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Author Topic: The Binary Zoo Bog  (Read 606307 times)
fog
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« Reply #60 on: August 29, 2007, 11:20:53 PM »

Had a little diversion tonight and finally copied the joypad routines from Echoes into mono so that now had full configurable joypad support.  I'll upload the new version to the main page tomorrow.

I hadn't played mono in ages so I had a good blast tonight during testing the new code.  Quite enjoyable  Smiley

I actually played DUO for the first time in probably a year recently too and had forgotten how much I enjoyed that.  It's not perfect but not too bad for a first game.  I only mention it because it got me thinking about the long planned sequel again.  I've had the idea roughed out for ages but keep putting it off for various reasons.  Maybe when Tension is out of the way......
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donny
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« Reply #61 on: August 29, 2007, 11:46:56 PM »

Quote
I only mention it because it got me thinking about the long planned sequel again.
trio?
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fog
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« Reply #62 on: August 30, 2007, 01:16:48 PM »

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I only mention it because it got me thinking about the long planned sequel again.
trio?
lol.  Everyone says that but it's not Smiley
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TheKhakinator
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« Reply #63 on: August 30, 2007, 01:36:29 PM »

well, sequel... Duo... then double that (for a sequel, times 2) is a Quartet. Amirite? Tongue
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fog
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« Reply #64 on: August 30, 2007, 01:42:05 PM »

well, sequel... Duo... then double that (for a sequel, times 2) is a Quartet. Amirite? Tongue
Hey you're not as stupid as you look.  Very close Wink

Anyway that's for the future.  The dodo game engine could handle that already but I'd definitely need to write a level designer.  And as I also need a completely different one for Tension don't expect it anytime soon.
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fog
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« Reply #65 on: September 09, 2007, 11:36:23 PM »

OK now I know I might have mentioned this before (if not here then on the Playtesters board) but after deciding to rearrange how the levels are constructed I have finally finished all the code for reading the external level files.  Kang-a-roo!

dodo (my shmup engine) already reads a load of external scripts for things like bullets and enemy routines but for Tension I need to be able to read a few special external files with a handful of new script commands in each.

The external files break down as follows:

World File - this stores the definitions for all the "worlds" within the game (just to recap, each level in the game can be played on any one of a number of "worlds" each of which has a set of different variables like gravity for example)  I'm still not entirely sure about this idea but I'll know upon testing whether it will remain in or not.

Map Files - this contains all the data to construct the level boundaries (walls etc)

Wave Files - stores all the data that defines each enemy attack wave within a level.

Level File - defines which Map File and which Wave File are used for a level along with a couple of other minor things.

I could have done away with separate Wave and Map files but this way allows for a bit more flexibility.  For example I can reuse the same map on several levels but with different attack waves.  Or I could use a set of attack waves on numerous different levels.  I'm not sure I will (hey I'm just making all of this up as I go along) but at least this way it's a possibility.
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fog
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« Reply #66 on: September 13, 2007, 12:52:30 PM »

Well I've tested out the World system and it seems to work..  I can change between 3 temporary Worlds, each with their own gfx, sound fx and most importantly, their own physical attributes (the gravity etc. I mentioned earlier).....and playing in each of them makes a noticeable difference (I say "playing" but it still isn't actually playable so it's more like "watching objects move randomly around the screen")

My original plan was for 10 Worlds but I think I've settled on 5 as that way I can have a distinct difference between the way each of the Worlds plays.  Having 10 would have meant many of the worlds feeling too similar and would have lessened the impact of switching between them.

Now all I have to do is name the worlds and somehow come up with a set of proper media for each.  Whose bright idea was this?  BunnyMonkey!
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fog
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« Reply #67 on: September 15, 2007, 10:40:16 PM »

No more coding done but I have roughed out the graphics for the various enemy types.  They are little more than templates indicating the shapes right now as each of the different Worlds will have their own set of graphics.  The new templates will simply be used as a rough guide when creating each Worlds graphics set to make sure there is some consistency in the design.  The player must be able to identify the different enemy types regardless of graphical style so this should make things easier.

I've also banged in some initial variables for the different enemies (eg' speed, acceleration etc) so I can start tweaking the games World settings (gravity etc.) to get something I'm happy with.  Too much gravity and everything is just going to lie at the bottom of the screen.  Too much and it will take off never to be seen again....which could be a problem  BunnyMonkey!

For the past couple of days I've also been jotting down some ideas for level layouts seeing if I can come up with some arrangement of walls that might create some interesting gameplay.  Even though the gameplay is quite simple (think DUO+), I'm already confident I can get a lot of interesting levels out of the few "objects" I have to construct them with.  It might be quite a long process mind so I may have to draught in some help.

Finally I've all but finished my ideas for the scoring system (well in my head anyway).  Plenty of bonus opportunities and an original new multiplier system should make for some re-playability in levels already completed......and I have an idea which I hope will give everyone the incentive to do just that. Smiley
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Lyx
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« Reply #68 on: September 15, 2007, 11:59:04 PM »

This kind of modular world system almost asks for being reused in some other multiplayer arena game where players setup the arena themselves with a few menu options (you may remember the earlier post by me). Anyways, the general structure of your world system sounds quite clean and flexible.
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fog
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« Reply #69 on: September 16, 2007, 01:57:17 PM »

This kind of modular world system almost asks for being reused in some other multiplayer arena game where players setup the arena themselves with a few menu options (you may remember the earlier post by me). Anyways, the general structure of your world system sounds quite clean and flexible.
Well you can get some interesting effects by changing a couple of the settings, and tackiling a level on different Worlds should make quite a difference to how it plays. I hope Smiley
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JDog053
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« Reply #70 on: September 17, 2007, 04:41:18 PM »

Awesome Games Fog n' Friends !!! I can't wait for the release of Tension, maybe waiting for the release is the game itself Huh (Just kidding).
Just a couple of questions however, I have been reading about the updated version of Mono, would this be a full game instead of whats released at themoment as a possible sequel, or an update, because either way I love it !!! I have racked up so many games on Mono its crazy, as a result I can barely touch my own leaderboard... Also is it possible to get over 98% because I just don't see how, its insane !!!
Is Tension going to be The Binary Zoo equivalent of the Rare game Jetpac and the later Jetpac refuelled on XBLA ? Will it have Zoot ?
I am also an XBLA fiend and am prevelent on many XBLA leaderboards (i.e rank #1s), I was wondering Fog, Do you have XBL and if so, what is your gamertag ?

Keep up the good work and sorry to post in the Bog, long time fan, first time poster...
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fog
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« Reply #71 on: September 18, 2007, 10:02:32 AM »

Hi JDog053 and welcome Smiley

I can't wait for the release of Tension, maybe waiting for the release is the game itself Huh (Just kidding).
You might be right depending on what I think of it when I have a few playable levels.  It might never be released if I'm not happy at that stage Smiley

Just a couple of questions however, I have been reading about the updated version of Mono, would this be a full game instead of whats released at themoment as a possible sequel, or an update, because either way I love it !!!
Well the full version of mono, if it's ever released, is a new game but obviously keeping the basic mono gameplay.  So the aim of the game will be the same but there will be multiple levels, many different challenges and many different enemy types.  Just more variety really for those that want a fresh challenge and are sick of playing the same level over and over.

Also is it possible to get over 98% because I just don't see how, its insane !!!
Oh yes.  In theory it's possible to get 100%.....but as you've realised, the more of the background you colour, the harder it gets, so in practice getting to 98% is a pretty amazing achievement. Smiley

Is Tension going to be The Binary Zoo equivalent of the Rare game Jetpac and the later Jetpac refuelled on XBLA ? Will it have Zoot ?
I'm not sure I understand the Jetpac comparison.  If you mean will it play like Jetpac then absolutely not.  I'm struggling to think of a game that it will play like.  It was initially inspired by DUO and Crazy Commets but it's now nothing like either Smiley

I am also an XBLA fiend and am prevelent on many XBLA leaderboards (i.e rank #1s), I was wondering Fog, Do you have XBL and if so, what is your gamertag ?
Yes I am also prevalent on many XBLA leaderboards.  Unfortunately as the worlds worst gamer I'm at the other end of those leaderboards to you (I blame the fact I spend too much time writing games and not enough playing them Smiley ).

Also, and no offence, but after making my MSN name public and getting 10 friends requests and bombarded with questions every day (not good for my productivity), I won't be doing the same with my XBL gamertag.  IM me. Wink

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fog
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« Reply #72 on: September 19, 2007, 11:12:51 PM »

Well the first few enemy types are coded.  They are:

(names will change - purely descriptive for now)
- asteroid in large, medium and small flavours  (no Binary Zoo game would be complete without asteroid cannon fodder Smiley )
- snake (really cool the way it interacts with obstacles)
- irregulars (not round so they bounce at unpredictable angles)
- indestructible (well for a short while anyway)
- kamikaze (dive, dive, dive.....)

I've come up with 10 different ones so far and that's it.  None of the enemy behaviour has to be too complicated as all their movement is essentially down to background collisions and gravity.  No fancy, pre-programmed movement patterns here.  The enemy spawn positions are pre-designed but after that it's all wonderfully chaotic  BunnyMonkey!

So with a bunch of enemies fully working and a couple of test levels designed how playable is it?  No idea Smiley  All this is being coded outside of my normal dodo shmup engine so I currently can't fire at anything.....I am becoming something of an expert at enemy avoidance mind!

So another handful of enemies to code and then we can see if it's all been worth while  Kang-a-roo!
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Lyx
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« Reply #73 on: September 20, 2007, 02:12:30 AM »

I was wondering: if physics play a significant role, then could it possibly be an interesting twist, if specials or events can influence the physics of the level? Making the player, or certain events, being able to influence more than just destruction and spawning, could allow for some tactical stuff, plus - well, see psygamer thread *grin*.

This is just an idea without having much of a clue about the style of your game. So, i dont know if it fits in. I just know that i became fascinated with non-static playfield physics when playing "grid assault". And i think that such stuff is underused in arena shooters.
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fog
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« Reply #74 on: September 20, 2007, 11:29:57 AM »

I was wondering: if physics play a significant role, then could it possibly be an interesting twist, if specials or events can influence the physics of the level? Making the player, or certain events, being able to influence more than just destruction and spawning, could allow for some tactical stuff, plus - well, see psygamer thread *grin*.
It's something I'm thinking about.  Once I have something playable up and running I'll try out some ideas and see whether they work or not.

I'm going for chaotic, fast paced gameplay so anything I implement would have to be in line with that.  I'm already having second thoughts about whether my new bonus system fits or not.  Luckily though I don't have a design doc to work to so I can change whatever I like....and no doubt I will Smiley

I want it to be a mindless blaster but have enough depth to satisfy the highscore obsessives and have them replaying levels to squeeze a few more points out of them.  Or, depending on how the first playtest goes, I might just abandon it Smiley
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