Sunday, 11 November 2007
The Allman Brothers Band - Jessica
The Sword - Freya
The butthole Surfers - Who Was In My Room Last Night
Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies
The Rolling Stones- Can't You Hear Me Knocking?
Kansas - Carry On, Wayward Son
Police- Message In a Bottle
Ozzy Osbourne- Bark At the Moon
So I'm real glad I tried the program out properly, I've just learnt the rhythm for Freya and it really didn't take me long at all. I've just got to make time to keep using it. Guitar Pro does fit the gap somewhat. Cheers to Gaz for recommending it to me. It's good to get away from programming all the time, and it's really enojyable when you learn a new part and nail it down. Learning music is meant to be good for the brain and the soul, so its good to keep it up :). On another note though I am looking forward to Rock Band, and as many people, to the drums, especially if everything people say is true about it being comparable to real drums. Think I'm going to skip GHIII for the moment and concentrate on real guitar and work on getting those achievements ;).
I've also been busy working on the new project this weekend, it seems to be going pretty well. I've lots of classes from my other XNA projects that fit pretty well into the project straight away. A lot of time was spent on getting the jump for the character just right with the physics engine I'm using (Farseer). There was also some niggles with the collision detection and logic involved with jumping that took longer than expected, though I'm sure this will crop up when the scenery becomes more sophisticated.
I've managed to translate the physics co-ords to local tile ones, using a rendertarget method I've come up with, it seems to work - and the performance seems to be good. Some screenshots should be forthcoming when I've got something more interesting on-screen. A few tweaks to make to the Tile Manager then I'm going to work on projectiles - that means weapons and ammo, then I think I might pull out a particle system I've wrapped up in another project and put that. Animation is a priority, theres some ideas that I've got to improve it over Herriman.. so we'll see.
Sunday, 28 October 2007
Me and the Herriman team have been eager to work on a new project. Gaz has been concentrating on a few ideas on a long time theme, but we've decided to put that on the back burner for a number of reasons. We all still need to learn a lot so we're just going to experiment on a few ideas and see how they turn out.
All that I can say now is that it involves Monkey's .. possibly of the albino variety .. yes we are mad :) Should be a lot of fun
Tuesday, 3 July 2007
The prestige is really great, especially as I read the site nearly every other day. Now if someone would notice and give me a job, that would be great!
Monday, 2 July 2007
The late start was compounded by the fact that I had only worked very minimally with both C# and the XNA framework, coming from a C++ background ... still I had some confidence that we could pull it off or at least enjoy trying to.
A day or to after the brain storming session we enlisted another artist who later came to focus on the level; its design and layout. Dave did a fantastic job on the level design, art wise and the position of the enemies and pickups. I started coding like a man possessed, starting with the animated sprite and pixel collision samples. During this time I learnt/remembered how to use C# and the XNA framework, simple things like using and iterating containers! I had some dodgy collision response for a while and I was panicking a little, as it all rested on it - in the end it works nearly 99% the time which is surprising!
Some days later we recruited a sound artist that made some great music tracks and started on some sound effects, unfortunately we didn't have quite enough time to incorporate them all (or time them correctly!).
I felt my productivity was on a all time high during the next 10/11 days, I was working at every opportunity (mmm.. caffeine) coding and learning more about the framework. The only thing that let it down was time wasted on unimportant things near the end, the pressure (pun intended) was taking its toll and my fingers/brain couldn't work any faster. Its very much against me to not test a piece of software and put good error handling code in, but there was no time for it. I would have also liked some extensive gameplay testing so we could tweak all the numbers as well as the character behaviours.
There's a few obvious bugs in the final version, mostly to do with sound, at the moment the sound API seems very bizarre, especially working with the XACT tool. Another thing that I'm not happy with is the horrible performance (particularly at load time) and horrid memory usage, things I have since fixed surely to everyone's chagrin.
Most important though, I have really enjoyed working on the project and gained many things from it. I think C# and development with XNA definitely allows for an ease and speed improvement in the development process, I've enjoyed using them and I'll definitely use them again.
The team did some sterling work on getting a playable, nice looking game within that time frame and I want to thank them all for there hard work; it would have been nothing without them. I'd also like to say I was amazed by some of the sound and art entries - I felt we were spoilt for choice.
I've been working on correcting/collecting all the bugs, introducing a few optimisations, and incorporating all the artwork from Gaz that never made it in. You can try out the game here: http://www.divshare.com/download/1117858-df0
You'll need the .NET framework and Microsoft XNA Framework Redistributable to run the game. Enjoy!
If you have any problems see this post.
Friday, 29 June 2007
I've just heard the news that our team has won the best overall game category for the XNA UK user group, which is excellent, excellent news! In the next few days I shall try and detail the time in development, which resulted from the 11 days that we had available from hearing about the competition. This is just a brief post but I would like to thank the team who really pulled together for Herriman, thanks guys!
I'd also like to thank the hosts of the competition; the UK XNA user group and of course Nescafe.... for now I'm going to celebrate and let it sink in!
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
I should probably mention my previous C++ game project; 'CastleWall'. Although software wise it was going fairly well in my spare time on my work placement I feel the game design has hit a brick wall. As a first project I think it was a bit to much to manage especially with the unfamiliar and unexplored game dynamics. I have learnt that you've got to start with a firm idea, usually described in a design document which to expand on in order to make a good game. Although I am proud of the progress in the game I feel abandoning is the best thing to do because I can work on more sure and feasible projects. I feel at the end of the day it was a good test bed for exploring some game components and features of the Ogre3D engine.
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