Bosca Ceoil v2.0

boscalogo

I’ve very happy to announce a brand new version of my beginner’s music making tool Bosca Ceoil! This is version 2.0, the first major update since it was released in 2013. This new version of the tool is a significant update, and adds lots of features and improvements. Head to boscaceoil.net to download it!

If you’re totally new to Bosca Ceoil, the new site should tell you everything you need to know about what it is and what it can do. If you’ve used it before, here’s what’s changed:

bosca4

Midi and XM Support

A major problem that Bosca always had is that it was kind of a dead end: if you made a song with it, you could save it as a .ceol, or export it as a .wav – but that was that.

So one of the most important things that’s new is support for exporting as a midi file! Midi files are supported by lots of popular music applications, so this means that it’s now possible to, for example, use Bosca to compose the actual notes, and then later import the song into something like FLStudio so you can add VST instruments.

Also, in addition to midis, Bosca can now also export .XM files and .MML files, thanks to contributions by Rob Hunter!

boscafullscreen

Resizable Window

I made Bosca Ceoil the same way I make games – with a fixed resolution, running at 60FPS. Which is great for games, but not so good for an app that you might want to leave running in the background while you work on other stuff, say.

The new version of Bosca has a proper resizeable window, so you can see a lot more of the song you’re composing. It’s something it should have had all along, and it makes it infinitely nicer to work with!

It’s also gotten some major performance boosts with caching and CPU throttling, and is generally just much happier about running in the background than it used to be.

bosca2

Nicer GUI

Bosca’s GUI has had a makeover. Things are generally brighter, clearer and more responsive!

Web Version

Thanks for Chris Kim, you can now use Bosca right in your web browser, without downloading anything! Try it here!

bosca_tutorial

Built in Tutorial

At long last, Bosca has a built in tutorial, with nice, clear little pop up windows! This is something I’m really happy about – Bosca’s a beginner’s tool, and this does a lot to make it that bit more accessible.

Bosca Ceoil is a completely free, open source project, and I’m very grateful to the contributions others have made to it – especially Chris Kim for his flash web port, Rob Hunter for writing the .XM and .MML exporters, and Damien L, who forked Bosca back to Air 2.6 so that it could be used on Linux. Thank you so much for your help!

Hope you enjoy the new version!

* 5 Comments

Something new

PICO-8_0

Been working on a little game in Lexaloffle’s fantasy console Pico-8 recently! No idea where it’s going yet.

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Hello World

Sprite by Konett, Background by Zylinder from the Ren'Py Lemma Soft Forums!

An image from chapter one of my programming tutorial, how to make a visual novel. The tutorial starts from scratch, and each chapter teaches you how to make a game in a new genre!

Since I last posted, I’ve mostly been working on that beginner’s game programming tutorial, and the beginner library that accompanies it. That library is already out in the world, on Github, but isn’t quite ready yet. It’ll be done when the tutorial’s done!

My main reason for writing this thing is because I’m a self taught coder myself, and when I was younger I benefited a lot from reading tutorials not unlike the one I’m writing. Writing this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time – it feels important.

Along the way, I’ve been talking to smarter people than me, and learning new tricks to hide confusing codey ideas as much as possible. Hello world in my tutorial looks like this:

import terrylib.*;

class Main {
  function update() {
    Text.display(0, 0, "Hello World");
  }
}

This is probably going to take another few weeks, but I’m gonna stick with it until it’s done. Then, back to making my own games! Woo!

* 4 Comments

Projects between projects

bosca2

Boo, getting a little out of the habit of making blog posts again. Well, here’s what I’ve been up to!

My main project right now is my untitled stealthy action roguelike, which started for 7DRL and then got seriously out of hand.

I needed a break to do other stuff, but I’m trying to avoid my usual trap of starting lots of stuff that I never finish – so, I’m finishing stuff. I made a list of non-game stuff, and I’m working through it!

Bosca Ceoil Update:

Been adding some cool new features to this over the past week or so! Things to look forward to include: new file format support, performance increases, some nice interface additions like transpose buttons. I’m also hoping to include a built in tutorial, to replace the out of date online one and make it that bit more accessible to beginners.

Elizascript:

DONE! This was a pretty fun thing to work on! I guess at some point I might do a little more work on it so that chatbots can face off against each other…

Super Hexagon Update:

Since it was getting pretty obvious I wasn’t going to get around to this myself, I put out a call for help. That’s going great!

A Programming Library:

I’ve been very won over by Haxe and OpenFL, which is what I’ve used for every game I’ve worked on this year. I wanna make a tiny programming library in it, aimed at beginners, which gives you a simple, BASIC like starting point for making games. That’s almost done! It’s actually part of another project I’ve been working on lately, namely:

A Programming Tutorial:

I’m thinking of calling it “Learn to Program Badly with Terry“. Or something else, probably.

There’s this message out there right now: “you can make video games even if you’re not a programmer!“. Which is very true! But it implies something about programming: that it’s a lot of work. That’s it too hard. That it’s somehow in the way of you and the game that you want to make.

I think this message, without intending to, scares people away from programming – people who might really enjoy it! Programming can be a lot of fun, and can give you a lot of freedom to approach things in new and unique ways. The problem is just that it’s really inaccessible. Getting started from nothing is tough, and it’s getting tougher.

Programming is a big subject, for sure, but the amount of it that you actually need to know to make stuff is surprisingly small, and isn’t as scary as a lot people make it out to be. So, I thought I’d have a go at making that case – a total beginners guide to game programming. Coming soon!

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Wanted: iOS Coder for Super Hexagon update

(thanks for the pic, theverge.com!)

EDIT: No longer looking for help with this. Thank you!

Hey hey – sorry for the boring help wanted post!

Since I got back from Berlin, I’ve been taking a little time out to fix up and finish small things before I dive back into my big roguelike. In particular, that’s meant fixing up copycat, making Elizascript, and a few other tiny things I’m working on at the moment. I’ll have more to say about that soon. Right now? One thing I’ve needed to do for some time is a Super Hexagon update on iPhone.

Every other version of Super Hexagon – desktop, android, blackberry – is based on the OpenFramework C++ port I made after the iPhone version came out. I consider that the definitive, final version of the game. The iPhone version is the original flash version – which is pretty solid, but has some problems.

In particular, it doesn’t have retina graphics, which is something that’s looking more and more dated with each new iPhone.

I’d really love to port the OpenFrameworks version of the game back to iPhones – it would leave the game running smoothly and perfectly on the latest versions of iOS, and would finally upgrade the game to a retina resolution. But I’ve been terrified to touch it – I had a scare with the iPhone 5 update where people briefly lost thier save games, and I’m really worried that an engine change could mean that happening again.

So, I’m looking for help! I’m looking for someone to port the OpenFrameworks version of Super Hexagon to iPhone, and I’m particularly concerned that it picks up the flash SharedObject save file.

If you’re interested, here’s what you’d need to be able to do:
– Have some experience building and releasing games on iOS.
– Be familar with OpenFrameworks on iOS, and port over the current OpenFrameworks version of the game.
– Be *somewhat* familar with Adobe AIR, and dealing with flash SharedObjects on mobile.
– Convince me the the save files will be safe when the update goes live!
– Ideally, have access to several iOS devices for testing.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, get in touch, and we can discuss it further! Cheers!

EDIT: No longer looking for help with this. Thank you!

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Elizascript

drunkbot

So, here’s a little thing I’ve just finished! It’s called Elizascript, and it’s an online tool for making tiny chatbots! Try it! There’s a Quick Start Guide on the website, or you could just ask Liz for help:

[Elizascript]

The chatbot in the screenshot above is by Holly Gramazio, and you can comfort it yourself here!

[chatbot’s morning after]

Very big thanks to Stephen as usual, who pushed me into getting this done and answered lots of annoying questions and listened to me whine a lot about hating Javascript. Lots of the tricky website stuff in the background is straight from his project, Puzzlescript, which itself was a big inspiration for this.

* 3 Comments

Post-Compo Copycat

copycattitle

Copycat is better now. Yay! I’ve also made downloadable versions! Play it here:

[Play Online (Flash)]

[Download for Windows] | [Download for OSX] | [Download for Linux]
[Source Code]

The new version has the blue title screen – if you still get the old black one, try refreshing your browser with CTRL-F5.

I changed LOTS of little things for this – too many to list – but here are the highlights:
– Turn order is set in stone – everything’s more predictable and fair.
– Swords are much more powerful now – they block guns, and the point of a sword is always dangerous.
– Sword versus sword combat is also very different – you need to hit sword enemies from the side.
– Dasher enemies have changed!
– You can see where enemies are going to spawn from next!
– Enemy spawn rate is faster!
– Lots of tiny edge cases have been tinkered with.

Some things are harder, some things are easier, but overall it’s probably harder than it was. However, I think it’s also a lot more solid and fun. Enjoy!

* 8 Comments

One more thing

copycatgif

Been working on a post-compo update for Copycat today. Really I should have done this last week, but better later than never!

Basically, I felt like Copycat could be quite a lot better than it is with a few tiny changes – and it’s looking like I was right! I’ll go into some detail about what I’ve changed when I finish up and upload the new build tomorrow…

* 3 Comments

Copycat

copycat

Something small for Ludum Dare.

[Play Online (Flash)]

[Download for Windows] | [Download for OSX] | [Download for Linux]
[Ludum Dare Page] | [Source Code]

Turn based action game.

Defeat enemies to absorb their power.

Destroy the mimic crystal to ascend.

* 11 Comments

Weapon Game

ldgame

Ok, I guess I’m making something for Ludum Dare!

This is an idea I had for 7DRL, which probably would have been much more doable in 7 days – it’s got the same ranged combat stuff as my bigger current roguelike, but whenever you take out an enemy, you take their weapon!

It’s feeling pretty fun and releasable right now, but I wanna smooth a few rough edges tomorrow and do some non-ascii graphics for it before I upload…

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