Archive for August, 2007

Progress++

Surprise surprise…new version out here.

Now the mallscape has been populated with quite a lot more decoration and strategic obstacles, shelving, cash registers, benches and counters and such. I’ll no doubt be adding more cosmetic details to the obstacles in the stores, but their placement should remain the same (assuming nothing proves to be too exploitable). It adds a new level of thought to placing your troops within the map, and really helps to finish the look of the terrain.

Additionally, the game mechanics have been tweaked. Zombie movement speeds are more variable, and generally slower, which makes for a more traditional lumbering horde I feel. The path finding process has been reworked to clear up a few bugs with cliques of zombies crowding into immovable little groups.

Oh yeah, the hard cap on the zombie population has been doubled from 100 to 200, and the graphics have been tweaked to allow for much smoother frame rates throughout the game. Hooray for performance!

The High Score board now records ‘time played’, which is a measure of how much time was spent actively playing the game (paused time does not count towards this time, so no free padding!). That adds another axis along which to compete, good times.

I think that sums it up for now… go play

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

So I’ve rolled out a new version of Luncheon of the Dead Here.

There is still a fair amount of placeholder art in there, and I realized that I have completely neglected sound, but it’s incredibly close to being complete. I suppose that the silence is a side effect of me always playing flash games with the sound muted by default. I’m debating on whether it is truly necessary at this point, so I won’t be too crushed if the game remains silent into the final release, we’ll see.

Even though the idea was to spend the next few weeks polishing, putting a version out there now has some stronger pros than cons at this point. The biggest ‘Pro’ being that it has helped motivate the dash to the finish line. If there’s a chance that anyone could stumble across it without the benefit of my ‘it’s still a work in progress’ disclaimer text, that sort of gets my butt in gear to get on with the polishing already.

That’s about all at this point. This and recent posts have been uninformative and self indulgent, I’ll be the first to admit. However, after all my free time being consumed with the actual work, it’s difficult to regurgitate the minutia of that experience without getting burned out. Future posts will be more interesting, and hopefully will allow for dialogs about interesting topics, I promise.

-Joe

Animation Smanimation

So I just finished creating the unit animation engine. Essentially, that’s the doodad that will handle picking an appropriate frame buffer for a unit’s current actions (walking, moving, taking damage, etc.) and stepping through said frame buffer on each iteration of the game loop to simulate motion. Hooray for aesthetics!

That is pretty much the final major component that I had to implement before the game is functionally complete. By that I mean that the game play mechanics and underlying engine is in place, the UI responds more or less as it will in the finished product, but the look just isn’t quite finished. Placeholder art needs to be swapped with real art, the instruction page needs to fleshed out and prettied up, and the website pretty much needs a complete rework until it is minimally acceptable, but it’s getting close.

It’s at this point in any project that I just want to stay up all night coding and photoshopping and furiously sprinting to the finish, but I’m going to pace it out and most likely draw these final pieces out for 2-3 more weeks.

That sums up the progress thus far. It’s not terribly informative I know, but mostly this post has been an exercise in bleeding off energy before I collapse for the night. It was either that or dive back into the project and be up until 4am.

-Joe