Monday, December 15, 2014

Doing what i like

I suck at blogging.
It's fact. I'm lazy, and i rather spend time playing a game, or trying to come up with a solution to a problem for my own games. I'm not sure what I'd need to do to really get into the mindset of writing something every so often. I guess my first idea when i started was to write about progress in making a game, but that stops every time i take a break from it, either because I'm dealing with a hard to solve problem, or I'm not making enough visual progress to show, or a new game came out on Steam that I'm obsessed with for a month of two.

So this is my attempt to write a progress report. After several months of nothing. We'll see if it continues. :D

So, the game I'm working on right now is a Crimsonland type game, a top-down shooter. I decided to make my own version because of a few issues the original game has, where the second player was gimped because some perks weren't working for him (like [greater] regeneration, which would have been a life saver for player2, if it worked).

Crimsonland was a very serious game, containing real blood (if you count on red pixels representing realism), aliens, spiders, zombies and similar serious-ish things. I decided to make a not-serious version, where you'll be fighting fairies, unicorns, flowers and similar not-serious creatures that drop rainbow colored blood. The idea is to make a game that doesn't take itself seriously. So i named it Rainbowland.

So the way i started was basically with what any programmer would start with: I drew rectangles. I gave the rectangles some numbers. I made lines. The goal was to try and make the base of the game as quickly as possible, and within a few days, i had this:

Good enough progress. Then i started adding more stuff, like orientation, and the best way to see where everything was oriented towards was to make everything a circle. And give them a nose.




I also added some powerups in the form of collectible rectangles, which also had numbers in them so i can see how long they last. Progress was pretty good.
I decided i wanted to separate this game from Crimsonland as much as i can, all the while keeping the basic gameplay there. The perk system will stay, 4 player single screen multiplayer will be there, pickup powerups will be there, weapon drops will be there, so how do i differentiate it from Crimsonland?

Character classes. Totally best idea ever.

On a more serious note, i decided to add classes purely because i wanted to give the players more tactical options when fighting the endless waves of flowers and unicorns. And because i think it might be fun to try adding them :D

So after a while, i decide I'm sick and tired of looking at the grey background, and the circles with the noses, and i decide to put some test graphics in. A friend showed me a site with textures, CGTextures, so i hop there, find the most normal looking texture of grass (i ended using a texture with moss, but grass, moss, what's the difference, right?), and put it in.
Then i hop onto google and search for "top-down shooter guy". Not the best search keywords, but i have no idea how to look for this stuff. Finally i find a couple of great looking sci-fi shooter guys on opengameart.org, plop it in the game, and voila, I'm no longer looking at a red circle shooting black circles on a grey background. This almost looks like a game :O




So that's what I've been up to. I've given myself a deadline of sort, within which i hope to make the rest of the basic stuff to be able to show the game publicly in a student club where i was a member during my student days. The idea is to add as much stuff to make this a sort-of good alpha version, and then use the public test to work out the installation bugs, and have some multiplayer testing, and getting as much feedback as i can.

I made a list of stuff that i want to do by then, sorted by priority.

  • Monster AI: the monster just move towards a random player at a constant speed, which is boring.
  • Sounds: what's a game without sounds? No music, but just general sfx is the goal for now.
  • Proper multiple players support: I can have two players in, but most of the game is hard coded against a single player being in, so i have to make some changes in the code to have controls and events reference the correct player, in case one of them dies.
  • Perk chooser for MP: right now only one player gets to choose perks for himself, and the goal is to have each player choose his own perks on level up.
  • Aim reticule for gamepad players: only the keyboard+mouse player has a aim indication, which is the position of the mouse itself, so this is something i definitely need asap.
  • Blast damage type: right now i only have bullets, so i need to add AoE damage types.
  • Weapon types: only physical bullet weapons now, so i have to add different graphics for different bullets/weapon types.
  • Monster types: I only have one type of monsters, which is something i want to change.
  • Drop mechanics: right now all the drops are random between bonuses and weapons, and i want to change it so there's only <num_players> weapons on the ground at any given time, with a minimum amount of time between weapon drops. Similar for bonuses.
  • Key bindings: kind of part of the proper multiple players support, i want to be able to change keys used for various actions.
  • Menus: right now i just pop into the main gameplay thing, and for this deadline i want to at least make a bad looking main menu, class chooser and player count setup.
  • Difficulty scaling over time: monsters are easier at the beginning of the round, and get harder and harder as time passes, the players gain experience, and level up.
  • Boss fights: there's gonna be a HAM in the game. (huge ass monster)
  • Tweak leveling progression: have to decide on the leveling speed, make a formula for next_level_experience_requirement.
  • The rest of my list is adding more perks, weapons, monsters, skills, bonuses, and a proper GUI for gameplay.


So.... a ton of stuff to work on. I've got around 3 weeks to do this. I hope i can manage.

I'll hopefully write another post after the deadline passes, to make my success or failure be written in history.

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