Wednesday, December 28, 2011

[Review] Star Wars: The Old Republic 10/10

Review:  10/10
  As it has been taking up much of my free time as of late and causing me to slack on my programming, I figured I would put out a review for Star Wars:  The Old Republic.  If you are a classic Star Wars fan, a lore geek, an avid fan of fantasy novels, or just a plain ol' MMORPG gamer, then I highly recommend SWTOR.  Bioware combines epic story telling with exciting game play and puts it all in the mmorpg wrapping.

Graphics:  9/10
At first the graphics were a bit much for my video card on my desktop.  Apparently there is a bug with shadows on some cards and removing the shadow option, I went from 5 fps to around 40-50 ish.   The game runs really smoothly and looks incredible.  From sweeping planetscapes to dark infested dungeons, the game looks magnificent.  The character models stand out and look incredible.  And this is on full low graphics.  I beg to wonder what the game would look like if I had myself a proper gaming rig.  Spell effects and Lightsaber effects really shine in SWTOR and they did a really nice job of implementing different kinds of looks and effects.

Sound:  10/10
Sound is oddly one of the biggest pluses to SWTOR.  There are incredible soundtracks, epic effects that make you feel like a true Sith Lord, but, more importantly than all that is that each quest is fully voiced.  SWTOR immerses the player in the lore and you feel like you are watching a movie, a movie that you control.  Your character has a voice as well and (for mine at least) a pretty snarky voice to go with his attitude.  BioWare has done an incredible job putting in the effort to make every single quest voiced.  It really does make a world of difference.  I am not the greatest lore nerd, but I do truly appreciate the immersion level of TOR.  There are a few bugs here and there with sound, but overall, I keep it on all the time to enjoy the epic music and great story lines.

Story:  10/10
The ability to change and alter your story line is incredibly fun.  To gain dark side points, you really do feel like an ass.  You kill innocent people and with the immersion level, sometimes that is rather tough (for me at least).  I play a Sith Assassin and it just doesn't feel right to be all goody two shoes about it.  Wrecking havok on the world is my goal.  Also if you are a fan of KoTOR, an RPG made a few years back by BioWare, you will recognize some references to characters and plot developments.  It made me really happy to wipe out a clan of Revanites, well, happy to recognize past lore.  I read a lot of fantasy novels, and while Lore in video games has never appealed to me, in SWTOR it draws you in.  It's hard to not get addicted to reading all the codex entries and quest dialogues.  After the disinterest in quest text that other mmos have given me, it's pretty darn amazing how much TOR brings me into the story.

UI: 8/10
The UI is very simple, but still a little buggy.  There are times when you can't access your Ship menu and other small things, but overall the UI is nice, unobtrusive, and has a definitive space style to it that gives it a fresh feel.

Game Play: 10/10
Epic.  That word primarily sums up how I feel about SWTOR's game play.  From dancing with death among a throng of deranged neophytes to blasting force lightning across a pvp battlefield, you truly feel bad ass (even when you die because you think you are more bad ass than you are).  The skill system is set up fairly well and it's easy to figure out how to customize your keys if you are an mmo-expert.  The tabs on the keybind menu is really nice too:  I go to my hotbars and then just select which keys I want to bind.  The one complaint about binding keys is I can't unbind my '\' key which is the stupid help/bug menu which I hit all the time on my keyboard trying to hit enter, but other than that, it's works well.  But, anyway, the game play is great, and I love the fighting mechanics.  You don't just simply auto attack, you have to right click in between spells to do that, which is rather refreshing and gives a more controlled feel.

**will updated later after I examine PVP more**

Overall: 10/10
I am probably a little biased since I am a long fan of Star Wars and absolutely loved KoTOR, but this game is a new fresh break from the traditional MMO scene.  I thank BioWare for their immense effort in producing an amazing game, and look forward to the endgame, and new developments that come in the future.  If you haven't tried out Star Wars:  The Old Republic yet, I implore you:  DO SO.

May the force be with you


Saturday, December 24, 2011

[SBX2] Level Design Set Up

  It's Christmas Eve! Yay, but I do have to work a 12 hour shift tomorrow on Christmas... sad day.

Things are going well, the job is good and all is well, 'cept my darling girlfriend is out of town, (which is why I took the Xmas shift).

Got some progress done in the past few days.  Upgraded some of the enemy movement coding and added in suicide type enemies who will ram you if you get too close.  Also added new level design with a bland basic template that will be upgraded later.  And I also added a new weapon.

New Weapon:  Spike Mines

If you played SBX (the first one) you might remember these.  Well they are basically the same:  Fire them and watch them sit there until an enemy comes and hits em!  In SBX2 though, they are a lot more  useful as you can swap to ranged weapons after setting up a few mines.

Also I might have a graphic artist/backup coder on the team!  This would essentially give me what I need to start the team in January officially.  I look forward to getting progress really under way and moving forward with SBX2.  So far it's all been testing, fixing bugs, refining the engine, etc, but I still have a lot of stuff to implement.  Once I get the Map and Save System Figured out as well as the AutoShop added, then the rest will be cake.  From there on it's just level design and implementation.

Things I will be adding soon:  New Graphics, Map Level, Save Functions, AutoShop (introduced through the story), New Characters, New Enemies, and a whole lot more!

Also I've been working on refining and consolidating a lot of my code as it tends to get lengthy.  I can probably re-work a few sections of code to make them better as well and more organized.

Well that's all for now, there will be more updates as the new year rolls out.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

[Design] Character Design Document - LoL - Feiron


Doing a little bit different of a post today.  I made a character design document for a new character for League of Legends.  I sketched up a rough draft on my break at work and put it into a document file and sent it to Riot Games.  Now who knows whether they will even look at it, but I figured I'd share it with you.

Here is the sketch:

I'll go ahead and copy over his moveset information from the file as well:

Moveset Descriptions:  (New information copied from the LoL post)

Note: Feiron Auto attacks at a range (500) , shooting a small amount of electricity out of his glove.

Feiron can alternate between positive and negative magnetic states. In his positive state, Feiron takes 5% less damage from all sources. In his negative state, Feiron has 5% increased damage.

Q – MagneRods Range: 150 CD: (10/8/6) Mana: (25/50/75)
Feiron plants a MagneRod in the ground at the target location. MagneRods are magnetically attuned to Feirons current magnetic state. Magnerods pulse every 3 (affected by CDR) seconds doing 10,20,30,40,50 (+.2*AP) damage to all enemies within 100 range and last for 5 minutes (affected inversely by CDR, as in longer duration by a %). Feiron can plant (2,3,4,5,6) magnetic rods total at levels 1/2/3/4/5. MagneRods grant 125 range sight. Placing a MagneRod will also change your state as well after placement.

W – Lightning Ball Range: 650 skillshot CD: (30/26/22/18/15 sec) Mana: (40/60/80/100/120)
Feiron fires a ball of electricity forward hitting any enemy champions doing 50,100,150,200,250 (+.3*AP) damage. If an enemy champion is hit Lightning Ball will jump to the nearest enemy or MagneRod within 200 range. Lightning Ball can bounce between (3,4,5,6,7) champions or minions (Champions are prioritized) (MagneRods not counted, but Lightning Ball cannot bounce from one Rod to another).

E – Flux Jump Range: 700 CD: (4/4/4/3/3) Mana: ([0 at level 0],10/20/30/40/50)
Feiron transforms into electricity, jumping to the nearest MagneRod of the opposing magnetic state within 700 range. Any enemies he passes through take 50,80,110,140,170 (+.5 AP) damage and upon landing Feiron unleashes a smaller weaker version of magnetic pulse wave out in a circle around the rod (200 range, 10% damage). In addition Flux Jump alternates the magnetic state Feiron is in (activating after his pulse). If used outside the range of a MagneRod, Feiron will pulse in place (still doing a mini Mag pulse Wave) and alternate his magnetic state. In addition, while in negative state flux jump will pull all targets 100 range toward the MagneRod he is travelling to, and positive state will push them 100 range away from the MangeRod he is travelling to. Flux jump can be used at level 0 only to alternate between states.

R – Magnetic Pulse Wave Range: 500 ( wide cone) CD: (60/45/30 sec) Mana: (50/75/100)
Feiron fires a magnetic pulse in a cone in front of him doing 150,280,410 (+.8*AP) damage to all targets. In addition, while in positive state, Magnetic Pulse Wave pushes all targets away from Feiron 200 range, and when in negative state, MPW pulls all targets toward Feiron 200 range (or to him if they are closer than 200 yards).


Shadow Stalker Feiron:

Cyborg Feiron:

Lightning Fused Feiron:

If you like League of Legends, let me know what you think of the Design Document.
If Riot uses it by all means GREAT!  However, my goal is to just get my name out there and have someone say: "eh this is interesting, WakeskaterX  /  Jason Carter... noted"

Because I would love to work for Riot some day. 

Well that's about it for today, I got some of the profile screen coded in for SBX2, I already had the graphics.  It doesn't utilize saving yet, but when I add it in, it will be an easy transition with the profile screen up already.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

[SBX2] Tilesets

This week has been going by quickly!  With Christmas coming up soon, I must set aside time for buying everyone the things they want >_>.  BUT!  I did get my girlfriend a gift already, and it's pretty sweet if I do say so myself.

The holidays are pushing back my savings for a car though, but it's all good, it's nice to have money to get things for people.

What I am Reading:
Temple of the Winds  by  Terry Goodkind.
Great series (Sword of Truth Series) and just got the 4th book.  Excellent fantasy series if you like that kind of stuff.

I haven't had much time to work on the game this week, but I did set some aside today.  I reworked one  of the tilesets that was provided to me by TheUltimate, and upgraded some of the pieces to fit properly.  I'm so slow at spriting so it took me a while, but I did get it to a state I like.

After that I reworked the tutorial level to change it from this boring flat layout:

to giving it a bit more depth and variety, and making you use your gun:

Overall, it gives the tutorial a less boring feel, and a good industrial background will make it pop out more.

I think the next update will be the save system, I will try to get that in place, I think I will just use .ini files again, since I know how to use them and I like the control it gives me.

Well, that is it for now, just a short update.

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

[SBX2] Story Work

Well, today is my first day off since Thanksgiving, and boy am I glad to get some programming done!  Later tonight and tomorrow will be spent with the girlfriend, so I'm trying to get as much done this morning as I can.

Last night I went to my sisters A cappella concert and she had 2 solos.  I have to say, I really didn't think anyone was even close to as good as my sister.  Maybe I'm just being a proud brother, but my sister does have a set of pipes on her.  She can really belt it out.  She sang a rendition of:  Love me like a rock.  And honestly, it was way better than the original.

Looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend, and am going to a fun coffeehouse event tonight.

Ok, down to business.  The most time consuming thing this morning was the portrait for General Bradsworth. I used a script developed by:  J-Factor and modified it for my purposes.  I'm using his sample text blip sound and font file at the moment but will replace those later.  But here is a sample of what the textbox looks like including the portrait added in:

I took a generic photo of some German general and sketched over it and added the features I needed to get the portrait.  I think it turned out alright, it could be better but it isn't too bad.

Edit:  Lt Hawk's portrait done: Check it out:

Kudos if you guess who I used for the base to draw off of.

The game now includes fade in and out text that tells you the instructions at the beginning.  I made an object that acts as a tool and you just pass in all the parameters you want and it fades and loops through an array of strings and deletes itself when you get to a string of 'end'.

Overall, I am excited to get more work done and here are some things to look forward to in builds coming soon:

-Save System
-Adjusted Ship Acceleration
-Lt Hawk Portraits
-Reworked Story
-Reworked Background Graphics for Tutorial area
-Reworked Graphics for GUI HUD in Test Space Area

So keep checking back  for more updates to SBX2!

Thanks for reading

Friday, December 2, 2011

[SBX2] New Job / New Character

The first 5 days of my new job are done.  I logged 40 hours, but will have another 12 on Sunday for an operator training shift, so i'll have 52 hours total for this week.  Pretty darn sweet!  The new job is some tough work, and I have worked 8 days straight so far, (3 were at my previous job), but it should balance out soon and give me some days off to program a bit on SBX2.  There  is a lot to learn at my new job and I have been getting up super early and setting off for the day before the sun hits the ground.  It's tiring, but rewarding.

I look forward to these next few weeks and saving up some money to buy both a car and some holiday gifts.  This job is finally paying decent: something that is somewhat worthy for a person with a collidge collage college degree.  I am definitely looking forward to being able to program some tomorrow, and I have a hot breakfast date with the GF as well.  Of course it is contingent upon whether or not I get called in on my one day off... : /   But hopefully I won't.

Anyway some things to look in SBX2 soon:

Coming soon:

  • Introduction Story Line
  • Tutorial Level and Level 1
  • Profile Saving
  • Fixing bugs and things in  the test room
So I'll start working more on my days off, but I have just been crazy busy with the job switch.

Edit:  Added this later today:  A new character has been drawn up.  I am working on the sprites for the first NPC you come across in the game:  General Bradsworth.

General Bradsworth is the General for your platoon and will help you out a bit at the beginning of the game.

Here is a sprite of him:

He's sportin his sexy medals!

I'll be adding a few more sprites to Gen. Bradsworth, and am combining previous sprites into whole sheets with different character options.  This will let me use him in the story line and give a nice visual to follow with.
Stay tuned for more updates.


Eh, I'm also going to add a new preview of what some of the upcoming graphics will look like.  This at least is a slightly better representation of what I hope to have at the end:

I plan to add nebulae and asteroids and various space items.  I also did something special with the planets.  They don't move at a 1 to 1 ratio with the level.  I programmed them to move closer to you (a little bit) so it seems like they are moving around the level a little, making it seem like there is depth to them and they are farther away, but closer than the stars.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

[SBX2] The rumbling of creation

Well, the team has officially begun.  The first official member has joined the ranks of Wakeskater Studio.  Waseem Faraz Butt is now the official Sound Engineer for SBX2.  He was interested and contacted me on the GMC forums, and after he tried out the project, and created a test sample for me to see his work, we both  agreed that this sounded good, and he joined as the first official member.

The sound track will be edited and lengthened, but here is the sample of what he sent me:

Waseem lives in the UK, but has a repertoire of music he has developed.  If you would like to check out his Youtube channel, you can find it here:

I am very enthusiastic to begin this project, and really all I need to start working a lot more is a graphic design artist.  I can code most of it myself until I get someone to help, but the programmer isn't as necessary as the artist.  I do most of my own art, however, I am so slow at pixel art, and it really does take me a while.  Plus, getting a graphic designer now will be better, so that we don't have to sync up art styles or replace everything later on.  

It is very exciting to find talented people, who like myself, love game design and want to build up a portfolio.  Being a completely volunteer project, I am trying to avoid anyone who might leave the project halfway, so it is taking a little while to get the group together.  But 1/3 spots are filled, and I originally wanted the project to begin in January, so that deadline for the official team seems very doable.

Again, thanks for reading, and check out that music, Rock-IT is catchy, and this game should have some stellar sounds and music once it's finished.


Monday, November 21, 2011

[SBX2] Inching Along

Well progress is slow on SBX2, I have a new job coming up and have been busy moving my girlfriend in to her new apartment.  There has been a lot to do the past couple weeks and I haven't gotten as much done on the game as I would have liked.  I have had a few more responses from people for the team, but haven't locked anyone in yet.  No response from any graphic designer yet, but i have had a few composers and programmers contact me.  I think I'm still going to be doing most of the programming, as it is my game and my code at the moment.

The past few days have been re working a few things about SBX2.  First of all, enemies were able to instantly face you no matter where you were, once you were in range.  I have changed up the movement scripts for enemy ships, so they mimic the players movement.  They now have to spend time turning to face you, and will not fire if you are not within their sights.  Furthermore, they will disengage after a while, if you are behind a wall, and you can get within range without aggroing them if there isn't a line of sight for them to see you.  SBX2 will also have 3 modes:  Easy, Normal, and Hard.  Easy and Normal will just have enemies with different HPs to make it harder, but hard will have advanced targeting from enemies, making them hit the player based on the velocity of the player relative to the enemy.

I also changed up a few of the platforming graphics and I think i fixed a bug where the player could get stuck too.  The jumping sprite looks slightly less retarded, but I am still probably going to go back and change it again--few pixels here, few pixels--there type of thing.

Hopefully this week will offer some  more time to develop and work on the game a bit.  I have also started meeting with a friend who is proficient in Ruby to start learning some more programming languages and he is going to teach me a bit about version control and test driven project development.  We met last week and I was able to pick up a lot of things from him.  That and we just talked for a long while about random stuff too.

This week should include some updates to the game file, and I might start work on the story line and first level or two.  It'll be quite a bit of work but I have an idea of how I want to go about it this time.  The interface will be similar, but the saving process will be done differently to avoid easy hacking of the game... SBX is easily hacked... like... so easy.

Anyway, that's all for now, stay tuned for future updates to SBX2.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

[SBX2] The beginnings of a team

I posted on the forums yesterday with a long detailed post about gathering members for a team.
That's the forum post if you are an indie developer, artist, or very familiar with GML.

As i started to plan out SBX2, and what I wanted to do, I quickly realized that I, alone, was not sufficient to make lots of progress on the game quickly.  I know how to make sprite sheets, I know how to program engines, I know how to use fruity loops to make music, but is it my specialty?  Not really, I'm probably strongest in programming, but too do all these things would take forever.  So I detailed out a very specific post requesting members for a serious team.

So far I have had two replies:  Someone who I had met on LinkedIn weeks earlier just replied to a message and was interested (not knowing about this project) in being a writer, so I figured, I could use some extra talent and ideas.  And then I got a reply for a sound artist for SBX2 as well today.

I plan on being the Creative Director for this team, and overseeing project scale and organization.  I plan to meet once a week with the team over Skype to discuss the project's status and projection over the next few weeks.  I plan to have at the end:  A Graphic Artist (specializing in pixel art), a Sound Artist, an engine programmer, and me, the director.  Also if it works out I might add a writer to the team to document things and help with the creative aspects. 

I am excited to work with other people and learn how to manage a project effectively while motivating unpaid designers and artists to be a part of a team.  Keeping it highly organized and managed well will allow people to have specific goals for each week.

Stay tuned to see the progression of the team, and future updates to SBX2.

Also I have re done some of the level sprites, and completed the running, jumping, standing sprites for the main character in the platforming sections.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

[SBX2] SpriteWork + Platforming

I have begun work on a new section of SBX2.  I will be incorporating platforming elements into my game.  Each level will have a location where you can dock your ship and enter a location to explore it.  In this way I will let you meet the character, and add a new spin on things.  I have just begun work on the character sprites.  I want the character to be someone you can meet and get to know outside the ship.  I think I will keep the platforming simple as the main game play will revolve around the ship battles in space.

But here is the first finished character sprite.  I have a PDN file (Paint.Net)  that is hosting all of the templates and sprites and I'm working on them slowly, but with detail to make them look good.

Meet Lt. Jack Hawk, Pilot of the AR33-X Falcon Class:

He will be wearing his helmet most of the game, but you'll get to see his face in story areas.  He will have a pistol which is his main weapon in the platforming areas of the game.

I have only got the forward facing sprite done, but am working on:  Left and Right facing

*edit*  Here is a picture of his gun/helmet

To be added as I make them:  Left and Right Running Animation,  Jumping animation,  Firing while jumping,  Crouching (probably)  and Landing from a jump.  I might also make a slide animation for when you stop running.  This is my first work on a platforming game, so I have decided for now to build the platform engine in a seperate GMK file, then transfer all the elements over once I am finished and happy with how it works.

Look forward to the space exploration / platformer:  SBX2!

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, November 5, 2011

[SBX] The end of a journey

We'll go right into the game topic.  This has been an exciting journey spanning several months of development.  I can finally say the game is at a place where I can call it a semblance of "complete".  The eighth level is complete and the win credits have been added.  Every item is able to be unlocked and used.  As I get feedback I'll put more things into the game and fix some under powered weapons.  But all the core elements of the game are there and I am going to begin serious work on the sequel, SBX2.  It has been a long project and I've learned many, many... MANY things.  I'll go over a few topics I'd like to reflect on and the things I've learned.

As SBX became larger, I realized that many things were extremely inefficient.  The way collisions were handled with parents wasn't as good as it could have been.  I didn't bother to change it, but in my new project, I am already planning out an extensive network of parents that will make things BUNCHES easier.   File organization as well could have been a bit better on SBX.  Things were all over the place and in folders that didn't accurately reflect what they were some times.
Also my code / drag and drop was extremely messy.  I used hashed together strings of code with drag and drop icons in weird places.  In SBX2, other than for very, very simple single tasks, I use code entirely.  If I don't know the right code that corresponds what I want to do, I am looking it up instead of using D&D.  It makes things so much easier to edit and comment.  Condensing what used to code me with 10 lines into 2-3 helps a lot too.  Which leads me to the next topic:

I didn't really iterate anything in SBX, I just made separate objects for anything I wanted.  Part of the GMC Jam helped me learn a bit more about it as well.  In ghosting laws, each level was randomly iterated by using a for loop that set each tile in the room to a 2d array, then placed those on the screen.  The result was easily creating new types of levels in minutes rather than hours placing objects in a room.  This is going to be applicable to SBX2 in that I'll store certain types of things in arrays or adjust certain values to change the image of an object based on certain conditions.  The mounted gun on the top of the Ship is like this.  In SBX I had objects for each and every weapon... now there were only 40 different items in the game... but WTF that took forever!  This time around I simply passed in a variable that determined which number of weapon the Ship was using.  Then the mounted gun simply selects the proper sprite and uses that index and the rest of the code is contained in that one object... instead of 20.  These kinds of things that I've learned will make this next project both easier, and quicker.

When SBX started I didn't intend to have a story.  I threw one in there and hashed it together when people where like, "WTF mate, whats going on?"  I love to write, but didn't want to spend the time putting a story in. Now I admit, the story is still just text, but it grew on me.  I began to form a plot in my mind.  And the story grew.  In SBX2, you will meet the pilot, Jack R. Hawk.  I plan to have a much more engaging story line, perhaps optional, but we'll see.  I have to admit, the story in SBX didn't make much sense until I went back and re-did it a bit.  I might still go back and edit things so that it engages the reader more.

In another blog post, I talked about the graphical upgrades I  made to the game at one point.  I learned a lot at one point in the development about making planets sprites easily in Photoshop  (I use Paint.NET, good enough for simple stuff).  It added new depth to the levels and I re did a lot of the asteroid sprites with the same type of shading.  I will admit I am not the best graphics artist, but I do like to develop my own sprites.  In SBX2, I am keeping the simplistic graphical theme, as I like it.  It makes it arcade style.  With the backgrounds being more detailed and interesting, the player feels separated from the background.  I plan to spend more time working and reworking the graphics as well, and keep uniformity in the objects.

In SBX I just tested as I went and it took a while to figure things out, and check if they worked, especially if I had to play through a level over and over.  I must have played each of my levels in SBX 100 times over.  In SBX2 I am trying a different approach.  I want to get a strong core to the game first before developing my first level at all.  I am trying all sorts of things to make a nice engine.  I am testing out different styles of collision between the ship and enemies, and how much actual physics I want to use.  I considered giving everything a mass and making everything use physics formulas, but I might not do that this time around.  Whether or not I do, I have a testing room that I can try out new weapons and program them all in before I actually put together the game.  I am using this tech demo to try out all sorts of new items, see their effects, their strengths, do they do what I want?  SBX never had a test room, so I had to test everything in the actual game.

Reflection and Planning:
This post is a big part of the things I have learned.  I took an online course in Unity, which I have yet to finish (It's work on your own), but they talked a lot about reflecting on your work and seeing what you could have done better.  These past weeks finishing up SBX I have seen a lot of ways I could have done something in a much more efficient way.  Iteration is a big part of this, but other things as well.  Planning out my work is also a big things I am even still learning more about.  I can't tell you how many pieces of paper I've used making SBX.  I draw out my plans, then implement them, but they could be organized better.  I've got a few notebooks set aside for SBX2 to keep my notes in one place, where I can flip through all the information.  Recording my thoughts in this blog is a part of it as well, as it gives me time to think... "What am I doing, and what do I want to do after this?".   I find that I am much more motivated after I make myself a ToDo list.  As I check off each item, I feel like I have accomplished something for the day.  Staying motivated on my projects is tough some times, but I truly love developing games, regardless of the times where no one wants to play my game and it sits for 2 weeks without a single comment on the forum.  I love what I do, and THAT is the most important thing.

In retrospect:
This has been a fun year.  I started SBX sometime in February or March, serious work at least.  It picked up as the spring went on, and I was full steam in the summer.  It is tough to put aside the time to program, and with my new job, it will prove even harder as I'll have longer hours and I'll be trying to work as much as possible to save.  Game Design is my passion and someday I will join up with a company that can pay me for my work, but until then, I will keep programming, designing and having fun.  As I move forward, I'll look back at SBX as my first serious completed project.  Since I was young I've made games on various platforms, but nothing ever to this extent.  This is my first step to my goals.  My portfolio has it's first major piece.  I doubt any of my games will ever make any money, but who knows ;D.

Well, it has been a fun journey, and to those who have played SBX and/or have read this blog:  Thank you!

To all those who tested my game, mainly:  TheUltimate, smashball, Enter_Name_Here, as well as a few others:  A BIG THANKS!

Stay posted for more news as SBX2 goes into development.

Sayounara Minnasan!


Monday, October 31, 2011

[GMC Jam 4] Competition End!

Ghosting Laws:
Well I finished my entry for the GMC Jam 4.  Ghosting laws has 6 levels now and they are pretty tough!!! You'll need to use reset level a bunch because impossible levels sometimes spawn.  Level6 is really freakin tough as there are color changing blocks that change every few seconds.

The game was tons of fun to make and hopefully it does well in the competition.

If you are registered for the GMC forums, you can vote once voting opens at:

and then there will be a topic for voting (I think it's locked atm).

But vote for Ghosting Laws!  Try out all the games and see what kind of amazing talent the devs at GMC have.  I am looking forward to seeing all the games released.  Mine was a simple puzzle game, but there are some pretty advanced games that have amazing graphics.

I don't expect my game to get first, as there are some great teams out there with some awesome games, but I would like to place top 10, that'd be pretty cool.  I'd say there  are probably about 30 entries as well.  (THERE ARE actually 58 entries I think!)

Well,  Good luck to everyone participating in the GMC Jam #4 and let's have a great time voting!!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

[GMC Jam 4] Ghosting Laws

GMC Jam:
Oh my goodness I have wanted to take part in a GMC jam for a while, but I totally forgot to check on it!! So i was about 24 hours late to the 72 hour contest to make a game with the theme "Law"... but well the game really only took me about 5 hours of solid programming to get it done (at least a workable demo).

And thus the game Ghosting Laws was born!

The game idea is that you are a little ghost, and you have to get from one white square to the other.  There is one level that is randomly generated, and you must walk on tiled floors, or pass through blocks (when it lets you).

So there are 3 colors and 2 different types of obstructions.  You can walk on all tiled floors, but if they are red, you die and start over.  Blocks are different, you can only pass through them if they are active, and if they turn inactive while you are on one already, you die and start over.  So you have to get from one area to the far white square to finish the level.

It's a simple concept but it was fun to make the room generator, and work through the kinks in only 5 hours!  5 hours!  Crazy, and that is including all the sprites and graphics.


So you need to get to that little bottom right white square to beat the level.

For now the game is working, but it could use some additional levels and some other stuff later.

I don't have a lot of time this weekend so this will be what I have until I can post more Monday and work on it some.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

[SBX] Level 8 - In Progress

Well it looks like I will be working at Johnson Controls, as a facilities maintenance mechanic.  It'll be a good job where I can finally make some money and put some aside.  I had an interview on Tuesday and it went really well!  Exciting, exciting!  It will be nice to have a car again.  For 2 years I've ridden my bicycle everywhere I needed to go.  (Crazy! I know)  Just goes to show that you CAN get by in life without those things you think are necessary.  (Except teh interwebz, wut wud I do without teh interwebz?!?)

Anyway things have been going great so far, and I've been having fun developing SBX and SBX2.  I also plan to put together a team for a platformer game in January of 2012, but we'll see how that goes.  Right now work on SBX2 is a lot of fun and I would like to continue to work with that game and get it ready for alpha testing.  Right now it's just a tech demo engine test, but I think it's fun ;).

Book I'm Reading:
The Sword of Truth Series - Book3 - Blood of the Fold
Genre:  Fantasy
-Great book, very interesting so far.  I enjoy the adult writing style of Terry Goodkind.

Well the final level of SBX is about halfway done.  I re did a bunch of stories and used a script to clean things up instead of giant sprites.  I broke up some level sprites as well and got rid of all my errors.  I've been trying to clean up some of the code in SBX, but it's just such a giant tangle of crap.  Honestly.  At least with SBX2 I am aiming to make the code friendlier in case I employ the help of other people on the game.  I am looking forward to finishing up level 8 and hosting the game as complete in the YoYo Games area.  I can then focus my free time on SBX2 and developing the system and the graphics better.

Hmm, I should also put some skins back in for my favorite testers.  I'll at least toss them a thanks in the credits after you beat the game.

Ah!  There is a new enemy added to the game as well, watch out in level 8!  The hammerhead type enemy will attempt a kamikaze crash to kill you instantly!  Avoid Avoid!

One other note:  Viewing of this blog has gone up by over 100% this month!! Thank you all who have checked out my blog!  I appreciate it ;)

Well it's a short entry tonight,

Thanks for reading folks,


Saturday, October 22, 2011

[SBX2] Tech Demo Release

Wait... is that a... 2?  YES it is.  I have just finished the Tech Demo for SBX2 - Return of the Fuscians, the sequel to SBX.  This time around it is a space exploration game, not a scrolling shooter.

Link:  (also at the bottom)

The Tech Demo contains a few things:
  • The basic AI structure for enemies in the game.
  • The movement engine for the player.
  • Destructible Objects in the game! Yay you can break walls!
  • A temporary GUI  (Will Be Replaced with something cool lookin)
  • Sweet Temporary music  (Muse is just win)
  • Awesome Space Action
There is a lot that I am doing differently this time.  I have learned a bunch about coding since I began SBX, including things from other sources, such as my Unity course.  I have learned to streamline my code and actions to make things as efficient as possible.

Also a big difference with the sequel is I am not using any Drag and Drop programming.  (For those of you unfamiliar, Game Maker lets you drag and drop commands into a visual command line, to make things easy for beginners.)  Everything in the game will be done by pure code, with the exception of a few single line things that I can drop in for quickness, like destroy self, etc.  

The AI was tons of fun to program.  It's not quite finished, but is now working after quite a few hours developing and testing it.  Enemies have 4 states:  "Normal" , "Search" , "Attack" , and "Avoid".  
I'll briefly describe each of them:
Enemies start out in normal, which is a path based on coordinates given at implementation.  Coordinates are stored in a 2d array, with X being the 0 slot in the second array, and Y being the 1 slot.  Each enemy cycles through the coordinates in the array until they reach an entry of (0,0) in which they repeat the process.  When they reach within 10 pixels of their destination, they then choose the next one.

From normal or search mode, if the player comes within a certain distance, the enemy will close the distance and chase down the player, keeping within a safe firing distance.  **To Be Added:  Later on enemies will have a suicide option, in which they will try to ram the player to do massive damage at the cost of death**
In attack mode, the enemies also will fire weapons at the player.

Once the enemy is in battle, when it reaches a certain HP threshold, it will attempt to use evading techniques to encircle the player and avoid fire.  The enemy will continue to fire weapons at the player, but will move side to side instead of chasing the player down.

If the enemy is in Attack or Avoid mode and the player leaves the combat range of the enemy, it will engage Search Mode.  In Search Mode the enemy will do circular sweeps of an area until the player comes back into range, or until a long timer tells it to go back to it's regular path after not finding the player.

Here is a sample image of combat with the enemy:

The only weapon in the tech demo is the Gatling Gun:  A weapon that will most likely be the player's starting weapon in the actual game.

Thank you all folks for reading!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

[SBX] Updates and Changes

Well it was a nice weekend and earlier time this week, have a nice Wednesday off so I am able to get some work done on SBX.  I received 2 e-mails from some people earlier this week and was able to establish a contact with a recruiter even though I wasn't what he was looking for.  It's nice to hear feedback on people about what to do.  I posted on a group site in LinkedIN asking for advice and it was nice to hear from people in the industry what I am already doing:  Make a nice portfolio, get peoples attention.  So I figure I will start working on getting a website made to host my work, rather than a YYG profile, at least it would look a bit more professional.

So I have made some baseline changes before continuing on to finish out the game.  The things I wanted to get done this week were:
1.  New Text Boxes
2.  Re-Work the Auto Shop
3.  New Profile Selection Menu
4.  Harder Bosses
5.  Add Checkpoints
6.  Fix some bugs with Crazy Ball

I decided to scratch number 5, as I really want to keep the game arcade style and somewhat difficult, but I want to adjust the difficulty UP on a few bosses as feedback from players said that the bosses were way easier than the level itself.
The big one for number 4 was level 3.  You could sit in the back and avoid the spikes and just relax back there.  I added some ships that now spawn at the back ends and will charge along the back line at you to make you move... or die.   This makes the boss a little more dynamic and it makes you plan out:  Ok the spikes just set back, they probably won't kill me right now... i can avoid these guys.

There will be additional adjustments for boss difficulty in the future: Namely: Level 2 boss, Level 5 boss, Level 6 boss.   I might change some things about level 7, but for now the difficulty is alright.

For the new text boxes, I had been using the default gross grey boxes before, but with a simple activation code at the start of the game I adjusted the fonts, colors, and backgrounds of the boxes.

I also re-worked the auto shop.  Before it was gimmicky and you had to click an icon to select an item.  Now you can just select any item and it will equip it.  It will also show you which items on the left side is equipped with a dark background and lighter text.  Here are 2 photos of before and after:


The whole auto shop is streamlined and much easier and intuitive to use.

Also I re worked the profile menu.  I jumped into Paint.NET and designed a nice looking menu system to use.  The old looked like:
and the new looks much spiffier:
I have started using Papyrus for most of the menu fonts, as it looks nice and separates menu and message items from other fonts used to mark things in the game.

The Intro scene featuring my logo has been reworked as well.  Before I had a kind of stupid looking logo that was very rough, but I changed it to look a little more professional.

Before and After:

I used an actual picture of a wakeskate and edited it to work with the image.  The result is a crisp, beautiful logo instead of the crappy one I had drawn before.

Also I adjusted some things for the crazy ball and it works much smoother than before.

Reflecting over this game, I now see how I will have to re-work things in the future to better organize and streamline my work.  No one could really steal my game files, because so much random stuff is going on in all my objects.  This being my first full length game, I realize the limitations of the way I was doing things before and the way I will need to proceed in the future.  Unless I get some more stability issues when the game is finished, I probably won't go back through and streamline all the code as the game isn't big enough to warrant that, but I have learned a ton from reflecting over my code and use of Drag and Drop.  Future games will be created entirely in GML to increase the workflow and edit-ability of my games.

EDIT:  Also I just added a new movement system for SBX  - it looks much nicer now and the movement is way more fluid.

Thank you for reading and hope you like SBX so far!


Friday, October 14, 2011

[SBX] Level 7 Finito.

These past couple days off have been extremely productive--well today at least, yesterday I just read a whole bunch.  But, I have completed Level 7 of SBX!  One more to go before the core game is finished.  There is still a lot of things to do with it though.  Not much else besides a nice relaxing peudo-weekend.  Well time for the real weekend: A work weekend : /.

We'll jump right into talking about the game as this will be a shorter blog.  Today was rather frustrating.  Toward the end of finishing up Level 7, Game Maker decided to stop loading my game and began to give me a load up error each time.  However I was still able to make an .exe file and play it just fine, so to test the rest of the time, I had to create an .exe file each time to test it.  What. A. Pain.  Well I finished and posted the game up, so now it's time to go back and figure out why.  Is it a memory issue?  Is it a graphical bug, or some weird issue with Game Maker?  I'll come back to that one.

The game though, has been going well, just 1 more level and the game is finished at it's core.  There will still be an endless level, but I will add that puppy in later.  I'll finally be able to post my game as a finished game in the completed forums rather than the WIP forums.  NICE!

Level 7 isn't the shiniest of the levels so far, it has a lot of action, but nothing new.  Lots of enemies, and then a boss.  That's pretty much it.  It's hard, but no new mechanics or anything special.  I'm fine with this however as I am going to work hard and long to make Level 8, the final level, really cool and awesome.  The final level will be special, so Level 7 will just lead into that.

I'm excited to finish this game as I want to begin work on an unique platformer.  I won't go into the details, as I think it's a great idea, but it should be pretty interesting.  I'll need to learn about making a nice engine for it though.  I haven't worked too much with platformers so this should be fun.

Well I am looking forward to finishing up SBX as it has been LOTS of work, and lots of time.  But it's worth it, I really love making the game and it'll be nice once level 8 is finished to just go back and fine tune everything, redo menus, add luster to the game and make it all shiny and working perfect.

Thanks for reading folks,


Thursday, October 13, 2011

[SBX] New Graphics

Today was a great day!  I got a lot done on SBX and I have 2 days off for tomorrow and Friday so I can get some work on the core game done for Level 7.  Also I got a call from someone who might have a job for me at a plant nearby doing maintenance type work.  It's something that pays real well and something I am familiar with (having a construction background).  This would allow me to work and save up money to someday move out to California to make my dreams happen.  That's how you do it right?

Well anyway just a few notes and then to the main topic.

Indie Game of the Week:
This is the forum topic to a game called "Frank".  Now the name may seem silly, but the game is awesome.  It is a platformer / tetris mashup, that is excellently done.  You play a little guy named frank with your arrow keys and control the tetris blocks with WASD.  Space bar activates any special abilities as well for the little guy.  You start out by running around collecting coins and moving up higher and higher to get the coins.  It takes a lot of concentration to not get stuck, not crush Frank, not block yourself off... and on top of that, if you want to get silver or gold, you have to time some 4line Tetris clears right before you grab the red winning coin.  All in all it is a very fun, tough game that  you should check out even though it is still a WIP.

Now to why I am writing a blog at 2am on a Wed night.  Graphic Revamp.  Yes that is right I have completed my first graphics revamp of SBX.  So we'll look at a few changes that have been made.  Just a few of the many I did.

First, the main ship now banks when you turn.  Before it just stayed the same no matter how you accelerated but now the ship's graphic changes for left and right strafing.

Ship Graphics:

Originally the ship just had the middle graphics, but left and right banking graphics have been added.  They look real good in the game with the weapons equipped.

All the weapons had revamps done as they needed to change with the ship as well.

Other graphical upgrades were:  New explosion effects with debris added, Planets added in the background, A second star layer that is faster to give a deeper effect, New Weapon sprites for the basic weapons, and the big one:  New asteroid sprites.  These ones I took some textures offline of rocks and applied them to a plain colored asteroid then modified them with some shading.  The result was a more realistic looking asteroid that fits with the graphical scheme of the game.

Here is an example of the difference between the old and the new:

The new ones really have a better feel to em and I really like how they turned out.  Overall the graphical effects upgrade brings a little more luster to the game, giving it a more polished feel.

Later I plan to add additional graphics changes, but for now, this should attract previous people who have tried the game and maybe will give it a new feel.  

Also a new loading screen was added as well, since the old one was rather ugly.

Well thanks for reading folks, 
God Bless,


Monday, October 10, 2011

[SBX] Skins

Lately I've been getting a lot of work done with my online Unity course, but it's been tiring.  Saturday I spent 4 hours studying and watching tutorial videos, then worked for 6-7 hours, then spent another 2 hours programming on my own for the homework section.  It's a tough schedule, but it'll pay off and I really enjoy learning more about developing tools and streamlining programming work.

This is a short blog, but I wanted to post the six skins so far in SBX.  All of them are unlockable but for now, I've given three of my supporters and fans of the game, TheUltimate, smash ball  and Enter_Name_Here codes for custom skins for them to use.

Here so far are the skins in game for the ship:

There are currently 5 subclasses of the main ship.  I would have to say my favorite is by far the Raven, I really enjoyed making that and like the way it turned out.  The X P Q is a fun one, and is unlockable in a special way differently than the others.  It takes a bit of work and investigation while playing the game.  The Arc I had in the code for a while, but didn't make available until recently, and I just drew out the BoneShip tonight, since I wanted to get some work done, but didn't feel like doing major brainstorming for the next level.  I also drew the Trinity subclass, because I didn't want to sleep and was a little bored.

(By the way the red markings on the ships are the locations where items go - just ignore those X-D  )

Well I hope you enjoyed a look at some of the skins in the game, and look out for more to come!  Thanks for your time folks.

Peace out,


Thursday, October 6, 2011

[SBX] Level 6 complete - Yaya

Today was decent, with a moderate work day, even though I felt sluggish.  Tomorrow is my day off though, and I have some stuff planned, such as tennis... and relaxing...  Well, something planned at least.  I'll probably apply for a few jobs and work on some things for SBX a little.  Things are going well, and I applied for (what I consider to be) the perfect job at Riot Games.  They have an open position for Creative Designer and it basically fits me perfectly.  Whether or not I hear back from them... well, we'll see.  But they'd be missing out.

Well I sat down for 5 hours tonight and finished out level 6!  I developed some sprites for the new boss and some animations, and set them into motion.  Most of it went pretty well, but I had to play though the level 15 times to test the boss for various things.

Adjustments to timing and placement and pathing were necessary as the boss didn't want to do what I wanted him to do at first, but I figured it out, and he is pretty much how I want him to be.  I'll revisit him I'm sure and do  some upgrading.

So this post I thought I would show you some of my sketches and how I've planned out some of these levels.
First, here is a funny concept sketch I had for the boss of level 5, before I replaced it with the balloon looking guy:
I ended up disregarding the sketch as it wasn't menacing enough and looked pretty goofy overall.

Next is the concept sketch for the big ship that roams around behind you in Level 4:
It was a basic sketch, but I did end up using this design more or less.

And then here are 3 sketches of layouts for Level 6:  The first is a sketch of the electric room at the beginning:

 Then here is a sketch of the boss I did, and there are tons of notes on the page as well.  I also have a sketch on the bottom half of the stasis tank that the boss sits in before he comes out.

And the last sketch I have for you today is a layout of the ventilation duct.  I mapped out the locations of the ten electrical nodes and planned it all out.  This was the part that worked perfectly without any bug fixes at all.  That was pretty awesome as it saved me a lot of time.

Well that's about all I have for sketches and for today, I'll probably take some time off of any major work on SBX for a week or so to brainstorm level 7 and figure out exactly what I want to do.

Thanks for reading


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

[SBX] Level 6 inc.

Had a nice weekend off with the lady.  Finally back and able to get some coding done today though.  Things have been going well and the weather has been awesome so I've been able to get out a little and do some exercise.

Something Funny:
This made me laugh a bit earlier so I'll share it with you.  Check out:
Rage Stache!
If you're a bit nerdy like me, you'll get a good laugh out of it.

Game I'm Playing:
League of Legends has been my go to game for the past few weeks.  I like being competitive and it has given me quite a few hours of mob blasting fun!  Riot Games has done an outstanding job of putting together a F2P (Free to Play) Game that really delivers.  I have even bought a few skins and characters with their cash system to support them since the game is really fun.  If you are into DotA type games or are a competitive player, then you should really check it out.
If you've never played you should click this referral link:
And say you were referred by the incredible wakeskater_X woo woo. ;)

I was able to get a lot of work done on SBX today.  Level 6 is now nearly complete and the things I wanted implemented went very smoothly.

I coded the blue jumping electricity section and planned the entire floor out at once.  I mapped it out on paper, figured out what I wanted to do, and coded it in.

And then...

There were no bugs!  Everything worked perfectly the first time, EXACTLY how I wanted it to.  (Well sort of, I did some number balancing and timing adjustments, but mainly EXACTLY <-- almost).

It was nice to have things run super smooth and I was able to add graphics to most of the level and finish most of what I wanted to do with the early rooms.  Now all that is left is adjusting some things and finishing out the boss room.

I have some grand plans for the Level 6 boss, so it'll take some time to plan it all out and really make it cool.  I want the boss to be different from any other boss so far, and have much more danger to it.  I want the player to feel like they are going to die at any moment if they don't execute perfectly.  I think by level 6 it is acceptable to introduce something that makes the player check themselves, before they wreck themselves (or their beloved space ship).

Thanks for reading and for those of you who noticed something different after level 2...  well maybe you should put that somewhere... it might lead to something cool.

Peace out,

Friday, September 23, 2011

[SBX] Level 5 - Back in the mix

Live has been fun, but I need to find a new job.  I have a few leads but no interviews so far, so I haven't had the chance to talk myself into a position yet.  But there are a few leads and I'll keep using my free time to learn and gain more skills.  A sales position in Denver might be the option I'll have to take, but it's a good company that interacts with the media.  I have a contact there and am eager to hear back from the management.  Until then, I'll keep learning JavaScript and Unity and finishing my game.

Jenny, my girlfriend, has been considering getting her teaching licence.  She just became an assistant manager, but would like to get out of the food services industry and utilize her master's in history.  She'll make a great teacher some day, she truly does care about people and helping them grow.  Not many teachers are like that it seems today.

It's been a while since I've had time to sit and program a lot.  Even less time to sit and write.  From work, to job searching, to the girlfriend, I have had my hands full.  BUT, I was finally able to finish the fifth level of SBX.  Designing the boss was interesting.  Starting out as a sketch on paper, I reworked the idea twice and game up with this sketch:

And then finished in game looks like this:

It's fun to go from basic sketch and implement the bosses the way I imagine them.  I have begun to sketch out the level layout for level 6 and it should be fun to put together.  I have learned a little more about masking and figured some stuff out so it should be easier than Level 3 - as it will be a similar type level.

It's been fun seeing the game progress and I look forward to the finishing touches stages.  Adding in neat features like online scoring tables and better graphics, better effects, etc.  Just 3 more main levels and then the endless level and I'll be done.  It's a fun project and I've enjoyed being able to program and figure out how to make it cool.

Well that's about it for now, work soon, and I'll try to post more often.

For those of you who view this blog and lurk in the shadows, I have just the code for you!  
Enter "Raven" as your name (in the latest download file - you'll have to go download the new one)  to unlock  the special Raven Subclass Starship!  The custom skin will scare those fuscians out of the galaxy!

Just a special little something for those who have read the blog ;)

Monday, August 8, 2011

[SBX] Work, Work - L4 Complete

I still don't ever have any time, but as I was able to set aside some time last week (and then after a nice break from programming some time today) and I finished levels 3 and 4 of SBX.  It has been an interesting past week.  Getting Ben, my brother--who is doing the music tracks for the game and the logo for the small company I am going to start as a entrepreneurial venture to make games--to actually make the sound tracks has been tedious.  But things have been going well.  I now have an official QA tester working with me on the game over the internet.  Putting together a team is an interesting endeavor.

Level 3 was tough, Level 4 took only a few hours to finish.  Then a couple more for bug fixes, but comparatively short.  There is still a mysterious bug where some people will have severe lag when trying to load the game and it freezes up, but that is the only known unresolved bug at the moment.  There was another bug with objects crashing, but I believe i circumvented it in the latest upload.  I made it so that two objects that need to interact will just destroy themselves instead of crashing the game when the other object disappears before they are ready for it.  The game has some 8 bit sounds so far, but will have a nice background sound track.

As of now half the items in the game are available to unlock.  I still have to figure out the story line for the last four levels and make a nice ending event for the story.  After the story line, an endless mode will be unlocked where massive waves of enemies will spawn until you die.

Programming the game is fun, but I have been ran ragged with working 6-7 days each week.  There hasn't been much time I can set aside to program.  All my free time goes into either programming, the woman or sleeping.  Not much time to relax and enjoy life lately.  But the effort will be worth it at the end.  After all I might as well push myself while I am still young.

Sayounara Minnasan,


Sunday, July 31, 2011

[SBX] Time, Time, Never Enough

Finding time to work on SBX, even time to sit down and unwind and write is hard these days.  Although with recent events my schedule has opened up, I am still working 6 days a week, although the hours aren't too long per day.  I am an avid gamer but with the development of SBX, my free time has diminished quite considerably and I hardly have time to even crack open Starcraft 2 or Team Fortress 2.  I have been playing a little bit of League of Legends, but partly that is due to the LvL15 summoner requirement for a job position at Riot Games. And then the girlfriend takes up time, but that is time well spent.

Also finding playtesters is hard these days.  Most people won't play a WIP game, and the few that do don't seem to post enough feedback.  Marketing will be tough even when the game is finished, but even tougher now with limited content.  My hopes are that once Level 3 is finished people will post more often on the forum topic I have for the game.

Level 3 has been a trip so far.  I am splitting the level into various areas.  As you "infiltrate" the fortress you go deeper and deeper having to clear rooms 1 by 1.  So far I have the starting outside area with 4 turrets and then it transitions into the inner area.  Due to object limitations, I have each piece of the walls move separately so the timing and size adjustments become tedious.  It's coming along slowly, but should take a week or so to finish.  The second room is now started and I'm thinking about more ideas to make things fun.

For the second room I plan to have small enemies that travel on a path on each side of the room that will randomly stop and fire a thick laser across the room.  There will be 2 separate ones moving independently. Also there will be enemies moving in and out of the room through the slits at the top, as well as 2 turrets with alternating shields protecting them from weapons.  Once the two turrets are destroyed the level will continue.

Job Hunt:
Nothing back so far on the job front, but I am asking around to try and interview different game developers.  Getting connections and really getting a feel for the specifics of what different developers do and suggestions should help a lot.  Keeping busy with work and programming has kept me from being impatient.  I have my project to finish first and that is my priority, although I will keep looking - the sooner a job found the better.  Working at Panera bread is tedious and has become redundant.  I like my coworkers and boss and even know most of the customers that come in by name, but it lacks any sort of intellectual stimulation.  I look forward to a job requiring even a modicum of intelligence.  As it stands, I may not get paid to develop SBX, but I love it and i WILL do this for a living. ;-D

That concludes my wind down for the night.  Back to the grind tomorrow, but I have Tuesday off and I'll be able to get a lot done for SBX.

Thanks folks!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

[SBX] To Develop a Game

Today I am starting a blog about my development of Space Blaster Xtreme - SBX, an indie game made with Gamemaker 8.1 standard edition.  I'll post new releases and information regarding the game as well as talk about what I have done, issues I have faced and how I've learned more about streamlining the code and all the tasks at hand.

The website for the game can be found at:

It is a work in progress for sure, but it is done in my spare time, working for free - to develop a portfolio to become a game designer for a large company.

I have applied plenty of places already but until I finish this game, I have no 'finished product' in which to market myself by.  Once finished I can use it as leverage to get companies attention.

As of now there are two levels and various additions to weapons and the upgrades you can make.
Developing the cores and thrusters is a pain and tedious, but were fairly simple to add as much of the coding was copy/paste.  However, each weapon and most of the special weapons require a fair amount of coding to have them interact with all the objects in the game.  I have just released weapon 4 - Ricochet Laser - to the game as well as some new features not implemented in earlier versions.
Also (not part of the current download) I have added my own loading bar and icon image to the game to set it apart.

Last Notes:
If anyone is a sound designer by the way, I am looking for someone to compose original music and sound effects for the game - you will be given credit of course.