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.

Still Alive II

January 26, 2009

It’s been what, 9 months since I last posted? I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d like to get coding again, it’s been a long time.

For anyone wondering what I’ve been doing in that whole time: I’ve been watching ALOT of anime. I don’t think I’ve got much in the way of recommendations though, the kind of anime I enjoy most isn’t exactly mainstream (do not misread that as “hentai”!). I’ve recently been trying to catch up on well-known shows I haven’t caught yet, like Cowboy Bebop and Ah! My Goddess.

Besides anime, I found myself hooked on Final Fantasy XI (aka Final Fantasy Online) for about 3 months. I learned quite a bit about the MMO community. When I quit, I found I was so disgusted with people that I just couldn’t continue on. I’ve mellowed out about that since then and have rejoined as a casual player; I only play once or twice a week now.

To help in getting back into the swing of things, I figured it would be a good idea to play some of those old games that inspired me before. I took a quick 4 hour jaunt through Dragon Warrior I, start to finish, and thought I’d amuse myself by carrying the princess everywhere. Here’s a couple of screenshots I took:

dragonwarriorprincessinn

“Don’t tell your dad, or we’re gonna get in big trouble!”

dragonwarriorprincessendgame

“Break out the beers, it’s party time at the DragonLord’s hizouse!”

And yes, we cleaned the floor with that dork.

Life Quest XII

April 21, 2008

Even I don’t know what the title of this post means.. *shrugs* Just a few words to start this post:

IT’S THE JOURNEY

NOT THE DESTINATION.

I’ve been thinking alot about where I’ve been headed with gaming, coding, and just life in general – and I think I’ve finally settled my focus on this Old Man on the Mountain type quote. I erased my whiteboard and wrote it in big block letters. I figured this would be a good place to put it too, as another reminder.

Spring has sprung!

April 17, 2008

And with that, there’s a whole bunch of junk I have to report. Actually, I haven’t updated this blog in an awfully long time. Let’s find out why!

I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so
Among the most exciting things I’ve been doing lately is that I’ve been learning Japanese! I’ve bought a few tapes in the past but it never really worked out too well. I recently got a 3-month subscription to Rosetta Stone and it’s just awesome. Look out Japan, I’m one step closer to invading!
Actually as a result of this, I’m probably going to be playing alot more games in their original japanese forms, and ideally I’ll be playing more games because they don’t bring everything over here. IdolM@ster is one that we won’t be getting for sure, although there’s a pretty big demand from those that know about it. I’m in love with the blue-haired chick. her voice friggin melts me.

starchat.net irc channel Takeover
If you know me at all, you know I’m addicted to Internet Relay Chat. I’ve recently wrested control of the channel I frequent most, #GameDevelopers, from Uhfgood. Actually.. it was a friendly transferral. I can’t lie. Anyhow, join us with your favorite irc client, or this javachat thinger. I’ll have a rules page up after I post this.

LD11 compo this weekend
That’s right, Ludum Dare 11 is this weekend! Ludum Dare is a 48 hour game competition. There may not be any cash prizes, but the experience is well worth it. No really! Some of the guys have come up with some pretty cool games. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be prepared for it, but I plan on throwing my hat in again this time around.

WoW Card Game get!
I’ve been playing a bit of Magic: The Gathering lately, but it seems the hottest new trend is World of Warcraft. I picked up a couple of starters and it looks like it’s going to be alot of fun to play. I’ll know more this weekend, when I finally sit down and play some at GameZilla. It looks like they’ve simplified the resources and put a focus on the Hero/Ally aspect.

Lots of anime.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is out on DVD in english already, I see. I wasn’t even aware until I got on my recent anime kick. I’ll be grabbing that asap. Lucky Star is coming out on my birthday, May 6th, and you can bet I’ll be grabbing that one too. Oddly enough, fan subtitling is better than the “official” ones, so I’ll be keeping my downloaded versions too. The same thing happened with Advent Children.
I’ve been checking out a bunch of different anime – some is good, some isn’t so good.. just as with anything else. When I come across anything really good, I’ll probably post about it. Anime is a big influence on me, and you’re going to see it in any of my creative works I drop in here. Good stuff!

youtube madness
found a crapload of good stuff on youtube recently. here’s a couple of ’em. hopefully the links’ll stick around for a while.
Code Monkey AMV
DrumMaster – AIR OP – Crazy speed player
Phoenix Wright – Boot to the Head
Phoenix Wrong

Still Alive

March 3, 2008

Wow, what happened? I was blogging steadily, and doing all sorts of good things – and then poof! Wall! If I had had something to say I would have blogged since, but… nothing! I’ve been playing Mario Galaxy and Magic: the Card Game for the last bunch of days. I’ll just say that I’m letting Real Life ™ get all up in my grill. It’s best to leave it there.

I’m looking into taking an Interactive Media course at the NSCC, I’m still trying to figure out in my head if I even have a chance of getting work with that added to my resume. I’m gonna make some calls and stuff before I sign up, but I’m thinking it’s only going to be good for my home dev. If even that. *shrug*

How I get by without a PC.

February 20, 2008

So I was without a computer more-or-less for the first 5 days or so. I was keeping myself busy with Zelda: Wind Waker for the most part; I challenged myself to beat the game with 3 hearts and the 1 bottle they force you to take – a minimalist challenge. The game wasn’t really challenging me much, I was only killed once but that was because I was distracted but my bottled fairy brought be back – so it doesn’t count. I last saved just before a series of Phantom Ganon monsters near the end of the game. It passed some time.

I made a couple of purchases the night after my rig went, and wound up spending about $200. I bought three Dungeons & Dragons v3 core rulebooks: Player’s Manual, Dungeon Master’s Manual, and Monster Manual. Now I haven’t read them all through yet – it feels way too much like studying and not enough like fun. I’m more surprised that it took me until I was 30 to buy any of these! What kind of nerd hasn’t bought the D&D core rulebooks? Well now I’ve got them in my library. I’ve been trying to get around to making up some characters and doing a small “kick in the door” dungeon RP by myself, to practice the basics of combat and char creation. I’m sure I’ll post about that when I get there.

I also wound up buying a theme deck and 75 card addition pack of Magic: The Gathering. I used to play this every once in a while in university, but I found myself preferring the simpler Pokemon card game. While I’ve got a binder of Pokemon cards, (three inches thick with them!) I still decided to take a shot again with MTG. I sat down with the proprietor of the store I purchased them at and we had two games. He apparently had put together an Artifact themed deck. I frustrated him badly in the first game, but apparently my social skills hadn’t rusted badly enough that I couldn’t bring him around for a second game. We had a nice, even match and his deck finally worked out for him. That was good times, and I look forward to it again.

I found myself hanging out with one of my neighbors in the apartment downstairs, and found out that her boyfriend was taking a digital media course in the local community college. He has a couple of books and a copy of Maya. He’s quite a bit better than I am, which makes sense to me because he’s been more focused on it than I’ve been. It’s a different thing to talk to someone in real life about this kind of thing, I just haven’t ever met anyone that was even half as interested in these things as I am. I highly recommend it.

As if to trump that, she and her boyfriend had some friends over on the weekend – and one of them worked at an Animation Studio. We bored our girlfriends something awful, but I can’t think of a better way to spend a friday night than talking about How Bad Anime Is from an animator’s point of view, over some drinks. Actually, if I could shift the topic to things Video Game -related I think that’d probably do me in. My mind couldn’t handle that kind of awesomeness.

Well, I’m back up and running (and backed up!) thanks to someone’s big heart. He probably won’t read this, so I won’t get all mushy and bleary-eyed over it. I owe him a drink. Or two. It turned out that the HDD in the rig I was using went, but I recovered pretty much everything I thought I lost. And then I promptly burned off 4 dvds of the stuff. My records show that the last time I made a backup was back in 2003. I never should have waited that long. I’d like for anyone who is reading this, to leave a note about how they’ve got their backup scheme set-up. Some people I know are happy to rely on their CVS server, some people back up nightly. Please, share your preference. I’m going to cobble together a backup method soon. Also, mention the difference between Code and Assets and how you deal with each. You can’t really CVS a .png, you know?

Though I’ve gotten my stuff backed up and this new box is set to start coding on again, I’m in no rush to jump back into ActionRPG. I’m not sure why that is, actually. Maybe I’m suffering from the winter blues? Probably not. I think I’ve writtten enough for now. Take it easy.

Back to sharing computers

February 7, 2008

My main dev box finally bit the biscuit. That effectively halts any and all progress I could be making on my stuff – as well as my PC gaming. I’ll probably be installing Fate on this box (gf’s PC) just to try to maintain my sanity. Not sure what’s gonna happen from here, there’s no way I can afford a new one right now. I might have to pump gas for a while until I’ve got enough money to get something more reliable.

I’ll be around.

Planitia Demo released!!

February 4, 2008

Woohoo, now we get to play with Viridian’s work-in-progress, Planitia! I was playing around with it and took this screenshot:

 plantitiass200802042249.png

“Help, we’ve fallen into the water and we can’t get up!”

Hehe. That’ll learn them farmers. Move around and bore your god will you? Only a shot of lightning will entertain him.. and send you flying! Only.. you forgot to go back to your farms for some reason. Oh well. BAZOOMF! Hee hee!