A brand new game
for Windows, Linux, Mac, HTML5, 3DS Homebrew and more
18th August, 2015
Yesterday's task was to get basically collectables, items, that kind of thing to work properly.
I haven't yet added the whole lot, but thought that one useful "collectable" might be a checkpoint.
A simple looking flag, which lights up and animates when touched, and is your respawn point should you die.
.. Of course, in the previous NeonPlat you didn't actually die and respawn, and instead simply lost a life. So, whether having a checkpoint is even necessary is something I'll have to deal with as I build the rest of the game.
.. But it seems like it could be useful, so it's good to have it in at such an early stage.
17th August, 2015
A slight issue with the vertical scrolling is that a lot of the graphics in NeonPlat rely on thin lines. Most of the time, this isn't a problem, but when it's all scrolling up and down with pixel precision, there's a ludicrous amount of flickering going on, and it's somewhat unpleasant on the eyes.
I'm going to have to (somehow!) put a stop to that, but .. hmmm.. So many devices, so many pixel density's, and so many screen resolutions. I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to manage to fix that.
Seems that sitting about, thinking about pixels and things, is enough to get my musical abilities into gear, as I'm creating an alarming number of Choons, this month!
No idea if any of these will be going into NeonPlat Adventures 2, though. I'd actually like to get JMTrackr back up and running for this one, or it might get a little too repetitive.
16th August, 2015
With the player physics in place, and a few tweaks to the screen scrolling, it's time to start work on the level builder.
Now I need to focus on both designing art to fit the style of gameplay, a half-a-dozen themes, as well as making the level builder work in a suitable way to create some nice enough levels, with plenty of variety, and also ensuring that all the levels are completable. ...
That last part will probably be trickiest!
I think I'll have to design an AI Player to run through the levels and ensure there's a suitable path, or something. hmmm..
Anyhoo, plenty to go.
Over the next few days/weeks, expect to see this sort of video over and over again, until something nice emerges!
15th August, 2015
Didn't get an awful lot of stuff done, yesterday.
I attempted to code, but leftover migraine seemed to be hammering away.
I find that my migraines come in waves.. They usually last over the course of about 3 days, with days 1 and 3 being the worst, and day 2 being the eye of the storm. A calm, easy to cope with, day. Yesterday was Day 3, and as such I ended up sitting on the couch, reading Twitter and not getting an awful lot done.
Today, hopefully, I can get back into the coding, and try to sort out that level collision stuff, so that I can then continue to build the generator. I'm still unsure how that'll work out, but my mind's been slowly forming a few ideas over the past few days, so it should hopefully not be too tricky to come up with a nice resulting level style.
.. And with any luck, there'll be more than one style of level, too.
Meanwhile, a giant chasm to the underworld opened up in Manchester, so I spent a good number of hours following that on Twitter!
14th August, 2015
Complications occasionally crop up as you're developing a game.
The current complication is one of those "Everything NOW!!" issues.
See, I'd like to get my character's movement to work, and ensure my screen scrolling works as it oughta.
I've got left and right movement in, as that's pretty easy, but jumping requires that the ground collision is working properly.
That means I need to stop working on the character movement, and switch to working on the tilemap collision detection, instead. So I switch from movement to multiplication/division maths for finding blocks and get that mostly working, except that in order to properly test collisions with the tilemap, I need a basic tilemap level to test it on.
So then I stop working on movement, collision, grid detection, and instead head into the map generator, which currently gives me a floor and a few floating platforms.
That's roughly where I left off, yesterday.
Today I'm going to backtrack through that, make a more complex test map, get the grid to find the floors, then the player to walk on top, and lastly fiddle with numbers in order to get the jumping to "feel" right. There's nothing worse than having a platform game where the character feels like it's too "floaty".. .... Little Big Planet..
13th August, 2015
Three years ago, I posted this post, all about my time in and out of hospital having a rather large splodge of evil-stuff removed from the middle of my head.. It's become something of an annual ritual to post a similar blog each year.
Most of my current health problems stem from a lack of balance.
The head is a fluid-filled place, and it all tends to slosh about in there, but it's all closed off so the sloshing of the fluid doesn't usually cause an issue.
When they removed the large tumour/cyst/whatever from my head, it left a bit of a hole, where all this fluid is sloshing about, and causing some pretty severe balance issues.
Essentially, if I move my head slowly about the place, the sloshing isn't too bad, and I can cope well. But if I move around too quickly, or tilt in "just" the wrong way, my head starts to spin, and I become completely off-balance.
Being in the house, this isn't too much of an issue, but when I go outside, I instinctively tend to look around. Watching for oncoming pedestrians, and trying to cross the road, requires a large amount of head tilting and spinning. As such, it's incredibly difficult for me to be outside. There's too many variables, and things aren't good for me.
Similarly, lying down can be difficult! If I move from a seated position to a flat-on-my-back one, the fluid rush causes a HUGE issue in my head, leading to my eyes rolling around, and me being unable to move for a short time due to the insane dizziness. Really not a good situation, and it means I have to gently lie down on my side, and maybe roll around to get comfortable.
Another complication is when there are people talking around me. Listening to a conversation between two people, shifting my view between them, and again sloshing that goop about inside my head. It's not very nice, and is hard to cope with.
13th August, 2015
General rule of thumb. If you have a migraine, STOP CODING!!
It took me about half an hour of confused bafflement yesterday, to figure out why a simple "Create a line of floor tiles" was completely refusing to work properly.
As it turns out, I was making a completely stupid schoolboy error.
I was doing (Y*Height)+X instead of (Y*Width)+X, when referencing my array, which was causing all manner of tile-based issues along the way.
How incredibly silly of me!
Once I realised my mistake, and was fully aware that "None-Migraine Jay" would probably not have made such a silly mistake, I closed the laptop for the day, and decided to tackle other none-coding things, instead.
A Choon full of Bass!
Seems that Migraine-Day = No Coding = Music! So there's that, at least.
12th August, 2015
Since the HTML edition of NeonPlat Adventures 2 will use a slightly different method to recolour the tilemap, it means I need to try and make the two different methods as close to each other as I can.
Yesterday I started to tackle this issue.
It's not 100% perfect, but I'm sure with a little number crunching, I'll manage to get the two editions looking "mostly" the same!
On the left is the HTML5 edition, which takes 2 different coloured sprites, and merges them atop one another to produce a variety of shades.
On the right is the Desktop EXE edition, which uses a single white sprite and recolours it as it draws it.
As you can see, they're "close", but not quite perfect. There's a little more colour in the HTML5 edition (oddly!) so I need to rejig my maths in the windows version to make it a bit more saturated. Android, iOS, OUYA and other editions will be the same as the Windows EXE build. It's just the HTML5 that'll have to use the odd "2 sprites per tile" method.
Still, it's not bad for a first attempt, and I'm quite happy that the HTML5 edition looks as vibrant as it does.
Now, I really should get started on that Level Generator..
11th August, 2015
Uhoh! Forgot about colours!!!
That's going to make NeonPlat Adventures particularly tricky, should I want to include an HTML5 edition.
.. and, of course, I DO want to include an HTML5 edition, so I guess I'm going to have to retackle the whole "multicoloured scenery" issue.
And so I spent most of yesterday drawing some basic template scenery and getting it all ready. I added a whole new section to my re-renderer engine, and now it's spitting out high quality assets in 9 different colours.
Since I'm starting off with 4-colour greyscale assets, the resulting .png files aren't "too" big, and ingame they'll only be used in the html5 edition, so they should (*should) be safe enough to use.
Reason : HTML5 is RUBBISH at recolouring images. Scaling, Rotation, Flipping, Transparency.. They're all fine. But as it to make a white image slightly redder, and all hell breaks loose! HTML5 becomes slow, grotty and rubbish, and is inexplicably bad at attempting such a thing. WebGL is much better at dealing with this, but I try to keep my games working on as many target devices as possible, so plain-old HTML5 it is!
Later I'll see what they're actually like inside the engine, but first I need to start working on a level generator.
Lots of things to think about, and plenty of possibilities along the way.
10th August, 2015
I think we can now safely say that SpikeDislike3's been a bit of a wet duck. I expected more from it, and I really did enjoy making it, but .. Meh, whatever.. It's hard to get noticed in this great big crazy world of ours.
I'd expect myself to be a little more disappointed by this scenario, but oddly I instead find myself thinking "OK, Now What!?"
I guess that doing AGameAWeek for so long has taught me that, whenever something doesn't work, there's still something else around the corner.
So, with my new-found happy-go-lucky "Failure isn't failure" mindset, I've decided to instead head back and revisit something that I swore I would never, ever, EVER revisit..
Yesterday, I took an alarming amount of time refining my sprite blurring technique. It must've taken about 2 or 3 hours of number-tweaking before I was happy with the output.
They've ended up looking quite nice, and the effect works just as well in Multiply Blend as it does in Additive Blend. (Multiply Blending seems curiously slow on Android devices.. I'm still not sure why!)
And so, I'm starting work on NeonPlat Adventures 2.
I'm going to try my best to come up with decent looking world themes, this time, and I still haven't 100% decided on a nice replacement for the calendar system, but the ChuckABall "Circles of 10" thing seems to be a nice starting place.
I'll try to include all of the original enemy characters, and perhaps a few extras along the way.
There's a lot of things to be put into place before I'm happy with the game, so expect this project to last a good month or so, assuming I keep at it!
I will, of course, continue to blog daily, so there'll be oodles of fun pics and things along the way.
Wish me luck!!