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Sir Sapo


Hey everyone, lots of screens in this post

Today was a long ass day for me. I had to wake up at 7:00AM (gasp!) and go to school to register, then I waited in line for an hour to get a locker, but before I got to the front, I had to leave and go to a dentist appointment, after that was over, I went back to the school, waited another hour, got my locker, showed my sister around the school, went home, played pool, went to work until 6:00PM, came home, and worked on A20 for awhile.

Anyways, I got two things done today that I've been putting off: making a better particle system, and making the laser pointer.

Item 1: The Laser Range Finder , or "Red Line"
This was really simple. I put a flag in the player class that says whether to display the laser or not, if so, I render a semitransparent red line from the player, to a position off-screen. All this really does is help the player aim projectile weapons like the rockets and your guns. But now I have a question for you guys. Wpuld you prefer the laser to be able to be toggled on and off, or would you like it to turn on just when you were firing your weapons? Anyways, let me know, and here's a screen of it in action:

Item 2: Improved Particle System

This problem has been plaguing A20 since Day 1. The current particle system has a wierd tendency to move the particles in wierd directions, and to not have particles stream out, but instead go out in bursts (as shown in the screen below)

Anyways, today I decided to sit down and write up a new particle emmitter class. The big improvements I've made over the previous one are:

-More control over particle behavior
-Particles can be Textured
-Pull values have been included(like gravity and wind)
-Control over the rate that particles are emitted

Here's a screen of the new emitter in action. This emitter has values that make it look like rising smoke that drifts in the wind. Note: I was having trouble with the texturing, so these quads are untextured.

Today I also began to design the scripting language that will be used to create cutscenes using the game engine. The scripts are easy to read and modify since they are simple text files you can open in notepad. Here's an example of a script that makes an airplane fly by.

#number of entities in scene
#Background Texture
"Data/Tropical Background.PNG"
#duration of scene in seconds
#Background Music
#Entity 1's texture
#Entity 1's starting x position
#Entity 1's starting y position
#Entity 1's x velocity
#Entity 1's y velocity
#Entity 1's image angle

You can create multiple scenes in a sequence, by creating a scene file like the one below:

#Sequence Name
Plane Flying By
#Number of Sequences
#Scene 1 Filename
#Scene 2 Filename

As you may have guessed, the # symbols designate comments, and are just there for readability. While it's really not that flexible of a system, it's easy to use, and it will work for most of the cutscenes in A20.

Well, I've decided that Mark and I really need a website. We already have a domain name, and a server (where I host all my images), but neither of us has the skill to write good HTML[crying]. Hopefully when school starts I can find someone who is good at it who can make us one.

Well, I've got to go, as always, we're open to suggestions and comments on Angels 20, or anything else I mentioned in this entry, so drop a comment if you have something to say.


Angels 20 Feature WorkList
-An Actual Front-End Menu
-A Map of the Level on the HUD
-Good MIG AI
-Destructable Tiles
-A checklist of enemies on the level
-Repair Trucks that actually have to stop to repair stuff
-Ground Vehicles that can shoot at you
-More weapons (ie. Napalm, Cluster Bombs, etc)
-Fully Automatic Gun
-Forward Supply Bases
-More mission parameters (ie. timelimits , targets , etc)

Dont Forget To Try Out The New Version Of Angels 20

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Well, about that laser thingy, i would prefer to be able to turn it on and off.
About new particles: i think they are already better looking than previous particles.
Well, anyways, when you are planning to release an update? Anytime soon?
And what about bullets? I told you some time ago that it would be nice that bullets wouldn't look like lasers, are you planning to do something about it?

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Yeah, I'm in the process of getting rid of all the untextured stuff(like the laser-bullets, and the particles) and replacing them with textured things that mark draws up, so I should have the bullets looking like bullets soon enough. I guess I could release an update that includes all of the destructable tiles and stuff, I'll talk to Mark about it and if we decide not to add more stuff, I'll upload the new version tomorrow.

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Yeah, texturing a lot of the tiny stuff should help improve the look of the game, but there's only so much one can do with an image 3 pixels wide at the most. Thomas did give me the updated version with destructible tiles enabled, which also had a lot of the problems I personally had with it solved. The game is getting really fun, and the only problem I can see now is now a more indefinite one; the game may be becoming too easy. I was able to get through the entire demo level with one airplane when on a previous version I would have died and pressed 'r' (restart for the A20 laymen out there)a dozen times to get anywhere close. There are several ways I can think to solve this off the top of my head: increase the length of the maps(doubling the length would not be a huge strain on gamelplay if we had the forward supply base thing), limit the laser designators use, and simplest of all, making the enemies do more damage and have more armor. We really need to put the new version up, so I can see if I'm right, or just worrying about nothing. Well at any rate, I need to talk to Thomas about stuff (like releasing the new version and making smoke textures).
Look forward to the new version!

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