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Posts Tagged ‘Ideas’

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!

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.

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!

General Progress Update 2008-12-07

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

After being inspired by Kael’s detailed post I felt like revealing a bit of my engineering solutions that Neox is buildt upon.

The problem Kael faced at first is something I had faced as well, when you press a button like Escape/Back to get out of a menu it would trigger again instantly but for the new state which could be the general gamescreen and you’d have a main menu flickering on and off. I have made a translation class which is told to either use Xbox Gamepad input or a keyboard as its source and translates keypresses and stores them in a class that I’ve created myself - which the entire engine relies on in turn.

What this results in is that we can change the source from keyboard to gamepad, without having to change any of the engine code around, because they all rely on my homebuildt class which has one bit of information more than the ButtonState.Pressed / ButtonState.Released offers. Instead we have something like this:

InputState state = InputState.GetState(PlayerIndex.One);

if (state.Cancel.State == ButtonState.Pressed)
{
this.Quit = true;
state.Cancel.State = ButtonState.Released;
}

if (state.Cancel.IsHeld)
{
// do something interesting
}

The major differences can’t be seen here actually, but first off the most apparent change is “IsHeld” which basically acts as the “we’re still pressing this button, but we don’t wish to call it a new buttonpress all the time” so State can be set to not trigger any more calls for that button IF you want to, or you just let it keep it’s Pressed state until next time the engine fetches the inputstate, it will automatically be set as Released, and IsHeld will be true while you keep the button pressed.

This made it a lot easier to code the draggable areas in my mapeditor. The other good thing about making your own general translator class that handles input is that you can add timing to the buttonpresses. After a certain timespan (a few hundred milliseconds or so) the State of the button will be switched to Pressed for one cycle and keep on doing it every so-and-so milliseconds. Sort of like holding the button in Word, one letter gets registered and after a little while it starts repeatedly adding more of that letter.

No new screenshots at this time, I’m still working a bit on the background work behind the battle system, like how to determine the size of the group of monsters you face and their attributes depending on their levels.

Design Call

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

I’ve thought about how much I’ve been wanting to do an RPG while doing Neox and how much inexperience I have with making platform “battles” exciting and I’ve concluded that I will merge the two! So, in essence we’ll have a platform game with a more RPG-styled battle. In order to skip battles, you must evade the monsters in the platformesque gameworld, and if they catch you - you’re thrown into a classic RPG-battle with resistance depending on the kind of monster that caught you.

The good thing is that by training your timing and skills in the “platform”-world you’ll be able to skip battles that you don’t want to engage in instead of the oh-so-debated randomly-ocurring battles. Sort of why games like Lufia made me happy, where you can shoot an arrow at an enemy to paralyze it, thus skipping the battle or gain a surprise if you do decide to battle the monster out.

This element of choosing your battles will be more prominent in Neox, where you just might gain some form of helpful tool to skip battles, but ofcourse, levelling will be important in order to finish the game. The implementation of battles is easy, the only code in order to start this new battle segment was:

public class Battle : BaseGamescreen
{
}

That’s it..! Ofcourse I need to fill it with some of its own rendering instructions and update code. But adding screens is a good way of assuring that we don’t mess with other gamescreens - like the platform game. When you die, a Game Over screen is put into queue, so that we once again don’t have to throw in a lot of “if (dead) renderthis()” code in the Play Screen.

Here’s an early screenshot of the battle screen:

Early Battle Screen

Early Battle Screen

A New Path

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

I have renamed the whole blogg to Project : Game Making, because I seem to have met up with a few roadblocks. Mostly it’s been graphically related issues, like having to make my own art. Which is a terribly boring limitation, but I think I’ve solved the issue now. Because my newest idea which I think is the one to aim for, I have produced art I’m quite happy about.

Click for full images..!

Little Warriors

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

This page might soon change to be about Little Warriors instead, which is an old game idea I’ve had a long time. I won’t go into detail about it right now. I guess Dwarf Fortress worked as a good catalyst to get me started on it. Grand Magic would be awesome to complete or get moving more than it has, but it’s so graphically intense, I just don’t have the art in me to both bother trying and settle for bad graphics. Grand Magic in my head is very cliche with a few trendbreakers in the story, so it sort of has to look good. It does in my mind and I can’t make it injustice by doing it ugly.

I’ve thought about doing simpler projects, or atleast projects that I know is mostly about the code and not art, that’s why I came to Little Warriors, just like Dwarf Fortress it doesn’t need to be graphically intense, but could ofcourse be scaled up to awesomeness in the end if needed.

I started with my mapgenerator today and it’s looking fine just having one simple algorithm so far of a few that I have thought up already.

Generated Map A

Generated Map A

Generated Map B

Generated Map B

Generated Map C

Generated Map C

The good thing is that it already wraps properly so that the world is spherical. Little Warriors is sort of like a new take on Popolous which is a game I was inspired by the good old days when me and my best bud sat down infront of the Amiga and watched little people do their diety’s bidding! And sometimes not!

The Battle Between 2D & 3D

Friday, November 7th, 2008

I’m mainly updating this time, just to keep the blog active and not lay off for too long. I have recently, as mentioned before in a previous post, bought an Xbox 360 which has received some of my attention as of late. I have tried making some 3D models and I’ve thought about the pros and cons, and to be truthful to myself I’d have to make a few shorter games with 3D to attempt making any sort of roleplaying game in it. I will continue with my 2D setup for now.

My problem is making animated character sprites since they have to be 32×64, which opens up for a lot of detail.