Enchanting Cadence launched for Slick contest!

The Must do’s got done.

Several of the ‘Wants’ got done.

However Mac support looks impossible.

However, at this time I’m proud to announce It’s live!!!


http://www.enchantingcadence.com

10 levels. Java applet w/ facebook integration.

It’s been on helluva learning experience.  Will digest a few things for a bit and have a postmortem up before too long.

Will update with a link for voting once voting begins next week.

 

Three Days

Three days.  That’s not a whole lot of time left.

The list of cut features is growing on a daily basis, and new incidental bonus things are beginning to crop up.

New Stuff:

  • Music!  makes a world of difference
  • New website area and working Facebook integration
  • 4 final levels (6 more in development)
  • new backend tools for tweaking text wrapping issues
  • new bolt particles and images and tweaked effects
  • improved dialog for failure 🙁
The Must Get Done List:
  • more levels
  • three tutorial dialogs (timing, prisms, advanced prisms)
  • signed jar
  • button noise issue
  • success dialog and information dialog images
The Would be Really Nice To Have List:
  • the final enchant tick fix
  • collision enchantment graphics
  • better /more sounds
  • Mac applet support (pc only for now )
  • emitter hover path highlighting and count to impact for making adjusting timing much much easier.
The Not Gonna Happen List:
  • Loading Objective images from site instead of in jar
  • Standalone App
  • Further FB sharing & Integration for wall posts.
  • Many more levels
  • More placeable types (triggers etc)
  • better level editor that lets me edit saved levels.

Elements

Whoo.. what a week.. not very much dev time, unfortunately.

I’m beat so I’m going to keep it to a short what got done list.. followed by a screenshot..

  • Bolt splitters are in and work.. (except for the rotation is a bit wonky)
  • the Level editor and Level group editors are almost done
  • The core applet is almost ready to parse all data from external sources.
  • Tweaks to some particles.
  • all the  Elemental nodes now are renderable in-game and have their proper graphics.

Here’s a screenshot of where things are.

And here’s the list of priorites for the week:

  • All the ajaxy and facebook <–> applet communications need to get wrapped up asap.
  • Player object for storing scores
  • back to level select button
  • more particle effects
  • SOUND!
  • LEVELS !!!!
  • and so much more!!! Yikes!

At this point I’m getting pretty nervous weather or not I’ll even make it to complete by the contest end.  Its looking like Some things are going to have to wait to be finished afterward..  Yeesh.. well.  hopefully the baby will cooperate and I’ll be able to get stuff done in the evenings this next week or two.. cross yer fingers.

 

We Have Gameplay

A couple of days late but much the wiser 🙂
Gameplay is now functional.. in that.. you can start a level and win it.

Here’a quick rundown of some of the new features.

  • The most important (that you cant see) is the new background simulation of the gameplay.  This ensures that bolts and enchantments are registered properly.. even if the framerate goes to hell.
  • Items are now fully enchantable.  They have a start and end state with misc metadata for use later on down the line.
  • The formula track represents the bolts needed to enchant properly.
  • We have a speed selector, this was a nice ‘free’ bonus of separating out the logic from the display.
  • Levels have names, a constructor and can be passed from state to state.
  • We have a text writer with a nice font.
  • Oh yeah more final artwork is falling into place.

Next up:

  • splitters.  gotta stop pushing that off.
  • rotator modifiers
  • sound for bolts when they hit enchantable object.  and to add a playback button on the formula. So you can hear the CADENCE of the ENCHANTABLE item.. get it?  I thought this stuff through eh?   That and it makes troubleshooting your placement easier.
  • The toolbox area needs graphics.
  • The dialogs need graphics.
  • placeables need graphics.
  • particles need gra… well you get the drift.
  • oh yeah.. more levels.

Wish I could take a week sabbatical to do nothing but this.. but for now a couple hours here and there is all I’ve got.

We’re halfway through the contest… and I’ve just now got the essentials done.. Looks like there may be some long nights ahead.

Screenshot Saturday

Good week!  Lots of nerdy stuff fixed and resolved.  Here’s the picture and more details in extremely nerdy speak below.

The biggest things that got done this week are :

  • applet -> javascript -> applet communications are now working.  Which is pretty awesome.  The biggest challenge was that sending outbound communications need to be triggered from a seperate thread to prevent the JVM from stopping and waiting for a response and that Inbound connections needed a custom version of appletGameContainer that exposes the StaeBasedGame object (more details on all of that can be found here).
  • More per puzzle gameboard abstraction, so now the gameboard knows what things are where on the board, this made implementing a board rendering based on the Y coordinates a snap, so things now appear in front of the things they need to.
  • The beginnings of a more robust image/particle manager system.
  • A passable Level Manifest.  A game Level can now be passed between the different Game States and (eventually) populated from the database via JSON jquery calls.

The biggest problem that popped up has definatly been the particle systems.  The slick ParticleIO.load(xmlfile) works great locally however on a deployed Jar it really grinds things to a halt.  This lead me down the path of trying .duplicate() on a set of master particles.. to no avail.. I also tried just loading them all at startup into a great big MagicBoltBucket… that worked but the applet startup went to ~2min  …

What I’m winding up doing (still in the process of) is a) have an image manager that loads all the images needed ONE time at init and passes them out as needed.   b) a great big bucket of pre-made Magic bolts that I can take and put from.   c) Create all the particle emitters programatically.

Not entirely done with that, but the intial tests have the Initial filling of the BoltBucket down to about 2 seconds for 120 bolts.  Eventually There’ll be about 400 bolts in the bucket at level init.

EnchantingUpdate

Not as much progress as I’d like, or on the bits that I’d like.. but that’s kinda how it works 🙂

Here’s the Screenshot and some more sordid details below.

Highlights of the week are:

  • Applet integration started.. The basic functionality now works in a web page
  • Mirrors  (and indeed all placeables) now ask and respond properly to queries about their facing
  • Lots of new particle effects on Magical bolts (trust me they look way better in action)
  • This lead to some serious stuttering issues when creating all the bolts.  This has been fixed by creating all the bolt objects at level init and just flagging them as no update / no render.

The big issues to tackle:

  • Java to Javascript to Java communication.  Because I really want to be able to send data from the database / facebook requests directly into the game.
  • An update glitch that causes bolts to not register hits with mirrors.  The solution to this is to just skip the ‘per pixel’ detection stuff and have the bolts just run a check against the game Board’s entity mapping table and see if the bolt is going to hit something and then find out if it needs to change it’s offset and direction or magic power type.     This is a bit of work, but the initial stuff is really just taking too many calls and calcultaions to be done if I want it to start checking for positions in between update calls.

Screenshot Tuesday

Ok, so last Screenshot Saturday slipped by in a haze of yardwork, cleaning and taking the baby shopping at Ikea and other general domestic goodness.

But better late than never, eh?   So here it is:

Enchanting Cadence Screenshot - week 2

Yeah.. Looks a lot like the last one, right?

Well, so it’s all still placeholder 20 second photoshop art, but here’s the rundown of the basic stuff that now works.

  • Magical Emitters exist.
  • Everything has a facing direction and is aware of it.
  • Emitters can shoot MagicBolts.
  • Magic bolts can bounce around off of mirrors.
  • Things are a bit more objectified and things like placeable and object manager entities are starting to do the stuff they need to do.
  • The game is either in editing mode, or enchanting mode (ie when  you get to watch things either work or not)
Next up:
There’s a couple consulting tasks to wrap up in the next week or so hopefully so that’s going to take a bit of the dev time But here’s what I’d like to have working for next screenshot saturday.
  • Be able to rotate mirrors in edit mode. (right now it’s hardcoded)
  • Have functioning Splitters
  • Get a basic enchantable object that can start to track its requirements for success
  • Get Energy changers put in place
  • Have bolts die if they leave the board.
Overall I’m happy with the progress  however I can easily see how all my plans are going to mean the 2 month deadline for the Slick contest is going to be tight.

Screenshot Saturday Barely

Well it’s been a fairly slow start to the Slick Contest entry.

But as of now Enchanting Cadence is at least underway.   With some very quick n dirty programmy placeholder art.

At least until I get the mechanics polished a bit (well.. ok functional for now) .


Other than that the basic applet framework is there.. some datamodeling for level storage and tracking user scores and FB integration got taken care of..

lots to do … lots to do…

Almost at the tail end of a couple consulting projects, so that took a good bit of the week. but  They’re a nice change of pace from the day to day humdrum.

Facebook Slick Contest And More

So not quite a screenshot Saturday… how about a paper prototype pass?

A quick paper prototype for Something exciting

Does time fly or what?

So ‘Interesting’ stuff is happening

In a bizarre twist I’ve wound up having to dive head first into the world of facebook apps.  So I’ve made a couple apps.

First up is a Simple Level Counter for use in card games… Like Munchkin (though I’d recommend their mobile phone App for that.. it’s awesome)

Next up, is much less useful (for now) a proof of concept Swiftthought Demo app.   This is an actual Slick applet that’s running inside a facebook frame.  Now that’s got potential.

So much potential that I was looking for any excuse to give it a real go.

And then a Slick2d contest started.

So I guess that’s that.  Now I’ve got a pile of consulting work to get wrapped up by contest start of the 15th so that should work out just fine.  But I’ve gone ahead and started thinking and planning a bit last night, which is what the paper prototype is all about.

I have a couple family things to do this weekend but other than that it’s crank out website goodness 🙂 Pretty proud of it actually..