Springtime doldrums and overthought thinkings

So, I’ve been running around in the total overwhelmed mode for a while and it’s time to steer the frantic caffinated ADD besotted herd of cats that is my attention span back onto track.

Some basic concept art got created, and then I wandered off the project to illustrationland and then got mired down in EPIC project full of GRAND ideas etc etc and just essentially spent some time thinking myself to exhaustion.  Time to think less and do more.

I’ve made a list damnit!  With a great big list of bite size (a week or 2) tasks to do. I’m going to pick one and just do it and then simply rinse and repeat.   Theory being that this will decrease the amount of time spent bashing head on desk/wall/art table/sidewalk by not getting overwhelmed by any one thing or medium. 

Updates to follow.

unscheduled diversion & waves of light

So Progress on the main project has been really slow this week.   That’s not to say a bunch of stuff didn’t get done.. It’s just not tangible stuff.   I got the high scores put in and it seems to be working fine, and then I just ran into a mental brick wall of ‘now what?’.  So I just let things stew in the noggin while I did other things.

  So what other things did I keep myself occupied with one might ask?

Well, such things as going ocd in trying to lean guitar.. step 1. hurt fingers daily until you can press a string for more than 10 seconds without pain.  well.. im still working on that one. 

More interestingly I dusted off my lightwave 9.6 and started digging in to finally trying to learn the damn thing.  Sloooowly making progress.  I have managed to make a cube and some ovals and give them a texture.  The whole layout side of things is making a bit more sense as well with the lights and timeline etc etc.  Anyway the results of this is:  

box-v8-desktop

And in the meanwhile, I’ve been jotting down whatever ideas that have popped into my head as things to add to the game and I’ve now got a pretty handy idea of what i need to do next.

A week of dubious progress

Well ok so I’ve got a valid excuse for not getting a whole lot done over the last week.

However, I did manage to get the whole loading, saving, entry and displaying of high scores implemented.

 So.. that’s a plus.  Still a couple bugs to work out but 90% there.  Next up … hmm.. not exactly sure.. maybe I should iron out some details so I can see what I need to do before calling it Finished.

Mar 7 update – alpha 4 released

Whew, so It’s been a while since I released alpha 2… Soo much has changed and been improved.  Here’s a brief changelog of stuff I can remember off the top of my head.

  • New main menu and faster startup times. 
  • Lots more assets to load at startup so it’s actually doing stuff while you have to look at the pictures.
  • New map. A huge dungeon assembled off arenas from the web map generator.
  • Rooms seal upon entry and then depending on how deep you are get harder and harder.
  • Sounds!  ok just some basic sounds but man does it make a difference.
  • New look for gameplay areas and tiles. 

Alpha 4 new main menu

Aplha 4 - screenshot 2 gameplay

Lots of hooks are ready for easy insertion of new enemies, powerups, and the special items that will be included in the store  you can visit between levels (soon).

Overall I’m incredibly pleased with the amount of progress.  I’m mostly excited about having reached a point where I can do so many thing (new graphics, monsters, quests… the mind boggles!!!)

For now, I’m just gonna play a bit.

As always you can download it here(~12mb), and as always use it at your own risk, I make no claims that it won’t terrorize your cat, melt your eyeballs, or do any other unpredictable things..  But it seems to be working just fine for me.

[edit] changed out some sounds for better samples of what I intend for the end product. [/edit]

Short update

Its been a bit of a slog to make much progress.  Tons of little ‘try this.. er.. hmm well how about that.. ooh that broke it… humm well then how about ….’

BUT the upside. 

The player now triggers doors when he/she walks across em. (yes the collision polygons need some tweaking but basically it works). This causes a recusive floodfill to determine all the tiles that are available inside the room.  There was an issue where it caused the game to stutter while the fill ran but with the use of some scheduling calls I actually wound up with a smooth and more even area determination.  

So.. why does that make me happy?  

Well, glad I asked.

So now I have a nice and easy way to get all the available tiles in a room, with just some minor tweaks the monster spawner (in the inital Alpha) will be able to find an open spot and start spawning critters.

Esentially  I’m just a few minor tweaks from having a playable core base to work off of.   

Then I can start going crazy with different monsters, powerups etc etc.

03/03/2009

Well, some development progress.

The in-game map now reflects a proper mow branching randomly generated maze based on Prim’s Algorithm, the trickiest bit was adapting it to do without proper arrays Toquescript is a bit funny about that. After that, I created a basic start for a tileset etc etc and got it rendering properly in the engine.

Alpha 3 screenshot 001
Alpha 3 screenshot, Doors!

Tonight I got the tilesets to properly interpret the door and trigger tiles and render the proper animated tiles for them (after creating said animations of course). Spent a little time trying to figure out why shooting seems to crash the game on the tile based level but didn’t get much beyond making it not crash.. but not showing the shots either..

Alpha 3 screenshot 001

So that’s the next step, and after that activating the triggers and shutting the doors to indicate the start of a wave of enemies.

On the webby front, some minor tweaks galore to the theme with some more changes planned. Over the weekend I put up the site www.wenderflonia.com for GFW and she’s putting it to great use already.

Further Mapmaking Tools and Integration

Got some good progress done.  The online Map editor is coming along nicely with some new additions such as, saving to a database, generating exportable content files for integration into Torque.  Still I need to do a couple things to it, mainly bulletproofing the submitted maps to make sure I don’t forget to add doors, things are sealed properly etc etc. 

Continue reading Further Mapmaking Tools and Integration

Mapmaking tools

Ok so pretty good weekend.  I decided to have the main game dungeon created from larger macro tiles. so instead of having to come up with a super complex dungeon generator, all I’ll need to do is to have an algorithem that just connects the larger tiles together.  

So Friday and Saturday morning I sat down and wrote this

It’s essentially a tile based map editor.  It doesn’t have any real fun features such as checking the validity of the map or verifying that the only open tiles on the outer edge are by the designated exit area.  

Spent some time Sunday getting the data exported from the page into the Torque Game Builder engine, which wasn’t hard at all.  So the game now can render macro tiles.  Problem is that the collisions don’t seem to be working properly.. so that’s the next task.

Server move

Well things are now settling down here on our new server. 

Got a handful of old and new domains consolidated across the board and some nre goodies lined up.

Most notably would be the start of development on the dream wars.  Got a good start on the dsesign spec and some of the data modeling up and running.  It’s an ooold idea I had a long time ago but with the new png support that’s universal plus a bunch of new nifty ajaxy2.0buzzwordladen tools at my disposal it actually might be doable now.  The biggest concern is how browsers support 3-400 pngs with 8bit transparency.  I hope pereformance doesnt just suck. 

anyway.. more layout changes and general tweaking still needs to be done all over the place.  But it’s a beginning.