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Infinite Arena Progress
May 26th, 2011 by Joe

For whatever reasons I’ve become super motivated to do some programming, so I’ve been working on Infinite Arena a little bit the past few days. Most of the work has been put into making all the separate systems functional. You can now walk from one room to another room (transition animation and everything) and the doors will lock, enemies will spawn,  (assuming the room hasn’t already been cleared) and must be killed before all the doors will unlock. Its getting to a point where I can see the game becoming fun soon, so that is exciting. Here is a random screenshot of me fighting some skeletons.

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This screenshot shows a couple details. As of right now, damage indicators get thrown out every time you hit an enemy. I like that in theory, but I’ll need to work on my implementation because currently they all kind of run together and it is hard to actually read them. You can also see that the map is displayed on the left. This is a debug version and it shows the whole map, but in the game it will only show rooms that you have visited or that you know exist.

BubbleTime Results

BubbleTime finished 2nd place in the GameDev.net Community Challenge. It was a little disappointing because I was hoping to win, but it was still a lot of fun. It was the first time that I have ever entered any game making competition and I’ve decided I’m going to try to enter them more often. Basically, entering those competitions is so refreshing and opens you up to new game ideas that you gain so much new experience that you otherwise would be missing out on. Not to mention that you get some good publicity if your game does well. (probably more so in larger competitions, such as Ludum Dares) That is what happened with this challenge and I ended up with a fun little game out of it. BubbleTime is mostly complete but I can see myself coming back to it every now and then and adding some features. In fact, I’ve almost done working on a new version that adds some improved graphics as well as a bigger variety of enemies.  You will always be able to get the latest version of BubbleTime on my newly created Games page.

Dungeon Generation Complete
Apr 12th, 2011 by Joe

I have finished the algorithm that generates dungeon levels. It is pretty simplistic but I like the results and probably won’t tweak it very much, so I’m going to go ahead and call it done. I’ll explain the algorithm, but first you can take a look at several examples of generated dungeon floors.

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Essentially what gets generated are a bunch of rooms connected together in such a way that the player will be able to navigate to the next staircase. The algorithm is quite simple.

Step 1 – Pick a location for the downward staircase. (I operate under the assumption that the entering staircase position will be provided to the algorithm). A valid location for the downward staircase is one at least 3 tiles away from the entering staircase. I don’t want the staircases to be right next to each other, it would make it too easy for the player.

Step 2 – Create a straight path of rooms between the two staircases.

Step 3 – Add a random number of rooms (10 + rand(0,10)). I only add rooms adjacent to rooms that have already been placed. When a room gets placed, I create doors with all adjacent rooms.

Step 4 – Randomly (both in quantity and location) remove non essential doors. If I choose to remove a door, I make a check to see if a path still exists between the staircases and a path also exists between the two rooms which the door previously joined. The ensures that the level is fully connected.

That is basically a quick rundown of the algorithm. I’m now onto generating actual rooms within the dungeon. It will be slightly more challenging, but hopefully I can have the basic ideas nailed down in the next couple days.

Another Post
Apr 8th, 2011 by Joe

I said I wanted to post 4 times every month this year and for the first two months I did a good job, but I haven’t posted since then so I have fallen a bit behind. I didn’t do it intentionally, it just kinda happened. The problem is that this is mostly a development blog and I haven’t really been developing anything so I don’t have anything to talk about. I know I previously mentioned a new project that I started, but my motivation quickly died on that project. After about a month and a half break I am rejuvenated and ready to start working on it again. I’m also going to go into some more details here and post some screenshots.

Introducing…. InfiniteArena, or at least that is a work in progress name that I am giving it. It’s kinda of mix of several different elements. It is primarily a dual stick shooter with many roguelike elements mixed in. Basically the game is a series of randomly generated rooms that must be cleared to advance. The player will navigate from room to room (clearing each one as he goes) trying to find which one contains a staircase to a deeper dungeon level, with each level getting progressively more difficult. Along the way the player will gain experience and be rewarded with all kinds of loot to boost his survivability. The game has a pretty simple dynamic, there are two resources, health and ammo, and if you run out of either you’re screwed (dead). The point of the game is to see how far you can progress into the dungeon and to get very far you are going to have to manage your resources well. This can be accomplished by your choice of weapons, style of play, skill level, and probably most importantly luck. The game is meant to be fast paced, somewhat frustrating, and slightly addictive. Another huge feature that will be supported will be the up to 4 player local multiplayer. If the game ends up being similar to what it I intend, then it will be a blast to roll through the dungeon minions with some friends and see how far into its eternal depths you can make it.

I worked on it for about a month before I decided to take a break and here are the results of that work. I have a lot of the basic system design complete, the main UI designed and mostly coded, and all major game play elements planned. Here is a view of what the current build looks like.

IA_001

This screenshot shows a typical room with a few remaining enemies. You can also see the player panels on the left (there is only one player, so I should really only display one, but I draw them all currently). They give an indication of the players health, ammo, experience, and current charge of their special power. Here is a mockup of the weapon inventory panel.

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A series of panels similar to this will popup for all players after a room has been cleared allowing them to view, equip, and scrap their loot in preparation for the next room.

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