Game Development · Uncategorized

JetLag 2017 on GameJolt

ss01

Yes, that’s right. JetLag 2017. Like all the other JetLags, but in 2017.

Play it Here!

Naturally, when I make a new JetLag, it means I’m exploring a new platform for development, and 2017 is no different.

This years platform is Defold, a lua scripted scenegraph manager tool.

It touts itself as the “Ultimate Engine For 2D Games,” which is a lofty ambition.

Pedantically speaking, the world “ultimate” means the same thing as “final”, and non-pedantically, it means that there will never be a better one. Neither of these things are true, of course.

This version of the game sits up there on GameJolt, right next to JetLag 2016, made with a similar tool, Godot.

If you’ve followed my history at all, you will know that I’ve tried just about every tool there is, every platform there is, and most of the languages out there. You might ask the question, what am I looking for?

I’m not actually looking for anything. Certainly, I’m not looking for the “ultimate” anything. I learn things as an end unto itself.

 

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Angular JS and GameDev?

Two years and three days.

Yeah. Two years and three days since my last post.

I’ve been busy with my day job, mostly, but that doesn’t mean I’ve neglected my game development.

Since then, I put in a few Google Play games, one Ouya game.

And now I’ve gone and entered a game jam, and I’m about to enter another.

For the last few years, my day job has consisted of web development, and that naturally leads to the use of JavaScript frameworks.

One that I did not use in the course of my job was AngularJS, though I had heard a lot about it, and there is a larger community and I figured at some point I should learn it.

So after poking around, I wound up making Bottomless Pits and Potato Salad.

papsscreenshot

 

And I am now looking forward to the text jam coming up in a few days.

I’ve even started putting some of my old stuff up at itch.io.

One of these days, I’m going to try out Quintus, too.

And host the stuff on heroku.

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Splorr! (Opening and Closing Doors)

Splorr! Now has the ability to open and close doors!

And I think I’m doing to stick with the tap-fest that is my UI.

At first, I was thinking that I wanted to be able to have the player accomplish tasks with a low number of taps, ideally 1 tap for each action.

Then I realized that I don’t, actually. Let the player tap seven times to perform an action. It’ll make him feel like he’s accomplished something.

For example, I’ll take you through a typical action sequence upon entering a room.

In the following image, I’ve just entered a room:

At the moment, I’m facing a wall, the door I just opened and went through is behind me, and there is a passageway to the right.

I don’t want to go back to the room I was just in, so I decide to turn right and go through the passageway.

First, I tap the “Move/Turn” button.

Now I tap turn right to get the following:

Now that I am facing the right way, I move forward in two taps, first by tapping “Move/Turn”:

And then by tapping “Move Forward”, whereupon I will see the following status:

And now there is a closed door in front of me.  To open it, I need three taps.  First, I tap “Room”

Then I tap “Doors/Walls”

And finally tap “Open Door”.

And so, the game becomes a bit of a micro-managing tapfest, but I think that’s what I want.

 

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Stock Market Game Released

Today I finally got Stock Market published.

You can find the support page here.  It has a the googl play badge.

While still a long way from being highly engaging, these games are getting more complex as they get more “sophisticated”.

However, I’m still not done with the “show some text and push buttons” genre.

I am, however, rather sick of the games where the outcome of the game is totally random.

I might as well be making a slot machine game (which is actually on the list, btw, but as a graphical game).

In stock market, I have so far not seen any reason not to do the following:

Buy one stock of each type.

Click “end turn” until the game is over.

It isn’t like there is some data upon which to base how well a stock can do.

Which means I may as well not bother making a choice at all.

Games are about choices.  Well, compelling games are about choices.  Sometimes the only winning move is not to play.

Next on the docket: Splore!  Of course, it may not come out next, but I want to work on it next.

I don’t really want to say too to describe Splore, or I’ll tend to have a lot of text written about a game that doesn’t exist.  The basic idea is a text based HamQuest.

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Russian Roulette Completed

So, I managed to get RR done today.

Rather than my “one activity=one game state” idea that I used for GMN and RSP, I went with a single activity for everything, and using setContentView to change the UI for the states.

Generally, it worked extremely well.

Except.

The one edit text I was using (the one where you type in the number) first wouldn’t cause the soft keyboard to come up.

Fixed that.

Then the soft keyboard wouldn’t hide unless the “back” key was pressed.

No good.

Eventually, figured it out, mostly by googling code until finding something suitable at stackexchange.

Had to hide it myself.

Not a big deal, but it was not something I had to deal with when it was one activity per page.

Maybe that was the better way?

Dunno.

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A Few Things, Mostly Android Related

First, I “finished” Rock, Scissors, Paper.  Here’s the support page.

A few post-mortem items about RSP:

  • Subclasses of Activity do not make good game states.
  • I’ve officially outgrown LinearLayout.
  • “There Has Got To Be A Better Way”™ to manage strings.

The next game is either Russian Roulette or Feed the Fish, dunno which.

After another quick game or two, I’m going to need to put a link or something on the about page to my “publisher page”.

Also, after a few days of being up there, GMN has had three whole installs.  One was me. Another was my wife.  A third was from somebody in the UK.  Thanks, guy in the UK. Eventually I’ll get to making something worth playing on this platform.

In my current projects, I’m taking a page from the publishers of my books: build a vast array of craptacular titles so that on your two or three good titles, you can mention that you have a large number of titles available.

However, I will be sticking with free until I actually make something worth paying for.