Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How is the Mega Man clone at the start of this blog?

Why am I making a Mega Man clone?
I really like playing Mega Man. I think it's a great action game. That's not to say that all the games in the series have been stellar, but many of them are great. The first Mega Man game I completed was Mega Man X. Here's a link to egoraptor outlining why Mega Man X is important in the series and what it did right. When I was sitting around recently, unsatisfied with my previous game project (a multiplayer over the internet 3D board game in Unity) I decided to shoot for a very simple game that I would enjoy playing when it was complete. This led quickly to me thinking about the NES Mega Man games.

What has been done so far?
My initial goal was displaying a character and allowing the player to control that character. So I've got horizontal movement, jumping, shooting and animation. Some things aren't quite right yet, though. For example, the animation speed is a bit fast and I don't like the movement speed for the size of the sprite given the size of the screen. Most of these are little tweaks though and can wait until the major systems that make the game "complete" to me are roughly in place.

I also have separate classes for handling input and graphics. The idea here is to call only from these libraries inside the game and then have these classes handle the implementation details in order to make the code more portable. I don't know how good an idea this is at the moment, but I'm giving it a shot. The code is in C# right now anyhow and I'm using .NET's form class to create my window, so I'm sure I have a ton of .NET framework specific calls laying around. My thinking right now is that a rewrite is probably inevitable and I'll learn a lot from this decision as I come up against it's limitations. When I learn those lessons, I'll make a separate post about it.

What am I planning to implement or improve right now?
I know I have a problem where you can jump in the air multiple times if you're shooting, so I should probably weed that out before I do too much else.

Aside from that, I want to implement enemies that die when shot and shoot back. Also, it's important to have multiple enemies and to design them in such a way that they make sense from a code standpoint. What I mean is that I want the code for the enemies to be uncluttered and be easy to read and modify.

Code readability and simplicity is something that I should strive for in all areas, but particularly my experience in making my Silverlight 1942 clone has made me realize the importance of this. When I wrote that game, I was largely following a tutorial talking about some features of Silverlight that were nice for gaming (if I can ever find the link again, I'll try to remember to put it here). The tutorial implemented a resource pool (which I do want to put into my Mega Man clone) and a singleton pattern (which I'm not so crazy about). The singleton pattern gave me trouble for enemy and bullet logic in that it used delegates for update logic and creating instances of the different versions of the item. I'll probably just dissect that code in a later post and look at what I liked and what I didn't like.

After that, rooms/levels might be nice to implement.

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