May 16, 2007

Codename: Calculi

Posted in Off-topic, Progress, Thoughts and Ideas at 4:08 am by mothmanbr

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 🙂


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 🙂

May 5, 2007

Back to work

Posted in Off-topic at 12:17 am by mothmanbr

So, after some time of (unplanned and unwanted) inactivity, I’m back to work 🙂 That’s a delay I wasn’t counting on, so now I have a lot of catching up to do.

May 2, 2007

I’m on fire! Well, my hand is…

Posted in Off-topic at 2:06 am by mothmanbr

To complete the bullshittyness of this weekend plus holiday, my right hand just got soaked in boiling chocolate milk, for reasons unknown. So now in addition to my coughing and dizziness that was keeping me from programming, I now have my hand hurting, and a lot. I better not even touch the source code while this black aura is surrounding me, who knows what might happen.

I’m setting the release date for the next public beta for next weekend, in the best scenario. In the worst one I have all my source code and online backups replaced with a poem about bunnies written by a 2nd grader named Timmy.

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 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 😀