May 11, 2007

Working on the AI

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:59 am by mothmanbr

So, I have now started to work on the enemy AI for the game. And well, unfortunately I have almost no experience in AI. Most of my experience are the times I programmed a robot in a program called AI Wars or something like that. You had a small bug and you coded his AI, and put him to fight against other bugs. I really enjoyed it, and I thought I also would enjoy making the AI for the game. But so far it has been only annoying me(less than the editors thankfully 😛 ).

Anyway, I tried to make it so the enemy turned around if he saw an object in front of him, then fix his position to reach the player again. But that didn’t really work as expected, so I thought about pathfinding, but before I implemented it, someone at the blitz community pointed me to something called Steering Behaviours, which will work perfectly for my game. Someone already made a module for BlitzMAX that contains that, but instead of using his module I will make my own with only the things I need. I think this is better than reading his code over and over again to find what I need, since this way I will know the methods and functions because I created and named them.

I wanted to make a video of the working AI, but I think this will take longer than I thought it would. In any case, I will keep you updated 🙂

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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 🙂

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 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 🙂

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