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Super Sportmatchen by Kaj Forell VGB

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sportmatchen_logo.png
 
The Game
Super Sportmatchen is a competitive sports game for up to four people locally. The game consists of a selection of different sports, ranging from the frantic and fast paced to more relaxed and concentration based sports. Invite your friends, foes and relatives for a game of competitive sports!
 
Two of the playable characters, Agneta from Sweden and Johnny Top from Canada.
agneta.gif     johnnytop.gif
 
One of the currently available sports, 250m Plint-Sprint.
Sportmatchen_250m_plint_sprint_by_Jim_Sv
 
The Background
The game came to be (as they often do) during an evening filled with beer and other healthy beverages. For some reason we had a discussion about the absurd nature of competing in sports, basically everything from the shocking amount of money involved to the often comical sports interviews. 
 
Basically this comic:
sports.jpg
 
So we started with the thought that it’d be fun to try to capture that in a game without going overboard with weirdness. However, during development we’ve more and more steered towards trying to do something that is a mix of Track n Field and Mario Party, with a focus on fun competition in a cute setting. It’s a great game if you want to turn your best friends into your worst enemies. ;)
 
The Secret Sauce
Super Sportmatchen is being developed using a custom made engine in C/C++ and Lua. We chose to go for a custom engine both because of the game requirements being very simple and also because it allows us to tailor the features to our exact needs. For example we have a great workflow with the ability to hot reload both code and assets, which greatly helps speed things up during development.
 
The tools we use are:
Sublime Text 3 for coding C++ and Lua
Visual Studio 2012 for debugging C++ 
Photoshop CS5 for the graphics
Reaper and sfxr for most of the audio (with Matt Montag's NES VST for the music)
 
The Team
Super Sportmatchen is being developed by three dudes: one coder, one artist and me doing both code and audio. We’re working on the game in our spare time and the initial commit was done way back in late 2014. Since we only have a few hours per week to work on the game the progress is a bit sporadic, but we are aiming to get the game done sometime in 2016!
 
kajforell_transparent.png
 
Follow us on twitter, sportmatchen.com and here on this devlog! We are grateful for all the feedback we can get, thank you!

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Sporty new year to you all!
 
Here is a screenshot of our most relaxed sport so far, called Boll Toss.
boll.png
 
The goal is to toss your ball (using angle and power meters) into one of the marked scoring areas. You'll need to take both the wind and the surface type into consideration. Currently we have sand, ice, asphalt and "indoor court" as surface types, each with their own impact on the ball physics (bounce/friction). If you are really pro at this sport, you might even try to toss your ball into one of the baskets to get the highest score! 
 
Also, here are some dancing stoats! smile.png
Sportmatchen_hermeliner_by_Jim_Svanberg.

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Hello friends of sport! Seems like we all made it through into the new year, nice! We're back in the (metaphorical) gym after a really sweet and relaxing winter vacation. Pre-Christmas we started work on our newest sport and today we're here to announce its completion. Behold!
 
Hoops is a frantic all-against-all battle, where you'll need to master both timing and agility. Push and stomp your opponents to steal the ball, go for heart-stopping three-pointers or dribble your way to the basket and watch the other players cry in agony. And if your opponents are being cocky, shatter their self-esteem with a sizzling slam dunk!
hoops.png
 
A fun thing about Hoops is that it contains a lot of extra stuff, such as the seemingly pissed vulture and a really exciting halftime show featuring Mr.P and two cheerleading stoats!
vulture.gifhoops_halftime_show.gif
 
Wow, that is surely setup for success. So what to do now? Go pump some iron? Run a marathon? Hell no! We'll go sit down in front of our computers and start working on the next sport of course!

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Today we had a plan to show off our latest sport, but unfortunately that plan had an accident and so there is no new sport to report about. Instead I'll give a quick rundown of our so far only tool that we have developed for the game. The purpose of it is to help our graphics artist animate all of the characters and objects found in the game.
 
Overview
animation_tool_overview.png
 
This is the main interface of the tool. As you can see, it's possible to switch animation from the scrollable list of animations (wow!). It's also possible to select the current frame, either by clicking the frame button or by pressing left/right on the keyboard. 
 
We've also got support for something we call "attach points", which is basically a named reference point in a frame. It's just an offset from the sprite's center point, that we can use to attach characters to bouncy balls and similar.
 
At the top there is the general menu for pausing/playing animations, toggling loop mode, adding and removing ghost frames (loek) as well as saving and opening sprites.
 
Switching animations
animation_tool_switch_animation.gif
 
Here you can see me switch the vulture's animations. Notice how some are looped while others only play once. The loop behaviour can be toggled between always on, always off or use the specified value for the sprite's animation. Also note how the current frame button highlight changes as the frame of the animation changes.
 
Opening a sprite
animation_tool_open.gif
 
Here you can see the interface to open a sprite. It's just a simple input interface (inspired by Sublime Text) to browse for the wanted sprite. The list shows up to ten of the most relevant matches out of all the sprites in the project.
 
Using onions (or ghost layers)
animation_tool_onion.gif
 
Using onion layers when doing animations is a really good way to get a feel for the flow of the animation. It's much easier to see how each frame sets up the next frame compared to when viewing each frame independently. The amount of ghost frames can be increased/decreased.
 
Other stuff
As with the game, the sprite assets can be hot reloaded while editing. So the artist can paint and change frame durations etc and then immediately see the changes while the animation keeps looping.
 
We also have support for having multiple sprites open in the tool, at different layers. There's also a quick setup script for this where specific scenes can be set up, for example attaching a character to a ball and then editing both of them at the same time.
 
I've always been a fan of having editors be as close to the game as possible and one neat thing we added semi-recently was the ability to be able to tab between the tool and the game at any time. So we can start a sport, notice that an animation is a bit off, press tab and load the sprite in the editor, make some adjustments, save it, press tab again and see the changes in the game. 
 
That's it for now! I hope we can come back with an update about our next sport real soon!
 
Take care!

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Hey all! It's been a long time since the last update, for various reasons. One of the reasons is that we've tried to develop multiple sports at the same time, essentially prototyping five sports simultaneously. Therefore there hasn't been a lot of interesting stuff to show, until now!
 
We've recently finished up one of the prototypes, namely a sport named Capy Throw. The basic idea is that you'll need to rotate your character as fast as possible by rotating the dpad/analog stick, and then time your release with the rotation to throw your capybara in a straight line, to throw it as far as possible! It's also possible to deploy a hang glider with the press of a button and depending on when it is deployed you will either get more wind resistance or a bit of extra hang time, so timing is very important!
 
Here is a quick gif that shows the gameplay loop in Capy Throw:
capy_throw.gif
 
There's also a news post about it here:
 
Take care! 

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Behold, another sport is nearing completion!

This one is currently called Animal Feed, and the aim of the game is to feed the sugar craving animals with delicious candy! The gameplay is similar to clay pigeon shooting and whack-a-mole, where you aim the crosshair with the dpad and throw candy using the A button. Get the highest score by gaining multipliers and hitting specific high-value targets.

Birds, bumblebees, capybaras, moles and maybe even some more, show up when the sweets are for free!

Sportmatchen_animal_feed.png

Here's a short gameplay clip:
HGTNHSc.gif

We've had a bunch of meetings to decide where we are headed next and our plan is to wrap up two more sports plus some additional content before the end of the year. Next up we'll get started with a new sport as well as adding team vs team mode to all sports. We've also got a really funny idea about how to decide the winner when some players end up with a tie score at the end of a tournament.

More to come! 

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Just making a note here that this devlog is cancelled. However! The development of the game is still going on strong, you can continue to follow it via our web or twitter (see signature links)!

 

Thanks for checking it out, have a great winter break and an awesome 2017!

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