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.

 

 

Dragon Animation Progress..

Flap animation
Flap animation

Almost forgot that Spine offers an export to animated gif.

Now just need to do a limb pass on the animation and I’ll let it be done for the next while.

However the actual sprite art, is still just a 20 minute hack job in photoshop.   Not gonna make any final art until I have a vertical slice working.. That’s my reward for doing the tedious UI stuff.

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.