binary zoo
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
January 20, 2018, 09:14:07 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
30178 Posts in 1158 Topics by 195 Members
Latest Member: dianeanderson
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  binary zoo
|-+  Binary Zoo
| |-+  Diary of a Game
| | |-+  The Binary Zoo Bog
Pages: 1 ... 21 22 [23] 24 25 ... 165 Go Down Print
Author Topic: The Binary Zoo Bog  (Read 606288 times)
JDog053
Playtester
1000 XP
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 2421


View Profile
« Reply #330 on: July 29, 2008, 06:01:42 PM »

This week I'll be tackling another one of those supposedly minor command sets that almost go unnoticed, but take a disproportionate amount of coding.  Vectors of the line, object and text variety.  BunnyMonkey!

Having looked at my old code I don't foresee and problems though and it should be a relatively easy porting process.  Now where have I heard that before.



Sounds a bit odd to me myself, but hey ! In other news, i'm getting back into Pixel Art by creating some sprites and backgrounds after being heavily inspired by the work over at www.nitrome.com If you like 32bit GBA style games you'll love this site ! Sorry to advertise. If you don't like Pixel work, then its not for you !
Logged
fog
Zookeeper
1000 XP
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 13185



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #331 on: July 30, 2008, 09:51:18 AM »

Sounds a bit odd to me myself, but hey !
What sounds a bit odd?
Logged

fog
Zookeeper
1000 XP
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 13185



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #332 on: August 05, 2008, 10:09:27 PM »

Well I now have another little piece of the game engine jigsaw working properly.   I'd say I have the corner pieces and most of the edges done and soon I can start filling in the middle, which, as we all know, is by far the easiest bit.  BunnyMonkey!

So Vector lines and circles are now at my disposal.  They are also a slight advance on the old ones as they now support animations.   That's to say the images used to create the lines can be animated as opposed to the lines themselves moving.   I'm not sure I will ever need to animate them mind, but it's nice to have the option  Smiley

Next I needed to do the vector text, but I've become slightly sidetracked again.  Because I'm not really happy with the old text shape, I'm probably going to need a little editor so I can redesign them all.  Luckily it's quite a simple editor and once complete will allow me to design different fonts for different projects quickly so I don't mind too much.  Reusable editors fell much more fulfilling to write than ones you know will never be used on another project.

Then....once I started considering that, I decided I really really did need to get XML file system working so I could get my new font designs loaded easily.  After much messing around I finally seem to have a basic XML system working....sometimes....and even that was a lot more painful than it should have been.  XNA is great if you know which classes to use as you can generally figure out how to use them yourself, but if you know what you want to do but don't know which classes you should be looking at then it's not exactly user friendly.  I mean documentation on each command is really impressive, but finding those commands buried deep inside the system is sometimes painful.  I dare say I'll get used to it.

Logged

fog
Zookeeper
1000 XP
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 13185



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #333 on: August 06, 2008, 06:17:48 PM »

Well my previously "sometimes" working XML reader is now working perfectly.  After my initial failure I'd looked on the net for a few examples but they all failed in exactly the same place too, so I ended up rewriting it from scratch.  It's slightly more complicated and less elegant code, but at least this time it works  Kang-a-roo!

Anyhoo that minor success had shown me that I need some better debug tools so todays trip down sidetrack street is heading in that direction.  In my old code I had a bunch of debug tools that made not just debugging easier, but also testing (infinite energy, weapon select etc) and positioning things on screen (on screen gird, magnifying glass etc).  I guess "debug tools" isn't exactly the right name for it but...

So I now have a few of the simpler tools set up and a log system for recording everything the program is doing, documenting any errors, missing media etc.  I'll slap a few of the more important debug tools in and then get back to what I should be doing....if I can remember....something that needed XML for something or other....I think  BunnyMonkey!

All fairly tedious background stuff that players wont know or care about, but essential from my viewpoint.  No nearer a completed game, but one step further away from development frustration.
Logged

JDog053
Playtester
1000 XP
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 2421


View Profile
« Reply #334 on: August 06, 2008, 08:29:17 PM »

Thats the kind of stuff I love to readabout, if I were better at coding i'd do all the same sort of things aswell, but i'm not ah well, practice makes perfect ! Infact though Fog, you were wrong, you infact closer to a completed game than before !
Logged
fog
Zookeeper
1000 XP
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 13185



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #335 on: August 06, 2008, 10:22:58 PM »

Thats the kind of stuff I love to readabout, if I were better at coding i'd do all the same sort of things aswell, but i'm not ah well, practice makes perfect ! Infact though Fog, you were wrong, you infact closer to a completed game than before !
Well a few debug tools are about as easy to code as you can get.  Like I said earlier, I called them debug tools, but they can do a lot more than track down bugs.

They are really useful for making performance tweaks as they keep track of the maximum number of bullets, particle FX, enemies etc on screen at any one time.  And have the option to dump all of these stats to an external file for future reference.

They also display the status of all input devices at any time so I can see at a glance what the readings for joypad analogue sticks, triggers etc are.

And I have an option to overlay a load of information on screen with different coloured lines to indicate the heading and speed of every object and outlines their collision zones etc.

All boring but very useful stuff.  Write yourself a little library of tools that you can drop into any project and you'll wonder what you did without them Smiley

I'd better stop now.  My one remaining viewer has just fallen asleep.  BunnyMonkey!
Logged

JDog053
Playtester
1000 XP
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 2421


View Profile
« Reply #336 on: August 07, 2008, 11:37:58 AM »

The closest i'd goten to that was my FPS second output...I suppose I could add a few more things, but you know Flash, too much and it slows down beyond belief. I'll see anyway, seems like a very logical thing to do.

Oh and I haven't fallen to sleep. Not to mention you get more than one viewer...
Logged
fog
Zookeeper
1000 XP
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 13185



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #337 on: August 07, 2008, 04:30:06 PM »

The closest i'd goten to that was my FPS second output...I suppose I could add a few more things, but you know Flash, too much and it slows down beyond belief. I'll see anyway, seems like a very logical thing to do.
Well I wouldn't worry about slowdown even in flash.  The utilities, apart from a few of the graphical ones, are literally just shuffling a few variables about so wont be a problem and they aren't running all the time anyway  (I have them mapped to function keys).

It's strange.  I only had the typical FPS one for ages, and then I thought of another that might be useful, and then another, and then another.  Once you get going it's amazing what ideas you come up with and, although they usually take very little programming, they can save you a lot of time or at worst make some tasks a hell of a lot easier. Smiley

You know that saying about "a bad workman always blames his tools"? Well there's probably one to do with good tools that's appropriate here.....but I don't know what it is.....and I can't be arsed to find out or make one up.  BunnyMonkey!
Logged

SiN
Escaped from The Zoo
500 XP
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 683


Caffeine Monster Software


View Profile WWW
« Reply #338 on: August 07, 2008, 06:50:43 PM »

When I began work on DUOtris for Zune, there were some troubles getting the input down perfectly. I ended up drawing a "mini-controller" in the corner of the screen, and watched it as people tested the game. It was incredibly useful for polishing the controls.


Mo
Logged

binary zoo mobile developer | 32x32 . duotrix . geomex . smiley's shooty adventure . by caffeine monster software | my blog
fog
Zookeeper
1000 XP
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 13185



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #339 on: August 07, 2008, 08:25:25 PM »

When I began work on DUOtris for Zune, there were some troubles getting the input down perfectly. I ended up drawing a "mini-controller" in the corner of the screen, and watched it as people tested the game. It was incredibly useful for polishing the controls.


Mo
Yeah I have in mind a few data gathering ideas for playtesting.  Don't worry though, I wont be gathering credit card numbers just game scores. Wink
Logged

fog
Zookeeper
1000 XP
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 13185



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #340 on: August 09, 2008, 08:00:16 PM »

Well I was taking a journey down Sidetrack Street, but I've taken a sharp right onto Detour Lane to visit keyboard class.  There's already a class for handling keyboard input, but I've made a few tweaks to add a few functions that I am used to using elsewhere and like.  It only took a short while, it's finished and it's already making a few things easier.  Namely tidying up the final couple of debug tools that I'm writing.

Um.  Then I need to convert my existing code to use the new XML commands so I can start storing everything in external files again.  THEN I can get back to finishing those vector font routines I was working on.  I vaguely remember needing the XML commands to store the font definitions in, which originally led to this departure from the project To-Do list in the first place.....or it would have if I had a To-Do list.  BunnyMonkey!

In other news I think I had one of those design moments.  One of those "Woah that could be a cool idea" knee trembling jobbies (Ok I'm exaggerating).  Like everyone. I get 10 new ideas a day, but this one might just be one of the few that actually turns into something....or it might be crap.  Either way it's one of those design ideas that you really have no way of knowing whether it will work without trying it so I will at some stage.

Sadly though it would be yet another twin stick shooter and the market is currently flooded with those.  It's probably different enough to justify doing it, but I might give them a rest for a while after mono.  Then again, it's such a simple idea that I could prototype it in a day once I have mono running so I might just do that anyway  Kang-a-roo!
Logged

outlaw99775
1 XP
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3


View Profile
« Reply #341 on: August 10, 2008, 09:06:10 AM »

I am really looking forward to this release, I loved all your other games.
Can you take a guess how much more you have have to do or how long it will be?
Good luck!
Logged
fog
Zookeeper
1000 XP
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 13185



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #342 on: August 10, 2008, 04:01:01 PM »

Hi outlaw99775.  Thanks for showing an interest.

Can you take a guess how much more you have have to do or how long it will be?
Well I could take a wild guess, but the general rule of thumb with game development is that everything takes twice as long as you think and things you hadn't even considered double that time again, and then you need to factor in potential problems and the positions of the planets or something else equally random.

Gameplay wise all I need to do is code a variety of enemy types (relatively easy), and work out how to do the background colouring routines (which I have a few different ideas for).  That doesn't sound like it will take too long, but it's all the other little things that will take the time.  As I mentioned earlier things like the vector based text, a menu system, achievements (Zoots), incorporating all the user options, a highscore system, intro, instructions etc will all take time  And as I'm also learning a new development language as I go along I can't even have a wild guess at how long these things will take.

The only good thing is that apart from the background routines mono is about as simple a shmup as you can get, so I don't need to worry about the tedious and timely process of designing levels etc (well it will have levels but they will be of the randomly generated kind like Echoes and not scripted like in DUO)

None of which is of any help to you, but I'll keep updating the blog and give a better idea of timescales as I get nearer completion.  Smiley
Logged

fog
Zookeeper
1000 XP
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 13185



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #343 on: August 14, 2008, 10:19:07 PM »

Boring, boring, boring, with a side helping of tedium.  That sums up nicely what I've been doing today.

Adding a load of debug logging commands to the existing code so that it outputs what it's doing at important points.  Then if it all goes belly up I can check the debug log file and see what the last thing it did was which often makes tracking down bugs a whole lot easier.  The error reporting in XNA is different class compared to what I was used to in DBPro, but every little bit of extra info helps and as it's only compiled in the debug version, there's no unnecessary bloat in the release version.

DBPro used to make debugging really fun by returning random line numbers for your errors instead of where they actually were, and then adding to the hilarity by throwing out equally meaningless error messages.  "Command not found: Error at line wibble"  Happy days  Tongue

I've also coded another fairly pointless addition.  It simply converts the analogue stick movement into it's d-pad equivalent just in case I even write a game that uses the d-pad but the user would rather use the analogues (and considering how bad the 360 pads d-pad is that's very possible).  And if nothing else it makes menu navigation easier for me to code.  Although right now I'm doing everything I can to put off writing any menu code  Tongue

And, shock horror, I've abandoned chaos theory and started keeping a to-do list  BunnyMonkey!  There's nothing game specific on there so I'm still some way off doing things properly by writing a design doc, but it does help keep track of all the little routines and features I need to add to the code library.

I've only really started keeping the to-do list because there's an app for it on the iPhone and, as you tend to carry your phone everywhere, it's handy being able to quickly jot down ideas wherever you are.  Hell you never know, but I might stop getting sidetracked as easily with a list to guide me.  Although I hope not  BunnyMonkey!
Logged

SiN
Escaped from The Zoo
500 XP
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 683


Caffeine Monster Software


View Profile WWW
« Reply #344 on: August 14, 2008, 11:24:51 PM »

Although right now I'm doing everything I can to put off writing any menu code  Tongue
I've got you covered on this one remember?


Mo
Logged

binary zoo mobile developer | 32x32 . duotrix . geomex . smiley's shooty adventure . by caffeine monster software | my blog
Pages: 1 ... 21 22 [23] 24 25 ... 165 Go Up Print 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
Simple Audio Video Embedder
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!