Posts Tagged ‘little quirks’

A Little Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 2:49 pm

Well, as I’ve been working on it throughout the week, I’ve been putting a lot more effort into it, and it’s been going way past the original 48hr game concept, hehe.
As such, I thought I’d post up a post-mortem on what went wrong in the 48 hours, and what went right.

The Good.

The theme was great. I love sandbox style games, be it sandbox in a “giant world to do as you please” sense, or even in a “here’s a puzzle, figure it out as you like” sense – as Little Quirks was to be. So that got the creative juices flowing, so to speak!

My concept was very simple – basically a Lemmings clone where they can crawl up and along walls and ceilings. The art was nice and simple too, fitting with the cute aesthetics as well.

The engine was in better shape than last time, after being used in another couple of projects since LD11 ( Plight of The Weedunks being one of the most well known – yes, this is basically the same engine, minus the 3D layer! ) and I got something up and running very quickly, and only took an hour to upgrade the engine to do dynamic colour replacement.

The Bad.

Hard drive hiccup. That wasn’t fun, especially seeing as I’ve just recently replaced one of them. Losing several hours of work is a killer, and more so when you’re in the middle of an SVN commit to an external server to try and avoid losing too much. Moral of the story, save and commit often!

Sound. Or lack thereof. I actually factored no time in for sound. This may have went against me if I had actually finished within the time limit. Something to be wary of for LD15; making time for everything is quite tough, but then that’s half the challange of Ludum Dare!

The Ugly.

Tilechecks are quick, and for the most part work very well. However, when there’s a lot of logic behind what your entities are doing (crawling around any side of a tile), those tilechecks quickly spiral out of control. I really should have been doing pixel checking with a hotspot being at the bottom of the sprite. Then again, I was able to get a ludicrous amount of them squirming around, with a full Lua-based state machine for each of them which a more expensive pixel check routine may not have allowed. A puzzle for sure as to what would’ve been better 😉

What Next?

It’s become apparant that there’s actually a bit of depth in this concept while I’ve been continuing it after work, and it’s been slowly going beyond just a 48hr game. I’ve decided to continue working on it on the run up to LD15, as it’ll let me see what my engine still requires, and fix some of the hideous bugs I’ve uncovered along the way.

I’ll still be releasing the game – source and all – when it’s done, and probably post it up here complete with final tag … more than likely 48 days after MiniLD11 rather than 48 hours 😉
The game was also designed for handhelds ( GP2X, Wiz, and Dingoo in particular – click for image – ) so you’ll probably see it on one of the sites for those hand helds when it’s done too :)

And it’s going to be late…

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Sunday, July 26th, 2009 3:41 pm

After losing several hours of work due to a hard drive hiccup ( annoyingly while I was backing up the code to SVN at the time ) I won’t be able to finish this within the 48 hours.. I can’t even release anything just now as it’s currently very broken. :(

The code I lost was most of the refactored state machine – which worked properly! So I’ve been having to rewrite that again, and it’s not pretty.. specially seeing as it’s not working as well as it was.
I shall be continuing this throughout the week when I get back from work, so I’m hoping to have it finished by the end of the week.. though if I was to restart it, I’d be writing an actual pixel detection routine as this tilecheck system is just hideous!

Once it’s done, I’ll write up a post mortem of what went right, and what shot me in the bum.
Here’s a picture of it’s current state ( clicky for full screen ):
A Small Army of Quirks
That’s 256 Quirks running around a screen area of 1024×768.. it’s now got a dynamic playfield so if you set the config file to any ( reasonable ) resolution, it’ll create a playfield big enough for you.

That’s it just now.. as a warm up to LD15, it’s highlighted a few issues that I’ll need to resolve to take part properly… but it’s been fun anyway :)
Apologies that I couldn’t finish in time, but I’ve had a lot of good feedback from this so far, so I’ll try get it done throughout the week.

The Half Way Mark…

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Sunday, July 26th, 2009 6:33 am

As I’m going by 48 hours since I started, I have about 20 hours left.

I have hit a problem in that the Quirks’ state machine is rather unwieldy and complex… a better solution would have been doing pixel detection, but my engine doesn’t currently support that ( something I’ve noted down to fix later ) as such, it does a variety of tile checks depending on the Quirk’s orientation and direction.
This is unbelievably nasty… and it’s forced me to go back a bit and redesign it all on paper first so I can see all the combinations I can get. It’s still going to end up a massive mess, but I can atleast tackle each segment at a time and make it a bit more bearable to code!

I’ve also realised that I’ve spent most of my time wrestling with the code and doing some ( basic ) graphics.. there’s no sound effects of any sort, and I’m thinking I’m going to have to squeeze them in in the last two or three hours before packaging it up.

On the plus side, there’s now interaction! There’s now randomly coloured Quirks! And the engine can sustain about 256 Quirks ( nice retro number to coincide with the graphics! ) before slowing down! I did have it throwing about 900 on the screen, but it slows a fair bit, as each Quirk gets it’s own monolithic 500 line state machine 😉 ( and that state machine isn’t even finished yet! )

Many Coloured Quirks

Here’s a hundred Quirks, with an updated Graphics set, and the red box o’doom cursor 😉

End of First Day

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Saturday, July 25th, 2009 3:41 pm

That’s the end of the first day and I’ve got quite a bit done.. most of the state machine for the Quirks is complete so they act… Quirky? 😉

Anyway, for a windows binary to see how it’s progressed click here.

Screenshot 2

I also managed to do authentic Spectrum style attribute clash by accident!
I’ve left this in for retro goodness, hehe.. I know what I did wrong too ( my pixel replacement routine goes over the entire screen buffer, rather than the individual animation frame buffer ) so it’s all good.

Basically there’ll be two modes.. puzzle and sandbox.
Puzzle is basically a Lemmings clone, get them from A->B without killing them ( falling from a great distance will kill them! )

Sandbox is a bit more interesting… taking on GEvOlve’s territory again, they breed.. and this is where the colours come into play. Each offspring is a combination of the parent’s colour :) should be good for a random screensaver like thing! Basically, just keep them happy by building them things to clamber over and have them breed. As the puzzle part relies on everything in this mode, this is being done first ( and it matches the rules anyway 😉 )

Hopefully I can get this done for tomorrow night, so till then, enjoy the little quirks running around 😉

Little Quirks

Posted by (twitter: @stuckieGAMEZ)
Saturday, July 25th, 2009 2:01 am

So I’ve decided to attempt this mini-LD, even though the last two main LDs I’ve taken part in, I’ve been unable to finish ( LD5 and LD11 )

Hopefully, this time due to it being a miniLD, the rules aren’t completely strict so that if something crops up, I’ll be able to finish it just slightly later.
I’m completely mad for doing this with the amount of work I have going just now, but my concept is quite simple, and so is my art!

So, without further ado, I give you my concept graphics:
Little Quirks Concept

Looking somewhat like “Steg the Slug” rejects, these little guys love climbing around things.
They can stick to walls pretty well and clamber over 45 degree inclines, but as our little red friend in the top right shows – they can’t do 90 degrees.

The colours are important too… but I’ll explain that a bit later once I have something running!

I’ll be using my SGZEngine again, as I did for GeVolve for LD11.. though no adding whole new renderers this time, which should allow me to actually finish it! 😉

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