Posts Tagged ‘behavior trees’

Democracy – Post Mortem

Posted by
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 12:13 pm

Theme

I have have to say that I hate this theme. Really, there were so many good themes there, why this one could win? Damn you!!!! The theme isn’t an excuse to not do a game, but I spent so much time thinking of what I could do with this… A game not based on fights? Weapon is love? The weapon must be abstract! This is clichê? Oh damn… I finally came up with an idea, after 14 hours (counting sleep time)!

My game entry is about “democracy”, with quotes. The democracy and progress are the weapon of the government in the game, they want you to attack other species in order to “spread democracy and progress through the galaxy”. The player controls the invasions to planets inhabited by bugs with the goal to kill the natives and collect the planet resources.

The game is a very humble tribute to starship troopers (novel by Robert Heinlein and film by Paul Verhoven and Edward Neumeier). I wanted to create, somehow, the sense of order and progress presented by movie.

Development

I always start by the core mechanics because it is the main component of the game – if I can’t find time to make graphics, at least I have a block-based game.

I also always wanted to create a game in a circular world, that was my excuse. I had no idea how to do that, but at is was pretty simple. You have a world centered at (0, 0) with radius (r), than you can set the origin of all objects in the world to (0, r) and only manipulate the rotation to place than in the world.

After the basic world structure, I could drop structures, and these structures could create units. To control the units, I created a behavior tree to control each unit – the first time I really use behavior3js – and a behavior tree to control the bugs strategy. Figure below show these behaviors trees:

Behavior tree for player and enemy units – Click to see in full size.

Behavior tree for player and enemy units – Click to see in full size.

Behavior tree for the nests, its used to create orders to enemy units – Click to see in full size.

Behavior tree for the nests, its used to create orders to enemy units – Click to see in full size.

Then it came to particles and easing! Man, I love these two. The animation below shows the game at this point:

sample2

After 28 hours I started to create the sprites and visual things in the world. I was stupid enough to lost time adding some details to sprites that don’t even will see because the sprites are very small (about 20 pixels). I also spend a good time trying to create a futurist screen aspect, which ended up very cool.

I added some scenes, UI and some other effects to the graphics:

sample3

When the clock marked 5 hours to end the competition I started create sounds effects and music. I was desperate because of the time, I still had to adjust the levels of my game and I didn’t know what to do with sounds. At the end it was pretty simple and I didn’t do much, actually recorded some sounds with Audacity, generated most of them in BFXR and generated the music in SoundHelix.

I finished the game in the packing hour, the extra hour after 48, the time to deploy and write about your game.

Summary:

Good stuff:

  • Game finished is always good!
  • I’m using BTs successfully, even to control hundreds of creatures.
  • A circular world (always wanted to try).
  • Visually smooth and lot of cool PARTICLES!!!!!
  • Generative music and sounds worked well.

Bad stuff:

  • Balancing is hard as hell, I couldn’t do that properly.
  • Some details missing, especially the visual feedback when you win the game and the bug when restarting a level before a tween is complete.
  • Isn’t much fun due to balance, few types of units, and few levels.

I’m very critic about my games, I really fell for to not balance properly and create more content to the game, but well, it was made in 48 hours and this time the good stuff was really good! Moreover, this was the most complex and complete game I ever made for LD, it was really hard to do, thus of course some things would be missing.

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PLAY HERE

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Democracy – Progress Report #3

Posted by
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 10:00 am

Didn’t sleep, can’t write anymore.

What is done:

– Base gameplay, IA, combat, graphics, effects, menus, credits…

What must be done:

– Levels / tutorials, balance gampley, music and effects

From:

sample1

To:

sample3

Democracy – Progress Report #2

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 11:15 pm

20 hours to end.

My game uses “Democracy” as the instance of the theme, strongly based on Starship Troopers.

I finished the core gameplay, which contains:

  • All units and structures of the game;
  • Hierarchiral Behavior Trees to control enemy’s units and global strategy;
  • A basic behavior tree to control the player’s units;
  • The basic effects;
  • Constraints to buy and create structures;

What is in my todo list:

  • All other screens, including an introduction based on the movie;
  • All graphics and animations;
  • All musics and SFXs;
  • Balance and polish the gameplay;

Check it out:

sample2

Now, back to work.

Finally! Love Craft!

Posted by
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 5:56 pm

Finally done! And now with a name: Love Craft!

I wanted to do something not related to space, since most of the entries will do that. So I thought in connect worlds metaphorically. “Everybody wants a person to share a life, to found a family, to fall in love, to marry, etc; and when this happen, one person connects its own world to the other”.

I’ve lost so much time on Behavior Trees that I couldn’t add the sounds, what is a shame. However, I kept my initial plan (first time) and I enjoyed the resulting game. It is not that fun, but I liked anyway.

ss1-menu

ss5-gameplay

(View Entry | Play Game)

Totally late on my schedule!

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 6:51 pm

So, I’ve learned that is not a good idea to implement from scratch a behavior tree library to the LD. I also have learned that debugging a behavior tree without a visual interface is very, very, very, very, very hard. Anyway, I finished the behavior tree implementation and the behaviors are almost finished (I still have to test and change some parameters). Now I have agents that run alone in the park, find some company and act in a conversation.

860797ff7a74cd6c254297e3ade0c157

Still a lot to do!

3rd LD, I’m in

Posted by
Thursday, August 21st, 2014 12:28 pm

This is my 3rd ludum dare and I am going to use the same tools as always:

Independent from the theme, I’m hoping to use behavior trees to control some NPC’s (I wrote a 3-part tutorial on behavior trees on my blog) and I am praying to all gods to elect “You Are Already Dead” as the final theme!

 

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