Dev Update Wk4 – Details details

Getting closer to the end of milestone 1.

Lots of little details checked off, because I’m totally avoiding re-working the main character’s torso twist.

spider-reskinThe biggest work went to the spiders, they got a re-skin to something more shiny, can now do a jump attack which makes them much more of a threat, and make a nice splattery sound when they die.

The UI got a couple minor tweaks and so the respawn counter now works,  Still having some problems with the UI scaling seeming a bit odd but that’s not a critical feature.

Been playing with Shaderforge a bit but not having too much progress in getting a grasp on it.  Other than that, Spent some time trying to get a better look and feel to the overall game.  I added a player light and adjusted the global light to have bit of a different look and feel, but not quite what I’m looking for, but I think it’s a bit of an improvement.

Bsddod-M1-wk4

Milestone 1 remaining features:

  • Make music repeat properly
  • Fix player mouse aiming
  • Jucify player death and respawn.

Only problem is that there’s no more weekends, so it might be a bit of a squeeze.

And here’s this week’s Playable Build:

playbutton

 

Dev Update – wk3 – sacrifice & surprises

Things are going pretty well.  The uncompleted ‘minimum required features’ list for the January Version is getting very small.

  • Corner pillars at outside corners
  • Fixing wizard shooting and movement (aka the Big thing)
  • Death effects and sounds etc.
  • Spider jump attack

Particles!

New stuff added this week:

  • Restart Button, Exit game button.
  • Bolt Particles and light removal.
  • Bug fixes with spider corpses falling out of the world
  • Jucifying impacts on monsters & spawners

Now as to sacrifice…. 

Well you get what you pay for… and that’s the problem with using Unity 3D free version… It’s looking like I really Really need deferred lighting to make the wiz-bang light effects on the wizard’s magic bolts.  In Unity Free I can only force a small number of lights to be precise. after a few they default to vertex lighting, which causes the odd lighting issues on the floor that we saw in last week’s build.

So, I had to remove the lights. and am replacing them with some particles effects for now.  Maybe someday the $1,500 unity pro fee will be accessible to me but for now it’s utterly beyond my budget.  (There is the 75/mo option, but even that seems excessive.. and at month 13, you don’t own anything unless you keep paying.)

So far that’s the biggest hurdle that I’m running into, but no doubt there’s going to be more design sacrifices due to inaccessible features.

Which leads to the surprise of the week.

Well… surprise for me.. nothing in-game yet… but Shader Forge came out which promises to have all sorts of benefits as soon as I figure out how to fully take advantage of it.  (In related news… I don’t ‘get’ shaders yet… working on it..)

playbutton

 

 

BSDDoD! Week 2 – First (barely) playable

Bsddod-M1-wk2
It’s not much, but it’s an interface and it’s informative

Milestone 1, Week 2.

Well here we are, week 2.   Not  a bad week, progress wise, but never as good as I’d have liked..

This week I started cracking my head into the interface that is Blender, and walked away with a simple eggsack model to be used as a spider spawner (pictured below).  Maybe next week I can make it move.

The beginnings of a simple UI are falling into place,  when a room starts, the room title and the challenges in it (spider icon this month) appear for a bit, and there’s a kill counter and the beginnings of a re-spawn counter (shields).  Some odd issues with them not scaling properly sometimes, but eh.  That’s manageable.

bsddod_ss_eggsack
Look an Eggsack! Isn’t it cute.

But, the biggest news is clearly that the entire play cycle is in place,  player life, death, respawn and restart all appear to be marginally functional.

So to that end,  I’ve built if out as a Unity Web Player. So if you’re so inclined you can, try it here:

PLAY IN BROWSER

As usual, feedback/bug reports etc is welcome.

BSDDoD! Week 1

 

 

 

Milestone 1 is underway.

Pretty good progress this week.

The map generation is working, still needs a couple features, like designating spawnable locations and  corner pillars and an occasional wall offset being mangled.

The World Controller object is successfully sealing a room and starting waves of challenges (Milestone 1 will only have one or maybe 2 challenges to spawn)

The actual eggsack spawners are doing their job (no graphics for em yet tho, just white capsules)

The wizard character moves and shoots, but theres some issues with moving into the player’s bolts etc,  so the move and shoot stuff needs some significant rework.

Spiders die when shot! Eggsacks Die when shot!   need to make the impact have more ‘oomph’ and some effects but the functionality is there.

BSDDoD! M1-W1

I was hoping to get a unity wev playable up on the site this week, but there’s nothing really to play..Oh well Hopefully next week there’ll be at least a basic play loop in place.

BSDDoD! Reborn in 2014

BSDD0D 2014

The time to do this game has come.  So it’s gonna be done right.  No more Torque2D, Slick, or other homegrown from the ground, unproven frameworks.  Time to do it in something that’s got support, community, a track record and a workflow.  Aka Unity.  And while we’re at it, let’s make it 3D, physics enabled and extensible by the user to add new rooms to the pool of maze chambers.

And let’s do it as part of this year’s OneGameAMonth Challenge to keep focused.

BSDDoD-SS-dec-7-2013Oh and a list… let’s do a milestone list:

  • Milestone 1 – Single Room – boxes
    • Generate Room From Map File
    • Player Spawns
    • Move Player
    • Player Shoots
    • Monsters spawn in increasing waves
    • Monsters Move toward player
    • Monsters Kill player
    • Shots Kill Monsters
    • Monsters Drop Items (coins for now)
  • Milestone 2 – Maze Generation, Enemy Waves, alt fire
    • Basic level editor
    • Single path maze generated
    • Rooms have a level and determine waves spawned.
  • Milestone 3 – Powerups and Loot
    • Player attributes, health (shields?), Speed, Damage, Rate of Fire, second power manna
  • Milestone 4 – A wizard
  • Milestone 5 – Creatures – ? Alpha ?
  • Milestone 6 – Menu and Starting area
  • Milestone 7 – Decor and Juicify
  • Milestone 8 – More Monsters
  • Milestone 9 – Music and Sound
  • Milestone 10 – Weapons and Karma unlockables framework
  • Milestone 11 – Title Screen, High Score – Names of the dead?
  • Milestone 12 – Beautification of textures and new textures/models for deeper levels?

Reflection on 2013

Happy New Year 2014

So 2013 by all accounts was a pretty good year.

I managed to get 4 games made. 3 of them nice enough to show to the world,

Android development with libGDX and Spriter,  IAP, and in Game ads.

Then I touched Unity, and having spent 11 months doing low level things it’s starting to grow on me.  I still have ‘trust’ issues with letting the engine decide how to render things, but it seems to be doing everything I can throw at it.

OneGameAMonth was a success as well, the focus on small things really helped figure out what can be accomplished in a month.

In fact I’d say that that was probably the best takeaway that I learned in 2013.

A month, is not a lot of time.  Add in an active family to help raise (play with), freelance work, and a very full time job and I can measure game development in hours per week.  So the games I actually finished in a month were actually in the 40-50hr range, so a LD48 game a month essentially.

I’m pretty proud of Candy Goblin and War Mages, they’re pretty entertaining, but I really think that they could use another 6 months of polish to make them good.  War Mages might get that at some point, but really, if I only get 400hrs (optimistically) of development time a year, spending them on a project I’m not REALLY excited to be making feels wasteful.  So It’s time for a bit of focus and revisit something that I’m excited to create!

Luckily in 2014 1GAM has expanded to where playable milestones qualify, which leads me to the next post 🙂

 

Candy Goblin mini project

Needed a change of pace so I’m making a quick one screen game for Halloween.

Basic gameplay is done, remaining features:

  • Witch power-ups- when witch collects 3 of a kind in a row.. powerups happen.
  • Display Score and powerup indicators
  • Display ads and between round descriptions.

 

Things I’d like to do..

  • IAP
  • Google Play Integration

CandyGoblin-10-19-13

DragonCrash Alpha Update

Not too much time this week.  Here’s the highlights:

  • parllaxing backgrounds are back and better.
  • the new House and system for adding terrain attachments is fast.  Total time was about 3 hours to add a new item to the game.
  • Improved Energy ui.
  • Particle manager for terrain effect.
  • Upgrade to GL2 base with potential hooks for shader effects.

UI and update

UI! That’s right, with a little love I managed to get an in-game UI working for the basic play button (shop does nothing yet)  I also got the fundamentals of the in-app options set up and much more, but it’s not really anything that you can see..

DragonCrash-Screen-Sept14-UI

After that, I went back and did a minor re-factoring of some of the War Mages  will have a few more changes being made this weekend for the beginning of the challenge/training levels.  I hope to have that ready for publishing next week.

And finally, it’s been too long but it was beyond time to just play in photoshop for a bit.  Granted it suffers from not having a reference and I really should re-work some parts, I’m pleased overall.

Photoshop scribble-sept-d4

That’s it for this week’s update.

A slice of DragonCrash

Whoo, I love me some 3 day weekends!  Here’s a video of what’s new.

New Features: (bulleted list version.. it’s late, sorry)

  • Basic UI and Touch controls  (it plays on android devices!)
  • Proper life and death cycle of dragon  (no animations or effects but the world stops scrolling and you cant collect powerups)
  • Terrain Attachments and the first exaple of it the Basic Tower
  • Powerups (Gold and energy) and a fountain system that sprays / tracks the physical Box objects into the world.
  • Beginnings of Spine to Box2D integration.. the dragon now has objects associated with it’s parts
  • BodyReaper,  much better garbage and body remover for the world
  • Collision System Controller, parses collisions from the world and ships them off to the proper objects as needed.
  • Collision Filtering, some things now no longer overlap and cause collisions with other objects of the same type.

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with this for less than a week’s worth of work.  (granted it was a holiday weekend and I got the lovely and understanding Wendeflonia to cover for me for the day from the kiddos and I got to spend 8+  hours on DragonCrash today)

More goodness soon.

A problem of scale…

So after a long 5 days of rebuilding, tweaking and altering things, I’ve finally wrapped my head around the oddness that is separating the screen size, world size , UI size and image sizes around what is clearly the ‘proper’ way.  Along the way, I’ve come to terms with the LibGDX Orthagonal Camera and the Box2d default renderer, all of which means in short english words.

I have a physics engine and an infinite scrolling dynamic world and I’m not above launching fireballs at it.

[Warning PLACEHOLDER ART!, you have been warned]

Seriously.. how cool is that 🙂 .. Hopefully I’ll have a complete vertical slice of gameplay by next week!

The game runs at 60fps on my old HTC MyTouch so far.. even when launching 10 particle laden fireballs bouncing across the landscape.

Now let me bore you with some details and gotchas that drove me batty for a while.

If you create your Box2d world and you just cant get things to move fast en0ugh, your scale is too big, there’s a hard coded limit in box2d on how fast things can go.

Now your first reaction is.. well that’s ok  I’ll just use the camera and zoom in to a smaller area.

And it won’t make a damn difference, because even though you’ve zoomed in.. Your physics bodies are still too big. and you’ve just altered the difference between the camera scale to the physics world scale.  You have to go in and change the size of things being created in the physics world and convert them to camera sizes.

Make yourself a Handy Static called something like  int PIXELS_TO_METERS = 32;  (adjust the scale if you need)

and divide all your physics values by that.

Good now set your camera to something like the size in Meters that you want to display (excellent Guide & Comment Here: http://www.aurelienribon.com/blog/2011/04/logic-vs-render-separation-of-concerns/ read the article and the 1st comment)

But now all your Sprites are GINORMOUS!

So you scale them with SetScale(float)

and then they disappear….

That’s because they scale around their Transformation Origin,  You can use SetSize(x,y) and it will keep the lower left point the same.

Here’s some other handy links that I found invaluable during this process

That’s it for now.  Time for some sleep and then hopefully adding collisions between the ground and dragon soon.

 

 

Flap mr dragon FLAP!

Ok kinda scatterbrained right now so, let’s just get back into the blogging spirit with a short list of accomplishments:

Had to rethink some mechanics.. but the controls feel SO much better now.

The actual performance of the dive and flap buttons are undergoing constant tweaking, but the sense of control is coming along superbly.

Screen scaling is working.. but the size isn’t right on smaller screens.  I need to re-write the system to always maintain a specific horizontal distance and let it just create blue sky on top of the world for the extra space.   BUT IT WORKS..

The game is working on Android 2.3 (HTC MyTouch)  all the way to the Nexus7 and Asus 10″, smooth as butter. 🙂

I’ve been using Symphonical as my SCRUM list and I’m in love!  It’s just super easy to use.

Collisions are in (if a little buggy) ,  Basic Box for the dragon and per terrain tile polygons.

The dragon is now a fully animated Spine character  (16 different parts all animated) and is just a wonderful workflow.. Export from photoshop and it’s instantly in Spine, then a quick export directly into the JSON objects with an atlas and then a refresh. and the changes are live in-game..

Dragoncrash-8-17

 

Next up:

A little more work on the dragon animation

Then time to start adding in some terrain destructables (also Spine actors)

Then some UI work.

 

Back On Track

Wow have the last 3 months been full of everything but gamedev time! Family vacation, massive rush freelance website, day job trips and then the 4th of July.  Whew!

It took a week or two but the house is finally in order, and life seems to have settled down for a nice change.  So gamedev is totally back on track!

Here’s DragonCrash 🙂

dragonCrash

And a Screenshot!

ScreenShot

  • Infinite terrain generation .. Check
  • Parllaxing background
  • Bad programmer art .. Check
  • Spine based Character .. Check
  • Desktop  working .. Check
  • Android working .. Check