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Worklog for jhocking


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coming together(Posted 2006-06-14)
Okay, so I've been implementing a lot of little things since the last update. The idea is to get all the major game mechanics (eg. devices that you operate) in place and then I'll develop a sample level for each of the 5 main areas of the game.

This screenshot shows off a number of new developments:

Note for example that the flying gremlin is in the game and attacks you. I've also created actual graphics for all the standins, like the locked gates. I've also implemented a simple damage model where if you get hit you start to emit smoke, and if you get hit again your gyrocopter explodes. Oh, and at the top you can just see a shot from an automatic cannon; I've implemented a few traps like that.

Just a couple more devices to implement and then I'll do additional levels: grasslands, rivers winding through canyons, jungle, barren rocky desert (I actually already have this, but I'll make a new one,) and volcanic mountaintop. I know, I know, cliche areas. Hey, this is a simple shooter!

Once that's done I'll release the game's first demo.

-Joe Hocking
http://www.newarteest.com | Interactive Art and Experimental Game Design

grrr...(Posted 2006-05-26)
I love how the dates that I'm posting these has almost nothing to do with when the work was actually done. :P

Anyway, here's the flying gremlin I created:

Putting him into the game of course involved a lot of code work for handling the animation and attacking and whatnot. Now I'm mostly working on a lot of unglamorous (is that a word?) programming gruntwork, like building the UI system for the game (start menu, in-game HUD, that sort of thing.)

-Joe Hocking
http://www.newarteest.com | Interactive Art and Experimental Game Design

makeup!(Posted 2006-01-02)
Now that I know the gameplay works, I wanted to turn my attention to the aesthetics of the game. The first task there was texturing the test level:

In this screenshot you can also see a locked gate. Well, a couple of blocks representing a gate anyway. While I have other gameplay ideas to implement later, for now it is enough to have the find-keys/open-doors basics in place.

I think I'll model an enemy next. I want to have a finished level to play in, so as menacing as they are, spheres aren't going to cut it.

-Joe Hocking
http://www.newarteest.com | Interactive Art and Experimental Game Design

really starting(Posted 2006-01-02)
Fast forward to last fall: While tossing around ideas for my next project, I came back to Gyroman. I realized there's real potential here, and effort-wise it would be a good ratcheting-up from my last game; a little more complex, but still simple enough to be manageable.

I got to work on the game's design. I thought up a storyline, enemies, and world structure. Before investing time designing levels, however, I wanted to implement a test-bed of actual gameplay, with enemies to fight and gates to unlock. In particular, I was concerned about the handling of enemies, so I wanted to start prototyping ideas. I roughed out a little maze:

Creating this test proved to be extremely productive. I quickly devised a clever system for spawning enemies offscreen at a good pace, with enemies placed well for gameplay. It's an actual game now, and even though it's all untextured primitives, it's already fun!

-Joe Hocking
http://www.newarteest.com | Interactive Art and Experimental Game Design

in the beginning(Posted 2006-01-02)
Alrighty, it's been a little while since I wrapped my last project, so I'm getting to work on my next game. Inspired by the worklog for Super Gerball, I am going to be keeping a journal of my progress. Hopefully I'll end up with as spiffy of a development diary.

A while ago (a looong while; a few years) I was working on a short-lived project in which, before things fell apart, we devised a clever gimmick for the player's control scheme. I decided to take that interface idea and apply it to a new game design. Because the controls enable the player to move and shoot in any direction independently of each other, resulting in some cool strafing action, I decided the character will be flying. After a little brainstorming, I came up with Gyroman, a guy with a helicopter-backpack. The character design was an homage to old-time radio shows about rocket-pack wearing pilots.

So, I modeled the character, and coded a little demo of moving around and shooting, in a landscape barren except for a couple primitives for obstacles:

Then, having implemented my little idea, I set this demo aside while I pursued other projects.

-Joe Hocking
http://www.newarteest.com | Interactive Art and Experimental Game Design

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