"Should this bool be named GravityEnabled, IsGravityEnabled, or EnableGravity..." game dev things they don't teach you in school. (Today)

@ADAMATOMIC was the problem i just want free coffees one two free coffees (Today)

@midio t.co/pi9eeWzuXE (Today)

@SanatanaMishra I bought it at PAX last year and now I am excited to play the released version! :D (Today)

Yeaaah this looks like a cool video game t.co/mTYq7lKHaa (Today)

RT @Travel_Pillow: #pillowinthebigcity #sunset #rooftop #travel t.co/EGMdBYUt6q (Today)

@castpixel omg hi2u (Today)

@Sosowski I don't think sfml fully supports mobile yet. (Today)

making maps is really really fun t.co/g6vkPTIlvl (Yesterday)

@TommyRefenes YAYE YAAAAAAAAYE (Yesterday)

Prototyping some kinda map and level loading system in Otter for who knows what t.co/es3cUUXJCQ (Yesterday)

@theBanov see you soon! :D (Yesterday)

@torahhorse the xXSSJ4GotenksXx life (Yesterday)

@Froodjakle nice! looking forward to it ;D (2 days ago)

@gabetelepak jesus christ that sounds amazing *waits for MLG pro video montage* (2 days ago)

RT @TrentKusters: After 4.5 years Armello's finally out! A GoT x Ghibli board game brought to life! RT pls <3 t.co/BA6KMtjxsm http… (2 days ago)

@DiscordGames @RoboDodd I really enjoyed the new build at PAX :O Played through 3 times. (2 days ago)

@mcclure111 T SPIN CANCEL INTO DOUBLE TETRIS (2 days ago)

My feedback for all games at PAX: I want to cancel all moves into other moves and do crazy execution tricks let me do this in every game thx (2 days ago)

@TomFulp @askiisoft @PuffballsUnited I would do that. Just gotta dust off the project and remember how actionscript works. (2 days ago)

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posts filed under: tools

2015 - 1 - 27 / 11:42 am / tools

Asset Class Generator Update

Asset Class Generator Update

Just a quick post to say I've updated my Visual Studio Asset Class Generator with some bug fixes here and there. Download the new version right here.

There were some issues with duplicate file names, and also files with more than one period in the name would destroy it so I've now set it to ignore those files. I've also cleaned up the code that the generator writes.

The source code for the updated version is also now available here so you can feel free to modify it to your hearts content!

No Comments

2015 - 1 - 26 / 12:37 am / tools

Google Spreadsheet Sync

Google Spreadsheet Sync

Have you ever wanted to take the contents of a Google Spreadsheet and drop it right into your game project? So have I! That's why I made a tool that will take the contents of a Google Spreadsheet and turn it into a C# code file full of data!

Demo
Let's say we have a spreadsheet full of data for our video game written in C#, and it looks something like this.

Image

The resulting output of that spreadsheet will be this.

class Sheets {

public static Dictionary<string, CharactersRow> Characters = new Dictionary<string, CharactersRow>() {
{"Adventurer", new CharactersRow() {
Name = "Adventurer",
Health = 100,
Magic = 100,
Attack = 100,
Defense = 100,
Speed = 100,
VictoryPhrase = "Nice try, \"chump!\"",
FailurePhrase = "Ah... well done..."
}},
{"Thief", new CharactersRow() {
Name = "Thief",
Health = 75,
Magic = 100,
Attack = 100,
Defense = 50,
Speed = 200,
VictoryPhrase = "I take what I want!",
FailurePhrase = "Not fair!"
}},
{"Assassin", new CharactersRow() {
Name = "Assassin",
Health = 100,
Magic = 50,
Attack = 200,
Defense = 50,
Speed = 100,
VictoryPhrase = "You're lucky to be alive.",
FailurePhrase = "How could you defeat me?!"
}}
};

public class CharactersRow {
public string Name;
public int Health;
public int Magic;
public int Attack;
public int Defense;
public int Speed;
public string VictoryPhrase;
public string FailurePhrase;
}

public static Dictionary<string, WeaponsRow> Weapons = new Dictionary<string, WeaponsRow>() {
{"Bronze Sword", new WeaponsRow() {
Name = "Bronze Sword",
Attack = 45,
Defense = 0,
Type = WeaponType.Sword,
Value = 100,
CanUpgrade = true
}},
{"Silver Bow", new WeaponsRow() {
Name = "Silver Bow",
Attack = 20,
Defense = 0,
Type = WeaponType.Bow,
Value = 250,
CanUpgrade = true
}},
{"Fire Wand", new WeaponsRow() {
Name = "Fire Wand",
Attack = 35,
Defense = 15,
Type = WeaponType.Staff,
Value = 400,
CanUpgrade = false
}},
{"Lasso", new WeaponsRow() {
Name = "Lasso",
Attack = 30,
Defense = 0,
Type = WeaponType.Whip,
Value = 150,
CanUpgrade = true
}}
};

public class WeaponsRow {
public string Name;
public int Attack;
public int Defense;
public WeaponType Type;
public int Value;
public bool CanUpgrade;
}
}


With a class like that in my project now it becomes very simple to get data from the spreadsheet with the key of the row (the first column.)

var charName = "Adventurer";
var health = Sheets.Characters[charName].Health;
var victoryPhrase = Sheets.Characters[charName].VictoryPhrase;
Console.WriteLine(victoryPhrase);


Download
Download GoogleSpreadsheetSync.zip (0.02MB)

Usage
I use Visual Studio, so I can only really tell you about that.

It's easiest to set this up as an EXTERNAL TOOL in Visual Studio.
* In Visual Studio go to the Tools menu at the top, select "External Tools..."

Image
* Click "Add"
* Name it something like "Google Spreadsheet Sync"
* For Command, press the "..." button to the right and find the exe.
* For arguments you can use "$(TargetName)" "$(ProjectDir)GoogleSheet.key"
* Include the quotes in those arguments!
* For Initial Directory put $(ProjectDir)
* No quotes in that one.
* Below that check the "Use Output Window" option.

Image

Before you run it though you're going to need to create a GoogleSheet.key file. That file should only contain google spreadsheet key.

For this example here's a URL to a published google spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11Ia3wr-Pon1180M0_KRR1hywEITLn_P1BoUedbNQeqw/pubhtml

The key is that big long section: 11Ia3wr-Pon1180M0_KRR1hywEITLn_P1BoUedbNQeqw So in this example the contents of your GoogleSheet.key file should only be:

11Ia3wr-Pon1180M0_KRR1hywEITLn_P1BoUedbNQeqw

Save the file as GoogleSheet.key inside your root project folder. (So probably the same folder as your Program.cs)

Image

You should be all set to now run it from Visual Studio! It should appear in your Tools menu. You can even set a keyboard shortcut for it later if you want.

Run the tool from the Tools menu and what should happen is a Sheets.cs file is generated with all the data from your spreadsheets.

Image

Source
Of course it would be way better if you're able to take this tool and craft it into your own needs, so here's the source code!

I've started a public repository where I'll keep any useful tools I create right here.

Trouble?
If you run into any trouble feel free to post a comment and I'll try to help! Or you can reach me at hi@kpulv.com, or the contact form at the bottom of my site.

No Comments

2014 - 11 - 30 / 9:59 pm / tools

Easy CSV Parsing in .Net

Easy CSV Parsing in .Net

Working on getting a public build of my latest game jam game up, and one thing I'm experimenting with is using CSVs for certain types of data. There's a bunch of enemies in the game that all have different stats, and usually I just store this information in the class for each enemy. Storing this data on a CSV has the benefit of being able to see all the data next to each other.

While I could achieve the same thing by having a dictionary set up in the code itself, storing the data in a csv file makes it a little bit easier to view and edit. Tweaks can be made more easily, and storing a bunch of data in dictionaries in code can get a little crazy looking depending on how much data there is to store.

Image

At first I was using OpenOffice Calc for my CSV editing, but there's a huge down side with that: file locking! OpenOffice thinks it's an awesome idea to put any file its editing into a crazy lock down mode, so I can't even read from the file while OpenOffice has it open. So I had to ditch it, and instead I'm using Ron's Editor. So far this is the best free csv editor I can find, even though it's a quite bit more strict about editing than a big spread sheet.

Now for loading the CSV data I'm using CsvHelper which makes parsing a csv as painless as possible. My enemies.csv looks like this:

EnemyType,Supply,Mass,MaxHealth
BasicTest,1,1,10
BigSkeleton,10,0,-1
TestPart,0,0,5


And the code to parse that looks like this:

var csv = new CsvReader(File.OpenText(Assets.Data.Enemies));
while (csv.Read()) {
var record = new Record();

record.EnemyType = Util.GetTypeFromAllAssemblies(csv.GetField<string>("EnemyType"));
record.Supply = csv.GetField<int>("Supply");
record.Mass = csv.GetField<float>("Mass");
record.MaxHealth = csv.GetField<int>("MaxHealth");

Records.Add(record.EnemyType, record);
}


I'm using a tiny class called Record to store the data. Record looks like this:

public class Record {
public Type EnemyType;
public int Supply;
public float Mass;
public int MaxHealth;
}


I end up loading the csv data into a dictionary with the enemy Types as the key, and the Records as the values. When an enemy is created it can look into that dictionary by using its own type and get out a Record object that contains all the data it needs to initialize.

var r = Records[this.GetType()];

AddComponents(
new Team(TeamType.Enemy),
new Heart(r.MaxHealth),
new SpriteEffects()
);
Group = O.GroupGameplay;

if (r.Mass > 0) {
AddComponent(new PushAway(r.Mass, Tag.Enemy));
}

var h = GetComponent<Heart>();

h.OnDeath += () => {
Death();
};
h.OnDamage += (d) => {
};


Pretty straight forward! I think I'm going to extend this to expose more fine tunings of things. It might also be fun to leave the files totally exposed for players to mess around with as well.

1 Comment

2014 - 11 - 25 / 12:04 pm / tools

Google Spreadsheet and nanDeck Workflow

Google Spreadsheet and nanDeck Workflow

One of the things I've been fiddling with for the past month or so is a prototype of a board game inspired by stuff like Dominion and Legendary and a mix of other stuff. It's been a collaboration with some of the local developers in the Phoenix area, and we we're getting to the point where hand writing a bunch of cards was getting really cumbersome, so I looked into tools for generating cards.

Image

I ended up finding nanDeck, which at first looks like a pretty weird program. Okay it is a pretty weird program, but after spending some time with it it really does get the job done. There are some basic tutorials that can get you started, and some neat posts about it here as well.

nanDeck has the ability to read data from a csv file. At first I was using Open Office to manage some spreadsheets and export them to csv files for nanDeck to import, but that wasn't going to last if I wanted to collaborate with others.

I converted all of my spreadsheets into a Google Drive spreadsheet so that I could share it with others, but now the question was how can I take all of that sheet and spit out a csv for each individual spreadsheet that is a part of the document?

The first thing I needed to do was download and install the desktop version of Google Drive. This lets me access my files on Google Drive as just files on my computer, much like Dropbox.

Next I needed a csv export script. I found one here, and then modified it to fit my needs more. The script runs the onOpen method and that adds a custom menu to the document so that anyone that the document is shared with can also use the script. Adding a script to a document is located in Tools, Script Editor.

Image

After loading the script I get a new menu option with my script function.

Image

The script ends up spitting out a bunch of csv files into a folder on my Google Drive. These folders end up syncing to my computer, and now all I have to do is move them from there into a folder where my nanDeck project lives.

Image

Image

That's where a Windows batch file comes in handy. I whipped up a quick batch file that will take all of the csv files from that generated folder and copy them into my project folder. Using some custom system variables it's easy to make this work on my various work computers just by setting those variables on each of them. Just using XCOPY works great.

XCOPY "%NANDECK_CSV_SOURCE%" "%NANDECK_CSV_DEST%" /S /Y /I


After the batch file runs all I have to do is click "Validate Deck" in nanDeck and it will update the data from the newly updated files, and now my new deck is ready to rock. Eventually I can even use nanDeck's command line features to copy the files and render the new deck from the batch file. Neat!

There's one major issue to look out for and that's using the Linked Data editor in nanDeck. If you click the button to edit the linked data, nanDeck seems to place the .csv file in lock down, meaning that XCOPY cant write over it. If this happens you'll have to close nanDeck to unlock the file so XCOPY can do its thing. As long as you don't use the linked data editor you'll be okay.

No Comments

2013 - 6 - 5 / 1:14 pm / tools

Some Shader Resources

Some Shader Resources

As I've been messing around with C# and SFML, one of the major benefits is the support for shaders! I've been crawling the internet trying to find examples of shaders, but for awhile all I could find were types like this that created entire images, or produced super elaborate effects that I wasn't really interested in.

Image

After a quick trip to Twitter I realized that what I was looking for were post processing shaders. I want to be able to adjust an image that I've already drawn for the most part, instead of creating new imagery. A lot of people gave me suggestions (mostly Sven) so here's a quick list of what was found!

GeekXLab
There's a handful of post processing shaders here that all look pretty neat, but unfortunately I can only get some of them to work with SFML right off the bat. Others throw errors that I don't yet know how to diagnose. They also have some software you can use to demo the shaders in, which is pretty rad! A couple of them worked right off the bat, like Thermal Vision, Dream Vision, and Pixelation, but the rest I have to mess with to figure out.

nVidia Shader Library
It turns out the nVidia site has a bunch of shader examples but unfortunately none of them seem to be in GLSL. The CgFX shaders should be able to compile into GLSL though. I haven't personally tried any of the shaders here, but it seems like a good sampling.

Image

hunterk GLSL Shaders
Somewhere a mysterious mediafire folder full of shaders exists. This one was pointed out to me by Loren, and I haven't dug too deeply into this yet. It's a lot easier to browse the sites that have previews of all the shaders, but it looks like there's a lot of cool stuff to be found in the depths of these files.

Shaders for Game Programmers and Artists
This book was recommended by Sven, and the fact that it might be also geared toward artists is interesting. This was published in 2004 and I'm not sure how much has changed in the world of shaders since, and I'm also unsure on how much focus there is on post processing vs. other types of shaders in here, but maybe worth a look!

Pixel Art GLSL Shading
I was also pointed in the direction of this beautiful piece of work which uses shaders to light pixel art in an incredibly good looking way. I haven't checked out the real time demo yet, but just that preview image looks absolutely delicious!

Photoshop Blend Mode Math
Of course there is this classic post about Photoshop GLSL shaders that I first started looking at in the early days of Snapshot development. I really wanted Photoshop blending modes since I do all of my art in Photoshop anyway. I haven't tried these out in real time yet in SFML, but it looks promising!

Image

That's all I got so far! I'll see what happens in the coming weeks in shader town. I've had some fun just pixelating and blurring and warping stuff so far. One of my next game projects in C# will be having a lot of special effects (I hope) so I need to become a shader master as soon as possible. If you know of any awesome resources not featured here please let me know!

Oh also here's a pro tip for writing shaders: don't use Visual Studio C#. It seems to be adding funky white space characters that causes the shader compiler in SFML to fail. So on that topic, what is an awesome shader IDE?

1 Comment

2013 - 5 - 8 / 11:41 am / tools

More Development Options!

More Development Options!

Since my last post about trying out a bunch of different engines and coding languages, a bunch more options were pointed out to me by various people through the comments and through facebook and twitter, so here's a quick rundown of these things I've never even heard of or considered until last week! read more

6 Comments

about

About

Hi there, my name is Kyle, and I'm a kid disguised as a grown up. I'm making video games and living the indie game developer life in Tempe, Arizona. Here you will find my thoughts, games, websites, doodles, and other stuff like that. I worked on Snapshot, Offspring Fling, and a whole bunch of other games. I also created and maintain Otter, a 2d game making framework. If you want to get a hold of me use the form on the bottom of the page, leave a comment, or just tweet at me. I try to post three times a week. Thanks for stoppin' by! You're the coolest.

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