I am immortal, I have inside me blood of kings
Posted on September 06, 2008 at 13:03
New game for the Retro Remakes 2008 contest. This game fits in the category 'We Like It Retro' where you create a new game in a retro style so this is very much the Amstrad CPC from 1984, which was my first computer and still a great influence on my pixel work. Game screen and status bar use 16 colors each chosen from 27 total palette, and the 16 color mode on CPC uses wide pixels which I'm enjoying cos they're appealingly chunky :)
Contest started 1st September and I've already got this far despite having a busy week with other things so this won't be too time consuming especially since I have til 6th December to complete it. The name stands for Cosmic Platoon Commando (the words may change by time game is complete but the initials will be the same) is a double reference to the CPC computer, and the game Astro Marine Corps of which is the main influence along with Turrican II, Gryzor and other platform shoot 'em ups that were great on the CPC.
It's a nice day to... start again
Posted on August 24, 2008 at 07:39
Feeling remotivated and energized today after a great night with a special lady, so been working my butt off on my game 'Hero - Celestial Force', the fangame/sequel to 'Hero' by the genius that is Ultimortal.
When playing a game I love those little features. The things that maybe aren't essential to gameplay but make it more appealing without getting in the way. Simple things like, for example, how in 'Castlevania - Symphony of the Night' if you stand still long enough with the fairy familiar, she'll sit on your shoulder, and if you suddenly dash she gets knocked off. Not important at all to the game but a nice lil extra that shows the developers just enjoyed doing it. Anyways I been sorta doing that, adding lil bits, and coming up with ideas for more and just writing them down to do them later after the more crucial parts. It's fun and if I'm enjoying making the game then hopefully the players will enjoy playing it... and if not, then screw them, I had fun anyways. :)
Here's a lil screenshot of the game in action. Chase has got herself up behind a rock block in that corner and is about to push it down upon the unsuspecting rocket lizard trooper down there rather than take him on directly. I'll likely add a sprite for the trooper when he detects a rock or crate above him and react to it in several ways, either paralyzed with fear and just gets hit by it, try to move out of the way, or simply aim his launcher up and try to destroy it in time. It's all easy enough to do. :)
It's just a jump to the left...
Posted on August 21, 2008 at 18:18
Just typing this to get some thoughts out of my head. Am currently adding some various kinds of enemies into my game and got to thinking about the different types of 'AI'. Now I'm not an expert coder so truly smart enemies that don't get caught behind walls (and suck up all the CPU when there are loads on screen) and it seems a lot of classic 2D games don't even have anything even resembling intelligent enemies. They march along from the right to the left and usually turn back if there was an obstruction but most of the time they don't really care about you being there at all. They're more like obstacles than true threats and rather than actively harrass you and try to hit you they just seem to hurt or kill you simply if you happen to accidentally touch them. This seems to be the most common type of enemy behavior though often you might have a 'sentry' kind of thing like a fixed gun turret (or a soldier who never moves) who will occasionally fire in your direction though again these often seem to be automated and have a set time between each shot (where you'd likely jump or crouch to avoid the bullet and edge your way to destroy the annoying gun).
You will occasionally get an enemy type who feeeels like he's after you (like Lakitu in Super Mario Bros who seems like he's tormenting you through the whole level keeping up with you and throwing down the spikey things) but again he didn't require any specific pathfinding and stayed pretty much on the same vertical plane at all times.
When I first tried to code enemy behavior it was for an enemy that was basically a 'reskin' of the player character. Suit looked different and all that but it was to still fly about, and shoot with all the bits in the same place, and act like the player in that it would navigate even the twisty turny thin passages to hunt you down. I realised that was a lil beyond me and though I got it sorta working (though getting stuck behind walls at certain points despite making waypoints) it didn't feel quite right. It didn't feel all that fun. Not sure why that was. I coded a simpler enemy who crouched when you crouched and jumped when you jumped so it was always on the right level to shoot you but it made the game far, far too annoying. But here I am coding very simple enemies who just go about their business and there are lots on screen and somehow it does feel fun, especially the mass amount of carnage when shooting them all in quick succession. Now I've added it where someone of them do indeed check if you're in their line of fire and shoot at you a few times and then go back to their pre-planned route. Again for some reason it just feels right just having the enemies feel even just 'alive' and moving about rather than 'intelligent'.
I think what I may do is have a couple of the 'seeker' enemy types restricted to the more emptier wider spacous rooms (nothing kills that supposed intelligence more than watching them trying to walk through a wall to get to you) and keep the sentry/patrol types to the more complex rooms with the thin passages and twists and turns. Least then there's a bit of variety too depending on the room.
Anyways sorry for babbling on about this crap. Does help getting it out of my noisy mind and in a readable form though. Just feels to me that having supposedly smarter enemies doesn't mean the game's gonna be that much more fun. Maybe it's cos I'm not a PC gamer as such and I don't care for all those FPS games where the enemy AI needs to be great else it ruins the 'realism'. I dunno. As long as the game is fun and challenging I don't think it matters.
Christ I write some shite...
I will use my voice, and I will use my fist...
Posted on August 18, 2008 at 18:50
First blog entry here. Just testing this place out a bit.
Ok, been using GM since February 2002 (most of those years going by the alias 'Wolverine' or even for a few months 'Green Arrow') but never released anything. This is down to a few reasons. One being that I used to get a new idea every week and tire of it by the end of that same week. Two being that I don't have a logical mind and find coding difficult. And three being I'm such a damn perfectionist even when I've achieved something I then redo it, a lot, til I finally think it's as good as I can possibly do it. And then I still don't think it's good enough.
Time's changed. I have one main project I've been working on since Nov 2006 ('Hero - Celestial Force', middle of my banner pic) which is really making a lot of progress. The other two images in the banner are 'Into The Eagles Nest' (remake of an old 8 bit game, I started this back in 2006 too, and rewrote the engine from scratch earlier this year, it's a top down shooter that does not use mouse aiming and never will and has the highest res graphics out of all my current projects), and 'Booze N' Balls' on the right (single screen arcade platformer with a theme chosen because I was just getting sick of cutesy crap in games at the time, and also wanted to do a game that feels British). Both of which are also coming along nicely. All three games are intended to allow 2 players on one machine as I like a bit of social gaming but find no fun in playing online.
Out of the three I'd say while 'Hero - CF' requires the most work, it's also the closest to having a level I could perhaps release as a demo. I'm hoping for this to be in either September or October.
Anyways I think that may be enough text for a first blog entry. Right?