Day 27 – Weekly Update

Another long week.  I’m finding as the game gets tighter and tighter I’m spending more and more time re-doing things that don’t work.  While they make the game better, it’s not ‘fun’.  Mainly it’s actually pretty depressing to throw away hours and hours of work.   This is the part of the project where I guess  I usually get bored/frustrated and stop.  But Not this time.. This time I’m too damn close!  New Playable builds available here:

So what did get accomplished?

Bug Fixes

Lots and lots of bugs  and glitches. Revisions to prevent button click through and proper input handling seem to have been the biggest culprit.  The most common rendering bug / crash bugs centered around parts of the rendering loop continuing even if the monsters, enemies or any of the other arrays change size to 0 or trying to access things after starting to switch to the victory / loss screens.

Game Balance

So as of last week.. it wasn’t any fun.  Because once you discovered you can stack units and stack 3 or so units they’d instakill anything they encounter.  So the player winds up making a stack and then just sitting back and not doing anything.  This was because monster combat is resolved first.  So I changed that.  Even though stacks can still instakill most things, the attacks are calculated simultaneously.  This  suddenly meant that you have to constantly manage your monsters.  Which lead to a HUGE Problem.  How do you select a monster in the middle in a stack.    That leads us to ……

InGame UI Changes


A major revision to the in-game UI made it much easier to keep track of your monsters.   The only downside is that you now are limited to 20 monsters.  (I’ve never even come close to that, so this shouldn’t be a problem.   I also was able to tack on simple little health indicators beneath then portraits.  All of a sudden things were a million times more fun. Then a quick tweak to the map renderer means that I can now reserve the bottom part of the screen to prevent sending creatures to whatever is beneath the UI.   This alternate method of selecting units has a second unexpected benefit,  It’s playable on Android again!!!!  ok so no android build today, due to a some more event click through issues… but that should be fixable.

Tack on some interface sounds and things feel much more crunchy.

Base Levels

The base levels are in place.  Still need to tweak the hell out of them


Particle Friday

so over at someone started a particle Friday event.  The intent being, blow off development and put in place some gratuitous particles.  So I did, on the home screen, there’s now Fire.

Whats Left

Ok.. seriously.. with 4 days left..  too much.   So the real question  What Essential things are you missing?

That list, luckily, is much shorter.

  • Combat Sounds
  • Level tweaks and balance
  • Right Click / Drag issue that can cause monsters to go to unintended places.

Day 24 – Mid Week update

Today is officially the 7 day mark.

Holy hell, that’s not a lot of time to get the last stuff done.

BUT, the last few days have been pretty productive, I must say.

  • Music is in, particularly proud of the main level background music manager that has a pool of music tracks and randomly assembles them together on the fly.
  • Removed a bunch of the debugging information and such making things run a bit smoother
  • The final (for jan) menus are in,  Figures that I finally grasp how Scene2d.ui and its components work..just as I get to the point where I don’t have time to do anything with it.
  • I got it so you can now enter your own Code to play your own custom levels.
  • Rounds of enemies are now defined by the editor and passed to the game.  This means that playtesting a level is as simple as hitting save in the editor and then hop over to the window with the game in it and playing it in the game…
  • And the BIG HUGE brand new website look for the main  site that will hold this and future releases. WITH video! 🙂

And here’s the remaining to-do list:

  • Final Levels
  • Sound Effect – Combat
  • Sound Effect – UI
  • Main Game – escape = pause and show back to menu button and quit to desktop button.
  • Gameplay – Balance
  • Optional Goals
    • Title Screen Image
    • Revise in game UI Look and feel
    • Make Android Playable

So that’s not so bad.

3 of 5 levels are pretty much ready. And with the ease of starting and stopping rounds now, balancing is easier.



Day 20 – Update

Whoa… so very very very close to being a real game.

This week I got, victory and failure implemented.

Graphics, monsters, particles, a revised UI backend and fun stuff

here’s a video from a couple days ago:

and Since then there’s been particles added, healing aura around the dragon egg and the beginning of playbalancing implemented.

Windows EXE:

Mac / Linux Java Jar :

if you want to try em.

Here’s the victory and defeat screens if  you don’t want to find em yourself..

defeat victory

Other than that This is my remaining to-do list for the Jan release:

  • Final Levels
  • Sounde Effect – UI
  • Website
  • Web to Game – Round Methods implemnted
  • Win Screen
  • Title Screen Image
  • Allow to play custom level
  • Optional Goals
    • Sound Effect – monsters
    • Revise in game UI Look and feel
    • Make Android Playable
    • Implement Music

Yeah.. that’s totally doable!

Ok Very very tired now and not very coherent.



Day 12 – Update


 Time for the weekly update!


Lots of new functionality got put in this week. The biggest of which is clearly the pathfinding which.. in all honestly was a pain in the butt but has been rock steady since I got it working.  The map on the other hand..  I must have re-re-rewritten chunks of the rendering for it so many times these last few days.  That and tile picking (still  a wip) have both turned out to be deceptively huge pains in the ass.  The primary cause is that the world coordinate system and visible coordinate system and the map tile grid are all different and finding out what correlates to everything else is a pain.

Luckily I seem to have it mostly sorted out for now.  Well except the map renderer… that’s currently working on a sheer brute force approach, so I’ll have to limit the map sizes in the Jan build.

Other notable features

  • Select creatures (indicated by yellow glow)
  • Buy new creatures by clicking gold wolf button in the lower left.
  • Track, gold, stage and Dragon Egg’s health
  • 2 Monsters (goblin and Orc) and they can move about.
  • Monsters can be equipped with better weapons and armor.

er they say a picture is worth a thousand words so here’s an annotated screenshot.


Oh and here’s a couple of runnable Builds:

Windows Pc EXE > Here

Everyone  Runnable Jar > Here

Android…er.. it runs on my devices… however Im having issues getting the deployed APK file to work :-/

{Basic Instructions}

Click on stuff.  There’s no real gameplay yet.

Right Click and Drag to pull the map around.

Let me know if  it works


The rest of the weekend will probably not be nearly as productive :-/

However next up.   Invaders!  Collisions!  Combat!  Death!

But it’s gonna be close to see if I can get a functional game done by the end of the month.

Can’t say how much fun it will be.


Quick Sprites


More goodness to come later this weekend,  pathfinding, creatures.. and hopefully a UI..

But the hosting company had issues for a while so I took the downtime (no website -> no map server -> no debugging) to knock out the basic goblin an orc creatures and an upgraded version of each.




Stay tuned 🙂


Dangit.. noted for prosperity.

So a quick twiddle with the new goblin sprite for January


Gave me a neat mockup of what the January game will look like 🙂

And I was happy.


Then I added a shadow behind the goblin.

And that looked funny.

So I moved it up 1/8 of a tile and drew a flat plane below it to give a little bit of an isometric feel.


Well… THAT looked pretty neat.  But now the difference between the floor and the wall looks odd.  How about a little gradient to imply depth and ambient occlusion.


NOW we’re talking!   But now I’ve got to run those shadows all around.  And Indicate Terrain types.. and calculate all the possible corner scenarios.   (Which I know EXACTLY how complicated it was for ONE terrain type,  Here I’ll be having inside & outside (and possibly other) types as well.


But man..  It really gives everything the look and feel of what I want.   Kind of an ‘anthill’ meets Dungeon Keeper feel.  

So here’s the part where I make myself sad.

 It’s not gonna be January.  Absolutely no way.

.. Maybe February (depending on the release of Spine) or March.  April at the latest, because I intend to be adding digging at that point and the map rendering needs to be pretty gelled by then.

Day 5 – Progress Update – MAP!


Well It’s been a good week for progress 🙂  I’ve got the html based web based level editor, saving to the database and shooting JSON encoded levels to the game proper.

The game loads screens and their assets based off of manifest files that are easy to update and maintain.  The ‘loading’ level shows a progress bar and fetches the needed assets for the next screen and makes screen transitions clean, simple and easy.

I’ve knocked out a basic Logo and Title Text  (seen above) and the core tileset is mostly there for the features I need in January’s Game.  As indicated above, the January game’s subtitle is ‘Invasion’ .  Focusing entirely on building and defending your dragon’s egg from the invading heroes.   I hope to have 4 levels to choose from by the end of the month. (and hopefully make it so you can play your own level from the editor)

Day5-SummaryThe game runs at a nice 5,450 FPS when not vsync’d on my desktop and a nice smooth 60fps  even on my POS T-Mobile myTouch phone.  (not sure how to unlock vsynch on android :-/  so i don’t know how much leeway I have)

Right click drags the map about on PC and a two finger drag on Android.   Overall I should be able to manage fairly massive levels without much overhead as it’s never looping the entire array just the elements to be displayed.  But the biggest bottleneck is probably going to be pathfinding…. shit I hate A*..

Which brings me to the next week’s goal..  Monsters and pathfinding.  (no animation this month)   Buy a goblin and tell him to go to a spot.   Maybe basic combat/collisions.


Aaand we’re off.. Day1


And away we go.  Looks like 2,600 devs have signed up on now.  Which is pretty cool.

Jan editor

So I got the basic website up and running over at and a rudimentary level editor is up and running and saving and loading from the database.  Here’s a screenshot.

Yeah.. ok so not real exciting.

Ok I was working ahead over the holidays 🙂

Made some progress on the basic tileset, however I’m keeping January’s game very simple and more of a focus on getting the basic framework set up.

On the graphics front, it looks like a couple guys are developing an animation tool called Spine.

It’s very cool.   And it will support LibGDX right out of the box.  Which is perfect since that’s what I’m using.   I backed Brashmonkey’s Spriter spriter animation tool and hoped to use it.. however they’re running behind schedule and there’s no real progress on a java implementation and frankly I don’t want to write one.


So  Spine.. as soon as they launch their kickstarter and whatnot I intend to start using that for the character graphics.  In fact here’s a screenshot of a simple goblin figure I’m working with.

So hopefully that’ll be the big update in march 🙂

Other than that I’ve got the basic Game app working, a good start on getting an asset loader implemented and a loading screen that caches the assets and handles the scene transition.  And last but not least, I’ve got it pulling in a level by shortcode in as a JSON object.

Ok now I’ve earned an hour of FarCry3..