Thursday, March 28, 2013

[SBX:I] Level 3 (All but the boss) Ready! (V.006)

  Well I pulled one of those night time programming sessions and got most of level 3 fleshed out.  Version 006 is able to be downloaded.

What is new this download:
  -  Some Added Background Graphics
  -  Reduced Metal Prices on some things to give a little more leeway for level 3 and other harder levels.
  -  Added Upgrade Button for buildings (Only works for Weapon Facility atm)
  -  Reduced Core costs on some buildings
  -  Added a new level of enemy!  (Level 7... yikes!)
  -  New song in the game!
  -  Explosion SFX
  -  Mother Effin Laser Turrets.

  So let's look at some things.  First of all Level 3 has 12 waves and at the end you will face off against a boss.  The boss isn't ready yet but I'll work on figuring something out for him.

A new 'level' of enemy has also been added.  Before I had 6 levels of enemies based on color and they had HP multipliers and attack multipliers (among a few other things).  I added a new 7th one that is pretty darn tough to kill.  I had to spam laser turrets around my base in Level 3 to kill em off quickly enough.  And I may make them harder to kill but slow them down a little.

Here is a nice chart I made to show some enemy levels and how it works:

As you can see there are 7 levels of enemies and they start at 100% HP modifier all the way to 4000% HP modifier.  I may bump up the level 7 guys, as they were threatening but by the time they came out I had so many turrets they died before they could do much damage.

Then again, there will be a boss after you manage to hold off all 12 waves.

You are going to be spamming wall repairs in level 3.  Because of this I gave a bit more time between the waves and spread waves out so they weren't as concentrated.  This is because you are keeping track of 2 locations:  Your base and you mining fields.

Here are some screen shots of some of the new things I added this update:

I made a new planet graphic for Level 3.  In some of the other levels you'll notice planets from SBX2 that I added in.

To beat level 3:  Lots of Mithril Walls, Lots of Laser Turrets and power them with Attack+ Generators.  This is how you do enough damage to stop the level 6 and 7 guys.

Also the song that was used before for the levels was Fire Tundra and is the background music in Levels 2 and 3.  The tutorial level and Level 1 have a new background song called Mass Extinction.

I added some explosion sound effects as well and turned down the BGM volume a bit.

Another way to make the level a lot easier is to get the Weapon Facility and click the upgrade button.  If you have enough it will work.  Later I'll add a mouse-over graphic telling you how much you need for the upgrade but for now you will just have to guess!  If it asks a confirmation you have enough resources.

So for now the game has quite a bit of content to play through!  Get to level 3 so you can use those mother effin laser turrets.  They're pretty bad ass.

Download the latest file here:
or here:

Let me know what you think of the latest file!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

[SBX:I] Working Generators / Laser Turrets

  I got a couple of critical bug fixes done as well as some other new features to the file!

  Some things you can expect when I release Level 3:
  - Ability to sell Buildings with the Sell button as well as hitting [S] on the keyboard to sell the selected building.
  - I fixed the turret and generator linking.  Turrets will now search out the nearest usable generator instead of trying to link to the nearest one.
  - I removed the item destroyer as you can now sell buildings instead and the destroyer was more annoying than anything.
  - I made a new loading screen and icon for the game.

Here is the new loading image:

And the new game icon:

  - Added and tested the new Laser Turret!  This new turret locks onto a nearby enemy and then after a short charge time, releases a powerful laser beam on the enemy.

Here is a screen shot of the new Laser Turret in action:

Those enemies in that screen shot are Sabo type enemies that will target your generators and turrets to try and weaken your base defenses!  Make sure to wall up your turrets and generators when those enemies are out and about!  Also keep track of your walls to make sure they are staying strong.

Some things in the pipeline:
  - More Music!  There is already a second level background music track that James made and it'll be in the game for the next release
  - Sound effects.  I still am figuring out exactly how many / how I want to do the SFX.  I'm going to do explosions for sure, but probably with reduced volume if they are farther from the player.
  - Saving/Loading.  This is on the back-burner for a bit probably until after Level 3 is finished.
  - Tower/Generator Upgrades.  Towers will have a button on the info panel to upgrade them to a more powerful version.  Still gotta work out exactly how I want to do this.  It'll either be separate objects or a new sprite with different effects and better stats.  Generators will be able to be upgraded as well to better generators or with better effects.
  - Building Interaction Buttons.  For buildings like the Mining Depot, instead of clicking on the building you'll have a button to buy new miners.  Other buildings will have different buttons based on what the building does. I.E.  The weapon facility will let you buy weapon upgrades with the button instead of just buying multiple buildings.  This button will be in the Info Tab as well.
  - Level 3 and a boss.

I might release a test demo of Level 3 with the new items and buildings before I finish up the boss.  We'll see.

For now, that's some of the things you can look forward to in the next release!  If you want to stay tuned for the release, subscribe to my blog to stay updated!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

[SBX:I] New Download and some cool new features!

  Spent a few hours a day over the past few days to get some new UI features done to SBX:Invasion as well as some bug fixes and some graphic upgrades.

  Some big things this update include:
    - A Toggle-able Minimap (Turn off if it bogs your computer down, i'll optimize this later)
    - A Toggle-able Information Screen (Click on towers/buildings to select them)
    - The Base doesn't look retarded anymore!
    - Other bug fixes + some back end stuff for future content.
    - Lots of other things, check previous posts for more information.

  First, I upgraded the base graphics since they were terrible; here is the NEW one:

Compared to the OLD one:

As you can see the new one is a lot spiffier and looks a bit cooler.

Also here are two screen shots of the MiniMap and Information Screen toggled on and off via the buttons next to them.  When they are off the buttons are neatly stowed on the side of the screen to give you more viewing space.

 Minimap and Info Screen in the bottom corners: 
NOTE:  Press [M] and [I] as well to toggle the UI elements in addition to the buttons.

  But if it feels too cluttered, then just click them off!

I was using SuperSound DLL for a while but it kept making my computer screen go jet black when the game exited so I found a better DLL for .ogg song files, SGAudio which is working nicely!
[Credit to snake5 from the GMC Forums, i got SGAudio here:  SG Audio GMC Forums]

I definitely have some optimization to do on the minimap and there are some other things I need to work on as well but for now, check out the new graphics and UI elements and if you find any bugs let me know!

Currently known bugs:  
  -  The biggest one right now is the Generator+Turret Linking.  Currently when a generator is destroyed and another built, it doesn't link properly and you might have two generators on the same turret and whatnot and it causes a lot of bugs.  I need to work on a solid fix for this later.

So that's it for now, hopefully I'll get enough things nailed down so that I can start releasing more levels and content.

You can download the file here:



Sunday, March 17, 2013

[SBX:I] Songs, Swords and System Fixes

  I've been busy but I have got some work done on SBX:Invasion lately on the back end fixing up some things on the back end and working out some bugs that were in the game.  Also I have a sound artist working with me to make some tracks for the game as well!  Soon I'll have some sound effects as well to add to the game.  The biggest thing so far was fixing some broken systems in the game that weren't working as I wanted to.  Also, unrelated to SBX:I, I made some fantasy sword design pages.  I'll show those as well.

First let's check out Songs:

I have a new sound artist working on the project in his spare time.  Like me, he has a separate job so it works well for the timing of getting work done.  So far he has an initial version of the title track and a level track done.

Title Track (Unfinished):

Level 0 and 1:

 So, those are the two songs done so far for the game.  You can expect more later too, this guy is pretty good.

Check out his soundcloud at:

For bug fixes and additions to the game some changes so far are:
  - The game now correctly adjusts to your resolution.  It wasn't updating room specs properly so I did this all in the new Intro room that sets up the settings for the rest of the views in the game.  This eliminated a nasty bug that screwed up the mouse location and kept you from moving the mouse to certain areas of the screen.

  -  There is now a minimap in the game!  This will be able to be turned off later and the graphics will be improved but it shows you the entire level in the corner of your screen and shows where all the enemies are and what is going on.  I definitely need to make the minimap more efficient, it currently uses quite a bit of processing power to determine where everything is every step so that needs to be tuned back and adjusted so that it requires less processing power.

  -  There is no longer a zoom function.  You are currently zoomed out to 1.5x and that gives a pretty big area for you to see what is going on in the game.

  -  A bunch of items and adjustments were made the previous iteration I did but I don't seem to have those notes nearby.  I'll edit this later if I find them and feel like letting you know what is added ;).

What is coming soonTM / in the future:
  -  Level 3.
  -  Sound effects
  -  New items
  -  Clickable interface that allows you to select placed turrets to see stats, upgrade and sell towers.
  -  When the clickable interface is added, the item destroyer will be removed.
  -  A boss in level 3!  I'll have to figure out what to do for it though.
  -  More UI elements and the ability to toggle them on and off.
  -  An escape menu to leave the game, adjust settings, etc.
  -  Save files and a level select screen

So that's what I have planned for future releases.  I'll see how much I can pack into the next downloadable update.

Now, onto the topic that has no relevance to SBX:I!  SWORDS:
I had some free time at work and drew up some design pages for ideas on some swords.  I am currently working on a 3D model for the "Mirror Sword" for Link from the Legend of Zelda series in order to practice getting better at Blender.  Once I can get a good render of it I'll post it up here.  Don't expect much it's super simple.

But anyway here are the pages I drew up at work:

The Breaker Blade:

 The Blast Cleaver:

I know I haven't posted on my blog in a while but that's what's been going on.  As far as personal stuff goes, I had an interview for another Stationary Engineer position out in Boulder, but I turned it down due to a farther drive and it really wasn't offering what I was looking for.  Also, less than two months till I get hitched! I'm pretty excited as I found someone pretty darn special.  That's really about it, I've been working lots of nights and haven't been as motivated to program as I would have liked in my free time, but I'm going to start planning things out and set some goals to get some things done over the next few months before I go to Italy for my honeymoon.  Yeah, Italy.  Baller.

Chao Minna-san,