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16th April, 2009
It's been 30 weeks since I last tackled Horizontal Shooter.
The last time, I used BlitzMax.
It was wonderful, and gave me all manner of nice swirly effects for those lovely background lines.
Until it came to running it on other systems, whereby a huge amount of incompatibilities arose, and the game kinda fell on it's arse and died.
30 weeks on, let's give it another go!
14th April, 2009
So, Red Dwarf.
I know there's a lot of complainers out there, but I loved it.
OK, it wasn't old Dwarf, and it really missed the laugh-track.
But that was good!
A good story, great acting, loads and loads of little injokes.
No AGameAWeek this week, I took a lazy day. Nothing wrong with that, is there?
Meanwhile, here's a progress report.
I started a game last week, but the lack of a certain element made the game completely unplayable. I'll either put that element in, or scrap the game and do something else.
Haven't touched it since the last update.. whooopsy!
To be fair, the "missing element game" was meant to go into it, but without it's missing element, there's no point.
I've been refamiliarising myself with the Samsung devkit.
Even though my phone's an LG Cookie, there's no point in breaking my devkit. The new phone works just fine with things created with the old devkit, so I might as well stick with it.
Hey, who knows, I might even bother to release any resulting games for other phones, too.
But probably not.
Having to develop for so many different possibilities is what put me off Java-dev in the first place!
So I'll be aiming for Cookie, first and foremost.
12th April, 2009
AGameAWeek, except when not!
It's Easter weekend, the weather outside is gorgeous, and I'm really not in a Sit + Code type of mood.
Doesn't happen very often, but there it is!
So, if there's no Game this week, that'll be why!
Meanwhile, you might like to check out the new "I bothered to tag all the releases" view.
You can now flick through pages of Just Releases.
10th April, 2009
Giving yourself more work!
Last week I bought myself a new phone.
A lovely little phone!
LG "Cookie" KP500
Touchscreen, and stuff.
But it's time for me to complain, as I usually do.
See, the thing is, Java games. Proper ones.. That you'd pay cash for online..
They try FAR too hard to make themselves look good.
They desperately attempt to fling hundreds of "nice" "polished" "wonderful" sprites around the screen at once, like they've worked oh so hard on the game to make it look good.
But the phone just can't quite keep up.
I don't know why they do it. and it makes my phone unhappy.
Unhappy because, it's basically stuck playing this "Pipe Game" (that's its name) that came with it.
And, between Swarmer and my own recent pipe games, I'm all out of pipes!
So, I guess I'm going to have to damn well do it myself.
If you have any "Touchscreen only" game suggestions, shove 'em in the comments.
I'm currently considering bringing back Arcade Slots.
7th April, 2009
A bizarre mismash of random thoughts this week, alongside an eventual plan of action, and only a day to impliment it!!
3rd April, 2009
I'm jumping all over the place, lately, aren't I!!
With Skeleton files to update, Menus to rejig, and even super-complex Socoder work, there's lots and lots and lots for me to do!
This morning, I've hopped back to Platdude's Retro Collection 2. Day 14 is a whole day away from Day 13. That can't be good! The game won't be finished for another year and a half at this rate!!
Right then.. Menus!
Previously I'd copy+pasted the menu system from the previous game. To be fair, it did it's job.
But having the game open up, and look EXACTLY like the last one, probably wasn't all that good of an idea.
So I filled the area in, and left it blank.
Looks rather empty right now, but once I pop some text and buttony things in, it should look ok.
I also decided to make use of the top screen, with the Dpad/Stylus images being up there alongside a brief description of the game selected.
So, that's roughly what it'll look like.
No doubt it'll have a couple of tweaks, here and there, before I'm done. But for now, that's how it looks.
Now I can add my 4 games into the menu! Woot!
2nd April, 2009
OK, as I said earlier, I've been playing with the Skeleton stuff today.
Whilst I was in there, I wondered how fun it might be if I added some kind of overriding features into my default engine.
You might (or not) have noticed, but since Wednesday Workshop Week #1, I've been placing all my game's data into the System folder, then into it's own Weekly numbered folder within.
If you get ALL my games (from the past couple of years), you can bundle them all together into the same folder.
The root contains all your little .exe files, and then the system folder becomes a great big directory full of numbered data.
It all comes together really well.
(If you download the full 2008 archive, you'll notice they're already setup like that, ready for play!)
So, I might as well add extra juicy bits into the mix.
I've got my skeleton to create a folder & file in Program Files. (AGameAWeek/GameData.sav)
If it can't do it there, it tries again in AppData, and if all else fails, it sticks to the actual game's own directory. (Because some folk might not have Windows permissions.. .. You know how some people can get!!)
Once that's in there, your Highscore name will be saved, and reused Over, and Over and Over again! Yeay!
The game will then keep dropping all it's highscores in there, from this point on, and since I'm adding stuff, I figured "Badges" would probably fit in there, too.
So we'll have, say, around about 5 badges per game, give or take, depending on how many I can be bothered to make!! (And, obviously, the more complex games should have more!)
Shouldn't be TOO hard to implement it all, but given that this will be a One-Time-Only deal, I really need to be sure I get it right first time. (ie, A game from this week would have to be compatible with the exact same file as that from a game I might make in a year's time!!)
Better get to work.
I should probably point out, though, that since this all takes time, I won't be re-releasing Not-A-Worm tonight!! .. I'm overthinking things again!!
2nd April, 2009
OMG! The complaints are everywhere!
I guess the general verdict is that my games are too hard.
To be honest, I never thought of them as being "hard". I just kinda skip over the dull early parts, *ARRGGHH!! TUTORIALS!!!!* and get the player right into the game, instead.
But folk are complaining. So a new plan of action must be decided.
Today, I opened up my Skeleton frame doohickey, and decided to add a Game-And-Watch approach.
The engine now has a simple "GameStyle" variable, right up top.
The player will be able to choose between game's A and B, just like they could on a Game-And-Watch. But unlike the originals, B will be the easier mode.. You'll default to A, play Hard-Mode, and if you can't quite hack it, hop along to baby-B
B won't have highscores, A will.
I'm also tweaking a few other bits and pieces, but for the most part the A/B thing should keep folk happy.
Later on today, I'll probably post a BigBaby!-edition of WormBlast. For now, I'm working the skeleton!!
31st March, 2009
I had intended to update this a fair bit. Add music, add extra pickups, things like that.
But in the end, I instead decided to leave it as it is.
This is (with added Highscore table) pretty much as it is at the end of the two hour session.
A nice simple game, with a basic gameplay method.
Guide the "worm" through the maze, grab all the blue + blobs, and avoid the barrels.
They're very very volatile, so.. best to keep clear of 'em all..
(Although, you do get points for blowing them up..!)
You can Download WormBlast here and then complain about how it's not really a worm..!
30th March, 2009
Yesterday I filmed some stuff, a nice big 250Mb video file, and posted it to Youtube.
It took 2 hours to film, and then about 2 more hours to upload, before YouTube spent another couple of hours decoding it, before finally deciding that they weren't going to bother showing it in HD.
So, rather than go through all that, and waste another entire day trying to sort it out, I'll just post the annoyingly blurry crap that YouTube have left me with.
IDE = Blitz3D
Art = PaintShop Pro (7, the good one!)
View on YouTube
Ooh, in fact, 12 hours later, they've finally updated the video to HD...
28th March, 2009
Uno's a card game, Connect 4's a board game, Battleship's a board game.
Who the f'k are you kidding Microsoft?
See "Wii Virtual Console : Arcade" for further details.
So, whilst I wait for this Wednesday's dull as f'k "Arcade" game to be released, I should probably get some work done on my own AGameAWeek.
If anyone has any quickly doable ideas, I'd love to hear 'em!
27th March, 2009
As game time progresses, so do the many bugs that appear!
With sprites drawing WAY out of bounds, and memory being messed up all over, there's chaos in the game.
But a few tweaks here and there, and everything's coming together nicely!
Another slight issue, though, cropped up suddenly.
PALib warned me I didn't have enough memory for all the artwork! Uhoh!!!
To be fair, it was 2* 512x512 pixel starfields, so it was kinda big. But even so, it wasn't directly loaded into the Video Memory at the time.. It was just a small chunk of art, ready for use whenever.
That's a slight issue.
I've reduced the starfield, and that's working now, but it doesn't bode well if I overdo the art in future.
I might need to keep an eye on things as I go, because if "Art unloaded" is still taking up that much space in the game, I can't go around crazily drawing mountains of sprites for each and every game.
Anyway, Game #4's in.
And it has a starfield!
24th March, 2009
A long forgotten game gets a remake today.
Platfire was originally made, way way back in Wednesday Workshop #2!!
To be fair, #1's probably the better game, style wise. (As in, it wasn't rushed within a few hours, since yesterday!!)
But Platfire 2 is in the "It's super hard, and you won't get much of a score" style that I seem to be leaching onto, these days.
Piles and piles of enemies will appear, and you just keep taking shots at 'em until you're dead.
As I type this, I realise I've forgotton to put a health-meter anywhere on the screen, so.. count yourself! You get 6 hits..
You can Download Platfire 2 Here and try not to die too quickly!
23rd March, 2009
Game 3 needed a few tweaks, here and there, this morning.
Mostly due to the controls being a little twitchy.
Plus, something's missing.
And annoyingly, it's becoming increasingly apparent that the missing something is indeed Ingame Music!
It's bad enough having to create a jingle for each and every game, but to now start building up a bunch of little ingame tunes, let alone a big enough collection that folk won't grow tired of.
That's a lot of music to do!
I might need some help with this bit!!
Any MOD musicians out there?
22nd March, 2009
With more tweaking than my head could stand, I finally got Game #2 wrapped up yesterday, so I'm finally starting on Game #3, today.
As stated previously, Game #3 will be reusing quite a lot of the core engine that Game #2 used, so it should be short and sweet putting it all together, like some kind of coded jigsaw puzzle.
Once that's done, Game #4's ready to get going (ie, I have a vague idea in my head!) and will also be coded in Blitz for this week's AGameAWeek, so watch out for that.. .. within 2 days! eeek!
Carrying on from there, I've got a few quicky ideas in mind that'll do for games #5,6 and 7, although.. Whether #7 will be easy, I'm not too sure.. If not, I'll have to come up with another idea, instead. I still have the large list of ideas, over at GBATemp to refer to. So, shouldn't be too hard!
Oh, and the basics of the menu are in.
The border of the titlescreen looks amazingly similar to PRC1's titlescreen, having been copy+pasted across
I'm not sure if the actual menu method will be the same, and right now it's not even a menu.. it's a case of "Tap the screen to play the game I'm currently working on" which seems to work reasonably well
Anyhoo, I'm getting ahead of things.. Game #3 has to be done first!
So I'm off to do that.
Wish me luck!
21st March, 2009
Off and on, a bit at a time, the past few days, what with the DIY, and the AGameAWeek, and the Socoder work the past few days.. So, rather than call 10 minute sessions a day at a time, I'll call them a great big long "Popping in and out, looking at the code, struggling to figure out what's wrong, and then going to do something else instead" day.
It's a cheat, but since the annoying issue is still there, it still counts!
I'm stuck on Game #2.
And it's annoying that I'm stuck on game #2.
Because this small (really small!) bug is actually integral to a lot of other games.
Game #3, for one, will need this working.
See, as much as I got the wraparound sprites working, occasionally (not very often, but occasionally) one or two of them will inexplicably vanish from sight.
It's very annoying, and I'm still wrestling with the code to get them working.
I'd like to move on, but still I'm here at Game #2.
Progress is slow.
I hate bugs.
17th March, 2009
A nice quicky, this week.
Having spent most of the week doing DIY, sorting out Socoder, and occasionally working on PRC2 when I get a chance, I've not had much time for a game, this week..
So, I did what all frantic coders do.
I threw loads of colour on the screen, and hid the fact that I haven't done much work this week
No levels.. As you move, pellets will replenish.
No power pellets, either, so no eating up the ghosties..
Just You, Pellets, Ghosts, and that's it...
Score as many points as you can.
You can Download Blockman Forever Here.. \o/ Yeay! \o/
Oh, and it's quite fast, too! So, watch for that!
13th March, 2009
BAH!! DS Coding is annoying!!
Techy stuff inside..
11th March, 2009
Another morning complaining to GoDaddy. They didn't know what was up, so I sorted it out myself.
Problem solved, eventually, but with no time left for any Game work today..
Still, there's always tomorrow.
10th March, 2009
Game #2's turning out quite well, except it'll probably need to be taken down a peg or two.
Currently it's, shall we say, a little psychedelic!
And, that's only amplified once it gets onto the blurry DS screen!
Lots of motion + lots of colour = lots of Weeeeeeee!!!
Not a good combination.
It looks great, but it's probably not going to look that great for long.
Which is a shame.
The player's in, and I'm ready for adding AI to the game.
Once that's done, Game #3 will follow quickly afterwards, since Games 2 and 3 share a large amount of elements.
More to come..