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.

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.

 

RELEASE!

War Mages is out on the Play Store!

Get It HERE

SummonIcon256

It’s been one hell of a month. Since starting over in the 18th it’s been non-stop go go go to get this thing up and running.

Overall I’m really pleased with how well it turned out. I have a lot of little secondary features I want to add to it, but I think I need a week to recover.

It will be an interesting thing to see if the game finds any kind of an audience, I’m not aware of there being a whole lot of multi-player games on a single tablet yet.  However I think that it will be one of those kinds of genres where people can pop down for 5 – 10 min with a friend while waiting for the bus and play a game.

Time will tell.

January Postmortem

Going to keep this short and sweet, can’t stop and reflect too much.

What went right:

  • Web editor –  having a web editor where I can make changes and just re-launch a level for testing was incredibly useful
  • Music – the non repeating drumtrack for in game music works really well wit the musical queues
  • Title screen fire – Damnit particles just make me happy.
  • Pathfinding and combat –  while it’s not the most dynamic combat (see what went wrong) it’s fairly well balanced.
  • Flexibilty of code – adding new UI elements and restructuring how combat works 4 days from launch and not a glitch.
  • Game website – Im really happy with the new http://www.drakkheim.com website.

What went wrong:

  • World rendering – having to re-write the world map rendering took a whole weekend of progress and as such required that things like traps, and ranged combat got cut. no Elves or Kobold archers.
  • Fun – the last minute changes to combat really improved the moment to moment gameplay elements, but really it’s not something you’ll be playing over and over.
  • lack of animation – lack of variety – essentially more time to create art assets would have been really nice.   I have a feeling this will be a recurring theme.
  • Broken analytics –  I totally messed up and forgot to install analytics on the website until 4 days after launch.. so I have no idea if anyone has even played it.

That’s it for now.

 

Happy Easter – Week end update

Busy busy week.. all freelance debugging and we development..

So not much progress on the game.

  • Money rounding..  yeah.. lots of refactoring code.
  • Moving some more UI elements into groups so they render in the proper order and can be switched on and off.

Anyway here’s another beta.. # 7 now.

http://drakkheim.com/temp/BarnyardBonanza007beta.apk

Download Barnyard Bonanza beta #7

Bits N Bobbins

Short post on progress things.  Things have just been lots of grunt work and non pretty things.

Will have things to show real soon.

Honest.

  • basic player object ..er.. exists and rotates properly.. mostly.  need to knock out some better test sprites and stuff to be able to make things actually ‘work’ together, but the fundamental concept of 8 direction independently moving head, torso, arms, lowerbody seems to work and will look pretty cool.
  • monster entities can be spawned and basically kept track of.. no AI or whatnot but still it’s a start.
  • Implemented basic box2d physics for player and monsters. this will have all sorts of fun payoff later I hope. Force waves, shapnel etc 🙂
  • Got the macro tiles wired for a* pathfinding.
  • Got the World generating a Maze and then replacing it with matching macrotiles that randomly match the exits of the cell.
  • started on map rendering
  • camera instance screen objects so I can have a smooth moving controllable camera that chases the player.
See.. lots of neat stuff… however nothing that you can actually look at other than a bunch of  diagnostic log output.
Performance wise it seems to be running at ~240 fps on the low end test machine and ~somewhere over 3,000 fps on the new machine.
So I might need to add in a ‘laptop’ mode which disables the whiz bang pretty stuff I hope to get put in.
and damnit .. http://www.garagegames.com/products/torque-3d the introductory price will be ending soon.
So I’ve got to grab that soon.

Building Better Tools

So, basic progress is in swing.  There’s a bunch of stuff I can port over from the GarageGames Torque Game Builder version that I was working on, however, there are a bunch of things that I didn’t need then or just do not have access to in Java or just don’t integrate with Slick very well.  So with that in mind.. I’ve been digging  into Pre-Pre-Production.

To that end I’ve stated building a toolbox. Figuratively, of course.  Here’s a few of the silly things  that are a pain to write but very useful to have.

  • AssetLoader – based on the slick tutorial this little thing lets me have a loading bar on a title screen while the game loads every asset it needs.
  • OptionsController – manage loading and saving user settings and profiles for resolution, sound, and player name.
  • InternetFile / InternetString – for pulling a string (current version) or file (updated assets)  This makes keeping the user informed of latest news/ updated versions a snap.  Since Minecraft came out with an auto updater, it’s been glaringly obvious that at minimum having a latest version check is a MUST Have feature.
  • Movement Library – a pile of functions to take two points, and interpolate between them,given a method speed and time elapsed and whatever else that comes up.  I expect this to grow for some time.
  • ImageCounter widget – display a number with a series of images. Like hearts in zelda. Supports horizontal and vertical orientation, whole and partial increments etc.
  • Basic Image Button – yup it’s a simple little button made out of a bunch of images, it’s self contained and easy to use and change.
  • State Based Button – also called a modal button.  Essentially displays several options on a button bar and you can select one.
  • Text Block – an angelfont based text block widget , hand it a block of text, an AngelFont, and give it a max size.  It auto animates the display, pagination etc.
  • Text Entry – an angelfont text entry widget.  easy and simple..
and as I find things that would be handy in future projects I’m adding them to it.
So it turns out that making little widgets is actually really kind of fun.  Much like building the IrisEdit level builder tool that I’m using to build the levels.
And with those tools in hand, I’ve created the game Launcher / Version Checker,  Here’s what it looks like without the Launch Game button (it goes in the middle)

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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..