Development Diaries

Six's picture



The other night Lackey was showing me some of his game mockups, and I got the idea that it'd be neat to do a Crimsonland-alike (yes, there's surely a better term for those, but nothing springs to mind) with light base-building elements. And hey, it just so happens that Klik is pretty well-suited to that sort of thing! And with BATM@STER I already had a handy WASD-plus-mouse-aiming template to start from. So about four minutes of work yielded this:

It still needs time in the oven, of course: non-bat weapons and breakable barricades and enemy generation, first. Then finer stuff like distinct battlin' and buildin' phases, ammo and constuction limitations, and then maybe some actual balancing. But it's wonderful that Klik makes the distance between conceptualization and execution small enough that I can whip something like that up in a couple of minutes.

I think I'll actually follow through on this one, since I like the concept quite a bit.

Some of the other issues, as a reminder to myself:
-Blood needs to disappear over time. Since each droplet is an active object and there's an (admittedly fuzzy-seeming) ceiling on the number of those that can be present on-screen at any given time, it'll interfere with the base construction and enemy generation if it's not limited. So far that's been more of a pain than it should be due to the animation speed bug.
-Collision detection is ignored when backpedaling, which is weird because the player movement and facing is handled by custom events anyway. Should be fixable with some Active Object Overlapping events, anyway.
-Not trainwrecky enough. Needs more samples. Must find more samples. Also must peruse MIDI collection for appropriate tunes.

Okay. There's still time for some Doom before it's light out. Sometimes it is pretty okay being young and carefree!

kirkjerk's picture

thoughts on development

I'm thinking about what platform I want to code on.

I think Processing has been pretty good to me, and I might stick with it... it lets me use my Java mojo, I've figured out how to do sounds, it can embed in a webpage and make standalone downloads, it has some 3D primitive stuff going on, it's kind of artsy.

The downside is it has a big footprint, in terms of download size and processing power, and its 3D is pretty rudimentary, plus I have to code a lot myself, though I'm slowly making progress on some simple engines.

I prefer to be conservative in picking up toolkits (which is a bit of a handicap my professional life shares as well)

So, criteria would be:
* should be embeddable in a browser ... I think downloads are a big handicap for people tooling around with your game
* I'd like to find some kind of 2D and/or 3D physics engine

Any thoughts? I'm taking a 2 part Flash introduction class, just to try and get a feel if that's something I want to get into. I think of the games at -- but then again, that clearly has a TON of love in the A/V department that my games likely will lack

I was considering pygame, especially since professinally I think cementing my python skills would be a good thing, but I don't think that's embeddable.


In general I think I keep meaning to get more into the online indy game community, tigsource and all that stuff. And I have a hope with my new move reducing my commute to like 25 minutes, I might find it easier to find the time. But even then it's tough to for me to focus when I'm feeling angsty about my chances of making something cool. Also, it's so easy to get jealous when someone grabs an idea I've been thinking about, like heat seeking missles and sproingy rope physics.

PenguinSeph's picture

Rapid Prototyping - KlikShot v0.3

New version of KlikShot! YAY! As this is a rapid prototype, new versions should be very rapidly released.

With this game, you are the little white ship in the bottom of the screen. You have to assemble a war machine for the mighty empire, so that they don't kill your dog or something. But the empire never turns these things off, so as you create it, it's going to shoot at you. Get it? It will make sense when you start playing it, don't worry.

The main new thing is that when finished, the boss you made is evaluated. Each T Block is worth 10 points, and each stand alone turret is worth 20 points. If you have a lot of turrets groups right next to each other, you don't gain as many points from it. This should encourage players to try to build a framework out of T Blocks and then stick turrets onto it, rather than just shooting turrets at the starting core.

The name is a bad pun, as you shoot parts at the enemy that click together. Also, the product I am using is a Clickteam product, which are normally called "Klik" products.

Please be brutal in the comments. I'm not going to learn otherwise. Instructions are in-game. Keys used are arrow keys, Z and X (all cactus style, yeah!)

The .caa file is the source code, if you have MMF feel free to dick around with it.

Changes from last version are:
Better help at start of game.
Sound effects added.
When the game is finished, the thing you made is checked to give up bonus score. Each T piece is worth 10 points. Turrets are worth 20, unless they are close together in which case each turret after the first is worth 10 points.
Have added little rainbow score things that appear when you gain points. They are needed for anyone to make sense of the above.

PenguinSeph - Game Design, Programming (I used MMF1, but it's still programming. In a way,), "Art"
DrPetter of for making sfxr, which was used to create the sound effects.
Everyone who has commented so far!

PenguinSeph's picture

Rapid Prototyping - KlikShot

So, I post here again. Don't ask why, just accept it.

I made something. It's not quite done yet, no sound, shit gfx and one or two bugs I suspect, as well as little balance in the score system, but we have the core of something here.

With this game, you are the little white ship in the bottom of the screen. You have to assemble a war machine for the mighty empire, so that they don't kill your dog or something. But the empire never turns these things off, so as you create it, it's going to shoot at you. Get it? It will make sense when you start playing it, don't worry.

Please be brutal in the comments. I'm not going to learn otherwise. Instructions are in-game.

SpindleyQ's picture


My non-KotMK wrecking time lately has been going into a SECRET PROJECT.

The vision? A game-making tool, built to allow realtime collaboration between designers (think Sauerbraten but 2D and with K&P-like rule-editing), and useful collaboration between designers and programmers (the idea being that programmers can tweak the editor and scripting language to accommodate the kind of game you're making).

As you can imagine, this, uh, isn't a small project. But I won't be happy until it exists, so I'm working on it. There's nothing up on the screen yet, unfortunately, so I don't even have a cool screenshot to show off. I've been concentrating on the data and scripting models, instead. You can comment if you're interested in helping out, though.

Anyway, remember: SECRET.
Don't tell anyone.

qrleon's picture

Snappy Step Simulator

I tried to make a game where you control the rotation of the main character's two stick legs, but the end result was crashing. So I changed it to hopping and alternating feet.

Shift will make you move slower horizontally. Don't let your rocket arms bump into anything. Your feet check constantly for active object overlap, so sometimes it's possible to run across stretches of thin or tiny blocks.

I, uh, need to find a replacement for K&P that doesn't crash. I'm very familiar with the K&P/MMF system and maybe this has been holding me back from switching? I'll look into Game Maker.

qrleon's picture

Tales of the Magic Bubbles


I started with the idea of missing an enemy with your shots being as bad as being hit by one, and somehow ended up with this game. K&P began to crash whenever certain objects were destroyed, so I made the enemies move off-screen when killed.

If you die, hit F2 to restart. press 1 to remove the game-crashing enemies if they're giving you trouble.

EDIT: oops, wrong version.

SpindleyQ's picture

CGA Quest


CGA Quest is my entry into the 11th Ludum Dare 48-hour programming competiton. The theme was "minimalist", so I went with a hideous 4-colour aesthetic and glorious 1-channel PC speaker sound. Overall, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I also used this incredible 48-hour time expanse (a dude can make 23 games in 48 hours, man!) as an excuse to give Game Maker a try, which was pretty positive overall. Game Maker and I, we'll be spending more time together in the future.

Anyway, I'm very interested in your feedback. Was it actually interesting figuring out what you had to do? Did the strict timing requirements drive you to quit in frustration? Isn't that ending a total letdown?

Pizza Time's picture

Sunday Balloon Trip

I was unhappy about not being able to finish Sunday Balloon Trip in the two hours I had so I am going to expand on it until it is finished. Yes, this will be a game I will actually finish making! Or not, let's not jinx it now.

Here is a screenshot of what I did over the past hour. As you can see a lot has changed with the graphics, the old house has been changed into a Balloon Research Facility for instance. What's not in there are the features I have planned like clouds, wind currents that blow you along and little things in the background that fly past you on your peaceful ballooning trip. Oh damn, I am making it more ambitious when I told myself I wouldn't.

snapman's picture

Return of Weekly Updating: do that again

Just when you thought I wasn't going to be updating anymore, a new update comes right out of nowhere!

A while ago I read an interesting article about the indie games scene, and the creation of what they referred to as "a new genre of game" that had arisen entirely due to the efforts of independent developers. While I think it can trace its roots to some rather big budget games first, it is an interesting notion: The origin of the time manipulation game genre. While it probably traces directly to the Prince of Persia commercial title "The Sands of Time", the concept has evolved a fair bit past simply rewinding time, fast forwarding time, pausing time, or perhaps the real father of the genre, bullet time. Now games like Cursor 10 and The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom have multiple timelines: parallel, intersecting, reversed, accelerated, and slowed all together. It's a very interesting concept, allowing for a lot of creativity on the part of the player, as to how the recorded movements are arranged or manipulated.

Which brings me to tonight's topic: Recording and playing back motion in KnP. The mechanic is something new, but that doesn't mean you can't make it in something old. My first thought on this was a description I read once of sending information between multiplayer game clients. It read something like this: "You don't just send the current location of all the players, you also send their direction and velocity. That way the computer can fill in the space between updates by moving the character according to the most recently sampled velocity and location" While taking a look at the path motion in KnP, it looked a lot like the principle from the motion sampling for multiplayer games I'd read about. But there was no way to manipulate a path object during a game, I saw a way to recreate it. If I could draw a path of objects, and have another object read them one at a time, I could record and play back motions.

Using objects for path nodes was necessary because KnP has no support for arrays of any dimensions (except 0!). But I had to make each object numbered, and store a speed and direction. I finally decided I didn't need to store a direction, since that would be taken care of by the position of the next node in the path. So I used a simple trick to number each objects alterable value A immediately after creation, along with storing the recorded object's current speed. Quickly I had a path of numbered objects with stored speeds. It was just a matter of waiting 5 seconds, and adding an object that would start reading at the beginning of the path, changing its speed as it read. The following object very nearly matched the motion of the recording object, with little difficulty or error.

I chose to destroy the path as it was read, but it would be easy to reuse the path as in TMOPBW, or reverse along the path like in sands of time. Or even record multiple paths, by setting the alterable value C!

Attached is the result of my experimenting. The first stage uses the mouse, which is capable of achieving speeds in excess of the KnP maximum 100, so it's not perfect. The second stage records the movement of a platform movement object, with one-way collision between the player and the echo. Press SPACEBAR to switch between the examples.

(It is important to note that this technique is better than constantly creating objects, and repositioning the trailing object at the oldest one. This trick is much smoother by simulating interpolation between points by the recorded velocity. Also, this technique allows for more complex timeline manipulation that this short example file demonstrates)

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