August 29, 2006
Download: Millennium Remake (complete)
It’s official. Our work on the Millennium Remake has come to an end. The contest deadline is just a day or so away and we decided to go ahead and submit our entry in its current state. The game is finished and we’ve ironed out all the bugs we know about. There were a few things we had hoped to add in (e.g. more animation, etc) but we didn’t have enough time.
Rick and I both have mixed feelings about the deadline. It would have been nice to have longer to work on the game (3 months isn’t very long!) but at the same time so much has been going on in the lives of our families that we’re glad the project is over so we can focus on other things. So now Rick can go back to his house repairs and I can get that bathtub caulked since my wife has been “reminding” me about it for the last 4 months now.
Overall I’ve had a lot of fun working on this game with Rick. It has been a long time since I did any game programming and it was nice to see the project through to completion.
We wish all of the other contest entries good luck and hope they enjoy our remake.
August 12, 2006
The game play is done! You can start from the beginning and play the game all the way out till the end. Of course there is some major bug work to be done and adding in all those nice graphics, sounds, and special effects that we put off in order to get the game in place, but other than that, this puppy is complete!
I’m not sure on how to put in pics so I’ll leave that to Steve to do. Definatly needs more screenshots 🙂
August 2, 2006
Less than a month to go and still a lot of things that need done. Luckily most of the major items are already programmed but there are enough small items that keep popping up to keep us busy for three months.
One of our major gripes about the original Millennium game was the amount of game time wasted just to manage the Grazer mining ships. You had to manually tell each ship to travel to the asteroid belt. Once there is would scan for minerals and then you’d have to accept/decline the find. If you accepted then you would have to manually tell the ship to return to base, manually land, unload, enter orbit and then start the process all over again. It was a major pain.
Rick and I discussed adding in the ability to assign mining duties to a Grazer ship so that it would do all of these things automatically for a set period. I was excited to have this ability available but kept putting off programming it because it seemed like a lot of modification to already well-working ship movement code. I decided to seriously tackle this yesterday and was plesantly surprised at how easy it popped in place. I still have a little tweaking to do (accept/decline job order screen) but the mechanics are in place and working great. Here’s a screenshot of the craft roster which shows an info popup for a ship currently on mining duty:
The data in the popup window tells what type of ship it is, what it’s ETA to destination is, that it is on mining duty and also tells the total amounts of minerals mined and transported so far.
Rick has just started working on the invasion of Mars aspect of the game. I want to keep this part of the game as a surprise so I won’t go into any detail here. Just let me say it rocks so far!
Rick has also been busy spicing up existing screens with the addition of 3D. Here are a few screen examples:
July 26, 2006
Glad to see that Rick joined in with the last post. He certainly has the upper hand on me when it comes to the 3D so I was glad to work on the save game feature instead… at least that’s what I thought! He mentioned that I finally got the save game working and I did. As usual it was a very stupid mistake on my part but it seems to be working great now.
It seems like we’re to the point where half our time is spent fixing bugs while the other half is spent working on features that still need to be added. I added the storage bunker today which revealed a handful of bugs that needed fixed in regards to the ability to store and transport fighter drones. I seem to have gotten those worked out finally.
I’ll be out of town for the rest of the week and when i get back it’ll be CRUNCH time as the deadline is fast approaching.
Rick has been busy adding finishing touches to the Research screens. Here’s a screenshot:
July 23, 2006
I thought maybe I should drop by and say a word or three about the project since Steve made up this nice shiny blogsite. I think things are going well right now. We have nearly all of the gameplay in place and can actually begin to play through it now to find the numerous bugs in it. The screenshot of the battlescreen made me realize that the zoom effect was also zooming the background stars so fixed that all up. Steve has finally gotten the save game feature squared away (until I add in yet another global, or <gasp> arrayed type, storing images!) and that was a brute! I’m so glad I passed that off on him and took the easy 3d stuff!
July 22, 2006
Over the last few days I finished adding in all the events except for two end of game events that I will add later.
Rick has been making great progress on the defense engine. It is, for the most part, complete now and he’s just touching it up with a few nice features like user-selectable camera views and zoom levels.
I, on the other hand, have had nothing but trouble with the save/load game functions that I am currently working on. The save/load works with some items but somewhere along the line data is being written or read incorrectly or something. It’s just not working. I wasted an hour debugging last night and ended up making no progress. Hopefully I’ll have some time later today to break the save/load down into multiple sections to make it easier to isolate the issue.
In the meantime, here are a couple screenshots of Rick’s great defense system:
July 18, 2006
I recently read a post by GameDevMike that I think outlines a common problem faced by many indie game developers. Mike’s post, titled Steve Streeting on Software Design, talks about a state of game development known as “feature creep.”
Mike defines feature creep as “When you have the freedom to implement any feature your heart desires without being subjected to approval by a higher authority (like a project manager), the temptation to throw in every cool thing you think of is high.”
I suggest any indie game developer read Mike’s post.
I also tracked down Steve Streeting’s seven points on software design. It’s worth reading too.