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TIGSource ForumsCommunityJams & EventsCompetitionsOld CompetitionsAssemblee: Part 2SONR [Alpha Demo 2 & Suggestion Request]
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Author Topic: SONR [Alpha Demo 2 & Suggestion Request]  (Read 15189 times)
theparticleman
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« on: December 06, 2009, 03:56:43 pm »

I had sort of an idea for a game, and oryx (as well as some others) provided some lovely fitting and inspiring sprites.  I made a mock-up just to make sure some things would work out before I start coding.  This is what it looks like so far



I'm planning for it to be platformer/sidescroller/exploration type game where combat with baddies is particle based.  Haven't exactly figured out how that will work yet, but it sounds cool and I like creating particle systems.  I want to try for some interesting visual effects where I upscale lo-res sprites and then apply effects to them.  In the image above you can see what I'm talking about on the glow around the guys' eyes and the particles, which are obviously much higher resolution than the sprites themselves.  I think it looks kind of cool.  Anyone else have any thoughts?

I haven't decided if I want to use XNA or good old GDI+ to it though.  XNA is what all the cool kids are using, plus it has some nice game related features.  On the other hand, just doing a simple one sprite test pegs one of the cores on my dual core laptop.  That is going at 60 frames per second, but still.

Oh, and just in case you're wondering, all the glow effects and even the scaling and stuff will be added at run time.  I'm not going to modify the original sprites other than to crop them appropriately and probably replace the background color with transparent.  That sounds in keeping with the competition rules, right?


P.S.  Thanks to everyone who made stuff for part 1.  Graphics, sound and music are always the parts that take me the longest, so it's nice to have someone else do them for me.  Lots of people made lots of awesome stuff!


Demos
Added 12/27/09: SONR Alpha 1
SONR Alpha 1

Added 1/4/10: SONR Alpha 2
SONR Alpha 2
Please check this message for some additional info on this build, plus my request for suggestions:

Videos
Added 1/2/10: SONR video 2




Trailer
Added 7/19/10


« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 07:12:29 pm by theparticleman » Logged
Stargoat
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2009, 04:06:54 pm »

Great use of some great assets. Should be interesting to see where this goes...
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Aik
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2009, 04:09:43 pm »

I agree - that looks really cool.
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Geeze
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2009, 05:55:41 am »

  Hand Shake LeftEvil:handshakeR:
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2009, 06:00:18 am »

Just a warning, but people in previous competitions have had a lot of trouble getting XNA games to run. I could never get the stacraft ghost game working.
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theparticleman
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2009, 06:20:22 am »

Yeah, I was remembering that from the Demake compo (the last compo I had an entry in).  So for the moment I've decided to just go with GDI+, though I am incorporating several XNA-isms in my engine.

Speaking of which, how about an update?  I have my basic engine working, running at 60+fps, using almost no CPU power to do so.  (What the heck does XNA do with my CPU then?  I mean I know it does some stuff to make sure it's actually running at the correct speed using automatic frame rate dropping and stuff like that, but that can't be that intense, can it?  Anyone know what it is that XNA does that requires the near full attention of one of the cores on my CPU to draw a single sprite?  Or is it just one of those stupid "Make it look like the game is doing a lot by pegging the CPU" type things? </rant>)

I have the sprite scaling working.  I originally tried to have GDI+ do it for me.  I've done that in other games, but it didn't want to work for some reason now, so I just wrote the scaling stuff myself.  It's easy when all you need to do is nearest neighbor and you're only upscaling.  I started on the blurring/glowing stuff, but I'm not done yet.  And I have unit tests.  Not a lot, but a few.  Anyone else unit test their game, or am I just super-nerdy that way?

So my next steps are to finish the blur/glow code, then probably get a basic map laid out with movement and gravity.  That's the less fun part.  Sad  I like special effects and particle systems better.  Oh, well.  I guess you can only have so much of your gameplay depend on particle systems, right?
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Impossible
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2009, 07:55:55 am »

The answer to your "pegging the CPU" question is XNA is probably not doing anything with your CPU.  The XNA core loop probably does not give idle time back to the CPU. I'm sure you can do much more actual work than render a single sprite with no performance hit Smiley.
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theparticleman
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2009, 09:22:52 am »

Yeah, I'm sure I can do more than draw just a single sprite.  I guess I'm just old fashioned and expect my frameworks to be honest, gosh darn it!  If you're doing something, act like it!  If you're not doing something, don't act like you are! Smiley
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Sar
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2009, 09:40:03 am »

If you're not doing something, don't act like you are! Smiley

A lot of people subscribe to the notion that - since Other Processes can always steal away CPU cycles for their own despicable ends (like, you know, keeping your PC free of viruses or whatever) the only way to guarantee as high and as stable and as precise a framerate for graphics or logic is to do busy waits on the main game thread. That if the user runs a game, they want that game to run to the best of its ability and CPU cycles are there to be used and laptop battery life and CPU temperature and so on be damned. If the XNA framework is really sucking up all your CPU cycles, I guess that may well be the reason.

That said, I'm sure I don't remember it doing this when I played around with XNA last a couple of years ago...
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theparticleman
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2009, 06:42:31 am »

Wow!  I don't post for two days and my thread gets bumped to the last page?  Just goes to show how active this community is.

That said, I'm sure I don't remember it doing this when I played around with XNA last a couple of years ago...

I didn't remember XNA doing that last time I played with it either, which was part of my disappointment.  Oh, well.  I have my GDI+ version working at 60+ fps just drawing the one sprite and using almost no CPU.  I'll have to do some more investigation with XNA and see if there's anything that can be done about it (maybe I was just doing something stupid).  I probably shouldn't let it irk me so much, but for whatever reason it does.

Speaking of 60+ fps and one sprite, how about a screen shot of that single, glorious sprite?



Isn't it simply amazing?!  Not really.  I just don't want everyone thinking I only know how to make mockups.  I'm a better coder than a mockup maker, honest!  The only really exciting thing to see here is that I got the glow effect finished I think.  You should be able to see it around the sprite's eyes (eye?).  Took longer than I thought, but oh, well.  I'm planning to have some good, dedicated coding time this weekend.  So I'll hopefully make some good progress then.  In case you're wondering, in the image above the sprite is 8X normal size.  For the actual game I'm thinking I'll probably go 4X normal size, but it's easier to see the glow this way.
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Sar
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2009, 07:00:06 am »

I didn't remember XNA doing that last time I played with it either, which was part of my disappointment.

Well, XNA is supposed to be used for making 360 games, right? So maybe it's been changed in line with Microsoft's dastardly plan to overheat and kill everyone's XBox so they go broke through warranty replacements...
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mildmojo
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2009, 09:35:42 pm »

A lot of people subscribe to the notion that - since Other Processes can always steal away CPU cycles for their own despicable ends (like, you know, keeping your PC free of viruses or whatever) the only way to guarantee as high and as stable and as precise a framerate for graphics or logic is to do busy waits on the main game thread. That if the user runs a game, they want that game to run to the best of its ability and CPU cycles are there to be used and laptop battery life and CPU temperature and so on be damned. If the XNA framework is really sucking up all your CPU cycles, I guess that may well be the reason.

Interesting. If I ever have to do that, it's going to be an optional checkbox marked "Quality Assurance".
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2009, 12:41:01 pm »

Well, things are probably better now for XNA games. Doesn't Windows 7 come with functionality for it pre-installed, or in automatic updates?
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theparticleman
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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2009, 11:45:18 am »

Well, things are probably better now for XNA games. Doesn't Windows 7 come with functionality for it pre-installed, or in automatic updates?

I'm not sure about that.  I'll have to do some investigation.  But probably not until after I get this game done.  I have to stick my priorities!

Thought I'd post a few "scratch paper" type screen shots.  These aren't in-game screen shots.  These are me working out how the background tiles are going to work.  Cosmic Fool made some cool looking tiles, but I've never used ones quite like that before, so I'm doing some figuring out.


I put the tiles together to see how they look with oryx's sprite.


This is with the tiles that will actually be getting drawn turned off to show what the player sprite will actually interact with to determine collisions.


This is with all the display tiles turned off.  The snazzy colors are just so I can easily see the tile locations.

I'm hoping to have a gameplay video to post soon.  Christmas shopping attacked yesterday and I didn't have nearly as much time to work on stuff as I would have liked. Sad
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theparticleman
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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2009, 06:20:43 am »

Request for help:

You know those particle things in the mock up screen shot?  My plan for those is that you'll use them to defeat baddies.  You'll be able to collect more of them to become stronger so you can defeat bigger baddies.

My question is, what should I call them?  I need some cool name that sounds less technical that "particles".  Any thoughts anyone?  I'm having a mental block here.


P.S.  I got all the map tiling stuff done I think.  I'd do a screen shot, but it's not that exciting and I'm lazy right now. Smiley  Now on to moving, gravity and collision detection.  Not really looking forward to that, but once I get done with that I can start the fun part of adding enemies and combat and particles and plot.

P.P.S.  Just went and read the rules and found out the compo doesn't end until Jan. 10th.  Woot!  I was afraid it would end closer to New Year's and I wouldn't have enough time to finish.
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« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2009, 06:49:34 am »

maybe "sonrs"
or profs, that would sound ubercool !

my vote is on profs  Beg Beg Beg
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theparticleman
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« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2009, 07:05:33 am »

maybe "sonrs"
or profs, that would sound ubercool !

my vote is on profs  Beg Beg Beg

lol  Big Laff

I'll have to stick that in there somewhere even if it doesn't win, just for making me laugh!
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saluk
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« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2009, 12:03:02 pm »

My bs:

Sparklies, glowbombs, ebb, dots, sparks, quarks, trinos, apex, singularity, mana balls, wisps
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theparticleman
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« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2009, 08:29:59 pm »

My bs:

Sparklies, glowbombs, ebb, dots, sparks, quarks, trinos, apex, singularity, mana balls, wisps

Ooo!  Singularity sounds cool.  I like the monosyllabic options too though.  I also like the word monosyllabic.  But of course, who doesn't?

Any one have any other suggestions?

And a screenshot, just so you guys don't think I'm a total bum.



Getting all those little detail tiles to show up right and to make it put in the slopes automatically was a pain, but it all seems to be working now.
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« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2009, 09:04:55 pm »

"syllables" Droop
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