RC2!

So, I spent a while, last night, playing with the graphics.
Now that the game’s out there, and since so many people are complaining about it’s lack of fancyness, I decided to make nice with the special weapons..


The game’s now officially 75% More Whooshy, with the superweapons looking much more fancypants, and the dead baddies giving off a little red “poof!” as they go.

I’ve also switched the ingame text from Regular Font to Bitmap Font, at the request of someone who’s NVidia card doesn’t like regular text. The bitmap font is being rendered as 3D sprites.. Usually, this is ok, but occasionally, your system might not be able to keep up.
Sometimes Font is good, sometimes Bitmap’s good.
You’ll have to make your own mind up as to which is best for your system, so I left a switch on the main menu for it.

Um, I think that’s all I’ve changed, but you might notice some other differences along the way!
Enjoy!

Alien Deathmatch 2 (Release 2)
Just plonk it over the top of your last one.. (And use Alien Deathmatch 2.exe .. I decided not to bother number/labelling each release, since it’d only annoy folk who’ve taken the time to add it to their start menu/make Bat files!!)

Note : This is the same link, and although it’s newer+nicer, it’s purely cosmetic changes, so no need to go telling everyone, since nothing major’s happened gameplay-wise.

Things to do in a day…

A more accurate title would be “Just like Windows Vista, here’s a list of things I told you I’d be putting in, but haven’t yet bothered to, so will be missing when I release the game..”
Except I’m one person, and have spent four weeks doing this.. Not 100 people working for 4 years…

*sigh* Vista sucks..

1. Achievements, Good, bad, Pwnage, Suckage, any and all.
I just haven’t gotten around to adding these yet.
There’s a gap on the titlescreen, that’s where they go, but they aren’t quite there yet!

2. Extra Weapons.
Like it or not, the old weapons are pretty much the current ones!
Although each weapon’s had a few tweaks here or there, they’re all pretty much as they were..

3. Pause.
FFS, I still haven’t put a pause button in. This should really be #1 on the list!!

4. Delete Levels
If you don’t like a level, you can remove it from your directory. Nice and simply, the level will vanish, and you won’t be bugged by it again.
That is, unless the day’s downloadable level IS that level, and then it’ll pop right back up again, over and over, until it’s filtered from the list…
Still, that’s progress for ya!
What I haven’t done yet, is allow certain levels to be disabled server side.. So, I can’t really kill off levels entirely. Should be easy enough to do, but like the other things in this list, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

There’s also an “Updated Edition” thing that I really oughta add before I upload the first proper release.. Releasing without it would only complicate things later on, when folk have all kinds of different versions.

All of the above might yet miraculously appear, but we’ve got some guys fitting us some new windows tomorrow, so I probably won’t get around to popping them in at the last minute.
..
Hopefully the new windows aren’t Vista..

Additionally, I really hate Sorting things! I’m not sure why, but every time I code a sort routine, it never works first time around.. By this point I really should know how to do this, and am always amazed when it doesn’t work again!! The Level Sorter is currently stuck in an infinite loop, apparently swapping two levels around, over and over again. Bloody thing.. That needs fixed, and I’m off to go do that now.

Release Tomorrow!
Literally Hours away!!
Super-Hyping-Mega-Happy-Gets!!!

Copy and Paste

Sometimes Copy and Paste works..

Having finally put the nice simple swooshy spawning sound back into the game, and got a couple of nice test levels up and running, and inside the scoreboard, and then got the whole “Nth position on the online scoreboard” display going, I decided to move onto more pressing matters.

I already copy and pasted most of the control scheme stuff early on in the project, so to help give the game a little consistency, and so as not to have to recode the whole thing, today I copy and pasted the visable control scheme settings on the main menu. It worked fine before, so there was no need to “fix” it…

Sometimes Copy and Paste doesn’t work at all..

And then I loaded in a test level, and wandered around, shooting the aliens with a Joypad.
..
Or, at least I would’ve, had the player been shooting!
Uhoh!!!

I quickly flicked through the available control schemes, only to discover that by some inexplicable bit of messing up, the player could no longer fire his weapon… ARGH!!!

I checked the code..
Tested again.
Looked at the code..
Wondered what was wrong.
Randomly tweaked some more.
Started to panic..

But usually Copy and Paste does actually work..

And then, about half an hour later, I realised that the level I was testing on was a “Pacifism” style level, and that I hadn’t included any weapons on it..
..
FFS..

I need to shove a reminder on the screen somewhere for that!!

So, the control schemes are all nicely working as they should.
The menu now has highscores working properly, and even a couple of nice shiny buttons to set off the Highscore Updates, and switch over to Editor mode.
Everything’s coming along great.

We’re nearly there!!

How to load an old level…

In the old game you could create levels simply by making little 64×64 pixel .png images. The game would load them as it found them, and convert them to levels on the fly.
This was handy, but it didn’t let you control all the possibilities of spawning, weapon types, and things like that..
This new one does!

But what if you really liked your old levels?

It’s an extremely complicated procedure, so I’ve put together this step by step guide to help folk import their old levels into the new game.

There’s always something…

Now I remember why the original Alien Deathmatch did this, too!
If I check a directory for files (level directory!) to compile my list of levels, and then add a level in there (Downloaded) and then recheck the directory to make a new list of levels, Blitz has managed to keep a cache of the directory, and so refuses to show up any new ones.
The only option is to close the game, and reload.

*sigh*

I’ll have to create my own list of files, and update it as I go..

Still, the upload and download is now working!
I can make a level in the editor, play it in the editor, save it, then the next time I update my highscores, up it goes!!
Everything looks nice and secure, too so I think I’m ready for a release come Tuesday.
Meanwhile, though, I’ve plenty of bugs to tweak, and I have some sounds that I forgot to add (The enemy spawn for one!!) Silly me..
A few more days to go, and you can all be playing a proper version!
Luvly stuff!!

Progress!


That there’s the first official online highscore!
\o/ YEAY! \o/

But, boo that I had to manually copy and paste bits of text to get the level into the database in the first place!!
I’m now working on getting the whole upload/download thing working again. Shouldn’t take too long, but I think I’ll have to discard the whole “Bag” idea.
As much fun as it is to have a constant supply of new levels, it means you won’t be able to design a level, give a copy to your mate, and then both play that level to beat each other’s highscores.. (because, the level being in the bag would mean it’s not keeping a highscore table.)
The other option, then, is to upload all the levels into the big-ass table, and then randomly pick levels each day. Have a record of the last 5 random levels, and download those downloaded and pointed out to the player, in order that there’s a nice list of highlighted levels on display.
Not too sure how well that’ll work out, though.
I might need to keep further track of picked levels, so that it doesn’t repeat until it absolutely needs to…

*sigh*
Plenty more work to be done!!!

Another day without a Deathmatch!

I’m not ignoring it!!!

I woke up late, today, and time seemed to slip away fairly rapidly.. I spent about an hour browsing online shops, buying a cheap copy of Sonic Unleashed for only £20 (Gamestation) and an el’cheapo Digital Photoframe (£30 Aria.co.uk), and then surprisingly it was time to settle down, eat, and then go to work.

Where my time went, I don’t know!!

Still, I did post the demo yesterday, so that’s ok.

Meanwhile I think I’ve figured out what my NEXT larger project will be.
I sat for about 10 mins today, and drew up a nice sprite for a remake of the Amstrad/Commodore/Spectrum classic “Turbo the Tortoise”


(New on the left, original on the right, ? to symbolise “I should probably redo this!!”)

I’m not 100% sure if that’ll be the game that I do next, but if it is, Turbo would probably be a wee bit chunkier to fit his older sprite better. …
Well, it’s an idea, anyway.
Either that or I do JNKPlat 09, but it feels a bit too soon to be doing that.
?

A Really Rubbish Darts Game!

I didn’t get time to fix this up properly last night, or this morning, either.. Blame Alien Deathmatch!

So, this week’s game is exactly as it was yesterday, when posted over at Socoder.
Wednesday Workshop #180 asked us to create a Darts game, so here’s a quickly made one.

A target is written on the scoreboard, and with your three darts, you have to try to get as close to that target as you can.

Nice and simple.

But not very good!

Aw well..

You can download it here if you can be bothered!
..
Otherwise, you can download this demo of Alien Deathmatch 2 instead..

AGameAWeek.com and DSBrew

Folk who previously visited my DSBrew site will now find themselves plonked into this site.
This is AGameAWeek, and here I write a game a week! Just as it says!

I opened up my own little DSBrew site a while back, and started cataloguing DS games, but soon realised that keeping a DS Homebrew catalogue + writing a game a week didn’t really work that well together, so DSBrew got left behind.

Up until today I’ve left it be, rotting away in an unused corner of the internet..
But.. There have been 4 new members join the site in the past couple of days!
It’s a bit weird, considering no-one’s joined there in the past 3 or 4 months.. The total is now 14!

Very bizarre..
And, really, I’m not sure if they’re spambots or not.

I’m not taking the chance of spambots infecting my otherwise clean server, so.. Off it goes.
DSBrew’s now an officially dead website. What was is no more..

For the regulars, normal Alien Deathmatch blog stuff is inside..

Read More

The other half…

Today I started on the online highscore stuff.
Having sat playing AD2 for a while, again, last night, I figured I’d better get a move on and finish the basics off.

So, into the database we go, and I’ve set up the tables. I implimented the basic checksums to ensure each level is unique enough to qualify, and I additionally added a secondary “Bag” table, that can hold new levels until they’re ready to be downloadable. Always something new, ready and raring to be sent!

Next up, work on the script that handles it all. Should be fun!!

I might also add some kind of web-based system, too, so you can check out the online highscores from your browser. Although I’m not too sure how that’d work, what with there being an unlimited number of levels, and all!!

For reference, this is the previous game’s Online Highscore thing. It’s not all that fancy, but it’s good for checking out the latest scores!
Might be fun to turn that into an RSS feed this time..
Hmmm….