A brand new game
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4th May, 2015
I spent a lot of yesterday faffing about with the "Start" screen of SpikeDislike3.
At first I intended to have a giant spike be in the center of the screen, and in fact that's what happened for quite a while, but .. I'm not sure why, but I decided to switch to circles instead.
Reusing my generic stripy circle from my basic menu meant I didn't have to redraw anything, and the new "Start" screen looks rather neat. .. or at least, for something I've done, it does!
I spent some time working on background stuff, adding counters, and even adding a new score-tracker feature that counts up lots of stats which may or may not end up being used in the future, for badges and what-not.
I missed a lot of tracking out, in SpikeDislike2.. Stuff that I was originally counting in the first one, but didn't know what to do with it all, so left it out in the sequel.
As that project grew, I found myself wishing I'd left them in, so .. that's happening this time!
Whether I use all these stats will remain to be seen, but they're definitely in there this time!!
3rd May, 2015
Yesterday I settled into "Music Mode", where I can generally whip out an AL CHOON for whatever purpose.
Unfortunately, after a good two hours of twiddling dials and buttons in Korg Gadget (iPad only) I came out with absolutely nothing decent whatsoever.
Ashamed that I'd wasted a good amount of time pretty much doing nothing, I instead decided to load up some old Choons, and see if they worked within the new SpikeDislike3 engine.
Good news! SpikeDislike3 will have music!!
On the plus side, this means that SD3 will now have a "proper"-ish soundtrack, just like Sheep Goes Right did.
On the other hand, assuming I put one piece of music in for each and every graphical style, this filesize is about to rocket!!
SD2 was already 15Mb or thereabouts. SD3's going to be QUITE a bit bigger, what with all these mp3's in there.
Still, the titletheme works well, and the switch between menu/ingame/back is working nicely enough, so I think the engine's stable enough to allow me to go ahead, and use oodles of silly Choons throughout the game.
It still needs .. something.. between the menu and the game, though. I'll need to work on that, next, I think, and then it's time to start creating all those graphical themes....
.. I'm not looking forward to that bit!
2nd May, 2015
Continuing with the new edition of SpikeDislike, and I'm still adding basic elements into the engine.
I've a whole lot of work to do on the game, including all the graphical styles and things like that, but for now I'm happy that it's totting up the combos in the way it should be.
Scoring and Death are now both firmly inside the engine, and you can easily go from menu to play to death in just a couple of seconds! Exactly the way SpikeDislike oughta be.
As you can see, I'm also testing out "Goal" limits, so those should be making a comeback, too. (You'll have to unlock the "50 Shades of Dislike" mode in SpikeDislike2 to see this!)
Anyway, on we go, and hopefully things will turn out nice in the end. *fingers crossed*
1st May, 2015
Yesterday was spent fixing up little things in SpikeDislike3.
I got Predetermined Layouts working, but still haven't bothered to implement any sort of collision detection!
Still, you can now start a round, have it spawn the spikes in the same place, and then exit back to the menu.
Having the spikes show up in the same place, is of course super important in SpikeDislike, as you learn the layouts of the level, and try not to die for ages and ages. I'll have to add a couple of random modes in there, too, but for the majority of modes, things will be predetermined.
The idea of specific layouts is something that's been in both the original and it's sequel.. For SpikeDislike 1, they made up a lot of the "Challenge Mode" levels, whereas in SpikeDislike2, they formed each mode's first spike layout. (Hence why the Basketball one is so obviously a great big ^ shape! That was "designed"!!!)
If I'm honest, I mostly neglected this feature in SD2, but I'm hoping to make more out of it for SD3.
You'll probably notice that the spikes are now numbered. I found myself playing the original SpikeDislike (from the 2010 Advent Collection) and thought the numbers helped push you along a little. Every little onscreen helps, I guess!
Feel free to comment below, if you feel otherwise.
30th April, 2015
Yesterday, someone new registered on my home village's website (LittleLever.info)
They, of course, instantly forgot their password, so used the "I forgot my password" button to find it out.
At this point I should probably explain why I've mentioned this..!
About a year ago, the original owner of LittleLever.info gave up paying for a site that never had any visitors. He stopped payments, and the site fell into disrepair before eventually getting pulled down completely.
At this point, being the type of person who doesn't like seeing good domain names go to waste, I opted to take control.
I paid for the domain, paid for hosting, and got things up and running as soon as I possibly could.
After a while, spambots took control of the bog-standard phpBB script, and in a desperate attempt to quench them all, I took down the old forum, and replaced the entire thing with my own code.
Socoder.net's script was hacked and slashed to generate an all new LittleLever.info
The site remains up and running, and is moderately stable and spambot free.
.. Which brings us back to yesterday.
So far, nobody had used the "I forgot my password" link, mostly because there's only actually 6 registered users. (OMG, it's SO quiet!!!)
Yesterday, when the newest member clicked the link, I was immediately alerted to a very very minor issue.
The fact that I'd hacked and slashed the code from Socoder.net meant that, far from the user getting a "You forgot your LittleLever.info password!" email, they instead got a "You forgot your Socoder.net password!" email, and all the links were broken, and everything was just plain wrong!
Five hours later, after scouring through hundreds of .php files, I think I managed to track down all references to Socoder, and changed them to Little Lever!
This pretty much killed any/all coding I'd intended to do, yesterday, but at least it was a fun little adventure, digging through old code and making lots of tweaks.
Perhaps, in the future, I should make 99% of those things a single easily-changeable variable.
.. That would be the sensible thing to do!
29th April, 2015
So, after yesterday's realisation that the StarFlips game wasn't going anywhere, I opted to head back to "Larger Project" and see if I could get any more done on it.
Whether I continue with Larger Project, or instead switch to a smaller intermediate project, will be dependent on how much happens between now and.. Um.. Unspecified date!
It took a little work, and probably isn't "quite" what I want, but the basics are in there.
Scrollable menu, lots of buttons, not much else. Simple and basic.
Maybe TOO basic?!
Either way, Larger Project now has a basic menu system, and only (*only!?) requires a good 100-or-so levels to go with it.
28th April, 2015
My laptop's been running slow, sluggish, juddery and .. generally BAD, since some time yesterday, and as much as I hunt the system, I'm struggling to find the reason why.
I think it might have something to do with Windows noticing the Mac on the network, and freaking out, thinking it's going to be replaced!
.. Acting all slow and useless isn't going to get you extra loving, Windows! Learn how to show off your skills, and act like a proper computer!!
Even as I type today's blog, there's stuttering on the screen. This is really rather bad, as far as slowdown goes.
As per usual, bringing up Task Manager only reveals the same issue that it always shows.. That Windows Modules Installer is being shit again.
Gee, thanks for being so descriptive, Microsoft. That helps :
So, for the past day and a half, I've been trying to track this down. I'm still no closer to finding the issue, but it seems to have started some time after that MASSIVE update that came through a couple of days ago.
Anyway, I managed to add some sound effects to "StarFlips" yesterday, and played through a number of levels.
To be honest, I'm slightly bored with the game, and I don't mean in a "Bored of coding it" way. In fact, the game itself is rather boring and uneventful.
As a result, I'm seriously considering scrapping the project, and moving on to something else.
.. I'm doing that a lot, this year. Usually I release any old crap, and see what you guys think, but in this case I don't think you'd want to bother with it.
It's bland, uninteresting, and not much happens.
27th April, 2015
Yesterday, I took the phrase "Sleepy Sunday" and worked the heck out it.
My cat woke me up at 6:15am, and I managed to stay mostly awake until just after 9, when I realised I was too tired to code, and instead went for a nap..
.. A long nap!!
I also had a second nap later in the day, too.
I suppose when you have little/nothing else to do, especially on a Sunday, that there's no harm in having a short nap. But when you have TWO naps, and they're not exactly short ones, you're pretty much wasting the day away.
As a result, not much code-wise happened yesterday. I did get the bullets hitting the bad guys, and balanced out the sheer chaos a little bit, but otherwise the game hasn't really been touched.
I did, however, doodle a few icons, which may or may not make it into a future game's menu system. I'm still unsure how that particular game is going to flow, but it's "The Big One" on the backburner, and these icons should at least help. .. I hope! Maybe..
26th April, 2015
Not a lot of coding got done, yesterday. I continued to fiddle with the new sprites, and got enemies spawning in the level, but then I started thinking about iOS again.
For the past year I've been focussing on OUYA. I've been making all my games controller happy, and as a result, have been neglecting touchscreen controls. I'm not sure why, probably all the AppleWatch stuff that's currently flooding my Twitter feed, but I'm finding myself somewhat nostalgic for the times that I struggled to come up with nice touchscreen based control schemes.
But in order to release onto iOS, I first need to get my Mac up to speed.
Since it's been sat completely neglected for much of the past year, I knew that it wouldn't be a simple case of "Turn on, Compile!" like it should be with Monkey.
Instead, after powering up the Mac Mini for the first time in about a year, I first had to install a complete new OS upgrade (since I hadn't yet installed Yosemite) as well as upgrading XCode.
After a good 4 or 5 hours of mostly waiting, everything had finished installing, and the system was ready to start having to deal with certificates and permissions and all the other gubbins.
.. The system was, but I wasn't! After 4 hours of mostly waiting, I was ready for a sleep.
Today I'll probably faff about some more with the thing, and try out a compilation or two, to see if the system still even works at a suitable speed. The ludicrously tiny 2Gb of memory isn't helping much!
25th April, 2015
Not an awful lot of stuff got done, yesterday, as I was having a bit of an off-day! Ho hum.. They're frequent, so expect a fair number of Daily Blogs to be of the "Couldn't do anything!" variety.
Still, I did bother to grab the iPad, load up Sprite Something, and doodle some sprites for the new game.
I drew a ship, a number of weapons, and some enemies, before heading over to Windows and getting them all integrated into the game.
It didn't take very long at all, but it does indeed make a nice change from seeing all those blinkin' circles everywhere.
Next up will be putting the enemies into the game, and figuring out some kind of level progression/objective. (Which, IIRC, was yesterday's goal!)