Lachlan's misadventures in games programming

Monday, 28 March 2011

Weekly Progress Update

3/28/2011 12:31:00 am Posted by Lachlan 1 comment
I haven't achieved massive amounts this week, in relation to WotAS. I did try my hand at more sprite art - some of which you can see in my Profile Picture (and duplicated here) of myself as well as a few other small things.

I've done some significant work on fleshing out the design document, but am still completely concept-less for the fourth Apocalypse Samurai, and working out how to distinguish the dragon from the beast for the end game, and what would make them good bosses - particularly considering my absolute loathing of bosses that break the rules from the rest of the game. I like bosses that the game play is fundamentally the same - just harder. I'm not a fan of games where you've been going through hordes and hordes of enemies and then reach a boss where you have to annoyingly dodge the things flying at you, and repeat some non-gameplay action (like run to a button and push it, then you get thrown back and repeat the whole stupid thing again).

I've also been sitting and considering the merits of 2D or 3D gameplay. I feel that it is necessary to emphasise  gameplay, because whether or not it is in 2D or 3D will not change the fact that the graphics itself will be in 2D. 2D is tempting for its simplicity, however, this limits fighting actions significantly, where 3D will allow me to create a richer experience. 3D, in this case, would be somewhat similar to the 3D found in many sidescrolling beat'em up's - such as the new Scott Pilgrim game, or River City Ransom; ie. using depth, side scrolling, and jumping. 3D does however present more difficulties in level design, and game design.

Finally, I have started fighting an internal battle as to whether I'll move beyond my beloved Object Pascal, to the heinous language well known as C++. Whilst everything about C++ repulses me, I think I'm going to need to be programming in it to gain enough access to support and better libraries to even give a basic hope to this project - or other indie game development projects. To learn this commonly used, outdated, ancient and archaic language, I'm going back to basics: Pong. I don't want to jump right into coding the game I really want to, because I don't want to get 6m in, have it almost, but not really playable, and suddenly discover I have to 'refactor the source' because of the strangled mess of spaghetti it has become. I'll keep working on non-programming bits of War of the Apocalypse Samurai, though I want to at least get a wee bit of experience to byte my teeth on before I really get into the programming (and probably most major) parts.

I would love to be able to have this finished, playable and on sale by Christmas. At the moment, almost nothing at all is done. I've done some work on design, some work on graphics and made my first tech demo in a different language - before realising that I really need to start the coding again in a different language. I do sense that some of the code will be best ported and not have been a complete waste of my time, but I've still not only got a long way to go, I've got by and large almost all of it to go. I don't know if Christmas is a realistic estimate or not, and I don't think I will until I start figuring out how long the project is taking me. I won't be too concerned if I miss the deadline owing to the lack of experience I have. I'd just like to have a finished, playable game.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Concept Art - Eli Wallach (The Ugly) as Famine

3/20/2011 04:31:00 pm Posted by Lachlan No comments
Not as good as the bride I sprited yesterday (I don't think), and the colour seem a bit off - but who wouldn't want to reimagine Tuco from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly as a Cowboy Samurai in Early 90s Adventure Game Style Pixel Art!

My reasoning to having an Eli Wallach style 'Famine, of the Samurai, of the Apocalypse' is thus:
- Eli Wallach played the Bandit in The Magnificent Seven - the character who regularly came with his gang to raid a small town of its food supplies (Hence - Famine) which doubles as
- The Magnificent Seven is based on Seven Samurai - A Japanese samurai (duh...) movie
- Hence, I can give an Eli Wallach style character a Samurai Sword and have him play the role of 'Famine' in the New American West

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Concept art - The Bride

3/19/2011 06:15:00 pm Posted by Lachlan No comments
I really have a love of the potential idea of using The Bride from Kill Bill as one of the Samurai of the Apocalypse - probably as Conquest or Death. I can't think of a really good reason - other then it would be cool to fight the bride, and her personal army, the Reformed 88. Or something like that.

What is here is a concept of a sprite for The Bride, and a title/talking/chapter screen art of The Bride.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

War of the Apocalypse Samurai

3/12/2011 06:07:00 pm Posted by Lachlan No comments
I haven't done this before, and I don't know how, when it eventually finishes, how it will.

I am attempting to produce a game called 'War of the Apocalypse Samurai', The game will be a 'roaring rampage of revenge', as you fight your way though the other 3 Samurai of the apocalypse (Death, Conquest and Famine), penultimately The Dragon and finally complete your revenge by killing The Beast.

Style inspiration is being taken from Samurai Movies, Kill Bill and Spaghetti Westerns. I envision game play being somewhat along the line of a 2D platform version of the free-flow fighting system from 'Batman Arkham Asylum' focussing on timing more then button mashing. Art style is being currently aimed at using NES/SNES style sprites, but using true colour where I can make it look cool.

So far, my work has been to produce a parallax test, and an event manager library as well as some limited assets. We're still a long way off. My next goal is to produce a test allowing me to see if I can make duelling work in a semi-fun way.

As a warning, I have issues finishing things, and I am a sub-adequate programmer. So I'm hoping by actually blogging, and drumming up interest, it may be sufficient to help me finish.