The Tequila Den

Combines the world of Tequila with Games.

Tag Archives: javascript

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.

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.

Just putting about…

I’m getting there.

Slowly as all hell. I’m not entirely sure at the moment what is really killing my motivation. I don’t know if it was the final couple weeks of striving to get Traders (CATAN) out or if I’m still in a bit of indecision mode. I’m trying to conquer that with my 30 in 30 challenge I proposed myself, but to actually open the editor is becoming a struggle some days. Things need to be perfect for me, I have a little bit of OCD… Another issue is that I’m not by any means a pixel artist. I’m getting better at it but it is SLOW going. Lastly I think the biggest issue or real, noticeable progress is that I’m thinking I’m worrying about the games’ systems and how they all tie together and I want to make it whole and proper.

So that’s it… I’m torn between super planning everything, and just saying fuck it and start coding, if I have to re-write chunks, I re-write chunks. So here it comes, I’m going today’s portion of the challenge. I’m doing a hybrid of the two. I’m going to sit down on paper and chew out the details and what system I need and what it will/can tie into. This way I know what needs to stand alone and what needs to be nested with other portions of the game.

Any-who, back to the challenge… I owe seven game related material.
– I made dynamite
– I made a sabre/sword but energized weapon
– I made a shovel
– Inventory/game menu will be very similar to the original Legend of Zelda, including the transition to it.
– The library you first enter in the game is initially empty except for one book.
– The only person left in the bar is drunk and passed out
– The library now has a map in the editor and the floor is being decided.

So there you have it, another week of decisions. Hopefully next update will include a bit of game structure in it. 14/30…. might just run a marathon now! Ha…

So I learned Ruby.

Now I’m all messed up trying to figure out if it’s “learned” or “learnt” now. Shit. I really don’t care.

Anyway, I found Codecademy¬†about a week or so ago, special thanks to Stumble-upon. I promptly scoured the site and tried my luck refreshing my HTML skills to begin with. Then it dived in some CSS. I really wished I got into CSS beforehand because wow, it is really simple stuff. Would of made my life a lot easier when I was running the newsletter section of rpgmaker.net, as well as my own site before that time, (new)rpg-haven. Yeah, I’ve been around for some time now.

So I blazed through those two sections and I thought about hitting up the Javascript section, but then got thinking, how hard could Ruby be? I’ve enjoyed looking through forums of people having issues with RGSS (RPGMaker’s scripting language, which is basically Ruby with their own API), and I look at their code and go… I understand what is going on, but I’m just not familiar with that API. So I said fuck it. Ruby here we go.

I jumped in both feet wet and climbed up to about 40% completion. And, in about four days later, I finished the course. It’s a beginner course, so it is not difficult and they take it pretty slow. It’s meant so everyone can do it. I also have to admit, it didn’t really take me four days, I basically did about 4 hours straight the first day, then about an hour at most the next following three days. So, its not like thumbing through a large textbook.

So what’s next? I have no idea. I don’t know what to do it with it now. I’m thinking that after I release the Sphere version of Traders, I’m going to work on a Ruby/Web or maybe I’ll skip over to HTML5/JavaScript thing. I really don’t know what is in store just yet.

I’m going to head back to CA and head down the JavaScript course just to help sharpen my skills there and make sure I’m not developing any terrible habits, though I’m sure I have some and it doesn’t hurt to get better. I’ve made great strides in the few years I’ve been doing some good scripting.

So have I done anything productive? Hmmm…. I’m going to go with no. I’m at such a mental roadblock with mouse that I just don’t really know what I’m doing any more. I have no desire to really work on it. I did however pick up Traders again though. I’ve been more focussing on MapMaker as opposed to the game itself. I’ve added the reset map button and working on the ports now, should be relatively easy to finish… I hope. Lots of features to add into it yet though. I’ve also started to mould out the client a bit more now, it now asks for account name, password and server at once, rather than just putting your name on the first screen, then server afterwards. It’s getting closer to the final product.