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  1. Znippy

    The idea is ready! I think,

    I am also currently thinking about going in the direction of The Binding of Isaac but in 3D. At least for the general map design. Unity has great tools for tilemaps! So don't be afraid of using Unity. I don't really know a lot about Gamemaker but they work really great in Unity. It takes some time to understand how to set them up but once that is done you pretty much can paint your levels. There are also a lot of great tutorials out there that explain tilemaps in detail. I also used them for the last challenge. I had no prior knowledge on how to use them but got used to it pretty fast. Good luck!
  2. Hello everyone! Just a short little update about what happened the last couple of days! I will try to make this entry fewer words and visual stuff. Since this week was kind of hectic for me I did not make that much progress. I mainly tried to work on creating a couple of basic models and implement a simple first person controller. First Person Controller For this, I basically copied some stuff from earlier projects. Since I don't really need any fancy stuff this should be totally enough for this project. Currently, the controller supports the standard movement with the keyboard and controlling the camera with the mouse. You can press E in order to interact with stuff and press the left mouse button to fire your weapon. I might add jumping and sprinting at a later time if I feel like the map design needs those two features. Energy Blaster This weapon will be the main weapon for the player. It shoots simple energy projectiles that deal damage on impact. I might add the ability to charge up the projectile in order to deal more damage. The first image shows the energy blaster on a small pedestal from which the player will be able to pick up the weapon. Yes, I know the particle effects are super ugly but I just throw them on there in a couple of seconds in order to make it look more interesting. The second animation shows the player equipped with the Energy Blaster and shooting at the basic robot enemy. Currently, the AI is only able to look at the enemy while bravely taking all the shots and dying on the third hit. Energy and Portal Crystal I already mentioned these two items in my first part. The Energy Crystal will be used as the main credit of the game. It can be used in multiple ways like restoring your own energy, upgrading weapons, or buying other items at some kind of vendor that I have yet to find a specification for. The second type is the Portal Crystal. In each "dungeon" level you have to find this crystal in order to activate the portal that leads to the next dungeon. Different actions might be required in order to get this Crystal (Killing a boss, solving a puzzle, complete a platforming challenge). Switches and Laserbeams Another thing I started working on is a simple system for switches. I tried to implement them in a pretty unspecific way in order to allow switches to control a wide variety of objects. Because of this switches can also interact with multiple objects. I am currently trying to get used to using Interfaces a lot more. I realized that this makes a lot of stuff easier. I simply created a general switch and switch target class. The laserbeams implement the switch target interface. This allows the actual switch to interact with every target in only one line of code. I will also use this for different types of weapons, enemies and items. This short animation shows the player interacting with a standard switch which toggles the three laser beams blocking the player's access to the portal. Yes I know everything looks ugly. Especially the laser beams and the portal. I have yet to find a way to create an interesting laser effect. The model for the portal is a basic placeholder and has no function yet. Next Steps For the next steps, I want to focus on creating more map objects in order to create a first basic level that contains the very core gameplay elements. I also need to find a way to push this project more into the direction of an actual dungeon crawler. Yes, I said I want to go a little bit abstract but I really don't want to fail the basic requirements of this challenge. I think I will go for a pretty basic map design in order to make randomly generated dungeons more easily. Currently, I am thinking of "The Binding of Isaac" kind of Rooms that are connected on a grid. Afterward, I could fill these rooms with different elements in order to support puzzles, fighting and a vendor type of room. I have done randomly generated levels on this basic before so it might be a good idea to do it again. My biggest fear is still that I made the scope for this project WAAAY too big in order to finish in time. All the progress I have shown in this entry was from two evening sessions of Blender and Unity. Guess I have to stay focused and use the next week which will be free of work. So I got a lot more time for GameDev stuff at the moment. But as I said. I currently like this project idea a lot so I really think I will continue working on this project after the challenge is done. Guess that was all for this week. Thanks for reading and until next time! - Znippy Last Part:
  3. Hello everyone! This challenge! I voted for Doom and Dungeon Crawler and I am really happy with the results of the poll. The main goal will be trying to create something with his own touch. For my last and first challenge I pretty much only tried to meet the basic requirements. This time I want to try to go a little bit further. Basics For this challenge, I want to try to get into 3D again. I actually tried to improve my Blender "skills" over the last couple of weeks. Since I was also excited for the Doom challenge I will also make this an FPS game trying to combine ideas I had for both challenges. I already started working on the main weapon. Sadly I don't have any screenshots on this laptop. The look of the models will be pretty basic since my ability to use Blender is still on a rookie level. Gameplay The game will take place in a high tech robot base that contains a lot of different rooms and hallways. If I have enough time these actually might dynamically change. The art style will be a shiny white look with simple mapping elements in order to keep things simple. The goal of the player is to find and open a portal that leads into the next level. In order to activate the portal, the player has to collect energy crystals that are scattered around each level. Enemies As enemies, I will try to create a couple of different robots that are trying to stop the player from opening the portal. These robots can either be destroyed or the player can try to sneak around them. Destroying these robots will allow the player to collect upgrades in order to improve the stats of the player's robot. Loot The main loot of the game will be the energy crystals which are needed in order to open the portal to the next level. Furthermore, enemies will drop a different sort of crystals that act as energy restoring functions of the robot or adding new abilities to his kit. There will also be other items like maps or stealth devices that help the player to get through each level. The energy of the robot will also be usable in order to purchase upgrades at rare upgrade stations which can be found once in each level. Audio This is a thing I am kinda worried about. Usually, I use a simple piece of software in order to create some retro sound effects very fast. Sadly I think these will not fit the style of this game. If this does not work I will either have to pick up some free sound effects, what I really don't like, or I will have to find a different way. Visual Art I kinda want to achieve a very "clean" and high-tech looking art style. This is kinda hard to explain without showing some visual references. I will talk more about this in my next posts. The reason for this is first, that I think this art style fits the game idea very well and second, that my Blender skills should be good enough to create some models in this style. Project Scope Completing this challenge in time will be pretty hard for me this time. First of all, I am going to try a lot of new stuff that I have not done before. Second, creating 3D Models takes a lot more time than creating simple 2D sprites, at least for me. I actually have a lot of ideas for this project. I kinda would like to implement procedurally generated levels. I don't think I will have enough time for this though. If I still have motivation left after the challenge is completed I might continue this project afterward! Sadly I can not show my current progress of the project since I can not access the project until I am back home on Thursday. Will try to make another post next weekend! Thanks for reading! Good look to everyone who is also going to join this challenge! - Znippy
  4. Znippy

    The break is over! - Too soon though

    Pretty sure we will have a lot of fun with this challenge! Can't wait to see all the progress again! Good luck with your attempt!
  5. Znippy

    It's beginning to look a lot like physics!

    It is kinda crazy what magic some sprites can do. Just starting up the project and putting something together really is a boost for motivation. Started working on my new project yesterday. Was kind of out of motivation first, but once I started coding it all came back. Good luck with the next steps!
  6. Oh, you had the same idea? I hope I am not stealing any ideas. Currently, I think I will do the Thief game. Already have some nice ideas for this project.
  7. Znippy

    Frogger GameDev Challenge - Part 8 - Almost Done!

    You can do it! Can't wait to play your game! Good luck with the rest of the tasks!
  8. Znippy

    The idea is forming but.....

    I think it is definitely possible to show your skills without any skills in art stuff. I once wrote a simple but pretty fun game in Unity with a lot of physics stuff with only one single sprite (a 1x1 white pixel actually ). You don't need good graphics for fun gameplay. There are tons of fun games out there that prove this. I agree with you. Simply start working on your idea and see what happens. Maybe an artist will see your progress here and would love to help you with graphics. These projects are never a waste of time. You always learn something from them. If there would be a pointer where I could see how many Unity projects I have created and deleted a couple of days later, that counter would probably be already in triple digits. But I don't think that a single one of them was a waste of time.
  9. Znippy

    The idea is forming but.....

    I think that I learned for myself is that don't try to make things that other people might like. Sure if you want to make money this is important, but the most important thing should always be that YOU like your game. If you don't have fun playing your own game it is not worth your time. Furthermore, you should not care too much if a game is very similar to another game. A lot of times those little details that distinguish your game from others come during development. Since I am a programmer myself and often struggle with creativity I know your problem. For me playing a lot of different games helps with finding new ideas. Combining already existing genres is another thing I currently really like to do. I believe that there are still a lot of possibilities that the world has not seen yet. All in all, I think there is no easy solution to fix such a problem. If you find no ideas at all for a new project idea, it sometimes is the best to forget about this idea and try to find a different one. Another idea would be to simply start prototyping. Just try to copy the basic game mechanics from an already existing game. Find out if you really like the idea and if you are having fun with the project. If that is the case, finding new additions for your project should not be a problem. But maybe you find out that you don't even like to work on that specific project idea. Sorry if this is a little bit out of order. Wrote this on my way home. Good luck with your project!
  10. Hello everyone! I started this small blog series for a couple of reasons. First of all, writing these little blog entries really helps me to reflect on my progress on different projects. Second I value feedback a lot so I think this is a perfect opportunity to share my ideas and thoughts with everyone! Last but not least I am currently a little bit bored and thought this is a good time to start a new blog. These entries will probably pretty short and will contain some random thoughts that I had during the week or different things I have tested. This weeks content Now that I am done with the Frogger GameDev challenge it is time to start a new project. Currently, I am sketching out three different ideas and I am still not very sure which one I want to pick for my next project. I am currently done with prototyping. I really want to start, and more important finish, a project that is based on my own idea. Of course, I will also be joining future GameDev challenges and other game jams. I really love those short but fun projects that offer the chance to try something new. Turn-Based Thief Strategy Game Yes, a TBTSG! So the thing is I am really into stealth games. But what I like even more are games about thieves. I played a lot of the Thief games and on the contrary to most of the others people I was a big fan of the Thief 2014 game. I always wanted to make a Stealth/Thief game myself. Currently, I am playing Lara Croft GO. Even though it is not really a Tomb Raider game that a lot of people are used to, I really like this little game. I love the art style and the isometric perspective combined with little puzzles and things to collect in each level. (Source) My idea would be to create a Thief game with a similar art style and an isometric view. Compared to most other stealth and thief games the gameplay would be turn-based. You have to plan out your moves and navigate through procedurally generated houses in a medieval setting without getting caught by guards and other enemies. With the loot, you collect you can buy new equipment and open more opportunities to rob bigger and more challenging houses. This project idea would "force" me to pick up Blender again and finally learn how to create and animate some decent looking models. The big advantage of this art style is that texturing can be done with some easy color pallets. I would not focus on an implementation for mobile devices like Lara Croft GO, but I would not exclude this option. This would create the challenge to find input controllers that fit a lot of different types of user input. Revenge of the Myps This is the idea I mentioned in my post-mortem of the Frogger GameDev challenge. Everybody knows those little slime enemies that are the first type of enemy you encounter in a lot of games. Typically the player is able to beat these guys pretty fast. What would happen if one day one little slime called Myps would actually be sick of this idea and creates a plan to destroy all the heroes that have bullied his friends? This game would most likely be a 2D platformer. You start as the small slime Myps that has a lot of difficulties to get around the first obstacles of the games. The further you get the more abilities you unlock and the more your power grows. The ultimate goal is to become the biggest slime and destroy all the bad-guy heroes. As you can see in the first sketch of Myps I would probably pick a simple pixel-art style for this game. I have already watched and worked along some tutorials on YouTube in order to improve, or actually "get", some basic skills in creating art-assets. Plant Tamagotchi This might sound a little bit strange for some people but I kinda like the idea. Plants are a wonderful thing and urban gardening is a little side hobby of me. I always had the idea to create a little "Plant Tamagotchi". Currently, I don't have a better name for it. You would basically start with a random gardening pot and you can select a seed, to begin with. You have to take care of the plant on a daily basis in order to make it grow. Once the plant grows there will be more different tasks you have to complete so that your plant does not die. The longer your plant lives the more points you get. These points allow you to add more plants and increase your little virtual garden. This could also be a small little project to try some GameDev for mobile devices (what I haven't really tried a lot yet). For this project, I would probably pick up MagicaVoxel again and go with a VoxelArt-Style. (Source) Of course, I would go a little bit more into details with the flower models. I would also try some different approaches with randomly generated flowers and the ability to combine different types of flowers to create new species. Currently, I want to pick up my first idea. Creating a stealth game with a different approach was an idea I had for a long time now. I am kinda feared of the challenges that are coming with creating 3D models, but learning something new is always an important thing for my projects. On the other hand, I think that this project, along with the second idea, would need the most time. Due to my new job, time is kind of limited at the moment. I also should not underestimate my third idea. Developing some decent algorithms in order to create all sorts of different plant species can take a lot of time, but probably also a lot of fun. I guess I will think a little bit more about all three projects for the next week and maybe sketch out each idea a little bit more on paper. Even though I don't really want to do too much prototyping I guess it would be a good idea to create a simple prototype for each idea in order to test some basic gameplay elements. That would be all for this week. Thanks for reading and until next week! - Znippy Last Blog-Post:
  11. Balancing gameplay is super hard. I think it is always impossible to make it ideal for every type of gamer. I think the most important thing is to be happy with the gameplay yourself. I think I have worded this badly. I got a subscription and did not buy a license. Kinda sad that you can't actually buy Photoshop anymore since I am usually not a big fan of subscriptions. I tried Krita before and never really got used to it. Not really sure why since I heard from a lot of different people that it is actually a pretty good Photoshop replacement.
  12. Hello everyone! Now that my submission for this GameDev challenge is complete I want to take the time to write a small Post Mortem for this project. I have never written a Post Mortem before so I don't know if there is a specific format to follow. What went right First of all, I am really happy that I have actually completed my first challenge. As I have said in earlier posts I have never joined a GameDev challenge or other jams before. Since I have completed the project quite sometime before the deadline I am really happy with myself for most of the stuff. Completing the challenge and actually have a submission before the deadline was the most important point for me. Since I am also very new to this community I want to say that I am really enjoying my time here and I am very glad that I actually signed up on this site. Tools and Workflow During the challenge, I realized how comfortable I was with the selection of my tools. I really love Unity and I am pretty sure that I will not switch the engine for the next couple of projects. The more I work with Unity the easier it gets to put things together. Selecting Bosca Ceoil and Bfxr for creating the music and sound effects turned out really good for me again. I highly can recommend both tools to everyone who has no experience in creating music but wants to create retro-styled music and sound effects for his game. Even though my tools for creating art assets were pretty limited I am still happy that I managed to create everything on my own. Yes, the game does not look very good but hey I made it myself. Playtesting I am really happy that a good friend of mine offered help for playtesting. This made me realize how important playtesting is even in the early stages of a project. Because of this, I was able to solve a couple of problems that I did not realize from my perspective. Positive feedback also helps a lot with motivation problems. Usually, this was a big factor in past projects. I usually always lost my motivation at some point. I think for future projects I will try to involve more people into playtesting in order to get more feedback and keeping me motivated. Clean Code Even though I first rushed a lot of things I actually tried to keep my code pretty clean. This really helped me a lot in later stages of the project. For the slow down item, I actually had to redo some stuff in all moving object classes. Since I kept everything in a good order these changes were a lot easier than I thought. This really taught me to keep my code clean even in smaller projects. Writing about my progress I really had a lot of fun writing those little "reports" every week. I think I will try this practice for future projects a little bit more. It really helps to reflect on the progress and also to get valuable feedback from other people. Even though my writing is still pretty bad I hope I can improve on this with time. What went wrong Even though most things during this challenge went pretty smooth, there were still some things that I want to try a different approach in my next project. Moving the Unity project Since I am currently away from home during the week due to work I had to switch systems a lot. Moving projects and reimporting them to Unity twice a week really lost me a lot of time and nerves. For the future, I really need to find a better solution to this. Sadly I have not managed to set up a git repository with Unity. This would make a lot of things a lot faster and easier. Balancing gameplay One with I kinda don't like about Unity is how you control public variables on game objects. For example, every enemy type had a public variable movSpeed that, obviously, controlled the movement speed of the enemy. In order to balance gameplay, you have to switch a lot in the inspector in order to change these settings. Of course, I could easily make those variables private which would only move the problem into Visual Studio. I think for my next project I want to try to place all gameplay relevant variables into one file or a few separated subfiles. This would allow balancing gameplay at one place. I guess this would be a really bad idea if the project gets bigger, but for small projects, this could work a lot better. What's next I am not really sure what I want to focus on now that this project is completed. Currently, I have a couple of ideas for my next project. I will talk about this about this in a different blog that I have planned for the next days. One thing I am certain of is that I really want to improve some other skills than coding. I need to get better in creating art assets. Since I want to stick to my plan of creating all assets for my games on my own, I really need to improve on creating them. I have finally bought Photoshop and currently working through a lot of tutorials. Here is a little preview of a small thing I yesterday: I called this little guy Myps and he might become the main character for my next project idea. I know it is nothing special but compared to my Frogger assets I think this already a good improvement for only one day of practice. I have already tried a few things with animations which I might show in my next blog. I guess that is all I wanted to talk about, sorry if I didn't go too much into details. Thanks for reading! Until next time. - Znippy
  13. Znippy


    Album for Frogger
  14. Final build is uploaded now!
  15. Hello everyone! This will be a final update for this little series! Sadly, I don't really have much time, so this will be super short. Not really much happened this week. Since I don't really have any new ideas my goal is to complete this project this weekend. For this week I finished updating the main menu and focused on finding and eliminating bugs. I am quite happy with the current gameplay and I have implemented all necessary elements for this challenge. I know the game does not look really beautiful, but I did not expect anything better from me. Currently I am only waiting for the feedback of my play tester. Afterwards I am ready to create and upload the final builds. Since I don't really have much else do report enjoy some screenshots of the final game: Main Menu: Items are spawning randomly: Peasons are patrolling the streets and rivers: Next Goals Create final builds for Windows, Mac and Linux Test and submit final builds Write a little post-mortem to reflect on this project Thanks for reading and until the next project! - Znippy Last Part:
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