Archive for the General DevLog Category

Indiepub… submitted!

Posted in General DevLog with tags , , , , , , , on 2010/08/01 by Evan Sammons

With this one, people will be able to vote for their favorites, and winners will receive a $1000 prize! I’ll post up the link when that is ready to go.

It’s gotten to a point no where most if not all improvements are related to graphics and presentation. There is still this ONE bug that I cannot seem to figure out! During the boss scene, there is meant to be a ton of debris falling as you fight him, especially during his fall at the end. Without this, the scenes lack some ‘oomph’. It’s a simple matter of creating asteroid-like objects at the top or bottom of the screen and have them move across very fast…  yet they fail to appear almost every time. The few occasions I’ve gotten it to work again, it usually reverts back to failing in the next test. I’m thinking I’ll just have to change how they appear in the first place. But yeah, it’s very annoying, and I’d prefer to spend more time on cooler stuff. So I do, and it’s turning out great. Little by little, the demo reaches it’s full solid form, a benchmark for the rest of the game to follow.

I’m still itching to work on later levels of the game, and getting all the proposed features in. It will probably take while simply designing and getting all the pieces of the puzzle to fit – which happens to be my favorite part of game development. I’m confident that when it all comes together, the experience will be much deeper than your average action shooter, something more explorative and intriguing. The kind of thing that makes the Metroid games such hits, but on a completely different plane since the player is unable to freely roam about the level. I can’t fully explain how it goes in my mind, but I just know that it will be a unique and epic adventure. I love the music, and I want it to take players to place they never thought possible.

That may sound pretentious, I hope it doesn’t, but we’ve been working on this for almost 3 years and I’m still in love with the idea. Most ideas I have or designs I write down are not so appealing after even a week. I’m attached to it, and can see exactly where I want it to go. It may take a while (although all the framework is there to speed up production), but it will get there. It must!


Indiecade… submitted!

Posted in General DevLog with tags , , , , on 2010/06/24 by Evan Sammons

Level 2 has been entered! I’ve been totally ripping through it the past week, replacing just about every graphic we had and sorting out each scene to make it play solid and bug-free. I’m very pleased with the entry!

Deadline extended?!

Posted in Game Features, General DevLog with tags , , , , , , , on 2010/06/22 by Evan Sammons

So Indiecade had some problems with their submission forms, giving us an extra couple of days to fine-tune and get more new graphics done. Great! I can’t wait to get it submitted.

I’m also pumped to start working on the rest of the game. It’s been so long since the start of this project (maybe nearing 3 years now) and it’s gone through so many iterations that now that it’s in the state it is, I really want to see how it’s all going to fit together. There are a lot of concepts and functions of the game engine that aren’t explored fully in this first level, Upload Complete, I’m itching to see it unfold in the levels to come.

There are around a dozen tracks, meaning a dozen full levels totaling at least 40 minutes of gameplay. This does not include parts that aren’t set strictly to the music, for example ambient free-roams and possible looping sections – and even that may bring total time to a little over an hour. The key will be in the replayability…

The game engine allows any part of a level to be altered in real-time, and the triggers can vary greatly. They can be as simple as being closer to top or bottom of the game area to determine if the level goes upwards or downwards in the next section. Triggers can also be complex, and depend on what happened earlier in the game, a whole combination of factors, and goes right down to affecting the game ending. The scale of changes can also vary a lot, from the aforementioned game ending changes right down to what formation a group of enemy drones takes to attack you. This should all create a visceral experience that flows seamlessly, and always tests your ability to adapt and survive.

It’s old-school shooting action with a twist on classic linear progression.

Some pretty major updates!

Posted in Game Features, General DevLog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2010/06/16 by Evan Sammons

Quite a lot has happened since the last post, so here it is!

First off, we’re entering the demo level in Indiecade, with the deadline for entering being the 20th – only 4 days to go! That’s not to say we’re not ready, the level is completely playable so I’m down to tightening it up, making tweaks where they’re needed and even revising a few elements.

The main cause of the revising is the fact that we now have a dedicated artist working on the graphical assets, Francis Coulombe, and you can find his site here. He has nailed the style and feel we’re going for and progress is steady. I can’t wait for it to get it all in the game, and the stuff that I’ve already replaced is looking badass.

Doesn’t this rock? This guy replaces the swarming heads, so in the game you’ll be seeing big groups of these guys flying at you, trying to smash you to pieces.

I thought what we had looked really great, but Francis is going to boost it all to a whole new level!

Also just finished is a functional main menu, with all the basic options such as control configuration and volume levels. Not a big update, but the main menu is often the first impression of a game, so getting it right is definitely important. The full game will contain more options to customize how you start a game, as well as save file management. You can read a little about the possible customization options in an earlier post here.

That about covers all that’s been going on here! More posts to come soon, especially before or around the Indiecade deadline.


Scene re-working, and Performance

Posted in General DevLog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2010/04/07 by Evan Sammons

Now that pretty much 95% of Upload Complete has been laid in place (and is totally playable), I’ve been going back through a number of other scenes and improving them, making them more interesting and engaging. There have also been some updates to the general engine, giving better performance overall.

Speaking of performance, Level 2 should be able to run on even the slowest of computers. The rig I’m using for testing isn’t the fastest of things, my rule of thumb has been if I get a drop in framerate on this, then something needs to change to make it more efficient. So far this has proven effective on any other computer the game has been tested on.

If you’re interested, here’s what I’m working with – Intel T2300 ~1.66ghz (dual core), 1gb ram, GeForce Go 7800 256mb. Kind of a benchmark for the lower end that can run Level 2. Running it at a steady 60fps is extremely important, any less and things get thrown out of sync and scenes can actually (play-wise) be much shorter!

DevLogs should be coming up a bit more frequently now, as I’ve worked through some pretty tough issues. Now I’m blitzing through, leading to more Log-worthy material!


Progress Update

Posted in General DevLog with tags , , , , , , , , on 2010/03/24 by Evan Sammons

Recently I’ve been putting a lot of work into the Boss of Upload Complete. All his main attacks are finished, and the sequence itself is laid out, prepared for any details that will come.

Testing it myself, I know the attacks, I know what’s likely to come at me next. For the first-time player it may not be so easy, but I don’t want it to be impossible to survive for those who don’t know the patterns. I’m hoping for a semi-readable fight, that requires skill more than anything to overcome. Being the first Boss it definitely wont be as intense as Bosses in future levels, but it’ll still be a challenge.

In addition, many other scenes of the level have been tightened up, and a scene has been added granting the player a Weapon Upgrade! Given what comes at you after the Upgrade, it will be a very welcome gift. For the demo, a number of other Upgrades/Updates may be handed to the player simply to give a taste of what’s to come in the full game.

The difficulty may also be ramped up for a more hardcore experience in the demo. Upload Complete is basically the ‘tutorial’ level, but that’s not to say it wont throw the player into the deep end (even in the real game version, it’s not going to be a walk in the park). Intensity is a running theme through the whole game. I mean… listen to the tracks LCTR have up on their Myspace, how can a game with that music not be intense?

I don’t know about you, but I’m pumped.

Quick Update

Posted in Bug Fix, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 2010/02/25 by Evan Sammons

This update is small for you, but pretty big for me. I just fixed some bugs that have been frustrating me for months now! Now the player movement engine feels much more solid, very smooth. Before, if you jumped up a step and clipped the ground, you would instantly jump again. Now you simply go over the step as expected. The other bug involved the player character ‘floating’ above platforms, whilst still being able to move and jump normally – nothing really wrong with it, it just looked silly.

Another thing, upon respawn, now you can no longer get stuck in blocks. The character repositions directly in the middle of the screen upon respawn, so before if there were any platforms in the way, you’d get stuck in them and gradually rise up, sometimes off the screen to die again. That aint right, so I fixed it.

Finally, today some important systems for Bosses were put in place, which should make development for all other Boss sections much smoother. Right now, all work is going into one level, and with that a lot of major game mechanics have been built and refined so that later levels can be put together without much fuss.