Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Structure of Game Production is now over and IsoMechTric is the result. It is an isomechtric, squad based, mech piloting, shoot 'em up game. This was a group project and I acted as Project Lead. I have uploaded it as part of my portfolio, so if you want to check it out, click on "Stuff I've Made" at the top of this page. What an exhausting two months it was, and while the results were not of as high a standard as I would have hoped, (at least in my opinion,) I have certainly learnt a lot about structuring and preparing for a project.
I gave a copy of the game to one of my teachers, Keyvan Acosta-Villanueva, who is taking it to an exhibition later this week to show it off. I believe he said it was for South American game designers, particularly students, but unfortunately I'm a bit sketchy on the details, so I could be completely wrong!
Next up is OpenGL and Machine Architecture which hopefully means some GameBoy Advance development and a bit of Assembly.
Also of note, I earned myself a Free Sony PSP and I hope to mess around with some homebrew code on that when I get a chance. Right now though, I'm going to be working on a networked card game with some exciting features planned as a side project.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

It has been a hard two months in Structure of Game Production. And it is not over yet. Yesterday was our Beta milestone which meant working until 3am that morning to have some semblance of a demo to show. We ended up burning about 8 CDs that night since the plan was to stop working at 10pm Thursday, but when things can change with just one more tiny tweak, it is hard to resist. The demo we ended up with was nowhere near as good as I hoped since we seem to have a bug-to-lines of code ratio of about 1 to 1. And with around 25,000 lines of code, that is a lot. But after our presentation we got cracking on fixing some of the problems and the rate of improvement was astonishing. With a bit of luck, the game may actually be finished by the final deadline of Friday next week, but we also have to bug test another team's game at the same time to simulate the QA phase of production. Another group gets your game to test and report bugs, and we do the same for someone else. It is gonna be a tight finish, but to be honest I will be glad when it is all over. I have not even had time to go to the supermarket for food while working on this thing!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Yesterday the demo for upcoming PC game F.E.A.R. was released. I just played through it and was quite impressed. The shooting parts were fairly average, but then this is a first person shooter after all. There is some variety with the inclusion of Max Payne style bullet time plus various melee attacks such as a bicycle kick. The real draw for this game however will be for the freaky haunted house style goings on. They use the "little girls are scary" thing, but they do it well. You will see her scuttle infront of your path or she'll appear right infront of your face as you turn around. There are also scenes that either you are imagining or someone is putting into your head, (I suppose I would have to play the full game to find out,) again similar to Max Payne which is a game I really enjoyed. Its a shame the best part of the demo for me ran so laggy, even at 640x480.
Apparently my NeoFlash kit is finally going to be sent out. That means I can get down to some Nintendo DS coding when I get some spare time. I've also nearly earnt myself a Sony PSP so I can do some hacking away at that too when it arrives.
School work is coming along. It seems like either everything will come together at the end for this project, or it will fall flat on its face. We will certainly have a game to demo, but unfortunately I don't think this game will be very fun to play. You never know though, we may get lucky. If I have not mentioned already, the game is supposed to be an isometric, squad based, mech game for one or two players. I'll get a demo up at the end of the month. And then I'll get to spend some time with Louise who is coming out to visit!