Project: Sherlock – Dev Log 1

August 18, 2018 at 4:22 pm (Game Development, Games, Graphics, Java, JavaScript, Processing, Programming, Video games) (, , , , )


This is the first dev log for a project I’ve been working on in my spare time for the past little while. What is it: it’s a game. Kind of a cross between Resident Evil (without the combat) and the overworld map from Super Mario 3. It’s built using the game engine I wrote myself several years ago. Here’s a small list of some engine details:

Game Engine Details:

  • 2D-in-3D sprite-based engine. Characters are 2D billboard sprites, while levels are 3D tiles and blocks
  • Physics engine (JBox2D)
  • Scripting engine (JavaScript)
  • Handles and organizes game and render code (Rendering uses Processing, which uses OpenGL and GLSL)
  • Level editor for building the scenes

 

So what have I done so far? Well, I’ve just finished my 6th iteration/milestone, so I’m going to take some time to work on the design and levels of the game before I implement more features (I have a big/growing list of features to work on though). Here is a brief video demo of the flow of the game at this point in time:

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the interesting stuff and features implemented for this project so far:

  • Set up a new game/app that uses my existing engine. Re-used most of my game art, etc. so I could get it together faster
  • Basic mechanics implemented:
    • Rails movement: Click on nodes to walk to that location
    • Actions: Some locations have specific actions the player can take, such as opening a door, taking an item, or searching that location.
    • Condition system: Some locations or actions have conditions (aka you need an item or to have done something). It uses a Mongo-like expression evaluation system.
  • Title screen and level select screen. Basic stuff, but had to be written
  • New game art:
    • New Character art and animation sequences. Still in progress, but right now it at least looks like a dude walking around the levels
    • New isometric pixel art for random objects in the levels. This is so the levels feel more like a world instead of an empty room
  • Task queuing system. Requirement for this type of game. You give the engine some work to do and it’ll do it in order (stuff like “move here, then play sfx, then do something else”)
  • Session auto-save system. Loads your game session when you boot up a level and manages everything you’ve done in the game (inventory, completed tasks, etc)
  • Various minor engine tweaks: Camera zoom, thicker walls, etc
  • Added a handful of levels and added a bunch of objects like wall art, desks, dressers, etc.

 

 

 

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Project: DarkWolf2D (2D Dungeon Crawler)

January 10, 2015 at 4:30 pm (Game Development, Games, Graphics, Java, Processing, Programming, Rant, Uncategorized, Video games) (, , , , , , , , )


Over the holidays, I had some time to upgrade the core┬ácode for my game engine. I’ve upgraded the version of Processing that I use as well, which means I can use shaders for rendering along with some of the nicer JSON loading features. While I have a “version 2” of my engine working though, I haven’t yet retro-fitted it into my Zombie Mansion yet. This is coming in the future, but for “proof” that my code works, I’ve been putting together a small game based on a design I had in a dream. It’s the “basic” version of the idea, which means no multiplayer and no nice graphics.

The idea is for a dungeon crawler action game that takes ideas from the MOBA genre. I know how it sounds, but it’s actually a very basic idea and it’s already half built. It’s a player-vs-environment game right now where the player begins at level 1 for each dungeon and has to level up as they progress to bosses. The theme for it is an alternate history WW2 where the characters are different classes such as “US Medic”, “Russian Sniper”, or “French Resistance Fighter”. Each class has a basic attack and a list of abilities they can level up and use. I’m keeping the XP system as simple as I can (although I’ve never built one before), and I’m not using any items for the game right now.

For rendering, it’s a 2D game with no character animations; just a static side-shot image. This should keep the dev cycle pretty low for now. I also have a feature backlog that I’m considering making public, but for now I’ll only do that if I have anyone comment that they actually care to look at it. It’s a list of all the features that I plan on implementing (some are basic things like “add audio to the game”, and it functions as my “todo” list. As I build in features, I mark them as “Complete” and they shuffle to the bottom of the list for storage.

Edit: Added a screenshot. It’s very basic and you can’t really see anything worthwhile. Just showing that I can at least render the player in a level. I’ll make a video later.

First screenshot of DarkWolf2D

First screenshot of DarkWolf2D

 

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Back on track

October 17, 2012 at 10:15 am (Computer Science, Games, Processing, Programming) (, , , , )


So I’ve finally set my code projects back up. The power supply on my dev box died about a month ago, so I bought a new laptop to fill in while I replaced it (long story). Anyway, now I have my projects running again. Having not seen my game/game engine working in a while, it feels great to see my demo going. It almost makes me think that I could release a full game with it soon. We’ll see though.

I’ve been considering making a couple themed demos just to ensure that all the features I’d need in the future are there. One of the leading ideas for this is a Lord of the Rings Tactics demo. It would feature big scenes such as the Balin’s Tomb skirmish, etc. The idea is to mimic an already well-defined scene so that it’ll be easier when I go to design a full game.

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Independent Game Dev Woes

April 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm (Art, Computer Science, Games, Graphics, Processing, Programming, Unity) (, )


So I have this massive list of game ideas and designs that I work on from time to time. Lately, I’ve been putting a fair bit of attention to them again, and I even have playable game demos for them. However, I keep hitting bottlenecks; lately a lack of game art. I’ve been using placeholder art for some parts, and I’ve made my own for other parts, but I don’t have licenses for software to generate the amount of art I need for even basic demos, etc. I have experience with Maya for example, but alternative modeling suites are pure trash. In Unity, I’ve had to use cubes, etc. for enemies and geometry, but now that the gameplay works fine, I need better stuff if I’m going to have a chance of pitching it, selling it, or having anybody play it. Plenty of people out there will say that as long as there’s good gameplay, then the graphics don’t matter, but that’s a lie. Everything about human psychology says that first impressions are lasting impressions. I suppose this is a bit of a rant since it is frustrating to get stuck so often because of the same silly bottlenecks. Any suggestions?

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Short Game Prototypes

May 24, 2010 at 11:41 am (Computer Science, Games, Graphics) (, , , , , , , )


I’ve been using the language Processing to put together a few quick game prototypes lately. It’s surprisingly quick to get decent results. The screenshots here took a few days of casual work to make. The first one (which took more time) is a 2D-in3D, turn-based RPG game. The technical aspects include a nifty camera to pan around, a map loader, billboard sprites that always face the camera (or can just rotate in the camera’s direction), and object picking.

The second one is a RealTime Strategy (RTS) engine similar to Baldur’s Gate. Each unit has an action gauge that charges up and allows them to attack enemies. There’s a basic avatar system (click on the HUD to select that unit), some basic AI, camera panning by moving the mouse to the screen edge, event triggers, and the basics of moving and attacking for the units.

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