A brand new game
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13th January, 2009
A nice, quickly made game, this week.. For obvious reasons. Bah..
Still, a game created in 2 days can be just as much fun as a great big month long project.
This game's a nice simple puzzle game. Your task is to get the blobs from the top of the sliders, down to their allocated areas in the bottom, by sliding the sliders left and right.
There's a constant timer, so try to get through as many levels as you can.
No scores, no level count, but .. for a change.. The Blitz Basic sourcecode's included in the archive if you'd like to build up the game a bit further.
In fact, I've even created this page, over at Socoder, which gives you a rough explanation of how the basics of the game were put together.
Is it useful?
But I'm bored without my Main system, so I figured I'd spend some time doing that
You can Download Simple Generic Slider Puzzle here.
12th January, 2009
Since I currently have no PC in my room, I'm down to the bare essentials.
I can use the downstairs PC to code on (and have a nice half-finished puzzle game ready for tomorrow), but all my music is sat on 2 inaccessable SATA drives.
My TV shows are on there, my codings on there, and a whole lot more.
Luckily, I found that DVDs with DivX content can actually be played on your Xbox.
Stick in the disc, shuffle over to Video Library, and head into the disc to watch all your favourites.
So, as lacking in PC as I am, at least I'm not having to do without a few good shows.
Like Corner Gas.. (Highly recommended!!)
However, there's one all important thing that appears to be missing from my Xbox.
And, I never noticed it until this week, when I really really really needed it.
The X360 doesn't have a Browser.
WTF is with that!?!
Aw well, back to watching Corner Gas.
11th January, 2009
PC 1 is dead.
However, PC 1 made nightly backups from Drive 1 to Drive 2, so all my data's safe and secure.
Unfortunately, They're both SATA drives, and PC2's a really old Celeron that doesn't have a SATA connector!
So, although all my stuff's safe, I can't actually get to any of it!
If PC2 had any more than 1.5Gb remaining, I could've triple-backed my stuff onto this one, too.
Kinda annoyed that I didn't, really!
Oh well, hindsight, 20/20 and all that.
So, until PC3 turns up, I'm back to basics.
No 2D-in-3D stuff, no fancy smansy stuff, no premade gfx, no old sound effects, and not even my huge collection of mods to fall back on.. Just me, Blitz Basic, and my crazy whacked out imagination.
2 days to go until AGameAWeek day..
What'll turn up!?
Who's to know!
6th January, 2009
And, back to the old routine we go..
This week's AGameAWeek sees our old friends the Space Monkeys, rolling around in balls, through a maze, to get the bananas.. Again!
As with Super Monkey Balls, you needn't get all the bananas, just reach the goal, and try to get through all 8 available levels.
8 levels not enough? Tough..
I've got other things to code! (Like that Countdown game I started weeks ago, but can't seem to settle into!)
But if you like this game enough, let me know that you want a bigger one, and I'll probably set about doing it.. Maybe!
In the meantime, enjoy it as it is.
You can Download Space Monkeys Go Bananas here.
30th December, 2008
No new game again, this week, but here's my New Year's Resolution.
There you go!
I almost managed it for a few months, so I'm going to try and stick to it all year round next year.
If you have any crazy game suggestions, stick 'em below, and I'll probably get around to them when I run out!
(.. I wonder if I could make a great big Pot of Ideas script, where folk can dump their suggestions... That'd be handy..)
Meanwhile, don't forget that there's always something to do in Alien Deathmatch 2, with new levels appearing every day or so. Although, today's level is an old one.. Not sure why, there's still new ones in the bag. I might need to tweak the script a bit. But either way, the more you feed it, the more new levels there'll be. So keep making levels, folks!
And now, I have to stop being lazy, and get back to coding again.
If I can be bothered to start a longer month-long project, I'll probably start a dev-diary thing again, but otherwise I'll probably go back to my "One post a week, when I've finished AGAW" routine.
So, if I don't make a post before next Tuesday, have a great New Year!!!
27th December, 2008
After trying, for ages, to formulate a nice game-wide Achievement setup, Moshboy told me off, and made me just plain put the old ones in, lest I spend the next 8 years trying to figure out how to do the game-wide ones.
So the old ones are back.
They'll flag when you hit the following milestones.
So get to it!!
Same link as ever.
(And the bug's still not there!)
27th December, 2008
I must apologise..
I assumed I was right.
Never assume you're right!
I tried and tested, over and over, and I couldn't find a fault.
And then, this morning, I received an email, and through a couple of back-and-forths discovered that, indeed, there was something really really really quite wrong.
I made myself a new fresh install, and tried to find the bug.
The bug happened!
I saw it!
I thought "WTF!?!" and then tried again, with another fresh install.
And it didn't happen!
And so I tried again..
And again and again..
No bugs at all..
I must admit, at this point I was truly baffled.
And then, hunting through the code, I noticed why it was happening, and also why I hadn't noticed it earlier.
To start a game, I've been hitting Spacebar. It's right under my thumb, it's quick to get to, and I don't need to find it with the mouse... It's handy to have..
The bug happens when you, instead, click the start button on the menu.
In order to traverse from "Clicked Start Button" to "Start Game", I reused a variable. I made editmode=2, because editmode=1 is how the Editor's button also works.. When it gets to the "Check the keys" bit of the code, it also checks editmode, to see if the buttons have been clicked.
Nice and simple, and a quick way to make clickable buttons work.
Or so I thought.
What actually happens is that the editmode variable doesn't get reset when the game gets going, and because the game think's you're in editmode, it won't save a score..
Damn and blast!
So, now it resets, and everything's the way it should be.
Note to self : FFS, check your buttons occasionally, and stop relying on keypresses!!
Same link, now working!
Now that the code's opened up again, and I'm in the mood for tweaking, I might as well carry on and play with a few things, so expect another update later on tonight. .. Maybe..
23rd December, 2008
You might have noticed a distinct lack of AGameAWeek, this week..
Since I'm getting little or no work done, this week, and.. what with being Xmas and all, I've decided to be lazy, and take a week off.
Nothing wrong with that!
If you feel you really need something new to play with, nip to yesterday's post, and you can grab the WhoSave thing. That's quite nice.. And you can pretend I posted that today, in time for the Xmas episode in 2 days time. Very festive!!
If you'd like to see something extra special, head inside for super secret Alien Deathmatch playing tips!
22nd December, 2008
21st December, 2008
Next up, Countdown..
Or, it's meant to be, but I can't seem to get it started properly..
I've grabbed a batch of Carol's letters and numbers, and I've got the vowel/consonant packs ready, the number solver's working as it should, but so far, those bits haven't come together to make a full game.. It's just bits here and there.
Needs work, but with Xmas literally days away, I'm not sure that it'll get any.
If it doesn't turn up on Tuesday, assume I'm taking the week off, from AGameAWeek!!
Meanwhile, I'm planning to end the year with a nice big calender, with everything I made this year, all wrapped up, in nice big downloadable packages.. Well, maybe not big packages, but a list, none-the-less...
Next year, (2 weeks away!!) I've already got 2 major projects planned.
First is, obviously, a new JNKPlat.. 09 edition will happen, I'm just not sure when, or how, or what it'll be like, or on what system(s) it'll run. But it is planned.
As well as that, there's a Turbo The Tortoise remake that I'd like to do. But again, I'm not sure what form it'll take.
Right now I'm actually considering a completely different form than the original (Hisoft/Codemasters, C64/CPC/Speccy).. Take what was there, and.. tweak it.. A lot!!
But then, it's not really a remake if I do that.. More of a reimagining.
We'll have to wait and see.
Anyway, that's my current thoughts, and plans.
If you'd like to push me in any particular direction, or suggest any games, or whatever, stick 'em in the comments. I'd love to hear some or your thoughts.
19th December, 2008
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!
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.
16th December, 2008
A sigh of relief, as the game is finally in an upload worthy state.
I'm sure there's plenty of bugs, mounds of forgotten features, and odd little untweaked things that aren't quite right, but what's here is plenty enough to be counted as Release 1.
Download Alien Deathmatch 2 3Mb!!!
The game, in it's current Release 1 state has quite a few new features from those in AD1.
Of course, the Breeds are more pronounced. Faster breeds, exploding breeds, and even breeds that drop pickups are all strewn around the world, ready to be blasted away..
Teleporters are in, and fun to run through! Step on a Green tile to be flung to another Green tile, randomly on the level! (Assuming they're there, of course!)
Once used, all teleporters are disabled for a short while, so use them wisely.
Highlighted levels, (once you upload your highscores!) will display today's newest level, along with yesterday's, and the day before's.. My guess is, if anyone's going to playing a level, it'd be one of those!!
And, of course, the greatest new feature of them all..
And there's an Editor!!!
Draw the level, fiddle with the sliders, Hit B (or click the joystick icon) to test it out, make sure you give it a name, and then save..
Next time you upload your latest highscores, the game will magically upload any new levels you have, too.. (one at a time, of course, we don't want the server exploding!!)
Share the .lev file with a mate, and you can both play peacefully.. Or, give it time, and it'll pop up on the daily download list, for everyone else..
The new stuff might be fun, but I'm sure there's plenty more..
If you have ANY ideas, pop 'em into the comments, and I'll see what I can do.
This is only Release 1!
15th December, 2008
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..
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.
Literally Hours away!!
14th December, 2008
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!
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..
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..
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!!
13th December, 2008
In the old game you could create levels simply by making little 64x64 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.
12th December, 2008
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.
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!
11th December, 2008
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...
Plenty more work to be done!!!
10th December, 2008
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.