July 10, 2007
Well, it took me a while to update this, I’m sorry. I have been working on the game and in a couple side projects, but also spending time getting our project ready to enter it for incubation at my university. Everything is going well, gladly, and I’m sure it’ll continue this way.
I added a new game mode to Lunar Defender, a homage to a few games that inspired me with it, I’m sure you know what kind of game I’m talking about. It’s the Defender Mode. In this one you have to build towers to keep the aliens from reaching your base. The “skeleton” of the mode already works perfectly, it just needs a lot of balancing right now.
But what about the story mode? Wasn’t I working on that? Yeah, I got most things working, the event system is still incomplete, but it can already do enough to build a lot of stages. I need to work on the AI to be able to implement the rest, and I’m quite lazy to get to it. There is a module already for steering behavior, but I rather just learn how it works and code my own, so I may use this knowledge for future projects.
Lunar Defender itself is done already, most of the things left to do involve only balancing and event coding. That’s great, isn’t it?😀
Oh, one of the side projects I begun is a very basic game engine for the next game we will be working on. It is easier than I thought it was going to be, so that makes my idea possible. Just stay around to hear more about it.
June 27, 2007
Well, today I realized something very important: LD is an action game, you won’t have time or patience to read huge messages during the game. So I changed the whole message style to a small bar across the screen.
I like how it turned out, I think now it is both more readable and better looking. I will of course have to test this out to find a way that it will be an interesting plot device instead of a distraction. Today I only worked on the stages, I already finished two fully scripted stages, and added a lot of new events. Tomorrow I will be integrating the buy and research screens together, and making it work for the story mode. See you around🙂
June 26, 2007
Sorry for the late update, I’ve been away.
I don’t really remember if I posted this, but Survival Mode is ready and working. At least a prototypical version for the 0.6 beta. So, I began working on the Story Mode, which is the most complicated one. I spent the day coding an event system, more complete than the one used in 0.5: events can be triggered by time, an enemy death, no enemies left alive, by other event, and some other stuff. Also, I added an in-game messaging system, that right now looks like a RPG dialogue box:
It uses the GUI module I built. I’m surprised how useful that module has turned out to be. I thought I was only going to use it for menus, but I’m using it almost everywhere. I even thought about using it to display the HUD, but I don’t think it’ll look nice in the way I have it planned. The Story Mode will be done very soon. But the stages and events… That’s another story🙂 I’ll build a small campaign for the 0.6b, as always.
For unlockables fans, LD will feature a lot of features and extras to be unlocked. More details soon😉
June 19, 2007
Well, I haven’t touched the game code in quite a while. I got back to it today since I need to finish the beta soon to use as a more accurate showcase of how the game is doing, so we can try to get support from the university or even other companies. The details on our own company are still being discussed, but it is expected to “launch” until October.
Anyway, today I changed the code so it became more game-like, instead of just senseless killing. I re-added the wave system that I had in the 0.4b, removed the “mine” buildings, the ones that gave you money every X seconds, and introduced a new resource: Manpower. You need men to operate the towers and everything else. But you only get a few in every new wave, so you have to think well of what you want to build. So far, waves 1-7 are VERY easy, and Wave 8 is overwhelming hard. I managed to get to wave 8 almost unscratched, and after it began I was crushed in a couple of seconds😛 Here’s my final score:
I guess I should also give you some details about the newest beta: it’ll have two game modes, Story and Survival. Story will be a mini-campaign, and Survival is a more arcade-like kind of game. Think of 0.4b and 0.5b joined together. The profile system is expected to be fully working, and maybe even online high-scores. Remember, this is the last public beta, so after that release, you will only find screenshots and movies here.
See you around🙂
June 12, 2007
Hey, just to let you all know that the game is still in progress. I have finished the GUI module a while ago, and it’s working perfectly. I also implemented it in the game, made the options menu, and the screens you’ll see between missions.
The team that will work on the game is now set: I have gathered two partners that will work on the game with me and we’ll be starting things officially – with a company and everything. Because of that I have been focusing on our meetings instead of posting here. Soon you’ll have new content though, including game art🙂
Well here’s a screenshot of the main menu, now with the GUI module:
See you soon!
May 31, 2007
First of all, I’m not sure if this has been done already by someone in the BlitzMAX community, since I didn’t search for one. It’s very likely that it exists, but even so, I decided to create my own GUI module that will work inside the game itself, not as a separate window like I did in beta 0.4b. What will I use this for? Showing the user profiles; creating, editing, deleting profiles; main menu buttons; options menu; some in-game menus; and on and on… Well, I won’t make a complete module for this, I will only add what I will need in this game. In the future, if I need something else, I’ll just add. This will be a very personal module, without any documentation or explanation of the features, only designed for my own personal use.
I started working on it tonight, and things have been good so far. Until now, I only created three types: the basic entity, the window and the menu types. I won’t even explain the “features” since this screenshot shows it all:
The windows are drag-able. The window focus is not manual, it is controlled by the program. So, you won’t be able to select a window by clicking the title bar; if I want you to see a window, you’ll see that window😛 At first this sounds as a limitation, but there are no cases in the game where this will be needed. For example, when you click the “New Profile” button, this happens:
I don’t want people to be able to drag the “Create New Profile” window away and mess with the main profile window. Of course I could just disable manual focus in this case, but like I said, there are zero situations in the game that will need a manual focus.
As for how things work, I was thinking about making the button emit a event when it is pressed, same for the window when it is dragged, but I realized that I would still need to make the event be emitted manually(unless there is a reason to do that automatically that I don’t know of), so having some code to detect where the mouse is and what it pressed so then the event can be emitted and another part of code to check if an event was emitted, who emitted it, and then execute the action would just make things larger. So this will be like that unless I find a better use to the events.
I have also worked on the game a bit, as you can see up there. In addition to this neat window, I also made several changes to the game itself, added new buildings and weapons, and kinda made things more challenging🙂
Until next time.
May 26, 2007
Below you’ll find two screenshots, the first is the game running for 10 hours😛 The second is the newest version of the game, also running for a while. Unfortunately, my computer broke and I wasn’t able to work on the game or post in those last few days, but it’s fixed now and I’m back to work.
Oh well. Soon I may have a new video for you guys, showing how the game is this time. Right now I’m just coding some useless things to make the game look better, like rearranging the building menu, making the main menu and options menu, etc. After that is done, I’ll rewrite a code to make the enemies spawn in waves, just like it was before. But this time, between waves you’ll be able to research or buy upgrades😉 I’m stopping here today, even though it’s early. I’ll get some rest now because my whole body is aching.
May 21, 2007
I’m back baby!
As always, just click to enlarge. It’s 5 am so I’m heading to bed. Tomorrow I’ll explain all the new things you see above😛
May 20, 2007
I have worked on the game tonight more than this whole week. I hope this means I’m getting back to work just like before. What’s new? A larger play area, a construction menu, the AI towers, and the building placement thingy. Here in the screenshot, you can see two towers shooting at a moving enemy while I place the third tower(the red means I can’t place it there because it overlaps the main base).
May 16, 2007
Well, as you may have noticed, I don’t update this in ages. There is a reason for that: friday night, feeling a terrible, terrible pain on my stomach, I was rushed to the hospital where I was diagnosed with a kidney stone. I stayed there for 3 days, taking a lot of pain medication and dying of boredom, and in the couple of hours I wasn’t sleeping, I was thinking about the game. In the few minutes my thoughts weren’t “Damn I wish I could be making the game right now”, I thought about the gameplay and realized that it could be better. So I changed it. Almost completely. I think the game is way, way better now. I also affectionately codenamed it Calculi.
I got back from the hospital changed: with a very clear view of the finished game, knowing exactly what has to change and be added and knowing how it feels like to give birth to several babies. So, no new screenshots or demos or anything for a bit. I still am not able to work in the game like before since I still feel unwell(probably from the painkiller overdose), but I am working on it. I will try to post some screenshots or videos tomorrow.
I have also decided that the game will have a last public beta, which will be just like a full game. I won’t tell you what will have on it, and this time I’m not saying it because I don’t know what it’ll have😛
In some unrelated subject, I bought a book to read in the hospital called Sharpe’s Tiger, and I have to say it is really good. I have read more pages today in the bathroom than I did in those 3 days in the hospital(no, I didn’t spend hours in the bathroom, I just didn’t read in the hospital. Damn painkillers), but I am loving it. The author’s style is very simple and if you wrote like him you would make your literature teacher frown on you, but the author gets it just right. The book is by Bernard Cornwell by the way, and there are like thousands of books in the Sharpe series(gladly).
Anyway, I will go back to the game now. And before I forget, my deepest thanks to the Blitz Basic community that is always willing to answer my questions. You all have been a great help so far🙂