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 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 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]

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.

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

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 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 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 🙂

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