Epyo's Doomworld Forums Blog

Epyo's Doomworld Forums Blog

Code sample? May 30, 2012, 5:58 pm
I know there are some programmers on here, so here's a quick question. I'm going to a technical interview in a few days and I was asked to bring a code sample for them to look through to "get a feel for how I write code". I have no idea what to bring in.

IMO my best code is in an XNA game project I've been working on for six months that I've tried to keep very organized, but I'm still doing habits that are embarrassing but convenient since I'm the only person working on the project. (1: All variables are public; 2: All objects in the game world have a pointer to a huge object called "vars" that contains everything in the game world). Plus the fact that it's a game doesn't seem mature enough.

I've worked on a lot of small projects with school, some of them group projects, so I have some small code files that are about ~200 lines long and just have a single algorithm inside that does some sort of computation or analysis, basically, and they're easy to read, but much more sloppy. Is that more appropriate?

I just have no idea what to bring in in terms of size and subject matter. Anyone have advice?
2 Comments

My flash game, still going August 31, 2010, 1:54 am
http://www.wheelchairunicorn.com/thereisacave.html

Welp, this project I started back in January is still going, with about 350 hours so far. The game's structure is somewhat different but somewhat the same.

You're this rabbit that's dressed up like link, with a sword and crossbow, and you're on this set of islands that you can freely explore. It's divided up into themed zones. You find consumable items, armor, new weapons, and elements to put into your weapons. You explore, level up, and search for The Cave.

[How to play: Use WASD to move, or arrow keys. Click within the big circle to attack. Click outside the big circle to move if you don't want to use WASD. Click inside the small circle, on your character, to use your highlighted Secondary. Choose a secondary in the top left. Secondaries use hearts. Choose a main weapon in the top right. They need no ammunition. Equip new main weapons through the inventory.]

--------------------

So once again, I'll be blogging in this thread for a while while I work on the game during this semester. Hopes are to finish the game by Christmas. That won't happen. But here's hoping anyway.

September 1st: ~350 hours in
What's done so far: Many weapons are implemented, but they are all "Weak ____". Soon, there will be normal and "Strong ___" versions of every weapon. Stronger weapons will have slots to put Elements in. Elements are like Frost, which slows enemies down upon hit, or explosive, which causes explosions of course. Elements are not yet implemented, but are next on the list.

Two levels are implemented, but nowhere near finished. The first level is a campground for some purple guy enemies. The level to the south is a Wetland. Next on the agenda is a town, east of the first level. South of that will be a swamp. Some resources have been started on these levels.

Anyway, I just implemented knockback. Whenever you get hit, you get knocked around a bit, but you still have some control. I like it. I'm immediately starting to implement the Elements (like materia) TOMORROW! During work.
7 Comments

my 2nd flash game (developer blog) January 14, 2010, 5:03 pm
Game link

This is a blog for my second flash game! My first flash game is at http://www.kongregate.com/games/Epy...-the-mana-cycle so that's pretty cool. Anyway in this new game, it's like a roguelike RPG sort of thing. Mouse-only. Click outside the circles to move, click in the outer circle to use primary weapon, click in the inner circle to use secondary weapon (whichever is highlighted at the bottom. those are clickable to select).

So anyway this will be done in the summer some time.

BLOG:

DAY 0: Before totally deciding what game I wanted to make, I spent an hour making this simple game, if you can call it that (it is indeed rather addictive.) I wanted to test out this control scheme where you move your cursor away from your player to point/move him. It works, somewhat. The part that doesn't work very well is that the player has the ability to put the cursor on his player to pause gameplay for a second, to think. But the player probably isn't going to. I don't know if it's because there's no reason to, or if it's because the pacman isn't in the middle of the screen. So I decided for my real next game, to always keep the character in the middle of the screen. (By the way, I played this for an hour and could only get to 3 points. Today I can get to 13+).

DAY 1: Started the actual project. Took the wizard sprite from wandslinger, made some tiles, made it so that the level moves instead of the player moving. This game is programmed entirely with code, whereas the last one, the levels were designed right into the flash timeline. This should work better, but before, I just wasn't ready.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 1 hour

DAY 2: Implemented a dumb level generator, just cause I don't know how to do that yet, and I want to play around with having a grid system. Basically, it covers the grid with random black squares here and there. I don't like it. The real game will look nothing like this.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 2 hours

DAY 3: Added the player's projectile system. Coded much cleaner this time around; I'm very happy with it. Right now I've got you shooting a simple little blue circle. Keep in mind you can hold shift to let the game play in real time (or enter if you prefer). Since the game is so unfinished, holding shift makes the game make more sense. There is also the word "Paused" when the game is paused, when the game is done, I'll invent some other way than simply putting that word there.

Still brainstorming on how to generate levels. I've got some okay ideas...Maybe I can use different coding plans with different areas of the final game.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 3 hours

DAY 4: I'm going to go with a small tile-system, for the art (not gameplay.) This is because it's probably going to be an easy way to do generated-levels, and it's going to be easier to make the level art this way. I'd like to make it look like a tile-based NES game like original Zelda or Metroid or Castlevania. Castlevania might be out of my league, but I could get the Metroid 1 tile-based look, I think. Generally your tiles don't even have to look that great, the repetition and grid is usually easy on the eyes.

The tiles are 40x40 pixels now, you should check it out. I've also got a simple uncovering-system going on, everything looks black until you get close up to it.

Progress is slow, but this game is a lot harder to make than my last one, and I'm learning a lot of things by trial and error. I'm being more careful this time.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 5 hours

DAY 5: MUCH better rendering code now. Tiles that are not on screen are not only invisible, but removed from their display containers. I'm going to try to find a bad computer to test my optimization on, I code like an asshole and I can't tell anything's wrong on this computer.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 7 hours

DAY 5 PART 2: Bullet collision detection with the blocks is working, it might need more work later. Movement collision with blocks is mostly working...but when you're sliding up against a row of blocks, you get stuck. That's going to take some thought to fix.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 8 hours

DAY 6: First attempt at new art today. I made a brown wall tile. It looks extremely meh. Practice is good, though.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 9 hours

DAY 7: Got a lot done today in just one hour! Added enemies (just one for now, reused from Wandslinger), added enemy hit detection with hitpoints, the enemy can move towards you and chase you, he dies in 10 hits, stops his animation when the game is still...I did more stuff I forget!

Also, lowered the FPS to 30, because 36 was a bit excessive (this might still be a little excessive, but because of the gameplay, it's not really a big deal if it runs a tad slow on older laptops, besides the fact that it will take longer to travel around.) Maybe I'll end up lowering more, but since the bullets are so small sometimes, that might be unwise.

Still pondering on enemy pathing, how to code their AI. I think they should just walk randomly until they're pretty close to you, or if you damage them...but when they chase you, I need to make them go around rocks and walls, obviously, and when they're waltzing about, that will require some thought as well.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 11 hours. (1 unrecorded from a few days ago)

DAY 8: Worked two hours tonight, worked on the vision. Before, it was just a big square arond your character that got uncovered. Now, it's a sort of circle. Looks a lot better, and it should even work faster. There is also a system in place for a night/cave vision mode, where you cannot see behind walls. It's not done yet, so you can't see it, and the first level will be outdoors anyway.

I think I know an easy way to make monsters invisible when out-of-vision.

Tomorrow I need to either work on art, level-building, or enemy pathing/actions, or start the decal system (blood n rocks n stuff).

TOTAL DEV TIME: 14 hours.

DAY 9: A frustrating day, worked on enemy pathing, don't have much to show for it except a bit more know-how, and a bit more of an idea on what I want.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 18 hours.

DAY 10: Wow, after a LOT of work, I got something that should have been very simple working. Code posted below. I suck at geometry I guess <_<

Almost ready to implement the pathing. The way I plan it to work is that every enemy has two invisible little boxes in front of it. One 10 pixels away, one 50 pixels away. If they feel an object in front of them, they'll choose a better direction, and gradually turn and avoid the object.

It'll be easy to improve the system further from there.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 26 hours.

DAY 11: Playing around with pathing ideas, simple ones right now. This very random map is hard for them to maneuver, harder than the real game will be. I've got a simple hit detector in front of my lizard for now. It has obvious problems.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 30 hours.

DAY 12: Fun progress today! Pathing is still extremely simple, but it works, for now. Random maps are removed, for now, I'm reading from a string. I like the lighting system. Enemies now aggro when you see them (and they see you).

I'm getting sick of the tiles I'm using, so I might get around to "art"ing up some new ones on Monday? Maybe?

I'd call the game almost playable at this point, whereas yesterday and previously it was a mess, it kind of resembles a future game right now.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 32 hours.

DAY 13: Haven't updated in a while <_<

Pathing still not perfect, but you won't see the guys run through walls much. Anyway, a lot has happened in the past week or two, haven't posted much cause it all happens in little bursts because of all my homework. Just today I made it so that you can sneak up on the enemies, for example.

I am happy with how the game performs. My gf's computer runs swfs agonizingly slow, but my game runs almost perfectly.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 42 hours.

DAY 14: Can't decide if you should click-to-move or hover to move, with spacebar letting you free your mouse...

Also, there's a bomber/flamer class up right now instead of the wizard. The explosions are invisible, I'm working on those right now. I'll have to test the flamethrower on some other computers because it's probably really laggy.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 50 hours.

DAY 15: I think this new class is pretty cool. There's one more thing I want to do, and it is implemented, but not visible yet: If the radius of two bombs overlaps, I want a dotted line to appear between the two bombs, so that if one bomb goes off, the other goes off.

Also, enemies need to be more difficult, and you need to have a bit more health. There will soon be a food system too.

Below your hp bar will be a food bar. As long as its above 25%, you'll regen health at normal speed. But if it's below 25%, your health regen will be a lot less. If the bar is empty, you do not regen health. You need to eat food to replenish your bar. Strong foods will fill the bar, and make it a little bit bigger too. Weak foods will fill the bar only slightly.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 55 hours.

UPDATE 16: Everything's going great! I'm really excited for what I'll be doing for the next couple of weeks on the game. Today I coded in so that numbers pop up when you hit enemies, showing your damage. It's actually a bigger challenge than I ever expected, on my third try, I'm very happy with the way I coded it. Still need to work on the font though, needs to be more interesting than just yellow typewriter font.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 60 hours.

UPDATE 17: Still awesome. Just implemented levelling up and exp system in the past hour. These past two weeks I haven't got to work much ~15 hours maybe, plenty in though. The BOOMERANG is realllllly cool, I recommend you check it out. I've started the item/inventory system. Tomorrow I'll be implementing some code that will let me throw enemies around--for example, when hit by a mine, they should go flying a couple of feet, stunned for a second. Should be very very easy, I'll have a flag for the stun, and two stun vectors are assigned upon stun. I already implemented the flag with the boomerang, you'll notice a star comes out of the enemy as soon as the rang stuns it.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 75 hours.

UPDATE 18: Did some pretty extreme surgery on the game last night. You can now pick two different secondary weapons at the start, and toggle between them at the bottom of the game during play. Think it works, but sometimes you can crash with mines. The way mines are coded is a bit ugly, so it's going to be hard to figure out what's wrong...But it might not even be the mines, I've only seen it twice, and it just so happened to be while using mines...

In addition, my new tile is a lot laggier than the plain brown from before. So rendering is a bit modified: dimmed tiles no longer stay dim out of range. There is now a ring of lit tiles round you, and outside of the circle it's all black ground, except for solid blocks, which remain visible permanently after first seen. I actually like this visual strategy best of all the styles I've tried so far, so, great! Best performance, my favorite look.

Will add a new weapon today.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 85 hours.

UPDATE 19: Woops, didn't update this for weeks. ~20 hours later, rocket guy plays pretty well, there's a combat log in the bottom-right corner ( I really like that feature), all sorts of good stuff is going on right now. Next up is either the inventory system, or redoing the level code so I can have multiple levels...actually, before either of those, I think I need to add decor. Decorations will not block vision, and not block bullets, but block movement. I'll need to use this for water, pits, boulders, voids, bushes, and the like. Yeah. That's next.

Oh yeah, there's teleporters and stealth too. Stealth is a little bit easy. Need to implement crits from behind or something, and then make sneaking harder.

TOTAL DEV TIME: 105 hours.
10 Comments

My flash game is done! Give me a good rating if you have time. December 19, 2009, 3:49 pm
http://www.kongregate.com/games/Epy...-the-mana-cycle

Yup, after ~40 days, 200 hours, I finished it. Still no music, sadly, just couldn't make it in time, too hard, and didn't want to buy music off of anyone. I made the flash game I wanted to play, and I wanted it to be mine...

So, if I have one of the top fifteen scores by dec 27, I get to go to the judging round of the flash contest. =] Wish me luck! I really like my game, so excuse me if I celebrate a little.
8 Comments

Making a flash game! Blog! November 12, 2009, 11:38 am
Hi, I've reached my final project in my Multimedia Programming class: create a game! If you feel like it, you can watch the game develop right here, and if you feel like it, you can make fun of me right here too. The project is due in ~2-3 weeks, so I'll be really cracking, pretty fast.

Previous simpler flash projects:
-Three-scene flash project. Basically, first scene had to be a ball bouncing off of a shelf, second had to be a repeating motion, third had to be a rocket taking off, all with navigation buttons.

-Cannon. This was a simpler project, just to get the hang of motion with actionscript, not tweening. (wasn't worth points booo). Didn't draw any of that.

-Smoke Grinder. Create a machine that does nothing (but grinds smoke). The gears were provided, but we had to use those and more. (here is my first attempt at this project)

-Demonstration assignment. Here we had to demonstrate something to the user, and then test them on it.

Game Blog
DAY 1: Started the game, woo! The game is top-down action, and so I drew my character today--or at least my first attempt at him. He's a wizard! This took 30 minutes. Then I wrote some code to get him moving, with arrows or WASD. Then I took an hour of being very particular about it, adding acceleration/momentum to make the controls fun. Criticize me here of the movement is not awesome--I want awesome movement. The last thing I did today was draw a rock class, and then cover it in rectangular boundary objects. Then I coded the player to bounce off of these boundaries, slightly. It works surprisingly well.

Total Dev time: 4 hours.

DAY 2: Worked on the game twice today, total of 6 hours. There was a lot of struggle. First, I drew another rock, put boundaries on it, made it a class, put it in my level. Fine. Next I made an enemy, mc_enemy1. I drew it rather nicely, considering my artistic integrity. Then, I made my first weapon: the laser sword. I drew it rather terribly, and I'll have to re-do it. I did all of this in about 90 minutes.

But then the trouble started. I could get the sword to hit the enemies I put on the screen, and take their hp down. But when their hp gets to 0, and removeChild(enemy); is called, the game errors and crashes, something about not using removeChild properly. This took me 2 hours to fix.

Then, I wanted it so that when the sword is hitting a rock, it will instantly shrink, and keep shrinking, until it isn't hitting the rock. I could not get the sword's array of small collision objects, to detect collision with the rocks, using hitTestObject. Damn. After spending ~2 hours on it, I think I'm giving up. As it is, the sword goes through rocks :/ I guess I'll just make it smaller, or not use the sword at all. If I have an idea to fix it, I can implement it later, I think.

Total dev time: 10 hours.

DAY 3: Worked around 6 hours total today. I got my pathing to work, you should check it out. There are three paths, each made of nodes. Enemies are spawned at the beginning of one of the three paths, off screen. Then they go to each next node. If there's a fork, they might take the fork, and then keep following it, until the fork ends. Then if there's more to the main path, they'll resume following that. (surprisingly, adding fork capability only took one hour!)

Total dev time: 16 hours.

DAY 4: Serious problems today. But first, I added 7 mana meters to the bottom left corner, for the weapons. The player can switch weapons with number keys. Then I made it so that the sword is for weapon 1. Then I made a new rapid-fire bolt-gun, as weapon 2.

But then came a problem. The bullets are supposed to be removed permanently when they hit a rock. And it LOOKS like they are removed. But once more than 200-300 bullets are shot (and removed), the game runs a lot slower, very gradually, as if the bullets are still sitting around.

After 4 hours of trying to fix this, I think it is fixed, for now. In addition, I found the same thing happened with enemies spawning and not really being removed. I got to "fix" that too. Hopefully these worked.

Plenty of work still ahead!

Total dev time: 21 hours. (site updated! gun 2 doesn't hit stuff yet)

DAY 4 PART 2: Took a leisurely hour and got gun 2 hitting/hurting enemies now! The game is addictive.

Total dev time: 22 hours.

DAY 4 PART 3: Took another 2 hours and now the enemies shoot. The bullets don't do anything though. That'll be first on the agenda. Then I have to make a third gun, which will be difficult, and then a second enemy, but then every gun/enemy after that will be a lot easier because I'll have the code set up just right. Then, I'll be pretty much done with coding, just will have to do art and level design, and a whole lot of polish.

Total dev time: 24 hours.

DAY 5 PART 1: Took an hour after I woke up and redid the enemybullet spawn code, as well as the player bullet spawn code, so now it should be easy for me to add new weapons and enemy weapons. About to start working on the enemy bullet detection. ALSO I added the shrine that you are supposed to defend. Looks ugly right now. Also I'm not liking the design of this first level.

Total dev time: 25 hours.

DAY 5 PART 2: 2 more hours of work...and...enemy bullets hurt you! and your shrine. I've also added more mana meters in the bottom corner--there will be two more weapons. shrine hp and your hp are still the last ones. I've also modified the colors of all the bars a little bit, for more consistency, I think they're easier on the eyes now.

Here's a big change: the bolt gun is now your primary weapon! It blows mana fast, but if you're accurate, you'll get a recharge bonus. The "laser"/"sword is now weapon 3, and it looks a lot more pleasing--more like a shortrange sonic soundwave cannon or something. It blows mana, but you can make a little go a long way if you're stingy.

There is no weapon two yet. Or weapons 4-7. Some of the health bars are hard to see now. And a strange bug has appeared where an enemy is spawned, but his hitboxes don't work. And they are visible. He's kind of creepy. I could make him fail to spawn, but I'd prefer to know WHY he's spawning...<_<

Total dev time: 27 hours.

DAY 5 PART 3: 2 more hours of work down, I'm really happy with the way the game is shaping up. NEW GUN 2 ADDED! The yellow sun gun. I spent a lot of time on how it looks, but it looks stupid...so, I don't know what to do.

The gun itself is extremely fun, and reminds me of the BFG now that I think about it, because it's got a little extra trick that makes it useful. It's basically a big shot that does 100 damage, but when it disappears, 7 little pink bolts come out, in a cone. Fancy thing is, the cone comes out in the angle of the player, not of the projectile itself! So if you need to hit guys around a corner, but you're far away, you can send a shot, timed correctly to hit the front man, then twist your player 90deg so that the cone comes out and hits the friends.

Because of this cool thing, I've changed the pink bolts a bit. They do enough damage to kill the little guys in only two hits (4 before). Less bullets per second come out of the bolt gun as well (slightly), so that it takes a bit more skill to use. In addition, the mana cost is higher, and the mana regen is higher too, making the player more likely to have to reload.

These changes also help optimize the game, because having ~20 bolts coming out per clip was unwise, now there's usually 6-10.

Total dev time: 29 hours. (two thirds done, IMO. hardest is over)

DAY 6: I made a new enemy lol! it's a burrd. it shoots firee. I'll work a bit on that flame breath code, it's a little weird now. Needs more animation on the bird's part too.

Weapon 3 (sonar thing) now blocks projectiles!!! Useful. Might want to nerf damage.

Total dev time: 33 hours.

DAY 6 PART 2: Many, many touch ups, from procrastinating on adding the next gun...speaking of which, GUN 4 ADDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The idea sprang, and I realized I could do it very easily. An hour later it is done. I highly recommend you check out weapon 4.

Total dev time: 36 hours.

DAY 7: Mostly behind-the-scenes changes, hopefully you won't notice anything change. God I hope I didn't break anything. I'm organizing a lot of the code that was just out in the open before, into functions. That way I can just call back those functions in later levels. Side note: had a bug with turrets, they only cost 25% mana but it was forcing you to have 40% to place one. Should be slightly easier now--slightly.

Total dev time: 38 hours.

DAY 7 PART 2: Changed the gameplay of level 1. Starts off slow. Then returns to normal speed, sans birds. Birds are slowly added. Ends with a bigger battle.

Total dev time: 40 hours.

DAY 7 PART 3: AUGH that was an awful three hours. Still working on coding the whole level-switch schema. Had a bug that was KILLING ME SOFTLY THIS WHOLE TIME. What it was? I had boltarr, and it was supposed to be eboltarr. CHRISTLY. I looked that function over THIRTY TIMES.

UPDATE: level 2 added (bare bones. get there by beating level 1 (might not work yet) or just PRESS SHIFT--cheat code! takes you to next level. Should you be allowed to walk in water? Maybe there should be a ripple effect, if you can.

also, PAUSE works. I think you can press CONTRL or P?

Total dev time: 43 hours.


DAY 8: Finished up coding the higher level stuff better. Much more flexible, this'll help me when I add menus and the upgrade system (different from normal upgrade systems!).

Also created a new gun, gun 5. It's all right, I don't know. Took a lot of work to make, mostly because I couldn't get the math right.

Shift doesn't skip the level any more, unless you press it like 15 times.

I'm still worried about the speed of the game on worse computers. Just worries though, I don't really have proof. This new gun might be slowing the game down a fraction, for some reason I hate that.

Total dev time: 46 hours.

Day 8 Part 2:

designing these last few weapons is hard.

gun 6 is definitely a gas cloud that slows enemies down.

My first idea for gun 5 was a disc that goes through walls and enemies. It was weird. Then I thought it would be cool if it was affected by momentum. It was still just weird. Then I decided it should bounce off of walls, but still go through people. But then if you wanted to do the most damage, you would want to just shoot it while moving backwards,so it moves really really slow, to get the most frames where it is hitting the enemy.

But not only does this negate the bouncing aspect, and also makes you never want to shoot it at high speed ever, but also that has overlap in design with the gas cloud, which is a stationary projectile.

Then I decided to scrap the disc altogether and make a ghost gun. It would shoot out little ghosts that go through walls and people, but it would be weak, so you wouldn't want to use it besides through walls. It turned out to be too weak no matter what, when you can just wait for the enemies.

I returned to the disc idea and thought...let's make the damage based on the speed! I got rid of the enemy-penetration (doesn't jive with high speed or gun 6), and I kept the bouncing, so that you don't have to aim so much since you want to be running fast mostly.

Now I'm rather happy with this. Yellow ball, sonar beam, and metal disc are now the biggest dpsers. Sonar beam is dangerous to use. Yellow ball is easier to use on single enemies than disc, but does best damage on groups. Disc is easiest to use on groups (just shoot a few discs over there), but does best damage on single enemies...which is difficult to pull off.

And it doesn't overlap with gas cloud or turrets. Good.

AND it's momentum-based shot and momentum-based damage are interesting from a gameplay perspective. Great.

Total dev time: 49 hours.

Day 9: Scratch all of that! I got rid of that stupid gun. The gas cloud that slows people down is now gun 5, and it's slime you put on the ground. Although I guess it shouldn't work on the birds, then, right? Dammit.

Total dev time: 51 hours.

Day 9 Part 2: Gas cloud is working out pretty well, maybe the graphics need a little work, otherwise, sweet. Also made a new enemy, which spawns in level 2. Might change the color of it. Shift skips level 1 again.

Total dev time: 54 hours.

Day 10: Don't know about weapon 6 yet, no idea what to do there. The new enemy in level 2 is adorable. The level is just about done I guess, I guess I should create the order of the enemies coming in. It's a lot easier than level 1 right now...I think. I should probably make level 1 easier, I don't want to scare away players. Especially since a lot of the people in my class aren't even gamers, and part of the grade for this project is by your peers.

It's actually pretty interesting, in addition to the teacher's rubric, each student will receive copies of three other games. They get to assign ten points to the three games--like 7 to one game, 3 to another game, none to the last. And they are not allowed to give the same score twice--like 4, 4, and 2.

I've glimpsed some of the other projects, there's a mario-like, a poker game, and a simple pinball game is in the works I think.

Total dev time: 55 hours.

Day 10 Part 2: Created weapon 6, it's pretty sweet. It takes a hell of a lot of mana, but it's very very powerful. It also can make a lot of mana its own back if used properly.

As far as weaponry, just need to created the healing weapon 7, and the time-stopping weapon 8 will surprisingly not be too difficult, I think.

Total dev time: 56 hours.

Day 11: Anyway, just coded the time-stop. I'll have to put an hourglass over the player or something, for extra feedback that, indeed, time is stopped for the enemy.

Yesterday night, I did the healing thing, "weapon" 7. You keep clicking on yourself or the shrine, and little whitish sparkles coming out letting you know it is being healed. In the future I'll make it so that when you click somewhere random, it'll remind you (inform you) that you can only heal yourself or your shrine.

I also re-did the graphic of the shrine, it's prettier, but doesn't really make much sense, I'm guessing I'll make it again before release.

Total dev time: 58 hours.

Day 12: Yesterday night, I worked on level 3 a bit. Got an interesting layout, no monsters yet, graphics not done.

In addition, I've created the first pass of the upgrade system. If you've played a lot of recent flash action games, they've all got this identical mundane upgrade system that everyone's sick of, so hopefully my system (described in post 20ish below) will shake things up. I'm never interested in using the upgrade systems, but since this one is required, and dreadfully simple, and you don't have to worry about saving up points of any sort, it'll be enjoyed.

You can still press SHIFT to advance to the upgrade screen, and then get to the next level, indefinitely. (you also get full manas). I'm going to paste the current possible upgrades in a post below. As of now, you can't get the same upgrade twice...but I might change that. I'm just scared of people having 10 turrets and the game lags to hell. But it would be rare...

Total dev time: 61 hours.

Day 13: Not much obvious work went on today, just balancing stuff, fixing the overall code. Level titles appear when you start a level, but they're not done yet. They still look a bit odd. I have to do other homework today, but after today I'm on thanksgiving break for a week, so it's gonna be a huuge push. Hopefully I'll have 7-8 levels, a week from today...Wait, the project might be due a week from today...Can't remember.

On a side note, I played the game for an hour last night, I was really addicted. I really enjoy this upgrade system, you can get some great synergies with good upgrade chohices. Just now I worked on souping up weapons 1 and 2...which means every upgrade to weapon 1 also helped weapon 2, since it shoots bullets of weapon 1...it was awesome, I was shooting yellow orbs all over the place.

Total dev time: 63 hours.

Day 15: Almost done with level 3, also, made a new enemy: zombie! He comes out of a hole. The next level is the cave inside the hole. His attack is not done yet. The level is exciting, especially if you use weapons 3-6.

Still working on weapon balance. My brother thinks weapons 1-3 are way stronger than 4-5, but I disagree. I think the real problem is the high-learning curve on both weapons. So, I want to take steps to make these two spells easier to use at first, but not affect their final value, and not effect the framerate. Making the turrets shoot more would be great, or turning them into flamers, but I'm too scared to do that. The game is already pretty laggy on my girlfriend's laptop.

So, so far, I made the bullets shot from the turrets a tad bigger, and they are fired a taaaad more often. Little bit. As for the gas clouds, I'll make them shoot farther, and perhaps make them a bit bigger, although I really am pleased with the way they look, visually, at this size.

Total dev time: 66 hours.

Day 16: Just put 2 hours in, and I think level 3 is about finished! It's by far my favorite level yet. The design and order of creature-spawns makes a lot more sense, and is a lot of fun.

Worked more on balance. Gas clouds shoot farther, dunno if it's easier or harder to use. Turrets shoot more often and last longer...and to prevent loss of framerate, the bullets simply go faster! That way there's a lot less on the screen at once. That's really what I'm afraid of--someone getting really bad-ass turret upgrades, managing to get 8-10 turrets on the screen at once, and their frames go to hell. Everything's fine! There's always a way.

Just implemented level 4, it's blank right now, but it will be a darker, indoor bluish cave level. More zombies inside! Project due in: 10 days!

Total dev time: 68 hours.

Day 16 part 2: Put 3 more hours of work in, mostly on designing level 4. Still trying to figure out the layout I want, give the level a different character than the others, I want a much more scattered feel, but it should be also more enclosed since it is indoors. The level is strange right now, but interesting. Another reason it looks weird is the gradient background, but that will look a bit better when I make shadows for the rocks, I think. Which can't happen until I'm done with layout, of course. I think I'll draw a rope in, symbolizing where you dropped down from the building above.

Also still playing with balance of course. Level two is hard to convert mana in, and level 3 is easy to convert mana in (specifically with weapons 4 and 5). I don't like that.

Wish I had more time, I don't know if the game will be as finished as I like when the semester ends. It'll definitely be 100% for the contest, though.

I've thought about different modes a lot. After completing the game on normal, the game will give a stats screen, but also the game will then wrap around to hard mode. Sort of like a New Game +. Or you can always just choose hard mode on the main menu. My idea for hard mode is, for hard mode, monsters gain 5% more speed and 10% more hitpoints, for every further level you go in hard mode. It's a good idea.

Other modes, I've been thinking about an engineer mode, where you only get weapons 4 and up, and 4 automatically refills. Maybe a simple shooter mode, where you only get weapon 1. Maybe a melee mode, only weapon 3. Stuff like that sounds cool to me.

Total dev time: 71 hours.

Day 17: Development is slowing down a lot because I can't stop playing <_<. Anyway, I've got enemies spawning in level 4, but the level still feels a bit boring. The different gameplay--having to fight the zombies with mass hps, is fun, but the layout of the level is leading to the player wanting to camp the shrine, basically. But this is what the player is doing for the first 3 levels. I want the player to want to move away from the shrine this time, and really go chase the mobs right where they spawn. More hitpoints, perhaps? Don't know what to do. Different layout? Probably.

Total dev time: 75 hours.

Day 17 Part 2: Got a lot more done! Finished the zombie (who is really a frankenstein monster) and his attack animation. It's a zap! Tell me if it looks dumb/unprofessional. My brother thinks it looks fine/pretty sweet.

Fixed a bug! In case you didn't know, enemies sometimes don't shoot straight at you--they shoot slightly off. If you've never noticed, go to level 1 and stand next to some purple guys, and watch some of them miss. I like this bug, but I didn't like it on the melee-ers, because meleers shouldn't miss. So I fixed it on meleers.

Started a new enemy! I'm not sure about his sprite, looks funny right now. His attack looks like the dark bishop's bolts from hexen. Except they don't home. Instead they go through walls. This helps make the cave level more interesting, helps make the player want to leave the shrine a bit more.

Total dev time: 77 hours! Can't wait!


Day 18: Started working on level 5, shouldn't be too hard to make. I was hoping to get it done quickly, in two hours. But there was a strange bug while I was making it: it was laggy. I went through all the code twenty times, couldn't understand why level 5 was different than any other level. In fact, when playing in Opera, the lagginess wasn't there, it was just in adobe's flash player for Flash CS4. Didn't make any sense.

So, I literally moved level 4 on the timeline to be ahead of level 5--to the right of level 5. So it goes 1 2 3 _ 5 4. The lag was gone. I shouldn't have been that concerned about it since it was just in the editor, but I hated it.

So, hopefully that's solved for now. Waste of 3 hours really.

Total dev time: 81 hours.

Day 19: I think the above bug is just some sort of bug with the garbage collector with that version of the flash player. Because, the same problem was happening with IE. And my copy of IE has the same version of flash player as my CS4, both are older than my Opera copy of flash player. And strangely enough, now that I've created a level 6, level 5 doesn't lag anymore. wtf?

Anyway, I finished level 5 yesterday, it's really cool. My brother playtested it and said, okay, this game finally got awesome. Thanks Paul! I agree, each level I make is twice as interesting as the previous.

Today I didn't get to work on it too much, but I just worked on it for a couple of hours, in level 6. This art stuff is so fucking hard. Level 6 is a large plateau on most of the stage, but a huge river divides the level, the river being down in a deep canyon. Drawing this river took the full TWO HOURS. Jesus, my first level took about fifteen minutes! The second level took about five! Oh well, I think it looks pretty cool, will look better when the level is more fleshed out.

The biggest problem with drawing it was...understanding how. I've never actually taken a drawing class, and I've been shown how perspective works on buildings and stuff a bit, but this took a lot of trial and error. Since we're seeing this canyon from above, and the canyon runs both horizontally at times, and vertically others, I had no clue at all how to draw the height lines--going from the top of the cliffs to the bottom.

The strategy I finally adopted was rather clever I think. The canyon cuts the north and east parts of the stage, from the middle/southwest parts. So on the inner side of the canyon, I drew a curvy brown line, representing the top of the cliff. I copied this curvy line, and pasted it in place. Then I moved this new copy up-and-to-the-right, about 50 pixels? Then I shrank it. This line would represent the bottom of the inner cliff, where it hits the water. Then to draw the depth lines, from top of cliff to bottom, I just had to draw them from recognizable matching parts of my squiggly lines. For example, if I saw a strange bump in both squiggly lines, I drew a straight line between them. Pretty easy! Press shift and skip a few levels if you want to check it out.

Total dev time: 85 hours.

Day 21: Yesterday I worked on level 6 a heck of a lot, and I think it's done. I'll have my bro playtest it and give suggestions, it might be too hard, or too taxing on the engine. I'm a poor coder, so I'm not confident in putting an effload of enemies on screen, even though it looks sweet, it's not really fun. Hopefully the level is tasteful.

So it's officially crunch-time I guess! It's monday night, the game is due friday morning. I hope to do all of level 7 today and tomorrow, level 8 on wednesday, and then add everything else on thursday--game over stuff, main menu, quick, simple instruction slides. After the game is submitted to school, there's a few more things I need to do before the contest. I want to add a few extra modes, like hard mode, engineer mode, etc, and maybe a few more weapon upgrades that are more interesting. One I want to do, that isn't too difficult, is to make it possible to upgrade your turrets, so that when they get walked over, they explode into discs.

Total dev time: 91 hours.

Day 21 part 2: OMG YES! I'm very happy with my knight and level 7 now. I got rid of two towers, added the castle wall at the top (just a hint of it), and added shadows. The level looks totally fine now, in my opinion. My knight, I forgot that I was shrinking him every time he spawns, so I set him back to normal size, and I like how he looks too.

In addition, the sonic weapon 3 now stuns enemies. Previously, you'd attack with it, and the enemies would look like they're attacking, but the projectile would disintegrate. Or if they were melee, it'd look like they're meleeing, but it wouldn't hurt. Now, they just get stunned. This also makes weapon 3 a lot cooler of a combo to use with the turrets now :) :) :)

Excited to finish the level today, hopefully work on level 8 or the menus tonight. HAPPY

Total dev time: 93 hours.

Day 22: Got 5 hours in so far today, hope to get 5 more at least. Created a main menu, it's pretty bare for now, created a history of awards(upgrades) gained, it is shown on the pause screen and the awards intermission screen. I'll work on the scrolling tomorrow, should be easy. Just in case someone gets a lot of upgrades in a long game of hard-mode.

Also, changed the ui style. Buttons look a lot nicer, and the overall color scheme makes a bit more sense (level name boxes, upgrade screen colors, main menu. Took a long time to get something I was okay with.

Alright! Time to start level 8.

Total dev time: 98 hours.

Day 22 Part 2: Three hours straight of work later, I've got a nice-looking level 8 going. Now I need to just art-up the boss, and figure out the boss battle. Then I need to design the game end and game over screen/code, optimize some of the code, do as many finishing touches as I can, and the game will be ready for school. One day left to go!

Then for the contest, I'll add multiple modes, more upgrades, etc, then do the kongregate API stuff they make you do on the site.

Total dev time: 101 hours.

Day 23: After another, ehh, six hours of work, I'm almost ready for the school-turn in tomorrow morning! If you are reading this, PLAYTEST FOR ME! Shift lets you skip levels. Still not quite done with the main menu obviously, and the game over screen is rather bare, and the game complete screen is bare too.

Total dev time: 107 hours.

Day 23 Part 2: 5 more straight hours of work. There's definitely some sort of memory leak with earlier flash players, but not if you have the newest! So it's fine. And the game starts lagging if you play through like three times, but then at some point the garbage collector solves it and it plays like new. I think it only happened because I skipped levels as fast as I could for a full minute.

Good to go for class tomorrow! Hope to submit to the contest within 10 days.

Total dev time: 112 hours.

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Day 24: Ho ho! Not done yet! Today I added Hard mode, which is also infinite mode. It is hard! Also, I added statistics. When you die or complete normal mode, you'll see statistics. Like, spell 1 accuracy. Or, total shrine damage taken. It's swell.

Total dev time: 118 hours.

Day 25: Not much done today, mostly playtesting, fine tuning. Gas is no longer translucent :( Let's face it, flash games should not use alpha. Also, I think the time-stop spell (8) only uses your shrine's hp now. It won't use all 7 other manas as well. Mostly because every single time I've ever tried to use time stop, I was out of spell 2 or 7. (Also it's always been either level 6 or 7). Anyway, there is a new upgrade called "Turrets are traps when stepped on." This is from the upcoming engineer mode. Basically, if your turret gets stepped on, normally it gets destroyed, but now it'll pop 3-4 metal discs out. Not too useful, but it's a few free extra damage, and free mana to spell 7 (since discs convert to mana 7).

Close to completion!

Also, yesterday I added "Conductor Mode." Not sure about this one, it's mostly a simpler-mini-game. You only get weapon 2, and instead of it popping out a spray of little bullets...it pops out another big orb! So you have to bounce the orb around and get combos to survive. Also you can't move.

It's interesting, except on level 4 it's a bit boring.

Total dev time: 124 hours.

Day 26: a LOT of small things changed. There's an engineer mode, there are a lot more hints now, and level 1 and 2 are much shorter now. I also worked a bit on the Kongregate API stuff they require for their contest. It's easier than I expected. The default image quality is now Medium. There is also a preloader that is probably useless.

I had a few more people playtest, and they're getting bored before getting past level 4. Hopefully the shorter levels 1 and 2 will help hook them better, and hints will help them get farther (as well as hook them even more).

I hope people are noticing the Second Chance button.

Total dev time: 129+ hours.

Day 27: Much deliberation...Normal mode now has easier conversion rates! Easy mode has even easier conversion rates. Hard conversion rates are what normal conversion rates used to be.

I just implemented score, I'll be playing with it today and tomorrow to make it the most fun. Points are from damage done, but there's a visible multiplier! You can watch your multiplier count upwards, but if your shrine gets hit...watch it get halved! In addition, your health amount effects your multiplier, and the multiplier is multiplied by 3 during Time Stop.

Total dev time: 135+ hours.

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LINK TO THE GAME:
The game is here.

Press N to skip levels now
35 Comments

Torchlight October 30, 2009, 6:00 pm
The past 3 months of gaming for me have been excellent. Started off with Hexen, if you remember my hexen thread, you know I effing loved the hex out of it. Weeks later on a bored night I bought two $6 games on WiiWare called Bit.Trip Core and Bit.Trip Beat, and they were totally sweet for the price and even my girlfriend liked them and she hates everything.

Three weeks ago I bought Return to Castle Wolfenstein and was very impressed--although really I'm impressed with fpses 80% of the time anyway. I really enjoyed it, but near the end of the game I had an urge to play the PS2 medal of honor games, and then I played through Frontline for the next week. And I was getting close to the end of that and now...

Torchlight has been released! I thought everyone knew about this game but I didn't see it mentioned at all on any message boards I frequent, except gaming reddit a little bit. If you haven't heard of it, its made by the ex-Blizzard guys who created Diablo 1&2, and if you enjoyed either of those, you'll effing love Torchlight. I just played for 3 hours straight for the second time today, really enjoying my Alchemist character =]

Anyway, has anyone else played it yet? It's only $20 (and only single player), and it's on Steam, sooo, maybe you should play it.
46 Comments

Hexen's the best game I've played in years August 11, 2009, 8:43 pm
I've tried to play Hexen a million times but could never get past Seven Portals before getting stuck and losing interest. But last week I was having problems playing 3d games and loaded up Hexen just to see if it worked. For some reason I could not pull myself away from the game for 3 hours, and a few days later I finished it. Other games I've bought in the past few years usually can barely keep my interest for one hour, and I almost never finish them.

Anyway I'm really excited because today I remembered that it has an expansion pack, so I'm starting that right now. I also downloaded Hexen 2, Hexen 2's mission pack, and Heretic 2, so I can't wait to start those as soon as possible as well.
84 Comments

Thinking about trying to make a Let's Play _____ July 31, 2009, 9:25 pm
Anyone have any ideas on a fun game to start with? Preferably a shorter game, shorter than 3 hours. PC, 8-bit, 16-bit, or GBA or PSX games are fair game. I figure I'll make a thread on DW and my other board I frequent.
24 Comments

Uh, well, I started a website a while ago June 16, 2008, 1:39 pm
wheelchairunicorn.com, you see. so that's where I've been. Also, I graduated high school last week. I'll be commuting to baldwin wallace college in the fall, majoring in computer science, with a web application engineer focus.

how are you doing
4 Comments

10-I'm seeing my first rock concert in 2 hours August 16, 2007, 3:38 pm
1-They're my favorite band, Modest Mouse. This will be my first concert. I'm 17. Yeah yeah, I know. Lul, I'm excited!

2-Going with my friend Steph, hoping to go early so we can stand in the front, bringing my zen vision: M and going to try to record the whole thing.

3-Band of Horses (who?) and Love as Laughter (oh I've heard of them...I think?) are opening. I downloaded some LaL and it was pretty good. Cross between animal collective and built to spill, I'd say.

4-I told my brother I'm going and he's like o rly me too lul

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5-I see wendy's has some new frosties, twsited frosty, which is basically a blizzard it looks like, and frosty float. Root beer is basically one of my 5 favorite things in the world. Anyway, has anyone tried these and would like to review them for me?

6-I got Resident Evil 4 for GC 2 weeks ago, finally. Oh my god. It actually lived up to the hyped, and more. That's gotta be one of the best games I've ever played. In fact:

10-Sonic & Knuckles
9-Katamari Damacy
8-Heretic
7-Castlevania III
6-Final Fantasy VII
5-Resident Evil 4
4-Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
3-World of Warcraft
2-Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
1-DooM

There, that's always fun. I also like Wiz 'n' Liz.

7-I saw people on another board drooling that Heretic and Hexen were put on Steam. I've given Hexen a lot of chances and it's just too hard. After like 5 tries over the years I made it out of the first hub and then got bored.

However, I gave Heretic another chance 2 weeks ago and started getting bored in level 2 as usual, but I had nothing else to do, so I went on to level 3, and then level 4. Holy eff, level 4 is one of the best levels I've ever played in a video game. I think it was 4, anyway. And the rest of the episode kicked butt too. Still working on the rest of the game, but I love it.

8- http://xbox360.joystiq.com/2007/08/...-from-gamefest/
7 Comments

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