Monthly Archives: May 2010

Retextured

Since I am not releasing any videos of the game yet I thought I might show a few freeze frames of running to walking to coming to a skidding stop. Check it out…

I am pretty happy with the animation here and this could very well be the final animations for these movements.

It also occurred to me that I may not have shown off some of my text changes for Maleia. She got a complete makeover and I forgot to announce it… I mean I announce every other little detail don't I?

I particularly like the blue jean texture though I might need to work a little harder on the other ones. I am not sure how much of a concern any of this should be since you can't see the textures in huge details from the distance you see her from in the game.

Anyways, I got the textures from a site called CG Textures. All the textures there are free the only catches are that you have to sign up and that you are only allotted 15MB worth of downloads with I believe resets every 24 hours or so. I highly recommended this site to anyone wanted to make a game even if you have a huge budget, they've got some good stuff.

Legacy that is Chompy Creations

Up till…well this post… this blog has practically exclusively been about DreamSphere(aka Shadow of a Dream). That probably comes as no surprise seeing as it is my game that I am currently working on. However if any of you have kept up with Chompy Creations over the years you know that there is another game that has sat quietly waiting to be made. That game is “Legend of the Destiny Swords.”

That game marks perhaps a life long dream of mine to make something awesome. It was my first big idea for a game. It has to be great and it has to be huge though. I imagine not something I should tackle by myself. Nor should such a huge undertaking be my first project.

DreamSphere is my first major game and already it's proven to be one of the biggest projects I've ever worked on, and I haven't given up on it yet, that shows promise given that its creator has ADD! The idea is to slowly work my way up to the big games, so I've starting with a relatively simple 2.5D platformer but added RPG elements to it, not as easy as I may have hoped for but it hasn't been too bad so far.

I definitely look forward to the day I can start working Legend of the Destiny Swords. I have already drafted some really cool characters and even started writing a pretty detailed script for the game's story, though unfortunately I haven't gotten very far. The game has to at least be as epic as any of Sqaure Enix's Final Fantasy games. The game itself though is more like Star Ocean with its attempt to combine both medieval fantasy with science fiction elements.

If only I could clone myself, if I had another person with my ambitions and skills in video game making I might very well be able to make some pretty impressive stuff. I am hoping that completely DreamSphere will either attract prospective game makers or give me enough of a profit to hire people and form an official game team. I suppose the *secret* third option would be to join another team, but I don't know if I could do it, not being able to call all the shots would be difficult. Certainly if anyone has a team that needs members I'd consider it.

I shall end this post with some DreamSphere news…

I've started working on revamping the animation for Maleia. I've cleaned up some of the moments a little bit and it's looking good. Once I get a few good looking levels made and get all of Maleia's animations looking good I'll post a gameplay video up.

Take a guess at what animation I am working on here. *HINT* It has to do with the running stuff I've been talking about lately. It's the animation for stopping after you've been running! All the platformers do it, you don't come to a dead stop from a run, you skid to a stop.

Why is she a pretty shade of Magenta you ask? Who knows…I guess the skin texture is in the wrong directory or something but everything works fine in game.

Chompz out!

JOY of Running!

Another tentative logo for DreamSphere…

Looking better! A friend who works in the graphic design field has been giving me suggestions. Thanks Bill Humphries!

I've been working on a couple of things in the game that I can't exactly show pictures for. The first one is I have added support for joysticks/gamepads! Unfortunately Panda3D doesn't natively support joysticks so I had to look to another Python game engine that did. That engine was Pygame, which is another fantastic python engine, but unfortunately doesn't support any kind of 3D graphics. It is likely that I will need to use Pygame for sound and music as well since there appear to be issues with the sound libraries in Panda3D.

Secondly, I have made it possible to run in the game, or run faster whatever you want to call it. When running you have to decelerate to come to a stop or change directions. This follows something I've observed in a lot of other platformer games. Few games allow the character to simply change direction in an instant, they usually have to slow down and do a skidding animation. I still need to work on adding the animations for the different state changes involved while running.

That's all I got for now!

Boxy Textbox is Boxy

I've been working on and off on “DreamSphere.” DreamSphere will replace the original name “Shadow of A Dream.” For now however, it maybe refereed to as either since I have yet to rename all my sources that say Shadow of a Dream.

First off, I should say, the game was Demo'd at the Tallahassee Community College Graphic Design Art Show. The show was a huge success, a lot of people showed up. Many were rather impressed with the game. I managed to use the packp3d tool provided with Panda3D to pack everything into a standalone P3D file, it was extremely easy to download and install the run-time on one of the school computers. So it's good to know that I have an option to easily distribute the game now!

Anyways, the first new item I have is the addition of the text box, the first demo had this, and it was used as any RPG might use a textbox, to display the dialog of the story. I kept the textbox rather simple this time. When it is to appear it simply flies up from the bottom. It's also a rather plan rectangular box this time, but it looks pretty clean, and that works!

The next step will be adding the event system for making in game cut-scenes. I plan to make all events in external files and make all the event triggers appear in the levels files made with Blender. Thus making it possible for user generate cut-scenes to go with their user generated levels!

Next we have the second part of the snow level I've been working on. I experimented with a different snow texture and I think I like the first snow level the best so far. I often find that after I make the first area for something it's very hard to make a second area to go with it that I like.

The first and second levels are already connected. It works just like the first demo, you hit the edge of the first level and the second one loads. You use empty objects in Blender named “boundary_left”, “boundary_right”, etc to define your boundaries. They are also tagged with the level they lead to, more on that later though. You can rest assured that there will be documentation on making custom content!

The level switcher does appear to have a slight memory leak and I don't know if it'll be fixable. It's very slight right now, maybe 200KB of RAM is leaked per switch at the most. Hopefully it's nothing much to worry about.

Finally, for all you netbook gamers!

15FPS on my Asus EEE running in Super Performance Mode! It's promising alright, at least I can be happy that all these new additions haven't slowed performance down too much. If you notice however, no anti-aliasing, I don't know that anyone could expect or hope for that on an Intel GMA950 anyways. You netbook users best get used to dhem jaggies!

Foon in Da Snow

Hai again guys! I've been working on the system behind the levels in the game. Things like lighting and weather effects for the level. I discovered that I can specify properties on objects in Blender and Panda3D can read them! Meaning I can specify everything from within the level files. So at some point I can focus on just levels and and setup things like enemy spawn points straight from level file itself. This also opens up the option of allowing custom maps so that someone can end up making a version of the game that is like 20 times harder. :D

I started working on what shall be the first level, the snow level, I'm not reusing anything from the first demo here. I doubt I will stick with this but it did let me start playing with the snowy weather.

One of the next things I plan to work on is level switching, when you hit then edge of one area you should load the next one. Now I am not sure if I should have a small transition between levels with a fade out or something or try to seamlessly load the next level and even connect it to the end of the current level. I tend to think I should go with the transition so that the levels don't have to be perfectly consistent. Any advice here would be awesome!

Enter the…Dream Sphere!

I have decided that Shadow of a Dream needs a better catchier name. I am considering “Dream Sphere” at this point. It has a nice ring to it!

There's a tentative logo.

I decided that since the Fire spell was a lot like the Earth spell that I should change it. So… I made it more like the Fire spell from the first Demo.

I recently just cleaned up my code and split up everything into it's own module. This appeared to help the frame rate quite a bit, the game can run at about 15FPS on a netbook now. Which feels playable at least but the code for frame rate independence starts to glitch at frame rates this low, in particular you can fall through the floor every now and then.