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Infection – Postmortem

Posted by
Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 1:11 pm

Well I finished within the 48 hour deadline and my game is in a playable state, for that I am extremely happy!  I’m glad that I decided to participate and look forward to doing it again.  Next time I think I will try to target web or use MonoGame so that it will be playable on Linux.

What Went Right

The Artwork
It’s very crude but given my skills I am pleased with how it looks.  All of the sprites were drawn by hand in Paint.net.  Also I decided to add some 2 frame animations to the virus and antigens, which was well worth the effort.

The Music
I was hoping to do a piano and drum track, but given that I have no skills in music production I had to resort to tool-generated music.  I think it sounds good and I’m glad I added it.  I’m especially happy that I was able to add a special track to play when you beat the game.

The Map
I was able to implement a map 5000×5000 pixels across that wraps the player around to the other side when they cross the boundaries.  I had never implemented a map like this so it was a fun challenge.  I almost had to abandon the idea when I realized that I would have trouble with drawing when the player is near the edge of the map due to the fact that I would need to render something at the other end of the world as if it were close to you.

What Went Wrong

Collision Detection
I really need to figure out an efficient algorithm for collision checks.  Normally efficiency is far from my mind, but when an algorithm is running 30,000+ comparisons 60 times a second efficiency is extremely important.  Because collision checking took so much system resources, I was forced to abandon some of my gameplay ideas.  If I continue to work on the game after this competition this will be the first area I address.

Gameplay
It’s more of an extremely casual simulation than a game.  It’s trivially easy to beat, and you probably won’t die a single time unless you try to.  I’ve learned from my other game experiments that getting fun gameplay is the hardest part of game design, and that remains true here.

Things That Were Cut

  • In-Game Tutorial
  • Additional spawning of enemies and cells to make the game harder as you progress
  • Ability to name your virus
  • I wanted to make the cells wobble
  • Animations for virus birth
  • Collision between cells
  • AI for virus/enemies (white blood cells should seek out viruses)
  • Background texture with parallax scrolling
  • Alternate textures/rotations for cells so everything doesn’t look identical
  • More evolution paths (including the ability to infect white blood cells)
  • Different cell types (tissue, blood, and nerve)

Play the game!

Finished!

Posted by
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 6:23 pm

Wow, what a day!  I got an incredible amount of work done today and I have a finished game!  I guess it’s more of a simple simulation than a game just because it is so easy to avoid dying but I think it’s fun just to float around and listen to the music.  I’m very happy with the sprites that I drew and the music that was generated.

So the gist of the game is that you are a virus and you float around and infect cells to reproduce and dodge white blood cells and antigens.  After you have infected enough cells you get to chose how you want your virus to evolve, which boils down to some pretty simple buffs.  Meanwhile you can watch your “children” float around and infect other cells and get wiped out by the immune system.

The most challenging programming problem I ran into was how to have the sprites wrap around to the other side of the map and still have them be drawn in the correct place and have culling and collision checks working properly.  I had never done anything like this before.  I figured out the drawing and culling problem but the collision issue is left outstanding for another day.

I will be writing up a postmortem in the next few days to go over the process and what had to be cut.

Day 1 Progress

Posted by
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 9:30 pm

Day one is complete…  In addition to spending most of my day celebrating my girlfriend’s birthday, I have created art for tissue cells, white blood cells, and antigens.  It’s nothing spectacular but it’s good enough for me to start working on more game-play.  I have also added simple rules to kill off the virus on contact with white blood cells or antigens.

Tomorrow I will be finalizing the game-play and hopefully find time to add some evolution.  Even though there isn’t much gaminess I find it interesting just to float around and infect things.

https://github.com/Wydra/LD24

They are coming…

Posted by
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 10:09 am

Just a quick update before I go out to celebrate the girlfriend’s birthday.  I’m going with viral theme: You will control a virus that evolves and attempts to take out the person you are living in.  I have the basic infection mechanic done at this point.

For now you will have to use your imagination that the white squares are cells.

https://github.com/Wydra/LD24

First Time – I’m In

Posted by
Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 7:42 pm

This will be my first LD entry.  I have never really completed a game so hopefully this will help with that.  Going to have to keep it extra simple because I have obligations on Saturday.

Tools:

  • C#/XNA Framework/Visual Studio 2010
  • BFXR for sound
  • Paint.net for graphics
  • Base engine code that I have previously written
  • Possibly using Tiled for tiling engine

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