Finally back to working on the LD#28 post compo

It’s been sometime since I last posted anything. It’d been also a long time since I last touch on any of my games or anything…

One thing that kept me from working on it was the fact that my newer editor wouldn’t work on my previous computer. I made it in a lazy way, so it’s no really optimized (and the optimizations I tried didn’t solve the problem and only made it crash randomly). So, now that I got myself a new computer (and spent sometime playing with it) I was able to use my editor.

There's a lot of unused space there... I'll probably leave those that way

There’s a lot of unused space there… I’ll probably leave those that way

I’ll reuse some of the levels from the compo version, but I’m planning to change many things. I’ll probably take a more literal take on the theme, but less history based… it’s been hard to come up with a way to save those two at the end of the game (which was supposed to be another possible ending).

So far, I modified the level transition. It’s much better now! Also, I’m completely remaking the first levels. After watching a few friends playing my game, I decided that I had to make it start slower, with easier levels (kinda like a tutorial… to a platformer… which sounds really stupid to me, but who knows…). I’m not sure this will work out all right or be fun…

To solve that last problem and try to finally get some meaningful feedback on the game, I’ve made a “demo” with the current levels and a google form with a few questions. Let’s see if people answer it and if it’s useful… I do hope so!

Here’s the current build of the game, and here’s the form.

It took me a while but I finally started to work on the post compo version of “Two Options…”, my LD#28 game. I’m still not sure about how much new content I’m going to add, but I’ll for sure redo a lot of things.

Example of a new filter I'll use.

Example of a new filter I’ll use.

For one, the particles. Some time ago a realized the importance of particles as a mean of feedback. Jumping and switching directions aren’t the same things without puffing some smoke behind/bellow the player. Also, what’s a lava pool without hot droplets jumping from it? And displaying something to enforce a collision is nice… But, except for the lava, every other was poorly made. The worst is the smoke, that isn’t displayed as I imagine (and I couldn’t try to fix it during the compo).

Another thing that is annoying me is the collision/overlap. Since I planned to use only one screen at a time and knew that there would be few entities at any time, I had no troubles calling the Flixel routine for bounding check two or three times per frame. This works, but I prefer to write only one overlap check and add the collision there. Also, I’ll modify how tilemap collision works. Instead of adding callbacks per tile, I’ll create objects for those tiles. This way, even though the ladders will be rendered on the tilemap, when the level is loaded I’ll iterate through the tilemap and create a ladder object (invisible, collide-able only). This will simplify how ladders works and how I can implement walking over ladder. I’ll also be able to only allow death from above on spikes.

And another thing already planned and implemented (though it can cause a few bugs) is to enable multiple resolutions. Each has it’s own overlay, but everyone is based on beveled pixels. That x4 resolution is really pretty, though it doesn’t fit on my monitor. XD

Here’s the current build. Tomorrow morning I should be done with reworking the collision. But I shall only post about it at night, if I do.

“Two Options…” – My LD#28 game + timelapse + postmortem

This is going to be a long post… XD

First, I’ve finally added a header image. The only problem is that it sucks! I’ll come back to it at a later time, but it’ll do for now… I want an image with even levels from games I’ve made… but for now it’s only a bunch of sprites thrown together. Also, the search, RSS and blog title are kind of getting in the way… I’ll think about it later…

Now, on to the main topic. It’s December and, although for some this mean vacations and for others Christmas, it means that it’s time for another Ludum Dare! Well, the jam itself is already gone, it’s almost the second week of voting. The theme this time was “You only get one”. And here is the game I’ve made for it:

Click here for the submission page (then on 'Web [flash]' to play!

Click here for the submission page (then on ‘Web [flash]’ to play!

I’ve once again made a platform, but it’s quite good this time! Ok, people still have some trouble… but I think it’s on an expected level. The game is about a guy exploring a temple who heard a call for help. Now he’s going after it, but what is expecting him there…

As usual, this time I’ve also made a timelapse during the development of the game. Here it is:

Click on read more for the post-mortem (there are a few spoilers…)

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Player movement and a basic tilemap

A small update on “Color Runner 2”.

gfm_colorrunner2_ss0

It’s still quite boring… but I’ll probably follow this style

I finished the basic controls for the player. There’s nothing fancy yet, but I’ll add at least wall jump later! So far, it accelerates not too fast or too slow, walk and run at reasonable speeds (perhaps the running speed is weird… I’ll see that again later) and jumping… sucks! I’ve yet to implement a variable height jump, and I don’t like the current raising/falling speeds. I’ll fix that later, though; there are other priorities now.

I’ve also done some work on the map. I’m using two tilemaps so far, one for the background and another for the floor. I’m not really happy with the results, so I’ll add another one for the foreground and the scenery (like grass, tree and other details). Another thing I still have to do is add the “colored platforms”. There’s no meaning to this game without those… But I think will have to make another editor to be able to create levels the way I want…

I won’t have a playable demo anytime soon, and if I try to make this the way I really want, I don’t think I’ll be finished by the end of year. Still, there’s no need to rush things. I’ll keep going slowly but trying to make it into a really good game.

The world is starting to take shape (in my mind)

Since this is the beginningĀ  of the project, I think it’s progressing really… slowly. It usually start fast and only slowdown afterward. Still, I don’t really think this is a problem, since I want to take my time and make this into a great game. (Having a demo ready until the end of the year would be a great plus, though)

I tried to draw some drafts for the map but I’ve yet to make something complete or to my liking. This is my first time drawing a map so it will probably go through a few iterations before I get to anything I’m happy with, anyway… At least, thinking about the map helped me understand better the “reason for the colors”.

Originally, I didn’t explain why the colors vanished, there simply were nine stages to be completed by grabbing coins and enabling platforms (bringing back colors in the process). Later, I added an intro that shows “someone destroying something and removing the colors from the world”. That’s how clear I think the animation is to someone who doesn’t know the game’s “story” (that is, everyone besides me). I’ve been thinking about how to make it clearer that someone stole a source of colors of some kind from a color factory and also what is the meaning behind the colored coins. With those questions in mind, I decided that the first two zones will be a “Color Fuel Zone” and a “Color Factory”. (this seems somewhat stupid when written…) But, again, why are coins the fuel used by that factory?

I set for coins as the only collectible because it’s really common in games, I didn’t care that much about it at first. But now I’ve got another idea. I can change those into “color essence”. This way, I there won’t be restrictions about their sprites (every coin must be an 8×8 sprite, but the essences needn’t be exactly equal to each other; each type can have an different format). Also, since they are “essences”, I can say that “red essence” is extracted from, for example, a red colored lake. This may not seem really useful, but it’s helping me imagine how the world should be.

I’ll try to have something about the game itself to write about, next time (instead of just ideas, again).

The beginning of a new project: Color Runner 2

I’ve already made a few updates to the original Color Runner: particles were added, the main player’s sprite was modified, fixed (or not) a few bugs, made a intro… but I still haven’t added new stages. I’ve meant to do that for a while, but I couldn’t find the motivation to do so since I find the game somewhat boring. I find both the controls and the objectives lacking. I find the idea of getting coins to retrieve colors nice, but only that can’t make a good game (well, if you are a great level designer, who knows… but I definitely can’t). Instead of modifying the original game, I’ve been thinking about making a new game with that idea and I want to write about the development process here (instead of only saying “Hey, it’s done!”, like I always do).

Recently I started to think that it’s better writing here about my ideas than on a paper (as I usually do). That’s because I’m rarely organized and just scribble my ideas, while writing here require me to think things over and make them understandable to others. I’m usually really lazy, so I don’t end up posting that much… but I want to change that! It’s nice to be able to look back at the development of a game.

Well, about the game. I’m currently calling it “Color Runner 2”, but that just a way to addressing it. The game’s title will hardly be anything similar to that. The story will probably be the same: someone stole something from the color factory and the world became black and white. Now you must change it back to it’s original state. I’ll try to express this better and add lines… or at least some way to understand what is actually happening. Another thing I’ll do this time is to focus more on the protagonist. I usually leave it as “it’s the main player… that’s all there is to it”, but I’ll have to give him a reason to go and a name. I’m thinking about calling him C.r. That could be “Color runner”… but it actually has to do with the periodic table and the Greek word for color. It’s pretty straight forward, really…

Something that I’ve focused on until now is making a “Flash-like game”, i.e. game that could do well on flash portals. Of course, I’ve failed at that when I tried to only make disconnected levels, but with a (theoretical) difficult curve, and “infinite games”. I’ve overlooked how hard it is to make those stuff right. So, this time I’ll go completely against it! Since I really like the 16-bit generation – I played the Sega Genesis a lot (and some SNES… but mostly after my childhood) -, I want to make a “game that could be played in that era”. I’m not talking about technical constraints, but about how games were. I’m thinking about something like Super Mario World and the Sega Genesis Tiny Toons Adventures, a world with many stages, but each stage progressing to the other and not only random stages thrown there because of their difficulty. I’m also thinking about doing 5 areas. Oh, and definitely a platformer! though I’m still not sure if it’ll be a fast paced game or one requiring precise platforming.

One thing that I’m already sure is thatĀ  if I try to tackle this in one go I’ll fail. I’ll surely fail! Making (at least) one animation per area, plus interesting enemies, stages, areas, songs… it would be too much… in one go. I was already thinking about making a demo in Flash and then make the full game in C++, but maybe I’ll make each area as a separated game in Flash and then make a full version in C++ with more stages and stuff… I’m still not sure…

Well, the next thing I should be posting here will be a draft of the overworld. Since I want you to traverse through the world, it doesn’t make sense trying to make anything before I have any ideas about the world. I’d planned doing it today, but stuff happened (I procrastinated a lot xD), it’s already 2 A.M. and I’ve got classes tomorrow (er… today…) morning.

Double Release: Loneliness+ & Space Rift

I’ve finally finished modifying my LD#27 entry. It took way longer than I expected, but most of the time I wasn’t working on it… Here it is:

How to be lazy: just use a screen shot from the game!

Click here to play!

I think the original version was really polished for a Ludum Dare game, but there were some things that still required more polishing, so that was my focus for this update. Now the menus are fully animated and much better separated. The graphics, though mostly the same, now uses a single palette (except for the background). With this I was able to control light and shadows better and make the graphics less dull. Some weapons where added and the special was removed. There’s also a boss song, though really short, and a new ship.

Now, about the other game…

For some time now I’ve been meaning to write my own C++ game framework. Well, it’s still far from complete, but I fell it’s not completely broken… In my computer and in another one I tested the game run nicely, but that was about all the testing I’ve done.

Instead of designing the “best” framework I could and only afterward written a game with it, as I’ve already tried some times, this time I wrote it while the port was made. And which game was best for a first port than my first (“released”) game? (Well, perhaps Color Runner would have been a better choice, but that game deserve more than a bad port! I’ll definitely remake it)

Here’s the port of my first game:

lonelienss+_logo

Click here to download it!

It’s Windows only, though the Linux port should be working already (I can’t actually test it… but it compiled!). You will need a video card compatible with OpenGL 3.X or greater. Except for that, any computer should be able to run it. My computer has only a single-core 1.6GHz CPU and can run it without problems. Any bugs, crashes, weird stuff, please report! Try to describe it the best you can (what you were doing, how long you had been playing, etc), take a screen shot (if possible) and send me both stderr and stdout logs (found in the game folder), if they were created.

For now, I won’t release the engine. It still isn’t really in a publishable state and I’ll probably make many changes to it. There’s also some problems with exporting a shared library (a .dll) for it. But I’ll release it some day…