vrijdag 24 april 2009

Night before the Party 7

Okay, so it’s Friday again, this evening the Party 7 officially opened. I will be there tomorrow in the afternoon. To hang around and chat with friends. But more importantly let people play Flipper.

Most of the crew from gameparty (the guys behind the Party 7) are industry journalists/professionals. So their opinion really counts for me.

I worked really hard on the latest build. Trying to get the old bugs out, put in some fancy menu’s and overall polishing. I’m really happy with it, it looks far better than I expected.

Here’s a quick screenshot of the main-menu I’ve put in :

That’s all I’m going to show right now. Expect more after the party :)

maandag 20 april 2009

Just a few more days

Okay, everything is looking really good. The new levels and theme are in. The menu’s got fixed up, and I’m now rewriting some parts of the code / cleaning code stuff up. It’s just a few more days till the party 7. I’m pretty excited to go and meet some old friends.

I will probably post new stuff around the party 7 (probably the Monday after the party).

vrijdag 17 april 2009

Does this still count an Friday-post ?

I promised to update my blog every Monday and Friday. Well I forgot! I’m still working but it’s past midnight, so I guess it still counts as Friday but I lose some bonus points :)

Anyway, today was hell. I’m working on the interface for the top screen. It pretty basic, it has a background (changes with the theme) and the inventory graphics(which power up your currently holding).

However, I needed to do everything in tile mode this time. And it was hell just to try and figure out what kind of data the damn hardware wants. I managed to get it all working eventually, but I’m not feeling satisfied. It would have been so much easier if I could use a 1D array as vram. Just like I use for the bottom screen.But the hardware doesn’t allow for it.So far it's the only thing I hate about the NDS, other than that it's pretty neat to code for!

Awell, back to work!

maandag 13 april 2009

Happy easter!

Well, after I ate some eggs today I got right back to work! The second world theme is almost done :) But I’m not going to post any screenshots today. I want to wait till more is finished (not only the new theme, but also the new menus). I’m preparing a new ‘beta’ for THE PARTY 7 (http://www.the-party.nl/) which is held in the weekend of 24th April. I will probably post some screenshots before that though :)

Okay, back to work!

vrijdag 10 april 2009

Update friday

This blogging is still new to me. And I’m trying to figure out what the best date and timelaps are to post. I think I’m going to stick with Friday for development diary/tech talk and Monday’s for releasing new stuff about the game.
First off; I would like to thank everyone for the awesome messages that I got after announcing the game! I was already pretty dedicated and motivated, but seeing so much positive reaction really shows me this game might just work :)

Engine tech talk

If you’re not a game programmer feel free to skip this part!
After the announcement I’ve got a lot of questions about the engine. So I thought it might be good idea to explain it a bit. My voxel data (created by my own win32 tools) uses a modified approach to Ken Silverman’s slabs. The basic idea behind slabs (for the ones not familiar with Ken’s work) is that all visible (from at least one angle) voxels that are next to each other on a line (with no air between them) get grouped together into a slab. So you only need to store x,y and with of the slab for a bunch of voxels. Instead of x,y per voxel.
I use the slabs and an octree to scan through my data. And I use a subset of the data for the destruction part.

Game talk

Right now I’m working on a new theme to go with the second world. It’s pretty hard to come up with some decent looking themes. So I’ll probably make a few before I pick the right one.
After that I’m going to work on the menu graphics. When all graphics things on my list are done, I’ll probably add visual feedback for the character movement first. After that I want to edit the level-data format abit. Hopefully I have some nice new screenshots next week :)

maandag 6 april 2009

Flipper announcement!

It’s finally time to show you guys my project; Flipper!

Flipper! Is an awesome puzzle-adventure game for DSi-ware. One day our
hero wakes up to find his goldfish, Flipper, is missing! It's upto you to find his goldfish and more importantly find out how it went missing in the first place!

Use cool powerups to modify the landscape to your advantage. There’s a wall in
your path ? blow it up! Can’t reach something ? build a staircase or
platform to stand on!

Flipper! Features multiple themed worlds, containing mind bending puzzles. In addition there’s also a time mode, and bonus levels.

Flipper development


This is an awesome puzzle-adventure game for Nintendo DSi-ware! How awesome ? so awesome I decided to drop out of school to work on it fulltime, no kidding. The game was originally planned as a triple A - NDS cartridge game, I even found a publisher that would fund the project and bring it to the mass. However, due to the economy crisis the publisher went bankrupt!

I still believe holy in the concept/game and thus I decided to transform it into a DSi-ware title (easier to publish) and kept on working!

Sure, development like this can be hard at times. I use to work for commercial game development studios doing 3D programming, which earned me a nice paycheck at the end of the month.

Now I’m indie and on my own.And the paychecks are gone (living from my savings).

But I finally found back the true romance of game development; Sitting behind your computer late at night eating cold leftover pizza while thinking up new puzzles for the game is just great!

And I just can’t imagine doing anything else besides indie gamedev!

Galaxy Engine

Today I would like to present my latest 3D engine. The first true 3D voxel engine for Nintendo DS!

The work on this engine was quite different from my normal 3D work. Mainly because the Galaxy engine doesn’t use any polygons but voxels.

This allows for some really awesome new gameplay elements. Something you can rarely expect from a 3d engine! Basically the engine gives you full control of every voxel in the scene.

Which allows fully destructible 3D models. You can restore voxels that were destroyed, or you can add new ones on the fly!

Also, because the engine uses voxels instead of polygons. It’s now possible to add any kind of object/shape to the scene without any disadvantages regarding speed. For example in a polygon engine, a simple cube would only have 12 polygons (triangles) while that count would increase fast for a fully rounded sphere. However in a voxel engine, the voxel count for the given example wouldn’t increase that fast.

The engine also features per voxel collision detection (next to the normal object vs object detection).

Besides voxels, the engine also supports 2D sprites (for an example of that, look at the player/objects in Flipper). Also, everything rendered 100% in software mode. Which leaves the GPU free to do whatever you want!

The engine runs on both Nintendo DS and DSi.