I'd be so happy... if I was emo
Posted on April 10, 2008 at 22:33
Alas, I'm not emo. "I'd be so happy... if I was emo" is what I came up with to describe how I felt after a failed (a pass or fail) exam at college. The oxymoron brings a smile to my face whenever I remember it and sort of describes my depression that grows with every resume that fails to get me a programming, never mind game programming, job.
Title aside, I'm much too happy of a person to rant so negative, so...
On to more positive, nostalgic topics though. I dug around my external hardrive and was rather surprised by some of the items I found. Formost were the various versions of Game Maker installers that I found, ranging from 5.3A to 6.1 Beta. I might even be able to find 4.x exe if I dug around enough. Not much in itself since you can get all of the installers I found from Marks website (save for the 6.1 Beta), but I also found my registation keys for 6.x and 7.0 in a file.
Now I knew that I had regisered GM back before 6.0 came out and that I had printed a copy of the email, fortunatly (or unfortuanatly) I keep a lot of stuff and was able to track the paper down in a matter of minutes. So for old times sake I installed 5.3A and 6.1 and regestered them. Then I figured, what the heck, I'll try installing 7.0 with the registation key I never got working. Well I installed it and after some work I got it registered. Turns out that when I had YoYo give me upgrade to 7.0 they took the liberty of not using my name for the registration (at this point I imagine everyone upgrading got the exact same code), my name was YOY, no wonder trying to use my name gave me the fail message.
So at this point I have three versions of GM regestered, so I decide to dig through the various games that I downloaded over the years. Found two versions of Bacteria 2 (H Unit and eo) added to the (sadly) GM7 version I have currently, the GM7 is almost twice the size of the older versions. If you haven't played Bacteria 2 yet, go download it, it's one of the best stratedgy/puzzle games I've come across. I also found several Shawn64 (god rest) creations. Multiple wonderful things from Dark Sirrus Games. And many other gems that make GM such a wonderful gift.
Meh.. guess that that.
TODO: Good Title Here
Posted on February 07, 2008 at 20:35
Well I'm not one for long blogs; actually, I don't usually blog at all, so this will be more of a rant of randomness on several topics. It's ugly but it gets a lot off my mind.
For those who don't know, I've moved on from Game Maker. Don't get me wrong, 64Digits is still my home page and I keep track of the community and all. I even tried using YoYo Games version 7 but it didn't want to register using my GM5 or GM6 Key. Speaking of registering GM, I remember using GM4 and 5 (back when it was full featured without registering); I registered my copy out of sheer support of what Game Maker stood for.
Alas, though, I'm a programmer at heart and not an artist. Sadly in the GM community you need to have a balance of the two anything else is usually looked down upon. No really, it's true, with GM games usually being one person projects and ugly or buggy games not being that appealing, you need a balance of the two to have a game that draws attention. That was what made me work on engines slightly more than actual games (I only have two competed games and one used sprites that came with the GM package). With engines it doesn’t have to be pretty, just code that does something people are interested in. Most notable of my engines was my 'backdrop' engine, which was far more flexible than GM's built in background system and my 'Real Water Effect', which is a top 5 download with over 1900.
Programming and Freeware
Moving on though, GM is what made me realize that I wanted to learn to make games on a different level, so I went to school and learned programming. C++ mainly, which is a nice mid-level language, it's easier than assembly (i.e. machine instructions) and more flexible than C# (pronounced 'C Sharp').
Just like Game Maker is a community of people who openly share source, ideas, and games, there's a whole community dedicated to 'Free Software'. Free refers to freedom and not price, although most of it is distributed for free, and all of it has its source code freely available. For anyone looking to learn C/C++ there's a great IDE (Integrated Development Environment) called Dev-C++. Its small (compared to a professional IDE like Microsoft Visual Studio) but it gets the job done nicely and for like $1000 less.
I'm also digging through the source code of a Nintendo DS emulator called DeSmuME. Embedded systems are pretty neat, you place data in a certain spot and the hardware does all of the work on it (I suppose that's how all hardware really is). The emulator is slow and doesn't support all 3D but it is one of the best NDS emulators I've seen.
So I'm currently working on about three projects. Two of these projects are active coding and the other one is in an early development stage.
1) Forward Conquest 2: Since my first team developed game Forward Conquest (1), I've developed a sort of love for the Advance Wars series. FC2 is my attempt to, not only improve on a lot of the features of FC that were either buggy or not implemented but to improve on the Advance Wars formula as well. Since I started developing FC2, I've realized that some of my ideas have been implemented in the DS versions of AW (I've just recently gotten a DS). Some of the bigger changes will be the introduction of a Merit Point system (used to level up custom officers), update packages that will allow you to download additional content (base install will have minimal assets, extras can be downloaded later), and several "Rule Sets" that effectively change the balance and difficulty.
2) GameNgine: While the title of the project is a working title, the entire project is a sub-project of FC2. It's still rather early in the project but by the end, I hope to have a good amount of reusable code. Currently it only has a few things, a Kernel system that runs everything, sound manager, data compressor (using zlib), texture manager (bmp support only currently), OpenGL rendering system, and SDL input, along with various other things. The big thing to have in it in the future will be a networking module. I'd even like all games using the engine to be able to talk with one another regardless of the actual game with the possibility of 'generic server' (relays data regardless of the actual game) support.
3) Tactics Online: More of a description than an actual title, Tactics Online is my idea for a Multiplayer Online Tactical RPG, which is something I haven't seen done yet (although it may have been done). It's heavily influenced by Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy Tactics, and other job based RPGs. The game will use a hexagonal based grid system for movement. As for the online part, there is no static world (although someone could host a static server). You can control 1-2 characters at a time and be in a party with up to 6 characters. Since there is no static server and characters are saved locally there is no need to actually go online to play. Grinding will be tried to keep to a minimal with enough progressive dungeons that you won't need to grind before moving on. The need for a party is also kept to a minimal by allowing the player to control two characters at once.
Well I suppose that covers a lot of what I've been doing and what's on my mind. Probably not going to make a habit of blogging anytime soon. Then again, as I go crazy from still being unemployed (well, I'm not programming for money), anything is possible.
Bubble Battle Beta
Posted on June 25, 2007 at 01:49
As some of you might know, and for those who don't, I've been learning how to program using C++. So over the past year and a half I've been working up to one big project where my team and I get five months to create a game. After working on our game for four months, it's finally at beta. Most if not all gameplay aspects are in and now we only need polish and bug test.
The game is called Bubble Battle and it's an arcade style game based on the game Bubble Bobble, which I'm sure a few of you have played.
As you can see the game is full 3d, but you can only move side to side much like Crash Bandicoot or various other sidescrollers.
Since this isn't a GM game I didn't plan on submitting it as I would one (how would the staff feel about that?), but I'd like to invite anyone to try the Beta out to help test it. You can download it <a href="http://64digits.com/users/drspazz/BubbleBeta.zip">here</a>
Posted on January 16, 2007 at 19:07
Advance War Type Game
Posted on August 18, 2006 at 03:51
It's been a while since I posted about what I'm working on, so I figured I'd drop 64Digits a line.
So yeah, as the blog title sugests, I'm working on an Advance Wars Type (read: Clone) game. Turn based, multiplayer warfare. The game is simple enough to do in theory, but the team is making it to be networked, have built in level editor ( that can be shared over the network, of course ). No single player in store atm (that requires AI that no body really want to do, lol). Anyway, the project is nearing halfway completion and will be done by the end of next month. Also, I'd like to note that this is a C++ game. You can check out the early version of the <a href="http://64digits.com/users/drspazz/Map_Senario_Editor.zip">Level
Editor</a> if you're interested. Bare in mind though this is for preliminary development purposes, and doesn't reflect the final product.