Archive for March, 2007

Extension Day 16

All the graphics and maps are complete. Phew. Only one day overdue on my totally ignorable timetable – that’s pretty good. Better than I expected, to be honest.

I should, ah, probably go to bed or something. It’s like three in the morning and I’ve been working at this all day…


Interlude: Autofire 2k7 Contest

I don’t ordinarily play shoot-em-ups at all, but I’ve really enjoyed playing the entries for the Autofire 2K7 Contest over at The results have just been announced, and the overall quality is awesome.

The wining game is Clean Asia, and rightly so too. I’ve been playing this perfectly formed work of genius compulsively since I first found it – it’s way out in front as the best game of 2007 so far. Actually, I can’t think of anything that was released last year that even comes close to this.

I just finished it last night, finally, so I’m feeling pretty chuffed with myself 🙂

Right then. Back to the game.


Extension Day 15

Don’t really have time for a proper update tonight. I didn’t get the graphics finished like I’d hoped, but I at least managed to sketch all the remaining rooms, as well as process and map Stella’s first room.

I’ve taken tomorrow off work, and Monday’s a public holiday here. That gives me four full days to finish this.

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Extension Day 14

Obligatory screenshot:

Today I managed to map all of Crystalus’s and Virga’s rooms. This just leaves me with the group rooms and Stella’s rooms to finish for tomorrow evening, if I’m to stay on target.

I managed to work this fast by taking a shortcut – instead of processing the sketches like normal, I just made a few simple tiles for the in-between rooms, and made the rooms from that. This is a huge time saver for the less detailed rooms like the one in the screenshot above, but it means losing out on whatever arguable consistent “style” those squiggly line room drawings were creating.

This evening I realised that I’m going to have a potential problem when I release this thing: It’s going to be huge. Megabyte wise, that is. At the moment, it looks like the demo’s going to have 20MB of music and 15MB of graphics. Is a 35MB download for a game like this is a little excessive? I’m not sure.

I could do something about it, but I’m not sure I want to. I’m using .pcx for the graphics at the moment (it’s lossless, supported by Allegro by default and it’s more compact than .bmp), and I could cut the graphics size in half if I switched to .png, but that involves adding three new libraries to the engine (libpng, zlib, and loadpng for allegro), which is going to take time I don’t really have. And on the music side? I guess I could reduce the quality of the .ogg files a little, but I’d rather not.

To quote Homer Simpson: “I don’t care! Do any of you care?”

Thought not.


Extension Day 13 (incidentally, I love not having to bother coming up with proper titles)

For the last couple of days, I’ve been making maps for the game. There are about 50 rooms in the demo (about 35 of which are unique sketches), and I’ve basically been working on the assumption that I’ll get everything done, so instead of just working from the start and trying to simply get as much done as I can in the time left, I’ve been picking interesting rooms at random and working on them. Probably not a good idea.

At the moment, I’m aiming to finish all the map work by Thursday evening.

Let me try and give some idea of where I am with this at the moment: The demo can roughly be divided into five areas : Virga’s Area, Crystalus’s Area, Gladius’s area, Stella’s area and the group area. Here’s where I stand on each:

Sketched: All Rooms.
Scanned and Processed: All rooms.
Mapped: Four out of 12 rooms.
Sketched: All Rooms.
Scanned and Processed: All rooms.
Mapped: Only one out of seven rooms.
Sketched: All Rooms.
Scanned and Processed: All rooms.
Mapped: All Rooms.
Sketched: None.
Scanned and Processed: None.
Mapped: None (but there are only three rooms).
Sketched: All but one.
Scanned and Processed: None.
Mapped: None (there are eight rooms).

This evening, I finished work at half six and got two and a half hour’s work done in the library. I managed to process and map five rooms, which isn’t great really. Still, it’s only Tuesday. There’s a whole six days left!



Extension Day 12

Guess what this is.

No way I’m going to get time to implement it, but you never know.


Extension Day 11

I apologise if I haven’t been all that coherent lately : I’ve been totally exhausted for the past two weeks. This contest is starting to take its toll on me.

The contest at RPGDX has been extended for one more week – March the 19th to be exact. Which is great, because there’s no way in hell I was going to get a game out this evening.

If things calm down a little at work next week, I just might be able to get this out in time after all.


Extension Day 9

Phew – I’m exausted… I had to do a lot of overtime this week, and when I wasn’t in the office I was in the library working on the game. I haven’t really had any time to myself since this stupid contest started. And with only two days left, I’m not even close to completion.

At least I’ve managed to draw and scan in all the rooms that I need for the first stage of the game – 35 in total. Some of the “filler” rooms are nothing more than a few squiggly lines! The next step is to process the drawings and create the maps – when that’s done, I’ll still have to put it all together, write the dialogue, code the events…

I made a complete mess of allocating my time for this contest. There’s absolutely no way I’m going to have this finished on Sunday night – unless there’s another extension, I’m going to have to drop out.

Maybe that won’t be such a bad thing. I’ve cut so many corners with this that I’m not sure I want to be associated with it anymore.

Well, anyway. Here’s a few new screenshots from Gladius’s level.

An example of one of those corner’s I’ve cut

Don’t worry, he doesn’t actually say that in the game.

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Down time

My website is down at the moment, due to a problem with my hosting company. I was hoping to have it back up by now, but unfortunately I’m having trouble with the technical support people. So I don’t know when the old site is going to return.

If you’re interested in how my game’s coming along in the meantime, you can check out its project page on RPGDX.

Oh, and if it’s April and you’re still seeing this message, your browser is probably caching the site! That seems to happen with this webhost. Try refreshing a few times. Try it now for luck!

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Extension Day 1

So it turns out there was a cataclysmic stock crash during the week. It means I’m going to be pretty busy for a while at work, which is very bad news for the project… sigh.

Well, regardless I’ve got a treat today. Two, actual, literal screenshots from the game. Have a look see!

First, I made a quick sketch…

Then I processed it the same way as the enemy graphics! Voilà! The first completed area!

From this I also made a proper battle background.

Great! Now I simply need repeat that process 100 times by Sunday week! No problem!

Even way more exciting than this? Josiah has sent me a final version of the game’s boss theme. If you only click one link today, click this one:

Callous (Major Arcana Boss Theme) by Josiah Tobin

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