A brand new game
for Windows, Linux, Mac, HTML5, 3DS Homebrew and more
22nd November, 2015
My brew's nearly finished.
Guess it's time to resurrect AGameAWeek !!
The Advent Calendar will be appearing in a few days, then after a week off for Xmas and New Year, I'll be ready and raring to go.
If you've any random game suggestions, feel free to make them now, whilst I'm padding out my idea list for the year ahead.
22nd November, 2015
I hate waiting..
And now I'm waiting for 2 sets of people to do their Review thing..
TeamOUYA normally get around to things on a Monday, but with all the chaos going on over there, I'm expecting mid-week at the earliest.
Meanwhile, PlayJam could take ages. Their reviews seem to be nice and fast, but the delay between Review and Release is somewhat erratic.
My first PlayJam game took about a month from when it was "Passed" to when it became available on the system.
But recent "All those games that have appeared, recently" games have been going through the system a little faster, which is nice.
Anyhoo, I continued to play with my framework, and got a few more nice elements into place.
I even bothered to reintegrate the badges into the menu. The sliding right hand sidebar now includes a brief overview of all your currently earned badges, up to about 64 of the thing, space permitting.
It's nothing magical, but it's good to know they've finally got a place other that the horrendous orange rectangle that they used to be in.
Also, it hides away nicely when there are no badges to earn, which is a good thing!
I'd've included a test screenshot, but I've already deleted all my test data, and the accompanying test image, so .. Never mind!!
Now I need to decide on a nice common style for the badges, so they're quicker to draw, and look better when upscaled to the ludicrous size that Apple wants them at. (1024x1024, last I checked!)
Stupid Apple!! And that's before tackling the immense amount of back&forth'ing that's required to actually upload the bloody things.
21st November, 2015
And now we have to wait..
Waiting for both OUYA and PlayJam to review and release the Advent collection, at which point I also click the Publish button over at GameJolt, and set about uploading the game to my own archive, too!
.. Which reminds me.. The Archive Still doesn't include PlayJam links, does it.. Hmm...
Last night I spent a good few hours working on a newer version of my Monkey Skeleton Framework. It's about 50% rejigged, but I'm sure there's oodles more stuff I can tweak over the next couple of weeks.
The new framework has lots of niggly things fixed, like the menu playing a little better, and the whole colourscheme being a bit more freeform. There are large images removed from the asset library (Greenie's gone ) and a few bits of code have been neatened up as required.
I also dared to remove the OldMenu() and OldCredits() functions from the sourcecode! Yikes!!!
Smaller, neater, and not really any faster at all.. Hurray for unnoticeable background changes!
Over the coming weeks I'll be continuing to clean up the framework, get some new features into play, and hopefully even come up with a nice test game or two, ready for the new year of AGameAWeek.
Maybe time to retire that "Untitled : Retina : HD" logo, though.. I drew that way back in 2011!!
20th November, 2015
There are now 26 games in the Beta Collexion.
Over the course of today, I'm going to be playing the games over and over and over, to check for bugs and ensure they're as nicely playable as they oughta be, and then it'll be time to upload it.
I'll probably give it the weekend before doing all the uploading, giving me plenty of time to pick out any weird oddities along the way, but all should be good to go by then, so review time shouldn't be "too" long.. .. hopefully!!
The game will be released some time next week, meaning it oughta be ready to go, on whatever system you choose to play it on, by Tuesday 1st December.
A whole week?!!? ... Damn, that's slow!!! I could code another game in that amount of time!!!
I should probably note that an iOS edition isn't forthcoming. Although I did code ALL of these games so they work with just Direction + Button, there are many instances where shoving your thumbs over the screen will obscure important events.
There's just no getting around the fact that these are 100% controller-focussed games.
Perhaps for next year's advent calendar, I can find a way to make things work on iOS, too. No idea if that'll happen, though.
19th November, 2015
Yesterday I spent a good couple of hours recreating the classic Codemasters title "3D Starfighter" before realising "This game's shit!!"
The game was abandoned where it was, but I've left the code in the Arcade Calendar, so I might sneak it in as a bonus game, or something.. *shrugs*
It's not a "bad" game, it's just really really dull!!!
Luckily, I also made a nice Army game, and that turned out nice and playable, so that's ok.
2 more games to go! *phew*
18th November, 2015
I managed to get two more games added to the Advent Calendar, yesterday, which means I now only have 3 more left to tackle.
A, U and Z.
U can be just about anything, but A and Z need to be extra special as they're the first and last games in the collection. As the first one, A will be unlocked before Dec 1st, so will be playable the longest. Z, on the other hand, opens on Xmas Day.. Hmmm
No idea what they're going to be.
.. But then I've no idea what U's going to be, either.
Aw well, guess I'll find out soon enough!
17th November, 2015
I spent most of yesterday working on a fairly decent game. I stripped the graphics from an old game I'd made, and reconstructed them all within Beta Collexion. Coding the game was also fairly easy to do, and within a couple of hours I had the game recreated within the new engine.
Sure, it's a repeat, but it's been a long long long time (2010) since I last played with this game, so that's ok!!
I'm now down to just 5 game left to do in the Beta Collexion.. A, U, X, Y and Z
Once those are done, I need to fix up Game-E because ... I don't know what's up with that! And then run through all the games and ensure they're obvious enough to be played well. (And work on OUYA!!)
Hopefully they're all good to go!
Not long to go, now. We're in the final week of coding this, and it should be uploaded and ready to play well before Dec 1st.
If you have any random game ideas that you might like to see in the Collection, pop them into my Mailbox and I'll see what I can do over the next few days!
16th November, 2015
Since the XP era, I've been using the Microsoft SyncToy tool to do all my backups, and for the most part it's been doing a damn good job of keeping everything duplicated, over the many different harddrives/NAS's that I've gradually destroyed through the years.
A few days ago, however, it started behaving very oddly, and I'm not really sure why.
I have a feeling that it's due to Monkey's use of Build folders, and the fact that each game I've written over the past 3 years has included about 5 or 6 copies of itself, due to all the different targets available.
And since these folders also include things like C++ and Android folder duplication stuff, there's a fuckton of duplications, and hundreds and thousands of teensy tiny teeny weeny files, all over the hard drive.
SyncToy was getting slower and slower, and slower, until a few days ago when it stopped doing it's job altogether.
I've since "hidden" all the .build folders, which means SyncToy now ignores those, and after a lot (a LOT) of shuffling files about, I finally got things back up and running the way they're supposed to.
Except, there were a few casualties along the way.
Unexpectedly, SyncToy decided that the OLDER versions of some files were better than the NEWER versions, and undid a number of things I'd done.
Which would usually not be an issue, except that I'm currently working away at BetaCollexion, and days worth of file-undoing amounts to literally numbers of games..
The code was still there, thankfully, but all the artwork for about 3 games was inexplicably gone. And I couldn't find it anywhere..
As a result, I spent about 3 hours yesterday, having to redraw a ton of sprites. Ugh..
I'm pretty sure I've reconstructed all the important stuff, but I'm going to have to have a proper playthrough to be sure.
I've said it before and I'll say it again.. Always backup.. And importantly, backup your backups, because.. shit happens..
After all that backup trouble, I decided to tackle something else, instead, and this was the result.
15th November, 2015
I tried 3 completely different games for "Q", over the course of yesterday, but nothing seemed to be any good.
Instead, I left Q for another day, and moved on to C, at which point a nice ball-rolling game appeared and seemed to work fairly nicely.
This is the second ball-rolling game in the bundle, but hopefully it's different enough to warrant it.
What's becoming a rather worrying trend, however, is that there seem to be a lot of "Move X object through Y random dungeon to find ... The exact same blue floppy disk!"
Floppy Disks appear to have become synonymous with "End of the level" within the Beta Collexion, and I'm not really sure why that's happened.
Oh well, never mind.
There are now only 7 games left to do (as well as that stupid E fixup), so hopefully I should have the complete Collexion ready by next week.
Meanwhile, yet another new Choon.. I seem to be in a musical zone, this week..
14th November, 2015
Another Advent game ticked off, and a whole bunch more to go.
I might try to spice yesterday's game up a bit more, before release, as it's a little bland the way it is.
Anyhoo, that got done, and then I spent a while playing with audio bugs on the PlayJam devices.
If you have an Android device and would like to play "I wonder what happens on MY Android device?" then you can grab the .apk here.
Download The Audio Test APK!
For some bizarre and curious reason, the PlayJam devices seem to freak out when the length of the audio file is too short.
Cases when the audio file might be too short. Menu Beep, Gunshot, Platdude's tappidytap running sound, Looping sound for music, and other various times.
Those occasions when all you need is a 700 byte "blip" and it's more than enough to fill the gap.
Bizarrely it seems that some Android devices get confused if the audio file has already finished playing before it's had a chance to register that it's started to play it.
Some Android devices will go "Oh, how strange" and carry on, whilst others will have a complete and total panic attack, and crash back to the system menu.
It's a very curious thing, and I'm starting to lengthen some of my generic sound effects as a result. "sfx/099.wav" is a particular bugbear as it's in ALL my 2013+ games, is only 766 bytes long, and goes "blip" when the games are first loaded, meaning that 99% of the time, my games insta-crash on the newer PlayJam device.
Anyway, if you want to test it on your device, grab the apk and select "Normal" mode.
You'll see up to 20 numbered blips, each blip getting progressively smaller, until either it finishes successfully, or it crashes.
If it DOES crash, let me know what your device is, and what number it reached before breaking.
Meanwhile, some choonage..