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  Treasure Tomb Development Diary  (Read 27787 times)
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Online princec

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« Reply #90 - Posted 2007-08-26 18:53:09 »

The sounds it does have are along similar lines to what it will eventually have, just they'll be new instead of pinched out of Titan Attacks and Ultratron. Don't know what we'll do for music yet but there will be more music in this game than our other titles.

Cas Smiley

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« Reply #91 - Posted 2007-09-03 22:48:09 »

29 August 2007

My brother's round so not getting much done. I've started work on the "script" code that lets us do simple dialogs. I can't see how this is easily going to be customizable for people making their own maps so I suppose it just... won't be.

There is a strange problem I'm having trouble tracking down which is to do with the switch effect that glows around the tiles that have been changed by a switch. Most of the time there's no problem; then occasionally, sometimes on switches that otherwise worked perfectly last time, I get an ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException. Thank <insert deity here> I'm not using C++ or somesuch because the error would almost certainly go unnoticed and probably cause all manner of curious shenanigans elsewhere.

Stuff done:
  • Fixed appearance of turrets in the editor
  • Disabled portal tiles when a world is completed. Obviously not thoroughly tested as I've got no worlds to complete yet but the code is there. We'll see if it works come the time to test it Smiley

[size=0]Music: Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot & More Like The Moon[/size]



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« Reply #92 - Posted 2007-09-03 22:48:26 »

3 August 2007

Added the "New" button into the editor. The size of a map is now a suspicously computer-friendly 128x128 tiles - about 10 by 10 screens. Also, the tile chooser screen now has tileset buttons which flip us between different tilesets (moonbase, hub, dungeon, etc.). There is a bunch of common tiles that are always shown (well, any tile not specifically assigned to a tileset). I also fixed a situation in the editor where if you were asked to save dirty edits prior to performing some operation, and you did save, the requested operation wasn't then performed after all.

I've rejigged loads of XML. What fun. The tile.xml file was becoming massive and unwieldy so I've split it up into smaller more manageable chunks. Each tile still has its own unique index of course, so I've had to make a text file where we can keep track of all the used tile indexes in one place. Of course, that was automated with a bit of hackery.

Chaz has returned from holiday! He has done some nice bubbling lava graphics (very abstract of course) with an emitter on them, and will do similar things to the toxic waste tiles. Currently the lava emitter is a bit hectic Smiley Probably have to tone it down a bit. The travelling platforms have been done up nicely and we've got little mine graphics now for the exploding mines in that test room in the south east. Hopefully he's going to be working on the tile set for the Hub World now.

Still haven't found the switch crashing bug. But then, I haven't looked for it Roll Eyes

[size=0]Music: Wilco - More Like The Moon, Amon Tobin - Bricolage, Blur - Blur, Kasabian - Kasabian[/size]

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« Reply #93 - Posted 2007-09-03 22:50:53 »

Grrr I still can't edit my own posts in this subtopic. The permissions on this board have always been broken  Angry Date above should of course read 3 September 2007.

Cas Smiley

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« Reply #94 - Posted 2007-09-12 18:22:23 »

5 September 2007

The wobble effect was broken in fullscreen mode (or indeed anywhere where it wasn't a 1:1 correspondence with logical and physical coordinates). In the end I just ditched it because I can't be bothered to waste hours making it work properly. I still quite like the ray effect when a jewel gets picked up so I think that'll stay.

Noticed my wrists hurting yesterday. Couldn't put my finger on it, then I realised that my chair had deflated down about four inches. Doh.

[size=0]Music: Kid Loco - DJ Kicks, Presidents of the United States of America - Presidents 2[/size]

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« Reply #95 - Posted 2007-09-12 18:22:49 »

10 September 2007

Chaz is working on the hub graphics, which are of course looking nice. A bit like the surface of the moon. I'm working (very slowly) on the script tiles, and fixing bugs that Chaz is finding in the editor now we've got another tileset. So nothing terribly interesting happening. Got a "script" to display today though which is nice, overlayed on top of the paused game screen. Next up: implementing clickable choices.

Someone on the TIGSource forums commented that they'd like to be able to strafe (or otherwise move independently from shooting). I'm loathe to give the game Ultratron style controls because it'll make it totally inaccessible to most players but I am considering making it so that holding left-shift will lock the direction you're facing in, so you'll be able to run backwards firing your guns at chasing gidrahs. Well, not so much considering it as actually implementing it to see how it feels Smiley It definitely adds a little pleasurable reward to skilled fingersmiths' play but isn't by any means essential to the gameplay.

No new build will be ready until Chaz completes the Hub, so that'll be in a few more days I reckon.

[size=0]Music: Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden, Ween - The Friends EP (get this - it's excellent!)[/size]

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« Reply #96 - Posted 2007-09-12 18:24:41 »

11 September 2007

More work on the scripting tiles today. Basically - they're more or less finished. Here's a sample of the XML that runs it:
1  
2  
3  
4  
5  
6  
7  
8  
9  
10  
11  
12  
13  
14  
15  
16  
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<script name="script.test.01">
   <state>
      Sorry, no help is available. Please try another command.
      <var key="command" value="help"/>
      <choice type="4" text="Enter command:" key="command"/>
      <choice type="0" text="Exit">
         <set key="command" value=""/>
      </choice>
   </state>
   <state>
      Unknown command.
      <var key="command" value="*"/>
      <choice type="4" text="Enter command:" key="command"/>
      <choice type="0" text="Exit">
         <set key="command" value=""/>
      </choice>
   </state>
   <!-- Default state -->
   <state>
      A dusty terminal stands before you. It looks as if it has not been used in some time.
      A blinking cursor awaits your input. There do not appear to be any instructions.
      <choice type="4" text="Enter command:" key="command"/>
      <choice type="0" text="Exit">
         <set key="command" value=""/>
      </choice>
   </state>
</script>

As you can see, it's not "scripting" like Jython or anything like that - just a sort of logic tree made in XML. Annoyingly you have to sort of think about the sequence of events backwards. It's horrible to use Smiley I haven't figured out an easy way of doing user scripting yet for the map editor. Maybe won't bother.

Chaz has done a nice start to the Hub map. He wants to have cute rabbits hopping around on it for target practice. I said fine, so long as they can start shooting back at some point. He said fine, so long as they squeak when they die. It's the little things that make great games!

[size=0]Music: same as yesterday Cheesy[/size]

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« Reply #97 - Posted 2007-09-12 18:25:17 »

12 September 2007

Spent today putting in the other 80% of the work on script screens Roll Eyes All the little stuff like making it so that using the joypad or cursor keys moves the focus up and down, and putting in nice backgrounds and focus indicators and such like.

Added a new scripting function, which activates the "action" found at a particular map "waypoint". In the editor I've added the ability to add up to 9 "waypoints" in a map (by tapping Alt and a number and then clicking somewhere). You can also zoom quickly to a waypoint by just tapping Ctrl and the number. If there happens to be a switch, or teleport, under the waypoint, then we can activate that switch or teleport with a script action now.

Now I think of it, I could conceivably use waypoints for other things like scripted gidrahs - trigger an event and the gidrah runs to that waypoint. Or something.

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« Reply #98 - Posted 2007-09-18 13:59:28 »

13 September 2007

Couldn't resist doing something fun today, so we put in the cute rabbits in the Hub world. Didn't do much else.

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« Reply #99 - Posted 2007-09-18 13:59:49 »

14 September 2007

Made a start on the actual first map of Moonbase Alpha. This is highlighting a number of things to me:
- The editor needs some more work to organise tiles better in the tile selection screen
- The maps are going to take a long time to do. If I worked really hard at a map I could probably get one done in a day but I'd be pretty burned out at the end of it. This raises the question - is 64 maps feasible? That's at least 3 months' hard work there. Perhaps we should cut it to 32 and have an expansion pack?
- Must fix it so Ctrl-S just saves over the top of an existing map without asking for the file name or confirmation. I save every 20 seconds or so and it's really irritating having to go through two dialogs each time.

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« Reply #100 - Posted 2007-09-18 14:00:29 »

17 September 2007

Did a bunch of work in the editor today, plus some XML fiddling to make the XML a bit easier to organise. The editor's main tweaks were to make the tile chooser work better (things like wiring up the scroll wheel and shift-scroll wheel) and fix a few little niggles. All the basic floortiles have been moved to the start of the tile lists as well. Chaz has volunteered to go around my maps and put in all the little detail tiles he's done because he knows how they fit together nicely. This still doubles his workload though - he's got to do all the tilesets for the other 7 worlds! Not to mention the gidrahs.

Found various obscure little bugs in the editor and squashed them.

Ctrl-S now does instant save; Ctrl-A does a Save As... Much nicer.

Chaz has made a start on the Gardens of Moog tileset. You eat little flowers instead of dots. Very cute.

[size=0]Music: Mogwai - Happy Songs for Happy People[/size]

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« Reply #101 - Posted 2007-09-18 14:15:35 »

18 September 2007

So... we had a bit of a think today about the game. The long and the short of it is: neither Chaz nor I actually like the game as it is. There's something "wrong" with it, so we had a big long chat about what to do about it, which went like this:

Cas says:
mornin


Chaz says:
evenin


Cas says:
just committed fix for the script panel misbehaving a bit on moonbase level 0


Chaz says:
k
tho i'm not sure about those script things at the mo
i dont know if its just the layout


Cas says:
it's just the layout is awful


Chaz says:
i was wondering if theyd be better done like speech bubbles


Cas says:
ive got a few others north of that - one that disables security systems (removs 4 turrets) and one that opens an access hatch
i reckon they just need a nice background like a terminal


Chaz says:
hmm k i'll have another looks


Cas says:
designing maps takes... f**king ages
are we boned?
i mean, 64 of them... phew
it takes a few days just to do one map
maybe they need to be smaller
maybe i should make em... 64x64?
about a quarter the area
what do you think?
bitesize fun


Chaz says:
yeah i think a little smaller
i dont seem to be able to go very far north - u committed the most recent map?


Cas says:
ah you'll need to edit out an obscruction halfway up Wink


Chaz says:
ah


Cas says:
i was putting in some switches and stuff today to remove that etc etc etc


Chaz says:
k
a couple of things...
its doesnt seem very moonbasey in its design somehow


Cas says:
er yeah it's not really
well, it's sort of basey, but not moonbasey


Chaz says:
perhaps needs to be more solid - less 1tile corridors with loads of black around them if you see what io mean


Cas says:
aye
well this level is just like that
but other levels wont be
im going to do 1 level which is jsut one huge massive room


Chaz says:
like maybe better if you make a big block and then make 1 tile walls out of it
to chop it into rooms
for the moonbase anyways


Cas says:
aye


Chaz says:
and its lacking a bit of symettry


Cas says:
deliberately
its an underground base, see


Chaz says:
theres bits that work ok but it doesnt quite feel right
hmm


Cas says:
maybes its because you think its a moonbase
no-one else needs to know Wink we can call it something else
Undeground Alein Laboratory


Chaz says:
and i think its not overly clear where youre going


Cas says:
thats the point
u need to explore


Chaz says:
er


Cas says:
or is it too confusin


Chaz says:
i think its a bit too confusing


Cas says:
maybe shouldnt be level 1 then Wink


Chaz says:
i think it needs to be split into distinct sections - perhaps progressing in the same direction - south to north or clockwise or whatever


Cas says:
this partic level is south to north
with alternate branches off to east and west all the way up


Chaz says:
yep
but i think the branches are too sprawling


Cas says:
well, i might have to cut the map anyway to 64x64 so it wont be so big


Chaz says:
theyre too big and its not overly clear what the main 'branch 'is


Cas says:
the wide corridor down the middle


Chaz says:
if it were a little more symettrical with the branch as like a central axis that would make it clearer - tho not necessrily exaclty symetrical


Cas says:
could make it 4 wide


Chaz says:
yeah its not really clear at the mo


Cas says:
unfortunately its a bit late to go monkeying too much with this map


Chaz says:
er


Cas says:
maybe ill jusdt put it on the back burner and start a new one


Chaz says:
yeah i dont think we should be making 'finished' maps at the mo


Cas says:
you don't?
we need to finisht he game (think)


Chaz says:
well great if they make it in the game but we need to get the gameplay sorted out properly so we should be trying to work out what makes a good map


Cas says:
hm, you not so keen on the gameplay?


Chaz says:
not quite


Cas says:
i was having similar misgivings
something not quite rigth about shooting the gidrahs


Chaz says:
it feels nice running around but it doesnt seem to quite hang tgether somehow
yeah the gidrahs are maybe not quite right
i think its a little confused


Cas says:
could be because theres an infinite supply of gidrahs


Chaz says:
partly cos of level design


Cas says:
probably level design is the issue
its quite  a confused level


Chaz says:
yeah maybe make them more limited
and harder


Cas says:
maybe thats because you're playing "level 1" gidrahs
not "level 8" gidrahs
thats why we needed some nastier ones drawn in black with glowy green eyes see
so we can distinguish really nasty ones from notsonasty ones


Chaz says:
nah i mean its a bit confused in the gameplay - as in on the one hand your running around blasting stuff but on the other hand youve got these little fiddly puzzles and scripty bits where everything stops


Cas says:
well - we wont have many of those at all
maybe 1 or 2 on a level


Chaz says:
well even where they are at the moment i dont think they work


Cas says:
sure its just not coz they look shit?


Chaz says:
like the simple switchy bits are ok but other bits with arrows and stuff dont eally
yeah partly i think is they just dont look like they should be there
they just look like some puzzle put in a room
which is perhaps partly down to the graphics


Cas says:
that's kinda what they are tho


Chaz says:
but theyre not really any fun


Cas says:
probably best not to make too many puzzles out of em then




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« Reply #102 - Posted 2007-09-18 14:16:44 »

(continued...)

Chaz says:
a bit like the puzzles in super dudester


Cas says:
the arrows were really there to prevent the player from backtracking and stuff
not so much for puzzles


Chaz says:
yeah they work fine
perhaps we should also do some kind of sliding door obstacle as well


Cas says:
yeah we are missing "ordinary doors"


Chaz says:
that would make more sense for some of the switches
yep


Cas says:
in the meantime though...
there's something about the core gameplay - the runnign and shooting bit
that feels a bit wrong


Chaz says:
hmm yes


Cas says:
i'm thinking.. the game should feel a bit like Doom
but it doesn't


Chaz says:
yes i am thinking that as well
after a while of running around you end up pretty much ignoring the gidrahs


Cas says:
aye
not being scared of them


Chaz says:
cos they die so easily
yep


Cas says:
aye
so maybe... we need to add new guns that you can pick up?
make the default gun weedier
give gidrahs a hitpoint or two more


Chaz says:
aha good plan


Cas says:
ammo perhaps?


Chaz says:
i was thinking of ammo


Cas says:
aye
we could sort of parody the doom weapons
rocket launcher's easy
BFG's easy
machinegun
crap gun
shotgun style thingy
maybe not bother with 'nades


Chaz says:
aye
i was thinking perhaps we could place gidrahs directly on the map


Cas says:
could do easily yes


Chaz says:
and they either wait or walk around till they get a line of sight on you - is there a los thing going on at all?


Cas says:
yes there is but not for gidrahs generally, easy to add though, they already use it to determine whether to shoot at you


Chaz says:
that might the gidrahs feel less random


Cas says:
aye


Chaz says:
and with gidrah er emitters whatever theyre called...


Cas says:
we'd have to carefully hone their personalities
spawners


Chaz says:
... they could produce a lot more gidrahs - but only when you get near them...


Cas says:
so they'd be rarer


Chaz says:
aye


Cas says:
ok then so lets make a list of Stuff To Do:
1. Guns: standard pistol thing, shotgun, chaingun, rocket launcher, plasma gun, BFG


Chaz says:
... could do traps where you run over a switch and doors in the room open and a load of gidrahs start swarmibng at you from spawners and you go ah shit! run away arg etc


Cas says:
aye - the secret switch good for that Wink


Chaz says:
1 - change in player graphics or just bullets?


Cas says:
1 - just bullets; but need little icon of gun to show in HUD, and tile for pickup


Chaz says:
k


Cas says:
1a. Chainsaw?


Chaz says:
hmm, that would need new player graphics


Cas says:
bugger that then


Chaz says:
yeah lets just easy stuff first


Cas says:
2. Ammo clips: bullets, rockets, shells, cells
need HUD display for ammo (number)
and 4 pickup tiles


Chaz says:
hmm - do you think there should be different ammo?
or just refills


Cas says:
yeah otherwise why use different weapon?
always use BFG
borin


Chaz says:
so whatever weapon you have gets refilled and they have different ammo levels
hmm
yeah good point


Cas says:
aye but pistol and chaingun share ammo, and BFG and Plasma share ammo too
could also have a laser cannon weapon
can do a nice beam effect for that Smiley
so far:


Chaz says:
yep

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« Reply #103 - Posted 2007-09-18 14:17:13 »

(continued...)

Cas says:
1. HUD graphics for weapons
2. HUD for ammo
3. tiles for weapon pickups
3. tiles for ammo pickups
4 i mean
5. bullets and trails for various weapons
Now what else..
get rid of scripty things?


Chaz says:
i dont tihnk so exactly
i just think they break the flow up at the mo


Cas says:
ok, just use them sparingly then
6. spawners to be profilic but rarer


Chaz says:
for example i imagine on the hub level that when youd run up to a scientish theyd be a speech bubble or some kind of overlay that say 'bugger, wheres my sonic screwdriver'...


Cas says:
Aha
i see what you mean


Chaz says:
then youll find a sonic screwdriver somewhere and just kind of give it him


Cas says:
so in other words, automate them
no clicking


Chaz says:
aye


Cas says:
or choices
ok
we'll do that then


Chaz says:
so theyd still be scripted stuff
just it wouldnt take you out of the general flow
have you played metroid prime on the gamecube?


Cas says:
nope


Chaz says:
k
great game
thats got a sort of auto aiming thing going on as well Smiley


Cas says:
Smiley
oh yea actually i have played it, ive got it!


Chaz says:
but its also got all these computer terminals
aha


Cas says:
thats what i modeled the auto aim on


Chaz says:
yeah and to get the story you have to look at the terminals


Cas says:
aye thats what i was trying to do here


Chaz says:
but after a while you think oh f**k all these terminals cos every time you look at one the game stops


Cas says:
ahh
ok we'll make a better game than them then and just have speechbubbles Smiley


Chaz says:
Smiley


Cas says:
it just so happens ive got a class for drawing stuff in a grid of 9
"backgrounds"


Chaz says:
yeah so in that first room rather than 'you see a dusty terminal...'


Cas says:
if you can do me a speechbubble i'll draw it like that and be able to resize it


Chaz says:
you could just have a speech bubble saying 'insert keycard' and theres a keycard somewhere - you run into it and it says something back
lovely
k so thats number 6 on the graphics list
and i think the small font'll work ok


Cas says:
7. some proper nasty looking gidrahs - make some black versions of the red one swith green eyes or something


Chaz says:
yep


Cas says:
and i might give em nasty weapons too


Chaz says:
right i've got to go cook in a mo


Cas says:
k one more thing
if we're doomifying this game a bit
it probably doesnt make a whole lot of sense to have gardens and dungeons and pacman


Chaz says:
hmm
i think dungeons will work ok


Cas says:
it probably makes a lot more sense to just reuse the moonbase tileset in different colour schemes
then we dont ahve to design lots of different sorts of gidrahs either
just have a set of 16 robots
and just make the moonbase tileset bigger and even more varied


Chaz says:
hmm good point


Cas says:
with a few more unique tiles
or if you like, just do one more tileset


Chaz says:
i think we could still do outside bits for variety


Cas says:
hi-tec Aztec or sometjhing


Chaz says:
the hub graphics work ok


Cas says:
well uyeah you could do but we've got the Hub graphics rfor that
aye


Chaz says:
but yes not make it bears and stuff


Cas says:
aye
just robots


Chaz says:
and maybe not tombs


Cas says:
aye


Chaz says:
we could always keep that for another game


Cas says:
indeed
a match 3
lol


Chaz says:
do a wizardy kind of thing
lol


Cas says:
yeah, already planned a wizardy game
k go cook, ill have shower etc


Chaz says:
k, and we can call that one rteeasure tomb Wink
k
feels a lot more focused already


Cas says:
aye


Chaz says:
have to think of a new name now Smiley
titan attacks 2 - titan assault ?
finish off the titans once and for all - penetrate theire underground bases and er duff em up
ooh
could do like hangars and stuff with massive space invader ships in em
jus waiting for the rice cooker to do its thang


Cas says:
k


Chaz says:
we could keep the 8 portals and ting - and have a variety of missions


Cas says:
dunno about titan ref


Chaz says:
no? thought it might be good traffic wise


Cas says:
was thinking we should do Revenge of the Titans as a Xevious-style vert scroller


Chaz says:
well we couls always do titan 3


Cas says:
the TA market is a lot more casual than the treasure tomb market


Chaz says:
ultratron 2?


Cas says:
hm


Chaz says:
nah maybe not


Chaz says:
well we could call it something else - i still like the idea of hangars with massiv space invaders in em Smiley


Cas says:
yeah that'd be pretty cool Wink


Chaz says:
rice cooked now - tv dinner time


Cas says:
k
ill get on starting with weapons code


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« Reply #104 - Posted 2007-09-18 22:22:07 »

Excellent discussion!

To be honest, last time I played the game, the gameplay itself felt ok, but I really felt I was going nowhere. No real sense of accomplishment going on. Mostly it felt like just running around, hoping I'd trigger something (which was not very clear at that point when something had happened) so that I could get further. All this quite soon was soon getting old. Of course I realized I was just playing an unfinished game, so I figured I'd just give it time to evolve.

I like the idea of doomifying things a bit. What about adding some sort of line of sight, or fog of war or whatever? So that you can't see places that are behind doors etc? (say a bit like in EgonOlson's game).

Really, for me the sense of accomplishment is the thing that I felt was missing the most when I played it. I just had no idea why I was running around shooting gidrahs. Scripting might help a lot, if used well. More focused level design that seems to make sense with different more distinct parts will probably help even more: Some (many   Cool) really busy shooty parts, some more puzzly parts (perhaps even some 'eggerland' style puzzles), some more atmospheric/audio-visual parts for the wow/cool factor, etc etc.

I dunno really, I'm just thinking out loud here  Smiley
But in any case, it does already feel like you guys are on to something that just might become something great! The usual cool, smooth, arcade style puppygames playability is already there, for it's mostly some sense of accomplishment that seems lacking. In your previous games that was easy because it had short pure arcade style levels, now it's probably more difficult and down to great level design to get this right.

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #105 - Posted 2007-09-19 23:43:46 »

Line-of-sight / fog-of-war is a distinct possibility. We'll see how it goes.

19 September 2007

Began the work to put in different weapons into the game. We've decided that the gidrahs will also be using the same weapons which should make life a bit hectic for the player. Doubt we'll give the gidrahs shotguns though Smiley

Of course, everything went red in Eclipse pretty much as soon as I started monkeying around with it.

Gone is the notion of EnemyBullet and PlayerBullet; there's just one Bullet class now. Created a new WeaponFeature base class and derived all the different weapon classes from it. The player has a WeaponInstance; so do the gidrahs that have guns.

I am aware that this is going to put us about a week behind schedule - bugger. I'm soooo broke. I've not earned a bean since 31st March.

[size=0]Music: Amon Tobin - Out, from Out Where[/size]

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #106 - Posted 2007-09-19 23:44:10 »

20 September 2007

Finally got some of the basic weaponry in: the pistol, shotgun, machinegun, and mingun. I pinched the sound effects for the shotgun and minigun from Soldat (the best online multiplayer game there is - written in Delphi no less, and sadly Windows only).

The shotgun fires 5 pellets at varying speeds with a random spread of about 2.5 radians, which looks suitably shotgun-like, though Chaz is going to have to come up with a decent graphic for the pellets and trails. It's ace fun wandering around the moon shooting the rabbits with it.

The machine gun and minigun have accuracy and bink; the longer you hold them on the less accurate they get (though they never get too silly as the range is pretty short).

I've wired in ammo and the ammo gauge - which looks like the health bar except it's on the right. Right now it's got 16 dits in it which represent 100% ammo for the particular weapon class; I'll increase this to 32 dits, so that we can have 32 rockets maximum for the rocket launcher and represent each rocket with a single dit. Otherwise it's 512 bullets or cells and 64 shotgun shells, all of which coincide nicely with 32 dits Wink

Right now though the ammo is infinite so I can tweak the guns.

The gidrahs are all a bit broken now as a result of all this as they no longer have functioning weaponry. I need to alter their behaviour a bit too so they're a smidgen more Doom-like; they'll just hang around waiting wherever we've put them until they see the player, and then they'll charge and attack.

Rocket launcher, laser cannon, and "BFG" tomorrow.

[size=0]Music: Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, DJ Yoda - How to Cut and Paste Vol 1, The Dandy Warhols - 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia, Kid Loco[/size]

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #107 - Posted 2007-09-20 23:19:37 »

21 September 2007

Oh what fun I've had today. Instead of doing the three remaining weapons I've been trying to get the gidrahs working properly again, starting with the "random brain". The random brain does what it says on the tin.

All brains can target the player. The robots now all have an invisible targeting reticle, rather like the player's one, which tracks the player whenever he is in sight and the robot is facing the player. Except in the current build the targeting reticles are visible so I can see what the little buggers are thinking about Smiley Usually of course, it is my doom. I can proudly state that this evening I spent all night getting my little robots to turn upon their creator. "Maximillian! Noooooooo!" All the parameters for aiming and such are tweakable in XML.

I've also put in code so that if a robot of a particular type shoots another robot in the back accidentally, the victim will turn around and turn its attentions on the perpetrator. Meaning you can run into a room, let the robots shoot all over the place and run out again, and the chances are that they'll start shooting at each other instead. Only robots of a different "type" do this though.

I gave one of the robot types a shotgun. Eek. Lethal. Good thing there will be a lot fewer of them.

In fact we noticed that the new flavour of the game is a lot less random arcadey and much more "hardcore". Meaning it's now bloody hard. So I've tweaked the jewels so that they always award you 1 point of health when you collect one, like a health pack; and the Health Powerup restores your health completely.

Also implemented: ammo pickups for rockets, shells, bullets, and cells. Ammo still infinite though so I can tweak further.

I'm off to Somerset tomorrow to see the Girl and have fun, back Tuesday night, so sadly no progress until then. Nice to have got the robots deadly before I went. Be a bit of a surprise for Chaz in the morning. Sorry sorry sorry I know the diary's a bit boring when there's no new build to test. Soon, my pretties, soon!

[size=0]Music: Mr Bungle - California, Amon Tobin - Verbal Remixes and Collaborations & Permutation, Blur - Leisure[/size]

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #108 - Posted 2007-10-01 18:41:35 »

25 September 2007

Added a "latch" to the pistol and shotgun so that holding down the fire button doesn't repeat fire; you have to take your finger off the button and tap it. It seems to have a better feel to it that way. Unfortunately the gidrahs are insane and once they jam the trigger on they don't let go of it, so currently they only get one shot off at the player.

Adjusted bullet damage so that a normal bullet causes 3 points of damage, and adjusted the gidrah's minimum hitpoints to 6. So two shots still kills the weediest gidrah. Shotgun pellets are now 2 points of damage each, so one shotgun blast full on causes 10 points of damage, but as it spreads out it's quite a bit less likely to outright kill anything.

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #109 - Posted 2007-10-01 18:42:35 »

26 September 2007

Horrible disaster!!!!!!!! So we got all this "Doomifying" into the game... and, well, it's crap. At the end of the day it's kind of less fun than before, and much more hardcore, and thence less appealing. It's totally lost the pleasant arcade feel that it started with.

So I've spent all day undoing it all - 4 days work down the drain, plus Chaz's time too. Bah. Oh, and trying to get the gidrah homing brains to behave nicely. They're still a bit rubbish I think.

Plan B is to figure out what was wrong with the original design and fix it. My gut feeling is just that we didn't actually design enough maps to make it apparent what the appeal was with the game. Also the script tiles haven't yet been done so I'm working on that.

[size=0]Music: Elastica - The Menace & Elastica, Boards of Canada - Geodaddi and The Campfire Headphase, Kruder and Dorfmeister, International Pony[/size]

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #110 - Posted 2007-10-01 18:42:56 »

27 September 2007

Spent all day recoding the homing brain and tuning the gidrah's hitpoints and speed. The homing brain is still not really any good half of the time. The robots just get stuck in silly places and don't try to walk around obstacles to get to where they want to be. It used to work for Gauntlet but these days it's a bit ... well, dull, I suppose.


Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #111 - Posted 2007-10-01 18:43:16 »

28 September 2007

I have been looking at my A* algorithm in SPGL. I am thinking I'll have a go at implementing A* for the homing brain and see how that works out. Head down, bash out code...

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #112 - Posted 2007-10-01 18:43:52 »

1 October 2007

Bloody hell, it's October already and we've not really even started on the game content yet Sad I suppose this is our own fault for changing the design fairly radically as the game has been developed, and backtracking somewhat on some ideas, and going on holiday and such.

I spent all of Friday and a fair bit of Saturday working on the gidrah AIs and the A* algorithm. The end result is the basic HomingBrain, and its two derivatives, ChaseBrain and AmbushBrain. Allow me to elaborate on how it works:

The HomingBrain, if it can see its target square directly, attempts to directly move towards that target square either horizontally or vertically first, depending on a toggle which flips whenever it bumps into anything. The target square is typically the player's current location. If it bumps into something it can't shimmy past, it goes into "wandering mode" where it picks a random direction and walks for a number of tiles. If it keeps bumping into things it'll keep wandering.

This works for a fairly large proportion of the time, and was indeed what the old brains were more or less doing. However as soon as the player goes round a corner this simple brain is flummoxed and the gidrahs behave rather like the ghosts in Gauntlet, just sort of stuck in the corners of rooms. So now if the gidrah doesn't have a direct LOS to its target, it uses a simple implementation of the A* algorithm to plot a route in grid tiles towards its target, and then it tries to follow that route. If it gets stuck it reverts to wandering. Every second or so it will re-evaluate its A* path as well as the target is very likely to have moved.

I had to put in a few hackery tweakery bits to prevent a few odd cases where the gidrahs would just seem to spin on the spot, and now they're feeling much, much better and more sneaky.

The AmbushBrain sets its target by scanning ahead of the player in the direction the player is looking by up to 4 squares. The ChaseBrain does the same but in the opposite direction that the player is looking.

I've tweaked the hitpoints of the robots now so the action isn't broken up too much by having to stand still and shoot them. Also the relative nastiness of gidrahs is now based on the game's difficulty level (there are 8 levels - depends on the world map sequence number) by selecting from a list of available gidrahs, skewed by the difficulty level.

The rabbits are working again now too Cool

I got scripting tiles working as we planned in the afternoon. The scientist you spawn next to on the hub world is looking for his sonic screwdriver, and produces little speech bubbles to that effect. It looks really good, even with the crappy temporary sound effect it has.

Also put in bouncing fireballs. These are just bullets which don't remove themselves when they hit walls; instead they just bounce. Took 10 minutes, and I even did the graphics myself. Though I have a strange feeling Chaz will want to change them!

[size=0]Music: Amon Tobin - Bricolage, The Breeders - Pod, Beastie Boys - To the 5 Boroughs[/size]

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #113 - Posted 2007-10-02 22:08:41 »

2 October 2007

Bah - I'm ill Sad Forgotten just how horrible it is.

Chaz has done a load of tiles for the Hell levels - they look ace! All red and unpleasant with glowing pentagrams for the monsters to materialise out of. The pentagrams are a bit silly because Chaz has tried to do them using only 45 degree angles. I suspect he will be changing that.

Stuff done:
  • Shooting a crate now returns it to its original location. Sort of like a backup to the crate reset switch. It can of course rematerialise on you which means it explodes and you get hurt. This means that we have to design puzzles with crates in that are not essential in order to complete the level.
  • Adjusted the point under the player which is the "tile coordinates" so that when standing on lava it actually looks like you're on the lava, instead of near it.
  • Speeded up arrow movement to 8 pixels/frame (twice as fast), so now they're a bit more zoomy. Makes you jiggle a bit though now if you try walking into them for some reason. I suppose I'll have to fix that.
  • Slowed down platforms to 1 pixel/frame so it's easier to get on and off them
  • Completed the first "Moonbase" map
  • Mostly completed the second "Moonbase" map but it needs tuning. A lot.
  • Stopped gidrahs from walking on toxic tiles unless they're flying or floating
  • Gidrahs used to be able to push platforms around accidentally; no longer.

We've been working blind for a while now so it's time for a new build! As you have just read, there are two Moonbase maps - go directly down and left from the spawning point to play them. There's also a Gardens of Moog map and a Hell map, both just testers.

[size=0]Music: Boards of Canada - Twoism, Porno for Pyros - Good God's Urge, Little Feat[/size]

Offline miu

Junior Newbie





« Reply #114 - Posted 2007-10-03 03:42:18 »

Wow, that's pretty much a new game! Hell looks hot!  Wink

Referring to the player ratings displayed, would you say your constant redesign is "brave" or "foolhardy"?  Grin

Remembering your earlier Eclipse troubles, you may have noticed that ver. 3.3.1 is now out.

Get well soon!
Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #115 - Posted 2007-10-03 10:40:52 »

Feel even worse today, but thanks for the Eclipse heads up! I wonder why Eclipse never automatically updates itself?

Cas Smiley

Offline TheAnalogKid

JGO Coder


Projects: 2



« Reply #116 - Posted 2007-10-03 13:22:20 »

Tried it but got:

1  
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7  
8  
9  
10  
11  
12  
13  
java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException
   at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method)
   at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(Unknown Source)
   at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(Unknown Source)
   at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Unknown Source)
   at com.sun.javaws.Launcher.executeApplication(Unknown Source)
   at com.sun.javaws.Launcher.executeMainClass(Unknown Source)
   at com.sun.javaws.Launcher.doLaunchApp(Unknown Source)
   at com.sun.javaws.Launcher.run(Unknown Source)
   at java.lang.Thread.run(Unknown Source)
Caused by: java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: net/puppygames/gamecommerce/shared/RegistrationDetails
   at net.puppygames.applet.Launcher.main(Launcher.java:67)
   ... 9 more


Maybe I got in the middle of a version upgrade on the server?

BTW, I find the game really fun so far! It has a unique genre this is fresh to me. Keep up! :_)

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #117 - Posted 2007-10-03 15:06:45 »

Looks like you need to clear your cache.

Cas Smiley

Offline TheAnalogKid

JGO Coder


Projects: 2



« Reply #118 - Posted 2007-10-03 15:55:41 »

It worked after having cleared the cache. 2 comments:
- the sound of canons is too high compared to the other sounds.
- the game got stucked like in an infinite loop when I died. The background was red, printing "you have died" or something like that and the explosion (or another one maybe) sound was playing constantly. I had to kill the process.

Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #119 - Posted 2007-10-03 18:31:32 »

Worked without problems here.

A few little nitpicks:
* Could you display the little text balloons a bit longer? (like twice as long?) Perhaps even with a sound effect that indicates someone is saying something important. Real speech would of course be totally cool, but I'm not sure that's feasible.
* Maybe you could give the player even more feedback for what has happened, for example when a switch is activated. Especially when it triggers something out of screen (and the quick scrolling to the event happens) it all happens so fast that I didn't immediately notice that some barrier or something was removed. Maybe some voice saying 'barrier deactivated' or something. Perhaps a female voice like in the Alien movie, or a robot voice a la Berzerk would be cool.

Overall I found it already to be a big improvement over the previous version I tried  Smiley

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