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JDog053
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« Reply #570 on: June 11, 2009, 12:42:19 PM »

Ready when you are Fog!
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fog
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« Reply #571 on: June 11, 2009, 02:59:53 PM »

Ready when you are Fog!
Ok Smiley

I just need to add some code to save the highscores so I can hassle you guys for some scores later.....then I can set the Zoot targets at a more appropriate level.  I've no idea how long a load/save routine will take  Tongue

Then I need to finally decide what to do with the smart bomb because I'm still not happy with it from a gameplay perspective.   BunnyMonkey!
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fog
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« Reply #572 on: June 11, 2009, 08:03:11 PM »

So you have a bit of free time and decide you'll use it so settle down for a bit of coding.  Fire up the 360 and it says you need to do an update to the Creators Club software.  No worries you think, with 3.1 launching today it was expected.

So you do the update, run the application again and it says that you need to do an update.  Hold on, I've just done the update.  Let's try that again....nope, it still says I need to do the update.

Great, so now I can't run any code on the 360 effectively meaning I can't do the development that I wanted to do.  Bloody great.  Apparently Microsoft are aware of the problem, but how does something like this ever go live?  Tongue

I love my 360 because of the games it offers, but as a piece of hardware it's an unreliable piece of crap and the software updates, notably NXE, have made the dash all but unusable for certain things.

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fog
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« Reply #573 on: June 11, 2009, 10:40:13 PM »

In re-installing the creators club software on the 360 and getting it to talk to the PC again I've just accidentally found something out.....You can take screen shots of your game running on the 360 and it downloads them to your PC.  Excellent.  Kang-a-roo!

I really should read the help files some time  Tongue
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T_M_C
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« Reply #574 on: June 12, 2009, 10:13:02 AM »

Ahh the joys of game dev.

It's definately a love / hate relationship.

Glad you're making progress though.

TMC
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 10:16:53 AM by The_Masked_Coder » Logged
fog
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« Reply #575 on: June 13, 2009, 12:49:34 PM »

Finally a smart bomb effect I'm relatively happy with and, as is so often the case, it's by far the simplest approach I've tested BunnyMonkey!

I've tried writing a rather large routine simply to handle the smart bomb explosions and that looked crap.  I've tried several shaderzzz but, while they looked ok, they didn't seem appropriate.  And I couldn't figure out why nothing looked right.

Then it struck me.  It wasn't the fact that graphically they didn't look ok, it was the way I was instantly destroying all on-screen enemies when the smart bomb is activated.  It's the way most games handle it so we accept it, but TBH it looks a bit crap and suddenly going from a screen full of enemies to a completely clear one feels a bit jarring.

What it needed was a simple shockwave effect emitting from the players ship and destroying enemies as it travelled over the screen.  That would look a lot less artificial than simply clearing everything.

So time to write another routine to handle it....or was it?  With a bit of lateral thinking I was able to use the existing emitter code to create the effect perfectly(?).  All I do is create a small, stationary "bullet" at the players location, then this "bullet" is simply scaled over time, destroying enemies as it comes into contact with them.  No new code required, 2 minutes to implement  Kang-a-roo!

It scales nice and fast, so the destruction is almost immediate, but it's just slow enough so that you can see the wave effect travel across the screen.  It's a subtle effect yet it makes a huge difference.  And because I've restricted the maximum size of the explosion, it doesn't clear the whole screen and simply creates a clear pocket around the player.  This way you need to use it slightly more tactically and as the screen never totally clears the action never has that awkward pause that a traditional smart bomb clearing the entire screen can create.

All by carefully considered design of course  Tongue
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JDog053
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« Reply #576 on: June 13, 2009, 12:59:57 PM »

Believe it or not, but the smart bomb in Geo Wars doesn't actually clear the whole play area, it just clears the area where you are. Though, it should be cool seeing it in action!
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SiN
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« Reply #577 on: June 13, 2009, 04:05:21 PM »

What it needed was a simple shockwave effect emitting from the players ship and destroying enemies as it travelled over the screen.  That would look a lot less artificial than simply clearing everything.
Huh, I swear I jotted that down during my initial playtest. I guess I forgot to mention it.

Quote
So time to write another routine to handle it....or was it?  With a bit of lateral thinking I was able to use the existing emitter code to create the effect perfectly(?).  All I do is create a small, stationary "bullet" at the players location, then this "bullet" is simply scaled over time, destroying enemies as it comes into contact with them.  No new code required, 2 minutes to implement  Kang-a-roo!
Genius! Smiley

Cheers,
Mo
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binary zoo mobile developer | 32x32 . duotrix . geomex . smiley's shooty adventure . by caffeine monster software | my blog
fog
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« Reply #578 on: June 13, 2009, 09:16:48 PM »

Believe it or not, but the smart bomb in Geo Wars doesn't actually clear the whole play area, it just clears the area where you are.
Really?  Well I haven't played a whole lot of GW and I never really use the smart bomb (I rarely use the smart bomb in any game TBH, which is partly why I've never implemented one in a game I've written so far Smiley )

Quote
So time to write another routine to handle it....or was it?  With a bit of lateral thinking I was able to use the existing emitter code to create the effect perfectly(?).  All I do is create a small, stationary "bullet" at the players location, then this "bullet" is simply scaled over time, destroying enemies as it comes into contact with them.  No new code required, 2 minutes to implement  Kang-a-roo!
Genius! Smiley
The word "genius" really is overused Wink  It was one of those "wow that's pretty cool piece of logic" moments that coding occasionally brings though  Smiley
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fog
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« Reply #579 on: June 14, 2009, 10:52:52 AM »

Just giving Classic mode a new lick of paint to make it look more appropriate.  It looks rather retro....ish.  Kang-a-roo!

And I've altered Asteroid, bullet and player behaviour in that mode to wrap around at the screen boundaries rather than bouncing off when they hit them.  Plus the momentum of the player ship has been cranked right up to give it a more authentic feel.

It all takes a little bit of adjusting to after playing one of the other modes, but it does make Classic mode genuinely different from the others and that was the whole point.  Making it just like Echoes with only asteroid enemies would have been ultimately a bit pointless, kinda like Echoes with all the good bits removed.

Overall I'm pretty happy with it now and for the first time during development I'm really enjoying playing Classic mode. 
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JDog053
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« Reply #580 on: June 14, 2009, 01:35:05 PM »

I'll go down as saying, I enjoyed the original version from test. Although, with the improvements you have listed making it alot more "classic" i'd be very interested in playing this mode as everyone i'm sure likes a good old bit of asteroids!

Keep up the great work man! This game will sell like hot cakes!
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fog
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« Reply #581 on: June 14, 2009, 05:15:42 PM »

Keep up the great work man! This game will sell like hot cakes!
lol.  Not on XBox Indies (*) it wont, but if I was too bothered about that then I'd be writing a quick aquarium screen saver or a massage app.  Wink

(*) That really does sound so much better than XBox Community Games
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fog
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« Reply #582 on: June 15, 2009, 08:35:46 PM »

Ok, this needs repeating.....file handling on the 360 using XNA is an unnecessarily complicated pain.

I'm all for a bit of lower level access in things like graphics, but why can't the storage device handling and the like be done semi-automatically if, like 99% of people, I just want seamless loading and saving of basic files?  Instead we all end up building our own code to wrap the XNA stuff into something more usable.

And of course it's not helped by that fact that, AFAIK, there's no way to see what you've written to a file other than through your own loading code, so if you have a problem then you really have no idea whether it's in your saving or loading routines.  Good luck debugging that.

Luckily once you've got it working it's the sort of routine that you never need to touch again, but I can see why a disproportionately large number of the failures in Peer Review are due to dodgy file handling.

That's the long way of saying I now have highscores saving properly  Tongue
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JDog053
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« Reply #583 on: June 15, 2009, 08:47:41 PM »

Now I can breath a sigh of relief...

The way I did it in XNA, was a bit sluggish, though it worked!
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SiN
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« Reply #584 on: June 15, 2009, 09:11:54 PM »

Have you done the asynchronous memory location selection stuff? It's incredibly tedious.

Mo
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binary zoo mobile developer | 32x32 . duotrix . geomex . smiley's shooty adventure . by caffeine monster software | my blog
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