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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Not much happening on the code front...

PART 7 of the BEAT-EM UP TUTORIAL IS OUT..Check it out on the template. It's likely that there's a few mistakes so let me know if you catch any.

Right well, haven't been up to much this past week. Hardly any coding in fact. Added a few new graphics to BountyHunter (link updated), though I'm only mildly satisfied with the way they've turned out. The main ship looks a little cack and resembles a flying iron. That'll change. The Monitors are sort of OK but hmmm.t. I think the Hunters look alright though, bit like pizza crusts but ok. And the Mothership mesh I pinched from a Star Trek model website so it's not even mine - it was already sexy.
What I am quite pleased with is the rotation effect of the ships. I tried to copy the original retrosprite from the game Time Pilot, but was originally worried the effect wouldn't work in 3d. It didn't look good at all in the beginning -sort of made me trip out just looking at it really- but now it's not too shabby.

Hmph. That's about it folks. Will pop in soon.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


Thought I'd drop in with a few words. I've been a bit busy of late. Not just with the coding or work but with playing GTA San Andreas. This might make you laugh, but over in Japan it's just
come out now so I finally had a chance to sink my teeth into it. It's an awesome game, I mean, screwed-up moral issues aside, there's nothing that can top it. Game of the decade. However some levels are waaaay to hard and sadly in all honesty I believe it truly is down to luck and luck alone how you win some races. Never mind though.
Actually I was reading about Rockstar North the other day and had no idea that they were originally DMA, the guys behind the classic 'Hired Guns'. Boy did me and my mates sacrifice some sleep game back in the day between that game and a few joints. It has an atmosphere that still keeps me on edge when I get nostalgic and kick up the old Amiga emulator for a game. Comes to me as no surprise then to hear the same folks invented the equally creative GTA.

Seems like a lot of you are benefiting from the Splatterhouse/Beat-em up tutorials judging by the fairly frequent mails I get. Great stuff. To the guy who asked for the Streets of Rage tutorial- yes this is kind of the direction I'd like to take the tutorials in eventually. I've had an idea in my mind for a beat-em up for ages and will open-source when I get around to starting it.

One thing you should know about beat-em-ups though is that they take a lot of work. Coding a fighting engine isn't the hardest task in the world but creating all the sprites for the backgrounds and the ton of animations for every enemy and proponent takes a lot of time. Still, that being said, watch this space because I'll be making one soon.

Yes you''ll have to be patient though, as I'm in the middle of my little Bounty Hunter space shooter. I suppose you could say I burned out on The Damned about a month ago. The problem was the second level- I simply couldn't think of any way to make it more fun without committing a lot more time to developing the engine and adding some huge changes and wasting a lot of my days piddling around in 3ds Max making models or something else. I tried a kind of spider/man hybrid monster at one point but it KILLED the rendering speed and I kind of well, got coders block after that. People can throw suggestions at you "Chuck in a rocket launcher/Desert Eagle/grenades/flying monkeys"-etc but they forget that you've still got to involve some kind of strategy with the weapon or else it'll make the game too easy. Plus there's the issue of if Flash can even handle half of this stuff. I know that anyone with a shitty computer can't play The Damned over 17 fps and that's just ridiculous. If I just chucked in a load of new weapons that did more and more damage and made the enemies easy to fry it'd be like one of those daft Newground games with no strategy. So, The Damned is currently on halt. That's not to say I won't continue developing it -as it's not my style to leave things unfinished- but I'm kind of chilling out working on my Bounty Hunter game for the time being.

This is a very linear, cutesy little shoot-em up that will only have roughly 16 missions. In fact it's almost done and right now I'm updating all the placeholder graphics with tasty 3d models. I was working on this one 'Hornet' model and the wife is like "What's that?". So I say "It's supposed to be the embodiment of evil within the BountyHunter galaxy", and she goes "It's cute!"..I suppose I, and maybe you, should just be thankful she gives me time to make games at all.

BountyHunter is leading up to a bigger better idea I have to use the engine for related to the old C64 game Magnetron(on top). Magnetron was the first game (bar the prequel Paradroid) that utilised the idea of 'occupying' the enemy robots and using their more advanced skills to further yourself through the game. It was addictive as hell- desperately trying to dance around bouncing bombs to conquer their owner, and turning your cyborg into something worth worshipping. I was playing around with my 2d GTA car demo -something I've been trying to figure a use for- the other day and thought, "Wouldn't it be cool to have a space game where you start off as a little pod or something and you have to attack and defeat stronger enemies to get their craft?" When they're ready for boarding you have to dock the new ships in your spacesuit, but you have to be quick, leaving yourself open for easy annihilation.

Flash is kind of ripe for this sort of little idea, and I may even look into making it multiplayer. Imagine that, a very simple game (no missions) where you roam the galaxy looking for the ultimate space fighter to capture and inhabit, or else defend your already powerful mothership from little bastards chasing you around the galaxy. Every ship you become will have different (randomized) statistics and a variety of secondary weapons. But every ship gets weaker and weaker and eventually you're relegated back to being a crappy pod looking to catch some passing ship when it's weak so that you can inhabit it. Once in an update I'll chuck in a new type of weapon or a passing free-for-all super ship at a set location on the map so that people have to race to get it. It would be interesting to see who gets the highest score for a game like that.
As far I know, anything more complicated would be a stretch as a multiplayer in Flash, but a simple game like that? Actually possible. And really not that hard for me to code since most of the current engine for BountyHunter handles most of what I've already mentioned.

So, let's work on this puppy together, what do you say? Anyone who contributes a REALLY good idea will get credited for it.

All for now folks.

p.s.I'll rustle up the next beat-em up tutorial (losing lives and dying) sometime during March.