A lie!!

Yesterday I said I’d be working on something else..
I didn’t! Alien Deathmatch keeps dragging me back in 😉

Today I played with the weapons a bit more, to try and get a nicer feel to all the different main weapons. I also messed about with Particles because unbelievably I’d forgotton to put the things in! Silly me!
After that, a teensy bit more Alien AI work, and some more background tweaks managed to keep me busy through most of today.
They’re little things, really, but it’s those small niggling things that keep you busy for ages, as you load the game up, and “Test” it for 20 or so minutes at a time..
And by “Test” I mean sit and play it for ages, and forget you’re meant to be working on it!!

More to come.. If I can drag myself away!

*Additional super-weapons
*… quite a bit!

An extra game for this week…

Since we’re already up to Saturday, and there’s still an amazing amount of work to be done, I think I’m going to bump the deadline for Alien Deathmatch 2.. (OMG!! Missed Deadline!! WTF?!!?)

So, with that in mind, and since we missed AGameAWeek last week, I’m quickly heading back to Wednesday Workshop for a nice quicky idea.. This week’s challenge is to create a game that works just as well played with a pen and some paper, as it does ingame..

For my entry, I’m not 100% sure, but I think I’ll probably do the good old Dots/Lines/Squares thing.. Where you start with a grid of dots, and each draw lines in turn to create squares.. You know the one.. You probably sat at the back of the classroom playing it, just like I used to.

I’ll get that done nice and quick, so you can look forward to “enjoying” that on Tuesday, and then I get back to coding Alien Deathmatch some more.
The editor’s been started, today, but only in so much as I realised I’d probably need a better zoom, cos otherwise the 160×160 grid looks kinda tiny..

Zooming’s not easy in Blitz!

A man that cannot see any difference!

I won’t post a screenshot.. you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference!!
But there is a difference..

Today I spent most of my day working a little more on the “Building up” stuff. That is, setting things up so that you start off easy, and things gradually get tougher.
I’ve put into place a huge number of little variables, all over the place, that should help decide how things progress in a level. Again, these will (somehow?!) be accessible within the editor.. once I bother to start it!

But currently I can have chaos from the start, or a really nice paced slow build of doom.
So that’s nice to have.

I also nipped back into the graphics and did a few nips and tucks here and there, as well as getting the Red Breeds to explode nastily, the Pink Breeds to do their “Release a Swarm” thing, the Blue Breeds to run a little faster, and the Yellow Breeds to drop Multipliers..
Then I removed the Yellow Breed’s Multipliers! I’ll probably get them to drop guns, or something, ‘cos it got WAY too easy to keep your Multiplier thriving when they actually came towards you!!

I should probably point out that the Guns and Multipliers will pretty much work the same way they did before, except that when the Multiplier hits the bottom, rather than hitting 1x straight away, it’ll start beeping, and then plummet from your current multiplier, back to 1x.. This oughta give you a second or so to find a Multiplier pickup, and save at least a small bit of it!
Seems a bit fairer.. It was no fun when you’d racked up a high multiplier, and then suddenly lost it..

Um.. More to come!!

A day without coding…

Haven’t done a thing, today!
Actually, that’s not entirely true. I spent most of this morning playing about with the Enemy Spawning layout code, and tweaking it to be a little fairer.. One of my annoyances when playing Geometry Wars is when you’re running in one direction, and a bad guy spawns RIGHT in front of you, giving you a fraction of a second in which to go “Oh, FFS!” and then die horribly!
Maybe I’m just rubbish at it (so says my gamerscore), but that always pisses me off.
So, I’ve tried to ensure that won’t happen in Alien Deathmatch 2.
The game checks that enemy won’t spawn at any point within a 0.5 second radius.. (3 pixels per frame x 30 frames worth = 90 pixel radius.. although I actually set it to 100, just to be on the safe side.)
I’ll probably reduce the spawn time, though, ‘cos they took way too long in the last game.

What I have been doing, today, is waiting for NXE to appear, and then pissing about with all the lovely new stuff.
Which, since I’m in the UK, and we don’t have NetFlix is approximately bog-all.
The avatar’s nice, and all, but.. it’s severely limited.

I did make a very very rubbishy not-too-much-like Pikachu-ish gamer icon, though! So, can’t complain!

Meanwhile I took some time out to play both Geometry Wars (woot) and it’s headache inducing elder brother.. I lasted about 5 minutes on GW2, and currently have a headache.. GW1 was more fun, and I think I’ve picked up a few new AI traits that’ll be plonked into the game.

I also considered creating some kind of proper Achievement system into the game, this time around, and.. since I’m so mindnumbingly rubbish at GW1 (I have a whole 3/12 achievements!!) I might even incorporate a type of Suckage Unachievement list… or something.. Although I’m not sure how easy that would be to do, since it would be pretty easy to trigger the unachievements by purposely sucking at it..

Might be tricky!

So, all in all, a nice day of *cough* Market Research *cough* that oughta keep me active for a while.
Tonight, I’ll get back into the code, and hopefully get quite a bit more done.


A man in glorious super technicolor!

Background progress is coming along nicely.

I’ve currently got the level renderer to come up with a nice selection of coloured floors from 3 prerendered ones.. It can do plain, and chequered, thus giving us 6 possibilities of floors. Every room that’s separated gets a random floor. Nice and simple.
(They have to be prerendered colours because Blitz is a bit slow at basic 2D stuff!! bah, humbug..)

It shouldn’t be creating rooms with alike colours right next to each other, so I’m currently working on fixing that.. But even if I can’t it’s not exactly a biggy, right!?!

Meanwhile it’s helping to make things look a bit more interesting and somewhat different from the previous version.
You’ll probably also noticed that I finally got around to making the doors look a little better, too!.. Although I have just noticed that the vertical doors are highlighted the wrong way around.. d’oh! (*fixed*)

Most of the sounds are back in place, but gameplay elements aren’t quite up and running yet.
The weapons don’t upgrade without you manually hitting cursor keys to do it, the baddies won’t appear without you hitting 1-6 to trigger a wave of aliens, and worst of all, there’s not even a score yet, let alone multipliers!!!
That’ll come later.

For now, I need to have a play with the editor!

A man on a slightly lighter grid…

I spent most of last night tweaking the graphics.
For starters, I’ve jigged about the whole Background tileset.
If you’ve bothered to poke around inside the old game, you’ll have noticed that bg.png contains a great big pile of unused “Inside a Wall” stuff. It was originally going to serve a purpose, and fill out the black, but eventually I decided that having plain black nothingness would be good enough, and the black stayed as black.
So, they’re now removed from the tileset, the odd yellow wall stuff’s gone, too, and a whole big blank area has been created, ready for all new tiles to go in.
First off, though, I had to make myself some new walls!

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A man in familiar territory

The other day I considered redoing the whole wall structure. I considered making nice wonderful multidirectional walls, and levels with all kinds of diagonals, straight, and maybe even curves.
It seemed like a good idea.

Then I started to work on it, and… well.. it wasn’t exactly super fast!
In fact, things were painfully slow.
As the game struggled to draw a single wall, with nice detail like the old one, I realised that drawing an entire arena in that way would only lead to drastic slowness on Blitz Basic’s part.
It’s a shame, but I think I’m going to have to cancel the whole plan.

So, today I opened up the old Alien Deathmatch, grabbed the nice “Level Renderer” code, stuffed it into the new game, tweaked it up to fit the new game’s size, and bob’s your uncle..

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A man on a grid – part 3


So far the 6 different aliens act as follows.
(But this might be tweaked once the walls start to get in the way!)

Note : If adblock’s not letting you see the images above (due to it blocking “ad2_” images!) you may want to “Whitelist this whole site”.. It’s safe.. I despise adverts too, so there ain’t any here!

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A dude on a brick

Nothing Alien Deathmatch related today (since Saturday’s the day I work the most, and get the least actual coding done.. and sit and watch Stargate a lot.. 😉 )
However, today, a Spanish fellow named Adael made me a level editor for JNKPlat DS 08!
It’s online, it’s Javascript based, and it’s right here.

You can use it to build up levels, and then post the formatted data into your JNKPlat/mylevs.lev file for playing in the game.
And I’m sure Adael would be happy to tweak it with all manner of updates in the future, too.

Great stuff! Keep it up!

And if you make any levels, you know where to send ’em!