Archive for the ‘Game making’ Category

About half a year ago (or two blog posts), I decided to quit blogging about my game and only write about (1) things relevant to other developers and (2) whatever else I wanted. As it turns out, I’m quite good at not-blogging. I even went so far as to not-blog about anything.

Going silent was a good decision, though. The confidence I had in my ideas was as weak as my determination to complete them. While I WAS going to create a game, which game that would be changed every week. Did the Internet want to hear about my growing pile of abandoned projects? I doubt it.

In fact, silence was such a good rule that I’m reluctant to break it. For some reason, though, I committed myself to revealing The Game today. Here’s a screenshot, and when you’re done thinking “this doesn’t tell me much” I’ll type some words about it.


Trying to follow Tom Francis’ four points on quickly explaining a game,  I would say this is an adventure game about moving furniture to prevent your memories from being stolen. Truth be told, I don’t know what this game is, but I know some elements that will be in it, such as dialog(ue)-trees, an inventory, managing your psyche, and exploration. There will be a plot, which I have mixed feelings about, but hopefully it will be good.

I think that’s all for now! I have been making excellent progress with my strategy of not saying anything, so I’ll try not to spoil it just yet.

They might be watching. Stay sharp.

Until next time!


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A new year?

Merry Christmas and happy new year, everyone! I know you’ve all read a dozen posts just like this one, so I’ll be brief.

2012 was great. I learned a lot!

2013 will be better, because I’ll be releasing a game! I’ll be coming out of hiding to talk about it before the end of the month.

Thanks very much for looking here. I don’t know why you do, but I appreciate it!My head is warm. The rest of me is cold... blooded.

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Weekly update

…except it’s been more than a week. If you were holding your breath for a new post, I apologize!

I’m learning the QT library so that I can create level and object editors. Here’s a screenshot of the progress!

You may also notice that this doesn’t look like Linux Mint anymore! I finally switched distros – First to Ubuntu on the day of its release, and then to Kubuntu over the weekend (sorry, Unity). I really like Kubuntu so far. Transitioning from Gnome 2 was fairly painless, and I hardly think about the fact that I’m using a new desktop environment now.

If all goes well, I hope to have the physics editor done next week. It’s taking a long time, but I think that’s only because I have to learn QT as well. Hopefully forthcoming editors and tools will arrive quicker.

Next week I plan on finishing and moving on from the physics tracing tool, and I hope to create some new game graphics for scrolling backgrounds. Should be fun!

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Weekly(ish) update

This week’s progress was good, but ended on a sour note.

I implemented Box2D debug drawing and view-scrolling. This means that I can have many layers of parallax backgrounds that will look great. They aren’t in yet, though.

The sour note was that I spent the greater part of this week figuring out a really cool feature that it appears I can’t use. The bright side is that I’m releasing the source here so anyone else can use it!

You’ll notice in the above screenshot how inaccurately those boxes conform to the sprites. I decided that instead of defining polygons manually, I would write a function to trace the outline of the bitmap and convert it into a low-polygon mesh for the engine. Today I solved that issue, but found out that Box2D does not support concave polygons and has a default maximum of 8 points per shape. 😦

However, it is working. This is the result of using the function with a tolerance of 10, which I consider fairly large.

31-vert polygon.

Source code after the break.


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Weekly update

For those that celebrate it, Happy Easter!

Last week’s screenshot and this week’s won’t look too different, functionally speaking. Some of the graphics have changed, but there are only a couple new mechanics. Namely, you can now shoot and asteroids rain from the top of the screen. Innovation!

A lot has changed in the code, though. I added Box2D physics, movement is framerate-independent, and the component-manager is much more feature-complete. Overall, I feel close to being able to actually make a game here. Did I say that last week?

You can follow me on twitter to see what I’m working on during the week or ask questions.

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Things are going well!

I didn’t get a post done last week. That was partly because I wrote 75% of one and then didn’t know how to end it, and partly because I was busy coding.Progress is excellent. Life is good.

About a week after my last entry, I was getting rather fed up with the amount of information I needed to absorb. I decided to take a day off and learn about Allegro. I had a blast! I had previous experience with SDL, and Allegro’s API felt similar. After playing around a bit, I decided that I might do a quick project for fun.

It wouldn’t be perfect, it wouldn’t take too long. My main project has a strict separation between engine and game code. Which turned out to be one of those invisible burdens you don’t realize you have until it’s removed. I flew through code until…

…I had to build an entity manager of some sort. This was the exact problem I was taking a break from solving, but here it was again.

Okay, how to solve this? I had at least a dozens tabs open, but I didn’t know where to start. Before sinking into frustration, I hurriedly chose a single article that looked complete and didn’t ask you to read 10 other articles to understand it. After reading, I quickly wrote what must be the most horrible component-based object system ever. It works.

What’s happening now? I’ve decided to continue the side project. I will be able to finish something quicker, get experience, and (most importantly, perhaps) I have little desire to withhold information until things look good.

It’s a top-down space shooter about dogfighting. I hope it will be fun to watch, because it’ll be fun to make! I’ll have more information soon, but now I’m going to go work on it. 🙂

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Weekly update

Here’s a quick update, because I’d like to get something posted once a week at least. So, here are a few of the week’s accomplishments:

  • I learned about library search paths on Linux. Currently you have to run a script that tells the OS where to look for the libraries, but I hear there’s a method to make the binary itself set a custom search path. If anyone has information on what standard practices are for this, I’d love some advice!
  • The input system was rewritten to use Boost signals. I’ve heard that this is not a fast solution, so I must be cautious about just how dependent I become on them. All the same, this is a great improvement on the previous code and makes the engine more structured.
  • I wrote a getVersion() function for the engine. I thought it was pretty neat, because it uses the Mercurial changeset and automatically updates when building the game. (tutorial) This should help when it comes time to test beta versions.

Next week I plan to work on the entity manager. There is already existing code, but I expect it will need a near-complete rewrite anyway. Teaching oneself means you’re never sure you’re doing things the “right” way, so every decision is a balance between going with what works at the moment, and what you expect is the correct way to do things. It’s easy to spend too much time debating which solution to go with. StackExchange (especially the gamedev section) is a priceless tool in figuring out these problems.

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