Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm baaaaack....! (?)

Just a quick post. Life, the holidays, et cetera have interfered with my work on Extinctathon. I plan to put a stop to that. Work is resuming NOW.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Okay, it seems that I have successfully split up my sprites into their respective individual classes (34 of them at the moment*). It looks like the kinks have, so far, been minimal, so I'm going to work pretty hardcore on adding new sprites for the next couple of weeks. I had been seriously procrastinating on doing this (plus playing Fallout 3--it's very, very good) which is why it's taken so long. The content pipeline stuff was very easy--almost TOO easy, if you ask me--to switch over, and I'm hoping the lack of errors as of yet isn't some sort of elaborate plan on Microsoft's behalf to get my hopes up only to, at some point in the future, bring them down. As I've said, though, and this was the whole point of this exercise, this will make it incredibly easy to add new sprites without hassles. I just have to crank out some seriously amazing programmer art and I'll be good to go. I also need to port the project to XNA 3.0, see how that works out on the XBox, and look at what new stuff 3.0 offers.

My next major undertaking is going to have to be a fancy-schmancy Winforms level editor where you can do really crazy things like, you know, undo. This is some serious technology we're talking about here. I'm not going to start on that for at least a month or two, though, because it wouldn't make much sense to start that before the sprites are all at least somewhat finished. My master plan, at this point, is looking something like this:

1. Make a bunch of sprites.

2. Fancy level editor.

3. Engine enhancements (particles, better collisions, more sounds, et cetera).

Hopefully I'll make the time to work on it.

* The projectiles and powerups still use a shared class (Projectile.cs). This is because I need to convert objects between the different types fairly regularly in the course of a level. So, really, counting the five sprite types (so far) in the Projectile class, it's really 38 types. THE MORE YOU KNOW!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rainbow power!!

Just wanted to make a quick post--I have been working on Extinctathon, albeit intermittantly. I've just implemented a new power up, the rainbow (invincibility), and I'm working on the animation for the next power up, high fructose corn syrup. Yum!

I've also started the artwork for some underwater and desert levels. I've got the basic plans for adding some particle effects as well, so I'll be working on that this week and next. My main thing for the moment, though, is content creation.

I've got a super short video of the rainbow powers uploaded, so here it is:
Extinctathon - Rainbow Powers!! (720p, 8.4mb download)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

DBP is over!

I've stayed away from Extinctathon for the past week or so, taking a break after finishing my Dream-Build-Play submission. I'm getting back to it this week. I'll post a little more later, but for now here's the XBox 360 ccgame (if you can play this, you know what it is). I'll be making a distributable Windows version of the game some time in the future, most likely when it's at least somewhere close to complete (running XNA games on computers without the XNA dev tools installed is kind of tricky--I don't want to go to the hassle at this point).

I've posted a video of a run of the full game, as it stands at this point. It's about three minutes long and shows off the first four levels including a suuuuper scaaary dungeon level with a suuuper sccaaaaararararyyy boss at the end. Check it out! Feedback would be GREATLY appreciated.

Extinctathon! DBP build - XBox 360 ccgame
Extinctathon! DBP submission video runthrough (720p 53.3mb download)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Finishing touches (omg j/k lulz)

Okay, so I've spent VERY little time on Extinctathon of late. This, with two weeks left (from today) before the deadline. Ugh.

Here's what I'm going to do before then:

  • Eliminate garbage created by ToString() (called several times per call to draw) by storing strings and updating only when necessary.
  • Save the background color (or image, maybe) to be used in the binary level files (because one can only take so much Cornflower Blue). Update: DONE!
  • I really need to finish three more levels. This has been such a difficulty simply because of the lack of building blocks I have at this time. I've made some additions, but it's not nearly enough to make a fully fleshed out game (I'd ideally like to have 80-100 more blocks, 6-8 more powerups, and maybe 10 more enemies before calling it "done"). A large problem with this is very deeply embedded in the stupid way I designed the Sprite class (yes, that's ONE sprite class, used for 30+ types of sprites) that needs a complete overhaul that will absolutely not be done in any small amount of time. I'm just gonna work through with what I've got for now, and restructuring the sprite types to inherit from a base Sprite class (rather than all being instances of the same class differentiated by a SpriteType enum) will have to come further down the line.
  • I need to create the boss character for level 1-D. I already know what it is, and aside from creating the artwork it shouldn't be a problem.
  • I need to reload and restart the current level upon death. This will be a trivial change. Update: DONE!
  • I need to make a Game Over screen for when the player's lives are less than zero. Shouldn't be a big problem. Update: DONE!
  • I need to make a non-debug mode (all I have are DEBUG and EDIT) for DBP. Don't want to see all the diagnostics 'n' shit on the actual submission. Update: causes a weird bug that makes everything but the player invisible. WTF? I tried to fix it for a good 30 minutes last night but have yet to find the problem. Double update: DONE!
  • Along those lines, I need to disable entering the level editor for the same reason. Update: works, but of course it's dependent on fixing the above mentioned bug. Double secret update: DONE!
  • I need to move inactive (i.e. dead) sprites out of the current level's sprite list if performance on the XBOX 360 necessitates it.
  • I need to fix, once and for all, the intermittent bugs caused by the sound loading and reloading. Update: DONE!
  • I need to fix the jumping bug that allows the player to jump after falling off of a ledge. Update: DONE!
  • I need to make the loading screen show the name of the level (and maybe an image preview?) being loaded. Update: Level name is shown, will add picture preview later.
And that's all I've got. These things WILL be done by September 21st. I'll be prepping the rest of the submission package on the 22nd, and turning it in no later than 5:00 P.M. on the 23rd. I'd better get my ass in gear.

Monday, August 25, 2008

New music!

There's not much new to this Extinctathon video, really, except the awesome new music done by Asheville, NC's Eugene Ward just for this game. The video's kinda long, but I wanted to get a good couple of minutes of the song in before it ended. Check it out!

You can download the song from his myspace page, by the way, but he changes things pretty regularly so you might want to hurry (if you like it).

Extinctathon - Music! (720p 34.8mb download)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Extinctathon: Polish?

I spent some time this morning fixing or improving tiny bugs, and trying to get the background music to play throughout the game (rather than being started and restarted at the beginning of every level). That caused some problems, so I'll need to come back to it later. I'm gonna have a lot of time to work on Extinctathon starting tomorrow (several hours per day), so I'd like to get the following things done this week:

  • Get the music to play in the way that I want.
  • Create at least five new background sprites to make the levels more visually appealing.
  • Create at least five new block and enemy types which are necessary to make this more than a one level game.
  • Make three more levels which will create one more or less cohesive World 1.
  • Try adding some particle effects (pixel-y particle effects, of course) to make things more interesting.
The next month is all about content development, as I want to have something that isn't RIDICULOUSLY simple to have to turn in for Dream-Build-Play. Yeah, I know I'm not winning any prizes--that's a given--but it's really important to me to have something half decent to submit.

No video today, but I'll have something to post on Wednesday night (hopefully).