Tea ‘n’ Cake


Gamebridge, Ship Bridge, Ship Dock… Another Seamless Transition!

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Yeah. I wen’t to Gamebridge.  (which according to facebook has related page “Jeremy Corbyn). Anyway, Gamebridge is where all the cool kids hang out, and some of them even talked to me. I had mostly been fixing bugs that week, but while I was doing that, Ben replaced my perfectly good cube and number picture, with some kind of high tech projector thingy and a real time model of whichever battle arena you currently have selected. See the gif above. Isn’t that fancy? Yes! The answer is yes, it’s very fancy. Admittedly, almost nobody tried out the different levels as they were all having too much fun on the starting arena. They did push the button and go “Oooo” but only one group actually went into the black hole level… that was followed by panic, and screaming, and death. So they didn’t make that mistake again. A lot of people did have fun just messing around in the menu. Definitely more fun than they should have had but I imagine alcohol played a role.

Gamebridge is always very useful and lot’s of fun. MY biggest complaint is that I never get to try out all the games or talk to everyone I want to. If that is the biggest problem the event has then it must be a pretty darn good one right? It is, so many thank to the Bruce and Ollie for organizing it as always. It’s very much appreciated by everyone. I always benefit from user feedback at the event also. This time I was giving some serious thought to my discussion with Andreas from Nosebleed interactive. He’ll be pleased to know that after some consideration and testing, I’d doubled the turning speed of the main craft, increased the maneuvering thruster power by a third, and will be adding an impulse to the engine after I get back to coding in a week or two.  I’ve even thought about how I can add some training wheels for new players without doing anything involving icky icky text.

The other main thing I did was code so that you could go on any ship and turn off any ship and bla bla any combination of colour and team numbers works fine now, so you just can’t do it wrong.

After that was out of the way I had to finalize what was going to be on the main ship, and by extension, the things that have to be on all ships going forward.

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As you can tell from the high quality glowing bits, the art has not been done yet, but at least it’s on a todo list now.  I left everything else deliberately vague so that I can deny all knowledge of a feature that seems like it might be listed here but doesn’t make it into the final game. Doing what I want is going to involve a few extra systems that don’t exist yet, but I think it’ll be worth it and hopefully won’t kill me. That image at the bottom is a skull by the way. See this little guy here…

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Well it’s time to say goodbye to him and his gigantic shoulder cannon, buzzing around like a bee in a bottle. His replacement is similar but more polished, but I won’t go into that today. Just say goodbye and move on, much like you should do with this blog post now… although do feel free to do the  TwitterFacebook, and Youtube thing. I’ve heard it was all the rage ten years ago. Bye for now.

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Farmyard Vehicles In Space?

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It’s about time I updated you guys on something.  It was about time last week, but I didn’t, because… umm… reeeaasons?  I mentioned that I was re-writing the beam code. It was working fine, but I had done it in a way that I felt was limiting, or at the very least the code would become messy and protracted if I tried to add some more features that I’d decided on.

Sure. You could argue I should have planned it out better before hand, and normally you’d be correct, but I’m doing a lot of this deliberately without specification for the learning process. What this all means is that I don’t have a plan for the game, but instead have a myriad of possible plans which will play out depending on hundreds of factors like what I learn, how much time/money I have, how parts of the game are received by players, and various personal issues that it’s definitely best I don’t go into. So I’ll distract you with another gif.

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The new beam system has more options. It has a capacitor that ca re-charge at any rate, or not. Effects for impact, charging, shooting, dissipating, and even the beam if that is a thing that’s needed. It can also change colour depending on what it hits, and can apply a force, because that is always fun. It is even able to track the target.  There were of course a few bugs along the way, like that time I made the impact a collider instead of a trigger. Backfire might be an appropriate term.

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Eventually, like this blog post, this does all lead beyond the basic beam onto something else that was on my todo list. It’s not perfect yet or fully featured, and it certainly needs more than a little balancing.  You may have guessed from the title already, but I am of course talking about the sci-fi staple, the tractor beam. You can use it to pull things a bit or slow them down. You can also use it for shenanigans. Wayhay!

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The Tractor beam can’t pull anything though. Some objects are just too massive. Even then it seemed like it might be fun to let the object pull you instead. So you can do a space based hand brake turn!

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Hey. I didn’t say it was a good idea. I could talk about the new levels or some of the other stuff I’m working on, but I won’t.  For more terrible ideas from me, or if you want to launch your terrible ideas in my direction. You can find me in the usual places online. ( TwitterFacebook, and Youtube.) Bye for now.

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Looking Back, Whilst Going Forward

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When Talking about looking back though, I’m also talking about looking back in time. Metaphorically again; I don’t have post-cognizance, apart from memory, which is a form of…Never mind.I’m talking about retro gaming. I was recently at Game Box, which is a fun diddly do of an evening out that involves games, usually out of their boxes. this time however it was retro flavoured and came with an assortment of retro consoles that were barely hanging together; some of which were so old you had to actually tune them in to get them working. To cut a long story short, i was inspired to set up some of my own retro consoles again. As you can see from the image at the top, not everything was in working order. Nothing to do with Pickachu, he just happened to be on the chair I was using as a table. I’ve dealt with this before though. I used to have rabbits. Lots of them, and those fuzzy little bast***s really liked to chew cables. Anyway, some scissors and a little bit of electrical tape was all that was needed… even if I did attach the wrong coloured cable ends on occasion.  TaDa!

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True. That is a picture of two consoles, unrelated to the joypad I was fixing.. the N64 is on the shelf underneath. I just couldn’t be bothered to take another photo of it. There are a few games which are pretty timeless on most old consoles and I’m too much of a penny-pincher to re-purchase them on various e-shops so setting up the old consoles is the next best alternative until they finally fizzle out. Some great games are also missing from modern retro libraries for various reasons, and some have ports that are worse than the originals.  I also have to say that while I’ve made my love for Return Fire on the PS1 known before, I don’t actually love the console, nor do I own one, which is why you don’t see it here.  I also freely admit that I didn’t set up the original Xbox again because I don’t have anything on it that I want to play again… Is that controversial? Feel free to argue that (or any other) consoles case if you fancy a flame war on social media. For me, the top retro console has to be the SNES. It beats out the Megadrive on overall quality and original games. The NES and Master System are too old and clunky for me to be a hipster about them. You could argue that the N64’s 3D is just as clunky and horrible as the PS1 but in different ways, but I guess modern me can just cope with fuzzyness and muddyness better than noisey textures that dance up and down beside you.  Besides, the N64 is worth turning on just for this music…

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The cube is a good all round machine, but also gains some points for it’s boot screen, and for being the first console I ever released a game on (Mega Man Collections).

I don’t fancy talking about what I’m doing at the moment because it’s just technical behind the scenes stuff but as a quick update, I’ve been reworking the beam weapon stuff so it can use a capacitor system rather than a time based system which it used before. i.e. you can fire for as long as you have charge and it stops firing when you let go. See. I knew you wouldn’t care. Here’s a gif with glowing bits anyway.

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Yeah… I’m done for now. Social media exists. Use it if you like. We exist on it sometimes. TwitterFacebook, and Youtube. Bye for now.

 

 

 

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On The Defensive!

For those of you who guessed correctly about what the above picture is… Well done I guess.  It is a shader. This particular shader is for the simple shield effect on the ship. It’s probably more complicated than it needs to be, but shaders are something I’m still learning and only got into thanks to The Bruce […]

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An Absense Of Sorts… With Spaghetti

I have’t posted for a while. I could give you any number of reasonable and believable reasons for not posting, or tell you that it was indeed a swarm of techno virus infected guinea pigs that stormed the office and sliced things up with tiny retractable buzz saws (some of you may still be thinking […]

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The ISS Thingemy?

  This is “Last Week Tonight!”, but not with John Oliver, and not a political satire in the slightest. It’s a very spurious comparison really,  in that I made this stuff last week, and I’m showing it tonight. I finally got round to fixing the default ship. Still kept it really basic for mainly style reasons… Admitedly […]

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Le Homme et la femme. Deuxième partie!

This week I’m continuing on from what I talked about last week, specifically the evolution of the original chosen concept art. By the end of last week we had made the sculpt of the player characters, but still had a couple of issues to deal with. IF you forgot, or didn’t read, get on back […]

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How a Concept Evolves

The concept art you see for many games is usually a little different from the final version that you see when you play. Sometimes it isn’t, but that’s normally because it isn’t concept art at all, but rather illustration for the purposes of marketing materials. We aren’t going to bother talking about that today though. Today, we […]

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A Variety Of Things That Were Done!

Hi Everybody. Sure. It’s a lazy title given that almost every week I do a variety of coding, designing, animating, and arting… Why is “arting” not a word? Is art supposed to be too metaphysical to be a verb or something? meh. Nevermind that, I need to get on talking about nothing in particular including some […]

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The Complexity of Simplicity

See the picture above. That is an explosion which could be used to demonstrate the concepts that I’ll be talking about this week, but instead I’m just going to leave it there, completely detached from this weeks dev diary except by happenstance to demonstrate that the inside of a ship blows up when the outside does. […]

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