Game in a week!
I have distant recollections of saying something about a ‘Game in a week’ challenge , and a break for easter, but time has not been on my side for the last week. Unfortunately Elaine, my stunning yet fragile girlfriend has been quite poorly of late and what with having my grand daughter (and her parents) round an awful lot, and a zillion other reasons (some more believable than others) and I have as yet struggled to get an entire day in on this project.
I have however managed to grab a few half hours here and there, Including a productive but slightly uncomfortable day of running the children around places (Because after all, what’s a Dad for if not endless free taxi rides…) and working from the laptop in the gaps between drives.
I don’t have much in the way of progress to report though sadly as I seem to keep hitting stumbling blocks. I did manage to load in a few gun models. Which was nice 🙂 I have the old FPSC model packs 9 and 10 so I have a fair selection of guns to choose from.
I’m not sure if I mentioned this in the brief or not, but I’m aiming for a selection of guns (Possibly expandable later on as DLC) starting with a pistol, then rifle, machine gun, and finally shotgun.
I asked the opinion’s of Daunting Fatty and Beefy (2 of the most knowledgeable FPS players I know) what of the selection I had they would choose. We have so far decided on the M1911 pistol and the AK74 as the assault rifle.
This is the pistol. both models seem adequately detailed and have the right look and feel to them for how I imagine the game to be
This is the 2nd gun, the AK74. As you can see the models seem to have a difference in rotation (which surprised me a little) but this should be easily corrected either in code, or by editing the models in an editor.
So happy that I had a couple of gun models converted and loaded in ok, I decided to try a quick test to see how well the characters could actually hold a gun. This is where the problems started setting in…
Despite looking every inch a survivor from a zombie apocalypse, this young lady seems completely incapable of holding the gun properly. Her friend with the pistol is even worse…
I mean, seriously? Who doesn’t know which end of a gun to point at the walking dead? 😀 All joking asides, I tried on and off (with what little time I could grab) over a couple of days to sort this out but to no avail. So in end I had to resort to asking for help over at the TGC forums.
As I write this, it’s currently 20 to 1 in the morning, I have had an answer or two on the forum but I haven’t had time to properly try out anything yet. Considering I have to make lunches and iron shirts for school tomorrow, and then be up for 6:45am to make sure everyone is ready and to drop of those who need dropping off; I can’t see me finishing much else apart from this blog tonight
Hopefully I will get to have a whole day of coding tomorrow. I’ve ordered the weekly shop rather than go there, and I have no plans for anything else tomorrow so fingers crossed 🙂
Until the next time,
Since I feel like I have such a hectic schedule over Easter, I’ve decided that the only thing to do is suspend this challenge for a couple of days. I simple cannot do everything and be everywhere, so after a couple of days I’ll be back and will continue this challenge!
I promise I will not cheat, and do some sneaky coding whilst no one is looking 😉 And I would like to point out that I never at any point said the days would be consecutive ones 😛 Lol!
Hope you all understand, and have a great Easter 😀
So the target for today was to start coding and plan out the code layout; which I did. As I predicted yesterday, this has not warranted an excessively long or exciting blog post.
I was hoping to catch up on some of the graphical work which I couldn’t do yesterday but instead I had some real world socialising to do (Which involved drinking beer, so I didn’t mind, although it is why this post is being done this morning and not last night!)
I’m starting to think perhaps I have chosen the wrong week for this, what with Easter round the corner, the kids being off of school and a few other things which are making this slightly less fun than I was expecting.
This little lady was possibly the nicest distraction of the afternoon, and we spent a good hour coding and eating sticks and mud in the garden 🙂
Anyway, that’s pretty much this post over with, I’m going to crack on shortly and get some more of the actual coding done and hopefully have some game to show you come this evenings post!
Until then, have fun!
Ok, so day #1 has rolled around and is almost over, and despite my best efforts today hasn’t been anywhere near as productive as I’d hoped. I’m also feeling pretty tired, so it’s not going to be the longest or most involved blog post 🙂
The biggest part of today was spent choosing which models I was going to use from the selection I have previously purchased. This was a fun trip down memory lane, and I was also happy to notice that most (but sadly not all, especially the ones I never got around to buying) of the old FPSC model packs are now free to download from GitHub along with FPSC itself!
Since this game is being developed with Android phones in mind, I wanted graphics which would look professional but also be low poly enough so as not too affect performance too much.
Eventually, I decided on these two undead monstrosities by Mark Blosser, who are fairly high resolution at around 5000 polys each model. I had to convert the textures to a format AGK2 could work with, but that was no bother. I have kept them at 1024 x 1024 currently, but may reduce them in size to see if that helps performance without impacting the visual appeal too much.
I should point out I have a lower poly/resolution set of models as a fall back in case of performance issues etc, but hopefully I won’t need to use them.
These two Zombies are nicely animated, and look pretty gross, and even come with sound effects! I’m fairly sure that there were a couple more of these available from the old Game Creators Store, as well as a couple of model packs featuring an abundance of zombies both civilian and military. But as this is a project against the clock, I am pressing on with things, I can always purchase and include the other models at a later date.
The models actually come with a lot of unnecessary animations which I should look into removing, as that would (hopefully) decrease the size of the models.
The player gets to choose one of these lucky four people to go up against the zombies. They have been created by Jonathon Fletcher, and I’m hoping to get some buddies to do voices for them (time allowing).
They have a slightly lower poly count than the zombie models, averaging 2500 or so.
They have been designed as civilian militia characters, but I think their appearance suits a zombie apocalypse and that they wouldn’t look out of place in an episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Being FPSC models, they should be fairly easy to attach weapons to (or at least they were in DBP 😛 )
I will be using the weapons from FPSC Model Pack 9 and 10, these include a variety of pistols, rifles, machine guns and melee weapons. And hopefully, a rusty chainsaw and a good ol’ red crow bar (a la Gordon Freeman)
Sadly, the rest of this post isn’t full of images of these four holding a variety of weapons, or even close up poly count images of the weapons because I didn’t quite get that far today 🙁 I have found the files for these though so they are definitely part of the project.
Unfortunately, I also didn’t get chance to realise any of the pen and paper plans I have for the UI.
I have some ideas, and if I don’t have time to create all of the elements I need, or it doesn’t pan out for other reasons then I can always just use semi transparent grey rounded rectangles for UI! Lol!
I did spend some time getting the models to animate, which worked differently from how I remembered in DBP. AGK2 seems to use animation names, and start and end times; instead for frame numbers (which is what I was expecting), Not that it’s a problem, I’m sure I can get around it either with code or by tinkering with the models in blender, but it’s perhaps something to worry about another day.
I did also run some performance tests with numbers of Zombies on various test devices. Since I had to retire the Samsung Galaxy Y (AGK2 no longer supports this phones type of CPU), my lowest specced devices are a Galaxy Tab 2 7″ tablet and an iPhone 4S, both of these could reliably display a character and 30 animated zombies and maintain an acceptable frame rate. Sadly with more zombies, it became erratic with the AGK player crashing back to the OS Home page more often than not.
I had to chuckle quietly to myself as I was watching the tests being performed, it really did remind me more than slightly of Michael Jacksons ‘Thriller’ video. (If I had had more time I would have recorded an avi of this, and possibly will do so at the end of the project.)
I’m not sure how long tomorrows post is going to be. The only thing on the cards for tomorrow is laying out the code structure, deciding on variables and the like, which will not in anyway make for an exciting blog. I’m hoping that there will be some time leftover at the end to catch up on some of the graphical stuff I didn’t get chance to do today
And with that, I am once again calling it a night. It’s nearly 2am and I really need to go to bed otherwise I will be waking up with a keyboard imprint on my face. Besides, I keep having to make more and more corrections as I type to stop myself sounding like Yoda.
Until next time…
It’s been a while since I last posted here, there is much news to share but I will save that for another post.
This post is all about programming. I’ve been working pretty hard the last few months doing little else but designing, coding, polishing, testing, redesigning, recoding, retesting etc. the User Interface for the latest ‘Warriors of the Cucumber’ title and to be fair I feel like I need a break, a new challenge, something to mix up the daily routine and stop things from getting to stale.
Inspired by Alex Norton’s own project ‘God of thunder’ which he made in around a week, I wondered if I could push myself to make a fun, playable and (above all) professional game in only a week!*
Not only this, but clearly I’m a glutton for punishment because as well as attempting to get this entire project done in a week; but I am tempted (after perhaps a little more work, lol) to enter it in the GDWC afterwards.
I am also planning to blog the entire thing for posterity, whether it’s a success or not, it’ll be a valuable experience and also great fun 😊 I hope you’ll stick around for the week 😃
I will be working (as closely as I can) to this schedule.
- Day 0. Planning Day – Coming up with all the ideas and plans
- Day 1. Creating media
- Day 2. Roughing out code
- Day 3. Finishing code
- Day 4. In house testing
- Day 5. Bug fixing and polishing
- Day 6. Beta testing
- Day 7. Final bug fix and polish
The project will be developed using The Game Creators multi platform programming language, AGK2; with the usual compliment of Paint.net, Blender and Audacity for editing media. I plan on using mostly pre-purchased media for this project, so bespoke elements shouldn’t take too long to create.
Today being day 0, and also a lovely sunny day, I have spent most of the day sat in the garden pouring my creativity out onto paper, planning out details of the game.
There are a few assumptions I’m making about this project, which I will list here before we get too far in. I am planning to use some of the old DBPro/FPSC models which I am not actually sure how well AGK2 will load. I am also hoping to get this working with In app purchasing and game centre achievements, but as I have never done either of these before, it may cause unexpected delays.
With all that in mind, let me introduce you to my idea…
Brief: You control one of (currently) four characters as they battle for their lives against waves of increasingly deadly zombies.
The game will be 3D, with a fixed isometric style view, with the character centrally located on the screen in the centre of an illuminated bit. I’m unsure if the level will need background stuff, or if there will just be fog or darkness. I will play this by ear until I get that far, or have any better ideas.
The player will control the character using a thumb stick in one corner of the screen and a couple of buttons in the other. (I am considering offering lefty-flip in the options)
Dead zombies will sporadically drop pickups, which can be levelled up in the store section.
- Health pack – Increases player health
- Body Armour – Increases damage player can take (essentially extra health?)
- Ammo – More gun juice!
- Repair barricades – Fixes the barricade
- Extra Damage – Player causes more hurt!
- Dynamite (Smart bomb) – Causes damage to all on screen baddies
- X2 – Doubles score (cash?)
The characters will have individual stats which will be increased
either by purchasing in store, or by earning stats by levelling up ( undecided as yet)
Character stat list:
- Health – Take more damage
- Speed – Turn quicker
- Weapon Skill – Reload quicker
- Luck – Increases chance of zombies dropping a pick up
- Barricade – The strength (and visual) of the barricade
Each one of the four characters has the same number of stat points initially, but with variance in the spread.
I’m undecided yet as to the levelling up bit exactly, I have some research and some ideas but I’m waiting to actually “play” the game before deciding on exact values for XP boundaries and the like.
The game will scored on the number of minutes and seconds the player survives for, with this being the basis of the high score board.
The player will also earn coins and XP points for the number of undead killed. (Obviously, XP increases as zombies become tougher)
Players who want to level up faster, who are impatient or just be better than everyone else can also purchase extra coins using real world money via in app purchasing.
There are also going to be several achievements available as unlockable trophies to encourage longer term play. Although again, these will be decided upon slightly later on depending on how the game plays.
And that I think covers everything, if I have missed anything out I will come back and edit the post but its gone midnight now and I am struggling to keep my eyes open. I will post tomorrow to let you know how the next day has gone.
Also, if anybody wants to sign up as a beta tester (you need to have a google plus account, and a google play account) but feel free to drop me a mail >here< and I will send you the details on how to sign up
Catch you all tomorrow (hopefully slightly earlier than this)
* The eagle eyed amongst you will probably notice that the week in the plan actually consists of 8 days, Day 6 (Beta testing) wasn’t counted, as it’s spent just waiting for feedback from the beta team