Archive for February, 2009

ActionRPG Update: Axes and Shields

February 26, 2009

Nothing really big to announce, just did some tweaks and added a couple of new usable drops: Axes and Shields.

I really only need to get Helmets and Jewelry (Rings and Amulets) and I’ll have all of the equipping slots covered in Diablo I. As for the melee weapons, there’s really only Clubs/Maces and Staves to put in. I’m not sure how I’m going to deal with two-handed weapons yet.

Next I’m going to put in Bows and probably put a youtube up to see whether people [don’t mind] or [absolutely hate] what I’m going to do for targetting. I’m going to use the same system for missile targetting as I am for spell placement, and doing it with Bows saves me the trouble of having to first build the magic subscreen. After that, I’ll get some of the important spells in, so you guys can get a good idea of why I’m going this route.

Almost caught up!

February 22, 2009

The only thing I have left to do is get the townsfolk back in. After that, it’s back to actual work. Lots to do!

ActionRPG update

February 22, 2009


Items are back. Gotta get that HUD back up now. I think I’m almost caught up now.

ActionRPG Update

February 18, 2009


Got monsters back in, and damage counters are bouncing again. You can attack with your sword again, but I’ve improved melee with an arc path instead of just holding the thing in front of yourself. Progress!

Japanese Learning Tool

February 17, 2009

Well I’m not sure exactly how relevant this may be to Game Development on the whole, but I don’t really have anywhere else to post useful things. Warning preamble out of the way now.

I’ve been off-and-on learning the Japanese language since my teens; I’ve been interested in manga/anime, and Japanese games since I started playing them on my NES (I knew I could tie it back to games somehow). Of course, back then I didn’t know that the games I enjoyed most were originally Japanese. When I learned this, I immediately started doing research into this fact – and discovered a myriad of games I may never have known about otherwise. It’s a fact that there are many games I would love to play, had I a proper grasp on Japanese, that I’m not likely going to without it.

In my recent Japanese learning, I’ve come across a very useful online tool that I’ve been using extensively over the last couple of weeks. With it, you’re randomly given a Japanese character and you have to guess what the romanized version of it is. That is, any given “kana” (simple Japanese symbol) can be written out with English letters and still be understood. When presented with a Japanese kana, you’re prompted to give the “romaji” for it. It’s basically a computerized flashcard system.

With the turmoil that suddenly presents itself in my life, I suddenly worried that I might not have access to the internet, or I might not be able to pay the site I use anymore, or some other of the 1,000,000 reasons I’ll come up with if given the chance.  So why not “borrow” the format and build my own? To be honest, I’m not sure where the line is between “borrowing” and “stealing” when you’re considering designs.. but that’s a topic for another discussion.

After about a day’s worth of work, I present my Japanese Kana Recognition Practice app!

Japanese Kana Recognition Practice

Download (17.5 KB)
Requirements: .NET 3.5 and Japanese Language Support

I think I’ve covered all possible issues, but I might have messed up somewhere; if anyone has any problems with it, feel free to drop me a comment.

Big Night O’ Codin’

February 14, 2009

Holy man did I ever do a bunch of stuff tonight. The problem is that when I’ve coded a bunch, I can’t normally show off much about it. Tonight was one such night. So what did I do? Well..

JileEd testing

I did some user testing on JileEd with Blecki and requested some useful features. It already has more things in it that I can make good use of than Mappy did – not to mention the file format is easily-read XML. I look forward to more good things out of this package – I definitely recommend it for your tilemap editing needs.

Tilesheet rearrangement tool

After playing with JileEd for a bit, I was reminded of how awful my Final Fantasy Adventure tilesheet was laid out. Have a look at what I had to go digging for tiles with:

JileEd screenshot

JileEd screenshot

The tileset selection is a mess! It’s because I didn’t try to do any ordering of the tiles when I ripped them, I just wanted a complete set. Well I had enough of that and built a quick-n-dirty tilesheet tile swapper! The tool itself only took a little while, but I spent probably 3 or 4 hours swapping tiles until I wound up with:

FFA Tileset rearranged

FFA Tileset rearranged

Sweet. I can find everything now! Yes I have alot of empty space, and no I’m not going to leave all of those almost-but-not-quite-repeating water tiles like that. I’ll clean that all up before I use it again. I’ll probably wind up being able to cut the texture size in half.

I’m not going to bother showing the swapper tool, its just a window with a picture of the tilesheet in it, and you click on two tiles and they switch places! Not very exciting, see? Anyways, I’m not a lazy bum; I worked my butt off tonight. I’ll be adding in support for JileEd maps just as soon as I’m happy with the reduction in water tiles and the subsequent realignment of tile groups. I’ll need to redo the town map since my tileset indices will be all different.

Steady progress on ActionRPG

February 13, 2009

I’ve been plugging at it and I’m pretty confident about getting caught up soon. I’ve gotten things cleaned up in my code base better, and XNA has solved a few of my previous issues with MDX for me. One little problem I don’t know how to solve yet:

ActionRPG tile edge problem

ActionRPG tile edge problem

I don’t know how to get rid of the lines between tiles on my map. I know why they’re there, but I don’t have a simple solution to it at the moment. I don’t want to make 2×2 patches for every tile, that’ll quadruple my tilesheet sizes. I’ll be satisfied to turn off the antialiasing for now, but I’m thinking I’ll need to render the tilemap to an offscreen buffer and blit that somehow. Not sure how to do that yet.

Next I’ll be adding in the sword attacking again, but I’ve built a small prototype program in Allegro/C++ that I used to try a sword sweeping motion. I liked it, and I’ll be putting that in directly. Also in the testbed was a missile shooting test that I’m going to need to definitely get input on. I’d like to use it for most of the directed/placed spells as well, and I think it’s an ok method. If you’ve played Children of Mana or Crystal Chronicles, you’ll have an idea of what I want to do.

Tried a few things including SamplerStates fiddling (thanks Blecki, Jolle, X-0ut, gustav, DrPetter, and anyone else I missed over at #ludumdare). Found the best solution was to render the scene to a 1:1 destination and then stretch the thing out, using a manually created RenderTarget. I like the texture sampling, I just wanted to get rid of my bleeding/seaming issue.

ActionRPG//Diablo//2009 progress begun

February 10, 2009

Quick blurb:  I finally got started converting ActionRPG, and my god is XNA ever making it easy. Not only am I winding up with cleaner code, I’m actually removing big blocks of now useless code. I’m more than pleased with it.

On the other hand, my source code from two years ago is incredibly bad. I’m shocked at the things I was doing; and I refuse to settle with copying some of it. You’d be sickened by the number of times I’ve used the keyword static – and how I decided to get around class scoping rules. It’s better if I not go into any detail. Shameful, shameful code. I’m bitter.

ActionRPG, XNA style

February 4, 2009

I’ve been digging around and considering my options, and it looks like I’m going to be able to rebuild ActionRPG with a very minimal amount of work. Most of the code I had can be moved around and be easily refit into XNA’s game framework.

One of the things I was worried most about, was using SpriteBatch to draw tilemaps with. Back when I was building the first iterations of the game, I was having trouble with framerate when using SpriteBatch; I then picked up my MDX book and learned how to use VertexBuffers and got my framerate back to something reasonable again. Well all of the tilemap methods I could google were all using SpriteBatch!

Just for fun, I went back and looked into my old versions that still had the VertexBuffer <-> SpriteBatch drawing toggle, and checked it out again. There was no difference! I realized that since then I’ve gotten a new computer and upgraded it somewhat, so I’m going to guess that’s the reason. (On top of that, I saw in the code that I wasn’t culling offscreen tiles during draw: naughty me!)

So I guess that’s what’s on the agenda right now. I’m actually pretty happy to get back into my code again. The best thing about all of this is that when I’m done, I’ll have something that I should be able to port to the Xbox 360! That’s cool.

Which path to take?

February 3, 2009

Well I don’t have anything really worth posting about aside from what I’ve been doing lately. As far as projects go, I haven’t done a whole lot of anything. I’ve been soaking up some knowledge about XNA – I joined the XNA Creator’s Club and did the 2D and 3D newbie tutorials.

I’m set to start learning more about specific tasks I’ll need to accomplish my goals, but.. What are those goals again? Restart and finish ActionRPG? Start something more 3D Zelda-ish? Something completely different? I was thinking I should pick up Blender and start learning it better, but unless I need it to do the Project I’m Working On, it’s wasting time, isn’t it?

It seems like whenever I take a break, I come back and have no idea what my goals were. I’ll have to get digging.