Strange how sometimes I feel like there’s nothing to do for a while and then suddenly I’m swamped with things that need to get done. I wish it would come gradually, but I guess I do this to myself. I’m in the process of fleshing out my project plan so I can get a better picture of my progress on the game I’m developing for the xbox360homebrew contest. I’ll be managing it within my blog so I’ll make a post linking to the page so for those interested can see the current progress of the project, otherwise just look out for my weekly updates on the homebrew site or here. With this contest taking up pretty much all the time I have for game development the planned Camera Tutorial for blitzmax has been put on hold…until further notice. I might throw up a quick XNA version of the 2D camera that won’t support scaling or rotation (read: only translation) just to get something up in the tutorials section. No promises.

As for gaming, I’m still hooked on Battlefield 2142, and all I have played so far is the demo! I just bought the full version during lunch today since I couldn’t resist. I got Lumines Live yesterday for xbox 360 and it is strangely addicting. Must be something about the colors or music, but whatever it is, it makes matching blocks very satisfying. Although I find it a bit much to buy the game in pieces. You get the full game, but it’s still missing some of the more advanced levels so it forces you to pay up for more levels. Just sounds more like a ploy to squeeze more money out of the game, and it is already on the high end of the price point for an XBLA game. Couple weeks ago I also pre-ordered the Nintendo Wii. This system holds alot of promise in terms of innovative gameplay. I really hope it delivers! If this keeps up I’m going to be broke by the end of November. Well, time to go pick up the new books I ordered from Amazon :D! Peace…

 

Phew! What a busy week that was! I got several components fixed/added into the editor to better support XNA’s graphics pipeline. I still need to implement the ‘smart import’ so I can save time (maybe hours) from cutting up images by myself to import individually. I made another blog post on the status of Wildboarders.

My 4th Dev Blog Entry

I’ve reached a stage in the development of this game where I’m sensing the transition is moving from ‘foundation laying’ (the fun part) to the real effort (not so fun) part of the development. The effort being in adding in all the little things you said you’d go back and add in or fix when you were doing the big parts of the game like the physics, menus, levels, etc. I think it’s important that I’m aware of this change, otherwise I’d spend days trying to find another ‘major’ part to do and not really get much done. I spent a part of saturday and all of sunday working on this game, but the results aren’t very tangible. It’s not like one day you have no physics and the next day you do. It’s more like one day you have your polygons loading and the next day you have them loading faster and not leaking memory. It’s an issue, but not something your end user will actually notice ;). So at the end of the day, it’s really hard to say how much progress you’ve made by just looking at the game running. To-do lists are great for keeping track of these menial tasks, and alteast gives you some indication of progress.

I’ve now got to do all those ‘little things’ for the editor and game while the art assets are being made. On the plus side, the core mechanic is very playable. I found myself spending more time playing the barren levels than I should have been. I take it as a good sign :D. Prototyping is invaluable with this situation. I got the core mechanic implemented very early, and now that I know it works I can go back and make a game around it.

I’ve uploaded some concept art and a small video of the prototype in action. Check out the gallery for the concept art.

And with that, I am out of here.

Every once in a while I see a game that really goes off in a different direction. Sometimes it’s a gameplay innovation/evolution other times it’s a visual style that seems so out there that I can’t help but appreciate it. Games like this just reaffirm the fact that games can be art. It really takes an open mind to break free of typical game conventions such as creating photorealistic graphics, or going for the typical cartoon style of graphics seen in many 2D games. While reading the Blitz forums someone posted a link to a teaser for a game that seems to be doing just that. The art is very intriguing and I can’t wait to see more. Go check it out:

Limbo

On a more silly note, this little website generates names that would be applicable to games (some are a bit iffy). Regardless, some are halarious while other are just plain wrong :o. There are a few that are almost good enough to warrant further investigation to actually make a quick game. Some of the ones I found funny are:

Yoshi’s Nazi Trilogy
Barbie’s Income Tax Crisis
Indiana Jones and the Bazooka Slaughter
Drunken Duck – The Movie
Battlefield: Spelunking Revolution
Creepy Caveman Fight
Tony Hawk’s Ninja Tycoon
Fisher Price Burger vs. Street Fighter

The Video Game Name Generator

I had a long weekend and took some of the extra time to try to get ahead of schedule. Much to my surprise I got a rather good chunk of the ‘to-do’ list done thanks to XNA game components and open-source libraries. I posted a list of the libraries and components I’m currently using for my game and where to get them. I’ve also made a library of classes for loading Endgen map files into XNA. So far it’ll only load lines (since I have no art yet). You’ll also find an early screenshot in the gallery and on the post.

My 3rd Dev Blog Post 

More updates soon. In other news, I got the Battlefield 2142 demo and I have to say it is a decent improvement upon BF2. The unlock system kind of makes it more gimmicky since I’m more interested in fair competition rather than some MMO style of play. I haven’t had too much time to play it, so hopefully it’s just an initial impression.

So I took the plunge. It looks like its going to be a wild ride (pun intended). Anyway, for the contest I’m required to keep a blog throughout the development of the game on their site. I’ll be keeping that blog updated with pictures and some comentaries of my experiences. Meanwhile, on this site I’ll just post a link to my blog and some additional notes to my self here if I missed it on the initial post. So on with the game!!!

notes:

– need to get some quick mock-ups done this weekend so Adam (the artist helping me in this endeavor) can get some stuff going on his own time while I work on the physics/mechanics.

Stumbled across this while browsing gamedev.net. I’m contemplating if I should join in. Sounds like it could be entertaining. If anything, it would be good practice on creating a game from start-to-finish with a set deadline but still keep it in good fun :). I’ve got a game idea that’s been brewing for a while and this might be just the thing to see it spring to life. Go check it out if you’re into this kind of thing.

XNA Contest

In the meantime, I’m about half way done with my first tutorial for the site. It’s going to be in blitzmax. I finally did create a blitzmax language file setup for GeSHi, but unfortunately it didn’t really work as intended. It works great for short snippets, but then the parser chokes on some things (like optional parameters) and the formatting breaks. In the end I took the blitzbasic language file, and just added in the function names that were used in my tutorial. I’ll probably be doing this as I post more code. As it turns out, the language file isn’t something worth posting. If you are curious about it and want to use it for your own site shoot me an e-mail and I can send you what I have of the original blitzmax file. The tutorial should be up in a few days if I don’t get distracted.

Don’t have anything ready to post as of now, but I had to atleast share this little flash ‘game’ I came across. It has sapped atleast a couple of hours already from me:

Line Rider

It is in beta, but it was pretty solid from what I saw. I thought this was a really cool gameplay mechanic. While I had ideas of drawing levels as you go for a type of game, this game took it far beyond what I had in mind. This one’s a good time killer. In the meantime, I’m working on getting my first tutorial up. It’ll be for Blitzmax so stay tuned…

6 New Images in the Development Gallery

Ok so I had the GeSHi blitzmax language file scheduled to be done by last weekend. Got caught up in more important development matters. I still plan on doing a full port for it, just not at the moment. I’ll probably get around to it when I’m ready to post another code sample or a tutorial for blitzmax. Nothing too exciting to really post about at this moment. Well…there’s plenty of things to post about. Most aren’t meant to be posted as it doesn’t fit here and other things I’m not at liberty to say…

Anyway, check out the image galleries and you’ll find some early development screenshots of StarGazer, a simple 2D puzzle/search game. Also some screenies of the 2D world editor I’m currently developing. Lots of plans for the editor :).

I leave you with this amusing conversation:

Adam S.: your estimation runs for up and back right?
Alex: no. Just the quarter of the way there
Adam S.: okay well see…
Adam S.: thats where you have to multiply by four
Adam S.: it’s like you have a pie, and you cut the pie into four equal pieces
Adam S.: you’re only counting for one piece
Adam S.: also this pie costs 600 dollars
Alex: it’s one hell of a pie
Adam S.: unforgettable…

So I got my code archive up and with its first entry:

New Blitzmax Code Module: Animation Strip Compiler 

 Hope you enjoy it.  Been doing alot of work lately on getting the site to accomodate me in posting code modules and examples both in C# and blitzmax. I think I might write a Blitzmax highlighter for GeSHi over the weekend. From what I’ve seen there currently isn’t a Blitzmax langauge file for GeSHi. There’s already a blitzbasic one, but it seems rather limited. Plus once its done that’s just another language GeSHi supports :). I’ll post the highlighter source when it’s complete.

In other news, while I was out to lunch…

Continue reading

It’s Thursday. The weekend is almost here. Can’t wait to finally be able rest! Waking up at 5 am every morning to the sound of an obnoxious alarm clock isn’t one of the most pleasant things. I am certainly not a morning person. I’m a college student. What do you expect?

I got a simple gallery up and running. The layout is a bit messed up at the moment but I’ll fix it later this week when I have more time to get into the code and templates. I posted 2 new pictures in concept art. These were both created by Adam Stewart for a game I worked on many months ago. I got the priviledge of coloring one of his characters named Firestorm, the semi-‘mascot’ for Gunstyle.