April 30, 2007

Still No Beta

Posted in Game Content, Progress at 4:46 am by mothmanbr

Sorry guys, the weather went insane this weekend, and got really really cold. My throat has been aching for a few days now, I hope I didn’t catch a cold. Because of this and some other personal reasons, I wasn’t able to work much on the code this weekend, and even missed a few posts. 😦

Because of that, obviously, no new version will be released this weekend. But the good news is that I’m now resuming to work full time on the game, and I’m catching up to all the wasted time. So, today I have added a bunch of new stuff: a title screen, a menu, a mission briefing screen, a mission completed screen with a bunch of useless statistics(people always like numbers) and messed around with the code a bit to make it more readable. I also changed a lot of things, especially how the game treats images. Now instead of each class having its own array of images, I have one single class that holds ALL game images. So when an object is created, it searches this array to get the address of the image he will use. I’ve also eliminated almost all of my loose weird-but-made-for-testing-purposes variables and added them to the types, making a lot of my work easier.

Tomorrow I’ll post a few screenshots, showing the menu and some other things.

April 28, 2007

Gameplay Video; Game name defined.

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:06 am by mothmanbr

So, we now have a name defined to the game, which of course, it not 100% sure to be the final game, but it will at least be the working title. And since I was annoyed by the editors, I decided to record myself playing and post it on youtube. I edited it a bit, added a soundtrack, and there you go, the game’s first gameplay video: 400 kills. You are more than welcome to record and submit your own, as long as you link back to this blog. In case anyone ever does, send me the link and maybe I’ll post it here.

Lunar Defender gameplay video:

April 27, 2007

Editors = Painful, boring process

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:08 pm by mothmanbr

Well, unfortunately, the editors still had a few bugs, which I am fixing now before I can implement them on the game. And I have to say, I hate them 🙂 Making a game is(so far) a very fun and interesting process, and very very rewarding. But making the editors is too much troublesome, and almost for nothing. Well, unfortunately, they have to be done, and someone has to do them. If we ever evolve to a game development company, I’ll hire someone to do the darn things. I wanted to say that our next public beta will be up this weekend, but unfortunately I can’t say that for sure anymore. But keep your eyes open because when this is done, I’ll have new media and screenshots for you. We have new sprites and better ones. Yes, even Mando 😛

April 26, 2007

Editors Done

Posted in Game Content, Progress, Thoughts and Ideas at 6:00 am by mothmanbr

Not much to report, except that the new editors are done 🙂 Tomorrow I begin to implement them on the game, and then there won’t be much time left until our next public beta.

It will consist of two campaigns, an easy and an intermediate one, of 5 levels each. The ammunition will be fixed for each level, but you are able to get more ammo from fallen enemies. In some stages, not all weapons will be available. There will be three enemy sizes, small, large, and boss 😛 The weapons will remain the same, even though in the final game there will be more explosions.

I won’t post any screenshots today, because the game is broken 🙂 I changed all of the types so the code can welcome the editors with open arms, and that makes the game unplayable until the editors are ready and I can set it to read from a file. After the game can read the info from the files saved by the editor, it’s time to make the game interpret that info, build stages, and follow the events.

Also, each campaign will have its own scoreboard. So this time you can keep high scores. No save game feature since the game will still be short. Survival mode(the one where you just have to survive for as long as you can) won’t be available in this beta.

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday, due to some problems I wasn’t able to get anything done. See you tomorrow 🙂

April 24, 2007

Meet Mando

Posted in Game Content, Media, Off-topic, Progress at 6:57 am by mothmanbr

Today I’ve finished the enemy class editor, and worked some more on the level editor. Then I spent the rest of the day working on the game engine, and I managed to boost the performance greatly. It can support way more graphics than before 🙂 I’ve also talked to our pixel artist, and we decided to have different sizes of enemies. So I chose a sprite I asked him to do before, and told him to make it larger. And so Mando was born.

Mando easily became the largest enemy in the game, being almost larger than the player base. But with his death animation, his body looked really small, as if he was just a large individual. So we decided to raise the sprite size even more. And this is where his came from. He kept sending me new files all the time, and I kept testing them and wondering what should be changed. When he was taking some time to send me the file I kept saying “manda!”, meaning “send it!”. He then sent me a file called “mando.png”, it literally translates to “I send it”. And so we kept calling him Mando, and I guess the name stuck 😛

Improvements? More blood 😀 More enemies on the screen at the same time 😛 Fully customizable enemy classes, that can change every level 🙂 But well, only a few of those will be available in the next(and last) public beta.

Well, apart from the editor and all the engine and code optimizations, I don’t really have nothing else to report. There are several new sprites ready for the next beta, but I don’t want to can’t show them to you. See you tomorrow 🙂

April 23, 2007

Working on the editors

Posted in Game Content, Progress, Thoughts and Ideas at 3:33 pm by mothmanbr

Not much news here – I’m now working on the level and enemy editors. Those will not ever go public(well, who knows?) but they are how me and/or the level designer will easily create levels and enemy classes for the game, without having to mess around the source code. This also makes the game engine more re-usable. In case I ever want to release a similar game, I can use what I coded here, and just alter the game with the editor 🙂

As for the next public beta, it’ll feature levels and enemies designed with the editors. I’ll make two mini-campaigns you can choose from, each of them with their own levels and classes. After this is done, then the real game will start to be made. Then, after the real game is finished, I’ll put my artists to work on the graphics, and work on the music and sounds of the game. And at the same time I’ll be tweaking the engine, adding graphical improvements and boosting performance.

Sorry, no screenshot today 😛 See you tomorrow.

April 22, 2007

Game Release – v0.4b

Posted in Game Content, Media, Progress, Releases at 6:33 am by mothmanbr

As promised, here is the latest release of the game 🙂 I changed a lot of things, and I would like to say that the player won’t be fixed in that position. I changed him there for testing purposes. Also, the health bar next to the crosshair was added for testing purposes. It may be changed to something else in the future.

Once again I’m very happy with the result, I think the gameplay is better now that it is balanced. You can kill 2 times more enemies compared to the last release before you die, so that means the battlefield will be really bloody. The new sprites aren’t state-of-the-art, but they are better than the slimes. So now I can say proudly that all graphics in the game were done by myself or by a friend(if you want to know which ones are mine: they are the really shitty ones 😛 ).

Another thing that I’m happy about is that I managed to play around with MaxGUI for a bit, something that I have never done before. I created a launch window for the game that lets you choose between full screen or windowed mode, and blood color. It also displays the changelog of this version. Anyway, time for a break now 😛 Tomorrow I’ll post what I have planned for the next version, which is very likely to be the last public beta. Those who want to keep playing will need to contact me to maybe become beta-testers.

Screenshot v0.4b
Click for full size.

Download:
SendSpace [1121KB] 

Controls:
1 – 4: Switch Weapons
Mouse: Aim and fire
P: Pause the game
ESC: Quit the game

Installation:
Extract all files to the same folder and run “main.exe” to play. To uninstall, delete folder.

Changelog:

New Features
– 5 new enemy sprites; (Not done by me)
– New player sprite; (Not done by me)
– New grass tileset; (Guess who? Not me)
– Ammo system less based on luck; (Now the only luck-based thing is for which weapon the ammo is for)
– Player moved to the left of the screen; (His position will change in the next release again, don’t worry 😛 )
– 5 new enemy classes, each with their own base speed and health; (I love the 5th enemy. You will see why. He’s a big blue thing)
– Bullets have different damage and caliber; (The shotgun is the weakest now, and the quad does a lot of damage)
– Added a launch window where you can set several options; (Including some useless and ugly things like “Emo Mode” 😛 Yes, it’s your mode Moicano)
– Bullets’ trails disappear gradually;
– Moved the health bar to the left side of the crosshair;  (Feedback on this is appreciated)
– Enemy waves more balanced and challenging; (At least they feel this way for me 🙂 )
– Shotgun now less powerful; (But powerful as hell in point-blank range)
– Quad now more powerful; (Let me put it this way: use it against enemies 1 to 4, you are wasting it.)
– Quad now has a larger trail;
– Pistol, SMG and Quad bullets’ are now around 25% faster.

Code Optimization
– Changed the ammo system to be less based on luck;
– Reworked the enemy type to add the new classes;
– Reworked the player type to allow better customization;
– A few drawing and simulation routines were rewritten to consume
less time.

Bug Fixes
– Fixed a bug where pausing the game wouldn’t stop the enemies from
spawning.  (I wanted to leave it because it was fun, but oh well 😛 )

So that’s it 🙂 I hope you enjoy it as much as I am enjoying to make this.

April 21, 2007

Code optimization; new sprites

Posted in Game Content, Media, Off-topic, Progress, Thoughts and Ideas at 7:16 am by mothmanbr

Sorry guys, I’ll make this short: I had little time to work on the game today, and when I did, was lazy most of it. But I did optimize some more of the code, and marked some other places that I need to work on. I had no idea how crappy I programmed the player type. I will rewrite it completely tomorrow.

I added a new tileset, that you can see here, and a new “base” for the player, which is basically a top-down version of the previous one, done by my friend that made the alien sprite I posted before. Also, I removed the particle effects I was testing for the bullets. They consume too many resources and are useless. The pixel bullets work so much better. So unless I have any new idea for the bullets, they will remain like that until the final version. I also added an explosion that creates fragments that go in random directions and lose speed until they stop and disappear. But the explosion gives you a really sudden frame-rate drop, for all the projectiles being created at the same time. Even so, the explosion also didn’t look good. So I will remove it for the time being and work in more important things.

I will probably post a new beta this weekend, with some changes already planned: instead of just picking a random enemy(in the last beta, the slime color), I will create different classes of enemies that have different base speed and health values. Each wave will consist of a fixed number of enemies, but a different % of each. I will also rework the ammo system, because it is too much based on luck. What I do is to generate a random number, and compare to a value. If it is smaller, you get a random amount of a random kind of ammo. Needless to say that sometimes you won’t get any ammo until the end of the game, and some other times it’s ammo galore.  I’m planning in generating a small random number, and adding it to a variable. Once it is big enough, you get ammo. This way if you get several consecutive low numbers, you will still get ammo. It will still depend on luck, but it eliminates the possibility that you never get any ammo.

Oh, and thanks for everyone that reported the pause bug to me. I had already noticed it after releasing the beta, but I still didn’t fix it. I will for the 4th release though. It’s just that it was a fun bug. I enjoyed pausing the game and then seeing how long I could last against 30 enemies coming at me at the same time. Even though I already knew of the bug, I’m grateful for all those that came to me about it 🙂

So see you all tomorrow, with new content. By the way, the 4th beta release will have 100% original graphics 😀

April 20, 2007

Minor Improvements

Posted in Game Content, Media, Progress, Thoughts and Ideas at 7:15 am by mothmanbr

Well, since today I worked mostly in setting up this blog, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to do anything this afternoon, progress was slow. Most of the work I did on the game was to improve the code and make it more open to future changes. One thing not to do: get overexcited about your game, and rush everything to see the new things soon. You should calm down and do everything slowly and in a way you know you can read and modify easily later. When you have a few dozen of global variables(that were supposed to be only temporary for you to test a feature) being used all over your game, it gets a bit complicated to change.

Bullet Trails Anyway, apart from the code optimization, I changed a few types and added new ones. This one you see on the right for example, is the bullet trail. It fades out in one second, so now you don’t see that sudden disappearance of the whole trail when the bullet is destroyed. It stays behind, slowly fading out. After it fades out completely it also is destroyed. It’s worth noting that the trail is not a single line, but a list of several lines, each with their own alpha value, that connects to the end of the other. Of course they are not very long. Also, another thing you may notice is that the bullets look different. I’m testing a few particle effects, but I’m not very happy with the results. I’ll have to play around with the settings and other ways so the bullets look cool.

The quad weapon, that was kind of useless before, is now really overpowered. You have only a few shots, but they pierce through any enemy and are only gone after they leave the screen. They don’t kill the enemy in later levels though, but damages them badly. The pistol and SMG had their strenght lowered also, their only difference now being the rate of fire and recoil. And the shotgun(sorry about this, shotgun fans – I know a lot will be disappointed) now is the weakest of all weapons. It has awful damage – its strenght lies in the quantity of shots. Now the weapon is more effective in close range, instead of against a group of aliens.

In some cooler news, I have a friend working on sprites for the game, which is improving it a lot already. They are not quality sprites, but just drafts and things we want to test out. But it still gave the game a way better feeling than just killing those slimes 😛 Below is a screenshot of my newest record, also showing several frames of the newest enemy sprite.

Click to see the full image.

I think I should add more blood.

v0.3b Download

Posted in Game Content, Media, Progress, Releases at 5:30 am by mothmanbr

I posted the two previous releases here along with screenshots and comments on it. I will be reposting some things here 🙂

I’m very happy and proud to release this new beta 🙂 I’ve changed a lot of how the game worked, to give it some sense: now the enemies come in increasingly difficult waves, your weapons have limited ammo and you rarely get more ammo. If I had just added a scoreboard, this could have been a cool game to play for some hours(well, minutes). I added sounds to the game also, I stole all of them from my CSS folder, the weapon sounds come from custom skins. Of course, they are just temporary, just like the bad, awful graphics.

0.3b Screenshot

 

Click for full-sized image.

Download it here: SendSpace [1000KB]

Oh, I also added a better HUD and a message in portuguese in the beginning of the game explaining the commands. Something that I should have done here a while ago.

Installation:
1. Extract all files to the same folder
2. Run main.exe
3. To uninstall, delete the folder.

Controls:
Mouse – Moves crosshair and shoots
1 – Select pistol
2 – Select submachinegun
3 – Select shotgun
4 – Select quadshot
P – Pauses the game
ESC – Quits the game

Changelog:
* Added new fonts
* Added weapon sounds (Ahem, stole)
* Added level up sounds (Ahem, stole too)
* Added pause feature (Which I noticed now, that has a very bad bug in it. The time keeps counting)
* Fixed a bug with the death animation (The enemy would change direction in the middle of the death animation)
* Added ammo (Always had it, but only enabled it now)
* Reworked the GUI completely (It makes you want to puke, I know)
* Enemies now come in waves (What makes it a game)
* Killing an enemy sometimes gives you more ammo
* Game can now display simple static or moving messages on screen
* Doubled time in which blood stays on the screen
* Minor graphical improvements (I bet you don’t even know what improved 😉 )
* Minor code optimization (VERY minor. The code is kind of messy, since I hurried to implement most things)
* Lowered reloading time for the quad weapon
* Added main screen with instructions (well… in portuguese 😛 )

Also, for those interested, you can find the previous release after the cut. Unfortunately I lost the download link of my first release 😦 It sucked anyway.

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