Well, this game’s certainly turning out to be a learning experience. And the main lesson is “don’t pick your projects just because you think it’d be cool to play with the tech.” The main factor in deciding to try this one was that I thought the retro-3D rendering looked fun and like something I could reasonably implement in a weekend. What I didn’t take into account is that once that was done I’d be in need of a big old stack of graphical content to make it interesting.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that there wasn’t a hope in hell of me generating the vehicle sprites by hand unless I was planning on releasing “poorly drawn blob racer 2013”. Letting computers do the hard parts is pretty much my job description though, so I figured I could offload all that tricky perspective business to software by using renders of a bunch of 3D models as sprites. With that in mind I popped on my trusty learnin’-hat, fired up Blender and prepared to dive into the exciting world of subdivision modelling.
“Hey, weren’t you making some kind of OutRun-inspired racing game?”, you’re no doubt wondering. Well yes, that was indeed the plan - but as (according to the internets) every famous military leader in history* said, “No battle plan ever survived contact with the enemy.”
So yeah, that game’s not by any means dead yet, but with the end of the month approaching far too quickly it was becoming apparent that I wasn’t going to get it anywhere near done in time., Too much time spent twatting around trying to get the rendering perfectm not enough spent making it actually playable.
Fortunately, last weekend was Ludum Dare 26, which gave me an excuse to temporarily shelve the racer and get down to some Jammin’. The theme this time around was “minimalism”, and I conveniently had an idea lying around that I reckoned would more or less fit.
Another quick update on my racing game. Since the last update I've added textured roads and sprite scaling for cars and roadside scenery. Some of the test sprites I used may look a little familiar - obviously I need to replace those with some slightly more legal ones before release!
This might actually turn out to be fun...
The sprite scaling looks to be very slightly out of sync with the road, but before I worry about that I think the next job is adding in some kind of control system - there's not much point in a racing game where you can't steer...
Quick taster of what I've got in mind for game #4...
Looks like a nice day to go Out for a Run...
So with three games released so far this year, when do I get my Hogwarts letter?
Yep, my third #1GAM entry is now complete and available for download on the platform of your choice. (as long as you choose Windows/Mac/Linux/Android)
Explode ALL THE THINGS!
I’m beginning to notice a bit of a pattern developing with my #1GAM projects. I make a great start the first couple of weeks, then right around week 3 I hit a wall. It tends to go a little like this:
- Week 1. I have an AWESOME IDEA and quickly hack together a prototype.
- Week 2. I flesh out the prototype and end up with a basic implementation of my game idea. With two more weeks to polish this I’m gonna have something AMAZING to show by the end of the month.
- Week 3. Ah, fuck this. I’m tired and nobody cares about my bullshit games anyway. This was a stupid idea, I’m gonna drink some beers and play a real game instead.
- Week 4. OSHITDEADLINEAAAARGHHACKHACKHACKCUTCUTCUTRELEASE
So like clockwork, phase 3 kicked in at the weekend and I didn’t get a damn thing done, so once again I’m faced with a frenzied sprint to get something finished before the deadline.
There’s no way I can keep repeating the same mini-burnout cycle for the whole of 2013 without losing what’s left of my marbles so I’m gonna need to step the schedule back and not try and work on this every day - as a wise man once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.”
I've been a busy little Beerman today. The map generator is now ported across to Java and fully plugged into the game, which means I've got an actual consistent world to wander around rather than just spawning a random room every time you go through a door.
With that in place, I've got a very basic enemy generator (it only spawns grunts right now) in place and a Director class that locks you in the rooms until they're cleared, which is pretty much just about enough to call it a game - not a very *fun* game just yet, but there's still two weeks to go.
Here's how it looks right now...
I’m a couple of days into development on Rogueotron now and the basics are starting to come together a bit. Thanks to the horrors of Regular Paid Employment I’ve only been able to put a couple of hours a night into it during the week but I’ve managed to get the basic movement/firing and transitions between rooms working with some stylishly blocky placeholder graphics.
So yeah, slight change of plan on the March game front. The theme for this month is "Rogue", which I was planning on just ignoring and doing my own thing again, but it's been nagging at me a little. Trouble is, roguelikes tend to be all turn-based and about planning and stuff, which isn't really my style. Lasers and explosions, that's me.
But then today I hit upon the ideal solution - I get to play with some roguelike tropes while still getting to shoot things and have them explode all over the place. Plus, I get to indulge my love of awful puns.
So what is it? Well, it's Robotron again, but with levels and XP and stuff. I've got some procedural map generator code that I originally wrote for Gun Bastard lying around somewhere as well, should be able to dig that out and plug it in and then that's most of a game right there.
Slight change of direction pending for my March game - more details shortly...