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Weekly Game Update – “Don’t Panic” #1

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“Weekly Game Update” – what’s that Ralph?

Well reader, it’s exactly what it sounds like – it’s a weekly update on my current game project that I’ll be doing every week from here on out.  This is part two of my plan to bring this site of mine some life with the first being that monthly revenue report thing.

The weekly game update posts will be made every weekend and will outline how much I’ve gotten done on any of my current projects as well as what lies ahead.  I’ll try to include screenshots, but I’m not saying I will every week – sometimes things just don’t change enough visually to warrant a screenshot.

Flash Game Development Update

Stats:

The game is still untitled at this point.  (The title of this post may or may not contain the title of the game, as I will go back and edit it once I have decided on one.)  I don’t want to go with a typical “Something Defense” type of title, as it sounds terribly generic.  At this point I’m leaning towards something along the lines of “Attack of the ____’s” – with the blank being the name of the robot army attacking your base.

According to my header up there, the game was 20% complete as of this time last week and currently stands at 39%.  That is a 19% improvement in just 1 week.  Not bad at all…

Game Dev ScreenshotGame Dev Screenshot

Screenshots: Some enemies doing what they do best – blowing up and dropping money.

Accomplished:

  • Completely scrapped and redrew the background (which was for some reason giving me tons of trouble – I never knew grass was so hard to draw >_>).
  • Finally got rid of some placeholder art and gave the enemy their skins.
  • After loads of thinking, I decided to scrap the idea of day and night levels – night would be too hard to accomplish.  Either I could have the effect I want with a 10% increase in CPU usage (unacceptable to my standards) or have a less “cool” effect with CPU usage not affected.  I decided to go with neither.
  • After going through at least 4 different attempts, I finally animated a very good looking explosion in Flash for the first time in my life!
  • The biggest problem I ran into this week was quite a nuisance.  After adding the enemy skins to the game, the CPU usage shot up to over 65%.  What does that mean?  Lag.  Lag everywhere.  After getting some help from the awesome folks at the FlashGameLicense.com forums – I found a way to fix this.  In a nutshell, I made it so the game takes any art/animation I want and translates it into a bitmap to use in the actual game.  I lose out on the crisp look of vector art but I’d trade that for performance any day.  I’ll be making a tutorial post on this in the coming week or 2 (once I feel I 100% understand the concept myself).

To-Do:

  • Animate more variations of explosions.  Some small explosions, some bigger ones, and some unique-looking ones.  Shouldn’t be too hard but it will be very tedious work.  I finally get to use my tablet, though.
  • Program and design flying enemies.  FLYING ENEMIES!
  • Give bullets some polish (trails, impact animations, etc).
  • Begin programming the player’s reinforcement AI to do their particular job.
  • Start designing the player, the player’s reinforcements, and the player’s weapons.
  • Small miscellaneous fixes and tweaks.
  • And above all – come up with a title!

Planning Ahead:

  • The opening and ending cutscenes have to be planned out.  This can’t be accomplished until I know what the player and his team will look like.  (How difficult or easy it will be to animate them.)
  • Design and program the opening and in-between menus including the “buy” menu, “upgrade” menu, etc.  Also implement robust saving and loading functionality.  This can’t be accomplished until the game is further along in development.
  • Begin adding new levels as well as program each level’s enemy-spawning algorithm.  This can’t be completed until all enemies have been created and bug tested.
  • A half-way boss battle and a final boss battle.  This can’t be completed because it’s going to be a pain in the ass to program since I want it done right.  Not a very good reason but too bad.

Alright that’s it.  I’m done.  Sorry about that wall of text up there, my bad 😉

  1. Rid says: January 9, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Making some good progress I see. I’m not sure if you got my message last night, but I’ve talked to an old buddy of mine who is making music now. I showed him your other games and he sounds interested in making some songs for your games if you want. I’ll talk to you more about it the next time you’re on MSN, but yeah. Just letting you know.

  2. Paul D'Amora remarks: January 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    I was going to make some smartass comment, but for your sake Ralph, I’ll pretend that I actually give a fuck, so…

    YAY! NO WAY YOU’RE SO FUDGING COOL!

  3. Ralph utters: January 10, 2011 at 9:11 am

    @Rid – Sorry about that, I kinda should’ve just shut off my computer that night, lol. The battery ended up dieing so I didn’t get any messages. But that sounds great, we’ll talk about it later.

    @Paul – I’m IP banning you. I don’t even care.

  4. Paul D'Amora utters: January 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    You need a sense of humor Ralph.

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