posts tagged with: stratoforce

Dev Log: Building Buildings

Dev Log: Building Buildings
I'm finally getting back to work on my main project which for now is called Stratoforce. Maybe StratoForce? Strato Force? I dunno, who cares for now.

A big part of the game is placing structures onto islands that you build, and for whatever reason I've been totally stuck in how I should be designing the structures. I had a couple of images in the game for the basic Power Generator and Power Node structures, but I hated how it looked over time. They looked too complex, so I decided to try to dial it back to something way simpler with big simple shapes.

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From left to right there's the Ammo Generator, the Power Node, and the Power Generator. I've been trying to find references for RTS structure and building design, but I found that a lot of them use 3d which is quite a bit different. I can see how this kind of thing would be waaay easier in 3d though. I do want to have my structures animate, and respond to things, and doing that in 2d is going to be a little challenging. I might be able to make something work with a bunch of tweens or something though... hopefully I'll be able to prototype some animation stuff for the structures soon!

Dev Log: Enemy Wave HUD

Dev Log: Enemy Wave HUD
Here's something that has been on my task list since forever: showing incoming enemy waves on the HUD! Originally the bottom right spot was going to be something different, but for now the incoming wave information felt like it was more important than anything else that could be there.

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Now you can see how many enemies are going to be coming at you in the future. The little blips on the hud scroll from right to left as time marches on.

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The enemies are arranged vertically depending on which spawn point they're coming from. I'm not sure how much information will be available to the player from here, but for now you can tell the size of the enemy and how many are coming up. I feel like this took me way too long to figure out, and I'm still not 100% happy with how I implemented it, but hey it works!

Dev Log: Overworlds

Dev Log: Overworlds
Getting back into the swing of game development has been a little tougher than I thought. Especially since July isn't exactly going to be a calm month for me to really dig into stuff. This 4th of July weekend is pretty busy, and I'm still right in the middle of it. After I'm heading up to EVO with a bunch of folk, and then I'm spending some time on the east coast after that. Traveling and getting work done doesn't really go hand in hand for me, so hopefully I can still salvage some time to get some game development in.

Anyway, my recent developments have lead me into making some sort of overworld map for my game. As I started to work on it, I quickly realized that I have no clue what I'm doing. I haven't really worked on anything like this before, and I'm slowly figuring out how to properly structure and manage it all.

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Basically the map screen is going to be some kind of turn based system that will determine what kind of encounter you go into next. The player will be able to choose where to go with their character, and there will also be enemy forces moving about in the area attacking things. The main issue I have right now is that I think I know how I want everything to work, but I have no idea how to code it.

I've never done any sort of turn based anything before, so I've been spending some time researching the internet for any leads. I found a few quick examples, but not really any sort of examples that come with source code to look at. I find it very difficult to go from an abstract concept to actual code, and a lot of times these examples or tutorials I find just explain the broad concepts of a system and don't really dig into the details which is where I always get lost... but hopefully with enough just messing around in a code window I can stumble onto the right answer.

Dev Log: Menus

Dev Log: Menus
I've been a little bit in a heads down mode over the past couple days while working on my video game. I've been posting some updates over on my Twitter in the form of little screenshots and animated gifs, but haven't really written about anything in awhile!

One of the big hurdles to overcome to get this game into a real, actual playable state is making a good menu system. The game is going to be relying a lot on menus for the player to build things in the world, change their equipment, check their status, and who knows what else. I tried looking into some menu frameworks, but I've fallen back onto just making my own menu classes and hard coding everything.

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Everything you see here is just made up of two classes: Menu, and MenuButton. Menu can have a list of child Menus, and a list of MenuButtons. MenuButtons have callbacks and such for when they are clicked, rolled over, rolled off, and other handy things. Since everything in this game is controlled by a cursor of some sort, the menu's are a little bit easier to design. Also for now all I have to worry about are buttons. I haven't gone down the path of text input or scroll bars or selection lists, so for now just two little classes will suffice.

Almost all the art in the menus are also made up of NineSlice graphic objects in Otter. NineSlice panels make it really easy to design UI, since the same texture can be used for any size panel. For more info on how NineSlices work, check this out.

That's it for now. Hoping to get a nice logo and officially say what the name of this game is soon (although I've been tagging these posts with the name of it for a few weeks now I think.)

Dev Log: Boulder Juice

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Lately I've been getting a lot done on this game! Actually I'm not totally sure if that's true, but it feels like I've been getting a lot done. I've started to do more organized work blocks which have been working out nicely so far. (I might've mentioned this before.)

While I work away at menus and UI I took a break to work on some good ole fashioned particle effects. Right now the game has boulders that can be harvested for materials to build islands out of. No idea if this is going to be in the final game, but it's fun to blow them up!

Dev Log: Enemy Waves

Dev Log: Enemy Waves
Waves of enemies can be a pretty confusing thing to manage. It sounds simple at first, but the amount of ways that you can manage a group of enemies entering the game seems nearly endless. Usually in games where I have waves of enemies I don't have enough time to think of an elegant solution. I just usually end up with some sort of random enemy generator and over time I add more potential enemy types to the pool. This works most of the time but can often lead to really weird patterns, or nearly impossible to survive scenarios if its not tuned correctly.

For this game I have a little bit more time than a weekend to complete it, so this gives me an opportunity to try and come up with a cool solution. For the current design of the game there exist enemy spawner tiles in the game world. These tiles are present from the very start of the session, although all of them might not be active yet.

Enemies can spawn from any one of the active tiles in the scene. There is always at least one active enemy spawner from the start. An enemy wave consists of a list of enemies, and each one of those list entries also knows what enemy spawner they should come from, and how long they should wait before appearing.

When I have a wave ready to go I can add it into my EncounterManager object which will then execute each wave. An enemy wave can either wait for a certain amount of time before spawning the next one, or it can wait for all of the enemies to be cleared before spawning the next one.

So with all of that, this is what it currently looks like to set up enemy waves:
var wave2 = new EnemyWaveProperties()
.Add(typeof(EnemyBitty))
.SpawnFrom(1)
.Add(typeof(EnemyBitty))
.SpawnFrom(0)
.Delay(120)
.Add(typeof(EnemyPopcorn))
.SpawnFrom(1)
.Add(typeof(EnemyPopcorn))
.Delay(120)
.SpawnFrom(0)
.Add(typeof(EnemyBitty))
.Add(typeof(EnemyBitty))
.Add(typeof(EnemyBitty));

EncounterManager.AddAction(new EncounterActionEnemyWave(wave2));
And here's a quick look at what it looks like when the encounter manager is executing an enemy wave action.
public override void Execute() {
foreach(var wave in properties.Waves) {
var spawner = EnemySpawner.GetSpawnerById(wave.SpawnerId);

foreach (var waveEnemy in wave.Enemies) {
if (Spawning) {
if (Timer == waveEnemy.SpawnDelay) {
var enemy = spawner.Spawn(waveEnemy.EnemyType);
EnemiesSpawned.Add(enemy);
SpawnedFirstEnemy = true;
}
}
}
}

if (Timer >= properties.MaxSpawnDelay) {
Spawning = false;
}

if (WaitForClear && SpawnedFirstEnemy) {
var enemiesDead = true;
foreach (var enemy in EnemiesSpawned) {
if (enemy.IsInScene) { // Enemy is still alive
enemiesDead = false;
}
}
if (enemiesDead) {
Finished = true;
EnemiesSpawned.Clear();
}
}
else {
if (Timer >= Time) {
Finished = true;
}
}

Timer++;
}
Nothing too crazy, I think!