Games and Beers Den

Used to combine the world of Tequila with Games.

Tag Archives: sphere

*rubs eyes*

Is it over yet?

Just patiently waiting over here for this global pandemic to subside and the world to go back to the somewhat norm. Unfortunately the doesn’t seem to be on the horizon as we’re only in the thick and unknowing of its grasp. So here I wait. Jobless and mostly un-motivated.

It’s hard to think of all the things I want to accomplish or think to do when “I’ve got time”, but now, seemingly, having all the time in the world, I’m unable to muster the desire to accomplish such things.

Granted, I’ve done some things I’d like to do already, but just not to the scale I would find rewarding.


That being said, I decided to venture on an odd path, one that I didn’t think I’d touch for a long time, if at all. I decided to start updating Traders once more.

I’m really not sure what drove me to dive head first yet again, although I was playing some Asobrain when I started toying with the idea. I’m more concentrating on implementing cities and knights to the game, and the idea of making bots for the game. Oooii..

For whatever reason, I decided to clean up the games’ code and try and make it cleaner and utilize all that I’ve learned the past couple of years prior. Daunting. It was/is daunting. There’s a lot of things and work arounds that I used purely because I wasn’t as skilled (am I even skilled now?) as I am today, but also because there clearly wasn’t much planning the whole system in the first place.

(This is where I’ve come to realize that most of the games I try to make fail because I can’t plan worth a shit. Like most things in my life I don’t seem to plan too far ahead.)

So I’ve got the game back to the point where you can select maps, start the game, roll to see who goes first, placing starting pieces, and then rolling and distributing resources from those rolls. Robbing, both ships and original, gold mines, building pieces and upgrading to cities. 

I literally finished implementing knight/soldier development cards and started to look into how I accomplished road building in previous versions, but then and there, I lost it.

The drive, the partial motivation, was gone.

I literally just saved all the work, close down Notepad++ and Sphere, and starred at my desktop.

So I back at a crossroads with game making and Sphere, all I know is that more pre-planning and decisiveness is required before I attempt anything further with any game.

Flaws…

I’ve been muddling through Mouse’s systems trying to get everything more and more cohesive to each other. I thought hey, why don’t I just re-use the menu system I previously used for another project thinking it should be rather seamless.

It was all fine and dandy and worked as intended until I started nesting menus in themselves. I found the biggest problem of them all was dealing with scope of the variables. Using different scripts is causing me all kinds of difficulty when I’m trying to reference important information, especially when information changes on the fly, that becomes a big problem.

So I’ve decided to rid myself of the current menu structure and hard code in the menu to make it properly versatile and suited for what I need, unfortunately, a slew of testing is going to be required, let alone planning.

Once the framework is completed, should be rather simple to polish up and test to ensure the proper behavior.

Maybe I’ll take a break and work on some of the tiles/graphics.

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…

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)

Saving/loading nightmare…

Sphere is interesting in more ways than one. Sometimes I wonder if it’s Sphere’s behavior or if it is the robust nature of variables that make Sphere act obscure or maybe it’s just me and I honestly don’t know what I’m doing. The reason I bring this up is that depending on the function I’m calling, it doesn’t like taking a string verses a number, and vice versa. However, when I use alternate functions which in the same type of structure requiring the same results, things work fine. Drives me bonkers.

I’m only guessing this is because of filenames and how some functions return results.

Well whatever…

After some late night headaches I managed to accomplish a fairly big deal (in my mind), saving & loading. It was a nightmare in some regards which required a great deal of testing and debugging. There were a few instances where I was like, “wow, I got it!”, then I dug a bit deeper and it was a false hope. But after a ton of meddling and play testing… it works. So after that major hurdle, things can continually progress.

Speaking of debugging, if you’ve noticed the last couple of screenshots posted in the mouse folder, you’ll notice the garble of text on the left side of the screen, it’s mainly debugging information. I managed to squeeze in my own debugger console (as I have previously with Traders and Canasta). Makes a lot of bug testing go a ton faster as opposed to using logs and Abort calls.

Now since I’ve got saving and loading files/information under control, now I’m going to implement “save points” to further add information to be saved (mainly, character information, inventory, keys, camera positions, etc) then to story handling with dialogues and eventually, cut-scenes.

(23/874)

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.

At first I was excited…

It was a tad bit of shock this afternoon when I fired up the old blog. I checked and to my surprise, I found 12 pending comments to sift through. Usually they are legit because from what I’ve noticed, wordPress does a pretty good job of filtering spam for the most part.

Unfortunately, they went 0 for 12. Good, fun time, spam.

Anyways, purpose of this post was to show you something I haven’t done in at least a couple of years (I’m too lazy to officially check), and that is to show you a terrible screenshot of mouse. Ha.

Anyways, as you can see, this is a test environment and I’m currently re-learning a lot of scripting nuances about the MapEngine as I haven’t toyed with it in a few years. My end goal is to create all of the systems and presumably all the cases of interaction and game play. After I’m able to complete these, the rest of the game can come together and by god, progress can finally be made.

Can you tell I’ve had some free time?

Now, back to polishing and Mouse…

Version 2.0 of Canasta is finally here.

The game will likely get updated again in the near future once I’ve reworked some of the animations/game play.

You can press Enter to pause the game (current animation will finish), then press Escape if you wish to quit or press Enter again to resume play.

I’ve included a brief overview of the rules in rules.txt, should come of some aid for new players, but if you want more detailed instructions on how to play, either contact me here by commenting, or let google be your friend.

A more detailed version of the rules/game play will be coming in the future as well.