Saturday, July 28, 2012

Progress update for 7/21/12 - 7/27/12

This week:

  1. I made the camera's transition independent of the player's transition between rooms. This lets me move the player three tiles to the left and then the camera can move 5 tiles left and 3 tiles down, for example. Support for this functionality was also added into the editor.
  2. I fixed some dialog box values in the Alan Moore level and then finalized the level's geometry!
  3. My roommate fixed up our main menu since the save/load functionality won't be done in time for the end of the month and the competition deadline.
  4. Added two new enemies to the game for the Alan Moore level. They also get hand drawn sprite sheets from me, ensuring that they look terrible.
  5. Added a new AI "Walk" behavior for the above mentioned enemies.
That's about all for this week I'm afraid. July has been really busy for me this year, making this month less than awesome for a game-in-a-month competition. On the other hand, that's how competitions go I suppose. Otakon is cutting my week short this time, which means I'll really be cramming the last two days of the month to add as much polish as possible before it has to be put up online for download.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Progress update for 7/14/12 - 7/20/12

This week:

After recovering from jetlag I made a lot of good progress on the game this week.
  1. I reworked my level design for our Alan Moore tutorial level for the new aspect ratio and created all the geometry in the level editor.
  2. I also added a respawn mechanism, so now when you die you don't have to use debug commands to return to life. This somehow came out of me fixing a bug that played the player death sound every frame when you passed a certain Y value in world space.
  3. My roommate added a volume parameter so that what sound effects we do have aren't blasting our ear drums out every time we boot the game.
  4. My roommate added the structure for scoring in the game and set up the beginnings of saving and loading games.
  5. Alan Moore now talks to you throughout the tutorial level.
I'm not entirely convinced we needed a score system, but I guess it doesn't hurt to have one and I suspect that leaderboards are a requirement (or at least a boon) when it comes to Microsoft certification.

We also hit a soft feature lock today on the project. We won't be adding any more new features unless we absolutely cannot help it. We'll be spending enough time fixing bugs we find and designing around the mechanics we have now.
Here's the start of Alan Moore's level. The whole thing has been redesigned from the ground up to better teach you the game. Unfortunately, I'm not the best level designer, so it probably needs a lot of work but for now I'm blissfully unaware of how bad it is. It also handles some exposition by having Alan Moore talk to you throughout the level.
This level has a gimmick. The gimmick being that you can jump on Alan Moore's speech bubbles and use them to continue through the level. You may recall earlier when I said I was not the best level designer?

Here you can see the level select screen that my roommate has made. He spent a whole lot of time getting that Alan Moore picture just right. Not helpful in and of itself, but man is it cool.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Progress update for 7/7/12 - 7/13/12

This week:

I didn't do anything! I was on my honeymoon! Luckily, my room mate was much more productive and at home than I was.

  1. Added a menu system
  2. Added letterboxing and converted everything to use 16:9 aspect ratio
  3. Worked on his level for the game
I'm not entirely convinced about the aspect ratio and I'm having to readjust my level designs to account for not using 4:3 any more, but it's an easy enough thing to change later for future projects, so whatever. Plus, I'm pretty sure the reason he did it is for Microsoft certification reasons and I'm definitely not going to try and fight something that would help our game reach a wider audience. 

No screenshots today, and sorry for the lateness of the post. Next week's update will be on time and more visually oriented.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Progress update for 6/30/12 - 7/6/12

This week:

  1. The roommate and I are participating in a gamejam this month and are using the Mega Man engine we've been working on for this purpose. Starting on the first, we're going to be making The Adventures of Balzac and Dickens.
  2. I've worked out a few problems in the level editor after my roommate and I began prototyping levels.
  3. Added platform collisions to the engine. Now you can have tiles that you can move horizontally through, and jump up from underneath, but you can stand on top of them.
  4. Added layers to the engine and the editor. Now you can have stuff in the foreground AND the background! So high tech!
  5. Changed how transitions worked a little bit in order to have more complex level designs down the line. Rooms now draw on demand instead of constantly being drawn. This lets us do neat tricks like the Lost Woods in Zelda 1.
  6. Switched from using alpha blend everywhere to color key for transparency. Especially in the editor.
That's pretty much it. I spent a lot of time working on level design and reading up on some stuff. Additionally, I was spending a lot of time preparing for my honeymoon, which starts tomorrow. So I'm afraid that next week's update will be sparse as well and only contain whatever my roommate works on. In the meantime, here's some screenshots:
There's Balzac and some glorious layers
His glorious jump animation. His shirt even flaps in the wind when jumping.
Pay no attention to the level geometry oversight in the picture.
His idle animation is pretty great too.