Monday, May 13, 2013

Screaming Cubes!

Screaming Cubes

Screaming cubes is a prototype for a space sim game. It was originally made in 48 hours for the Ludum Dare 26 game competition, but I already expanded the game a bit and I plan to work on it more in my spare time.

Player controls his own small fighter drone (which behaves more like a rocket hovercraft then a real space ship, but the game is much more playable this way) and his huge and powerful but slow mother-ship which serves as a mobile base where player can fix and upgrade his ship. 

Currently the game takes place in a crater on an unknown planet littered with enemy bases and fighters. Destroying enemies is one way to get upgrades and ore and uranium needed by mother-ship for further upgrades and repairs. The other way is to select mining laser or cratering missiles and go search for the ore on the planet. When player get's bored with the current level, it's possible to leave the current location, return to orbital base and then select another mission. Game progress is currently saved ONLY on the orbit (so it can be played in the webplayer where saving huge amount of data for the level is not possible without creating a master server with account for each player).

There's a lot of things I'd like to add / change / improve in the game, currently the most important tasks are:
a) moving from the flat artificially closed terrain to a fully 3D asteroids with a few kilometers diameter
b) adding at least simple multiplayer, probably just a fight among two motherships on a planet.

And of course there are tons of small bugs, AI is just a bit above nonexistent etc...

Gameplay video
Current (1.1) web version (DROPBOX hosted)

Original 48 hours version (Windows standalone version)

Note, this post currently serves as a homepage for the game.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

GGJ game - Short Circuit

I've completely forgotten to give a link to GGJ game I made with MyOwnClone (not mine, his). Not that anyone would mind since no one reads my blog anyway :)

Here it is:

LD23 - Tiny Inspiration post mortem

I've attended yet another Ludum Dare, this time with the theme "Tiny World".

 So, the time has come to write some post mortem (in not so hidden hope that my game will have a chance to mess with heads of more poor victims).

Introducing Tiny Inspiration, adventure game about LD programmer who searches for inspiration in his dreams and finds himself tiny, on his own table. As you can see from the thumbnail, it's a bit (cough, cough) adult theme. Although no actual porn takes place, sex is what is this about. It was my intention to mess up a bit with people's head and since most of the people in LD are guys (sorry for you, girls, but unless I'm seriously mistaken, there's not much of you here... anyway if you drop me a comment declaring yourself a girl and demanding woman themed game next time, I'll consider it).
Even before LD started I was thinking about maybe making and adventure game (doing two commercial right now so I got them stuck in my head now...). When the theme was announced (3 am of my time), I scratched my head and went to sleep, hoping for some inspiration. About the only dream I remember was really weird one with two headed redhead...
Next morning (actually, more like noon) I went for brunch with my GF and started brainstorming. Soon enough I've scratched all other ideas (sperm racing game, battle bugs clone, Tron like shooter) and focused on the adventure. From the start I knew I wanted to have some sex hints there and that I want as many possibilities to finish the game as possible. With that came idea of giving player achievements and then that I should really try to rattle player's bones.
Originally I wanted to have three episodes with three screens each. First on the table, than among the bugs, and in the end having player to find love among amoebas and bacterias. Quickly found out that my ideas are just spilling too fast so I concentrated on the table.  I started making design notes and quickly sketching screens.

I originally planned 8 game screens, one intro, one outro and one noninteractive in the middle. I had some ideas for more, but even than I was pretty sure it would be tight run against the time. Sketching was fast, each sketch took me about five minutes, so I was full of optimism!
Then I fired up photoshop and picked tablet... and found out that I just really really suck. I have no problems with pencil, I'm even able to produce quite nice drawings, but tablet... horrible. Took me a too long time to finish first screen and then I started to cut corners so I can make it in time. I grossly underestimated how long it will take me just to redraw finished scanned sketch and add some colors :(
So I had to put out intro that was supposed to be a bit interactive, with player killing bad ideas (like sex, go to sleep) and promoting ideas like RPG, adventure etc. In the end Yoda was suppossed to show up (probably in a blond wig :D) and tell player INSPIRATION YOU'LL NOT FIND, IT WILL FIND YOU!
Outro was also cut out, with protagonist girlfriend waking him up and asking him why he's sleeping on her dollhouse instead of making that stupid game. (And if player shaved himself in the game, she would have asked "and why have you shaven your beard, honey?").
And one of the game screen went out of the window too (Ken trying to enroll in french legion to show Barbie that he's man, fluffy dog doll, which could have been converted into dog disguise for more achievements, some other stuff).
So in the end, 8 screens, one of them almost without any interaction, few dozen active items, 11 achievements, and two goals, with 4 possible ways to reach it for each.

While doing all the art and exporting it out from photoshop I fired up Unity. I decided to use it again because a) I'm quite confident I can force it to do anything I want, although sometimes painfully for both of us, b) it gives me possibility to do web / flash version (I'm still mostly untouched by html5 and flash, so it's the only way I can make web games now), c) abusing full fledged 3d engine for a simple 2d "art" is amusing :)
Putting items into screens, doing some basic scripts took me almost no time at all. About the only problem I had was stupid unity gui (last time fixes while trying to get flash version working introduced so stupid bugs in the inventory that I had to do quick bug elimination after compo) and flash export ignoring anonymous functions (had to rewrite them, luckily I had no time to implement some better dialogues anyway).
I ended up with playable game about ten minutes before the end of the compo.... So  ideas about some sounds, music (at least from autotracker) and having some interactive dialogues just went out the window :/
But I'm happy with the result anyway :)
Procrastitracker stats (rounded):
12 hours photoshop
2 hours text editor (where I had my "game design document", seems too much)
4 hours Unity (creating screens, testing)
7 hours Monodevelop (writing scripts, debugging)
add about two hours for sketches / initial brainstorming on the paper, about hour for smoke breaks (that I use when I'm stuck and need to think out something through).
Overall about 28 hours of real work... seems I wasted a lot of time by sleeping and eating and getting inspiration (ahem...). But that's the stats here.
Anyway, I had real fun making it and even more fun listening to comments of some of my friends :) (Too bad I hadn't implemented some server upload of stats). So I've mostly succeeded in my goals.
If you hadn't played my game yet and you're willing to risk it even after reading through this... go ahead!

Ludum Dare entry page

Flash version

Unity version

 PC Windows version

Friday, January 27, 2012

Global Game Jame starting in 3.....

Annual Global Game Jam, this time in Brno site, will start soon.

Lords of the BSOD (containing me and one other guy, so we are legion) is prepared to create another jamming master piece!

I've got the keyboard under my feet,
I can code so high, I can trace so deep.
But who do I see coming up in the stack,
little green bug with the BSOD on his back...

With the lords of the bsods you'll come and get around,
with the lords of the bsods you'll come and get around,
with the lords of the bsods you'll come and get around,
with the lords of bsods go mad like a clown!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ludum Dare 22 Results...

So results of Ludum Dare 22 are online... 

And I'm quite happy with silver medal for humor and 11th position overall from about 200 jam entries (actually I've managed to keep quite high in all categories which is nice.). So I've got another goal for myself for the next LD: be better :D

Monday, December 26, 2011

Unity flash in a flash compo - challenge declined

Thanks to some guy on Ludum Dare I found out about Unity Flash in a Flash contest. I immediately thought, hey, them 20k dollarz would be nize! So I downloaded new 3.5 preview of Unity and started brainstorming. After sorting through few quite good ideas (which I thought I have chance to put together in two weeks and which could make pretty good and/or interesting game in the end) I fired up Unity and started checking the flash export...
At first I tried to export TMDR I made last week for Ludum Dare... and found out that flash export isn't going to be easy at all. A lot of stuff doesn't even compile (I was afraid that reflection wouldn't work, but some stuff from generic collection is missing too (Queue doesn't exist at all, for some strange reason Dictionary doesn't have Count defined...).
I ripped offending pieces from code and recompiled... It works! Well, sort of and very slowly... but it hangs after few seconds...

After some tests and attempts to start directly on a prototype for "A different shade of gray" (my favorite brainstorm child for compo) I found out that character controllers are the culprit. Having more then one in a very simple scene will kill framerate (like totally) usually in few seconds. Extremely simple scene (few boxes),  few char colliders means few seconds of existence. Seems physx rewritten in action script is not very stable beast. Strangely Angrybots (unity showcase/demo project) works even with (i think) char controllers... my guess is they debugged and fixed flash export just enough so angrybotz work.

This was pretty big discouragement. I've made few attempts to find out if I could maybe fix this... after I made a VERY simple script which just spawns more char controllers on mouse click... I found out that after few spawns (using Instantiate from prefab) flash build hangs with just red "Null pointer!" written in the corner.
Few more attempts to play with other stuff showed similar results... what works in unity might work in flash... for a while probably. And debugging using debug.log (which is usually only way to do some debugging in unity thanks to great stability of monodevelop) is even slower then normal because you have to wait for a long time for flash build...
So no fancy 3d gameplay? I thought about going back to another idea and doing mostly 2d game, but if you want to make 2d games, working directly in a flash is better idea then hacking unity to do it too.
Anyway I have my doubts about usefulness of flash export at all - flash is slowly declining after Steve Jobs said it's bad (one of the few things I ever agreed with him), unity web plugin has quite big penetration and it's rising (and whatever you do in unity, it will run much better / faster in unity web then in flash since action script was never fast and never will be).

So in the end it seems that flash in a flash is more of betatesting/hoping and praying coding compo then game compo... And I decided to decline this challenge. Going to lan party like every year and have some fun playing games instead of trying to make them.

My guess is that winner of this compo would be either someone insanely lucky / patient who puts together some nice game, or someone with a lot of nice 3d graphics without any gameplay :/