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  Escape Copter (updated 8/21/2013)  (Read 2030 times)
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Offline namrog84

JGO Ninja


Medals: 46
Projects: 4


Keep programming!


« Posted 2013-08-20 06:32:50 »

So I have been super busy for a long time and I haven't really made anything in at least 8 months.  With LudumDare 27 coming up. I thought I would do a little warm up game and spend a little bit of time ( less than 20 hours total)  on learning a variety of things that I could potentially find useful in the LD, in also as a way to 'complete' an actual small mini project.  My goal was to aim incredibly low and just explore new libraries/frameworks/etc...

So I made Escape Copter 4.0 !

It maxes out difficulty around 800 meters,  on an off chance there is a couple of 'scenarios' that it was unbeatable by me, though it doesn't happen often and also doesn't mean that someone else couldn't get through it.


Since this was a project was meant for me to learn and not necessarily for full fun potential or 'full polished/diversity'. Here is what I learned and utilized!
  • Self imposed restriction:  Use 1 color(#FD2850) + black/white
  • Self imposed restriction:  Use 1 button control (You can use space bar or up arrow)
  • Utilized Box2D for a lot, including gravity, movement, collisions, item pickup, sensors, maskbits and category bits! ( I learned a lot!)
  • Utilized ParticleEffect and the associated Particle Editor with libgdx
         - also pseudo implemented a custom particle thingamajinger for 1 aspect of it.
  • Utilized 2 cameras and a libgdx stage all at once.  1 camera for game, 1 camera for 'transition effects' and stage handles labels/buttons
  • Utilized Simplex noise for background parallax scrolling
  • Utilized Universal Tween Engine for intro effect and transition
  • Learned for the first time ever, how to apply ShaderEffects and ShaderProgram and applied a 'blur' to the background to make it look distant and out of focus
  • Learned a fair amount of procedurally loading 'chunks' for levels using 2 approaches.
       -the crappy way, has it cycle between 2 chunks, by adjusting locations and accessing things outside of itself, eww
       -better way I used a list of several chunks that just pop/add accordingly and using a proper 'chunk' class that handles all of it self contained reference, without having to access much outside.
  • I experimented with 10 different algorithms for generating the levels, including various noise, tunneling, misc approaches.  Ended up liking the outcome from a really simple one in the end.
  • I also experimented with changing the color of everything using a color filter, including it slowly fading between colors, or changing colors based upon progress. However I couldn't ever get any of it to look good and it just became distracting, even at subtle smooth transitions.


http://84bit.com/EscapeCopter004.jar
http://84bit.com/EscapeCopter004.zip  (contains an .exe  designed for windows only)

mirror for jar
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/78352186/EscapeCopter004.jar


The code is a horrendous mess of horribleness right now. I wouldn't recommend anyone looking  but its all 100% there
https://github.com/namrog84/ColorCopterGame  Pointing  Actually this is out of date, will fix soon.



Known issues:
1. Warning, don't right click mouse, it blacks out screen, press G to return, though.
2. Occasionally, it seems like the parallax background scrolling 'disappears'  but returns.  I think I isolated it all, however it might still be present.
3. It might accidentally generate impossible passable terrain
4. In some instances you might be able to squeeze out of the map, though the camera is semi locked to certain vertical displacement.
5. The particles under the helicopter's rotors aren't quite right in a variety of ways(location/appearance). However I just said screw it and left it as a minimal special effect.



Aside from maybe trying to get it working on android and html5, I am not going to poke at it a whole lot more.


Despite that, I would still greatly any criticism or feedback on anything I've done.  Just remember it was meant to be 'limited' In the sense that I don't have powerups, diversity, or a whole lot going on. Just a simple Infinite Runner Helicopter game
 persecutioncomplex Roll Eyes Shocked Clueless Yawn


game runs at 1280x720
Screen shot Image:



Added an android version
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.newrog.coptergame
It doesn't have the background blur that the desktop version though, and its ever so slightly occasionally laggy :/ At least on my S3

"Experience is what you get when you did not get what you wanted"
Offline PandaMoniumHUN

JGO Coder


Medals: 30
Exp: 3 years


White-bearded OGL wizard


« Reply #1 - Posted 2013-08-22 17:00:12 »

Okay, so after playing around with this for a while I have to say that this turned out really cool! Smiley
The gameplay feels smooth, it's simple yet challenging. Using minimal amount of colors really gives it a nice style.

However, there are some bugs what I've experienced:
  • The .exe file doesn't work (I'm using Windows 8, maybe that's the issue?), just starts it in the background and it's impossible to kill the process.
  • Right clicking on the game's context gives me a black screen and can't continue playing the game until I close it's window and restart it.
  • The helicopter's collision box isn't working properly, there were a few times when the tail/rotor totally hit the wall and nothing happened.
  • When colliding with a wall on low speed the helicopter doesn't break but adds a blueish box there. (Not sure if this is a correct behavior)
  • Sometimes when the helicopter breaks the game zooms out and you can see the end of the top and/or bottom walls. It is only a visual thing but it's kind of annoying. I suggest to either make the walls a bit thicker or to drop the zoom effect.

I hope you've had learned a lot from your project, keep up the good work! Cool

My Blog | Jumpbutton Studio - INOP Programmer
Can't stress enough: Don't start game development until you haven't got the basics of programming down! Pointing
Offline namrog84

JGO Ninja


Medals: 46
Projects: 4


Keep programming!


« Reply #2 - Posted 2013-08-22 20:35:15 »

The .exe file doesn't work (I'm using Windows 8, maybe that's the issue?), just starts it in the background and it's impossible to kill the process.
-Not sure why this happens. I am using windows 8 too   Undecided

Right clicking on the game's context gives me a black screen and can't continue playing the game until I close it's window and restart it.
-Yeah I accidentally left something in the game, pressing G returns it back from the 'black screen'  It was a way to cycle between the menu and the game that I forgot to take out

The helicopter's collision box isn't working properly, there were a few times when the tail/rotor totally hit the wall and nothing happened.
-It was kinda designed this way, the only thing you have to avoid getting hit is the cockpit.   I read up on this a fair amount and many games actually only place the collideable area to be the cockpit.  Some big shoot-em-up type games, only have the cockpit of the plane have collision box, and ignore  wings/props/rotors/ other parts. 
Though I suppose I could have put one around the rear tail rotor though.  I will next time!


When colliding with a wall on low speed the helicopter doesn't break but adds a blueish box there. (Not sure if this is a correct behavior)
There is an initial 'newbie' timer for the first 1-2 seconds of the game, you can hit anything and not die.
-Additionally there is something a little wonky about the box2d that sometimes causes collisions/sensor activated when you are super super 'close' to something but not quite touching it.  It used to happen a lot more,  I haven't been able to track down one final bug on this though. But thanks!  I wish I could find the cause of this one


Sometimes when the helicopter breaks the game zooms out and you can see the end of the top and/or bottom walls. It is only a visual thing but it's kind of annoying. I suggest to either make the walls a bit thicker or to drop the zoom effect.
-I forgot to remove it, it was supposed to be removed :/   alternatively it'd be easy to just extend the last tile a bit, so that it extends way past the viewable camera distance.
-I completely agree that its really annoying/cheap looking when you see the outer edge  Clueless



Thanks for the feedback and playing!  This was just a 1-off learning experience.  These are always appreciated and will make adjustments in the future and not be 'lazy' on fixing some things that should have been fixed before release/demonstration.  Especially the easy ones like the right mouse click and zoom.

"Experience is what you get when you did not get what you wanted"
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