Sir Sapo

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About Sir Sapo

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  1. !

    Hey everyone, it has been quite some time since I last posted a journal entry, but if you thought that I've just been sitting on my laurels and not doing any game programming, well you'd be almost completely right... As every hobbyist game developer has experienced, real life often fails to be very conducive to any game programming or developing, and the past year has been no exception for me. But I'm sure no one really wants to know all the details, they just want to see the progress that Prinz Eugn and I have been (slowly) making on our latest project, so without further adieu... The Latest Given our busy RL schedules, Prinz Eugn and I decided from the start that A2X would be a long term project with limited scope. We really just wanted to make a fun little game with one or two levels so we could do all the cool things that never made it into our previous games. We're well on our way to accomplishing that goal, and its about time we released some sort of demo in order to see how playable it actually is, and (more importantly) how well it runs on other computers. We're titling the release "Angels 2X: Block Zero", after the naming convention used by the U.S. military for its combat aircraft. "Block numbers" can are essentially the military aviation equivalent of a version number (ie. F-16C Block 52 is more modern than an F-16C Block 32). So A2X: Block Zero represent the very first public iteration of the game. What's in it? Block Zero represents the bare bones of the engine, and we're using it to gauge the performance of the new game on other machines before we get too far ahead of ourselves. You can expect: 1. A flyable airplane 2. 4+ weapons to test (from guns to guided missiles) 3. One level to do with as you please 4. Rudimentary enemies to destroy 5. Destroyable structures (Collapsing skyscrapers, tool sheds, etc.) 6. One Fire Support unit (B-52 strike) What's NOT in it? There's plenty of stuff left on our to-do list before we reach "Block 1", but its all subject to change based on RL and whatnot, but here's what we'd like to have in the game before we make our first "official" release. 1. More offensive units (ie. Surface to Air Missiles, Flak, Tanks, etc) 2. Full mission scripting 3. More player weapons 4. You get the idea.... When can we expect it? While the game is pretty much in the state we need it to be in, there is still a few things that need to be done before we push it out the door, like a rudimentary menu. These should hopefully be done in a week or two, so hopefully we'll have it out there by then... Now that that's out of the way, here's a few cool things you can look forward to once we put the finishing touches on Block Zero: Smoke Markers Anyone who played Command and Conquer will recognize the smoke markers that we put into A2X. They are fired as rockets, but upon striking the ground, they begin emitting colored smoke rather than explode. This seems pretty useless... until the B-52 flies over the marked location and bombs it back into the stone age.... Unsuspecting Trucks... Innocent Orange Smoke... Carnage... Collapsing Skyscrapers Pretty much everything in the game can be destroyed, and the larger buildings blow up real gude... Before: After: Go really fast We tried to bring all the cool parts of flying fighter jets (everything?) into A2X, and that includes going reaalllly fast and seeing the compression waves: for comparison As you can see, even though the game is pretty bare bones, there's still a ton of stuff to do, and hopefully you guys'll have fun with it and it won't break too bad... Well thats all for now, I'll try and keep you guys updated on the progress as we get closer to letting you guys play with our baby...
  2. Belated Breakdown

    So much airpower...
  3. A Brief HIstory of Prinz Eugn and Sir Sapo

    This entry pleases me/makes me feel old...
  4. Tuesday Afternoon (ish)

    Ahhhhh... Behold the raw power of the mighty Deathhawk...
  5. Any pilots out there?

    Hey there, I've got my Private Airplane License and my Commercial Glider rating, and I'm at the Air Force Academy right now, so hopefully I'll be flying something cool in a few years. It'll be interesting to see who else on the forums comments here.
  6. 'Roids

    Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of updates, life has been kinda busy lately! I've been working on Axis Shift (or Space Strategy Game(SSG) as I've been calling it...) as much as I can, but unfortunately, that equates to about a half an hour every night before I go to sleep, so progress has been slower than I would like. Anyways, I do have some updates for you guys, and I'll try and lay out how we're going to do some of the more complicated stuff in the game. Space Debris: The Visual Side Since every good Turn Based Strategy game has some form of terrain, we decided we needed to have some sort of "terrain" system for the space combat of "Axis Shift: For Realz This Time". Since the entire game takes place in space, asteroids were the prime choice for creating obstacles to the ships in the game. Implementing the asteroids was as easy as adding an attribute to the Tile class that specified whether it had asteroids or not, and the concentration of them. Making them visually appealing on the other hand was not as easy. Even though the game is tilebased, making something like an asteroid field look random enough using static tiles would be a pain in the ass, so we took a different approach. Mark drew up a few asteroid sprites, and whenever a tile is generated that contains asteroids, it also creates a certain number of random asteroids with random sizes and spin. This creates a very random looking field of space debris that moves and looks quite realistic. Here's a picture of my initial asteroid test using my own asteroid sprite. And here's how it looks now that Mark has contributed his half of the equation: AI: Part One The AI in this game is going to be the hardest component to get right, as we've never really dealt with AI that had to think that far ahead before. The plan for the AI in SSG is that the AI will be split up into different levels. The highest level is the Strategic Level, where the general guidelines for what the AI ship's goals will be. The Strategic AI doesn't specifically tell the Ships what to do, it pretty much looks at the aggregate situation and decides stuff like what targets get what priority rather than "Tell Ship X to attack Ship Y". If the Strategic AI can't see any targets, it will look at where it's ships are situated, and based on what direction the last enemy ship was spotted, give out a general search command in that direction hoping to find the enemy fleet. A neat feature of the Strategic AI is that it gives directives to each type of ship. For example, When a general search directive towards the bottom of the map is given, only Light Ships will listen to the command. This prevents Carriers and Battleships from going off on their own without support and getting pounced on as they blindly search for the enemy fleet. Instead, Destroyers and Fighters will search for the enemy fleet while the Capital Ships obey their own directives. Alternatively, if the directive given is "Destroy all Enemy Fighters", a Carrier or Battleship wont directly seek out and engage, instead leaving that task for the Destroyers and Fighters. So while the Strategic AI gives out general Rules of Engagement, the next tier down is the Tactical AI, which is what tells each ship how to move and what to do, but thats a subject for another update....[wink] Random Academy Paragraph I've decided that this paragraph will focus on the better aspects of the Academy rather than the shit we have to put up with[grin] One of the coolest things we have happen here are the random flyovers that occur every week or so during out noon meal formations. So far we've had a few F-16's, A KC-135(boring!), and a few C-17's. We even had two huge special forces helicopters (MH-53's for the curious) land in our courtyard, and the Spec Ops guys ate lunch with us(They were certified badasses...) Another pretty emotional experience was during the Air Force's birthday parade. The entire Cadet Wing formed up outside, and the Commandant of the Academy called out the names of every graduate who has died in the line of duty. After he called a name, the current Squadron Commander of the Cadet Squadron the person was in while they were at the Academy would respond "Absent Sir!". The ceremony lasted about an hour, and finished with a four airplane flight of F-16s that performed a missing man formation in honor of the fallen. Its a good way to get reminded of why you're going through all the shit involved with this place... Well guys, I should have another update sometime soon! Peace Out!
  7. Assail.

    Don't worry, if switching projects halfway through was a crime, I think I'd be in jail right now (or maybe I am...[wink]) I'm looking forward to the new project, I loves me the 2D!
  8. Post Dva

    Hey everyone! The New Project So my new project is pretty much a simpler version of what Axis Shift was supposed to be. Axis Shift was going to be a Turn Based Space Strategy Game where you commanded fleets of ships and complete various missions while managing your empire's economy on a galactic scale. It was pretty ambitious, and although we got really far into development, the sheer mass of work involved pretty much doomed the project to failure. Well this time we're trying to keep it simple, so hopefully it will get done this time! Ships For the second go at Axis Shift, we're limiting our ship types to 5 main classes. Battleships- Big,slow, and powerful, but has the largest firing range out of all the classes Cruisers- A sort of intermediate battleship, a better balance between movement range and firing range. Destroyers- Fast and powerful, but has to get really close to do any damage Fighters- Long ranged and difficult to counter except with other fighters Carriers- Weak attacks, but carries fighter squadrons to do its dirty work Balancing the classes is going to be pretty dificult, but Eugn's going to post about that later in depth, so I'll let him do the explaining (He's been doing his research[wink]). New Banner Mark "threw together" this new Banner for the new Axis Shift, and I must say it looks pretty cool. He's particularly proud of the explosion, and I cant argue with him! Random Academy Paragraph Some of the courses we had to do in Jack's Valley were pretty cool. One of the better ones we did was called "Ops Warrior", where we were taught how to fire, clean, and maintain an M-16 rifle, then we were handed real M-16's with blank cartridges, split up into two teams and then proceeded to have wargames the rest of the day. It was tiring, but totally worth the experience. I also managed to qualify as an "expert marksman" in the Air Force by hitting 35 out of 40 targets at 300 yards with iron sights. It was a good time. On the other end of the fun spectrum was the "Assault Course", which is essentially a 3 hour long beat session, only you're running uphill with barbed wire and smoke grenades going off... They give you a fake M-16 and a helmet, and you have to run through this course doing a series of ridiculous things, like low crawling through a huge puddle of muddy water ( "Oh, you got your gun wet in the puddle? Guess what, you have to go back to the start of course!"). And the worst part was that even if you completed all of the obstacles, you had to start over again until they told us to stop (3 hours into it). But for all of the pain involved, finishing that course was probably the best feeling I've ever had. At the beginning of the course they make you read this sign that says "Only the strong will survive...", and at the end, they make you jump over this wall and read the sign at the end that says "Only the strong survived..." It felt good to read that[grin]. Well thats all I've got for now, hopefully Eugn will put up an entry soon that goes into more detail about how the game will be played. Peace Out!
  9. Untitled

    Hey Everyone! It seems to be homecoming time for GameDev lately, because not only is this my first post here since going off to the Air Force Academy, but fellow dev Hopedagger has also returned to Journal Land! So I pretty much have a lot of stuff to talk about, so let's get on with it shall we? The Academy... So as some of you may remember, I was accepted into the United States Air Force Academy this year, which is the first item on a long checklist that eventually leads to me becoming a fighter pilot. Anyways, I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to have any time to be screwing around on a computer programming games given how busy we are with all the academics, athletics, and physical fitness stuff we have to do. Well, I've found myself being drawn back into the black world of game development. Being a cadet at a military academy is probably one of the most stressful ways to do the whole college thing, and I found that coding at the end of a stressful day(we have plenty of those) really helps me to unwind and relax. Maybe it's just because it reminds me of the good old days when Eugn and I would spend 3 hours a day designing our next grandiose game project. In any case, it looks like I can't escape the coding bug, which means more game programming exploits for you guys to read! The Project So since I spent a vast majority of my days standing at attention staring at nothing, I had nothing better to do than design a game in my head. I decided that I didn't want to do another Angels 22-esque game, and I knew that the laptops they were going to issue us weren't going to be the greatest machines, so I settled on a Turn Based Strategy game. Some of you guys might remember Eugn and I's prior turn based strategy attempt, Axis Shift.... or maybe you don't.... in any case, it was way too ambitious of a project for us to complete, and it fell apart a few months into development. Well, I feel like revisiting the Axis Shift idea, except with a far more limited scope. I'll be posting another update in a day or two that details what the game will be all about, but until now, you'll have to be content with this screen: Random Academy Paragraph of the Day So the last few months of my life have been packed full of weird stuff that I'd like to convey to you guys, but in an attempt to prevent this from becoming my personal blog of RL happenings, I'm going to limit my storytelling to one paragraph per update, we'll see how it works out: But yeah, so Basic Training sucked.... A lot. The first day there was probably the worst day of my life. They woke us up at 4:00 in the morning (or 0400 [wink]), and kicked our doors in, while blaring "Welcome to the Jungle" over the loud speakers in our dorms. We then proceeded to get "beat", which is their little code word for a ridiculous amount of pushups and leglifts. Then we we'd go to breakfast, get beat some more, practice marching, get beat, go to briefings on military stuff, get beat again, and eventually go to sleep at 9:00 that night. That pretty much sums up the first month I spent at the Academy. The last half of Basic Training took place in this hell hole called "Jack's Valley", where we marched 7 miles just to get there, then set up a tent city and lived there for 14 days, running a plethora of hellish obstacle courses, and... getting beat (sensing a trend?). Tune in next update to find out what crazy shit we did in Jack's Valley! Well, it's getting pretty late here and I have an early start tomorrow (as always...), so I'm going to have get to sleep. It's great to be back at GDNet, and hopefully I haven't lost all my game developing skills over the past 2 months! Peace Out!
  10. I'm a sad panda...

    Thanks everyone, I'm gonna miss this place... I'm sure I'll stop by every once and a while and give you guys an update on life and whatnot, and who knows I might end up with enough time to do some gamedev while I'm at it!
  11. Hey everyone! Real Life So the RL has been pretty exciting for me lately. As some of you may remember (or have deduced), I have an interest in military aviation and want to become a fighter pilot when I graduate college. Well, it looks like I'll be getting my wish if everything goes according to plan, because I was recently accepted into the United States Air Force Academy. That was probably one of the biggest hurdles on the road to becoming a military pilot, so I'm pretty excited about the whole deal[grin] Unfortunately, this means I wont be able to devote much time at all to game development... at all. I have 6 weeks off the entire year, and the rest of the time I'll most likely be up to my eyeballs in work. So it really pains me to say that I will most likely not be participating in the forums or journal land any more after June 26th when I report in... That Flying Game... So Mark and I had this grand scheme to complete one level of Angels 2X to release before I had to go to the Academy, unfortunately, life got in the way and we weren't able to finish it. I gave Mark all the source code and executables, and he's probably going to just give it away to whoever wants it. It's not the prettiest thing in the world, but it works... Anyways, thanks to everyone in the forums and journal land who helped me along over the years, GDNet has been the only forum I regularly visited and felt like an active member in, and I'm really going to miss browsing through it every day. BTW, since I'll be leaving I unlocked the chain tying Mark to our projects, so quick spam him with requests to draw pretty piktars for your project, they'll make even the crappiest game 100x better(See Angels 22...)!!!!!! Peace out guys.
  12. Some Urban Empires Environment pics & Next game....

    Wow, nice screens, looking forward to the game! Is "To Serve Man" a Twilight Zone reference?
  13. Finally!

    Welcome to Journal Land!! Here's your mandatory rate++
  14. sup

    I got a iPod Touch for Christmas, and now I'm afraid of physical buttons....
  15. Entry'd!!

    Yeah, revamped FoT/Lab81 soon(hopefully) And about the Ravuya incident, it's true, I was there.....