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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sparkle Fight Beginnings...

Killer Redd is becoming a game now... slowly. I spent a lot of time these last couple weeks on that other project, only because I was in the mood to.

I'm pretty settled on a vampire motif for the enemies in Killer Redd, to give everything nice context. Naturally, the first boss in a vampire game has got to be a Twilight-style vampire, so... Meet Eddy Kull, the sparkle-spewing vampire!

At the moment I've got a semblance of a particle system set up, except it's pretty buggy and awful. The particles hang around for inscrutable reasons and eventually the game crashes because of similar issues with the hitboxes. There's no way to win yet, but it's fine, cause dying has a 50% chance of taking you to the win screen (just to prove it was there). It's still playable though. Tomorrow I'd like to smooth out some of these issues, but I figured I'd post about it now since it's been a little while.

Slowly I'd like to be able to focus more on the boss gameplay design and less on the nitty gritty coding. The final game's supposed to be done mid-September, I think, so the clock's always ticking. The combat hitboxes and particle effects are my last couple major roadblocks, engine-wise, luckily. In theory it'll be smoother sailing from here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Flash Baby Steps

This week for class I had to do some more stuff with the menu, which is why it seems a bit discombobulated at the moment. You can hit "Start" to play the game as it is now. If you die you'll have to refresh--sorry! I also implemented a timer.


I added a new maneuver, the dodge roll (double-tap left or right!) This is something that isn't in Assassin Blue which I thought to include. I've been playing around a lot with the physics of each move and how different movements flow into each other, control-wise. Little touches here and there. The air attack makes you floatier, and landing during it puts you into a roll automatically. If you roll continuously it's faster than running, but you can't jump out of a roll, which makes it dangerous. The only way to cancel a roll is to attack, though that makes you prone for a little bit.

Stuff like that. It's fun, though I'm not really pleased yet with all of the movement--it feels like there's something clunky or sticky, I dunno. Will keep massaging it.

And, oh yeah, I got a camera system up and running, as well as *actual* collisions (I was faking them before) and random level generation--nice! With that, many of the base systems are in place. My next steps will involve putting other characters into the game and getting some real combat stuff working. That'll be fun! (I hope!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Killer Redd

Thanks to some help from my friends, I got the bitmap animation working in Flash, which was a real pain in the butt! But I think it paid off, 'cause I think the 3D render animations look really nice. Even the dumb little animations get ~15 individual frames of attention, so it comes out buttery-smooth. And that's what I want!

As is apparent, I think I'm going with Killer Redd for my title and I've selected an urban setting to match the urban-looking heroine, Redd. Things are coming together with this slowly in my head; I'm considering making Redd a vampire hunter with a hitlist to tie together the fights. I'll see.

An idea for the setting was to have it extend infinitely left and right, randomly generating rooftops and other obstacles like what Canabalt does. I'll keep it down to just a one-on-one duel, but this way I don't sacrifice spatial exploration which we love in platformers. And it gives me lots of space to try fun stuff with the bosses, as opposed to Assassin Blue bosses which were _always_ single screen and walled in. This'll present another significant technical challenge to me as a Flash newbie (camera movement and randomly generated content) but after tackling the bitmap stuff I feel pretty empowered to try anything! >;d

My only regret here is I had to slap on some stupid UI stuff because that was the class assignment for the week. Seriously; what even is their deal? If I'm starting a game I always start with basic art and engine stuff to quickly get an idea of my direction/if the game's working. Menus are a pretty arbitrary place to start, not to mention extraneous and boring. I guess the idea is to acclimate newbies with navigation in Flash? This is why I feel at ends with academia sometimes.

Just in case you missed it, the current demo is--and always will be--at this link. I'm fairly regularly updating the file there, even when I'm not posting about it, so you can always check up on my most current progress there. Not that anybody will. Just saying you have the option.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Starting Up a Flash Game!


So this summer I'm taking a class on game programming for Flash. As such, I'll be working continuously on a new game. I thought it would be fun to be super-transparent on this one, and do a pretty detailed companion log to mark my progress. So let's do it!

My idea is this: a side-on beat-em-up game in the style of Assassin Blue. The catch is that the game will be boss fights ONLY. I'm hoping that squeeze in 3 nicely-fleshed out bosses into the game.

So I started out doing a lot of concept sketches and brainstorming to get a character I was happy with as my lead. I felt like doing a badass femme fatale sort of character so the concepts quickly went that way.
I'm more or less settled in on a design, so I started thinking about the actual in-game art. Pixel art/bitmap animations seems like the obvious choice for me, though it'll require some more rigamarole to work into Flash. I thought I might experiment with a technique I've heard tell of, where artists create and rig 3D models, animate in 3D, and then export still 2D frames for gameplay. I kinda like that idea, especially since it'll lend to smooth, modular animation work, so I'm giving it a shot. Plus, it's a way for me to work some of my 3D experience into my game work.
So that's where I am as of the end of week 1 (out of 11). Let's see how it goes! (And how this balances with my Phanta work, which I've been keeping up on pretty regularly)...