The Tequila Den

Combines the world of Tequila with Games.

Tag Archives: gamedev

Re-tooling…

I’ve taken a bit of time off from game making in general, but more particularly Mouse. I’ve exhausted many options to speed up/mitigate a change to how to progress Mouse beyond its current state. I’m tempted to use temporary (read possibly permanent/edited) tiles to basically be place holders of the finished product. This would in term be a lot easier to continue script the game and further the mechanics of the game. I’m undecided.

So I did something stupid…

I started Traders 3… I really don’t know why to be honest. Instead of patching the game and simply adding a few things that I’ve wanted to add in the past, I’ve cracked it open and started from scratch. Well, not completely from scratch, I’m re-using as much as I possibly can, but I’ve started to structure the game a lot better and group a lot of items that should of been together in the first place and never made it there.

The main goals is to add cities and knights to the game and to make the rules of the game interchangeable with one another. I just think it’d be a fun experiment to be able to mix and match and explore what Catan all has to offer. Next is to add a second robber to the mix along with the pirate robber that rules the sea.

Finally the biggest challenge is going to be the bot.

Another big plan for the game is to encompass a real lobby, where all the players can join/chat with one another and then separate into individual games. But, depending on how everything progresses, this may be left off yet again.

One day…

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Tick, tick, boom…

I’m not sure what it is… I sit on the couch nearly everyday and usually at some time in the night/day I’ll pop open my lap top and make my way to notepad++ and sphere. I’ll just stare at it, read a little bit, test a game, and just … piss around. I won’t actually progress at all. I’m daunted by what I got to do. I’m at the point where I need to do art and I literally hate it. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll basically just start editing current available tiles from other games and in term, hopefully piece something together. But I have no desire to do it.

I’m frustrated and I’m losing motivation. The worst part is that I decided to start combing through some of the code and altering some of the dialogue behavior, then I broke it. And I’m mad, and well grr…

Yea, I don’t know what I’m doing anymore, I’m just frustrated.

I think I’m crazy…

These are some of the rarest cards you can find in Ultimate Masters.

And I have them.

I was shocked, these three cards alone are worth nearly $200, and hopefully, their value will only increase over time. This set will be exceptionally hard to finish simply based on the fact the singles are very hard to find and boosters are not cheap at all. I have no idea why I’m trying to complete this set in the first place. It helps nabbing 2 of the top three in prices in the first two boosters I’ve opened. So that’s a bit crazy.

And that prelude basically runs into this…

I’ve found a good detour to making tiles for mouse, and that is CCG. Now, I’m not just talking about collecting Magic cards, I’m talking about one of my young-self’s dream, building a CCG.

I know it sounds incredibly far fetched and an odd aspiration, especially since we live in such a vast digital world (even more so with gaming/sociability), this has been my dream ever since I ripped open a pack of Magic cards back in the early 90’s. Oh how much I kick myself for not finding my old collection, although, I missed the bus on alpha/beta and caught the revised/4th edition cards, so the cards I had were not crazy rare to begin with. Still, I love the nostalgia of collecting cards. I’ve collected thousands of cards from many games, mainly Magic, Overpower, Star Wars and even Pokemon, nothing beats the mini rush you get when you tear off the plastic of hidden, unknown cards underneath.

My goal in my CCG was to bring better game play to Magic, more players to Star Wars and more detail to Overpower. And with that ball of flames, add in DND (Dungeons and Dragons) elements to make it less static and more robust.

My childhood was filled with so many games and fads that my imagination ran circles tirelessly on end. Not only did I grow up with the best era of video games (retro 8/16/32bit), I dabbled in the aforementioned Magic, Pokemon, OverPower, and Star Wars, but I saw (and played) the rise of Pog, and it’s fall for that matter. I played HeroQuest and dungeons and dragons.

Basically what I would love is Dungeons and Dragons but in a CCG, but the CCG would work like Dungeons and Dragons, confusing, and weird, yes. But that’s what I want.

So this is my other oops. I’m making a digital “tester” per say, but unfortunately it’s quickly becoming more and more of a necessity to create the actual paper equivalent to hash out real game play, mainly because it’s a lot easier to code something that actually exists (set behavior properties) than it is to try one thing, but having to modify it could be an absolute nightmare.

I did however, benefit greatly from this prototype, (a lot of leg work was previously done from Traders), this demo is currently fully networked and I’ve addressed a few issues I’ve encountered in Traders (mainly the odd abnormalities).  I’m getting a lot better are creating a better framework for networking which will benefit future projects.

So yea, I’m now doing art on two fronts, digitally and physically, FML.

Start talking tough guy…

Anyone require a shoe?

After some messing around and attempting to figure out a good template/system for handling dialogue and all of it’s limitless possibilities, I think I’ve come up with a decent solution to the issue. None of the dialogue is currently hard coded into the game. Each entity/NPC (basically anything that can talk), will have its own unique save file with all their dialogue printed into it. Each text block has a few special qualities attached to it besides just the text. They ca have a remove tag, which takes something (if the user has), they could have a choice tag, which requires the user to pick a choice, or it could have a lock tag at the end where the character shuts up after the last dialogue.

There are still quite a few options I want to incorporate into this system, first being having a detector for some people to react differently to what item is equipped, speech might change when the user has a specific special/normal item in their inventory, have the NPC move/disappear after some dialogue/item/etc. Multiple speech paths at the same time.

So many options to come!

I worked a ton on saving/loading on the weekend, now everything tends to be in order. I now save more of the user information, where they are in the map, the camera shifts/positions and the user’s inventory. There’s also now a rough main screen that allows the user to choose a new game, or load a game (if there are saves). The controls for these menus have also been re-vamped, I switched the menu screen and the save screen keys with each other for a better feel. Of course though, eventually, these keys will be able to be altered by the user at their discretion. The functionality is already there, just not the practical part of it, it’s on the docket.

I’m going to continue messing around with the dialogue and attempt to clear up most of the needed possibilities that I’ll require. Then I’ll probably shift back to the in game menu to further clean that up. After that I’m planning on adding more map interactions and eventually leading to…. tiles!

(25/1080)

Screen transition-ed…

So, it took a lot less time to figure out a decent (albeit lame) screen transition when changing the map from one to another. It’ll do for now, It’s not exactly the idea I had in mind, but it’ll be a perfect placeholder for now.

So first leg of the transition, covers the screen in squares, tile by tile, randomly.

Secondly, the screen is covered in a brief black mask, in time, this is where the real change takes place. The map is changed underneath, the old mapEvents are saved and the new set is now loaded.

Last leg of the transition is simply a reverse of the beginning transition, once all blocking tiles are removed, movement is restored to the player and game resumes.

I want to touch on something I’m a bit proud of, well, maybe not proud, shocked that it worked the way it was intended. So each map has an associated save file which holds all the map changes and interactions. All these have unique ids. The best part about the system is that some of events are a single time use; for example, picking an item that was readily available on the ground. The item isn’t meant to be re-spawned, so therefore, it would hold a dead id once the user acquires the item. The map also holds a dead id array that can be re-used if the user places a new item and essentially creates a new map event. The only reason I thought about doing this was because I was messing around picking items up and then dropping them in new locations on the map. After some testing I noticed my event count went up drastically. (Some times I’m smarter than the average bee.)

I’m happy about the progression so far.

(20/761)

Limping along…

It’s been a weird last week, work was… odd. I literally drove more than I worked. Now that’s an odd statement. I was in the truck more than I was out in the field working. Anyways, easy money…

So I’ve been slaving and muddling along with mouse’s systems the last few days and trying to make things as modular and customize-able as possible so that it can be easily manipulated as needed.

Now, as you can see it’s a very vague and basic menu system, but everything in it can be easily changed. The X&Y coordinates can be moved anywhere on the screen, the controls can be altered exceptionally easily. As you can see, the brick (dummy item) is being selected, and there are four options. Now, I’ve given the brick multiple tags and with those tags, options are generated to what the user can do with that item.

Now, I’ve labelled the letter as a special item, so the discard option is not available as it was with the brick.

Now I’ve got to integrate a view other nuances with the controls of the menu and make it a bit smoother and bit more practical. After I’ve explored and filtered out some more menu actions, I’ll move over to NPC interactions, mainly choices, dialogues and depending on if the user is holding certain items, they’ll interact differently and say differing messages.

Lots of the plate this week!

Contemplation…

I’ve been away for work so I haven’t been able to hit the ground running on more technical milestones regarding mouse. Currently I’m re-wiring the message dynamics for the game to be a bit more robust and tailored to the game’s needs.

I’m also at the moment debating on the overall design of the menu system. First, however I must decide all the necessary elements that would be needed, for example, saving & exiting the game are a must. The item section in some iteration is a must (whether it’s a cloud of all available items or more structure (consumables, key items, quest). Once the overall direction of the game is decided, the menu can take shape.

In particular, I’m currently working on picking up items and being able to place them in locations, some locations being strict in what it can accept, to the field, where it can be placed freely.

Sorry, no screenies this time around… soon though.

Still procrastinating…

I haven’t really done a thing. Well, okay, that’s a small lie.

I built a deck in two days, so that’s a plus. It tends to help to a bit handy when it comes to power tools.

Anyway, I haven’t done anything in regards to game making, as initially promised, but hey, I can do what what I want. It’s been such a shitty last calendar month, I think I’ll cut myself some slack. I find it extremely hard to find motivation to work on anything related to that regard, but it’ll come, eventually.

I’ve been roughly planning our next adventure when it comes to Star Wars: Force and Destiny, the boys somehow managed to escape the harsh environment of … <insert planet name here when I recall it> and harvest their rubat crystals. I’m thinking I’m going to get them to find a place to find some old parts and such to craft their hilts for their sabres, but I need to read up on the whole lightsabre creation mechanics.

You know you’re getting old when you start getting arthritis in your elbow, I’m starting to worry about it and specifically how bad it could get in the coming years, especially 15-20+ years in the future. Yikes.

One day this blog will once again feature game making skills…. sometime.

Hard to find…

You know what’s really hard to find? Motivation. Well, actually, I had some of that the other day when I’ve been browsing and trying to locate decent pixel art tutorials. The biggest problem I’m finding is that there’s a huge gap from beginner to ‘passable art(ist)’. Let’s be honest, I’m not a good artist at all, however, I can teach myself to do some things and in the end I can be quite creative in that regard. The problem is I struggle mightily with sprites. What’s even more unlucky about that? Good luck finding a pixel art tutorial that leans towards making sprites, its near impossible. I sit most of the time with Aseprite (beautiful program btw) open with a blank canvas I’m either hammering in YouTube searches or google ones. But, it just seems to no avail.

So when I finally do stumble onto something worth reading/watching, it’s like this…

  1. pick a skin tone and draw a couple of blobs to represent the head and body.
  2. now, carefully outline the limbs and add in details of the face (eyes, ears, mouth, nose)
  3. clean up rough lines and add depth
  4. Boom done.

Wait… what?

It literally goes from drawing blobs, to rough outlining to a finished product some how. I need the parts that help in regards to body proportions. Unfortunately I’m thinking of finding a decent skeleton sprite that I can use as a framework for all the characters.

The reason I want a character sprite done first is that it gives you the scale of everything else. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t wanna make a 16×16 sprite of a 6′ person and throw them on a tile map with 16×16 tiles and have a single tile be a chair. Basically you’re saying to the player is that chair is 6′ high, or that lamp, bench, piece of paper, book, whatever it may be. Once I have the basic sprite/design, it’ll be much easier to make the world which encases that character.

Maybe I’ll throw up some ugly drawings I end up doing in my meager attempts at art. Be fore warned. Of course I’ll try and link to any articles and what not that I find useful in my efforts.

Daydreaming…

I spend a lot of time starring at the computer screen with the editor open and just sitting there with a blank face. I tend to occupy that time with Netflix on in the background. More often than not, I find myself paying more attention to the movie or the show that’s on than the screen two inches in front of my face.

I remember roughly eight years ago I couldn’t wait to get off work to come home, fire up a movie and hit up the editor and I just recall going to town. The motivation was uncanny. I didn’t have to sit and ponder up/make a decision in regards to the game, I just did it. Where’d that go?

I also remember one of the true passions behind Traders. It started out because of Asobrain locking up its doors and the lack of means to play Catan regularly. It was a perfect project. There was no planning needed. I knew what to do, what had to be done and how it all worked. I learnt a lot from that project. I learned the in’s and out’s of Sphere’s networking capabilities and I further immersed myself in Javascript as a whole. I’m proud I finished it. I really should step aside and conquer Canasta. but the desire for that is simply not there.

I have so many dreams for Mouse. I catch myself daydreaming about how I view the game in what could be its glory. I can recall the intro and the start of the game before the player has control then it muffles. My vision gets clouded.

Umm… plan? Yea, I’ve got one… kind of.

Right now, my thoughts are this. I’m going to make my hybrid of the two ideas I’ve been fighting with this past while. I’m going to make a “generic” type game that excludes Mouse’s key story/game-play thoughts that make that unique.

“Wait, that doesn’t make sense.”

Here’s my reasoning. I’m going to make this game as much as I can, with the spare/scrap ideas I’ve had before, and with that hope I can concrete the main points/game-play for mouse by this sort of, trial & error. Who knows, sometimes this is how beauty is found. We’ll see.