My Dungeon Game [work in progress]

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Jadzia, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. Jadzia

    Jadzia on holiday Premium Member

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    I mentioned in another thread that I want to make a dungeon crawling game loosely inspired by the arcade game Gauntlet and some rpg games.

    I thought I would make this thread where I could talk about it, report on progress, and see if others want to contribute art/ideas. :)

    I have good memories of some old 8-bit games that I played in my childhood. Then throughout my teenage years I didn't care for computer games at all, but in my early 20s I became interested in them again.

    In some ways prefer the cheerfulness, purity and simplicity of old school games over what we have today. This is fortunate for me, since the 8/16-bit era is about on par with my own game programming abilities.

    I decided to make a start on my dungeon game on Sunday, by drawing some background tiles and made a little program to draw a screen image from them, which you should see below.

    As I have some free time over the next couple of weeks I hope to be able to devote some of it to this project.

    If anybody here wants to help by drawing some sprites, then you may volunteer, and I'll provide details.

    Suggestions are also welcome because I don't have a solid plan for what direction this is going to take yet!


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Brandonv

    Brandonv Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I have also been messing around with game programming recently. It is a fun and interesting challenge, and allows me to expand my programming skills.

    Same with me. I have been working on a tile-based 2d side-scroller using C# and XNA. I don't have any real plan for the game - I have just been messing around with different ideas. I have the collision detection and movement working, now I just need to turn it into a game.

    I'm not much of an artists, so creating sprites is a big challenge for me, more so than the programming. I have been messing around with GIMP and reading tutorials in an effort to get better.

    Good luck with your game!
     
  3. Jadzia

    Jadzia on holiday Premium Member

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    Over half of the game projects I've started haven't been completed, simply because I begin to lose motivation if they drag on for longer than 2-3 weeks. Those that I've finished were finished within that time frame, so that's what I'm aiming for. :)

    I'm not so good at art either, but I feel pleased that the art I've done for games in the past has been satisfactory. I sometimes say that if something I've drawn turns out well, then that's down to luck rather than skill. :p

    Here is a picture I drew last year, that I was quite pleased with:

    [​IMG]


    And you.
     
  4. Itisnotlogical

    Itisnotlogical Commodore Commodore

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    That looks a lot better than I could ever draw. A lot of times I start to work on a character, but can't get the proportions right and my character ends up being a rectangle instead of occupying a square image space.

    Professional curiosity, what program are you using as the base of your program?
     
  5. Jadzia

    Jadzia on holiday Premium Member

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    There is no base because I don't use game engines.

    You can end up spending more time figuring out how game engines work (and don't work), than you take writing your own. For 2D projects anyway.
     
  6. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    Nice work, Jadzia! That style of walls (where they appear to taper upward even though they're supposed to be rectangular) brings back memories. They don't make 'em like that anymore. :lol:

    I'm working on a "game," too. I'm using pygame for it. As 2D engines go, it is probably the easiest one I've ever messed with. It's not as featureful as most engines but it gives you enough to get started so you don't have to write everything from scratch.
     
  7. Itisnotlogical

    Itisnotlogical Commodore Commodore

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    Well, I'm lame. I don't have any idea how BASIC, C++ or any of that crap works. Namely because nobody else seems to know, either. I could probably figure out if I knew how you'd actually edit in that format... do you type it into a text editor and load it with an external program? Is there an editor specifically for such programs? Come on, I'm dying out here :(
     
  8. Jadzia

    Jadzia on holiday Premium Member

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    You mean an IDE? They're used with most languages nowadays. There's nothing to stop you from using notepad as your editor, and running a compiler from a command line. Some do that, although it's not a common preference because it's harder to manage the project.
     
  9. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    What actual language are you writing this in?
     
  10. Jadzia

    Jadzia on holiday Premium Member

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    I'm using visual basic.

    So far I have smooth scrolling, double buffering, running at a steady 60fps with my cpu in idle.

    Let's see if I can keep it at that :p
     
  11. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    As long as you don't have a lot of alpha effects and your AI isn't too sophisticated I think you should be able to keep it around 60. :)
     
  12. Brandonv

    Brandonv Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I haven't finished any of the game projects I have started, and I have been dabbling with game programming for over a year now. :o

    I started off using Java 2D, then C++ with Dark GDK, and now XNA.

    I tried doing some 2d game programing in Visual C# using Windows Forms, but I could never get double buffering to work right - everything flickered like crazy. That is why I ended up switching to XNA.
    Yeah, I am just using XNA to do the basics, like drawing sprites, getting keyboard input, ect. Everything else, like collision detection, I am doing myself.
     
  13. Jadzia

    Jadzia on holiday Premium Member

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    I think it's okay to not complete projects as long as you are increasing your potential.

    The first computer game I made was on my ZXSpectrum. I wasn't very old, only about 8 years old, but it was only a simple game. A few years ago I found that tape and I converted it to a .tap file for use with an emulator. There was a few other little programs on there which I'd written. All very funny to look back on. :)

    I became interested in making games about 6 years ago. I've finished about 8 games so far, having attempted about 20.

    As for motivation, what I benefit from most is a time limit/ deadline. With personal projects I don't have one of those (self imposed time limits are meaningless), and I'll remain in first gear, maybe slipping into neutral.

    But when I have a deadline, such as in a competition, I feel the pressure of time, which I like, and it pushes me up through the gearbox, and I experience flow, which can be very satisfying. :)
     
  14. Jadzia

    Jadzia on holiday Premium Member

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    Yesterday's programming helped to aware me of the logic/data problems I have to solve for this project, which I have kept simmering over a small flame at the back of my mind today.

    This evening's progress has all been design, so I know what I'm making now. :)

    What I was hoping to do was to move away from the swords and sorcery theme of Gauntlet, and do something new. I do have a solid design worked out, but I'm not sure if it will be as enjoyable.

    So keeping myself a bridge to retreat over if it doesn't work, my new design will be backward compatible with the original concept of Gauntlet.

    Tomorrow I hope create some preliminary graphics for the game interface (not sprites), to try and get an idea of what feel my game will have, and to what degree I can manipulate that feel.

    This is something I've noticed is unique to my design methodology, when I compare myself to other amateur game developers: mood and feeling are my highest design priorities. I'm not sure if that stems from my preference for top-down design or not.
     
  15. Jadzia

    Jadzia on holiday Premium Member

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    One logo... I thought of this name and the style of the logo with the two Ds in my sleep last night. :)

    [​IMG]

    I've drawn some graphics for the user interface too, which has an industrial look and feel, but I'm finding it difficult to marry together the neon and industrial themes for some reason.

    The neon logo looks so clean and airy and futurist, while industrial textures look grungey and solid and old in contrast to them.

    I like my game logo. It seems to invite using wire frame graphics somewhere in the GUI, either for icons or some sort of 3D wireframe models in the title screen.

    In one of my previous games I managed to combine these two themes very successfully, so I may have to look back on that.
     
  16. Itisnotlogical

    Itisnotlogical Commodore Commodore

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    ^^

    Try mixing some flickery neon in with the industrial feel. Add in a theme song that evokes kind of a "times gone by" feel and you've got a pretty emotional title screen.
     
  17. Jetfire

    Jetfire Guest

    Very cool. I wanted to make my own 8-bit games...NES nostalgia. :) I looked at some software...but I guess programming it from scratch is better? I manly wanted to make some platform games...like Super Mario. Any advice?
     
  18. Jadzia

    Jadzia on holiday Premium Member

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    Hi Jetfire.

    It depends on how customised you want your game to be. Programming things from scratch gives you full control, and you aren't relying on other people's programs (which may or may not work correctly nor do what you want them to do).

    But using a ready made game engine or game creation tool can be easier if you aren't confident about programming.

    In my experience, if I can't see how I'm going to make a program before I start, then I will probably get stuck somewhere down the line. I have to have a rough overall framework in my mind before starting, and flesh that out with finer details as I dive into it. I find it's best to aim for projects that are right on the cusp of what I know I can do. That optimises the chance of success, vs the sense of achievement vs the learning experience.

    I have no idea how much programming experience you have, but given what I've said above, and given that you're asking for my advice on how to proceed, I'll say that perhaps a platform game is too challenging a project for you to program from scratch at the present time.

    A game creation tool may be the way to go. Take a look here for two such tools:

    http://jumpcraft.com/

    http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker
     
  19. Jetfire

    Jetfire Guest

    Ok...I have no programming skills...so those 2 programs look pretty good. :) Thanks.
     
  20. Jadzia

    Jadzia on holiday Premium Member

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    With christmas out of the way, I've returned to this.

    Today I've adjusted my interface textures so that the neon and industrial graphics look right together.

    I've also been creating my title screen, rather than the game itself. I've decided to not use industrial textures in the title screen, and work purely with the futurist/airy feel of the neon logo.

    Following in the style of many 1980s arcade games, my title screen tries to be entertaining, so in addition to high score tables and other info, should a player want to sit and watch the animation and listen to the music, they may do that. :)

    When the game is done, I'd like to insert a sequence to the title screen where the computer plays through a random level.

    I hope to make some progress with the programming tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010

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