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    #7dfps : some initial thoughts


    2012 - 06.04

    So, I’m quite excited about the thought of the 7 Day FPS Challenge. I’ve never actually written a first person shooter – most of the things I do tend to be abstract or in third person. So this gives me an excuse to play around in a new format. In anticipation of the event, I’ve been playing around with some ideas.

    The first one is procedurally generated levels – I’ve investigated a few ways of doing this. The first was using a procedural height map on a unity3d terrain object – and populating the island with different buildings. This was all well and fine. But I feel it has probably been done to death – esp with unity as a platofrm. I loved both Doom and Doom2, so felt maybe I wanted to focus on indoor levels. This lead me to using a tried and true cave generator algorithm with a slight adaption ( as I normally use it for 2d cave gen). After adding a couple of levels ontop of each other, the results were ok. Not very happy with it yet, but still mucking around seeing what I want to do with it :)

    3d level generation

    Definitely think I will be going with indoors levels – I may stay with this approach or use a series of prefabs linked together at run time. I want indoor levels because the second major idea I’m having is too make it a slightly scary game. Inspired by some of the feedback I’ve had on Trapped in a Box – I’m going for more box like characters – this is purely an art choice, and nothing to do with my lack of 3d modelling skills :) ( Did I manage to pull that off with a straight face? )

    I put together this quickly in google sketchup ( not the best package for this kind of thing, but suits my prototyping skills nicely ) :

    Scary

    Now, before you giggle – imagine you are in a dark dungeon environment. You feel so alone, you move from one burning torch to the other, trying to find a way out. Suddenly the torches around you go out, and you see two pin pricks of red light in the distance. They start moving towards you, speeding up, getting bigger and bigger, and then suddenly the torches splurt back to life and OMG IT’S A BOX WITH A SCARY FACE ON!

    Hardly Amnesia alas, but still will be interesting I feel. To confirm my suspension that I had created a monster more scary than the Weeping Angels I had the following conversation with my partner :

    Me : (Shows image) does this look scary or silly to you?
    Me : imagine it dark, glowing eyes
    Her : more scary than silly i think

    I truly have created a monster! The game play idea itself is going to be a pretty simple one. You destroys these, errm, boxes by shattering them apart. They drop certain magical and alchemical elements which you can then craft into making your own scary boxes, or improving yourself. As you explore the location, you find out clues about who you are, why you are here and where you need to go to escape. I’m toying around with the idea of some other cool things, but want to keep the design fairly open for now, as I’m sure 7 days will translate into about 2 about a bit with my current rl work load alas.

    So this is my current thinking :) Let me know what you think :)

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    Pretentious game is pretentious


    2012 - 05.13

    So, it was a nice sunny day outside and I have a pile of gardening to do. So instead of doing the sensible thing and tackling the nightmare jungle outside, I decided to write a game. And I’ll admit it – it is a rather pretentious game, but thought it would be quite an interesting concept. So, presenting to you : Trapped in a box

    It’s simple enough to play – A and D move your box left and right, space is the jump key. Avoid the slime, and see how far you can go. I’m quite interested in the narrative, which is where the pretentious bit comes into play. There isn’t a full tree yet and depending on feedback I may change things but there is a bit of dialog in there. Once the ‘story’ has stopped, the text changes to a raising count in meters. There is nothing after that – yet ;)

    No gameover screen, and not totally happy about the slime drips and the collision system, but its robust enough to give it a play. Still early days with it, but not bad for six hours work :) If you haven’t already clicked to play it : CLICK HERE and give it a go! Comments/tweets are always welcome :)

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    Update + A quick prototype


    2012 - 05.11

    Wow doesn’t time fly? Seems that I’ve been having some quite serious hosting problems, and have had to restore an old back-up of the site, meaning that the last few months posts have vanished. Annoying. Having said that, while I bring the site back online, I thought I’d post a quick update on what I’ve been up to. Incredibly I am actually working on two games in a RL work ( i.e. professional ) scenario – a Facebook game and an iPad game. Very exciting times :) Not sure how much I can actually post about them at the moment, will need to check, but thought some generic prototyping would be ok. These screenshots where rapidly put together as a mini-game for the Facebook game. The Facebook game itself is written in AS3 – however to rapidly prototype this mini-game I used the Unity flash deployment. The Unity to flash button in the corner is a test script used to communicate variables back to the main AS3 application. AS3 opens the unity flash as an object, and that button sends AS3 the message to close it. All pretty simple stuff, but nice to see how easy it is to implement these things in Unity. The game is game complete, and basically features the player on a side of a building collecting boxes of test tubes. Overall with the AS3 deployment, took about 5 hours to put together.

    As for the iPad game, I should have some pretty cool screenshots to show you next week :) Think I’ll be spending the weekend pulling the site back together – let this be a lesson to all, no matter how experienced you are – always back up, and more importantly, always backup to more than one location! ooops! :)

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    Added Spheres :)


    2011 - 09.22

    Urist McDwarf was walking around the island, looking for things to explore.

    He stumbled upon what seemed to be a large spherical mound of snow

    Urist decided to investigate this large mound of snow.  It was huge!

    Really Huge!

    Epically Huge!

    When does the Narwhal Bacon??  This was too much of an amazing discovery !  Urist decided to use his amazing dwarfish ability to build another snow statue.

    Alas, it seems, that copy and paste won’t be working tonight :(

     

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    Things are getting interesting …


    2011 - 09.21

    Urist McDwarf seems to have landed on a strange island armed with nothing but an axe, a shield and his amazing building device.

    umu1Zl.jpg

    This land! it looks flat and boring, but those lakes look nice, maybe I’ll build myself a little house there

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    A nice little path to the lake to start with, and a nice strong foundation! Time for some walls methinks!

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    Ahhh, my finished house … and look, I can see also the sea in the distance!

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    I’ll just stand here and look at the lake mysteriously – actually, I know, I’ll build something else ….

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    A chair! w00t! Now if only I had a sit animation …

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