20100719 – Day one?

July 19, 2010

So, I have two ideas I would like to work on.

1) I would like to prototype a robot game I have in mind.   This came up as a result of miniLD20, but I ended up with little time this weekend for code.   Basically you guide a robot around a grid using a series of commands.  The robots (Your and the ais / other players) are trying to retrive goodies found on the map.  Whoever takes the most goodies, wins.

2) An C++ / DirectX engine / platform / framework / whatever that has python integration built in.   I might write more about this later, but this is mostly a for fun for me project.   I’ll be using the popular boost::python library for integration.

I pretty much spent my hour today setting up the information for GreedyRobots.  Wing IDE / pygame / and a framework I’m used to working in.  The plan for this is to pygame this guy up pretty quickly, so I can experiment with different rules or modes of play.

Right now there is a black screen.  GO ME!


Mini Ludum Dare and More

July 15, 2010

This weekend is Mini Ludum Dare, and it’s been making me want to get back into development.  So after MiniLD (Which runs this weekend at http://ludumdare.com/compo/ I’m going to spend one hour each night programming.  And drop a blog post about what I did.  I know I tried that with Castleland, but we’re going to try again!

Unfortunately, Castleland is abandoned.  My Xbox has decided to die AGAIN. But mostly that provides a good excuse.   Also I have a good fishing game idea.   But maybe I’ll have something after miniLD that I want to work on.

We will see.  Mostly this is a statement of intent to get back on the bike and ride some more.

January 20, 2010

*looks at the date*

*looks at the date of the last post*

Okay.  This daily thing is really not working out for me.   Haha.   Anyway, I feel like meandering a bit about my thoughts and feelings about Castleland development.   But first, here’s what I’ve gotten done:

  • Built a class to represent friendly units, that can move to different squeares, uses lerp based movement.
  • Built a Task Queue to keep track of different tasks and dole out tasks as they need to happen.
  • Built an instruction system where units can figure out, step by step, how to perform a given task, and then execute it.
  • screwed around with blender enough to get it to export shapes for me to use until I can become at least a little proficient with the tool.

However, this morning, my Xbox360 decided to die.  It’s the 1 Red section E74 error that’s probably covered under their warranty, and they’ll probably fix it for me, but it got me thinking.

I’ve been developing Castleland for the 360 cause it was kind of neat to develop for.   There was a definite ‘cool’ factor involved.  But, is this the best choice?   If I want to make something other people are going to play, is XBLIG really the past channel?  You don’t hear a lot of success stories there.  At least, I don’t.    Would I be served better going Windows platform?  I’m going to be targeting strategy gamers in any aspect. And I can always take whatever I make and retarget it back at C#/XNA if I want to release an 360 version.

And this creates even more questions!   I’m not sure XNA is the best choice for a windows platform game.   What about SlimDX?  AIWar uses it.   But it still has the ‘separate install’ issue, which might not be such an issue.  Is native C++ better?   Do I go with DirectX?  DO I switch totally to OpenGL?

Does it matter?   What will I have the most fun doing?   How will I get the most people playing my game? (Which is mostly the point for me anyway).

Anyway, I can has shared thoughts.  If you have any ideas, leave me a comment.

Sigh – 1/13/2010

January 13, 2010

Man, how dare work ask me to actually work!   All my game time lost to obscure C problems.   Oh well.  there’s always tomorrow.


January 13, 2010

I’m really bad at this ‘Every Day’ thing, aren’t I!

At least I’ve touched my game every Day. Sunday I spent writing down my ideas into a ‘Design Document’ (though, I’m sure any real game designers would scoff at it.)  I also started on modeling the walls.

Then Monday I spent ineffectually debugging the wall model I built.  Seriously, I spun serious wheels.

The Tuesday I took another crack at it, and figured out that I was giving the wrong Vertex Declaration for my walls, so what I got was more or less random.   Haha.  Anyway, I got to this:

So, that was fixed, then I fixed a small typo.  Then I looked at my list.  Thought about the next thing on it, and decided to play with shadow maps instead.  And I actually got them working, except they’re all jagged and crappy.  So I’m going to plow into Cascaded Shadow Maps pretty soon, to fix the bug.  Squiiish.

Or maybe I’ll go back to the to do list.  You know, gameplay needs and all.

To do list below:

  1. 1. Finish Wall Modeling
  2. Create simple input method for placing walls
  3. Create algorithm for detecting enclosed walls
    1. Make Walls remove neighbor calculations


January 9, 2010

So, I’m going to try and be in the cool kids club and post here about my development activities.

I’m working on a game I’m calling Castleland, that exists in the Dwarf Fortress / Dungeon Keeper / Kingdom for Keiflings arena.  I have ideas in my head, but no strong design document yet.

Yesterday I spend on map controls, and building a wall model.   Part of the problem is that I’m going to end up needing to learn a 3d modeler or get someone else to do it for me.   Hrm.

IF 2009 – Grounded in Space

October 8, 2009

Grounded in Space

If you want to tell a lot of backstory, just text dump?   Don’t make me feel stupid for fumbling around for the noun/verb combination you’re willing to accept to _start_ the damn game.  This happened in Interface too.  It must be a trend in IF.  I still don’t have to like it.  WTF did that accomplish?  Especially for a 1 puzzle game.  Why was this little vignette even needed?  As long as this game was it could have easily been ‘… Now you’ve done it and you’re stuck on this mining ship…’. Read the rest of this entry »

IF 2009 – Earl Grey

October 5, 2009

Earl Grey

I’m probably going to get spoilery in this review as to touch on the points in this game that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED.  So I will try and spoil less in the beginning and more at the end.   But you have been warned.

I loved Earl Grey.   It was atmospheric.  It was the first game I’ve played this year that really caught me into the game, and made me FEEL.  The descriptions and the prose used is flowery but still serves to create a wonderful picture of the game universe.   I got vivid pictures from every location I visited.  Locations are used sparsely.   This game does something I love in IF, that each new ‘section’ is distinctly demarked, and you don’t need ‘anything’ from one section to advance to the next.   And each ‘section’ or puzzle series is clearly demarked for you.  I find this to be wonderful.

Read the rest of this entry »

IF 2009 – The Ascot

October 5, 2009

The Ascot

This is simply a yes/no game.  Or ‘Shake’ and ‘Nod’ which delightfully work in the parser as well.  This game is written very well, the storytelling is pretty good.  This is probably the first game of the competition that I would actually recommend to a friend to play.  Maybe Interface, but this game for sure.   The game is pretty madcap in it’s approach, all in all.  Normal world logic doesn’t really work on the game, but it does maintain it’s own internal logic.   Plus the cost of failure is pretty low, as there are only about 2 dozen choices in the whole game.  I did enjoy this a lot.  It was a good diversion, probably a bit short.

IF 2009 – The Believable Adventures of an Invisible Man

October 4, 2009

The Believable Adventures of an Invisible Man

Okay.  If this doesn’t involve at least one locker room I’m going to be very sad.  Actually it turns out not to involve very much at all.  Our character must be pretty dumb if he spent all this time making himself invisible, and then has these sort of obstacles to overcome.

Okay, there’s a sort of unfair death right off the bat.  It seems sort of.. well, unfair I guess.  You open the oven, see a pizza, and try and eat it.   Seems logical to me.  Oh well.   I guess it factors into a puzzle later that it can kill you.  Finding things out by death is somewhat a tradition.

I took a break in playing this.  Much of the initial exploration and tracing around took place on Saturday, then I picked the game up again on Sunday.   Where upon I figured out that none of the ‘backwards’ exits are listed in the room descriptions.   Rrrr.   So more guess the direction to get back to my house.

After that, I wandered around for a while, read some spoiler.   Wandered, read a little more spoiler.   Decided the game wasn’t really worth it.  The location descriptions are very sparse.  The game does a pretty good job of making you get into the part you’re playing, but the game’s logic just isn’t for me, and I don’t see much of a point in continuing to play the game if I’m just following the walkthrough.  No bugs I could find.