Super Delayed Edition

April 12, 2014 hydroxy

I’ve been so busy with life that I have not had a chance to update the blog until now. I’m about 6 days late, but I eventually got some time to make a post. I’m going to make another post again in the usual Monday 21st April to get back into the normal routine again.

So over the last fortnight (or so), I’ve been working at a lot of different aspects in the game.

The main focus was backtracking over code I had wrote much earlier. Initially I decided that I wanted the collectibles the character gathers to execute the code for their usage e.g. gold coins will generate money when a button is pressed nearby the merchant, however I realised recently this was not a good idea and so I changed it so the physical objects in the level (in this case the merchant) will actually execute the code. Sounds like a simple swap around but in reality it took a good bit of reworking to get it all running.

I also made some changes when I was finishing up, such as a neat green or red outline around the physical object to let you know if the interaction will be accepted or not, as well as dialogue for non-successful actions. There is still lots of work to be done on this.

iheardyouthefirsttime shouldhavegottravelinsurance

I also improved the HUD so it is less intrusive in the players view, I also redesigned some of the HUD artwork while I was doing this also.

Many other small changes were made, however they were all pretty boring, such as added a variable to prevent grass from growing on soil blocks, slowed collectible items descent speed in water, altered non-playable characters’ so your they can now turn around and face different directions, and so on…

There’s still loads to do but I have a large break from my day job coming up in which I aim to develop a lot of things in the game.

I checked out the site statistics for this website and was surprised to see a decent number of unique visitors checking in every other Monday to read the fortnightly post. This is likely helped by myself posting to sites such as Reddit, Game Maker Community, and so on… Its really good to know what I write is being read and it motivates me to keep going. Though, it also makes me feel bad for delaying this post for so long, so I aim to not do that again.

Check out the game on this page.

Another Fortnight Already?

March 24, 2014 hydroxy

nicethreads

OK, time for the fortnightly update. I made some progress in many, many areas in the game, includng:

  • added new upgrades items which improve health, inventory size, etc…
  • added new status refill items which refill health, oxygen, etc…
  • added some new character sprites
  • created a new room transition system which is much improved over the previous version
  • altered the cheat function to make it easier to use in the game

Had a few bugs in the game which really set me back trying to fix but I got everything resolved in the end.

I also released put a copy of the game online which can either be downloaded as an .exe or played via your internet browser. You can access the game here. I am looking to update these versions of the game every fortnight when I make a new blog post. Hopefully you will see the improvements that are being made as the game is developed.

Not much else to report, its been a fairly quiet (but busy) fortnight. That’s all for now…

Building a World

March 10, 2014 hydroxy

thecrystalmazeRecently, I’ve not had a lot of time to work on development of the game, this is mostly due to life simply getting in the way. Although, when I did get time to develop the game, I used it well. Recently, I’ve been working all over the project in many different areas, such as:

  • improving enemy AI behaviour which has produced good results so far
  • improving the debug system, this will likely not be seen by many people but it really helps me during development
  • world building, a fairly time consuming task to do. I have pretty much doubled the size of the in-game world over the last 2 weeks

I’ve came up with a better name for the game, “Southern Voyage”. This name may or may not be temporary, though for now it will do. “Oyster Island” was another idea I came up with but in the end I didn’t think it suited the feel of the game well. Coming up with names for games is a super difficult task I’ve discovered, thank goodness it only needs to be done once per game development cycle.

I am aiming to have a playable beta version of the game released in the very near future, no exact dates for now though.

There is still lots of development to be done on the game, but I am slowly working my way through it all and sticking to a decent schedule. That’s all for now…

Making New Enemies

February 24, 2014 hydroxy

Over the last 2 weeks I’ve made some good progress on many aspects of the game. My main focus was overhauling enemy AI. Initially I tried to add complex pathfinding algorithms but I found they were too time consuming to implement, so instead I opted for a more basic AI system. I created some new enemies to utilise the new AI and the results so far look promising.

simplyshocking

I also fixed the remainder of the outstanding bugs that were present in the game, this was slightly time consuming but it needed to be done. Another task I had set myself was to create at least 1 well defined area in the game. This was finally possible as I had all the components necessary. I filled an area with terrain, enemies, etc… and the result was pretty nice. The area felt good to play through and should be serve as a good example for what I need to do later on in the level design stages of development. I also added some new nature inspired terrain and backgrounds, such as trees and grass. The new additions contribute a lot to the feel of some areas. Overall, the last few weeks have been good for game development but I feel like I could have done more. Hopefully I’ll be more productive in the coming fortnight, until then goodbye…

Mountains

February 10, 2014 hydroxy

Since the last update I posted I’ve been hard at work on lots of different parts of the game. My main focus has been on inventory management, a task which I knew would be a tough task to complete as it involves lots of maths intertwined with lots of coding.

Initially I made good progress and all was looking well, but I hit a major problem a few hours in. I had to find a way to retrieve variables from objects that were pretty much non-existent within the game world. After about 2 days of effort I found a solution that worked perfectly (thanks go out to GMC for some excellent advice along the way). I was able to complete the rest of inventory management without too much bother.

The inventory management problem was very difficult to solve, but as anybody who has a passion for anything knows, it is this type of insurmountable mountain of a task that lets you know that you are serious about what you are doing.

theeviltwin

I also did work on enemy behaviours and improved them significantly, although there is still a lot of work left to do. Above is a test enemy that I have created to keep me company. I think he may make it into the final game as he’s has an eeriness about him that I think could work well in some locations in the game.

movingonup

I’ve also added a few human characters, such as the merchant and doctor displayed above who will help the player character by performing tasks such as selling items, healing damage, etc…

Still have not figured out a name for this project. I am still calling it Project Oyster which sounds sillier every time I say it. A fitting name will hopefully come soon…

I am keeping to my schedule fairly well and I have been successful in keeping the scope of this project fairly small so far. It will hopefully stay that way as I want this to be a quickly and efficiently completed project.

After developing games for over 3 years I have realised it is a time consuming thing to do. It also has the potential to become a very anti-social influence in your life, I think this is perhaps one of the largest perils there is regarding game development. Be careful of it or game development can take away more than it gives you.

Anywho, there is still a lot to do but I think I am progressing at a good rate. I can walk away happy at the end of this weekend knowing that inventory management is complete and other (nicer) tasks await me…