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Moving into the Game Itself

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This week I'm starting on the game graphics system for Ice Slider. I'm not sure how long this will take as I'll need to learn a bit more OpenGL in order to do this properly - I haven't yet fully looked into using depth buffers, stencil masks, or playing around with the alpha blending. Also from some sprite tests I've done I think my present rendering code using OpenGL immediate mode can only render a few thousand sprites on my computer before getting noticable slowdown. Given I'll be rendering a lot of small sprites I don't think this will be enough, especially because my computer has a semi-decent video card in it. I'm pretty sure it's down to me doing something very naive with the rendering code - doing a few expensive calls or switching on unnecessariy rendering options - but I'll have to spend some time experimenting with options sooner or later.

First I'm getting the basics of displaying the "ice playing field" right before worrying too much about the speed issues. So far I've got a little way into displaying it correctly, but I'll wait until I'm finished before posting a screenshot.

Gameplay-wise I'm still undecided about exactly what I'm going to do. The dilema is about whether I stick to my original plan - having a simple ice maze that the player has to navigate through, where clicking a direction key makes the player avatar slide from their position until they hit a wall - this was based on a mini-puzzle I remember from both one of the Ultima Underworlds (I forget which one) and Tales of Symphonia. Given I've had so much trouble sticking with an idea I decided to just go with this come what may - but that was before I realised that John Hattan's Duck Tiles is based on the same premise. I'd already sketched down a gameplay listing before I had played Duck Tiles so there are some significant differences (most notably I doubt I'll lovingly handcraft several hundred levels for my game [smile]) but I'd feel a bit more comfortable if I could distinguish Ice Slider a bit more from Duck Tiles.
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Since you're not using the mouse to control, it is already different than Duck tiles, right?

From remembering the games that use that minigame(there are a few), although it has a similar premise to Duck Tiles, I think it's quite different. That's just my opinion, though.

I'll be reading with interest, by the way[smile]

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Original post by Stompy9999
Since you're not using the mouse to control, it is already different than Duck tiles, right?

I'm sure the final product will be fairly different. I've only played Duck Tiles a few times (I don't play Flash games on my home/dev computer due to internet restrictions, and I feel guilty doing it on my study computer) and there are plenty of differences from the game I have in my mind for Ice Slider.

I'm just a bit annoyed with myself as originally I was going to make a standard clone of Pengo, but I decided it was unoriginal to make a clone of a reasonably well known arcade game. Then I inadvertently end up picking the same gameplay mechanic that forms the basis of a GameDev staff member whose journal I regularly read. D'oh!

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Nowadays it's extremely difficult to make something that can't be considered a clone of another game.

Then again, I'm someone who gets all my game ideas from NES games[grin]

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Check out Ricochet Robot and Lunar Lockout. Those were the inspirations for Duck Tiles.

Lunar Lockout is an example of the game taken to its most basic level.

Ricochet Robot is an example of how to make the game work without hand-drawn levels. The levels aren't as clever and devious as LL or DT, but the game still works well. Google for Ricochet Robot Challenge to see a version playable in Java.

Also check out Robert Abbott's "Tilt Mazes". That's the first example I know of the concept. Several of my DT levels can be considered to be tilt mazes (i.e. the ones with only one duck, walls, and nothing else).

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Original post by johnhattan
Check out Ricochet Robot and Lunar Lockout. Those were the inspirations for Duck Tiles.

Thanks! I've been wanting to hunt down games that use the same gameplay dynamic, but other than Duck Tiles I didn't know any off the top of my head. It's hard to google search for something like a gameplay dynamic and I'm not sure of any better way to do it, other than finding and searching through a repository of freeware games on the internet.[/quote]

Quote:
Ricochet Robot is an example of how to make the game work without hand-drawn levels. The levels aren't as clever and devious as LL or DT, but the game still works well. Google for Ricochet Robot Challenge to see a version playable in Java.

That would be interesting - I'm thinking of automating the levels in Ice Slider so I can get around the need to write them myself. I'd like to see how Ricochet Robot does that.

Quote:
Also check out Robert Abbott's "Tilt Mazes". That's the first example I know of the concept. Several of my DT levels can be considered to be tilt mazes (i.e. the ones with only one duck, walls, and nothing else).

That's far more like what Ice Slider is going to be at first - one "objective" object with walls. I do have some ideas for extra goodies such as pushable ice blocks to make things more challenging, but I'd be happy if I can just get the basics done. Plus the name "tilt mazes" does remind me that this is pretty similar to those old wooden puzzle boxes where you have to roll a ball through the maze.

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