Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New AstroMiner Screenshots

I added a whole bunch of stuff to AstroMiner.  One of the comments I got from the web version is that momentum would be more fun, so I added that.  I added a background image to fill in the black, the ability for me to single out the top blocks (for when I want to add things on top of them), a very basic UI that shows health, fuel and a momentum meter.  The momentum meter will allow the player to see how fast they're traveling in a certain direction.  If they are going too fast when they land or hit a wall, they will lose health.

Eating a block will now add fuel to your ship.  It's not enough fuel to really keep playing.  Just enough to somewhat move around.  This will make it so the player still has to build fuel depots.  The ship will also harvest fuel from the air incase the player totally runs out, but it's a very small amount and only really meant for emergencies.

Notice the meter on the top left.

I'm falling, so the meter is indicating my downward momentum.

Running low on fuel so I'm eating some blocks.
Sweet, succulent fuel is being consumed.

Anyway, I have some people doing play testing to solve a video card issue I had with the first test.  All looks good so far though.  I'll create a YouTube video soon and hopefully put a playable version up soon.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

From concept to prototype to real..

A couple of days ago I posted about a prototype I had made in HTML5.  It can still be found at http://www.dangerz.net/explorer/.

Astro prototype in JavaScript/HTML5
I really liked the concept and wanted to go forward, so I got to coding.  When I first started coding I was using libSDL/C++.  I wanted to learn libSDL and I thought this would be a good project for that.  After doing that for a little bit, I thought about how I had paid for the XNA license and haven't published anything yet.  I decided that I wanted to keep this project in XNA so I could publish it on the Xbox Live Arcade dealie.  So I got to coding..

The following are some screenshots of what I have so far.

First XNA Version

So the first thing I did was a 1:1 representation.  I made a little spaceship graphic and built the procedurally generated asteroids.  You couldn't add or delete blocks at this point.  It was simply flying around.  I added little animations for the thrust and played for a little bit.  After some time, I thought that the blocks were too small and it could become a hassle trying to build tunnels.  I decided to make the blocks a little bit bigger.

Those blocks looked way too big.  I lowered their size and found something I could live with.

Once I got that, I started adding more gameplay elements.  I added the capability to drill blocks.  I added the capability to hover in place.  I added animations for all of that and I'm doing it in a way that's 100% XBox safe from the beginning.  The following screenshots are what I have so far.

You can see different types of blocks here, all procedurally generated.

You can see me drilling here.  Notice the little texture of the broken block.  Little sparks shoot out from my drill too.

Just drilling down.  The player can drill in all 4 directions.

Here I am flying up.

This is my spaceship just sitting there.
So far I'm having fun just building the thing.  I'm really happy with the world/block type algorithms and it all runs really fast since it's just 2d.  I'm going to continue plugging away and add some AI to the game to make it a bit more challenging.  The player is going to have to build fuel depots and things like that so they can keep flying around.  I have a lot of ideas for this, so I'm going to focus on it for a while and let R-01 sit for now.  I still go back and change/add stuff here and there but the main purpose of it all was to become better at 3d game programming and I think I've accomplished that and more.  The whole reason I was able to get this new game (currently called AstroMiner) up and running is because of all that I learned with R-01.

So anyway, I'll make a gameplay video when I have more things in place.

Until then..