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Day 4 of Development (and a fair chunk of day 5)

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Trapper Zoid

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ANNOUNCEMENT!


My Pierre Poisson game is now alpha, and can be downloaded here! I'd be grateful for anyone to test out a copy, since I've only really tested this on my machine.

Please note that I just found that there might be a problem running this game in 16 bbp resolution. The game itself chooses 32 bbp by default for fullscreen running at 800 x 600. If for some reason that is a problem for your graphics card (although I think 800x600x32 is pretty standard), then there might be a problem with the game (nothing too dangerous though; it didn't wreck my card when testing resolutions, just ran really badly).



Screenshots


The menu screen (simple I know; I didn't really have time to make anything too awesome)


Things don't look so good for poor Pierre...




Well, it's actually half a day into day 5 now, and I've had to strip a lot of functionality from the design to get here. The original game plan was to have a couple of stages; collecting and then evading an enemy fish. But now, I've combined the two stages together, and just made the game to collect as much as possible before getting chomped. This makes the title (The Amazing Aquatic Adventures of Pierre Poisson: Oceanographer Extraordinaire!) increasingly inaccurate. I originally planned to have this game as the basis for a series on a theme, but poor Pierre always ends up getting eaten in this version. Plus Pierre doesn't even make a showing, since I haven't got the time to draw the artwork, so the real personality lies with the giant fish (who unintentionally ended up looking a bit like the evil cousin of id's Dopefish).

I plan on sprucing the game up a little bit before the end of today. I haven't had a chance to polish the gameplay yet, and there's no sound effects (the IP issues involved with obtaining these are dicey; I think I'll either just leave them out or make my own bloops and bleeps with a synth).

Please try out the alpha version and tell me what you think! I don't really have a lot of time to make too many adjustments, I'm afraid, but all feedback is welcome! I'll post the updated version tomorrow, and ask for more general comments on the game.
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Very nice. I had no problems running the game (it even handled an alt-tab alright [smile]), and the gameplay seemed fairly straightforward and fun. The little music track was nice and suits the theme, and I thought the style of the graphics is pretty cute. Some SFX would be nice, but aren't really required at this stage I don't think.

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Thanks! I was waiting for a reply to see whether it would work on any other computer [smile]. My internet access is down at the moment, so I have to use the computer in my research lab. Luckilly that's not too far away, but it sucks having to hike fifteen minutes there and fifteen back just to check email (and to post my game to GameDev.net).

Guess I can get back to working on the game then.


Oh, I have tried some sound effects in the game already, but it's really hard to find ones that both work and clearly state that it's okay to use them in your own work. However, since the game is looking more and more Mario-esque, I think bloops will be appropriate.

Plus I'm still not sure about the "fiendlyfish" name, but it sort of goes with the theme. And I agree, the fiendlyfish is nasty. I wasted half of my development time yesterday playing around with that thing (I'm surprised at how well the fish turned out, really).

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One question:

Is speed (movement) dependent on resolution somehow? I edited the config so that it played at 1600x1200 (after seeing that your graphics where done at a much higher resolution then actually used in the game. BTW, playing in high resolution makes it look really nice and sharp), and the sub and the fish seemed to move faster (but other game timing was unaffected).

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Interesting. I haven't really played around with the resolutions that much short of a few quick tests. Everything is based on the timer used in SDL, so there shouldn't be that much of a difference (except if it lags too much). I'll give it a go and try and see if made a mistake with the speed code (frankly, the code is a total mess, and is an insult to proper programming principles, so it might be a problem).

And the reason why everything is so huge is that I couldn't spend the time trying to figure out which size was best, so I went with "huge" by default. I haven't tried resolutions beyond 800 x 600, so I'll give it a go. I know 640 x 480 looks kind of grainy.

Frankly, I'm a bit amazed I've got this far. I didn't even know how to texture a quad before I started this project, and now I'm writing 2D action games...

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Hrm, I've actually encountered a "stutter" a few times where it seems as if the game hangs for a second and then leaps forward. It's only happened a couple of times, and yet yet to be able to figure out any cause or recreate it reliably.

Also, I forced it into 16BPP, and you're right, the game is very jumpy and behaves incredibly oddly - there are hardly any 'seedweeds' or small fish around. Also, it does indeed look very crisp at higher resolutions.

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I've noticed a bit of stuterring myself; it's probably the memory manager class for the seedweeds and the fishies that I'm using (which is a bit of a hack job). I'll see if I can track that down (if I get time, which mightn't be until after the competition is over).

Thanks for all the comments! It's good to know that the game works on other computers.

Of course, that 16 bbp problem is annoying; it's probably something to do with either the video setup or the texture loader, but due to my total inexperience with OpenGL (apart from this contest and that flat-shaded square drawing I did for my earlier project) I'm not sure how easy it will be for me to fix in a few hours.

I might bump the standard resolution up to 1024x768; I don't want to set the game to something that could damage someone's computer, and I'm not sure what video modes are considered "safe".

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