Monday, January 30, 2012

[GMC Jam 5] A polishing touch

GMC Jam #5:

Game Download LINK:

Well the GMC Jam is drawing to a close.  With only an hour left we are putting the final touches on Julius Dragonslayer.  The introduction story is complete so you know what is going on and we've added tons of words.  We have new sound effects and graphics and everything is looking great so far.

We have 3 levels ready for the Jam with tons of words.  Both words that enemies drop and hidden words across the level, try to find as many as you can!

For those of you that don't know:  The GMC Jam is a 72 hour game design competition using Game Maker.  There are lots of entries each time and it's a ton of fun.  You are allowed to use preexisting sprites and sounds however, our team created nearly everything from scratch for this game.  We have designed new code, new sprites, new enemies, new sounds and music and have put the package together to make a beautiful looking platform adventure.

Some of our latest screen shots are:

This is the kind of game that after this Jam I would love to work on and turn it into an extensive, extravagant, well made game.  I think all of us really like this game and will put much work into it in the future.

The Jam this year has been a lot of work, but an incredible amount of fun.  Our team has done a great job and I'm proud of what we have accomplished in a mere 3 days.

The IMProved Ultimate Wakeskater Studio Team:

IceMetalPunk:  Programmer, Sound Engineer, Effects Artist
TheUltimate:  Level Concept, Sprite Artist, Background Artist
WakeskaterX:  Level Design, Programmer, Enemy and Item Artist

All of us have put an incredible amount of work into the Jam this year and I hope you like our game:

Julius Dragonslayer


Sunday, January 29, 2012

[GMC Jam 5] Day 2: The clutches of time

GMC Jam #5:

  Well after an entire day of programming (which is not yet finished), I give to you the next installment of updates for Julius Dragonslayer.  We have 2 full levels completed, new enemies, new abilities, a new weapon, a menu screen, a splash screen, and so much more added today.

Here is a video of our splash screen:

Also we have plenty of new screenshots of our new level and backgrounds!

For example, notice the hills and mountains in the back, it really adds a lot more depth and feel:

And of course, our menu title screen:

We still have to implement our story and add a bunch more words, but for now there is fun gameplay and enemies to be killed!

This has been a rough past 2 days: gruesome, long days.  It has been fun though, and tomorrow we'll get to finish off the programming and polish it for the voting starting Tuesday.

This has been one of my favorite projects so far.  It has lots of different aspects and I have really enjoyed having 2 other people to work with, even if we dispute stuff often ;).

Stay tuned for more updates as the finish line nears!


[GMC Jam 5] Julius Dragonslayer

GMC Jam #5:

We have accomplished so much today.  From a piddly little engine to a full fledged working level.  Countless hours were spent thinking over the topic, deciding on how to go about what we wanted to do.  Then we set out to each develop a part of the program.  I have worked on the platforming engine and the Word scripts and have designed some of the graphics, IceMetalPunk spent a lot of time developing our word engine, and has done some graphical effects, and TheUltimate has really made some awesome tilesets for our game.  She made the character (Julius) and the plains tileset.  We still have a lot more to do tomorrow, but we've done so much today as well.

Here is an example of the transition:

Early today:

Then TheUlt made this test Level Design with the GUI i made:

And then we have a few screenshots of Level 1:

The game is turning out quite well.  We have a great story line that we'll be implementing tomorrow, and our game play is turning out quite well.  It will be fun to add a whole bunch of new words for the character to use at his disposal.  Julius Dragonslayer should be a top contender this Jam!  But if not it is a game that I can enjoy playing and making.

Well, I have pushed myself far beyond my limits of exhaustion today, so I will leave it at that.

Tomorrow is another grueling day of programming as well, so i better rest up.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

[GMC Jam 5] The Power of Words

  Well it's been a busy month but the GMC Jam #5 is finally here!  This time around I am teaming up with TheUltimate and IceMetalPunk to form The IMProved Ultimate Wakeskater Studio!  Fun!

  Well the theme for this Jam is:  "Facade" so our game is based around the character in a false world coming to a self awareness of his world, and with that self awareness he slowly gains the power to alter that world.  Now, I won't go into the details of the story just yet, but you'll see how we are going to do this.

Here is a screenshot of the basic movement engine.  It doesn't show much except my ridiculous stick figure which will be replaced later:

  The game is shaping up to be very interesting and I like how the idea evolved during the brainstorming session.  The biggest part now is staying in communication and organizing: Who Does What.  I started on the movement engine and IMP has developed a word search text engine, but there is still a LOT more to do.

  Today is going to be the big grind to the system.  Once I'm able to contact IMP and TheUlt and I get a giant cup of coffee and some food, then the typefest will begin!

  It's a fun process working with other programmers, but it means I have to keep all my code pretty uniform.  We've decided on camelCase for variables and snake_case for scripts.  And I guess camelCase for objects too.  Also I'm trying to heavily comment my code to more clearly explain what I am doing.  I normally comment it fairly well, but even more so this time.  Also we all have different versions of Game Maker so it takes a little bit of adjustment, we have to export and import files to get them all together.  As it is now we are constructing the skeleton for this game separately one bone at a time, then we will import all the bones into one full skeleton.  And it walks and talks.

  As we progress, expect updates and once we have some images, I'll post more that show what we have done and worked on.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

[Protest] Stop the SOPA and PIPA


"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
- Benjamin Franklin

The SOPA and PIPA threaten the very existence of the internet as we know it. If you haven't heard of these bills yet then you probably don't use the internet much because today is a massive day of protest. Across the web websites have shut down in response to Congress and the House of Representatives bills: The SOPA and the PIPA. What are they? Simply put, these bills are censorship behind a facade of Intellectual Property protection. 

The idea seems great at first:  Let's protect those who have created an idea.  But the laws go so much further.  They would enable our government to shut down any website with even a tinge of copy write infringement.  They would allow our government to ban any foreign websites.  They would allow our government to censor anyone they desired on the internet.  

The SOPA and PIPA would ruin entire internet industries.  The bills say they'll create jobs by eliminating foreign countries from copying our material.  Will they?  Will the lawless simply abide to our "new laws"?  No.  Those who would steal and cheat will still do it regardless of the laws enacted.  These laws only hurt the innocent, shut down the voice of the people, and give government the keys to the freedom of the "world wide web".  Which it wouldn't be any longer.  

Here is a link to Google's fight against the SOPA and PIPA:  You can read more here and take action.

Don't let our government empower itself to take away the rights of the people.  For everyone out there who has a free voice and stands for liberty,  ACT NOW.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

[SBX2] Tutorial Area Finished!

Well it's been busy but I have bought a car now and it's an old beat up Acura 88 Integra.  Spent all day today putting a new alternator in and upgrading a few things on it.  I still need to take it in and have Autozone check out  why my check engine light is still on but, overall it was a really cheap car but it'll last me for a while.

I've finished the tutorial area!

The story introduction is now complete so if you haven't yet, try out the new file.  There are still some last touches to add to the game in the tutorial area like a background image and a few fixes to things, but overall it is pretty complete.

The next few big additions are:
1.  The Map System - I'll be implementing a galactic map that lets you select your levels and other things like saving etc.
2.  The Save System - I think I'll continue to use the .ini save system I had for SBX, it's not the most secure but this isn't a game that requires much security.
3.  The Auto Shop - I'll add one of the levels that will unlock a shop through the story line.  After that you'll be able to equip and customize your ship with weapons and items you discover throughout the game.

Here are some screen shots of the tutorial level:

Well, look for more soon, I'll get some days coming up to work on some of the systems.  Graphics are going to take a while too, but I'll get some things done when I can.  I'm also planning on doing a graphic overhaul of SBX1 and updating a few things too.  But that's a side project for when I have the extra time.

Thanks All!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

[SBX2] Small Graphical Update

  Things have been rather hectic, but I got a little done today on my game.  I'll be out and about this weekend looking around to buy a car, so we'll see if I get anything done tomorrow.  I've enjoyed my precious days off, but will need to start focusing on programming and being more productive.  I was sick for a few days so that pretty much meant outside of work I was asleep, but I'm feeling much better now.

  On another note... my girlfriend convinced me to run a half marathon in May.  So, I've been attempting to get myself in shape somewhat.  I feel like it's going to be a long journey to running 13 miles.  Right now I'm at... half a mile.  I'm pretty out of shape it seems.

  I had a few prospects for an artist contact me but no responses yet, so I'm redoing a lot of the art myself.  This weekend is also the first official meeting for the team, but seeing as it's only me and my sound guy we'll probably just talk about the future of Wakeskater Studio, what we want to accomplish later and the things we want to see happen.

  Well the big update I did today was using the ugly pipe template I had made earlier and turning it in to something a little nice looking.

This was the original tileset:

And this is what I updated it to:

It's hard to tell from that size, but it ended up looking a lot nicer in game.  I'll have to work out a definite art style and develop it a bit until I get an artist, but for now  baby steps it is.  

A few other things I added this update were:  A galaxy (far far away), a platform UI bar at the top, the new room in which the story will continue after  your first space mission.

Coming soon will be:  The tutorial / Beginning finished up,  The Over Map,  Save system implemented,  Autoshop added, and Platform enemies.

I have a lot of work ahead of me, so I'll have to find some time to do it all.

Well, it's time for me to sleep a little,

Thanks for reading,