Friday, April 29, 2016

Drake - A 64x64 jam entry

I recently made this little game called Drake, it's on my game page now under flash games.  Or you can just click here:

https://darkgriffin.itch.io/drake

It's a single level of what was meant to be 6 levels around that size, so it's not complete.  But it's fully playable and should entertain for a little while.

I'm now working on the rest of the levels.  Those will be coming in an update as well, but very slowly.

Mostly this post is about showing you Drake, and letting you all know I'm still working on stuff.
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I've got at least 1 other game that is taking priority in Unity Engine for now.  It's not ready to be shown since I'm still nailing down the first alpha.  A lot of parts need to be in place before I can show what this one is like.

Nailing down the concept version is always the hardest part for me.  I think it's because I need to make a lot of "new" programming or object structures, and it is sometimes very hard for me to see in my mind how to use these little bits of code to make the final behavior work.

Planning out the final goal, and breaking it into steps certainly helps.  But it does not prevent me from developing down "dead end" solutions or running into "brick walls" when parts of the game can't accomplish the bigger goal.  Sometimes these dead ends take days, or even weeks, to find out about.  It can be very disheartening, and extremely challenging.

But it can also be very relieving when the final thing "just works" and suddenly I can make game content.

Progress has been slow, and I know I've been silent here.  But I AM making progress.  I should have some cool concept - alpha version stuff to show off over the next few months.

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This new game is also taking a lot of time away from other game projects like Drake or Mothrina Chapters.

Yes, Mothrina is still a thing.  It is currently in what I like to call "editor concept development hell", where I keep trying to nail down the editor and object format/data/design as I try to make data the game engine, and myself, can understand while keeping it end user friendly.  I'm quickly finding that with a lot of the 3D map/event stuff or database of races/skills/items/effects/and so on, that last objective is a nightmare.  Apparently good editors are hard.

I still have not found a program making tool I am happy with using for making the editor, and lack the programming speed/knowledge to write my own from scratch.

Visual Basic comes close but it has been taking way too long to setup all the editor fields.  It also lacks a visual display widget for making maps/events with.  I suppose I could code my own using the basic language and a lot of fancy hooks to sprites/images, but at that rate I feel why bother using VB at all?

I'm strongly debating using Multimedia Fusion to design the Mothrina editor instead.  It's a royal pain "eventing" database editors, especally parsing data from or to external files.

But I'm at least familiar with the tool enough to know how to fix it if something goes wrong.  At this point, the time VB would have saved me has been eaten by days where I fix form crashes for really stupid context sensitive reasons due to my own user errors.

This might be a case of "want something done right, use something you know".  I'll have to pour over MMF's objects sometime and see if there is a way to get MMF saving files that my Mothrina Engine can parse properly.

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Lots of things going on in my kitchen.  Enjoy playing Drake!

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