above all others: At the beginning of a project, I can simply select "OpenGL", and it creates the full screen setup for me. And by that I mean it provides the complete code for a very basic OpenGL program (a window with a triangle spinning in it). I can focus on thinking about my game math, and not setting up pixel parsers or llama blasters or soil rotation schedules or whatever. It's like having someone doing your taxes for you. For free. Every time.

    Imagine a full game like that, one with a full 3D landscape (2D available at request) provided, with basic asset import and generation, model movement and so forth. One where you have commands like "CreateCreature()" or "AddItemToInventory()", allowing you to define the game content variables, instead of recreating everything that everyone has done a gazillion times before. Essentially, a game designed for modding.

    Sure, you may say that this would just be a noob magnet, like the Unity engine has started to become, a tool that lets people with no idea what they're doing make some trash instead of taking the time to make something solid. And that would definitely happen. Paint is cheap, so any idiot can splash some colors on a canvas and proclaim themselves to be an artist. But if paint was still as expensive as a few centuries ago, I bet many new artists would never have risen to put their mark on the craft. Code is the paint of game developers, so the amount of code available for cheap or free defines the field as a whole. By taking the first steps for others, giving them a place to continue from, game development could open up to many more people.

    But more than that, the starter-kit game described could open up to others. I started my 3D experience long ago (again, I am old) with 3D Studio Max, and it always had cool features. But Blender 3D caught my eye early on, because it had a batshit insane community creating things for it, and it made use of that. Imagine if Mojang had incorporated Minecraft mods at a similar rate, how would the game look now? If a starter-kit game had, say, all the code for someone to generate a world to walk around in and pick things up, maybe some crafting and basic enemies, someone trying their skills at dabbling with that code might end up adding a physics engine, and future dabblers could dabble on with that. This is, to me, the source of organic, perhaps even chaotic, growth. And future generations of game developers could start from there, just like many today start out making mods for existing games. But this game could grow from every 'mod', adding features and thereby new game concepts to be learned from it.

    I'm rambling. This is not one of my most developed ideas, mainly because it seems so bizarre, even to me. But we always preach learning by doing, so why does every new game have to start with the dev-to-be coding up the same screen controllers and input handlers? Hand them the damned things to study and learn from, and let them build on the works of others. We know how the wheel works, if people have to reinvent it, at least let them reinvent it in new and better ways, from looking at the old stuff.

    If people like this idea, I will consider doing my game project this way. I will provide full code and documentation for new (or experienced!) devs to get into the game making stuff quicker. And people can rant and rave about how this and that is bad about my work, because that lets me know more about how to make it better. In fact, the more people get in a twist about what should be improved, the happier I would likely be. Especially when people go "look, let me show you what I mean", because then I learn, too!

    Is this insane? Has this already been done, perhaps crashing and burning and making the kids cry or worse? Would you want to dabble with it, or is it useless to you? I really have no idea where to go with this from hereon, exactly, so I am just improvising. Any reaction might be the one thing to put me on a more productive track....

  17. mobile-app-testing-386658-edited.jpg

     

    The demand for mobile applications is at an all-time high, and every Android app development company is striving to get its brand to the front row of the industry. On the Android App Store alone, there are over 4million mobile apps, and more are added almost on a daily basis. There has never been a better time to invest in app development.

    However, the fact that you have built and launched your mobile app is not a guarantee that you would be smiling to the bank anytime soon. If your app is not “good enough” it will be deleted in a matter of seconds. And there goes all your hard work, time and money. The sad thing is that users barely re-install an app after deleting it.

    Is there a way to ascertain that your app is functional in all ramifications? Of course, there is. It is called ‘Quality Assurance (QA) test.' The possibility of building a perfect app the first time is very slim: there will always be a few bugs here and there. For this reason, Android app developers and other experts put their apps through different types of tests to ascertain the quality of the app.

    Here are the different kinds of tests your app should undergo to make sure the end-user loves it:

    Functional Testing

    Every app is expected to undergo a basic functional behavior test to ensure that it is working according to defined requirements. In addition to finding out whether a user can complete a task, functional testing is an attempt to know whether or not a particular feature is working.

    The user interface and flow of the app are mostly considered when carrying out this test. For example, if someone who wants to buy shoes on your e-commerce app has a hard time moving to the next slide, the previous one or even exiting the app, it is obvious that it has failed the functionality test.

    The diversity of mobile devices and Operating Systems make functional testing a complex, expensive, time-consuming and a strenuous activity, especially if it is manually done.

    This is why more organizations opt for automated functional testing tools like Appium, MonkeyTalk, IBM rational test Workbench.

    For even better results, some organizations combine both automated and manual testing methods.

    Performance Testing

    As the name implies, this test is carried out to check the client application performance, server performance and network performance of your mobile application.

    The test attempts to find out how adding one more feature to an app would affect its overall performance. The focus is on the speed, battery performance and responsiveness of the app with the addition of new features.

    Performance testing tools like IBM Rational Performance Tester and many others will help you to identify the bottlenecks associated with the performance of the app; low battery power, poor network, bandwidth issues, changing internet connection mode, broadband connection, less memory, etc.

    The test should cover front and back-end performance of the app especially if the application is a hybrid mobile application.

    A client-focused performance test is for user experience optimization (app responsiveness to UI)). Application’s server can also affect the performance of the mobile application, so testers should consider both sides of the application.

    Memory Testing

    Memory leakage is responsible for slowing down the process of transferring files. It can also cause mobile devices to switch off while trying to alternate between apps automatically. Because mobile devices have very limited memory, mobile operating systems by default stop apps with poor UX and excessive memory. It is very important for Android app developers to carry out memory testing on apps to ensure that they optimize memory usage and prevent memory leakage.

    Interrupt Testing

    A lot of things could happen while using a mobile app; you could get an email or an SMS, see an incoming call, get a Facebook notification and you could even need to connect the charger to a power source, remove or insert the battery, etc. Mobile applications are supposed to handle these and every other interruption properly without affecting the functionality of the app. Apps typically stop and restart afterward. Thus, Android app developers conduct an Interrupt Test for their apps just to be sure they meet the standard. Testers use emulators and actual devices for the tests.

    Usability Testing

    A usability test focuses on how useful, flexible and User-friendly a mobile app is.

    Testers are concerned about two key areas (Efficiency and Satisfaction)

    First of all, they consider ‘App Efficiency.' Testers want to ensure that the app accurately and completely meets the specific needs of the end-user.

    Satisfaction is the second consideration: The user accepts the app in its entirety and derives maximum satisfaction and pleasure from using it.

    Some mobile app development companies make the mistake of waiting until the application is completed before carrying out usability test.

    The end-users have a major role to play in usability testing, the results may completely alter the app design, and changing the design later may be a futile effort. The best time to carry out the test is at the beginning stage of the mobile app design.

    Installation Testing

    All mobile devices come with two kinds of applications. The first type of apps are system apps in the device’s Operating System and the second type are those that the user downloads and installs from the app store. Mobile app developers and testers conduct installation checks to ensure that their apps can be installed, uninstalled and updated as many times as possible without hitches.

    Operational testing:

    Operating systems have built-in functions that make it possible for Smart Phone users to back up and recover their lost data, files or documents on mobile apps. Mobile app developers conduct operational testing to confirm that the backup and recovery process is working according to specification.

    Load Testing

    Every mobile app or web page has a limited number of people it can accommodate at the same time without slowing down, or crashing. The figure is determined by the server. They begin to malfunction when they exceed the server limit. Load testing is very important, especially for popular websites and apps because it shows the breaking point of a mobile app or web page. App developers carry-out load testing to know the number of users that an app can conveniently accommodate. With this information, app developers may choose to upgrade their server and other features of the app to attract more users.

    Conclusion

    Conducting the various types of testing on your mobile app can be very expensive and time-consuming. However, since the benefit outweighs the cost, in the long run, app testing is definitely a step in the right direction.

  18. We have just implemented Evil Voiceover for players actions in Bouncy Bob, and it is super cool - just take a look, (and don't forget to turn sound on):

    https://twitter.com/BouncyBobGame/status/908357784026185729

    List of all added voices:

    -Outstanding

    -Perfect

    -Good

    -Good Job

    -Bullseye

    -Perfect Aim

    -Airwalk

    -Elevation

    -Double Kill

    -triple Kill

    -Multi Kill

     

     

  19. Only one more week until Methodize is released on iOS


    [IMG]


    Get ready for some fast reaction gaming!
    Entity3 is launching its latest arcade game, Methodize. A simple one touch game which challenges your reactions to the max! Addictive, fun and super fast this is the game for a novice and a master!
    Test your reactions and download Methodize! Three rapidly fast game modes wherein the longer you play the faster it becomes. The player’s objective is to direct the balls to the correct container to score as many points as possible before you make a colourful mistake!

    COMING 21ST SEPTEMBER!

    [IMG]

     

    Follow Entity3 Limited:
    Web | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

  20. Our first live stream

    DOMEN KONESKI & ANDREJ KREBS

    Me and Andrej have done our first live stream, explaining some core mechanics of Floatlands while showcasing the EGX Rezzed demo build. Andrej also did a quick tree sculpting for our new biome. Bear with us that this stream was our first one and we were pretty shy doing it. Check it out!

     

    Better terrain generator

    DOMEN KONESKI

    I have made some changes to the terrain generator. It allows water to be rendered, hills/mountains are more exposed now allowing us to create different types of terrain with ease.

    terrrain generator lowpoly floatlands

     

    Setting up Wiki pages

    ANDREJ KREBS

    Started setting up Floatlands Wiki and worked on the item and main page. I prepared the template for the individual item’s pages and filled out some basic resource pages.

     

    Trees for swamp biome

    ANDREJ KREBS

    Modeled some trees for the swamp biome and made LOD’s and colliders.

    trees swamp lowpoly floatlands

     

    Creating a game build for development testing

    TADEJ VRANEŠIČ

    This week was mostly about rushing to create a game build for mid-game development testing. A few changes were made in controller menu, but it still needs fine touches. New logic was implemented for drone movement, which is now completely physic based.

     

    Shotgun close encounter, adding effects

    VILI VOLČINI

    These past couple of weeks I worked on pimping up Close encounter shotgun, added ricochet particle effects and blood effect. Otherwise, I just spent my time fixing bugs for upcoming demo build.

     

    Reworking some older ideas

    MITO HORVAT

    Since we’re frantically preparing the demo for the SGC event, there’s really no point of pumping out new concepts and content. Therefore its time to rework some of the older ideas. We’re dumping the wooden fences and completely overhauling the buzzard. The changes wont be extreme, but since we’re constantly evolving I think its appropriate we update the older assets as well.

    updated design sketch floatlands

     

  21. Swim Out is now available on Steam with a 20% launch discount only for a few days
    Get it on Steam by visiting its store page.


    Check out the trailer :

     

    About the game:

    Dive into the relaxing and refreshing atmosphere of Swim Out, a strategic, turn-based puzzle game, that will transport you into a sunny day by the swimming pool, the river or the sea. Plan each of your strokes wisely and be sure to never cross any other swimmer's path if you want to peacefully enjoy the sea view on a cosy chaise-longue.

     

    What the press already said:

    • "I am delighted by how unfamiliar a swimming experience this is to me" - Rock, Paper, Shotgun
    • "There are precious few things I appreciate more than a straightforward puzzle game with a strong commitment to its aesthetic, and Swim Out is exactly that" - Waypoint
    • "Swim Out is a perfect summertime game." - Mac Stories
    • "If you're a fan of puzzle games Swim Out is very likely for you. It's attractive, intuitive, and fun." - Touch Arcade
    • "Swim Out looks like the perfect tactical escape into a lush digital paradise" - Touch Arcade

     

    Features :

    • Over 100 levels nestled in carefully crafted landscapes, soothed by the sound of seagulls, frogs or water splashes.
    • 7 chapters combining :
      • 12 different types of swimmers : each with their own way of moving around, ranging from the simple breaststroke swimmers to the more complex divers or cheeky water-bombing kids
      • 12 different objects to interact with : buoys, fins, water guns, you can even ride a kayak!
      • 6 disruptive environmental elements like waves, crabs or jellyfish that will give your brain a work out until you swim out!

    Swim Out - screenshot 1.jpg

    Swim Out - screenshot 2.jpg

    Swim Out - screenshot 3.jpg

     

    Get it on Steam by visiting its store page.

  22. OareasO
    Latest Entry

    Hello, i finally make my very first combat ai, it's pretty basic but i think is good enough.

    Ai can follow player around, will try to defend or move out of attacks if get hit, if in same line as the player will charge an attack.

    Combat Ai Video

     

    My next step is to add multiple enemies and companions for more complex and chaotic outcomes and more abilities for the enemies like area of effect attacks and longer range strikes.

    Also some more art is ready!:D

    b3db690e1c4700b5ba1094ce093a0050-dbnd47o

     

    Thanks for reading

    My Youtube channel ==> link

    My Deviantart Gallery ==> link