July 28, 2009

Time for Some Serious Work

HandCraftedRadio and I have began a very strict working festival where we will stay up and work on the game for an inhuman amount of hours. I am attending this years SIGGRAPH conference which will be displaying the latest in digital arts and luckily even a section featuring indie games (HORRAY!) Anyways, I am going to be leaving for there friday and HCR and I want to have a demo done and ready to be passed out to attendants to the conference. So here we go wish us the best of luck and pray we dont die... or worse... die then somehow come back to life but then die again in an even more painful manner.
Anyways, the above is a picture I painted up in photoshop for the game. Ive been doing alot of animations and spending alot of time on each individual animation making sure we have smooth and interesting animation quality. I wish I could share some of my best ones but I am restricting myself so that there is new stuff to be found in the game, otherwise what fun is that?
Also a big thanks to the Moldering dev team for giving us a spot in their blog. Their game is looking really great and we hope to get in contact with them and maybe talk and learn some stuff from each other. Check out their development log at http://devblog.projectmoldering.com/ , some seriously good work going on there! Thanks for visiting and don't forget to tell all your friends (and your enemies too)

PS heres a bunny


-Caliber9 (Nate Kling)

July 22, 2009

Bug Fighting

I am very happy right now, because today, I went head to head with a couple of my old glitch buddies that I shoved off to the side to come back to later. Well that later turned out to be today, and I'm very proud of myself, because I took those annoying little buggers to school on a bus full of pain. What I'm trying to say is that I fixed some really annoying glitches today.

First of all I got rid of openAL because it was just giving me a headache, and decided to only use the SDL_Mixer. The SDL_Mixer bug mentioned in a previous post, where there was a sound delay, was easily fixed when I realized I was using the wrong version of the SDL.dll file (after a couple hours of troubleshooting). Fixing this then spawned another glitch with the level editor crashing randomly when using it. I'm not sure why the new dll brought this glitch out, but it was caused by a memory problem that I missed in the code, so I guess it was a good thing that it happened.

I fixed a problem with pushable objects in the game from way back in the beginning. Somewhere between the friction levels of each tile and the way the entities update their velocity, an object on top of a block being pushed would not 'ride' it correctly. It would slowly move to the side. This was the worst glitch to fix of all and gave me a major headache and I'm probably going to have nightmares about it tonight, so the only thing I'm going to say is that I fixed it. Ok? It's fixed so let's just move on.

This is probably what I'm dreaming about right now, except in my dream this scene takes place in hell and the devil is poking my brain with little needles.

I also discovered a small glitch in the original platforming code, also something I haven't touched since close to when the project first started (besides slight modifications). I don't like messing with this stuff to much when we are this far along (mainly because one wrong move could mess everything up!) and I thought it was going to take a very long time and be a nightmare to fix but it actually turned out that I was able to fix it in a very short amount of time with not too many problems. So I thought that turned out to be pretty cool and I also awarded myself 100 programmer bonus points for doing such a good job.

So I'm pretty pumped right now about this. The one thing that was very helpful, and I would recommend anyone who is working on a large project to do, is to keep a log of every single time you change something or add something new to the game. I have been doing this for the past couple months and it is very useful when it comes to fixing glitches. A lot of my glitches come from changing something and not realizing how that change affects something else, so when I discover one of these types of glitches, I go back to the last version where the glitch wasn't there (since I make backups of the game and all source files almost every day) , and look through my log to see what I changed since then to see what may have caused it. (Now I'm just hoping the changes I made to fix these glitches didn't cause new ones!)

In other news, we are still working on the Grasslands area we've added in some enemies and are prettying it up a bit more. I'll probably update the video of rescuing the dog once we get the enemies in. Stay sharp!


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!

Home Blog About Games ?