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SiN
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« Reply #1050 on: July 09, 2010, 11:36:54 PM »

You can actually have it both ways: procedurally create the levels, and have a level/wave counter too.

Think about how Geomex works. There's a level number, and that influences the board filling algorithm. For Geomex, the level number determined how complex the shapes were, and the colour range. For 1982, it could influence the enemy type, wave type, and the number of enemy waves on screen at once. Thus you'd be getting levels that feel fairly consistent, but are random enough to keep the player on their toes.

And then every 10 or so waves, have a "set piece" boss battle, that you can script by hand.

That would be a great balance between procedural and hand-written.

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 #1051 on: July 10, 2010, 10:49:47 AM »

Think about how Geomex works. There's a level number, and that influences the board filling algorithm. For Geomex, the level number determined how complex the shapes were, and the colour range. For 1982, it could influence the enemy type, wave type, and the number of enemy waves on screen at once. Thus you'd be getting levels that feel fairly consistent, but are random enough to keep the player on their toes.
Yeah mate that's essentially what I do in Echoes and how the attack waves in 1982 were generated during early testing.

A lot of the time it worked ok, but at others the combination of on screen enemies just didn't work properly. And because of the number of different waves it soon becomes a minefield of logic tests if you try and filter out combinations you don't want.

Also I want a bit more control over early stages so I can introduce the enemies and powerups in a more controlled way.


That would be a great balance between procedural and hand-written.
I might still end up with that combination and procedurally generate the later stages.  By then there will be so many enemies on screen that it's not worth worrying about how they are combined Smiley
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JDog053
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« Reply #1052 on: July 10, 2010, 01:43:27 PM »

Sounds like a good change, if something is added but doesn't add to gameplay, remove t Wink
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« Reply #1053 on: July 11, 2010, 12:56:21 PM »

The level structure has now gone.  As I said earlier, gameplay wise it makes very little difference as there was never a gap between them anyway.

Just need to tweak a few of the Zoo Trials now as they refered to doing certain things by certain levels which will now have to say "...before wave 1000" etc.
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SiN
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« Reply #1054 on: July 11, 2010, 04:40:53 PM »

Just need to tweak a few of the Zoo Trials now as they refered to doing certain things by certain levels which will now have to say "...before wave 1000" etc.
Awesome! Smiley
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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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« Reply #1055 on: July 12, 2010, 05:19:49 PM »

Just need to tweak a few of the Zoo Trials now as they refered to doing certain things by certain levels which will now have to say "...before wave 1000" etc.
Awesome! Smiley
lol.  I guess "wave 1000" does sound more impressive than "level 9" Smiley


Anyway if I do my Bangai-O Spirits inspired shmup next then the level creation system will effectively be a map editor making things much easier and I'll be hoping Playtesters might chip in with a few level designs too Smiley
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JDog053
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« Reply #1056 on: July 12, 2010, 11:02:34 PM »

You can count me in on that Smiley

I'm guessing by editor, its you click a location, define a time, say how many and what formation of an enemy and whether they shoot or not and print that to a text file? < thats the way mine will work Smiley
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« Reply #1057 on: July 13, 2010, 12:14:24 PM »

I'm guessing by editor, its you click a location, define a time, say how many and what formation of an enemy and whether they shoot or not and print that to a text file? < thats the way mine will work Smiley
Hopefully it will be even easier than that.  Smiley

There are no enemy formations to design or scripting for when enemies appear and the enemies themselves (movement, firing rate etc) will all be pre-designed.

If the gameplay works out the way I intend then all you will be doing in the level editor is designing the maps by placing tiles and enemies will handle themselves.  Keeping things as simple as possible is the aim.
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JDog053
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« Reply #1058 on: July 13, 2010, 05:22:07 PM »

Simplicity is every users best friend Smiley Sounds like a great way to go.
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« Reply #1059 on: July 14, 2010, 08:50:16 PM »

Simplicity is every users best friend Smiley Sounds like a great way to go.
Well as already mentioned it helps that the intended design doesn't require pre-defined enemy flight paths or scripting of enemy spawning etc which most similar games would require.

Getting way ahead of myself here though as I have no idea which idea I'll do for my next game.  I have a few ranging from "sensible, traditional shmup with a minor twist" right up to "it's so mental I know it will be unplayable but hell it looks nice".  BunnyMonkey!

I had intended doing a few quick "classics" but circumstances mean that as with 1982 they would take a lot longer than I'd like....and if that's the case then I might as well do something new and interesting which is what I prefer doing.
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« Reply #1060 on: July 18, 2010, 09:46:34 AM »

Just sent you an IM Fog.

TMC
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« Reply #1061 on: July 19, 2010, 02:06:34 PM »

Now that's why you should never do a chunk of coding without testing it before going up to bed.  Smiley

Just wasted a chunk of time trying to find a bug in my file handling code which kept throwing an error when starting the game.  A bit of a mystery when I hadn't knowingly changed that code but that's where the error pointed to so that's where I was looking.

Of course the problem wasn't really there as not having changed anything logic tells you it wouldn't be.   No, instead it was because I'd reduced the number of available difficultie settings (by removing "Insane") however my file handling code was still trying to load and save data for that now non-existent highscore table.

Yeah stupid.  Tongue
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JDog053
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« Reply #1062 on: July 19, 2010, 03:00:20 PM »

Good find, I would've (like an idiot) recoded it again :/ glad you fixed your bug Smiley
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« Reply #1063 on: July 20, 2010, 05:36:08 PM »

Good find, I would've (like an idiot) recoded it again :/ glad you fixed your bug Smiley
I don't know if you've started messing with file handling on the 360 yet, but trust me when I say I wouldn't want to recode it again.  It was a serious pain to get working properly.  Tongue


Still designing attack waves in 1982 here.  After writing a load and doing some serious testing I've come to the conclusion that I needn't worry about structuring things too much.

I was trying to keep things interesting and structured by doing stuff like.... "I'll introduce Galaxian type enemies here" ... "this bit will just be Asteroids and Comets" ... "in this section you will just get green powerups"... and while I'll stick to that to an extent, things are often so chaotic on screen that I doubt most people will notice many of the different sections.

I'm quite relieved at that as trying to think of interesting sections 1000 waves into the game is pretty tiresome when all of the enemies are pretty basic (intentionally so).  What I really need to do is concentrate on getting the increasing difficulty curve right and that's causing issues right now.  Smiley
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« Reply #1064 on: July 22, 2010, 10:03:25 PM »

Added a couple more enemy attack wave types so the current count is 43.  As I said earlier I doubt anyone will notice but at leat I'll feel better knowing that I've made an effort to inject some variety into them.

Now toying with the question of whether I should have a little tutorial at the beginning explaining the powerups and scoring system or whether I should just let people experiment for themselves.  Currently leaning towards the latter...and not just because it means less work.  BunnyMonkey!

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