posts tagged with: dev log

Dev Log: FNA Tiles

Dev Log: FNA Tiles
Been working a little bit on getting tile maps set up in the FNA version of Otter along with a quick platforming movement test.

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I'm still wrestling with some issues in FNA that I'm sure are totally my fault, but so far things have been working pretty nicely. Understanding the whole sprite batch drawing thing is still a little bit tricky for me, and I'm hoping that I can wrangle my familiar engine api into something that doesnt perform like garbage. Trying to manage when I should be calling End() and Begin() is a little bit more challenging than I hoped, and I don't want to just be calling them both for every single draw if I can help it.

I've hit a weird snag with my initialization process and render targets, and I think it's related to some kinda weird race condition that I can't pin down... but probably more on this in a future post.

Dev Log: FNA Font Stuff

Dev Log: FNA Font Stuff
I'm currently in the midst of an actual break from development but I'll try to catch up on some recent developments while I'm loungin' about.

I'm still developing my new version of Otter using FNA instead of SFML. I'm slowly but hopefully surely finding out the best way to go about certain things like rendering and input. Fonts and text graphics are working pretty well now and I also have some basic input stuff hooked up for things like keyboard, mouse, and text entry.

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I'm using a C# binding of freetype for rendering fonts and text, and recently I implemented a system to handle huge font sizes. I say system but all it's really just a list of textures for the font instead of just one texture. Unfortunately the upper limit of font sizes is still the maximum size of the texture though... so right now 2048 I think.

I've almost got enough in my FNA engine to make a simple game aside from a few missing collision overlap checks and a handful of bugs. As much as I hate to say it I think I actually like SFML's rendering system better because so far using SpriteBatch feels like a giant pain in the butt most of the time. I understand why SpriteBatch is so important, but it seems like it'd be easier just to pass my own vertices and textures into the renderer... but for some reason that's mega slow. Right now one of the bugs I have to look into is the fact that rendering 10 or so primitives already starts to take a toll on performance, and it's only rendering a bunch of untextured vertices! Nothin' makes sense.

Dev Log: Upgrade Path Arts

Dev Log: Upgrade Path Arts
I'm home for the holidays so that gives me plenty of time to catch up on my missing blog posts for the month!

Here's something I updated in Sky Sisters a little while back:

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The assets for the "upgrade path" were a little lacking. Previously they were just some simple monocolored assets that had some minor effects. What I found though was that they were very hard to see against certain sky palettes. I tried some tricks like shifting the color of the asset around to make them stand out more, but I was having a hard time making them out. If I was having a hard time that meant that any players would have an even harder time, so out they went.

I opted for a more detailed asset that is trying to be more in line with how the upgrade diamonds look themselves. There are some minor issues with these but I don't see them changing much beyond this iteration.

Dev Log: Particle Polish

Dev Log: Particle Polish
I've just been hopping around on Sky Sisters revisiting some areas that needed a little bit more love. I wanted to make the upgrade diamonds a little bit more clear when the players touch one.

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The changes are super subtle but hopefully they get the message across a little bit more. I adjusted the screen flash and the particle burst when the orb touches the diamond, and I also added a flashing effect onto the diamond itself that gets more intense. I also shortened the overall time it takes for the whole effect to play out.

Dev Log: Loot Numbers

Dev Log: Loot Numbers
Whoops I forgot to post for like two weeks again. Why do I keep doing that! Oh well.

I'm quickly running out of things to do in Super Sky Sisters now as I try to polish every last bit that I can. I just keep letting my anxiety get the best of me and I refuse to release it because my brain is broken in weird ways. Anyway!

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I added some fancy numbers for when the player collects loot in the game. I figure since damage and healing has numbers then also collecting loot should also give some fancy numbers as well. I tried to make them look very different from the damage numbers so I went with a white fill and a gold outline.

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The numbers also get bigger the more you collect which can be pretty fun at times...

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Dev Log: Remaining Stuffs

Dev Log: Remaining Stuffs
October is passing me by way faster than I thought! I think this month has proven to me that I'm temporarily out of juice for Sky Sisters. I put a lot of energy into the game toward the end of the summer, and then there was PAX, and then there was the post PAX rush of new features I wanted to put into the game.

Now sitting here in front of my visual studio window I find that I'm totally out of energy. There are some things left to work on still, but I'm not feeling that kick of inspiration to finish them. I know that I have to continue to work on things no matter what I'm feeling, but I also don't want my total lack of energy to show in certain parts of the work.

For now the remaining tasks are pretty simple except for more polish and bug fixing. I need to be doing sound effects which I might tackle if I'm feeling up for it, but I'm not exactly an audio designer and I'm not sure if my chippy sounding effects are really keeping up with the high res art of the game. It's easy to get away with low fidelity sound when the graphics match, but when it comes to high res art it just sounds a little off.

I also need to figure out how I'm releasing this thing! I have maybe a few options in the form of publishers if I wanted to go that route, but I'm still feeling pretty anxious about it. I know that Sky Sisters is a pretty weird game, so I'm not exactly expecting it to sell any sort of crazy amount of copies. I've had fun working on it though and that's enough for me for now.

I suppose this post was just meant as a small vent, and also as I wrote this I'm trying to figure out what exactly it is I want to work on next. I think I might dig back into the secret final boss of the game and see if there's any way I can spruce it up.

If all else fails I'll dip into another project for awhile as that usually makes me feel better, but right now the only side project I have that's worth working on is the new version of Otter that will use FNA instead of SFML. We'll see how that turns out!

I'm just constantly reminded that creating stuff is super dang difficult.