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Archive for February, 2012

Funky Patterns

February 14th, 2012 No comments

Some interesting patterns I came up creating bullets in my doomed purposeless space shooter.

At this point it crashed, but performance was still great!

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Second year of QANTM

February 13th, 2012 No comments

So I found out some interesting things today at QANTM. Firstly the entire campus is moving in less than five weeks and somehow I was never informed but ah well.

Secondly, the course I had today, ‘Managing New Media Projects’, involves an entire tutorial group which in my case consists of 28 people working together to develop a simple game. The purpose of this course is not the actual end product but the process of project management. In both cases of this and the actual project, it appears that out of all 28 people, I’m the only programmer. Oh ****.

So in my one-man army as Tech lead (leading.. what?) I’m going to be responsible for hosting source versioning control, ¬†‘coding’ the game (obviously) and integrating all assets into a compatible format. Fortunately for me the entire group has chosen to use Unity which pretty much means there’s not really any programming to do (although that’s a bit boring for me but it leaves me plenty of room for my other courses). Basically me and a few designers will use Unity’s simple integrated JavaScript language to make a 2D sidescroller of some sort.

What this also means is that my very exciting space project no longer has any real use, although I will most likely continue it as a side project for fun.

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The start of the untitled space thingy

February 11th, 2012 No comments

Over the past two days I’ve made my little SFML & TinyXML powered project. Today I implemented input, which in the case of SFML already having an input system all I needed to do was forward the hooks to the game entities in my entity manager.

Right now it isn’t much; quite literally just some simple sprites on the screen, but the actual core mechanics are more or less done. I’ve made a short and fairly meaningless recording of XML configs that at this point pretty much determine all the content in the game, and it will most likely stay this way for the actual purpose of it.

If you can’t view the above please upgrade to a browser from the ¬†last 3 or 4 years ago, seriously.

Essentially I show three basic sprites being loaded at set time intervals and eventually play back a sine wave movement pattern. The fact the sine wave movement can be replicated with a single line of code from the C math library is not relevant, the actual data driven system is.

Right now I’m hesitant to go any further as I have yet to receive any confirmation of what the group project is going to be, but this should at least give me some breathing room for the first week or so. The last item I might implement is the actual bullet firing which hopefully will result in some very artistic programmer art.

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Flexible XML Powered Space Shooter?

February 11th, 2012 No comments

With my second year of Uni starting next Monday and having done mostly contract work I haven’t exactly been able to do everything I wanted to do in terms of programming. I was somewhat considering writing my own DirectX 11 rendering engine, although at this point I’d rather wait and see what my final project ends up being – it helps to know if it’s even going to be 3D or not.

With that said, with the exciting addition of networking, AI, Ogre 3D, new media business compliance and managing new media projects comes the first proper time when, as students, we are properly co-developing a game. Although I’ve now had my first bit of group-work experience behind me from only the start of this year, chances are this will be nowhere near as smooth considering. While the ‘designers’ fight eachother off with ideas I’ll be quietly preparing the framework of what we’ll be using.

Essentially from what I’ve gathered it’s going to be a space shooter, simple and 2D and of course we all have to do something at one point or another. Fortunately I just already happen to have made a start on that and have prepared an SFML 2 build with the addition of the TinyXML parser and some careful core mechanics written by me to ensure we’re going to have a very stable and powerful little game tool.

Although I did originally think about a level editor, it ended up seeming impractical due to the nature of these simple top-down little 2D games where level design can just as easily be written by simple text documents. Essentially there will be two kinds of documents:

  1. A level configuration file – This will handle the events that occur within the level as well as the basics such as enemy spawns, and whatever else the designers come up with (god help me).
  2. An enemy configuration file – This is responsible for the fun part, where the designers as well as I can tweak bullet patterns, ship movement, and other exciting little bits specifically designed for each category of enemy.

I’ve already designed an effective system in my mind from one-too-many nights of idiopathic insomnia and, despite the project not having officially started yet, am quite confident to say we’re going to get some mighty fine grades, so I can focus on some of the other courses (such as all the programmers having a little self-programmed robot fight – nerd power for the win!)

Excuse the lack of a screenshot, I was contemplating adding one in but right now it is literally a black screen with the occasional XML data and some test sprites on it. I think in the future I may begin including HTML5-based video samples rather than images as images are becoming limited in terms of telling a story.

Categories: Me, Programming Tags: , ,