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26th August, 2007
I decided to start a Dev diary here, for all my DS Developing. I figured people would eventually stumble across it, and start reading away at all the fun coding. Either that, or they'll completely ignore these bits, and just download the Experimental stuff like they usually do.
Either way, this is going to be a part dev-diary, part progress report, and part release schedule for all things DS.
I currently have 4 DS Projects on the go. They are Stringy Things, JNKPlat, An Alien Breed type clone, and a Green game collection.
Of those, Stringy Things will probably appear online first, then the Alien Breed thing.
Stringy Things - 75%You probably played the version of this I released last year. This newer version contains a load of bugfixes, a whole new (much better) word list, and so far 2 new games. I'm hoping to build that number up a bit!
It's also got a new menu system, which allows for more variety in gameplay. As you can see in the screenshot, Strings now has an Endless mode, which means that new bubbles appear at the top, as you play.. Other playmodes are being integrated into the other games.
I've shifted "Dice" over to the "More Games" tab at the top of the screen. This lets me place in some extra types of games that I normally wouldn't be able to add, like new addition "Extract"
If you'd like to play a windows version of this game, head over to here, where Chris Davis' (aka Magicman) original version is playable.
I ported it over into Stringy Things, added a few DS friendly pickups, and with bubbles instead of squares it fits into the collection quite nicely.
The main issue I'm now having with Stringy Things is memory related. Or at least I think that's what's causing it. There are many curious bugs appearing where there previously were none.
I'm attempting to fix all these issues, and you can be sure they'll be gone by the time I release the new version.
Alien Breed - 10%So far the engine looks like this.
It's not too bad, considering I'm only at 10%!
So far the player's onscreen, and the background's scrolling well. The interface works reasonably well, and even the control schemes are integrated nicely.
Four different control schemes are available.
1) Walk in the direction of the DPad, and fire by pointing. "Default style"
2) Walk/Strafe with the DPad, turn by pointing, fire by holding the trigger. "FPS style"
3) Walk in the direction of the DPad, and fire in the direction of the Face Buttons. "Robotron style"
4) Walk in the direction of the DPad. Hold A to shoot. Hold B to strafe+shoot. "Alien Breed style"
They're selectable via the menu system, so I know that's all working well!
Thus far I've not added any collision, or enemies, or pickups, or even a decent map. So I've got quite a bit to go, yet!
JNKPlat DS - Unsure!Last year I released the first version of JNKPlat DS. People enjoyed it, which was nice
It was the first JNKPlat game to feature smooth animated graphics, and it gave the game a whole new feel, turning it more into an Action platform than just a puzzle game.
I've come to like that style more and more over the past year, and as such I'm not at the point where I'm considering redoing the whole game, as opposed to just re-releasing it with a level editor added.
See, if I redo it from scratch, I can redo all the graphics. I can rescale the whole game, and give it an even bigger, even better look.
It's not an easy decision, though. JNKPlat has essentially looked exactly the same for the past 10 years. Do I really want to change what it looks like!?
So, Either I restart the whole thing, or I just add in a level editor and rerelease the old one.
I'm not sure, yet!
Green's Collection - Unstarted
And lastly to the biggy!
The original collection, for windows, is available here. It's a set of small games, each with basic rules, and gameplay. They're fun, but small.
I've always thought a DS version of the collection would be fun, but so far I'm unsure of the graphical style I should go for.
As far as memory's concerned, the lesser the graphical style the better.. That way I can reuse plenty of the graphics, and fit in lots more games. But since I'll be using sprites for everything, I'll probably need chunkier graphics, so I can fill the screen, and not end up with only 128 8x8 pixel images on the screen! (128 is the DS's limit of sprites onscreen at once.)
I'm not sure if I'll go for the 8-bit style, try out a 16-bit style, do all line graphics, or maybe even go down a couple of steps and go for a super-retro Atari2600 style of graphics.
If I plan out a few games, maybe the graphics will find themselves. But I haven't even gotten that far, yet!
This game is mearly a sidethought in my mind, since I have plenty more things to be getting on with.
If you have any ideas for the collection, feel free to pop them into the comments below.
8th August, 2007
Nothing special this week. If you knew me at the time I did Green's Tiny Collection, then you've no doubt seen this game.
I thought I'd post it, though, to remind myself of what a great idea it once was.
Keep control of both Platdude and his football.
You use the spacebar to jump. Jump and header the football to send it flying over obstacles.
If you pick up any items, you can use them by hitting the cursor key in the direction of the item. That is, the powerup display shows 4 items, 1 up, 1 right, 1 left and 1 down. As you pick up items, they rotate within the display, until 4 pickups later, the oldest is disposed of whether it's been used or not.
The gameplay exists on a single 2D Plane. There's plenty of Parallax scrolling going on, and the levels run on into each other meaning the whole game keeps on moving whether you're in the main menu or halfway through level 8!
Not that there's 8 levels, of course! It never quite got that far..
The game's main issue is it's collision detection and physics. At the time I was still learning all about the strengths and weaknesses of Blitz coding. I'm sure that nowadays, given my better knowledge of Blitz, I could come up with a much better engine.
In fact, I might even give that a go.
But not right now... Lots of other stuff to be working with at the minute!
You can find Super Bouncer here
2nd August, 2007
This week, an In-Progress experiment.
Use the flash thing on the top right of the site. Doodle yourself a little image, then click "New" which will not only start you off again, but also save the icon to a file on my site.
In the next few days I'll be collecting all the icons (and moderating them!) and then placing them into future games. They'll be used in plenty of ways, from Picross puzzles, to odd little incidental imagery.
Hopefully I'll be able to collect a fair few of them, and I'm looking forward to seeing what images you can come up with.
Thanks for your help.
17th July, 2007
Week 22 of the Wednesday Workshop was Racing week.
The first game I attempted was a UFO Fly game, the game you see entered.. But after I'd done that, I attempted a couple more engines.
#1 was a mess, and never really got anywhere. It was a nice graphical effect, but nothing more than that.
#2 however, was a Ball Bouncing AI Racing grand prix game!
Here it is, as it sits on my hard drive. Unlike last week I haven't bothered to neaten it up at all, and this is pretty much how I left it... And it's really unfinished, so there's no end to it.. Just keep floating away!
Use the cursor keys to bound your way through the level. Start by pushing up, then right. But, obviously, don't get stuck in the roof!
A very strange game.
Would it be worth finishing this one off?
No.. Probably not!
10th July, 2007
"Create a Horizontal Shooter".. That was the compo rules for The Horizontal Shooter compo, over at SHMUP-Dev.. Or at least I think it was there.
I started this entry in January 2006. I know this because the game has a directory numbered 031..Since starting Wed.Workshop I've been numbering all my dev-dirs according to the number of that week's workshop!
Why I never finished it, I don't know.
Maybe I grew bored of it. Or maybe I realised it really wasn't that much of a challenge.
Whatever the case, tonight I decided to spruce it up a little.. So I added in a few sound effects, tweaked the settings a bit, and then added in a tune I found in my huge Chiptune directory.
Mouse controlled, shoot the right, guard the left. Catch bullets in your trail!
Oh, and watch you don't fall off the edges since there's no edge detection! Nice and slow!
For those interested, the chiptune is "chromag-shock_therapy23.xm"
7th July, 2007
When I created JNKPlat 3D (about 3/4 way down here) I intended to have an end-credits sequence. So I composed this nice theme for that purpose.
Unfortunately I have an odd knack of never finishing off games, so an end credit sequence never appeared in the game.
For the new JNKPlat I grabbed this theme and turned it into a smaller Mod, but some people like it, so here's the original version in it's MP3 format.
3rd July, 2007
Sometimes you forget about games!
I worked on this game for a while, back in early 2003. The idea was to nick the whole Pokemon idea, and create a bizarre Coding based adventure game.
So, I nicked the graphics, too!
I also added a bunch of music that I'd grabbed from Aminet, and designed a nice Logo.
I got the map pretty much working as expected, and even got it so that text would appear in a little box.
It kinda looks like my recent workshop "Quest" games, really.
But, as with all my games, it got placed to the side and forgotten about.
Maybe it's something I'll ressurect in the future. I don't know.
I think if I ever do come back to it, I'll be better off starting from scratch.
Give it a go if you really want to! (Note : Runs in 320x240, fullscreen!)
28th June, 2007
While I was playing Ultima Online a lot, I decided to do a silly Ultima based comic. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it took ages to cut out and manage each of the panels of a comic, in order to make the pages look good.
As I always say, "A simple idea can always be made easier if you use Blitz to do all the boring work for you." It's a long saying, but it fits.
Hyper Llama Man lasted for 6 pages.. Not a long time, but at least I managed to pull myself away from Ultima!
The first page of the comic was done entirely in PaintShop Pro. It's kind of ugly. The next one was done using a quickly made comic strip editor. That was Strips. It worked, but it was specifically designed to create boxy plain-text Hyper Llama Man pages.
Pages 3,4,5 and 6 were all done using Strips 2.
Strips 2 was a much more advanced editor, allowing for sliced panels, bubble speech and a variety of fonts.
It's more or less in a fully working state, but if you do decide to use it, keep saving often, because it'll probably crash, or do something stupid!
You can download Strips 2 here.
20th June, 2007
Theory. I can make 3 versions of Platdude in 3D.
All three will be inside a box area. Version 1 will be a maze-like affair, with a multi layered floor, and 4 walls. Version 2 will be up against one of the walls and will play in a classic platform style. Version 3 will take the whole box area and fill it with Super Amazing Platforming Fun!
.. These were my thoughts when first trying out Blitz3D, 5 years ago.
I soon changed my plan and went back to making 2D games!
Still, the "Up against a Wall" idea kind of made it to the slightly dodgy JNKPlat 3D idea, so at least something came out of it.
19th June, 2007
When I started doing Wed.Workshop, a few people complained that a week was too short a time, so in September 2005 I did the first and only Monthly Workshop. The Super September Challenge asked people to recreate a classic 8-bit game in a 16-bit style, and add some silly extras that people kept adding to games around that time.
My entry was to be Super Dig Dug.
It started off well enough, but then the sound started going all screwy, and I couldn't be bothered fixing it. So it was left to rot on my Hard Drive.
Download DigDug - Unfinished!
The game's basic bits kinda work. Guide the bubble-shielded guy around with the cursors. Hold space to shoot his air-thing. Baddies inflate. Baddies explode. Rocks fall. Music plays whilst walking.. And all the rest of the expected goodies.
The gameplay isn't all there, though. The baddies won't become ghosts, and run for the hills... and the water that slowly fills the screen doesn't actually DO anything!
But it's a start. And maybe someday it'll be finished!
Or maybe not.
19th June, 2007
I've started to go through all my stuff, and I decided that, rather than just list everything, I'd try to create some kind of descriptive history of all my games, be they completed fun stuffs, or just failed experiments.? You might even start to see some new stuff appear here that you've never seen before!? ? In the meantime I've built up the JNKPlat section, as well as the More Games page.
I'm not sure if I'll bother doing the Wed.Workshop page.? Or perhaps I'll just list a few of my favourites. ? Like 5t1(|/4N!!!!!
18th June, 2007
Over the year, I've started a whole big bunch of games. Occasionally I finish a few! Here's some of the ones that involve Monkeys!
A mini competition was announced over at BlitzCoder. Create a game using no more than 150 lines of code. I created a silly game featuring a spinning set of monkeys, flying through a multicoloured tunnel. You had to shoot the monkeys. This became Space Monkeys 1
Download Space Monkeys 1
Worryingly, it proved to be quite popular, and given the popularity of Super Monkey Balls at the time, I figured I'd go for broke. Space Monkeys 2 had the same style, and even the exact same background effect as the original, but this time you had a monkey in a ball, and rolled him around a maze. But... You know.. Looking a bit cheap!
Download Space Monkeys 2
By the time I got up to Space Monkeys 3 I was already starting to run out of ideas, so this one involved some rocks, and fuel or something. To be honest, I tend to ignore this one!
Download Space Monkeys 3 (If you really want to!)
But then I hit gold with Space Monkeys DX! Featuring a big Sonic Special Stage esque rotating maze, and a couple of other games, too. (Gotta hate the Rock-Jumping!) What started life as Space Monkeys 4 ended up being a nice collection of silly games.
Download Space Monkeys DX
And then a return to where it all began, as BlitzCoder held a one button compo, and I decided to bring back the monkeys with a second collection of games. But this time, the games formed an evolving storyline, in which you had to save the Space Monkeys from a gang of intergalactic evil chickens!
Download Space Monkeys 5
Invisible MunkyI've yet to create a new Space Monkeys game, but in the meantime I did make a nice little platformer that wound up being tied to the whole Space Monkey universe. To tell the truth, this game actually started life as an experimental new Platdude engine. The plan was, build a nice collision system, then add the graphics around it. The collision system worked really well, and the simple line-drawn landscape looked really neat, so I left it as it was! I took out Platdude, and replaced him with an arrow, which is slightly off center, and points to where your character is. An added monkey sound effect later, and Invisible Munky was born. AFAIK it's the only platform game without a main character. And it's great!
Download Invisible Munky
Munky TypingI can't remember what made me create Munky Train. Maybe it was one of those sparks of insanity, I'm not sure, but I drew a silly train and some tracks, and then plonked on a bunch of words to be typed, and the Munky Typing series was born. Shortly after I created Munky Rocket with a bunch of asteroids, and even later I made Heavy Metal Munky for one of the Wednesday Workshops.
Download : Munky Train, Munky Rocket, Heavy Metal Munky, and have fun typing!
18th June, 2007
I get bored. I get bored a lot. Especially when working on large projects. It's nice to occasionally have some weird random thing to do.
That's why I set up the Wednesday Workshop.
A weekly challenge. Make a game based upon a given theme, or task. Everyone who enters gets put through for a vote. But it's not really about the winning. It's about having something to do when you're bored. And .. I get bored a lot!
Click here and you'll see a nice big long list of the 60+ entries I've created for the workshop. They range from silly little 10 minute play things, through to mini RPGs, and everything inbetween.
For interest's sake, here's my favourite collection of workshop entries, and reasons why I like them.
18th June, 2007
OK, lets see how well we go with this.
Taking a slight page from Prospero, I decided to setup a Wordpress page.
I'm (hopefully!) going to be using this site to keep track of all my old Games and Musical pieces, so they'll all be easily accessible.
It'll probably not work, but it's at least worth a try, right?
18th June, 2007
Platdude. A 16 pixel, 3 color character. Deftly defying the world of 3D models and amazing realism, in favour of good old fashioned gameplay.
Over the years, Platdude has been in plenty of games.. Here's an approximate history of Platdude, along with Downloads where appropriate. (Or skip to the bottom for the latest stuff!)