Still working on background mechanics…

I've been using a top-down view while editing the bullet patterns, so I was surprised how unplayable it looks from this perspective

Progress is kind of pitifully slow…
It doesn’t help that I recently started playing Persona 3 on the PC, hopefully I can keep myself from finishing it. At least for now.
Finally sorted out that massive slowdown issue, and performance is up to a passable state. I was adding things to the scene on every update because I got sloppy and forgot to think about where I was putting things. Made collisions with the bullets go over smoother, I wasn’t removing them correctly. It seems I can comfortably have about 3000 bullets out. I was really frustrated before when things would grind to a halt with 300-400 bullets, but everything seems fine now.

Goes out from the center..

You can see the ‘bullet shadow’ I’m making by just sitting there.

Flows back in towards the center

The code to make this happen is still awful. Don’t want to talk about it

Goes outward

Suddenly it became really interesting to think about how the bullet patterns in existing STGs are created, and the exact functions that would create the forms you see. I’m sticking with sine, cosine, and exponential functions for now. I still have bullet tracking to do, but I’ve done that in an Asteroids clone I made, so I’m not too worried about how that will work.
I was reading on the web about how many games never get finished, and I see it myself a lot while browsing through random forums. I have so many ideas that I’ve been thinking up of lately (I really want to make a game about trading and having a world with some economics system), but I’ve doubled my resolve to finish this first.. whenever that will be. Right now it feels like I never will, hah.


After the weekend

Went snowboarding with my friends for a friend’s birthday.  Snowboarding hurts quite a bit when you don’t know how to do it…

I wrote a small demo program to read .txt files so I can put game events there instead of hard-coding everything.  I thought about looking more into how Danmakufu has things set up, but until I get so far in this that I need to worry about that, I’ll put it off.  It follows  a simple format with commands like [TIME]:[ACTION]:[ARGUMENTS], and special key words like [END], I’ll use what I learned writing that in my game.

No, I'm not talking about who's the fool...

I also cleaned up the dialogue system and added some placeholder portraits.  The way the dialogue elements are drawn is the same as for the pause menu, so I was able to fix both things at the same time.  I suppose the next thing I’ll do is finally replace the ugly ground and sky.


Menus: Placeholders Everywhere

Worked on fixing the logic handling the game’s flow and finally added a pause function, which felt a lot harder than I thought it should have due to my convoluted code. I had to go around telling everything to stop updating, because there didn’t seem to be a simple way to just pause one loop while still updating the pause menu. Threw together some placeholder textures for each part.

Didn't want to just put text

One nice thing I learned was getting transparent textures to work.  I needed that to have textured buttons that look like just text floating above the background.

Main menu. The title kind of sounds silly the more I type it

I’ve been looking through independent games that I’ve played or heard about, trying to find out how they do things and what things should look like.

An incredibly shoddy looking pause menu


Animation: Sucks so much.

Another simple card

I don’t know how anything is animated without motion capture. Rigging itself looks like an art, I just went through some leg rigging tutorials and came across some crazy face rigs. I hear some people are playing around with the Kinect to get some motion capture done, but I’m not to fond of the idea of buying it.

Spent most of the time I wasn’t in class today cleaning up some of the trig problems in my code. I had the boss start out at the origin (0,0,0) and things were fine until I realized some of my methods didn’t work correctly when the source of the bullets weren’t at (0,0,0). Another problem was that radial player movement around the origin wasn’t completely working either, but that was easy to sort out.

I’m sort of worried about the number of bullets. I haven’t put anything that removes the bullets that are too far away from the scene, but so far I haven’t dipped below 55 FPS with several hundreds of bullets still in view. I guess it’ll be fine, as long as I wipe them in between cards or something.

Leaning forward

The greater part of my free time today was spent on trying to animate the models. Every time I animate something I end up throwing it all out because I don’t like how it turns out. I’m keeping what I made for now, though; 5 simple 31 frame loops for stationary, and four directions for movement. For intermediate directions I’ll just rotate the model. I’m using with JMonkeyEngine, (http://www.jmonkeyengine.com/) and there’s something really confusing going on with handling animations. It’s probably because up until now I haven’t bothered looking into what happens outside of my own code. The result is that I can get a test program running with all of the animations playing properly and bound to keys, but I can’t paste the exact same code into the game, somehow. Hopefully I’ll get it fixed tomorrow.


Character models for an STG derivative game.

The two that are going to be in the demo, if there is one


Slowly chugging away on my 3D IN clone, I still have all placeholder graphics, but I’ll get there… eventually. I’m going to stop working on bullet patterns and try to put out more art for the game. Looking at floating grids on grids can get disheartening, even with the bloom turned up.

Since this is the first post about it, I suppose I should explain the game idea here. The general idea is IN Extra stage but reversed. The player character is 藤原 妹紅, and you have to go through all of the teams from IN as bosses (博麗 霊夢/八雲 紫, 霧雨 魔理沙/アリス・マーガトロイド, 十六夜 咲夜/レミリア・スカーレット, 魂魄 妖夢/西行寺 幽々子).

It’s really just an exercise in making games, so I’m not really that interested in the art, music, or gameplay; the aim is to just have something that works. The stage is radial, with the boss at the center and the player character moving in a circle around the boss. You don’t shoot normal shots; you just graze until you fill a meter, which allows you to start a spellcard of your own.

Try recognizing that pattern

Character portrait