Dev Journal #6.5

This is just going to be a quick update about what’s going on with the game. It’s been a month since I had planned to post last, and I apologize for the long delay. Vacation, work , and the start of my first semester of college really took me away from the game, and I didn’t have any time to work on it, so I didn’t want to update the blog with a new post about me not getting anything done. Luckily, I am back on track and ready to get working on IPL once again. I’ll be going back to my weekly Monday posts starting with this one, and will soon have a finished product to show.

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Dev Journal #6: Almost There

I got a lot done this week, and it makes up for the fact that I’m going to be away from a computer for a week. I don’t have a laptop so I won’t be able to work at all for the next week. I’m planning on posting another Dev Journal by Friday, August 20.

Work Done Last Week

I got just about everything done. I added bosses to the Campaign, with its new structure, added instructions to the main menu, and set up the music. For the most part, everything in the game runs as it will in the final version when I’m done.

Work To Do Next Week

There are still a few things I need to do to finally finish the game. I have the music set up, but I’m still waiting on a few new songs from my friend who’s making the music. I also need to make the sound effects and the animations for the pieces, as well as cleaning up the graphics for the menus and stuff. And last but not least, I need to integrate with Kongregate so I can make use of their online leaderboards, but I learned that flixel has a wrapper for the Kong API, so it won’t be hard to get the basics up and running.

On a side note, I’ve had a bunch of game ideas for my next project (don’t worry, it won’t be another match-3 game), and getting away for a bit will let me think them over and allow me to relax and do some designing. I have a few solid ideas, and I’ve been thinking about one of them for months, so after some more designing (and once I finish IPL), I’m going to begin prototyping the first game.

Dev Journal #5: Vacation

I’m keeping this post brief for this week. I went camping for a few days so I didn’t have much time to work on the game as I’d have liked, plus my job kept me from working on the game when I wasn’t away. I wanted to have IPL done by the end of July but that obviously won’t happen. I’m going on vacation again for 8 days, and I’m leaving on Saturday, August 7. Until then, I have a lot of free time, so I’ll be able to get a large chunk, if not all, of the game done. I’m going to delay my next Dev Journal a few days to Friday, August 6 so that I can post a larger chunk of progress before I leave for vacation.

Dev Journal #4: Some Delays

Work Done Last Week:

I had some problems with the mouse positions inside the flash player, where the positions would be 16 pixels off, so if you moved your mouse onto the pixel “0, 0” in the flash screen, it would register as “-16, 0”. I got stuck on this problem mainly because I didn’t know how it happened, as I didn’t change how the mouse is detected in the code. I searched and went through every line of code and couldn’t find the problem, so I just did a small hack that changes the mouse positions at the beginning of each update. It’s a sloppy way to handle it but I had already spent to much time on it and I was already behind. That and a few other bugs delayed me from getting as much work done as I’d have liked to. However, I was able to flesh out the game more, adding menus and multiple states for the different modes.

Work To Do This Week:

Everything is set up so that it is on par with the C++/SDL version. I need to finish this up by adding the bosses back into campaign, learning and implementing how to add sounds and music through flixel, and putting in the different information displays, progress/timer bars and simple score display animations for the pieces (such as displaying “+10” over the pieces when they are cleared).

Dev Journal #3: More Flash

Work Done Last Week:

I’m still getting used to Flash. I didn’t have much experience with ActionScript or flixel before starting to port so I’m learning as I go. Luckily since I’ve already made most of the game once, it isn’t too hard to port it, and flixel makes it much easier. I have all of the basic gameplay finished, and Arcade Mode is fully functional. There are still a few bugs, however.

Work To Do This Week:

Once again I’ll be focusing all my efforts on porting IPL to Flash. This week’s goals are to get the game to mirror everything I’ve gotten into the C++/SDL version. I’ve got a few kinks to work out, but they’re not that hard to fix.

Dev Journal #2: I’m Making Some Changes

After some thinking, and looking into flash development, I’ve decided to switch the development of IPL over from C++ and SDL to Flash (using flixel). I’ve figured this makes most sense, especially because of what the game is. IPL is a casual puzzle game, and I feel that it would be better suited as a browser game. One big reason is that I don’t have any way to develop this game for the Mac or Linux, and that really limits who can play the game. Another reason is the convenience of a browser game is much more than that of  downloadable game. Plus, Mochi and Kongregate have APIs that include leaderboards, which is good to have for Arcade Mode, where you can post your high scores and compare them to others. I’m looking to have IPL finished by the end of this month, including the Kongregate API integration.

Work Done Last Week

Last week I mentioned that I had to shorten the Campaign levels because they were too long and they got pretty boring. Unfortunately, it didn’t help much. The Campaign Mode needed a redesign. What I’ve done is restructured it so that in Campaign, you choose one boss, and then play a set of levels until you reach the boss. Once the boss is defeated, you gain a powerup. Your progress is stored and you can then use the new powerup (as well as other ones you’ve gotten) when you go to the next boss. Before, it was just all back to back, and it got longer and longer until the player wouldn’t be having fun, and the game would become tedious. This way, you can play through a boss, and pick it up later at the next boss. I wasn’t able to finish the power-up animations because I started to port the game to Flash and that’s been taking up most of my time.

Work To Do This Week

Right now I’m going to be focusing my efforts on porting IPL. This week is going to be pretty tedious, but it should help in the long run. I’m going to once again try to fit in the time to do some graphical stuff but I’m not a good digital artist so it takes a while for me.

Dev Journal #1: The Summer Begins

Work Done Last Week

This past week has been pretty slow. I had a lot of stuff to do after graduation, and that left me with a limited amount of time to work on the game. What I did get done was a bit of cleanup on the graphical side. The blocks were too bright and I got complaints that it was hard to distinguish between pieces, and it was a bit cluttered. I decided to simplify the graphics to a very pixelated theme(click on the image below to see it in full size, here’s an older screenshot with the old blocks), and this is good considering I’ll have a bunch of unlockable graphical themes. A simple generic theme would be a good base theme, so I can build off on that later.

New block graphics!

I also shortened the levels in the campaign, because they were way too long and once you hit around level 8 it gets really drawn out and boring.

Work To Do This Week

I’ve been designing a new mode, and that’s going to be this weeks focus. I should be able to get most, if not all of it finished this week. I’ll also be working on cleaning up the look of the game, making sure it all has a matching style rather than the random thrown together mess that it is now (although thanks to the new blocks, I really only need to adjust the backgrounds and logo, as the rest of the game fits together pretty well). I also will be making animations for the power-ups and the bosses’ special moves.