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Dungeon Crawler Challenge - Update 3.1

This video is "old" now after work over the weekend but here it is anyways. When I am able to work on this project, I end up working until it's quite late trying to nail down just "one more thing". And I either forget to leave time for capturing a video or tell myself that tomorrow I'll have something better. This video shows the PC which I simplified to a rectangle with feet and a single dot for an eye walking around int the darkness of the labyrinth, picking up the occasion torch rock (that needs to be re positioned to appear in his hand) and exploring a bit. Eventually our hero comes to a section of the maze where some inhabitants from the Frogger challenge still persist, including some cars that have had their sprites changed to very plain squares. Nothing there is particularly harmful but he jumps past one of the sleeping denizens of the labyrinth a couple times before demonstrating that it is a bad idea to attempt to swim in the swamp.  

kseh

kseh

Dungeon Crawler Challenge - Update 3

A variety of things worked on over the past week. I've done some work to get the PC able to jump. The idea I'm thinking of is that there'd be palces with breaks in the floor you'd have to jump accross. I'm thinking of tieing that to the equipment weight you're carrying and decreasing the length of the jump, so maybe a bit of planning would be needed. For that to be meaningful though, I really need to work on what kind of equipment will be in the game. As it is now, you die if you jump off the floor into the "swamp". Having the little splash animation from Frogger was kinda handy there.   More noticably though I was playing around with the sprites and ended up turning my human into a rectangle with feet. I kinda like the way it looks so I'm thinking of going with it. I'm hoping that the style will allow for simpler equipment and enemy sprites like my "torch" in the screenshot below that looks suspiciously like a simple red rock. The floor tiles also changed a bit and there's a couple tile transitions that need fixing up like the one south of the PC in the screenshot. I had some basic clothes for the human sprite I was using before. Other than the hats, they don't work for the rectangle so I'm pretty much at a place where I have to be spending time working on clothes, armor, weapons, and any other stuff I can hopefully get into the game. Lots of fun to look forward to aligning where sprites join together. The screenshot doesn't really show much of what all I have done. I'm hoping to get a video of some kind put together over the weekend.  

kseh

kseh

Dungeon Crawler Challenge - Update 2

This past week I ended up working on a torch light feature. I feel as though I should've been focusing my time on creating enemies to fight and items to pick up and use but this was something I just couldn't pull myself away from. Always so close to having everything worked out that just a little more time wouldn't be an issue. My hope is that it leads to something that ends up being more enjoyable in the game than frustrating. In any case, I have something that is pretty much what I was aiming for. It's a basic spotlight kind of thing that I can attach to generic things that I add to the level and it's possible for the player to pick those things up and walk around with them (though there's a bit of refactoring to sort out). I tell myself that being able to place torches throughout the maze will be kind of cool and be a part of the exploration. Being able to see everything around you makes a maze way too easy to navigate. Being able to pick up and put down items is a step forward as well. The player moves over the item to pick up and presses a key and the item is now in your hand as you walk around. An inventory won't be far off and I think that's where picked up things will be placed into by default unless I think of some UI that's more convenient. With being able to move things in the game from one place to another, the player would be able to bring keys to doors or perhaps some other tool to resolve a puzzle, if I can think of something. There's a bit more to finalize with moving things around but I think next I might want to look into a jump functionality. The maze you walk in isn't a cave environment with walls all around you but more like a platform to walk on. Maybe it's a path in a swamp. So maybe finding places that are safe to jump across could have potential. And maybe the distance you can jump is affected by how much you're carrying. Lots of "maybes". Hopefully it all comes together.

kseh

kseh

Dungeon Crawler Challenge - Update 1

Been working on my project for the Dungeon Crawler challenge for about a week now. I think I'm fairly happy with the maze generation I have. I'm using the Accidental Noise Library to basically generate some initial chambers to a tile map. Then I iterate through the map, flood fill any open chambers with an ID value, decide a Hotpoint for the chamber (the middle'th(?) tile that gets filled) , and then try to connect each chamber's Hotpoint to the next nearest chamber's Hotpoint. Using another flood fill, I check if I've connected every chamber sufficiently. If not, start again. From another project, I've moved over all the classes I need to get a humanoid instanced. I'm able to move him around the maze, colliding into walls accordingly. Only thing is though, the way my "walls" have their edging done you can't have it so that an actor is peeking over walls drawn on the south edges. Actors just end up standing on the edging spoiling the look of the wall. I could adjust my collisions so that actors don't stand on those edges, but the reminder and temptation is just too great to spend a bunch of time trying to make it so you can look over the edge of the south walls. So I instead I went with reversing my edging so it looks as though the player is walking on a raised path instead like you're walking on a path surrounded by something lethal. Not sure what that something will be just yet, if I decide at all, but I'm satisfied with it the way it is. So for screenshot here, your character would be walking on the grey part. The green I was thinking might be swamp or like sewer water or maybe I figure on a different setting yet. The character's clothes all come out pink at the moment and I'm not sure whether a trench-coat will be part a potential piece of equipment or not but it gives a bit of an indication of where things are.
  Lots of ideas for things I want to add but it'd probably be a good idea if I can get myself onto implementing fighting enemies as soon as possible. I'm still not sure just what combat will involve or look like.

kseh

kseh

Frog's Challenging Journey - Update

I really wanted to try and deal with a bug that was reported for this project, even though the challenge is long done and I already got the really cool badge, especially since I was able to recreate the issue and it seemed as though it was a bug that'd be in my other projects that use the code as well. I put in more of a work around rather than properly addressing the issue. In general, it's all about the way one actor is considered to be holding another and when it stops. I'd rather look at what I need for a proper fix in that the One Day project where I use the code for the character's clothing and appearance which has a little more to it than just having a turtle hold one frog for a short time. I was also able to deal with a few memory leaks that probably weren't helping things at all. Much more fun, though, was to finish work on what was supposed to be Level 3 in the game. It's a very large level that's 128*128 tiles with two large land masses and a couple of smaller islands. You start off the level having to navigate a maze of non-sinking turtles to get to one of the two large land masses. From there, it's avoiding traffic of a few streets winding around everywhere. I added in a star checkpoint that you can grab in a few places so that you don't have to start at the very beginning if you die or even just make it to a lily pad. There's a few empty areas the player doesn't really have any way or reason to get to but all in all, I think the level turned out pretty good. Project page has been updated with the new download.  

kseh

kseh

Frogger Challenge - Post Mortem

Some positive stuff: I had a lot of fun working on my game and I'm quite happy with what I ended up submitting. The bits of polish like the main menu, points gained indicators, and level transitions are things I haven't tried to add before. Each is just a small feature but together they really enhance the over all experience. There was only a little bit of fighting with my code base / engine. For once it seemed like I had everything I needed and it was all pretty reasonably organized. However, this is mostly because I completely avoided dealing with the issues I know my engine has with collision. Specifically, that my actors are currently limited in their size which was part of the reason I didn't have any alligators or logs appearing in my game. Somehow I was able to track down the website I stumbled upon before for free music as well as the artist that I had in mind. I came across freemusicarchive.org back when working on WOA V but forgot to write down the name of the site. I'm sure I had bookmarked the site at one point but cleaned up old bookmarks since then. One of the biggest boosts to my motivation was when my kids asked if they could play the game. Early on, I was showing off to them what I was working on and then about a week later they remembered and excitedly asked to play. Unfortunately, the build was in a terrible state right then so I told them they'd have to wait. As much as I wanted to get my submission in, the chance to impress the kids is just awesome. I have to let them know, it's ready to play. I was generally happy with my programmer art. The turtle just came together looking really well. Though time was an issue, I will say it was nice not feeling like I had to pull continuous all-nighters to get anywhere with this thing.   Stuff that didn't go quite as well / considerations for next time: Like everyone else, time. I had figured on having more time to work on the game but life just throws things your way sometimes like priorities at the office, a broken sink, or just helping battle the colds that kids seem to bring home from school. I could easily have spent another 2 weeks or more sorting out issues that I knew about and making levels. I wanted to have a fourth level that was an import of an island height map I did some time ago for an RPG project. It was going to be 128*128 tiles while the levels I did include were 24*24 or 32*32. One reason it didn't make it in was that I found that, when the level began, the scrolling had some issues going from its current position to centering onto the player. There just wasn't time to figure out how to deal with that. Found a bug at the start of the last week where if one actor is carrying another there's a potential for a crash (invalid pointer) when one of the actors is destroyed. I thought I managed a quick work around for that before submission but I think this is the issue that Znippy mentioned, and I have to imagine that others have experienced. I will be needing to track this down as it'll be something that manifests in other projects that use those bits of code. As I mentioned earlier, when I started this project I had visions of taking a look at the actor size restriction I'm currently dealing with. Didn't look at that at all so ended up with fewer actors to add to levels. Though I'm happy with my programmer art and had fun making it, it's still programmer art. Couldn't hurt to find an artist to work with one day. I'm not as happy with the splash animation as my other graphics. It's just too small. It kinda works when the animation isn't obscured by other actors but I'd rather the splash did more of the obscuring. The size of the frog vs size of the turtles makes it tough to see when turtles are going to submerge. The cars move too fast in some places. This is just a bit of a tweaking / balancing issue more than anything. Actually, I think it's fair to say that in most of the entries this was also the case. I probably should be interacting with everybody more. What's next for me? First, I'm going to track down the crash when the turtles submerge with the frog. The code involved is used in other projects so it'd be good to understand what's going on there. It'll also be cool to see what my kids think of the game and maybe let them take a crack at putting together their own levels. I wouldn't mind finishing up that 128*128 tile level myself, though I suspect the size would actually end up making the level less interesting than I'd hope for. I would very much like to work on a few more of these Challenges but the plan for the next while is to get back to project One Day. I'll have a few improvements from the Frogger Challenge to bring over to that and then, I think it becomes mostly about setting levels with sufficient props and writing dialogue for characters. Basically, it's a project I'm working on for my wife and kids so I was hoping to be done for end of January but at this point I suspect I would be lucky to even meet my next target of April. One last link to the project page:  

kseh

kseh

Frogger Challenge - Update #5

Just a short post today. Watching more entries come in, I'm concerned about getting everything done this week. I've just recently got the game over condition sorted out and still need to work on level transitions and try to put together a few more levels. The concern there is that I"ve hard coded the traffic controls as well as the stuff generating cars. I think dealing with the generators shouldn't be difficult to deal with but I don't think I have the time to experiment with traffic controls. Also, while I've picked out some music that I think is available for to use, there's still actually getting it and some kind of sound effects in.

kseh

kseh

Frogger Challenge - Update #4

A bit late with this week's update. Last week was spent looking at trying to do some kind of scoring and also working on some changes to the way I have scrolling. For scoring, I went with using a data field in the tiles to set how many points you get for landing on any given tile. Currently, road tiles are 25 points, tiles close to water are 1 point, and everything else is 0. This week, I think I need to work out some kind of high-score thing as well as level progression, lives, and a game over screen. Maybe some kind of improvement to the main menu I have. A few more levels would be a good idea too. I did want to add in another enemy and maybe some logs but I'm a bit concerned about time at this point. I've had complaints in other projects about the way I had scrolling so I've been spending time looking at that. I had it such that you had to approach closer to the edge of the screen before you could see what's on ahead. Which may be fine for the project that it originated in but is rather annoying in anything with an arcade kind of feel to it. I've got a much nicer smoother scroll now. While looking at this improvement, I found that the code doesn't quite do what I was expecting in general so this is an area that I'll be needing to revisit at some point in other projects. It's good to see the submissions that are coming in from everybody so far. I know there's still quite a few days left but I have to admit I'm starting to wonder if I'm further behind than I realize.   

kseh

kseh

Frogger Challeng - Update #3

This week I looked at having cars properly generated on one end of the level and destroyed on the other. And some adjustments so that I'll be able to tweak frequency and travel speed a little later on. It's hard coded at the moment still and I'm pretty sure it's not all tuned quite how I want it but it's ok while other development is going on. On Wednesday I threw together a turtle sprite with diving and surfacing animations (not shown in video) and I'm quite happy with how it turned out. The turtle almost feels as though it doesn't quite fit with the style of other graphics but I'm going to keep what I have. I started with a copy of the Car class for the turtle so I was able to get the turtle following tracks similar to what the cars do. But I realised that I don't have to set a track of data on all tiles, I just have to set it on corners where I want turns to occur which allows for paths to cross each other. Also, when I was distracted at one point, a turtle collided with the frog and killed it, following the car logic. I figured it might be a good feature to keep in the game. Even if the frog can jump onto the turtle's back, standing in the path of a turtle will kill the frog. The video shows a frog starting off and crossing the street. Cars wait their turn at an invisible traffic light and proceed accordingly. I have one turtle walking on the ground in a clockwise square path and another in the water on a path that crosses over itself in a number of places and is near the shore in a few spots. Near the middle of the video, the frog gets in the way of the turtle on the ground. After that I quickly show a little tile debugging information that drive the directions actors are traveling.    

kseh

kseh

Frogger Challenge - Update #2

This week, I've been able to get together a splash animation that you see when the frog jumps into water. I've also tried using it but modulated red for when a frog hits a car but it's difficult to notice. It's fine for a placeholder for the time being though and the animations do the job of taking place when the frog hits a hazard. I also have a basic car sprite to use (the scale of things in this game just isn't a concern, is it?) and I've gotten them traveling across the screen in their intended respective directions on the roads. In the course of debugging I had a couple cars go wildly off track. I think it'd be interesting if a car occasionally went careening off the road, possibly crashing into a tree or water somewhere. It'd be an interesting hazard to watch out for. What I'm particularly happy with this week is a bit of traffic control logic that so far seems to be making for an effective stop light. (Sorry no video). There is the potential at the moment for cars to get stuck on each other when one stops just a bit too far into the intersection. With the test I've been running it clears itself up but I don't think I can count on that so I'll be clearing that up next chance I get. So far, the cars have just been starting from a default point that I set on level load. What I really need to sort out soon is something that will spawn the cars. I am wondering also about frequency of the cars and how closely they follow each other and how this relates to when they're stopped. As cool as I think my traffic control stuff is and also having this free range approach to the level, I see the potential to end up with something where it's either way too easy to cross the street or it's completely impossible.

kseh

kseh

 

Frogger Challenge - Update #1

I'm taking a shot at this Frogger challenge using the custom engine I've been using for way too long now. I'm hoping to find that it stands up to the task reasonably without the need for extensive diversions from what I've established. The "engine" I use is just C++ code that I've developed over the years. Libraries I make use of are SFML, TGUI, and a timer library by Mattias Jansson (2011). I'm going to try for something such that the map is just a little more complex and you're not just going from top to bottom of the screen. At this point, I have 1 small level map with a few decorations on it, a frog jumping around, and a lily pad that's supposed to be the destination. I'm thinking next I want to do a splash animation when the frog jumps onto water, just because I think it'll be fun and relatively quick. Probably also a good idea to get some kind of vehicles traveling on the road as well and a simple death animation if you get hit. Then comes some kind of congratulations when you reach the lily pad. I don't know what I'm going to do exact ly for stuff stuff in the water. Turtles that sink should be pretty simple but aligators or logs rushing down some kind of river might be more than I planned for. Not sure about intersecting roads and rivers either as streets and water is just simple tile map sort of stuff and having water going under a bridge might require more time than I'm inclined to spend for this challenge.

kseh

kseh

 

Project One Day - Update #3

I've been focused on getting assorted bits of programmer art furniture added into the house. And in doing so, finding little quirks and work around (mostly related to collision stuff) to try to get things to work and look like I want it to. The way I've gone about my collision detection stuff, I'm currently limited in size of my sprites. So I've been piecing parts of sprites together to try and make larger furniture items and it's a pain. I'll probably be addressing this in the next few months. I'm generally happy with my programmer art but getting perspective and scale consistent takes some work. I decided that the walls that I had were too short and just threw off the way that other furniture looked. So I made them a bit taller which then meant figuring out what to do about seeing behind those walls. I went with making wall segments transparent as the player moved north of them. I think it works ok though I'm not sure about vertical wall segments and joints. I think I can refine that later, if I like. I spent a bunch of time reorganizing how I have data files for initial games and player save games. Mostly separating objects that I was previously saving into one large file into multiple files. Theory being that way I wouldn't have to place every single actor back onto the level again just because I found a problem with one somewhere. Data files now can be divided by categories like Plants, tables, beds, etc. The addition I'm most happiest with though is some navigation logic for getting NPCs from one place to another. One thing that I wanted to have for the first scene was for the cat to follow the player around everywhere until she is fed. And of course, if the player moves fast enough around corners, the cat can get stuck. I ended up adding a Region ID field for each tile and, with the in game editor, I can paint that ID to the tiles that make up the rooms. So the Kitchen is ID 1, Living Room 2, hallway is 3 & 4, and so on. I then built functionality to parse through a file that has a bit of logic such that for the region an actor is in and the region you're planning on going to, add two destination tiles for that actor to the current path. One destination on the edge of the current region and the next tile on the edge of the destination (or neighboring) region. I think it's still possible for the cat to get stuck places if the player is determined, but it is way better. (Video 1 shows the cat following the player into various rooms, always crossing rooms where the appropriate door way should be.) With the main navigation logic in place, I realized that I can define a set of Points of Interest in the level and have characters travel to that destination (instead of just the player's current location) as part of a path following script and tie that to the navigation logic where the path is written as a set of textual points of interest rather than tile co-ordinates. This way I can, for example, define in a data file the tile to stand on to be next to a TV. Then when I add the string "TV" to the list of path destinations, the character just goes to that spot. Thoughts of dynamically generated houses with NPCs able to follow a routine in the house fill my mind. But that's for another project. (Video 2 shows Wife character travel to kitchen counter, table with dvd's, tv, spot south of table, and lastly to couch.) There's still some work needed for ideal NPC movement. I don't have anything for collision avoidance or steering behavior and I think those would go a long way to reducing the potential for walking into a table and getting stuck. But for a game like this where the NPCs movements and destinations are going to be known, I don't think it's a concern at this time. I still would very much like to get this project completed before the end of next January but I'm thinking I might take a break from it for awhile to work on the Frogger challenge. It doesn't feel like some feature or element is particularly pressing or hanging over me right now so it feels like a good time to try one of these challenges.

kseh

kseh

 

Project One Day - Update #2

At this point I'm finding the in game editor that I've put together to be fairly functional. I have save and load functionality that works as would be expected for the player and a save function that I can use to setup a level's initial state. I didn't want to go with using tiles for walls so there were a couple additional challenges to getting the wall corners to match up together properly while making sure that player can slide along them without getting snagged or trapped. I'm setup to be able to add whatever I need to create conversations and have the characters move as the result of player interactions. But the one thing I think that's bugging me is the complete lack of any furniture or interior items. So the plan for the next while is to do some graphics work to try and furnish this house somewhat before going forward with creating any dialogue or story. Perhaps with some items in the house it'll provide inspiration for how to build the story. I also need to do some work on the characters, particularly what would look right for a pregnant character (you wouldn't know that babies are on the way from the current sprites). With the graphics all being programmer art, I'll be happy if I can just maintain a consistent style.

kseh

kseh

 

Project One Day - Update #1

I created the project page for "One Day" about 3 months ago so I thought it's about time to write something more. In general the project is to create a story on rails kind of RPG project. Fairly simple functionality with just the player moving characters around and having them give their lines when appropriate. After all the lines have been done for one particular scene, progress on to the next scene. This is the first project I've worked on in quite some time where the level wasn't relying on procedural generation. I had found last year that I had minimal facilities for building levels other than loading in a basic tile map. I had managed to throw together some in game level editing capabilities fairly quickly but when I started including some old classes from another project there was a lot of work to bring everything up to date. Recent work has been sorting out serialization related stuff for actors within a level. I've never had to handle things before where you have a level at an initial state and then it's possible the player has saved the game and you want to reload from there. Other assorted things I've looked at the past few months:
  * I haven't dealt with tile collisions in years and some work was needed to handle collisions with multiple tiles.
  * Have an actor follow a set of tile waypoints.
  * Trigger an actor to follow a set of waypoints after completing a conversation
  * Attaching clothing to actors, paper doll style.
  * Defining a character using a text file and loading that file.

kseh

kseh

 

Kseh Woa V - 2017-08-15 (Wovanosh post mortem)

So WOA V has come and gone. My submission was supplied just barely under the wire, flaws and all. Over all, I'm fairly happy with my submission and I don't really want to point out all the assorted negative things to the judges that I see when I look at it but those are the things that I had hoped to find and learn from by entering. Thanks to everyone for making this jam possible. To our hosts at GD.net for providing the venue, to Slicer for setting up and running the show, to the judges, and to the participants. This all is a very different experience than just coding whatever I want at my own pace with no worries about bringing assorted features together to serve a purpose. Things that went well: I was able to submit something. I'm generally happy with my submission. I had fun. While there was a need to quickly hack together some bits of code to make stuff work, the majority of the code changes needed to the base engine felt much less like a hack and more like a natural extension of the code than last year's attempt. I consider this a really nice personal success. Avoided energy drinks on the late night development sessions and thus no post project migraines. Level editing stuff that I did put together worked ok. You can actually still add in some stuff if you right click (should've turned that off for release, I suppose).   Things that just sort of went: I spent more time this year on a main menu and on having a few levels to play. And with having a few levels to play I figured it'd be a good idea to allow for which one the player would like to start from and to put a small break in between levels. This all took up one of the late night dev sessions I had available to me. I wonder a little how things might've turned out if I had left these details and instead focused on other things.
Things to learn from or think about: I struggled with figuring out what to do with the theme more than I had hoped. I ended up just with starting to work on small bits and hoped that an idea would come together, which it actually did in the end. Level creation/editing is something that I found to be like smacking into a brick wall. This is likely to be my focus for the next several months, particularly since I'm at the stage of needing to look in this area for another personal project. I had hoped to write more about my progress each day but I just didn't end up leaving enough time at the end of each dev session and was way too tired. Could've planned time better. (hiding some flaws from judges)   I tell myself that I'd like to do some finishing work on this when I have time to sort of bring it all closer to the point that I had envisioned. But I do have another personal project that I'd like to get back to. I'm not sure yet on what would be the best way to take things forward from this project into the other one. But eventually, forward it will go.    

kseh

kseh

 

Kseh Woa V - 2017-08-12

I'm somewhat close to having at least a preliminary entry even if it doesn't quite fit with my original description. I seem to have almost a bullet hell sort of thing. If I can get around to positioning some actors on the levels, and maybe be able to do more than just one level, or maybe load at least one level without having to use some shortcut keys, and maybe do something like count towers destroyed to be like an end condition... then I think I could call it a game. I'm pretty sure I can get enough of those things together before time is up. Just not sure which ones and whether any of the other stuff I wanted will make it in. The final sleepless nights are upon us. Good luck everyone.

kseh

kseh

 

Kseh Woa V - 2017-08-11

Below is a screen shot of some assorted items that I've placed in a part of a world that I've flown the UFO to. Basically, I now have an in-game editor to place the castles, house, wizards, and alien troops (though the alien troops are not supposed to have an on world starting positions). I can position them, save them and load them and I'm pretty happy about this because I haven't gotten an in-game editor together before and it's pretty cool to have. I have no actual game-play yet though. I am a bit concerned about getting it so that it's possible for each side to at least shoot at each other and otherwise provide something to do simply because there always is something unexpected. Such is the way of things I guess. I also still need to place stuff on the various level maps (thinking I might do 5), make it so that you could load different levels from the main menu, implement win / loss stuff. There's also some additional game-play elements that I was hoping to add to make it a more strategic game. But I'm not sure I'll have time for that or not. Stuff like ship health regeneration and replenishing soldiers.  

kseh

kseh

 

Kseh Woa V - 2017-08-10

I'm seeing in a lot of people's blog entries that they're not as far along as they'd like or that they didn't get much time in the past while and so on. I actually managed to get a decent amount of time to work on this today but still didn't get as much done as I would've liked. But I finally have a screenshot. I wanted to have more stuff on it like some buildings and maybe some trees but instead of working on getting that all in place I got sucked in to working on an "explosion" effect. It was supposed to be something to pretty much just enable but sure enough there were a dozen various quirks from the last time I used it that needed to be ironed out.  At least in theory I will be able to use for destroying the UFO and other objects when the time comes. Where I am:   Where I hoped to be (mock up) The general idea is that you drop the snail looking soldiers to attack any soldiers on the ground or wizards in buildings and convert the other buildings into something that would replenish energy that you'd loose anytime your UFO is hit by a magic missile. I was thinking that you could shoot at the buildings as well for quick destruction or defense but you would need the buildings and some people alive in order to be able to get the energy manufactured. There's way too much left to do at this point. I was really hoping to have all the assorted actor classes created tonight and maybe get some code together to be able to position the buildings and stuff. I don't think it should be all that bad to do, it's just time consuming and I have no idea what issues I'll encounter when I try to implement the gameplay. But I like the general idea and I'm going to stick with it until the end. Gotta see how it turns out, you know.  

kseh

kseh

 

Kseh Woa V - 2017-08-09

So the plan for today was to get some kind of level loaded up. I've been able to import some tile maps generated from an old project which works quite nicely for the world terrain. However I had some terrain type contour lines that smooth out the tiles nicely and I haven't been able to get that working yet. Not sure if I'll have time to fight with that or not. As it was, I was fighting a bit with getting just basic square tiles displayed. But I'm able to scroll around the world and take a look around. I'm really really hoping that I can get a UFO into the game tomorrow to drive around instead as well as place some towns and castles and whatever decoration I can. I feel like I should have a screenshot of something by now but it really wouldn't look like anything more than some assorted squares of nearly the same color at the moment. Getting late and gotta get some sleep.

kseh

kseh

 

Kseh Woa V - 2017-08-08

So, I guess I've pretty much committed myself to going with "Alien Invasion" and "Castles" such that the game I'm hoping to make has the player flying around in a UFO, dropping off alien troops to invade a town, and hopefully having some enemies to shoot at and avoid. I figure maybe wizards, that are sitting on top of a tower or maybe walking around, might be able to provide a reasonable energy weapon to fend off a hostile UFO and some kind of general soldiers on the ground to defend against the invaders on the ground. I would prefer to have a couple more types of enemies to deal with but I'm going to start with that. The entire thing is way too ambitious but it's what I got at this point and I figure I gotta forge ahead. Pretty sure that just about any existing code that I have laying around is going to need to be redone. The graphics that I've been playing with at this point I like but they change the scale of everything that I've done in the past to make the castles look a decent size, so there's going to be lots to rework there. I do like the general idea because it is a bit of a shot at actually having the player invading towns with castles being their only real defense. But since I'm likely to end up simplifying any ideas I've had up to this point, I have no idea if it's going to be at all challenging or fun. The goal in the next few hours is to try and get some kind of world or level generated, hopefully with towns populated somewhat. Before this whole competition started, I was hoping that I'd improve on the scores that I got last time. At this point, I'm just aiming for being able to submit something.

kseh

kseh

 

Kseh Woa V - 2017-08-07

So, it's been 7.5 hours since the theme for this years Week of Awesome has been announced. I'm pretty tired and other than thinking I'll probably do something with "Alien Invasion" I'm not quite sure what direction to take it. I have a couple ideas that might fit the other themes but I'm not sure they're within my reach for putting together within a week. Mostly been playing around with some assorted sprite doodles, seeing if anything inspiring comes from that. Also did a little work on a generic main menu and listened to some assorted music that I was hoping might be something that I'd like to use. Nothing has resulted yet in any kind of light bulb moment. I'm realizing just how little I ever actually get around to working on game play. Usually I'm coding some feature or another that's supposed to ultimately build up to something but they don't tend to all come together to form something entertaining. And level building is something that I don't think I've really taken any look at for a very long time. It's something that I really need to take a careful look at after this competition is over. As I'm trying to figure out what to write here, I'm considering an idea maybe with aliens invading castles across some world map. It's about the best notion I've had so far on anything I might be able to put together, though I'd need to figure out just what the challenge would be. And none of the doodles that I've done tonight would really fit but I could maybe use some assets from other projects.

kseh

kseh

 

Kseh Woa Iv - Post 8 - Post Un-mortem

You know... because of the undead, right? Ok let's see here... Stuff that was good:
Well first and foremost I had fun working on the game. It's the sort of feeling that reminds me why I love programming.
I was able to balance project time with real life time rather well, I think. Though I could've used more project time, I don't think I'd really have been able to find it without being completely irritating and useless for anything else for the entire week. By my estimates, I spent around 39 hours trying to work on my entry.
My wife was very supportive with helping me find the time to work.
I got my submission in before the deadline.
I like my game. Which is a first for my previous entries to game jam sort of events.
I found a couple bugs in my engine code that had been problems for some time.
I have what I think ends up being a cool new spell to use in other projects, complete with animations & sound.
Experiments with the hand gesture system went well.
I was lucky that Endurion shared where he got his music from. The background music I found worked well and I wouldn't have it if it weren't for his journal post.
I like that I was able to get a game together where a main element was "Shadows" without the use of shaders (my laptop video card just doesn't support any). For that matter, I think I'd be able to remove the small amount of alpha blending that I'm doing without much impact (although I have a few ideas to use it for some special effects with the shadow orb that might enhance things a bit).
Stuff that went horribly wrong:
Nothing actually felt as though it had gone horribly wrong or had me stressed out or worried. That's not to say though there isn't a lot of...
Stuff to learn from and look at improving (this kind of stuff was a fair part of my motivation for entering):
I was getting burnt out by Thursday. Fortunately, once I'd start working, I'd get back into the swing of things and have to force myself to stop. But as it is right now, I'm not anxious to get back to working on other personal programming projects. I'm figuring I just need a bit of a break.
I've only just gotten over the withdrawal migraine from the energy drink's caffeine.
An 8 year old laptop is very slow to compile things on. Nothing like tweaking a variable and waiting 1.5 to 2 minutes for the rebuild.
That same laptop does not like me to keep browser windows open in the background while programming.
I am not setup very well for any kind of rapid prototyping.
I have a lot of code that I dread having to add to each time I want a new actor type. That crap needs to be refactored.
Collision detection remains the bane of my existence. I do not have a good system for it at all. I'd love nothing more than to replace it with a nice physics system like Box2D but I'm not sure if my hardware can support it.
I was hoping to be able to rework all of my graphics. I recently finished playing "Ittle Dew" and I rather like the art style. I'd like to try to get some stuff together that resembles that style and I think that means that some of my graphics code needs updates as well.
While I might be able to continue lying to myself about my graphics skills, I have no ability to produce a song beyond playing "Old MacDonnald had a Farm" on my synthesizer and my synthesizer has not been functional for quite some time. Music really added to the feel of the game and I should look at working with someone next time.
I can lie to myself only slightly more convincingly on my ability to produce sound effects, but if I can accept the need for someone that's able to do music then I should broaden the scope of that need to include all sound work.
I had every intention of having a menu screen. I was all setup with TGUI to get that going but all I used it for was what started out as debugging text and ultimately became the score display.
I really need to setup my code better so that I'd have an easier time resetting the game on player's death. It should've been like one function call to reset the game but instead I was looking at another hour or two of work with the potential to miss resetting something.

I'm not sure what my next step is gonna be. I have an unfinished tree control I was working on for my endless RPG project that I was feeling good about working on. I'd like to look at that art and graphics stuff as well though, I really wouldn't mind testing out Unity or something else to see what sort of issues it might fix automagically and for that matter learn something new. I tell myself I need a new machine before I get into stuff like that though. I have a notion of running through each of the old Experimental Gameplay Project themes for the sake of getting through a number of small projects and learning and evolving code from each one. I suppose the thing to do is think about that question that a marketing friend of mine asked once when I asked for advice, "What is it that you actually want to get out of your project?"

kseh

kseh

 

Kseh Woa Iv - Post 7

Seeing so many people with an entry ready to go is a bit intimidating. But it's also quite motivating. Congratulations to everyone that has their entry ready to go. I spent too much time last night messing around with a spell charging mechanic that before I even started working I figured that I shouldn't look into and eventually in a half finished state I confirmed that it was an annoying inconvenience compared to just throwing orbs quickly. I wanted to get the player death animation in place before I ended last night but something seems to be preventing it from playing when you collide with the shadow hazards. I need to finish that up quickly and get the skeletons in there as fast as possible. I'm hoping that they'll be ok with a very basic move towards the player kind of AI otherwise the game is not going to be challenging at all. If I can get that stuff in then I hope I have time to get some kind of basic menu and other polish elements in. It's gonna be very tight.

kseh

kseh

 

Kseh Woa Iv - Post 6

Slicer said something about hoping that everyone is approaching the polishing stage of their projects. The notion that I'll be able to focus on "polish" seems rather wishful thinking at the moment but perhaps it's not entirely out of reach. The player can now... I guess "evoke" is the word, a shadow orb into his hand and throw it. Currently, when thrown it seems to curve somewhat around trees, which is rather unexpected but actually pretty cool. I think it may be the result of some steering behavior code but I thought that I left that part out. I need to add one more small animation so that when the orb comes to rest it forms a pool like shadow on the ground that is a hazard to the player. Also, the shadow orbs, as well as everything else, need a bit of a shadow of their own for some sense of height from the ground so that there's a bit of an indication as to why it just seems to stop. When I have that in place, I should make sure the player can die from contact with the pooled shadow orbs on the ground. And then I can finally see about getting the skeletons added. Their AI isn't going to be much at all but if I get them moving towards the player and they attack in some way, then I do believe I have my main elements and something that resembles a game, for all its rough edges. In this screenshot, I didn't move the player while firing off orbs in various directions. The resting appearance will change by the end of the night. You can see the curve where the orbs landed. I had intended on making the player charge up the spell to evoke the orbs before being able to throw them but I don't think I have time to work on that and it's also pretty cool to fire off a bunch of them in rapid succession. Given that every orb fired becomes a hazard to the player (skeletons won't be affected by the missed orbs because... um... magic), I think I'm better off with the way it is. I'd like to try a charging mechanic afterwards though to see how it might look for other projects. It occurs to me that maybe the shadow orbs or the resting orbs don't look so shadowy. I'm hoping that I can get an effect or two in that might help and otherwise be convincing that what I have is a black shadow based magic as the main mechanic even if it's not what might be expected graphically. If not... well I've been having fun doing all this which has been as much my hope as anything.

kseh

kseh

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