Sunday, 16 July 2017

Paved With Good Intentions

Puts on gravely voice.

This is road ... to hell.

So, so much for making a development blog every month as I completely forgot during both May and June. Anyhow, here's July's.

SPARKLES! Everything is better with sparkles, and now sparkles are better than ever before! They're now an animated bitmap texture which changes colour and work along a complimentary colour scheme - eg: opposites, red/green, blue/orange, etc



There have also been some serious improvement in AI. Enemies now come in a variety of flavours.
Red are ranged based enemies who shoot projectiles. Light blue are dumb/zombie melee enemies (and thus carry a white stick to denote that they are melee based class) who stalk the player. Purple/magenta are melee class hunters who follow the player. Black are melee class chargers who rush at the player to attack and go flying past if the player can dodge out of their way.

On top of these enemy classes there are also special types of attacks. These are Radioactive Fire who have a green glownig arua and leave a green fire in their path, who do damage on contact; Electricity who can stun the player for a second and thus reduce movement at close range; Retardant which is a yellow falling aura who stun and slow the player for several seconds on contact; and finally Homing missiles, which come in two forms, one which is semi-accurate and can be dodged without too much difficulty and one which is both fast and accurate and very difficult to dodge.



There is also now a game over screen which lists various statistics for the player such as enemies killed, damage absorbed, cash picked up, etc, and also displays a list of swag collected by their icon's. Currently it's only a game over screen for when the player dies but it will also double as an end of level screen once I get level progression coded - and coding level progression is what I am currently working on.

My thoughts on level progression are as follows. Player needs to get to the exit, but the exit requires unlocking from a separate node. The higher the level, the more nodes there will be to unlock. Currently I am in two-minds whether to have the node activated with cash the same way swag collectibles are purchased, or whether to have them activated by having the player stand in the area for a certain amount of time like base/point capturing in an First Person Shooter (like planting the bomb in CoD multiplayer - though I've not played CoD since number 5 WaW, so what are they up to now? CoD 9000?). Either way, when the level exit it unlocked an enemy Boss appears and must be defeated to open the exit. I think that only defeating the end of level boss will be neccessary rather than cleaning out the whole level (like in say, Risk of Rain).

So that's how things are shaping up on the still untitled Swag 'Em Up!

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Power-Up Death March Volume 9000: The Death Marchening

Whoopsie, almost missed the monthly devblog!

So I am still hammering away at the final few power-ups. They are all much more complicated in models and animations and have been taking longer than expected ... which should not really be unexpected as everything always takes longer than expected which is thus ... er ... expected?

Everything looks better with sparkles! Desu!

Time Stop, special defensive item. When activated it stops all enemies from attacking the player for several seconds. There is also a joke about Japan in there. ;)


The original version of the animation had the watch spinning around. However this made it difficult to see the actual movement of the watch needle and the spinning of the internal gears. In the second version I took the spinning out and made the whole object a BBZ, that is a billboard which always faces towards the camera whilst also orientating vertically (the Z axis).

One thing which I discovered was that mesh models of the explosion class object do not use LOD, so the highest level of detail always shows.


And here it is in action against the AI enemy red cubes.

Still more complicated modeling and animations to do for further power-ups before I can get started on actual world building and level creation. Death march onwards ho!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Collectibles Continue

Developing collectible power-ups, bonuses, and general work on creating 108 pick 'em up swagables continues.

I'm in the final stages of creating the events for using special items, where the remaining objects are consist of more complicated models and animations. Much of the audio for special events has been done. I ended up buying a couple of huge audio packs from ImphenziaAB which took some time to wade through as there was several thousand unique sounds and a further several thousand tweaked audio tracks. Many of the sound effects I wanted for in-game events needed multiple sources mixing together.

The following images and videos should give somewhat of a flavour of the special events and power-up collectibles I've been working on, with the whole thing not taking itself overly serious, as can be seen from the description overlay upon picking up the object.

Cuddle Free Zone featuring the "Keep Out" yellow tape from certain Japanese "entertainment"

Rebound Attack which sends the damage back against the attacker

The Floor Is Lava being an old children's game

Fantasy Armour works pretty much as you would expect ... and features a reference to the old Doom invulnerability shader

Ban Hammer - when the enemy gets reported to the mods

Amongst all of these collectibles I've added the randomized chance for a "Swag Dispensor" (I'm gonna need a btter name than that, maybe just "parcel") to drop a poison bomb. The player gets an audio and visual alert of the danger which gives them a small opportunity to get clear.

Poison Trap

 There are only several more special events to finish off, though these require somewhat more complicated animations and modeling than all the previous ones which have been completed - which is why they were left until last. There are around a dozen others which still require audio adding to their events. However the code has already been completed for all 108 special items. Hopefully after this I can finally get on to designing some levels, and seeing which of the design conecpts for building environments work best.