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Weekly Update - 8/2/13

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Hi everyone! We've been a bit busy this week; Matt has been moving and I'm helping my parents remodel their kitchen. We've managed to get some stuff done though!

We'll start off with Mikeyo's weekly update video:

Youtube Video Link

[color=#333333][font='lucida grande']Epic Like-Ability Facebook Contest[/font][/color]

We launched a new Facebook this last week. Here are the rules, as posted on our website:
Starting now we will be giving away a $25 gift card for every 100 likes we get on our Facebook page (facebook.com/bealssoftware); if we hit 600 likes we will also be doing a drawing for a bonus prize.

The contest will run until either we reach 1000 likes or November 30th 2013 at 11:59pm ET, whichever comes first. Anyone who has liked us, rounding down to the nearest 100, will be included in each drawing (with the exception of any previous winners.) However, if we do the drawing for the bonus prize, EVERYONE will be included.

Indie Spotlight

We are starting up our Indie Spotlight segment - we'll be playing indie games and doing reviews for them or, if allowed, video gameplay. We'll also be offering to host a copy of the game for download and will put up a page on our site for it.

So, if you are an indie developer and have a game you'd like for us to put in the spotlight and it meets the requirements below, let me know!

  • It can be run on a Windows machine, Android device or iPad
  • It doesn't require illegal software or for us to root/jailbreak our device

    The game doesn't have to be free, but it will help your chances of us getting to it. We are not a game reviewer, we just want to help out and this seemed like a great way to do so. We'll only be doing a single game each week to begin with; we may increase this at some point, but I would no count on it.

    If you decide to submit your game, please let us know whether or not video gameplay is acceptable and, if so, the type that is acceptable (a single session or a full playthrough.)

    Project Updates

    Seeking Imagination

    I apologize, I do not have a video yet. I received permission to post media so it is coming, I was just busy all day today with family stuff. I do however have some screenshots.

    Please note that the tileset in these screenshots is custom, but the characters are not. Once I have combat in and our artist has finished the second tileset we are going to discuss the character sets. The map seen here is the prototype for the Battle Arena; I have since started completely redoing it and I will feature the new layout in next week's video.


    How to get out?

    Matt has picked up the new project, 'How to get out?' and is running with it. The game is a puzzle/brainteaser type game that puts you in scenarios in which your movement is limited and you need to use your environment, inventory and/or dialogue to get out of. For example: you are a teenager stuck at dinner with his parents; they won't let you leave the table, so you need to use the environment, your inventory and some dialogue to distract them long enough for you to make a hasty exit. There are lots of scenarios being brainstormed, ranging from a bank robbery to being stuck in a shelter/vault/well.

    The engine is being written in HTML5 and, as I said before, is being written by Matt. It will be playable on our website as well as on GameJolt. We're hoping to have the first game playable around the end of August/beginning of September.

    The Lost Chapters

    I have started laying the groundwork for The Lost Chapters. We had to make some changes to simplify it, but in the end this will allow us to focus on the stories in the game rather than the backend. There isn't much more to say on this project at the moment, I've mainly been doing the initial project setup.

    It's been a while since I mentioned this project, huh? Well, as I said there is a lot that needs to be changed with it. One of my biggest issues with the engine was the node-based scene system that I had set up. It made for very stiff movement and made map-making a nightmare. I chose this system for one reason: it was a simple design. However, this came back to bite me VERY quickly; it introduce many nuances and quirks (the whole issue with picking a node to place the character at when they decided to change their path while moving) and it just limited your area of movement too much.

    This is no longer an issue! I have created a prototype with polygon-based A* pathfinding. Basically you pass in a polygon and a map is generated that fits the entire polygon. From there, all nodes are tested to determine if they are inside the polygon; this leaves us with possible nodes for our path (this is the "pre-processing" stage.) From there we can generate a path from any point in the polygon to any other point.
    Originally I was testing to see if ANY corner of the rectangle was inside the polygon, but this was too loose and allowed for certain paths to fall outside of the polygon. I cut this down to what can be seen in the image by checking to see if the top-left and bottom-right or top-right and bottom-left corners lie inside the polygon.

    It might need to be optimized, but the pathfinding itself is pretty fast at the moment (the path below was generated in 2.9718 milliseconds.) Plus, this will be done on small regions at a time rather than a full map (I'll do some larger tests later.) The polygon can be baked into the map/level/scene or one will be able to be generated at runtime (slower, but will only need to be done on load so it shouldn't be bad.)

    Now, we haven't officially started this project back up; I just needed a break from the other projects and we have several point and click adventure game projects planned out, so I decided that I would take a whack at implementing this on a "slow" day.

    That's all we have for this week; tune in next week for a glimpse of the combat, leveling and crafting systems in my first video. Also, like our Facebook page and be entered for a chance to win a $25 gift card and possibly a more epic prize.

    Thanks everyone!
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Yay Tilesets! Kinda eyeburny right now though, has your artist thought about desaturating the colors a bit?

I agree, but it should (hopefully) be improved by the lighting system. I will definitely pass the feedback onto our artist though; thank you very much!

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