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Author Topic: The Binary Zoo Bog  (Read 534024 times)
fog
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« on: March 13, 2007, 12:03:10 AM »

Welcome to the Binary Zoo Bog

It's a bit like a blog but not as interesting and with an unpleasant odour (which we all blame Aaron for).

I had been writing on the playtesters board but I've decided to start posting here so more people can see what we are up to....or not as the case may be.  This is however just a temporary home.  We'll have a proper blog, sorry "bog", when the new site goes live.


Decision Time

So it's that awkward time again.  One project finished so time to start on another.....what to do, what to do?

I have rough demos of a few puzzle games lying about and the initial idea was to do one of those before inflicting another shmup on everyone.  Variety being the spice of life and all that.  But hey, sod variety.....

Having spent quite a while developing the <dodo> scripting system behind Echoes, now that it's complete I've got the urge to use it for real.

Echoes was a fun project to do but it's main purpose was just to test the various functions of the scripts and as such I'm quite happy with the results.  In all honesty though I'm not so thrilled about producing another arena shooter to add to an already overloaded genre.  Please god no more GW2 inspired arena style shooters for a while people. Smiley

So it's time for something a bit different, hopefully a little original and certainly from my point of view, more interesting to work on.

At the end of the day we don't do this for financial gain, we do it because we enjoy it, and if I'm not experimenting a bit then I'm not having fun. Smiley

I have a stack of shmup ideas I want to develop but last night I made the educated decision (it involved large quantities of alcohol and tossing a coin) and decided which one to work on first.

Of course there's always the risk with trying something different that it turns out to be a huge steaming pile of binary zoo droppings......only time and a demo will tell. Smiley


Our New Project (which might never happen if the demo turns out to be pants) is...[/u]

Tension (a working title but I'm so unimaginative I've never changed a working title yet so expect it to stick).

So far I've written my most detailed design document yet (it must run to 20 lines in Notepad...no really, 20 whole lines).  If things go to plan it will have a huge number of levels (literally several), may use non-neon glowy blurry graphics (or may not) and will probably include some other "stuff".   More details in the next bog update......bet you can't wait.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2007, 09:52:22 PM by fog » Logged

fog
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2007, 09:34:33 PM »

Distracted so soon?  Well yes.  the very preliminary demo of Tension is on hold already as I need to knock out a little version of mono I'm calling, rather obviously, mono mini Smiley

So what is mono mini?  Well it's exactly what the name suggests.....a cut down version of mono that is needed to help a certain team member with a certain college project.

It's going to be a touch harder and have a much faster pace as the average game needs to last around 2 minutes.  So make that considerably faster paced  Tongue

I doubt very much anyone else will be interested in playing it but as it needs joypad support it will have the added advantage that that often requested feature will finally be added to the proper version of mono.

But as it's required in about a week I shouldn't be distracted from Tension for too long......otherwise I'll have to go into hiding before las6 tracks me down Smiley
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fog
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2007, 09:24:14 PM »

Well the version of mono mini that was needed for a business fair has been duly delivered.  I didn't quite have time to put a new menu on it but the gameplay was certainly a lot faster and it had full joypad support which made a huge difference.

So now I might as well tidy up that piece of code and release a new revision of the original mono including joypad controls.

Then I can get back to my next proper project. Smiley
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fog
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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2007, 11:00:40 AM »

So with the site down for a few days I managed to get quite a bit of coding done.

I now have the new collision routines pretty much finished and I have a bunch of things flying around the screen.  There is one minor bug that occasionally makes them act erratically like a drunk that's just ran into a brick wall but I know what's causing that (It just needs a little maths to solve but that's boring so I'll ignore it for as long as I can.)

Today I'll endeavour to get the player on screen.  He (or "she" if we are being PC) has to interact in a unique way with the background so it will be fun to finally see if that element works....or not.

I also want to have some sort of audio system whereby the sound fx compliment the music (as opposed to your normal explosions etc) so tweaked the sound code again.  It sounded really great with one or two objects on screen.....but ear bleedingly painful with a screen full.  More work needed  Tongue
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fog
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2007, 09:47:16 PM »

Had a bit of a play around with gravity tonight.  According to that Stephen Hawkings bloke it's a universal constant.  Well not in my universe it's not matey Smiley

Gravity, atmosphere and a few other things go into making up my World system which may or may not make it into the final game....which still may or may not happen depending on how happy I am with the demo.

Must say I'm already happy just sitting here watching stuff fly around on screen and interacting with the background as it's kinda hypnotic.  Lets hope the gameplay...well lets just hope it's remotely playable before we even worry about whether it's fun or now  Smiley

In other news this looks kinda nice Smiley
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fog
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2007, 09:50:32 PM »

A PC can use a huge number of joypads but the problem with designing a game that can only really be played using one is that not everyone has them.  Your primary control method pretty much has to be mouse or keys or a combination of the two (ideally not just the keys exclusively as I'm not keen on that).

Anyway mouse control is all well and good for a game like Echoes but it's not so hot for grid based games or anything that only uses horizontal and vertical movements.  With that in mind I've spent an hour tonight having a go at designing a mouse movement method that will work well in those situations.....and I think I've cracked it.  It seems to work really well.

So after all that you want to know how will this be used in Tension then?  Err it wont.  Tongue  Tension is most definitely not grid based  and this has been a largely pointless exercise and the code will be filed away for possible future use.  Welcome to the world of coding.  Pointless snippets a speciality  Smiley
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fog
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2007, 07:55:17 PM »

Right I'm pretty happy with the new background and collision routines for Tension so I'm going to have a go at dropping them into the <dodo> scripting/engine/thingy to see what happens.  And based on previous experience if it doesn't all end in my PC crashing and the faint smell of burning wafting from the hard drive then I'll count myself very lucky.

Once in though we'll have full use of the FX, bullets, weapons etc etc scripts and we can start making a game....of sorts.

Still haven't a clue where we are going with this graphically mind.  I know what I'd like to do with the audio but I had wanted to do something other than blurry neon for the graphics this time around.  Problem is though that the gameplay suits it perfectly so what do you do?  Should we change just for the sake of it or stick with something that feels right but everyone might be getting sick of?  Hmm  Tongue
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AaronF
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2007, 09:14:33 PM »

I'd say go with the style that fits best. From what you've described about the gameplay, it's gonna be quite different than pretty much any game out there at the mo. I doubt it would take much flak for having the usual neon graphics since the gameplay will be a lot different.


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fog
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2007, 08:54:17 AM »

Good god man what you doing posting in here?  You mean somebody is actually reading this rubbish?  Grin

I'd say go with the style that fits best. From what you've described about the gameplay, it's gonna be quite different than pretty much any game out there at the mo. I doubt it would take much flak for having the usual neon graphics since the gameplay will be a lot different.
Yeah you're probably right.   When we did our first few games there were only a couple of people using the neon vectory look and now everybody is, so I'd decided on a change in style long before deciding which idea to develop....not the brightest thing to do  Tongue
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2007, 12:55:55 PM »

There's gotta be some way you can still use neon graphics, but find some new way of using them that hasn't been done before. Like instead of SUPER MAX BLURRRR, have like pulsing or moving highlights on the lines. You were talking about syncing the music up with the gameplay, maybe have some new effects synced up too. Just a thought, brainstorming.
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fog
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2007, 07:46:23 PM »

There's gotta be some way you can still use neon graphics, but find some new way of using them that hasn't been done before. Like instead of SUPER MAX BLURRRR, have like pulsing or moving highlights on the lines.
Oh yeah there's plenty we can do with the neon style.  No worries there.
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TheKhakinator
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2007, 11:53:17 AM »

You could try a neon look but with solid objects instead, though it would probably just make everything look like a glow in the dark fridge magnet Tongue
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fog
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« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2007, 11:36:04 PM »

You could try a neon look but with solid objects instead, though it would probably just make everything look like a glow in the dark fridge magnet Tongue
Yeah like I said, there's a stack of things you can do within the neon style......and we'll need several of them for Tension Wink
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« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2007, 04:25:06 AM »

You could try a neon look but with solid objects instead, though it would probably just make everything look like a glow in the dark fridge magnet Tongue
I had actually tried this with Echoes while it was in beta. I'd forgotten about it, and now that the game is out I guess i can release it to the public.
Just don't get your hopes up, its nothing spectacular.
http://www.freewebs.com/banzai8th/customechoes.htm
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TheKhakinator
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« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2007, 09:26:27 AM »

I quite like that. makes the pink things much easier to see, etc.
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