As the Bity project is getting finished up, just need to do some balancing, I've started my next project. Which is remaking Trouble in CloudLand with the goal of getting it onto tablets and phones. I'm not entirely sure yet how to handle the controls but I have some ideas that I'll be trying. So far I only have the player movement done but its handling very well so far, I'll be putting my progress in my WIP section as I did with Bity so go check it out!
My 'real' programmer friends (ie they went to school for it and do it as a career) have frequently given me jabs about how I tend to program. I write a very small section of code, test the little parts, then slowly put it together. Whereas they tend to program large chunks then test it all together. I think this is both due to my lack of formal training and the type of languages they used in school and work.
I have spent almost my entire life in programming using scripting languages. They work mostly in compiled languages. If you're not familiar with the difference, for the purposes of this discussion scripting languages you can write the code and immediately run it. Compiled languages you have to compile it before you can run it. Compiling can take 10 or 20 minutes, up to an hour on very large projects. As such testing little things as you go would be quite time consuming.
So I had a very strange feeling when I just programmed a non-trivial addition to the to the path finding handler and it worked. Now its only 9 lines of code (not counting declaration statements), lets not get to crazy but I thought it out, had all the variables figured out before writing it. Then just wrote it. Done. I'm sure this sounds silly to anyone who isn't me right now. I might even look back at this and find it silly sounding.
But I feel, at least for the moment, like I might actually know what I'm doing instead of just testing my way through everything that I do. It feels good.
For anyone interested, here is the code that 'just worked' for me.
I've added a lot of little things to the Bity project over the last few days: A life bar, sound effects, visual effects on enemy death, food to pick up to heal. Put all that together and you have something that almost feels like a game! I really just need to get a level built for it and I'll be in good shape.
At some point I need to revisit the controls on the game. Right now they kinda suck. Not sure how to handle the controls given some of the limitations that I have for art. Hopefully I'll figure something out.
In my continuing quest to use as many new concepts in Bity as possible I decided to make the main character's attack a particle effect. I'm very happy with the result. I did use a particle system from the asset store as the basis but did had to edit it pretty significantly to make it look reasonable for my purposes.
Game play wise the next thing I'm going to add is a destroyable gate and the ability to destroy the T'hal spawning buildings.
I really need to add some sound effects as well. I think I'm just going to see what is available for free on the asset store instead of making them myself. While I've done it before it takes me a very long time and I'd rather invest my efforts into things that I enjoy more than sound effects like programming and even art.
I have a direction now for where I'm going with my project called Bity. I'm planning on making a game similar to the original Gauntlet, albeit not nearly that long. Maybe even put in something resembling a story line. Its good to have some direction for the game!
My board game got tested today by one guy that I barely know and another that I had never met before. It was clear almost immediately that the game has come light years from where it was 2 months ago when it was last game tested by an outside group.
My board game group in Kansas was confused and had a hard time following the game flow. Game flow and game mechanics today flowed easily with little confusion after the first turn. Which is saying a lot since my gaming group in Kansas play and enjoy many very complex games including Twilight Imperium. Whereas the guys I played with today play Table Top RPGs not Board Games.
The reviews were incredibly positive this play through. With the last play through it was more of a "well... you should keep working on it as it has promise but right now isn't good." I still got some negative feed back which I'm excited to work on getting integrated into the game. Hopefully I can actually come up with a finished name for the game as its a very serious strategy game and right now it has a light and silly working title. Next major test will likely be in January when I take it to Washington state to play test with some friends up there. Things are looking good!
Not sure how much more I'm going to do on it. I want to put in increasingly difficult levels, which should be relatively easy as well as an intro screen and a fail screen but this was very much a lazy weekend project so I'm not sure if I'm going to work on it more or not.
Either way I hope you enjoy!
You can play it from the games section or follow this link.
As with most production processes my current creation is an exercise in two steps forward one step backwards. I had gotten the game to a place where I enjoyed it. Then I took it to new players and they play tested it. Well the the game had some issues. So I drastically simplified the game which helped the flow of the game a lot. However, it also led to just kind of a oh hum, meh kind of game. So I played with the shape of the board and that made the game winnable. Which is kind of a plus but it was kind of easy and still boring. So then I changed how the basic worker unit (called "Recruits") is created which made the game interesting again! However, it made me realize that the enemy (Alien) movement was now way to simple with the new shape of the board. So I think I'm going to try the old board shape and see if that helps.
Its moving forward. Its just slow... And a blast, if it was easy what would be the point right!