June 27, 2007

New Message Style

Posted in Game Content, Media, Progress, Thoughts and Ideas at 8:10 am by mothmanbr

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

Story Mode

Posted in Game Content, Media, Progress, Thoughts and Ideas at 6:53 am by mothmanbr

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

News And Screenshot

Posted in Game Content, Media, Progress at 9:12 am by mothmanbr

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 🙂

May 31, 2007

Creating a GUI Module

Posted in Game Content, Media, Progress, Thoughts and Ideas at 5:34 am by mothmanbr

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

Progress and screenshots

Posted in Game Content, Media, Progress at 4:31 am by mothmanbr

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 7, 2007

Lunar Defender 0.5b Released!

Posted in Game Content, Media, Progress, Releases at 7:20 am by mothmanbr

As promised, here is the newest version of the game 😀

The biggest change is that the game is now in stages, not the “survival” gameplay style that the last one was. Like I said, I wanted to change more in the graphics part, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to. The main campaign is very difficult even for me, and the extra campaign is almost impossible. So, if the gameplay doesn’t anger you, at least it’ll keep you stuck for some hours until you find a way to beat the stages. The main campaign has a “story”, told before a mission begins in the briefing screen. I didn’t put much thought to it, and it is not connected at all to the story of the final version of the game. It’s just there as a filler. The extra campaign is just a series of hard stages where you have to be careful about spending your ammo, or destroy the enemies fast. I recommend only trying the extra campaign after you beat the main one, or after you grow tired of it. Oh and now we have a background music, made by a friend.
Enjoy 🙂 As always, comments and criticism are appreciated. Contact me if you find any bugs or just want to talk. I fixed all the bugs I could find, but I’m sure there are a lot more just waiting to be discovered.

Click for full size

Download: SendSpace [3069 KB]

Controls:
1 – select pistol;
2 – select smg;
3 – select shotgun;
4 – select quad;
ENTER – selects menu option or starts game;
ESC – quits the game or returns to main menu;
Mouse – aims and shoots;
P – pause the game.

Instructions:
1. Unrar all files to the same folder;
2. Run lunardefender.exe;
3. To uninstall, delete the game folder.

Changelog:
New Features:
– Game now divided in scripted stages;
– Two campaigns with 5 levels each;
– Each level is able to load its own enemy database and tileset;
– Menus added(main menu, options menu, new game menu, etc…);
– Scoring system added;
– Briefing and mission completed screens added;
– Death and weapon change sounds added;
– Background music added;
– Health bar now under the player base;
– Weapons highlight to show which ones are available or selected;
– Pixel-perfect collision added;
– Enemies now stand and attack the player instead of disappearing and causing damage.

Bug fixes:
– Game auto-selects the a graphics driver your system supports.

Code Optimizations:
– Code completely restructured and commented, making it more organized and clear;
– Several fixes to improve performance.

May 6, 2007

Good And Bad News

Posted in Game Content, Media, Off-topic, Progress at 7:34 pm by mothmanbr

Well, like I said, I have good and bad news. I guess we should start by the bad ones.

My current pixel artist has quit, and while I already am looking for another one and talking to a couple of other candidates, I won’t be able to add the new things I was planning for the next release. So, one of two things: either this next one won’t be the last public beta because I really would like to show those other things before going private, or you will only see the new things in gameplay videos and screenshots.

As for the good ones, I am aiming to release the next beta tonight. I’ll have to leave out a couple of things, not because I’m hurrying to release it, but because I can’t get art for the things I wanted to do in time. So unfortunately the game will look practically the same as before, except that now it is divided in missions.

Here’s a screenshot of the current main menu:

So see you later today 🙂

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 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 😀

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