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Author Topic: Balding's Quest: Milestone 1  (Read 133539 times)
Derek
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« on: February 21, 2007, 09:02:06 PM »

Current build/development stage: Milestone Two Build.



Prom's Platform Game or:
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Develop a Video Game


Prom (aka Arne) makes game designs that get everyone all worked up, but he's too (in his own words Wink) unfocused and lazy to finish them.  I've always wanted to make his games for him just so I can play them, but usually the designs are beyond the scope of a hobbyist project.  This one, however, is very doable, I think.  I also always wanted to do a community project and now that we have a forum and an idea it's the perfect time to start!

Here is the design document that inspired this project and which we are going to be following fairly strictly until problems arise.

Rules:

In the interest of not getting bogged down and having some hope of ever finishing, here are some ground rules.

  • Prom is the man!  It's his idea and we all agree it's a good one so we'll be sticking to his initial design doc pretty strictly.  Any suggestions he has during the development will be weighed heavily, as well.
  • BMcC is also the man!  He's also the lead programmer.  BMcC will write the core engine and in instances of heated debate, will have the final say (after taking care to consider everyone's opinion, of course).  He's the one actually putting the game together, folks.  And he's a cool guy, so I imagine things will go smoothly with him in charge.
  • I'm the organizer and spiritual advisor.  I'll be talking to Prom and BMcC both and will be mediating the discussion between them and the community.  I'll offer suggestions where needed.  I may also fulfill some small art duties if necessary. Smiley
  • The rest of the community is the team!  They will help by testing builds, giving feedback, and coming up with ideas/designing levels.  Also, if you want to contribute art or music you are totally welcome, although you have to keep in mind that it will be tested for quality and relevance before it makes its way into the game.  You have to promise not to be offended if something you make doesn't get used... although I think we'll try and include everyone as much as its humanly possible.

In the case that changes need to be made to the design for any reason in the middle of the development, the community will discuss it and BMcC will make a decision.  But the initial idea seems solid, so hopefully large changes won't be required.

Current Milestone:



  • A basic platform engine that meets Prom's specs.
  • A single level where a player can test out running, jumping, and crouching.
  • Temporary graphics, probably taken from Prom's mock-up.  Additional frames of animation for the player character needed.

Alright, that's it, I think.  What does everyone think?  DISCUSS.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2008, 06:38:46 AM by BMcC » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2007, 09:19:13 PM »

I've gotta get going RIGHT NOW, so I won't be able to contribute until tomorrow, but I just wanna say this is going to be good.

This is going to be good.  Wink

Thanks, Derek, for setting this up!  I promise, I'll do my best.
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2007, 09:21:05 PM »

Oh, and here's something to add to the discussion:

In my mind, I've been calling the little character Guy Balding.

DISCUSS that.  I dare you!   Cool
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2007, 10:08:28 PM »

I was geting more of a Baldy McBalderson vibe.
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2007, 10:17:07 PM »

I'd like to write some old school tunes for this, but only if BMcC is cool with that. Wink
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2007, 10:18:05 PM »

If not, I will take any and all of your "tunes" that you will provide and then bolt them onto a game.

That's right -- when you buy into the Ravuya Content Recycling System, you buy into having your assets twisted into horrible parodies of themselves and included in a videogame about shopping for tampons. At best.
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2007, 11:04:25 PM »

I was thinking something like this?
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Dan MacDonald
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2007, 12:04:22 AM »




It's not much but it's a start!  (at least until someone who's good at 16x16 character animation can do something worthy)
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Derek
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2007, 12:51:03 AM »

Music
If going all out, I was thinking maybe one little tune per section of the game (Lava, Warehouse, Forest, etc). Just simple looping elevator chip tunes?
Otherwise a simple intro screen tune would do, along with all the sound effects for the creatures/droids, jump, death. I quite like the intro tune for M.U.L.E., and the one in Giana Sisters is Epic.
A retro style would be cool, no samples, just synth stuff (triangle/square/sine). Maybe a nasty LCD game MRREEP MREEEP when you die? A boot/credit/crew cracktro tune and text scroll would be cool too...

I don't know much about music editors nowdays, but I used to do stuff in StarTrekker 1.3 for the Amiga. I think I tried some ModPlug a few years ago.

Resolution
Yeah a border could work, 320*240 in total, 640x windowed at 2x, and fullscreen. I just thought a GBA rez would be nice if I ever finished then ported it, but the GBA days are kind of over. DS have a slightly higher rez.
Yes, I think a got the GBA resolution wrong for the fake screens.

In BlitzMax I actually have a game I made in 128*128px, then I scale it realtime every frame (SetScale 4.0,2.0 for phat wide pixels), because computers are fast these days (BMX uses openGL). I used Integers (int or long) for the positions of the characters, then divided by the precision I wanted per pixel.

Alec and Dan: those are both great!  I wonder what Arne thinks?

BMcC: We're counting on you! Grin
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Arne
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2007, 01:28:14 AM »

Oooh, new thread, I missed it :G

Nice crawl anim! I dig.

As for following my design doc, we'll just have to see what works. I kind of just shot stuff out of my arse and it might not work in practice.


I think if the game is to be wide and varied, we'd need many suggestions for various contraptions, such as:

The beginning of Indiana Jones: Trap statue, spikes, pit, door, rolling hueg stone.

Entrapment: Crawling under/navigating around laser beams switching on and off.

A homage to Pitfall with Swing strings, crocodiles and scorpions.

etc. Various scenarios that are interesting. Feel free to suggest stuff.


Edit:  Re Resolution: (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

NES: 256×240 (actually 256×224)
SNES: 256×224 to 512×448 (256×224, 256×240, 512×224)

SMS: 256×192, 256×224, 256×240
GEN: 256×224, 320×224, 256×240, 320×240, 320×448, 320×480, ...

GB: 160×144
GBA: 240×160
DS: 256×192
PSP: 480×272
GP2X: 320×240

PC: over 9000

Edit: Re Music:
I like the little tune. It sounds like the character coming in, then does a little gay(as in happy) jitterbug/twist/oldskool dance.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 05:56:38 AM by Arne » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2007, 08:04:11 AM »

Hey!  I just got home.  I've been thinking about this thing alllll night!

I got to sneak a peak and see/listen to the sprite and track.  I say... keep em coming!  Great stuff, really.  Grin

I've got a million and a half (over 9000) ideas for the game racing through my head right now.  There's a LOT I want to get clarified and figured out and whatnot, but I'm going to focus on getting the engine done first.

Real quick:

Alec!  Yeah, I'm totally cool with you doing music.  I have some stuff to discuss before getting real serious about it,  but in the meantime it couldn't hurt to get more tunes like that done.  Did you do that yesterday?  I'm finding it highly motivating as I sit here starting the project.  Smiley

Derek!  I do not plan to disappoint.  Wink  Thanks for getting this thing so organized, man.  I... like organization.  Tongue

Niklas!  I like the idea of themed areas, especially themes outside the usual ice stage/fire stage/water stage circuit of most platformers.  What do you think about a construction zone theme homage to Donkey Kong in there, by the way?

Also, regarding resolution... I'd like to do this in DS resolution (with the handheld border to 320x240) if that's cool.  The game screen would be the same width as the mockup, but four tile rows taller, allowing for a little more freedom when designing levels and without compromising the initial concept too much.  For instance, levels that are more vertically based would become a possibility.

OK!  So!  I'd better get on this.   Shocked

Wish me luck!
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2007, 08:11:08 AM »

I wish that pixelly games would allow a user-nominated border size when running in full-screen. Now that every man and his dog has an LCD, pixel-art games look pish when they aren't running at an integer multiple of the base resolution. F'rinstance I imagine a great many of you have LCDs which run at 1280x1024 and so at full screen, ideally you'd either have the 256x192 play area at 5xsize with thin letterboxes or the 320x240 nested version at 4xsize with thin letterboxes. If it blows up to full screen, it'll look stretched ever so slightly vertically, and therefor I'll get bumwarts of the eyes from staring at it.

Hear endeth the moan. Smiley
« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 08:15:12 AM by DrDerekDoctors » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2007, 09:26:00 AM »

I've some trap suggestions. Here are some taken from the oldschool game homage angle:

Bruce Lee (C64):

- Delayed explosion pads. You step on them, 0.5 seconds later, they emit an explosion.
- Zappy floor pips. A stretch of floor with little glowy zappy pips that travel along the floor. They can be in various patterns, and you have to run/jump over them.

Kung Fu Master (arcade):

- Falling snake pots. Pots fall from the ceiling and can either hit the player, or hit the ground and produce a snake.

Impossible Mission (C64):

- Zappy stuff, and lots of it! Preprogrammed robots with patterns are pretty neat. Also, the same concept could be applied to electric arcs that travel along surfaces and zap between floor/ceiling, walls, etc.

Some other general ideas:

- Fireballs. Good for temples and such, they fire horizontally from gargoyle heads (etc.) on the walls. Pretty standard fare. Can also use darts for the Aztec styleee. May be triggered by pressure plates, or just fire cyclically.

- Rising water. The level starts to fill up with water after a period, or if you flip the wrong switch. This is a timed puzzle room, obviously.

- Ninjas! I mean come on... there just HAS to be ninjas. Wink
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2007, 09:35:57 AM »

Couple more rough ideas

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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2007, 09:37:59 AM »

I was the programmer on 3 retail GBA games, though I'm incredible busy with my project.  Is there any *cough* advice you guys want, to say, keep it portable?  Wink

Any tools that need writing?  Say, something to process those reference image file maps that are described in the doc?
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2007, 09:55:23 AM »

I was geting more of a Baldy McBalderson vibe.

Nearly there.

Baldy McCranium.

Or, for short, BMcC.
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2007, 11:11:24 AM »

Re Themes:
Yeah, Donkey Kong has a nice theme, but what about slopes in the engine? I'm afraid I haven't come to any conclusion there. I could see how it could be needed for rolling stuff like barrels/stones. Ice could be interesting with slopes too.
DK Jr. Has some interesting levels.

Impossible Mission and Bruce Lee was on my suggest list too. Maybe the Imp.Mis level could somehow have a randomized map/puzzle pieces? Ninjas goes with Bruce Lee. I love making flying kicks in the chest of the green Sumo though. Sometimes it seems like he's stopping to yell "Fooore!" (like in golf).



Re Resolution:
Yeah, 320 could work, it's pretty standard I guess. Go with what makes the most sense to you. A higher map more squarish could be less biased yeah.

Re Music:
Nice stuff again. The cracktro might need a bit more bounce (for rythmic text/effects) and some *whirridirr eeeoooaaa* pitched stuff? Not a high priority though I guess. But I like cracktros, I have this favourite called Introgasm, and there's another one called... oh I forgot I'll have to go an look it up.

Re Balding character:
It's Jason from Blaster Master mixed with the guy from Little Britain.
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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2007, 11:18:26 AM »

This sure came together nicely, can't wait till there's a build Smiley

I was the programmer on 3 retail GBA games, though I'm incredible busy with my project.  Is there any *cough* advice you guys want, to say, keep it portable?  Wink

Oh man, this would be great on the GBA. I'm going to assume a port would be a nightmare, correct?
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2007, 12:07:23 PM »

Oh man, this would be great on the GBA. I'm going to assume a port would be a nightmare, correct?

This early in the game, not really.  It would mean there would have to be some stricter guidelines set in place for the in game art creation.  As well, it could mean less freedom as far as number of objects in a room, at least given the color palettes used for them, and certainly more restrictions as far as any graphical/particle effects go.

There's also the aspect of marketability.  With the GBA well on it's way out, it's unlikely a publisher would be interested.
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« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2007, 12:48:46 PM »

Ahk. If only I had more time. I'd love to try out some platform mechanic coding otherwise. It'd be a good place to try out some really nice smooth feeling movement (while sticking to the design, ofcourse). Movement in this, as the core mechanic, makes or breaks the game. Then you need Level design which really plays to the movement's whims.

But, my hands are tied. Sorry guys.

[Edit] If the repository is made public, who knows? Maybe I'll jump in and contribute on a whim.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 12:58:50 PM by Bezzy » Logged

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