Halloween Competition starting point
Posted on October 05, 2008 at 02:16
If I had unlimited time, resources, and an awesome team of programmers and graphic designers working for me, this is a title i might develop:
A very fun little game that I would love to see done in GM. So what're u waitin' for?!?!?!?!?
I Gotta Get Motivated!
Posted on September 30, 2008 at 21:08
I think this title could spawn a new texting abbreviation: IGGM
You're sitting on a park bench, just totally watching the world go by, when your buddy texts you this:
"We're not getting any younger, man. IGGM! We need to get off our butts and start that website/blog/online game that we've been talking about."
Your response? What else:
"IGGM too! Let's do it!"
So anyway, I am now trying to muster up the energy to delve back into a major upgrade of Techno Tower Defense. My Release 2 "ToDo" list looks like this:
1. Model, texture, and render 4 more levels
2. Develop an INTERESTING 15 mission storyline with dialogue, characters, a few plot twists, etc.
3. Make a level select screen and integrate its code into the TTD engine
4. Model, texture, render 3-4 new towers and gizmos to fight the bots
5. Code these and integrate into the engine
6. Playtest and re-balance the gameplay with these new abilities
7. Recruit a few actors/friends and film the cutscenes and mission briefings for for new missions
8. Develop one or two new minigames to link it all together
I want to do it, I know I can do it, but you know how it is...IGGM!
Posted on September 21, 2008 at 22:32
TTD has been officially updated and is now version 1.0b.
The much-asked-for tutorial mode is now available to walk new players through the game.
Doing the tutorial was a ROYAL pain in the @ss, but it is "in the past" now, so I can concentrate on new gameplay and graphics for the next version, planned for early November.
George Lucas has done *almost* nothing but Star Wars for 30 years, so I figure I can stick with this project into 2009 at least.
Eventually when I move on to another large project, I'll be able to whip out a tutorial pretty fast, now that I've come up with a system that works. Maybe I should release a 'tutorial engine'?
So anyway, update #1 has addressed most of the feedback received, which was 99% helpful stuff.
Just for Qix
Posted on September 17, 2008 at 21:26
I came across a script by Fede-lasse and knew it would be perfect for making the "random lines" program that has been around since at least the early 1980s. When I was a kid I had seen it on a black and white TRS-80, Apple II, Commodore 64, etc.
An old version of Windows featured it as a screensaver, and then the classic arcade game Qix used it as the boss character in it's very fun for its day game.
I uploaded it as an example, so it should be posted soon. It took me about 2 hours to make, which is only because I'm a slow coder :). I was interested in the speed and quality difference between the standard 'draw_line' algorithm and the one Fede-lasse came up with. If you press the spacebar it will toggle between the two drawing methods. This nicely illustrates how jagged the standard mathematical way of calculating the distance between two points in space using single color pixels is.
Posted on September 12, 2008 at 08:11
Well, the reactions to TTD have been interesting to say the least.
When you're working solo on something you kind of just have to trust your instincts. Is it fun? Is it too easy? Too hard?
Ultimately I think it's human nature to include the features that YOU like to see in a game, the tweaks that YOU wish they had made in the last few you played.
For example, I really like keyboard shortcuts, like in Starcraft there's one for nearly every action. So a lot of extra time was spent on making kb shortcuts in TTD.
There's been some very encouraging comments, but the two biggest complaints are that it's too hard, and difficult to figure out. Altering the diff level is fairly easy. The other one, not so much. I tried making a tutorial early on, and put it off because it was so stinking hard.
So I am working on a tutorial, as well as a long list of others things that will be improved for version 1.1.
Is feedback a good thing?
But it's also a b*tch!
TTD is in the house
Posted on September 10, 2008 at 08:42
Techno Tower Defense is finally finished. (Release 1 at least)
A download link to my game is here:
On yoyo it is here:
"Play Now" does not work for some reason, go figure.
The official game website is, I admit it, TOTALLY LAME, it was done in notepad really fast.
Now that I can take a little breather from programming the game I plan to some time doing decent html with a bit of flash too perhaps.
Then it will be right back to coding TTD though. There are several small bug fixes that I already know of, but I suspect once people start playing it they'll find ones I never did.
I really want to setup online highscores, but have never done it before and am not sure how to go about it. If any of you have a dll or other suggestion on how this is done, let me know.
Thanks for checking out TTD!
BELOW IS THE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Techno Tower Defense, Release Version 1.0a has officially been launched. It can be downloaded from the following places:
Techno Tower Defense v1.0a features exciting tower defense style gameplay, including:
• Strategic resource management
• 'Botscanning' of enemies to unlock script fragments used in your defense
• RAM resource upgrades via a realtime keyboard-mashing minigame
• 7 full length music tracks, including an original song from musical artist Makke
• 3D-rendered sprites and graphics
• An original story with cohesive gameplay elements
TTD is not finished. It is actively being updated and improved, with two planned updates to be released between now (September 2008) and the completion of Release Version 2.0a in early 2009. A tentative timeline is as follows:
November 2, 2008 Update, Release Version 1.1a
January 12, 2008 Update, Release Version 1.2a
March 29, 2008 Release Version 2.0a
Feedback, bug info, criticism, etc. is appreciated. Please send it to our project leader at either of the following addresses:
Posted on September 07, 2008 at 22:24
The first release of TTD is 99% ready. I plan to upload it tomorrow at yoyo, here of course, and then on my official website (which is the subject for a future blog entry for sure).
So this morning I was checking some last little fixes, and all of a sudden 20 minutes had gone by, I was fighting the bots on attack #23, and realized that I had hit F5 just to playtest, not to actually PLAY.
Then it dawned on me that this is a good sign. We make games for ourselves, and then for our friends and/or fans. Maybe with the hope of making a few bucks too, but we're not going to be quitting our day jobs anytime soon.
And I've barely been playing games since starting to program Techno Tower Defense in late May of this year. It's been an obsession to get this thing ready, and as perfect as possible.
So it seems like that's a good litmus test for any game really. Do you get caught up in playing YOUR OWN game? How long would you/could you/ should you be playing it yourself?
My wife was actually yelling at me because we were getting ready to go somewhere, and I wouldn't budge. There is a pause feature of course, but out of a total of 48 waves at that point I was on #46 and wasn't quite sure if I was going to make it. I HAD TO FINISH!!!
And I did- just barely.
Red Light Green Light- How I Learned to Love Loading Resources
Posted on September 03, 2008 at 01:44
An important aspect of my game is the music. And even using ogg files many of the audio tracks come in at 1mb+, so when a player presses the 'm' key to change music while they're playing, EVERYTHING freezes for a couple of seconds.
So I just came across a dll called GMThreads:
This utility will launch a line of GML code in a separate thread while your game continues on its merry way. (how about using this with background_replace, sound_replace, etc.)
There is a test program that loads a 2mb jpg file while you control a block with the arrow keys, and it never stops or pauses.
Definitely worth a look if you are swapping large files in and out, or for other stuff too.
Never Ending Story
Posted on August 31, 2008 at 00:09
Back when I first had the idea for my game, and had started laying out some graphics and some code, the storyline hit me. I think it was one of those things where your unconscious mind works on something in the background, and then all of a sudden it just pops out.
Anyway, I just typed and typed for a good hour or so, and it poured out of me pretty much done. And then I simply put it on the shelf, (a project subfolder) and set to work on making the game.
And now that I'm nearly ready to release my masterpiece, I've decided to put a "story" button in the title menu. And that's where the real work has now begun, because coding and animating a story or a cutscene in GM is not easy.
No timeline GUI, no canned animation movements, no friendly structured graphics routines like in flash. My first impulse was to do the whole thing in After Effects and Premiere Pro, which is what I do for my day job anyway. The problem with that is that at this stage of the game I'm trying to keep the download small, and a video clip like that would be huge. Eventually I may go that route, but to begin with I wanted something small, and something that is mostly in code and sprites.
So what to do? I am almost done building a custom text reader that will take a text file and scroll at the right pace and placed exactly within the box I want it to be in on the screen. I've recorded the voice-over and the sound effects, mixed in music, and have a good audio track. But am I done?
Nope. Nah. No. So who cares about my self-imposed deadline? That's what makes Blizzard so great- their moniker is "We'll ship it when it's done."
That's good advice.
Why People Pirate Stuff
Posted on August 28, 2008 at 23:06
I came across this fascinating article, dealing with a guy that makes games, and is/was charging $20 per game. He blogged about why so many people were pirating his games.
My first thought was, jeez, that'd be cool if my project gets pirated! Sort of like a vindication of all the hard work and energy.
Here's the article:
But if making games is your full-time job, your means of living, you might take it another way. The guy in the article took it the right way I think.
This is a topic that the movie studios and the recording industry have all wrong of course. You have to recognize the winds of change and adapt, not try to stuff the genie back in the bottle, which can't be done.