The Tequila Den

Combines the world of Tequila with Games.

Tag Archives: canasta

Threw it out there…

Late last night I decided to stop production on Canasta. That’s because I decided it was worthy enough of a 1.0 release. So that’s exactly what I did, closed it up and threw it in a zipped up folder for the world to play around with.

Canasta 1.0 (May 5, 2017)

My only regret about it right now is that I didn’t do as many “tool tips” and a real proper read-me file to accompany the game. My only suggestion, if you’re going to try and play it, is to google rules to Canasta and get a feel for how the game is played. Rules to this are a bit different but for the most part, they’re relatively the same. I’ll try and include something in the near future, but can’t guarantee anything at this time.

Feel free to comment to this (or any) post or email me (4tee1.mk@gmail.com) and I’ll do my best to help you out.

Back to planning…

Making up for shortcomings…

I’ve spent the better part of the last couple of weeks going crazy over Canasta. It seems today it has finally paid off. I’m glad to announce that it right near reaching that elusive 1.0. It was a mighty struggle over the last few days in getting the AI to act properly under certain conditions, but after some constructive bug hunting, many of those have subsided. It was surprising to have the AI beat me, even when I could see their hands. I’ll have to dust off some strategies so that doesn’t happen again.

So, what’s missing before the 1.0 release? Well, there’s still a few things I’d like to clean up before I release it to the world (all… 3 of you that might see this,) I want to polish some of the animations I’m currently doing and adding a few tool tips in regards to game-play. It’s bad when you, as the script-er, forget some of the controls and necessary keys to actually play the game. I will also have to write some sort of ‘rules’ document to accompany the game as its not a completely common game to most. I was toying with the idea to have a bit of a sample hand, but I think that’ll be a 2.0 experience.

After the release of Canasta coming soon I can focus my energy on a game that’s been cooking up in my head this past while that just recently started hitting paper. I began thinking that one of my major pitfalls of getting ‘mouse’ or what should starting calling ‘rat’, is the lack of planning. It terms of canasta & traders I’ve actually planned a lot of the games’ GUI, functions and features on paper/word doc. I need to start doing this for ‘rat’ more extensively.

At roughly three o’clock this morning, when I had a bit of trouble sleeping, I opened up notes on my iPhone and started jotting down the ideas and story that I’ve concocted in my brain. Currently I was struggling with how to tie certain ideas together to make it all work. The biggest struggle for sure has been debating between sand-boxing and a more linear story line. As of now, it’ll be a mix of both, with more of a loose story and more of a sandbox given the universe it is loosely (or tightly [undecided]) based in.

But for now, Canasta is going to make the jump to 1.0. Stay tuned.

Back in the saddle…

I’ve been a bit of a rock-star the last few days in regards to getting Canasta finished. I’ve nearly got most cases finished in the new AI scheme and it’s looking rather promising. I hit a few snags after the initial implementation, most being a few type errors on my part, and the other half stemming from me not paying attention or simply using the wrong parameters or creating a new undefined variable. For now it seems as though many of the bugs have been flushed out. Now to add a few more cases for the AI not to play so mindless and to fix some ungodly animation errors. Although, it is fun to see cards fly across the screen in one direction, even though they should be flowing in the opposite direction.

I haven’t done any sprite-ing or art of any kind the last few days. I’ve rather taken the approach of more planning and a bit of recon. The best way to develop a style is to study others. Another big obstacle I’ve stumbled upon is resolution. First, with Canasta, it’s been an issue which needs to be remedied. I need to lower the resolution so it fits on more native displays as most displays have gone widescreen. When I first developed the game I made it for a standard 4:3 display, well it doesn’t fit on my laptop. Once I get everything sorted out behind the scenes with AI and the card handling, I’ll be tackling that as definite.

Back with “mouse” though and resolution, it’s become an issue because it’s hard to develop graphics for a game when you don’t really know the resolution. A few pieces of art and my studying is that it’s much prettier if you can go with a larger resolution, and in some cases, easier. So right now I’m trying to find a new medium in terms of that. I’ve already decided to limit myself in terms of color, by selecting a specific palette. (pretty sure it’s an SNES, but I don’t recall for sure). There is a degree of difficulty when the resolution is smaller, you almost get limited in the detail and some things may seem unclear as to what it is, but then you get to the point “when’s enough, enough?”. So that’s where I’m at for the moment. Sooner or later I’ll crack down and whip up the debug room for the game, but for now, full steam ahead on Canasta.

Taking a small break…

I figure the best way to get back into the swing of things is go back to what I know. I know how to write JavaScript. So JavaScript I will write. I ventured back into the land of Canasta the last couple of days re-familiarizing myself with the code and working to improve it’s polish and fixing the troublesome AI issues I had with it back when it was in development. My goal is to ultimately release it to the world as I did with Traders. I’m hoping seeing some accomplishments with Canasta I could transfer that towards ‘mouse’/’whatever it is’ in the near future.

The problem I’m having with mouse at the moment is the lack of graphics, and my ability to make said graphics. So, the way I see it is that I can struggle fuck making the sprite I need to continue development, then when I’m frustrated, I go back to Canasta which is relatively straight forward. I just need to do it.

So about a month or more ago a few friends told me to download a game on my phone. And… I got hooked.

It’s an amazing game and they really are pushing me towards spending real currency on the game (which so far I’ve refrained from) just because I want so many different characters. I’m a bit of a completion-ist in some regards. Any way, I started a new account on the iPad and already bombed my way up to level 28. I took a different approach this time. Instead of evenly distributing myself across all the characters, I’ve homed in on some key characters I’d like to level up all the way to the end. I’m going for the light side clone army and the dark side’s geonosian race. Definitely pick this game up on android/iphone.

Between playing this game and watching Rogue One an unhealthy amount (that isn’t possible!) it really makes me want to play old Star Wars games, watch all the movies and make a bloody fan game.

Familiarization….

Its been just about a day and I’ve been going through the code in canasta, trying to determine what I was I thinking in terms of some code changing. I almost abandoned the new additions I’ve made to the code because I think it was going to be a revert of sorts, but instead, it dawned on me, I’m re doing all of this to ensure the AI doesn’t get stuck in a position it can’t do anything, or the wrong/illegal move for that matter, I’m only partially through fixing and cleaning up, haven’t even got to the testing phase of it. In due time.

I know I should of just released it as 1.0A, then went back and fixed it properly for a 1.0B, or 1.1.

Every time I’ve been opening the editor up I’ve been thinking more and more about Mouse and what I want to do, plans for it, and such, then, after I’m doing with a tidbit I’ve been working on, I shut off my computer and start power up the XBOX, or my phone.

Big mistake.

I started playing GTA again since a bunch of friends also have the game and we’ve delved into the world of GTA online, oh my, now that’s a hoot. I absolutely love the idea of open worlds, do what you want kind of game-play. Then you have heists, robberies, businesses, and a bunch of mini games that can be played and land to explore. It’s my idea of a great game.

I also have a great idea of a game in my head, but unfortunately, that’s where it stands. Well, technically I have two, and the other problem with them is that they are not separate entities. They cross paths with each other so much that it’s nearly one giant game, but it can’t be. It wouldn’t make any sense.

The first, the one I mention most often, Mouse, was originally a two person party turn based combat game with close ties to Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy. I had a large storyboard made out with characters, backgrounds, maps, ideas, places and most importantly, story.

Cue: computer crash.

Roughly 6-7 years ago my computer failed and couldn’t recover my hard drive. I had an older back-up disc I made that had personal stuff on it, some gaming stuff and some applications that were handy at the time. It also included a rough, old copy of my dream in the making. It was demoralizing, it was really hard trying to motivate myself to continue and try and get back to where I was, which was a solid 4-6 months of good progress. So I stopped.

Anyways, idea number two. A lot of mobile games hinge around a couple of common themes now a days, building an empire of some sort, and PVP (player verses player). My initial thought was you logged into a server (which in a sense be a city), and you’d be at home. Generic place in the city, could of been an apartment, nothing really concrete at this point. But the idea was, you’re unemployed, and you’re broke, and you need to get rent money. So each day a paper shows up with a job opportunities and you get to explore the world to try and get a job and make some money. Then your, ‘life’, or such begins.

Unfortunately, the aforementioned is a huge undertaking, not likely something I’d conquer myself, but I had ideas for a smaller, localized scope, which also tragically gets ties with Mouse, and then shit just spit balls down a large hill full of crazy brainstorming.

So, as I squeamishly work through fixing Canasta, I dream, and think about working on Mouse. Soon.

 

2016 hasn’t been a kind year…

There’s definitely been a ton of speed bumps in 2016 so far, and it definitely seems that it’s not done and things are only about to get worse. It’s getting harder to focus and harder to get things done. Getting old is terrible, awful thing to happen.

Not willing to delve too much into my personal fiasco at the moment, lets talk about something a little more, fun per say.

With the aforementioned, I’ve been stalled on many of my projects and desire tends to fade away with that unfortunately. I haven’t touched Canasta in months, and its so damn close to being finished it drives me wild. A couple months ago I pissed around with the idea of Traders 2.0, I started by stealing new placeholder images from a popular playing site, if I ever end up with time, the plan is to acquire legit tile faces, or in some unlikely event, I may make some neat custom ones. I also reverted to the default color scheme of the game, which gives it a more classic and true feel. As of yet, I haven’t added anything new visually, however a lot of the back-end logic has changed considerably. I’ve tried to get a lot of the hard coded aspects out of the core to make it much more manipulative and easier to correct and change.

Don’t expect Traders 2 to come out  any time soon. I think I’ll start my focus on completing Canasta to get that dog out the door.

Then as always, comes Mouse. Fuck.

I really want to make this game, so many things I want to do with it, just really want to get that story out and just make a great game. However, I’ve been following a few sites and other developers with the games and all I can think to myself is, wow, don’t you ever plan anything? There’s a lot of shit out there being created and it’s just garbage. Awful. Needless to say, I need a plan, and a direction, I want to make it cut and dry and leave out a lot of guess work. It’s unhealthy and it’s harder to work towards a certain goal if you don’t know what it is. So, that’s the plan.

Canasta, plan Mouse, make mouse, release mouse. Ha.

We’ll see when I write again.

Slave driving…

After a long month on working on the road, I’m finally back home to my own bed. Sure, I make more money working on the road, but I’d much rather be home, near my girlfriend, friends and family. The road gets old quick. But, I did find out I like quadding… a lot. So much as that I’ve held back the urge to search for a reasonably priced quad for the reason I may impulse buy one. I’m not against the idea of spending a couple thousand on one, its more the fact that I’d have to buy a truck and/or trailer to bring this quad around with me. So there’s that dilemma. The other part is that I don’t have a lot of access to good trails and other things to actually use the quad while I’m at home. So, best to put that idea to bed, for now.

So what’s the plan now that I’m home? Work will resume on Canasta, and when I get tired of the tedious testing of it, I’m going to switch to working on tiles for mouse. I’ve been a bit inspired to work on graphics since viewing the screenshot thread over at RPGmaker.net. There are some astounding and bright futures over there working away on games. It really makes me want to join the mix.

As of now, I’m re-working the AI portion of canasta yet again, making it a bit more robust, smoother, and adding more conditions and available actions. Doing so will hopefully dwindle the stalling and some unorthodox  play. Time will tell. In turn with these changes, I’ve had to rewrite a lot of the internal code that handles the AI which I’m hoping will not require an animation handler change. Fingers crossed.

Anyway, look forward to some new tiles/screens from Mouse, and the eventual release of Canasta.

Is winter actually over?

Scary to think that winter might actually be over here in Saskatchewan, at least in my neck of the woods. I really hope we’re done with the frosty snow because that means golf season ramps up and camping season is just around the corner. I’m excited to sit on the deck and have a few drinks with friends. I’m also excited to get some summer projects done as well. Crossing my fingers.

In other news, mainly Canasta news, I was planning on releasing the game sometime this week, but in terms of testing and how I want to present the game, it just simply isn’t ready yet. I’m very happy with the direction I’m going, I’m just not overly satisfied with the AI at the moment. I enjoy it, it is a challenge but I think they can be better and there is some behaviours I’d like corrected to make them a bit smarter with their game play. I’ve also managed to weed out a few bugs with my testing, so far (fingers crossed) I haven’t had any debilitating crashes, just some odd occurrences that I do believe I’ve conquered.

As of now, the plan is to release it the end of the month, so stay tuned card fans.

Tucking away…

I added tucking to Canasta.

I wasn’t really planning on doing it, but then I decided to give it a quick whirl, and bam! Done. It was fairly easy to implement and was done with minimal complications. I was quite pleased, something that I thought through, physically did, and then tested, and it worked. I was happy.

So, given the amount of testing I’ve been doing, as well as what I’m wanting to accomplish, I’m feeling a release is finally nearing in the next couple of weeks. Finally, I can put another completed project under my belt, and then, I can seriously direct my attention to Mouse. Hood rats… fucking hood rats.

Back to testing!

Nearly done!

So I’ve corrected quite a few problems and issues regarding game play lately with regards to Canasta. Added a ton of logic for the computer AI. It’s actually pretty challenging when playing the computer, and I can see their hands! After some immense testing, I’ve only encountered one crippling error that I can’t seem to reproduce. As of now, I seem to be missing something, so I’m continuously investigating.

I’m thinking of releasing the game sometime this month as long as testing goes well. But there is a couple of things I’d like to add before that, but I may hold off. One of them which would alter play a lot would be the tuck feature. Since, when I play the game is a legal play, I think it’s important to incorporate.

The second is changing the way animations are displayed for the east & west team. Currently I use the up-right card images and would like to change them to their horizontal counterparts. I really need to update the functions for animation as well. Tend to have some issues. 😦