Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Nice Day Outside

I spent a few days recently looking into the Godot game engine recently to see how it's coming along - it's shaping up pretty nicely. It's a lot easier to use now than it used to be.

In any case, today I tweaked some of the shaders a bit to make the game more visually interesting (but hopefully not pointlessly so).

I also recently implemented a "key bot" that you destroy to unlock doors in a room. I think I need to add a "focus on the unlocked doors" cinematic, but I'm unsure on that; maybe just a simple "Zelda tone" will do. I don't know if I want to make the key robots things you need to destroy to move on; earlier ideas for this would be a robot you'd have to catch to unlock the door. I know I don't really want to bother with a whole "inventory" for this purpose, though (an additional key indicator, for example). I think I want it to be simple and easy to approach conceptually.

I plan on starting to create maps using prefabs (I suppose?) soon to help with map creation. I've tried this before in a tutorial video, and it worked out well, I think - hopefully it'll be useful and easy to work with for Gearend. I'm currently trying to decide if I want to go back and re-do the maps I've done so far with them, but I'm unsure. Here's the video, for reference.

Anyway, that's basically what I'm up to at the moment!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Gearend - Finding Focus

Today I spent a pretty fair amount of time in development, but unfortunately didn't get much done. I was trying to get a specific animation effect to work for an enemy, but it didn't work out, and I ended up changing what the enemy looked like to account for the lack of ability to sprite it. That enemy is this one, a self-destructing rolling canister.

I also started spriting a few more enemies, which turned out far creepier than anything else I've done so far, which can be interesting once I get into it. I'll see about animating them and putting them into the game. So far I've got four enemies, which is a nice number for the beginning of the game.

I changed a few of the colors I'd put down so far in an attempt to add some spice and pep to the different tiles, and while I'm not so much of a fan of the new colors, I do like the effect it brings, so it's fine the way it is.

I've gotta really become determined to work on this reliably and consistently if I want to be a dev for a living, so that's something I need to and am working on. It's easy to get distracted when you don't have any need to get up and focus on anything, haha!

So about the whole "re-making of the enemy because I couldn't get the animation to look right" thing - I think I wasted my time there, not because the enemy was so cool the way it was originally (it was just a cube), but rather because in the end, it doesn't really matter too much what individual elements or pieces of my project I might have to sacrifice or alter.

Circumstances change, and something that I might have planned for awhile may not pan out - that's just the way it can be sometimes. However, it's better to make the game and come back later to tweak, update, and fix, than to never release it because you get stuck trying to tweak elements to perfection. My motivation relies on making progress, I think - if I don't, then it's hard to make myself pick up the project. It's something to remember for myself, for sure.

Anyway, thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gearend - Upgrades

Hello there! So, work continues on my projects. For Gearend, I decided to make the first boss a bipedal robot like the player character, which should make it easier to design and work with. I'll introduce him a little bit when I get him into the game, but he's going to be kind of an interesting character, I think.

Today I implemented Energy and Health Upgrades - they're RAM chips and Hard Disks in-game. When you pick them up, they give you a little message about what was on them from a time when humans were prevalent, like "You can see a small puppy sniffing the video camera.", or "It's a video of a middle-aged man returning home to his wife and kids."

(Yeah, I know RAM chips can't store data when they're unplugged, but whatever, I'm trying to make them interesting.)

Just something to make it interesting to pick up the upgrades, kinda like Earthbound's flavor text after you go to the different points of interest or whatever.

Gonna keep chugging away on this!~

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

BGMC 13 - PidiYol

Hey, there. So, BGMC 13 has started, and I've embarked on a somewhat ambitious 3D dungeon crawler / PDL (Procedural Death Labyrinth). The letters "PDL" is actually where the name of the game comes from. I'd like for the game to be fun, of course, but also fast-paced and tense, which I think I'm getting at okay at the moment. I have some basic movement and jumping; I need to deal with sliding down ramps, sprinting, holding weapons, and other things, I think, tomorrow. Some animations should probably also be implemented.

Anyway, I took some time considering pathfinding for enemies or NPCs. Smoking_mirror over at the BlenderArtists forums suggested Djikstra (I think I spelled that right) Maps. The implementation suggested that he linked to was really rather cool, but it seemed a bit too much for my purposes for this week-long challenge. I bookmarked it in case I need it in the future, though.

I'm not familiar with / don't know how to use Blender's built-in recast system, and I don't know if it'll work well with randomly spawned rooms, so that was out of the option. I'd rather not spend too much time setting up waypoints or navmeshes or anything, either. So, I eventually came to the conclusion that my "usual" simple A* node-based pathfinding approach would probably be fine.

That approach is now added to my bghelper module (bghelper.nodemap); it's a fairly basic A* pathfinding approach, but also has weighting available, which should allow me to set up preferenced paths and also allow for multiple characters / enemies moving down passages when necessary or wanted. For example, enemy A's walking down the hall, so enemy B tries to take another path around enemy A. If there is no such path, then the weighting should allow enemy B to find another path if it's short enough and the weight's light enough. If there is no other path, then it should allow enemy B to start on the "poor" path because it's better than nothing. That's the goal, anyway.

Besides that, I finished rigging the player mesh (at least, I don't think I'm going to change anything). To bypass a bug / unimplemented feature (ability to dynamically set vertex colors on a rigged mesh), The parts are all bone parented to the armature, which is a very interesting approach that's kinda awkward, and might come back to bite me in the butt.

I made up some low-res textures processed through GIMP; a nice add-on that I found is the Advanced Make Seamless tool, which seems to handle more complex images better. It would always make the image darker unless I disabled the high-pass filter, which is nice to know. Hopefully I can reuse textures as much as possible, haha. 
Finally, I added some filters I had already made because I thought it would look cool.


Thanks for reading!~

Friday, August 15, 2014

Animations of a Guardian

Starting to animate this big guy. I think he might be a bit difficult, so perhaps he'll be the second or third boss; the first one will probably be something a bit more your size, which should give me a good chance to test out a Bipedal enemy (an enemy that can equip two items, like you).

I got some really awesome feedback from ndee over at the BlenderArtists forums saying that I should vary my darkness levels on my sprite, which I pretty much whole-heartedly agree with; his edit shows some great improvement over my base sprite. Maybe I'll be able to work it in effectively.

Also, I've been listening to this song from the fighting game Under Night In-Birth because it's awesome and I need some rockin' boss music. Gotta step it up on my music, too!

I've implemented another enemy that just sits there and shoots and aims at you; nothing really impressive, so no GIF of that. Just some simple stuff here and there.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

First Boss

So today I added some basic cruddy particles to the Railgun, and added a Shield. Both should be nice items to get in-game (especially the Shield). I also added the basic functionality that was missing to have different animations for the different use states of the item (i.e. the shield has an "idle" state and a "use" state). Using the shield will drain your energy, which obviously is a bad situation to be in. Now that I think about it, perhaps I should add a penalty for dropping to minimal energy - currently, it just serves as a kind of self-replenishing ammo for most offensive actions. Maybe I'll add a "fatigued" state or something.

As of currently, the shield doesn't block melee attacks, though I think that might be a good idea, though it might also be a bit over-powered as well. Need to mull it over a bit more, I think.

I also drew up this dude as the first boss (the new one's on the left):

Not sure how I'm gonna animate him, but I like him, I think.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Camelot-esque Choice System

It's smoother in-game.
Today I implemented a Camelot RPG-esque choice system into Gearend, as well as save stations. I say "Camelot RPG-esque" because Camelot is a game company that made different games (usually RPGs) for handheld consoles, and they usually expressed choices this way - via emoting heads. I liked the idea, so I thought I'd make a similar system for Gearend.

I felt the need for this because I had no way to allow the player to choose either to save or not when they approach and interact with a save station. Now, it gives you the option with these rather excitable heads.

I also worked on a new arm part, as well as the first boss's graphics. I hope to finish the game quickly. Thanks for reading this tiny update!~