Archive for the 'november contest' Category

Leon: “This is no ritual; it’s terrorism.”

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve talked about any of my projects, so I thought it was time for an update.

Aside from the usual coding and all that, I’ve been busy with a business issue which I haven’t talked about here till now.

Essentially, I’ve been looking for funding to continue with what I’m doing next year. My local county enterprise board have turned me down, but there’s something else that I’m looking into which currently looks quite hopeful. Applying to both programmes meant putting together a proposal, which actually ended up taking a lot of work. Essentially, I wrote up a document talking about Independent Gaming as a business, showing that a market existed by demonstrating some success stories, and proving that I had the ability to make something that could compete. I thought it was pretty good, but the first group I showed it to didn’t – they weren’t able to support me because I’m not far enough along. Which I guess is fair enough; after all, I haven’t made a cent at this so far, and it looks like it could be a while before I do.

There’s a European National Development Plan funded course with some financial assistance that I’m going to apply to next, but failing that, my next action will probably be to apply for a loan. But that’s next year’s problem, I guess.

Now. As for my projects!


First of all, I haven’t abandoned Indie Brawl – I’ve just set it to one side. The engine driving it is basically finished – I just need to add enemy AI and any game specific stuff that we may end up needing in the future. Once these other things are out of the way, I’ll revive it. Anyway, there’s a ton of stuff happening on TIGSource at the moment, so I don’t think it’s really being missed.


Secondly, I’m also still working on my November contest entry to RPGDX (tentatively titled “The Tower”). Lots of things have been added (including a cool state based AI system and some stealth stuff). However, as I’ve expanded the project a bit I want to completely redo the graphics – and I’m afraid I don’t want to post any more about it till then. I’ve decided that it’s definitely worth developing, though.

Lastly, I’m working on a new project – a text adventure for TIGSource’s Text the Halls mini contest. Right now it’s kinda up in the air, and I don’t know if I’m going to see it through to the end. The big problem I have is that I can’t settle on a tone. At the moment it’s like it’s two games – on the one hand it’s quite a serious spy drama with lots of political intrigue, on the other it’s a ridiculously silly over-the-top secret agent story with Resident Evil 4 style dialogue and explosions every couple of steps.

I’m going to give a few days before I decide what I’m doing with it.

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November Contest: Wednesday, some indeterminate time

Hey – just thought I should announce that I’m dropping out of the RPGDX contest. This doesn’t mean that I’ve quit working on the new game – just that I won’t have anything for tonight. :)

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November Contest, Tuesday 12:45am

Today was a big let down (programming wise, that is). Slept in, managed to squander the afternoon till I went to college to meet a friend, and didn’t actually get started till nearly half seven in the evening. And then met someone at half nine, so I got less than two hours work done today in total :(

(Hey, on the bright side it beats working :D Also, it has me wondering if maybe I’m not taking enough advantage of the fact that I don’t have to trudge into work everyday…)

It’s a shame that I got three extra days to make this into something cool and I’ve squandered it, but on the other hand, I’m not that bothered about the contest anymore. I’m on to something here, and I’m not going to stop just because I’ve hit what’s essentially a self imposed deadline :) This project deserves another week (at the very least)!

Well, there’s not much change in today’s screenshot from yesterdays, so I’ve put together three little ones highlighting the new features. There’s some visual feedback when you collect stuff, and you can now kill enemies (which was something that badly needed to be added, heh).

Tomorrow’s the last day! I’m not making the same mistake again, so I’ve set the alarm early I’m going straight to the library. I should have something playable to release tomorrow – and with any luck, it’ll be more than just a walkabout demo :)

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November Contest, Monday 12am

Here’s another screenshot!

It’s exactly like the old screenshot, except that there are coins to pickup and status bars and stuff.

Sorry, but I didn’t get a lot done today, just a few small things :(

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November Contest, Sunday, 2am

The contest has been extended. Good thing, too – 48 hours is an insane amount of time to make anything in, heh.

All I have so far is a screenshot. Brace yourself:

Some explainations:
* The main character is the guy in the robe, and he’s casting a level one fire spell.
* Since I was strapped for time, I decided to try something a little experimental with the graphics. Everything in the game is made from continuous blobs of colour layered on top of each other. In my mind, this had more of “crepe paper” look. I’ll try to develop it a bit before wednesday so that it doesn’t look so amateurish.
* Very little is playable just yet. I’ve still got a lot of work to do.

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November Contest: Saturday, 2pm

Right, back from my probably-too-long break, and I had a look for the problem. I spotted it right away.

y1=(particle.x*TSIZE)+particle.xoff;

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November Contest: Saturday, 12pm

Grr Grr arg. Not a great start to the contest.

Implementing particle collision detection is something that’s supposed to be fairly easy… but for some reason it’s not working properly. I’ve been messing about with it for an hour and I’m still getting some bizarre behaviour… like sometimes it’ll work and other times, inexplicably, it won’t. And sometimes it starts insisting that every single particle is colliding with a wall as soon as it’s created! It’s a really simple bit of code and I can’t understand why it isn’t working as it should… :cry:

I’m getting nowhere. I was going to hold off updating until I finished the platformer additions, but I think I need a break from this. I honestly don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I’m sure it’s probably something really stupid.

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November Contest: Saturday, 8:45am

Wow, woke up at 8 and nearly an hour’s past already…

Actually didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. Neighbours were making a fair bit of noise and my sleep patterns are messed up anyway, so it was something like half four or five when I actually got to sleep. If I find it hard to keep my eyes open later on I’ll just take a nap or something.

Right. I don’t have a lot of time here. My basic plan is to get as much engine work done today as possible, and spend tomorrow working on game content. To start with, I need to finish off a few elements of my platformer – most importantly, I need to add collision detection and event management to my particle system. Don’t think it’ll take that long, but you never know – I’m going to be using particles to kludge pretty much everything I need for the game.

Agh, I need to wake up properly. Going for a walk first. Will make a proper update when I have one.

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The end of experimentation

Funny thing – I was all excited about that top down RPG with the non-linear plot, but after a week or so of messing around with different ideas and a buggy engine, I’ve lost interest in it. Maybe a truly non-linear game would be interesting in the sense that it would be nice if one existed, but I’ve got a feeling that it would be a pain to play. You’d finish it, and then the next time through you’d be playing a different progression with the same characters and settings and I just get the impression that the whole thing would become very tedious, and not nearly as interesting as if I’d created one really good linear path. It’s as if the non-linear idea is a substitute for some genuine innovation.

I wasn’t sure for a while, but I’ve made up my mind. That project isn’t really all that interesting to me, so I’m going to scrap it and move on to something else.

The point of that project was to satiate a desire I had to experiment with game ideas that are a little off centre – that mightn’t necessarily work but would at least be a bit interesting. I still feel that way, and earlier on this week, that led me to start a topic on RPGDX wondering if anyone was interested in another contest this weekend; the old style ones, the 48 hour timeframe that seems to have come out of nowhere. Turns out quite a few people are interested. So I organised a contest for this weekend on the forum, and I’m taking part.

Here’s what I posted (in this thread):

Alright, let’s do this thing.

This weekend we’re going to have a 48 hour RPG making contest. It starts from whatever time you wake up on Saturday to whatever time you go to bed at on Sunday, and can be extended into next week if a majority of competitors wish. The theme of the contest is Completion – the idea being that the time limit is the real restriction of the contest and the challenge lies in actually finishing and releasing something.

You may use a premade engine, premade graphics and premade music – anything you have at hand from old placeholders to ripped spites. You may also opt to start from scratch. That’s up to the individual entering. However, the rest of the game’s content must be made during the contest’s 48 hours – content meaning dialogue, level design, and so on.

The contest will by judged on Ms. Congeniality terms – everyone who enters gets one vote and may vote for whoever they like, including themselves. The winner will receive a significant boost to their street credibility.

These rules are not final, so free free to discuss them in this thread. The idea is to keep restrictions to a minimum – however, as the theme is completion and the time limit’s fairly short, it’s recommended that you keep your ideas simple and aim to release something by Sunday night.

Just to clarify a few questions that have been asked (and to preempt a few more):
* You must design the actual game during the contest, but you may use premade graphical and music resources, and you can use a premade engine.
* By premade engine, this can be any core program you’ve made yourself, or alternatively game making software of any kind, including Gamemaker, RPG Maker, OHRRPGCE, Multimedia Fusion, etc…
* It doesn’t matter what platform your game runs on.
* You may work in teams! However, teams only get one vote, so you’ll have to decide among yourselves who you want to vote for.

That’s it. Like I said above, feel free to disagree with any of this or ask for clarifications and we’ll amend the rules.

Also, if you want to discuss your projects during the contest you can drop in to our IRC channel at #indie-rpg on irc.esper.net.

It starts tomorrow!

So, after suggesting that, I got to work thinking about what I’d enter. At first I was just going to do a traditional enough game, but that led to me thinking about what engine I’d use – it’s either a choice between starting from scratch, or using the monolithic, bloated “Project Distraction” RPG engine that I used for Major Arcana. Getting reacquainted with the distraction engine at this point would probably take a day at least, and tailoring it for the contest a day more. On the other hand, making any RPG engine from scratch is pretty time consuming.

I couldn’t decide which way to go, but then I remembered this:

The platform game engine I’ve been working on for Indie Brawl. It’s gotten pretty sophisticated in the few weeks I’ve been working on it on and off. It led to me to thinking about a much more interesting project: a Platform/RPG hybrid.

It all came together very quickly: the mechanics of the game, the plot, some cool gameplay ideas – out of nowhere I suddenly had a game idea I really liked! And it’ll work with an engine I’m really familiar with!

So that’s my plan :) First problem is that I’m going to need to do some significant work on the engine before it’ll realistically support an RPG – in fact, I even need to do some work on the platforming elements. I don’t see myself finishing this in 48 hours – but I do see myself having something playable.

Wow, didn’t mean to ramble on so long… I’ll probably be posting a lot tomorrow too – hopefully by sunday night I’ll be able to release something.

Oh, and if you’re a programmer with nothing to do this weekend, join in!

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