July 17, 2009

Practicing Level Design and Development Video 2

Ok so the game is moving along nicely. We've been getting some serious work done. I'm getting to the point where I'm starting to run out of things to program in to the game, which is why I've started to design some test levels using what we have so far. It is hard to come up with everything that needs to be done when we haven't created an actual world for the game yet. Up until now, all of the levels created were to test an enemy or some sort of specific game mechanic, so I decided to put my level editor to work and practice creating an actual world similar to the one that is going to be made. As of the plans right now, you are going to start out without your trusty dog side-kick and will be all alone. Your first task will be to find your dog and rescue him from whatever peril he may be in. In this first practice world he is just stuck up at the top of a cliff, but we are planning to have the player fight some sort of mini-boss first in order to save him (we are still trying to come up with ideas for a boss since the players main way of attacking enemies is by using your dog.) There are also no enemies yet since we are currently working on designing, drawing, and programming in the enemies of the Grasslands. This part of the game should be a lot more difficult (and interesting) once they are implemented into the game.

I've also run into some snags along the way. The biggest one is probably the sound effects, which I was using the OpenAL library for. While adding in some sounds to the game to spice things up I realized that I was only able to load a few sounds into memory due to a major screw-up I made when implementing OpenAL into the game engine. I probably should have tried to completely understand openAL instead of following a few tutorials on playing simple sounds. I'm still to lazy to do that (and hate learning how to use new libraries) so I decided to use the SDL Mixer for sounds since I'm already using it for music. Unfortunately, when playing sounds with the mixer, there is a delay in the playing of the sound. While trying to decide which would be easier and quicker to fix, my headphones randomly decided to not work anymore so I had no sound on my computer. After this event I just decided to give up on the sound for now and save it for some other day. Since I'm not having the best luck in the sound department, maybe I should just have closed captioning for sound. There can be a little black box with white letters at the bottom that describes the sounds instead of actually playing them. This way our hearing impaired players can also enjoy the rich sound effects in the game.

We added in a new companion, who we are currently calling Birdster. He is a bird. He flies. Flies behind you. He allows you to double jump by catching the player in the air and throwing him up higher. Here is a picture of him. He is a bird.

Up next one the to-do list:
-Enemies for the Grasslands
-Special Effects
-Storyline Writing
-More Level Design Practice

Now that we are getting to the point of actually designing the world, we will probably be releasing a version of the game in the near future to those of you who would like to test our game. So if you would like to do some testing for us, make sure you let us know!


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