Gaming Your Way

May contain nuts.

Week whatever

We're getting there.

New in from last time are Perks. These are as you'd expect, unlocked at a certain rank and there are 3 available at once from a total of 6. There's nothing really earth shattering about them, it was more a way to justify XP / Challenges ( Which I've still got to do, but can't really face ).

Also we've got more levels in there now, I'm just starting on level 9 ( It's a bit of a slog ), there are some asteroids in the background to go with the planets which add a little something and the save routines have been tidied up a lot.

I'm trying to think what else has gone in there, obviously nothing too astounding otherwise I'd remember it ( I will the second I post this ). Hopefully either tonight or tomorrow I should get some new music and player sprites to go in there which I'm really looking forward to. Ah, pause mode, I think that's new from last week. How grasping at straws am I.

Shall we do a little beta ? If you fancy giving it a go post a comment and I'll hopefully post something up tomorrow ( via email, not the blog ) and then you can let me know I'm deluded and it's not really all that. Cool, it's a date then.


Week IV

Another pretty productive week on DN8:Pulse.

Particle orgy

I've managed to get all the player power-ups in there, and today added the first boss ( Which doesn't sound all that, but it meant doing the whole "Warning" text stuff which took a while to design nicely ).

We're currently up to 5 levels done out of 12, which is pretty good going. Also quite a bit of time has been spent on the Android version, the control mode is finally nailed in that now, it plays much better than I'd have hoped and we're not sacrificing too much visually ( Less particles, fewer use of blendModes etc. but in terms of gameplay it's exactly the same ).

I also checked how my phone, HTC Desire S, performs in comparison to other Android devices, and it seems pretty poorly actually ( Not that you can tell from the phone itself, it's silky smooth ), which is good news as the game isn't dropping too many frames on it. Anyone with a newer phone / tablet should get a really good 30fps experience with it.

And before this turns into an advert rather than a dev update I'll wish you a fond farewell until next time.


PS. Outpost:Swarm should be gold, or near as damn it, we're hoping for final feedback this Friday, so hopefully some news about that soon.


You've got to do a blog post on leap day haven't you.

Work started on new game a week ago, and somehow I've managed to get a fair bit done. Want to find out what ? Sure you do, because if I ever found out you weren't interested in our games I'd start hurting myself.

Let's start with a screen grab, it's easier to talk around that.

It's a little cut off as it's a big ol' screen, it's not that wonky in real life.

So as you can see it's a sequel to DN8. In saying that, it's going to be more of a 1.5 than a full blown sequel, a directors cut where we give it a visual overhaul and fix all the things which needed fixing.

The major thing with this bad boy is that we're going the stage3D route. And just to complicate matters, its using 2 engines. The background ( So the skybox you see, the planet with nice bump mapping and specular lighting ) is powered by away3D. It's really great to use, I've only ever used the lite version before so it's not as if I knew what I was doing, but I managed to get one planet and the skybox up and running in a couple of hours.

The downside to away3D is that its 2D support is limited, and for particles the general consensus is to use something like Flint. Now Flint produces great results, but packages like that are all singing and all dancing, which means an overhead which you can't really afford in a game ( It's like say Tweenlite, knock the shit out of that on the title screen, but in-game it's a little too costly ). I've being eyeing up ND2D for a while as it seems the best of the 2D GPU powered engines ( Friends who have tried Starling say its a little bit bloated as it's trying to be very transparent and displaylist like. Just to point out, I'm not slagging it or Flint off, I'm just going on hearsay as I'm far too lazy to do lots of tests to find things out ).

Now, how to add ND2D running on top of away3D ? Well I noticed you can have multiple stage3D indexes, I'll drop away3D at [0], ND2D at [1], set the transparency and swallow a little extra overhead as well, shit, we're on the GPU baby, everything is free and runs like liquid gold. Ah. the different stage3D "levels" don't have a transparency setting. Ah.

Plan B, download the away3D source ( I was just using the swc ), shove ND2D into the same package, find the render call in the away3D code and after that call the ND2D mainloop. Fairly simple. Hang on, it's displaying my simple particle test, but for some reason it's above the skybox, but below the planets. That's so close to working I had to pursue it, as if I could get it working we'd be laughing. A whole day of swearing and looking through both engines and I was having no joy. It was making me want to kill.

It takes a big man to admit when he's wrong. I'm far from being a big man, so I just posted on the ND2D forums asking for help. Lars is as good as gold and pointed me in the right direction, one changed line later and it works.

So in the first week we've got the look & feel nailed ( That was actually day 1, a whole day just to sort out a logo, a font and a rollOver style ), got a lovely looking background rotating around, most of the flow from title screen to actual game, the main player sprite moving and shooting ( The bullets using batched calls ), the music from DN8 as a placeholder playing a random mix each time and... I think that's it. I couldn't be more pleased with how its going, I don't have the first clue about 3D so to bluff my way through like this makes me happy.

Should we come back in a week to see if I'm still loving this ? Yes, lets.