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Archive for the ‘Gruedorf’ Category

Neoxed

Monday, May 18th, 2009

I worked some on Neox yesterday, I think I will work on it more today as well. There’s a lot of stuff I feel like ripping out and gameplay issues I have yet to solve. It’s basically a lot of non-coding stuff that needs to be solved and I know that’s what has discouraged me from working on Neox, I simply don’t know what I want. That and graphics are a pain.

Just thought I’d say something, go back to work!

Good news!

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

I will shamelessly be short and say that I’ve decided to put my other projects aside to continue Neox, I will open the project and dive into it this evening. Perhaps I’ll get down to putting it all in a designdocument, that way I’ll have an easier time catching up on what needs to get done. I’ve been highly inspired by Cave Story, Chrono Trigger and Earthbound as of late.

Quick update

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

I’m using the QuickPress function now, because I’m closing in on getting back on track to code Neox. The first few weeks at work has gone by and I’m catching up a bit on sleep - I’ve started to have more ideas after watching a lot of Earthbound lately.

I have gotten some Loss/Lame on Gruedorf and actually it feels darn right for me to have broken the double-zero percents in order to join the lameness of my fellow gruedorf-brethren.

I’ve noticed that the traffic to this site hasn’t changed much eventhough I’ve been very bad at keeping this blog interesting, but I hope to be back on track soon, so keep checking back - if not tomorrow, next week or maybe next month!

I figured..

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

You see, I figured I’d let myself start to get % LOSS and LAME on gruedorf because Neox has taken a siesta. The project doesn’t feel dead to me, it’s just that I don’t have the current energy built up for it. I come home nowadays and fall asleep at once basically, however I’ve had the heart to do something else meanwhile that doesn’t require as much artistic ideas.

An application called Campaign Keeper, it’s supposed to keep track of a whole campaign in pen/paper role-playing. Unfortunately for most of my visits this means “no fun” because it’s being made for a Swedish roleplayinggame and in Swedish.

I reckon this actually counts as a gruedorf post, since Grue himself bloggs about some forum work! So, HAH!

http://www.silverljus.se/ck/start/ - check it out if you want, it’s in Swedish though.

To those who come here to see what the site actually is about, Neox, I’m sorry. I will keep posting but right now I am clueless about when I’ll be able to get back on track with Neox.

Gosh darnit..

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

This post will contain mostly unsatisfying rambling from my part, because the truth to this story is - there has been no progress on Neox this past week. I have not lost the will, just not had the time (read: but the flesh is weak).

I have lots of reasons to why progress has halted for a while, but I’ll spare you my feeble excuses, by now you’d want my blood, punishment and torture! You’d be calling the hounds engulfed in hell’s fire to slash my bowels op—

Right! So anyway..

A Short About Neox

The space wizard Neox is a brilliant wizard. His smile is known throughout the universe to have caused a series of stars to implode. He is a master of the universe, he controls flame and ice, earth and sky! As long as he has his precious book “The Art of Magic” which is a holy relic he acquired during one of his most marvellous adventures. He wouldn’t be much without it, actually, he’d be quite mediocre. Having an intellect larger than the combined brain-power of 2′492 Zwilian moles has been a constant burden to his social side - which could do well with a miraculous improvement. Being omnipotent has its downsides, and thus rewarded him with no friends but an entourage of fans and other kinds of crazy.

The story will start off with Neox alone, because that’s how he leads his life. It’s both by choice and consequence, because he is fairly smart and trusting the people of the universe is something he has learned not to do.

The idea of the game is to be rather cliche and put some details and changes into it that suits my vision of a better game. Trying to rectify all those “they could have done this in another way” in other games - and ultimately I know there’s going to be those kinds of thoughts about Neox both from myself and others because you can’t please everyone and I will have to skip some wild and fun ideas or downsize them.

This post will remain short and just a bit informative, but I really hope to get more done on Neox soon, I might even start now after this post - but the next week at work is going to be the start of a large project.

Maps and Code

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

This past week has been keeping me both really tired and busy. I haven’t been able to do much in Neox and I notice now that I’ll have to plan where to attack next in advance. It was easier when you had all the time in the world and you could just do whatever felt right at the moment, but now there’s a lot of working systems and small touches to big details that need attention and I feel the need to approach them according to priority. Priority to what? Yeah, I need to sort that out as well. A playable demo? Storyline? The actual game or more tests?

Ironing out these things will be a first priority right now but I’ll definitely code more meanwhile. I spent a lot of time yesterday on a neox-related thing that’s outside the game, I’m being evasive here because I haven’t decided if I will deploy it. I’ve also been working on some javascript and html because I might build a website around Neox instead of keeping it ONLY as a development blog. This is future stuff and is why I need to prioritize better.

I have put some time into making a second playable map with Chompers in it. This is basically to test that everything is working as planned when changing maps and to test my old indoor tileset with parallax, and it looks good even if it’s simplistic.

Inside Map

Inside Map

I’ve been checking the performance profile for Neox on Windows and it’s nowhere near any dangerous FPS hogs, not all that surprising since I don’t really do anything horribly CPU consuming. I tried throwing a few thousand Coin Particles in at the same time and the performance profiler seemed to give weird results, but the ones I could read seemed promising and ingame there was not so much as a hint that the FPS would drop. I don’t think my game will ever become a drain on the system in any way right now, so this is good news I guess. I think I’ve been rather good at writing efficient and easy-to-develop-with code that should work well on the Xbox 360 - but this remains to be seen.

I will get my priorities straightened and I hope to get back on some REAL Neox-updating-tracks!

Updates Should Be Fun

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

However, this one will probably not be as fun as I would have hoped. I have become slower in updating my blog - wait, before you go off thinking that I mean it’s dying you are very much mistaken - I thought I’d be able to update every second or third day, but I’ve had to keep myself to updating every fifth or sixth day it would seem.

This is not terrible since gruedorf allows seven days atleast, but I’ve always wanted to keep this blog as alive as possible and I will do my best to work on making fun and frequent updates to Neox.

The reason I’m going slow? Well, it’s definitely a part of getting into the design aspect of the game. I’ve created a lot of the systems now, they need tweaking and recoding and that consumes quite some time which sadly doesn’t create much interesting stuff for the blog, and secondly it’s because the last few days I’ve had the last exam for my school which I hadn’t studied for - had my best friend over who I hadn’t met in six months or so (he has moved in order to complete his own studies, it’s awesome to see more people finding their call) and I just started working at a company today and had to prepare mentally and get done with all other things like nagging the school for grades etc.

Anyway, so what HAVE I actually done? I’ll just copy/paste some notes I’ve jotted down in my project.

* Changed the whole ParticleSystem from using a Generic class to a Factory design pattern.
abstract ParticleSystem, abstract Particle
class DirtParticleSystem : ParticleSystem
class DirtParticle : Particle

* Added arrows to BoxSprite which is used by GameMenus to tell if there are more items Up or Down in the list outside visual range.

* Added GotHit, StandardGotHit, StandardDeath animations to BattleAnimations
This really did a lot for battle smoothness, I intended on making a movie for you guys, but it really looks much the same in general except some animations, so I’ll wait until I have just a bit more to show you.

* Added Splice-extension to int
It’s just a simple function to get rid of ugly stuff like; int number = (millisecondspassed % 1000) / 50; in this case it’s rather readable, but when you want 42 milliseconds for each frame/number and you have 13 frames/numbers you want, you’ll have millisecondspassed % (13*42) / 42. instead you do; int number = millsecondspassed.Splice(42, 13); you might think this looks like a really minor and maybe unescessary tweak - but mostly it will make less-explainable code, more explainable because splice takes two parameters, milliseconds per frame and frames. This helps in animating some simple stuff based on time and extensions like these just make code more readable to me atleast.

* Added Vector2Tweener class
Tweens positions, I just wanted a simple class, which could probably work as a struct. I think I have a reason why it’s a class actually, too tired to think of why at the moment. Anyway, you basically give it three parameters, Vector2 start, Vector2 destination, int ms. When you ask for the value of the Vector2Tweener it will return whatever is the current Vector2 between start and duration based on how many milliseconds have passed out of the total you put in as a parameter.

I hope to update really soon with some more interesting stuff, in about a day or two, which hopefully is more graphic and entertaining! Keep checking the blog!

On Edge

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

I won’t go into really deep detail here about the workings of what’s called Edge in Neox. I’m pretty sure I covered the basics in an earlier post but I’ll recap a short version of it. Edge is a way of keeping track of who has the upperhand in the battle and by how much. If the sword is far to the left - the player has the advantage, if it on the other hand is far to the right - the enemy has the advantage. The exact formula and what will be positive and negative Edge is by no means determined in the video I will post here, it’s just to show you how it looks in the battle system at the moment. It has no real implementation more than moving depending on what action you and the enemy take.

For a brief video of how Edge looks in its first stage of design, click the link below.

Video: Edge Demonstration

The platform implementation, how it affects the game from the platform perspective, is that when you get the jump on the enemy catching them off guard you’ll probably start the battle with the Edge at your advantage, being surprised by an enemy however will probably result in a disadvantagous Edge at start. Special mechanics in the game will manipulate Edge in favorable and non-favorable ways.

On other notes regarding Neox, I’ve been working a lot on rewriting some systems in the engine, the generic game menus are becoming more versatile and I struggle with the general design right now. Nothing is final this early in development, so it’s not going to take a lot of my time.

Generic Game Menus

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Game Menus

Finally, an update! It’s been about five, six or so days since I updated last time about Vm and Charm. I’ve been wanting to update really bad, but the stuff I’ve been working on until now has been quite dull to report about. Mostly it’s been some code cleaning. However, I’ve run this latest progress through my main idol of game-worship Kael (check his site out!) and he thought it was ok to tell you about my generic game menus.

So here goes. First a movie!

Note: Fire 1, Fire 2 etc are just test-spells, the names for the real spells will be things like “Flicker”, “Char” and so forth and have different uses. I’m quite sure I won’t do the whole Fire, Fira, Firaga thing FF does, or any sort of Fire Bolt 1, Fire Bolt 2, like World of Warcraft. Each spell will be different and usable throughout the game is my intention. (this part added to Concept & Design)

This movie shows a few things, let me walk you through why this not so spectacular-looking menu is great in some ways!

This first game menu is created by deriving from a class approperiately named GameMenu. Something like this.

public class ItemMenu : GameMenu { … }

What it does is, handle most things. Like the categories scrolling (All, Consume, Equip and Quest items) and keeps track of how you’ll be able to scroll through each item.

In this case, one Item has Quantity, it has flags that tell if it’s consumable, equippable, nonsell, nondiscard and so forth. It might have mindamage and maxdamage values because it’s a Weapon and so forth. This is all nice and being able to filter for any of these sorts is a handy function. What becomes really nice is that the second menu is done like this..

public class SpellMenu : GameMenu { … }

It inherits the same baseclass and uses the same UI and rules, except that I can override a few things that makes it behave differently. Like the filter categories, spells aren’t consumable, equippable and so forth, they don’t share the same information items do. So we need to make GameMenu be as generic as possible, even allowing custom filtering. Which the SpellMenu does, it filters on All, Fire-spells, Water-spells, Earth-spells.. etc so instead we check Spell for it’s SpellElement flag which contain this information and filter the list approperiately.

If you switch Fire 1 with Fire 3, so that the order in the general list is Fire 3, Fire 2 and then Fire 1, that’s how the filtered Fire-spell list will look as well. It basically just skips any non-fire spell. These filters can be as customized as you’d want from a developer’s view. I could filter out all the Earth-spells of level 3 and higher AND all the Fire-spells of level 6 and higher, to appear in one list and exclude all the others.

Enough about game menus..!

Other

I have been working on stencil buffers as well, and eventhough I have no video, I have had some progress on it. Took me a long while to figure out just how to get spritebatches to cope with writing to a mask that I can decide myself by drawing into the buffer first. It’s going to allow me for some simple swiping effects (like when something appears/disappears one horizontal line at a time).

Gruedorf

For any new viewer, let me tell you a short thing about Gruedorf and why it’s so awesome for all of us!

All competitors are making games, and the goal is to update your blog ATLEAST once every week, this makes the circle of gruedorfers a rather updated blogosphere to keep track of. So, my advice to you is that if you fancy more than my little indie project, check the others out as well. My nickname there is “zaril” and I update atleast once every week, so keep yourself updated! There’s RSS to help ya!

Link: Gruedorf

Charm & Vm

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

#2

#2

I’ve decided that the Neox Strip is not an attempt to be funny, but instead it’s an attempt at being funny (even if agonizingly poorly so) and informative of any news to Neox with the spirit of the game’s own thoughts about it. This is just to invite you to the world of Neox even more so, because I want to make this a living world in more than one sense, I want things to matter more in this game - if you’re going to play a game that’s pixelated by me you might as well get something cool along with it. A side-order of interesting environment perhaps?

Charm

What’s with the title then and the strip? Well this is an old idea in my head for Neox that I just haven’t written about. I have plenty more to go around, but starting off with this, yes - you will be able to charm most of the enemies in Neox. The code is basically already in there so it’s more of a fact than a “I’m going to code it.”.

You cannot control the charmed pet, it’s more of a mystical bond you’ll have to explore for yourself, the charmed pet will be of more use than harm to you - at least a Chomper will be. They all have their different effects from the charm, one being that they continously doubt what they’re doing and are therefor not as powerful fighting for you as they would be if they fought against you. As the strip is supposed to explain, if a Chomper sees your defenses lapse for a moment he might just bite you instead. If the loyalty of your pet seems to harm you, you can simply kill it off - since you can attack any friendly or non-friendly targets at all times. Chompers are the easiest though, encountering big problems with them would surprise me.

Different enemies that you charm will behave differently, and with their great powers might come high disloyalty or a poor use in selecting what action to take. The different effects on charming an enemy will be one of the things to explore. If you decide to keep a charmed creature he will gain levels with you as you fight, as long as it survives the battle.

Vm

This is the currency of Neox. Since long I’ve found using Gold a rather boring reocurring idea of roleplaying games, well eventhough it’s plausible that gold could be a valuable resource in the galaxy - it will not be the common currency of a million planets. Instead I present you this story, it might just be rewritten a bit because it’s just my first doodle, but I am certain that I will keep the spirit of it:

“Any inhabitant of space knows that finding a uniform currency among millions of inhabited worlds, that is not only suitably rare but also inedible, is just way more work than anyone wants. In the year of Gri’ko Masz²ti, roughly translated to the Year of the Eight Drunken Tentacles, a space-faring traveller began a list he called ”Mangen Ting” that would change the universe as they knew it. The list was a complete collection of things that he had encountered on his journeys to different planets. His curious nature demanded him that he ask others what they had encountered during their travels, which he then added to his list – the section known as ”Mangen Andra Ting” which is the much larger subsection in his work.

This list grew larger and larger and was later published and automatically sneaked its way into merchant stores as a reference on how to correctly appreciate the value of foreign items. This was soon enough caught on as a general rule and a large list was derived from ”Mangen Ting” and redistributed as often as possible through the Universal Information Highway with a brand new name Valued Material List. Any item not on the VML usually gets rejected until enough data has been collected to admit it onto the list. The items that do make it to the VML are called Valued Materials (Vm) and each have a respective value that tells just how much it is worth.”

This concludes this post, I will consider posting something more about Edge in battle in the future, I think I might have uttered something about it in previous posts. Edge is something that makes battles in Neox a bit different from that of a typical RPG, because it will matter. Without it in battle you might just face difficulty unaccounted for.

I’ve noticed I’ve got some new users registering, either you’re all bots or very quiet. Comments are encouraged, it would be nice to have more feedback on your expectations or other.

Oh! I also added the ability to submit posts to Digg and so forth, below any post you’ll find a “Share This!” if you fancy using any such forms of sharing. I tried the Facebook one, and it works! If you experience any problems with them do tell me or if I’m missing one you’d like to use!