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About this blog

Still making games...

Entries in this blog

 

Closer

Hello there. Since my last entry I finished these items:

- Points system
- Options screen
- Pause menu
- 360 Gamepad support

Click here for a video. It's longer than usual but shows pretty much everything that's finished (except for the intro sequence).

Todo:
- Tutorial
- Levels, lots more
- End sequence
- between-world sequences
- Credits

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Options screen

Hello there! Since the last time I scratched the walls of this journal with my fingernails I've added sound effects to the game (though not complete yet) and finished the points system, which adds points when the player performs a special move, such as hitting two blocks without breaking the chain. Click here for a video, though since this I've moved the points to the bottom bar because they just cluttered the display too much. :)

Lately I've been working on the options screen, which you can see below. It's not yet in the game, just a composition.


The idea is that you will slide the music and fx indicators to control the respective volumes and pull out the player1/player2 or keyboard/360 controller when you want to change input options.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Breaking the chain - more videos and screenshots

In Bennu, everytime you create a ball chain, balls are created in regular intervals from the beak of the Bennu to the first object found in the direction the beak is pointing to. If an object is found the balls are chained together, if no object is found the points are still created but fall to the ground.

Previously, everytime you created a new chain the balls that belonged to the previous chain were removed from the scene and placed in a "ball cache" in order to prevent performance issues. I changed that in order for the balls to remain on the scene until they were needed for a new chain. The result can be seen in this video.

Also I did a new level that explores something I did some months ago: in later worlds everytime the Bennu touches a block of the wrong color (a different color from the Bennu's current color) a new block is spawned. In this level the walls are slippery so the Bennu can't grab to them and he dies if he falls on the water. See it in action.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Intro & Isis

I pretty much finished the intro to Bennu. I got some criticism about the "actors" in it looking too mechanical, so I attached some wires to make them look like marionettes. :) Click here for a video.

I've also been working on the Isis "actor", which will show up in the tutorial. Below is the finished drawing and the picture she was inspired from (though the starting point was obviously the Set drawing):


Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Intro Sequence

I've been working on the intro sequence, which explains how and why you end up controlling the head of a bird attached to sphere-shaped irons. :) Because XNA has no built-in API to handle video or flash content, I ended up doing it with the game engine.

Click here for a video.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Particle effects

Screenshot!



Since the last update, I worked mainly on the hud and on particle effects for color change and for the eclipse in the hud (when it ends, the player has ran out of time to complete the current level - right now the level never ends, but you get the idea). Here's a video of the new stuff.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

First level!

Welcome to the Bennu journal.

Right now I've finished the first prototype of the game, which has programmer art *shudders* and lacks many of the features I hope to implement.

Bennu is a puzzle game that can be described as puzzle-bobble meets spiderman meets some-cool-stuff-not-done-yet. Basically you control Bennu, an old bird that can't fly for long and so goes around each level using his tail to grab to whatever he can and swing himself around, smashing bricks with his head (the head and the bricks must have the same color), until there are no bricks left. Currently his color changes every five seconds but in the future the player will have to touch bonuses with the Bennu to change color.

Right now the blocks are generated randomly, but in the final game each level will have a hand-made layout. Click here to see a movie of the game.

The game is being developed using XNA and the Farseer 2D Physics Engine, which (so far) I highly recommend. :)

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Menus, maps and progress...

Despite the lack of updates here, I've been dedicating a lot of time to Bennu lately. I've been working on the main menu and player map:




Each player, on the left, will only see the locations he has reached yet. I'm planning to have the 5 locations depicted in the map in the final game.

I've also been working on the game mechanics, which are nearly finished, and should start designing levels for the first location (Abu Simbel) soon.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

On the swamp

A-aight. Been working on Bennu on the free time I have between work and Call of Duty 2. :)

I wanted to finish a single level before anything else. The setting for the level is a swamp:



I've also been building a sort of integrated level editor, where I can play and drag, scale and rotate objects around at the same time. The gun in the previous screenshot was made using it. I can save the level as is at any time to a XML file.

The first prototype I made of Bennu had him changing color randomly. Now for Bennu to change color he has to touch bonuses spread across the level, in this case mushrooms. Click here to see a video of the latest gameplay. The music was just what I was listening at the time and is not part of the game. :)

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Status update...

As I mentioned in the first entry, I wanted Bennu to change color when he touched "bonuses" spread across the screen. My first attempt at these bonuses was a catterpillar which would slide on top of the existing blocks and scenery. I had some complications making it "stick" to blocks on 90o turns and so it was left on hold for now. My next and current attempt is a kite.

The kite and the Bennu are similar objects, they are composed of rigid objects connected by joints (both rigid bodies and joints are defined and controlled by the Farseer physics engine). Both have a "head" and a "tail". In the Bennu's case the "tail" is composed by the connected dots he uses to swing around the screen.

In order for the kite not to fall down to the ground instantly, I added a property to the Farseer physics engine which allows a rigid body to not be affected by gravity. An alternative would have been to always thrust the kite up, simulating wind, but this was easier. ;) Right now, the kite turns around every N seconds, but in the future I'll make it follow a pre-determined path.

I've also added an explosion effect everytime the Bennu destroys a block. Basically the block is divided in several smaller blocks that are then projected off the screen. In my first attempt the smaller blocks were affected by the physics engine like all objects on-screen, which caused a crumble-like effect on the destroyed block. Unfortunately this proved too CPU-consuming. :(

Click here to see a video of the latest build.

As you can see, the kite movement is quite dumb at the moment. :) The fluttering of the kite's "tail" is done by applying opposing forces to the rigid bodies composing the tail.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Bennu - First prototype

Welcome to the Bennu journal.

Right now I've finished the first prototype of the game, which has programmer art *shudders* and lacks many of the features I hope to implement.

Bennu is a puzzle game that can be described as puzzle-bobble meets spiderman meets some-cool-stuff-not-done-yet. Basically you control Bennu, an old bird that can't fly for long and so goes around each level using his tail to grab to whatever he can and swing himself around, smashing bricks with his head (the head and the bricks must have the same color), until there are no bricks left. Currently his color changes every five seconds but in the future the player will have to touch bonuses with the Bennu to change color.

Right now the blocks are generated randomly, but in the final game each level will have a hand-made layout. Click here to see a movie of the game.

The game is being developed using XNA and the Farseer 2D Physics Engine, which (so far) I highly recommend. :)

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

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