Blog | Games | About | Contact | Links

Wed, Mar 25th 2009, 11:50
A Few Good Men  

We're officially there. Everything either works or has an acceptable placeholder. I am now accepting "applications" for testing.

If you are interested in playing a potentially buggy, horribly unbalanced game to help me work through the kinks, please contact me through the regular channels (e-mail, IM, IRC [lunarnet]) or by leaving comments here.

That is all.


Thu, Mar 19th 2009, 11:00
Ship Shape  

Each week more boring than the last. This week I fought with the details of redoing the player's hull system. The current approach is pretty neat, but sadly will not take well to sprite art. I'm pretty sure this is largely thanks to my love of vector games (and my use of vector art instead of sprites as placeholders); so, I frequently overplay my object-deformation hand.

Now, to make this work I've distilled it down to a small palette of different designs, each offering a unique purpose / focus. This should actually make ship building simpler and more straightforward for the player, even if it does lose some of its previous "Hey, neat!" factor.

It's now just a matter of implementation. I'm also intending to do the unthinkable and drop in some placeholder art for these so we can get some people playing it sooner rather than later.


Wed, Mar 11th 2009, 18:58
Crawling Along  

For my part, very minimal work this week. Implemented some more new art and did some light refactoring of Ooze. I'm feeling miserly, so no new screens this week.


Wed, Mar 4th 2009, 12:32

Well, it's just a few days shy of a year since I switched gears and started working on Spacegame. I can say it's come quite a long way, even if it took longer to get here than I originally wanted. I definitely could've been done by now had I not wasted so much time fighting over what to do for the combat system or chasing other endeavors. Interestingly, because of these detours I was able to recruit the supremely talented Hyptosis and am also significantly more confident in the design, having had the opportunity to explore some other paths.

Recent progress mostly boils down to implementing the new art assets as I get them. Since there isn't much else to talk about, I'll celebrate this temporal milestone by offering the one thing I never do: screens. Full resolution ones at that (click to see full size). Yeah, who loves you?


Wed, Feb 25th 2009, 15:11
Great Gravy  

Hyptosis cranked out a hefty chunk of art this week, so I spent a fair amount of time getting that all in place and working correctly. It's really starting to shape up now, but I'm going to keep a cover on any new screens for at least another week. In the non-art field, a number of minor bugs and quirks have been ironed out. I also made some tweaks to the interface to increase its friendliness.

My todo list is pretty thoroughly whittled down, so a public release is on the near horizon. When it actually happens mostly hinges on how quickly Hyp can deliver the rest of the art (no pressure); I was originally expecting to be done before now, but I think the dramatic boost in the quality of the art is worth a little delay, don't you?


Wed, Feb 18th 2009, 21:50
Assorted Flavors  

The design for All the Marbles is tightening up pretty well, so the next step will be to roll out an engine prototype. However, it sounds the art department for Spacegame is back on track, so this new game will probably be put on hold at least until that long promised spacegame open beta. Look forward to next week when things are back on track and in full swing again.


Wed, Feb 11th 2009, 14:46
Crowded Umbrella  

Spacegame is suffering some slight delays due to a minor kink in the art pipeline (read: Hyptosis is busy with more serious stuff). Once this resolved, it shouldn't be too long before I can get a proper release out.

Because of this, I haven't done any work on it this week. There are a few rough bits I could stand to work on, but I instead opted to get a jumpstart on my next project. It's going to be largely built with the same technology as Spacegame and has significantly simpler mechanics, so this should have a pleasingly short development time.

I'm a little sad about it, but I think it'll actually be a better game too. I'm not really going to spill any details yet, because I'm a jerk. Know that I am hammering away at the design, trying to maximize its awesome factor though.

The project name is "All the Marbles". I'll let you sit on that for a while.


Wed, Feb 4th 2009, 18:16
Single Screen  

This week's progress amounts to the slow but steady addition of the combat art. Hyptosis has been hard at work creating some amazing sprites. Check it them out!

Okay, so my shrunken screens don't really do them justice. Take it on faith for now that they look great; you'll get to see them in action soon enough.


Wed, Jan 28th 2009, 20:02
Whoa There  

Somehow, I completely missed my gruedorf deadline. By nearly a week! This is made worse by the fact that I've actually been hard at work on my game; I just completely forgot to post.

The biggest news, probably, is two-fold. First is that a handful of people have had a chance to play and everything went surprisingly well. Second, this means that very soon we'll be up to "open-beta" status and everyone will be welcome to take a crack at it.

Most of the wait between now and beta-time hinges on finally getting the art done and added to the game. Right now it's a bit boring and hard to track what's going on most of the time because it's just empty shapes.

I'm starting to get pretty excited as we ramp up for the final push. Look forward to tasty WIP screens of the new art stuff next week.


Thu, Jan 15th 2009, 08:38

This week was mostly spent adding some polish the UI; adding tooltips, adjusting element sizes / positions, making sure everything flowed smoothly. The end result is a more attractive and intuitive experiece, so this is good.

Look forward to next week's post, which should actually have some biggish news.


Thu, Jan 8th 2009, 00:30
To Market  

Quite a bit done this week, so I've condensed 30 revisions into a handful of bullets:

* Various UI elements got some tweaks / enhancements.
* Implemented the assault deposit / insurance system.
* The ship builder is now connected to the assault system.
* Fixed a major bug with the collision system.
* A complete overhaul of the market and underlying systems.

It's been a while since I posted any screens and this post, while bristling with productivity, is not particularly interesting, so I give you:

The new market screen:

The old market screen:

The new market system is a bit more complicated, but not so much so as you might guess from the screens. The old system had a market "AI" that moderated the current values of the different mineral types based on player supply and demand. This system was okay, but it had an arbitrary feel to it and a player with very large mineral supply could very effectively manipulate the market with a few well placed transactions.

An "order" system has replaced the old model, where you put an amount of goods (or money) on the market with the hope that another player will agree to your terms and complete the transaction. The result is a more player-driven system that can't be effectively bullied by someone with deep pockets. The obvious downside is that it's a little less straightforward and the interface for it looks intimidating at first glance.

It took two grueling days of work to complete the market conversion, but it's done now and I'm happy with how it's turned out.