Save Game, Research — Crunch!

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:

Research Screen


Its Just Me

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!

To Save or Not to Save…

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:

Defense Screenshot

Defense Screenshot

Feature Creep

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.

Space Travel

July 17, 2006

I finished adding in the code to enable moving ships through space.  The basic concept worked out better than I had enticipated.  However, there were some bugs in our distance formulas that were supposed to determine the amount of time it would take to travel from one place to another based upon the current solar placement of planets and moons.  Rick came up with the formula and figures but there was a bug in the data that my code passed to his.  It took some serious work to figure out where the issue was but once we figured it out everything began to work great.

Here is a screenshot of the user interface used to set a ship’s course:

Set Course

Once the ship movement was in place we could then work on other aspects of the game, such as mining asteroids, and probing/colonizing other planets and moons.  Here is a screenshot of a ship that is mining minerals for the asteroid belt:


Rick is currently focused on the defense engine which is absolutely necessary to protect your colony from invasion.  And I just started adding in game events, which are key points/messages throughout the game.  Here is an example of an event screen:

Sample Event

Remaking Millennium

July 14, 2006

A little over one month ago I read that Retro Remakes was hosting another remake competition.  I contacted Rick (Mt.Dew) to see if he would be interested in dusting off his keyboard to join me in working on a project for this competition.  Rick and I worked together on another retro remake project, Emerald Miner,  a few years back and were surprised to take 3rd place. 

Rick liked the idea of another project.  After much thought and discussion, we decided to work on a game Rick had played back on the Amiga:  Millennium.

Now, with just a little over one month left, we are about 65% done with the remake and starting to feel a little of the pressure to have it completed in time.  Here are a couple screenshots to give you an idea of how things look:

Power Plant

Power Plant

Earth Orbit

Earth Orbit

Moon Base

Moon Base