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  •   LowRezJam – Report 12

    15/05/14 - 21:38

    [Lots of animated GIFs today, page may be slow to load]

    Yay! Minimap!


    So today I added a minimap 🙂  It shows harvesters, carrying ships and worms.  The world is huge compared to the viewport ( 1000×1000 vs 32×32 ) so I needed a way to navigate around it.  The minimap helps towards this.  The dark green represents where you are viewing in the world.  The blue are harvester; the cool thing about that is the harvesters flash between two different blues to show they are harvesting.  If they ain’t flashing you either need to call in a carrying ship, or move them to some orange to harvest.

    The map doesn’t consume the total screen on purpose … you can still move the camera around on it and see how you are moving, the one pixel hint helps in deciding location :).  Grey represents the giant carrying ship, it is now spawned at your base rather than near the harvester.  Now when you right click on the harvester –  it makes its way to the harvester, picking it up, taking it to base, getting some funds then returning it.  The flashing purple light is dropped to show where a harvester is picked up from :

    this isn't about dune, honest ;)

    After playing around with the minimap and moving around, I decided I needed a way to move faster.  Navigation is done with the arrow keys atm, holding shift moves you five pixels instead of one – which makes a huge speed increase :

    zoooooooooooom :)

    The rapid movement caused is by holding shift while moving arrow keys, slow movement is just arrow keys.  And that is about all for now.  Adding a minimap actually helped with debugging:  I noticed harvesters stopped harvesting when off screen, due to a miscalculation based upon location.  So this really helped with that.  That is all for now folks 🙂




      LowRezJam – Report 11

    14/05/14 - 20:29



    Wow, pretty much a wasted day spent pixel arting.  And it still looks pants.  But anway, yes, today I spent all my dev time trying to get the pickup and drop harvester animation looking a little better.  It’s pretty tricky to say the least.

    My eyes!

    I’ve played around with lifting the harvester from the ground to the flying ship – it looks a lot better ( as no blurry pixels ) however, this really doesn’t show what I want it too, but does look better, artistic vision vs  actual drawing skills debate I guess 🙂  I’m going to shelve this for tomorrow, and just leave it as is for now, otherwise will spend a lot of dev tweaking something that really doesn’t make that much difference to the game.  There is a lot left to do and the time is rapidly vanishing … d’oh.

    One of the things I want to work on is a minimap – showing where about in the 5000×5000 pixel world your harvesters are located in – on a 32×32 screen.  Should be, errm, interesting 🙂




      LowRezJam – Report 10

    12/05/14 - 21:05

    Collecting the harvesters

    Not a long post today, as I’m up very early tomorrow, so must sleep and dream up more gamedev ideas 🙂  The above is a complete system whose animation is very very very much a work in progress.  Honestly, its terrible, I may have bitten off more than I can chew artistically 🙂  The right click to sell was always a temporary mechanic, this is much more of a fleshed out system.  On right click your harvester summons a giant flying ship to come and pick it up.  It’s currently spawned just off screen, but this carrying flying ship is designed to come from a home base – which will come later.  It picks up your harvester and flies it off screen, and the harvesters tank is emptied, and funds given.

    It then returns to were the harvester requested pick up, and plonks the harvester back on the dunes.  Requesting a pickup ( with a right click ) causes the harvester to stop everything, which may be useful if a worm is nearby 🙂  The blood splat is being used a debugging system here, I’m going to change it to a flashing beacon.

    Just a heads up – there won’t be a post tomorrow due to real life commitments, but the work shall be continuing 🙂

    And one last thing : a massive massive thank you to all my twitter followers : I’m getting a lot of re-tweets and favourites and feedback.  I love it.  It really helps keep me motivated – seeing that my work is being noticed and appreciated is really what keeps any indie going and you guys and girls are great at it!


    It's like seeing a car crash ...

    [WIP! Honest! I mean it! Don’t judge meeeee!]


      LowRezJam – Report 9

    11/05/14 - 21:25

    So much new stuff :)

    Today’s Progress Report : I added two extra pixels to the health bar


    Na, that would have been a lazy day. I’ve added quite a bit of stuff 🙂 There are two extra pixels on the healthbar now, but that’s only because I’ve been busy destroying hundreds of harvesters 🙂 First one was a bit of a boring update : troopers are now a lot more sensible in selecting harvesters to shoot at. And they don’t scan the entire planet for harvesters. And if they don’t see a harvester for a while, they take a nap for 10 seconds so they don’t hog all that precious CPU. They will always move toward the closest harvester and shoot the closest harvester, changing targets if the situation changes :

    Must kill nearest harvester!

    Secondly, worms now actively track harvesters. But *ONLY* when they are harvesting. As long as they are not collecting the orange, the worms will not seek harvesters out. However, if a harvester hits wormsign even when not harvesting, it will take damage. These small worms cause a lot of damage, fairly quickly – if you are harvesting, it is very advisable to move your harvester off the orange field quickly :

    Micro :)

    Here, the worm starts moving toward the harvester as it’s grabbing the orange. I manually give the harvester an order by right clicking to move it off onto normal sand – therefore stopping it harvesting. The worm moves off randomly, now uninterested in the harvester. Until I move it back onto the orange field. Then the worm attacks suddenly.

    And the final thing I’ve added, well, I’ll just show you the GIF

    Nom nom nom

    Yes that is correct. The worms can swallow troopers whole. The larger worms ( remember these are the small ones ) will be able to do that as well … to harvesters 😉 Still a WIP animation, but fairly happy with how it looks – I feel the shadow really helps adds to the depth of the game.

    Ugly but workable

    Oh and finally fixed the healthbars – I shall leave you with a gif of a bunch of troopers attacking a harvester with its health bar rapidly shrinking ( the pause is the example of all the troopers sleeping at the same time … zZzZzZz 🙂 )



      LowRezJam – Report 8

    10/05/14 - 23:34

    The battle for the sands ...[This may take a while to download, but worth it]


    Today, I spent my time finding ways of killing harvesters. Only one has been completed so far.  Troopers damage now works correctly and can destroy a harvester!  yay 🙂 !  I’ve also updated the trooper AI a little bit, so they path around each other in a bit more of a sensible fashion.  The trooper bullets just originate from the middle of their sprites at the moment – once I have the trooper sprites finalized I actually want the bullets to come out of the end of their guns ( which are supposed to be some sort of shoulder mounted weapon – the sprites have so few pixels it is quite hard to tell ).

    I’ve also sped up the search algorithm for the harvesters, still a four second delay but internally its a much faster way of doing things, as I started to see some frame rate drop on my mass harvester tests.  This was mostly due to the reason I was running Age of Mythology – Extended Edition a lot of the time in the background.  Excellent game and hitting my nostalgia pleasure centers rather hard 🙂



    Though harvesters are not totally defenseless; as seen above they can now run over troopers.  Again, the spawning is a little off, as I’ve not finalized the trooper sprite, but it is rather satisfying to run over a large group of troopers as they shoot at you.  I’m wondering if I should be nice and give them some AI to run away if it is clear a harvester is going to hit them.  But then I remember it is far to much fun to run them all over 🙂