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Mosane Pi

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One of the nicer aspects of finishing school -- because, really, there aren't very many (huge amounts of loans, lack of hundreds of college girls when spring begins, the near-excessive amount of social camaraderie, etc.) -- is the amount of "free time" that doesn't change every week or two. When I get home from work I can generally rely on the fact that I have the rest of the night to do whatever. And while the overall amount of time I have open is generally decreased (it's hard to tally up the amount of time spent doing homework during school), the reliability that there will generally be at least three solid hours of time every night. This temporal reliability is one of the reasons that, for the first time since I finished my book five years ago, I can see myself actually finishing a project which, in this case, is none other than Asplode!. In honor of this fact, I unleash the first public video of it at its incredibly early and barebones stage: Asplode! early gameplay (and the base directory if you don't want to click the 3MB WMV directly).

The song in the clip (that I didn't realize would be picked up by the recorder) is from Rez. The inability to move outside of Pi/4 angles for the ship is something that will be relegated solely to keyboard controls and, for that matter, will be rectified whenever I get a way to hook up my 360 controller to my PC. The gameplay at this point is fairly simple as I have yet, until an hour or two ago, to start on the pentabomb-trigged asplosion combos but, yeah, that's the game at its current state after almost three weeks.

This weekend I got the Kamikazygon (which will get a "Meet the ____" post eventually) tracking character movement. This was something I implementing the same evening that I added the model to the game but, in my consistently-exhausted state, could not get working correctly until Saturday morning when I realized that I was never updating the player position so the little fella' was always homing to the world origin. I also implemented a simple scoreboard, enemy scores, enemy health, and bullet damage. All of this took me about a half-hour, all told, and the rest of the surprisingly little time I spent on the game over the course of the weekend was spent on coding two different background types and laying the framework for the asplosion combos. The majority of the weekend was spent playing Burnout, Rez, and, the new addition to the game lineup, skate..

The first background that I added was a simple one: a number of randomly-sized, alpha-blended quads (about five-to-six hundred of them) that would light up when in a certain radius of the player -- this effect has been toned down slightly since the video so it would be more of an ambient one than a visually distracting one. Here is the result:

The second background visualization that I attempted was going to be a slowly-fading pulsing circle that added a spike and color change whenever an enemy was killed. Before I went to too much trouble with the specifics I wanted to get a basic test with an every-so-often spike occurring just to see what the pulse looked like in-game and whether it was too distracting or not. By the time I got to the iteration you can see in the fourth shot, I figured it was a bit much for the game that, while stylistically jiving with the experience, did not visually match with the rest of the game the same way that the quad background did. I do think that I will use the pulsating circle of spikiness as the protagonist of a future game though (without a doubt). Here is the evolution of that:

And, finally, I realize that these entries aren't exactly the bastion of interesting development chronicles -- they end up being more development logs. This is an unfortunate side effect of my choice to write them when I'm fairly tired and feeling particularly uncreative/mundane/McCain. These are, though, the best times chronologically in the day for me to actually write them, so this is, sadly, a trend that will continue save for the most superimportant or awesomelyinteresting entries. Those get my full attention and creativity. They get them because they're special.

And if you have a Wii and you haven't purchased No More Heroes yet, then I hate you and everything you stand for. I don't have a Wii. I know I would like this game. If you refuse to buy this well-developed, superbly-designed, and downright stylish game, then you're not fit to own a system which is foreign to such levels of excellence. Shame on you. You're filthy.
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