Archive for the ‘Game Update’ Category

The Results of 3 Hours of Programming

January 29th, 2012 1 comment

So after doing 3 hours of programming from scratch I only have the bare bones of my game completed. I did manage to make my level select screen and the rest of the game is in much better shape than it was before. Unfortunately the new game is still a good 3-4 hours short of being a full prototype.

This is what I had after 45 minutes of programming

I think the lesson to learn from this is don’t attempt to complete a prototype from scratch in one sitting if you’re not a great programmer. Also, don’t start at 11 PM if you know staying up past 2 AM isn’t a realistic expectation. I’m guessing the people that do this from scratch thing probably have more tools than just basic actionscript 3 at their disposal. Once I have my game working again I may have to look into it to see what’s out there.

Game Jam Time

January 28th, 2012 No comments

A Game Jam is a programming session undertaken with the intention of creating a complete and working game prototype. Since I had so many issues when I went to integrate my level selection screen, I’ve decided that I’m going to start from scratch and see what I can do. If all goes well, I’ll post a picture of the new version of the game tomorrow.

I know I can stay up until at least 2 AM, so that’s at least 3 hours of work. Having already made the prototype of the game once that should be enough to get everything working as it does now. Since I already know what mistakes I made the first time, it might actually work better after I’m done with this. Wish me luck!

Unexplained Bugs

January 26th, 2012 No comments

My game has been on Flash Game License for a week now and in that time all 3 of my friend’s with fan accounts have logged in and tried it. The first one discovered the error caused by code encryption. The second one told me that they couldn’t figure out how to end turn, but after looking into that I couldn’t find an issue. The third one reported the same issue as the second one. So I dug a little deeper.

Apparently, moving units is causing the “End Turn” button to disappear. The third tester also found that when clicking on an enemy unit, the game completely locked up. I have yet to reproduce either of these things even when playing the game online on a different computer. So I guess it’s back to the drawing board on the buttons.

Additional Game Progress
In the meantime, I’ve been working on adding a level selection screen up front. It’s making me realize how bad a decision it was to treat the “Main” class as though it were the class for my battle screen. I don’t have a “destroy” function to quickly make everything disappear when I want to go back to the stage selection screen.

That’s a lesson for anyone starting on their first game. Make every screen the user might see it’s own class and make the “Main” class (the one that runs every time the game is opened) as minimal as possible. It should contain a static variable referencing the window itself and should create an instance of whatever class will contain your opening screen and then attach it to the window. That way when you switch up which screen your game opens with you only need to change which class is called. Don’t do what I did. You’ll have to rewrite most of it later.

Uploaded to Flash Game License

January 20th, 2012 No comments

So I got my game in enough of a working condition to upload it to Flash Game License as a full prototype.

I got the AI working a couple of days ago. Instead of using my movement function I ended up creating a very basic tile evaluation algorithm. All it does is count the distance from each enemy unit to every tile on the map. Since the zombies needed to charge straight at the first unit they can reach it worked out well. Finally got the AI to attack as well. It’s not much, but at least now it feels like playing against another player instead of playing against myself.

The Opening Move by My Zombie AI

I had a few other bugs to fix. Among them I needed to add a way to reset the game and end the turn without using the keyboard shortcuts. Also for some reason my AI wasn’t reacting well to losing a unit. It stopped working completely as soon as a unit was killed. Lastly I needed to make my AI actually end its turn once it had moved every unit. It’s still not feature complete, but it plays like a game now.

I know that my artist has some sketches of the first 6 units or so. I’ll probably show them to everyone once she sends them to me. They already look a lot better than my crappy placeholder images.

Now that it’s uploaded to Flash Game License I can start requesting some play testing to see how it works at the moment. I can also start sharing the latest version with people. For now I only opened it up to fans; special accounts I can create for friends and family. I’ve only created 2 fan accounts so far and I’ve got at least 2 more available. If you’re interested in testing my game send me an email or drop a comment.

The Story So Far

January 12th, 2012 No comments

As this is my first post, I believe an introduction is in order. My name is Kyle McGuffin and I’m in the process of programming my first published game ever. I’ve got a degree in Mathematical Economics from the University of Michigan which started me off working as a budget analyst and a web developer. I’ve enjoyed playing video games since I was 4 and have always thought that a career as a game designer/programmer would be fun. This is the start of me realizing that dream.

For my first game I’ll be using Flash to create a web based game. I started off by using the Flash Shootorial on Kongregate to learn the basics of Actionscript 3. I don’t know how much money is really in flash games, but I’ve heard several stories of people publishing games through Flash Game License so I figured it was a good place to start. My game will at least be published, even if it’s not very profitable.

My current idea is a turn-based strategy game in a medieval setting. The gameplay should be similar to Advance Wars, but with a completely different set of units since it’s medieval instead of modern. So far I’m planning on calling the game “Medieval Tactics” with a possible subtitle depending on if I add zombie enemies or not. Here’s a screenshot of the game so far.

The First Image of My Work

Most of the artwork is temporary and lifted from Google image searches. I have a friend that is working on the actual art assets for the game. Until those are ready, the placeholder images will have to do.

I’ll try to post my progress regularly. Hopefully you find my insights into creating a game for the first time interesting.

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