Aftermath of Zombie Mansion Alpha 1 Build

July 18, 2014 at 12:40 pm (Game Development, Games, Graphics, Java, JavaScript, Processing, Programming, Video games) (, , , , , , )


So at this point in time I’ve had multiple people play through my game demo. The results were actually better than I thought. I think only one person wasn’t able to run it (still not entire sure why, but that’s future Jake’s problem now). There were a couple major issues, but those were found and fixed as well. One of the bugs was that I didn’t include the assets for the 3D objects, so when the players entered the room with columns, the game crashed. There was also some scripting errors driven by not having necessary images wrapped up in the resources archive. Logging definitely helped out there.

The last major issue is unsolved, but lies with some code I threw together for the level selection screen. I think some of the click events aren’t going through, or it’s not loading the levels properly. I think this may have something to do with that particular tester running the game through a zip file though. I was shocked to find out that it worked period though.

I got some pretty decent feedback from one tester in particular though. He gave not only bug reports, etc, but opinions on controls, aesthetics, and game flow as well. Most of those things were explained away as “placeholder” stuff, but still; it was useful information to know what a tester/player is thinking when they see that stuff. When I show most people my game, I need comments like “looks neat and retro” or “I like the camera spin feature”, but not enough people pay attention to tiny details.

Anyway, that’s the update. I haven’t had free time to cut a second build or to work on new levels or anything.

Permalink 2 Comments

Playable Demo Impending

June 5, 2014 at 7:13 pm (Art, Game Development, Games, Graphics, Java, Processing, Programming) (, , , )


Today I finalized the resource unpacking code for Zombie Mansion (name pending). I can now protect the art asset files and unpack them in memory. This means I’m close to releasing a playable level of the game! Note: It currently is playable, but I don’t have a public build right now.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Impending game demo (by request only)

January 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm (Computer Science, Games, Graphics, JavaScript, Processing, Programming, Video games) (, , , )


So I’m working on getting some levels ready for a demo finally. I need to re-skin the levels to not use *ahem* borrowed art assets before I can do that though. Eventually, I’ll probably post it or public access, but for now it will be released by request only.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Back in action

October 16, 2013 at 8:54 am (Computer Science, Games, Processing, Programming, Video games) (, , , , , )


After a surprisingly lengthy hiatus, I am back at the game. I’ll be making more posts in the near future about the game I’m working on in my spare time. I started using an app I bought on Steam called Artisy: Draft, which has been helping me get my designs together. For those who haven’t been following along, I wrote up a nifty game engine that handles 2D sprites in 3D game environments. It can do pretty much any type of game that would fit that description (it uses Box2D for physics, so it’s neat). I have had a few games in the pipes, but my stumbling block has been lack of direction with respect to the game design and flow. Mostly, I’ve needed to make levels for my games, and I’ve had no clue what to put in them to make them interesting.

So with my zombie shooter game, I have some new direction and I’ve plotted out some levels to at least help me get a demo up and running that I can try to polish off and make presentable. The screenshots on this blog are pretty out of date, so I’ll be working towards getting a better project description and more screenshots (including more animated ones!)

Permalink Leave a Comment

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.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Tactical Game Engine Improvements!

August 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm (Computer Science, Games, Graphics, Processing, Programming) (, , , , , , , , , , , )


So in my spare time (I have a real-person job at a software company now), I’ve been working on that game I mentioned in a previous post. It’s a tactical/strategy game where you give orders to a team of units and do battle with AI-controlled enemies. The proof of concept demo was in working shape, but it was super ugly and only supported 2D stuff. So while I could test out levels and combat features, I wouldn’t be able to show it to people and expect good feedback.

So I set out to make a visually-appealing version of the software so that A) I’d have a platform to plug in new gameplay ideas and features and B) I could show it to people and have them think it was an actual game. My ultimate goal in the end is having a full game (including story, music, and art) that I can release to the general public and have them play.┬áSo after a bit of work on evenings and weekends, I now have it in the following status (also, I should note that this was all written in Java and Processing (p5):

-3D rendering. Similar to how some of my previous projects work; I’m doing 2D sprites rendered in 3D. This allows the user to rotate the camera around the map and have it work in the way they’d expect. I have to finish up the render pipeline details, but most of this is copy and paste from a previous project anyway.

-Working gameplay. Most of these components were copy and pasted from the previous iteration. However, I’ve made substantial upgrades to how the system works. Also, now the game events are handled in a way that allows the game to flow similar to a real game of the same type. For example, when the AI makes a move, it no longer moves everything at once and then starts the player’s next turn. Instead it shows the player each action it took (while allowing the player to skip ahead).

-Level Editor. I’ve added a built-in level editor and it not only has a whole whack of features, but also is designed in a way that allows new tools to be added easily.

 

Future features:

-Particle system. Allows explosions and powers to look nice.

-Camera cutscene paths. I have some code written for Catmull-Rom curves that would allow the camera to slide along a path created in the level editor.

-Player profile system. Allows a player to select a profile on their system so that multiple players can play the same game without overwriting saves.

-Character customization screens. I want to have an extensive menu system to allow character stat tweaking, etc. between battles. This is mostly game design/art stuff, but the GUI code might need more features.

-Game story! I have a fair bit written up for the story and characters, but I need to iron out plenty more of it. I also have to figure out if I’m going to go with episodes that are easier to write for and make (also in case nobody likes the game, I can save resources).

Permalink Leave a Comment

Thesis Defended

March 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm (Computer Science, Games, Graphics, Programming, Unity) (, , , , , , )


So I defended my Master’s thesis last week. Things went very well and it was defended with some minor changes. While the would-be second publication I submitted based on it was not accepted at a conference (although the reviews seemed very silly and confused for the most part), I am more than happy that my master’s degree is almost done for good.
I still have to make the changes, but in the mean time I got to spend some time learning Unity. It is very exciting; in 3 days, I’ve learned plenty of the in’s and out’s of the engine and I’ve built a platformer game similar to the one I build in Processing (P5). I used the same graphics as the last post, and it supports the same actions as the other one, but it is 3D-ish. I wrote a billboard sprite manager so I can do 2D-in-3D stuff very easily. I’ve even added a fireball feature that shoots a projectile with a smoke trail. Here’s a screenshot: ignore the dancing skeleton in the background:

Permalink Leave a Comment

Game Engine Level Editor

June 4, 2011 at 1:05 am (Games, Graphics) (, , , , , , , )


So I took a look at the game engine I wrote last year and I decided to make a level editor for it. So far you can specify a map size and paint tiles and walls on it. There will be a way to add nodes as well for different things in the levels soon as well. Also, I wrote a new, fancy GUI system for the engine too for menus. In addition to this, I fixed the lag issue the engine had; apparently the default 3D renderer doesn’t use OpenGL, so I changed it and now I get 60 frames per second. New tilesets can be added to the editor by just dragging them onto the window.

Here’s a screenshot:

 

Update: June 6, 2011

I have added new features: Floor-walls (these are walls that make the floor look thicker) and collision boundaries. I’ve also added an algorithm for optimizing the collision boundaries. It will join together adjacent boundaries to make collision testing faster.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Paper Donkey Engine

February 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm (Computer Science, Games, Graphics) (, , , , , , , , , )


So I haven’t posted in a very long time now, mostly due to me being busy with research and life. I have a few projects I want to post some stuff about though. One of them is the SpeedGame I created last September for a competition. It’s codenamed Paper Donkey and is essentially a 2D-in-3D engine I wrote in Processing. I had a teammate (Matt) for this project and so I made him do most of the game design and level creation aspect of it so that I could focus on engine coding. We didn’t really care about winning anything, but mostly just wanted the experience of working on a team to make a completed project.

The game we came up with itself was a little on the dull side. Due to time constraints, we had to trim the game mechanics to just a maze. That being said, I would consider it a huge success. I only really wanted to build an engine I could use to prototype games and I got what I wanted. The engine code is pretty nifty and it works great. There is a slight performance issue though since I do some pretty naive collision detection and other things like that. Also, a couple of the features ended up being really glitchy so I removed them from the levels.

The engine renders 2D sprites in a 3D perspective. So the level geometry is represented by floor and wall tiles while the characters are rendered as billboards that always face the camera. It has a pretty decent animation system, but no editor so the files have to be created by hand to specify animation sequences. The same goes for the levels because I didn’t bother to use my old map editor formats for this project. It has been a while since I’ve worked with the engine, so I’ll have to take a look at it in order to post more on the exact features of it, but it was a blast to make and use. It took about a week to build and a week to make the game on top of it.

<I will edit this post at a later time and add screenshots>

Permalink Leave a Comment

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.

Permalink 1 Comment