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IMakeGames
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikedoty wrote:
You've been doing it wrong Sirocco, think how much money you could have scored from Kickstarter for your Moai :)

+1 :)
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have anything worth showing, but I have a basic skeletal figure with rotatable limbs. There's a little warbling in the x/y coords at some of the joints that upsets by delicate sensibilities, so that has to be addressed... like, soon.

I've been studying some examples of this type of 2D animation, and especially in low-res there are some things developers take care to minimize/maximize. I always sorta instinctively knew why they were taking those routes, but now I actually see what happens when you don't follow their cues: your figure looks fugly :)

I haven't gotten far enough to bother with keyframing just yet, but each segment of the character is a generic game actor (read: object) that has a linkage behavior keeping it joined to whatever actor has the socket it's pointing to. Actors can have multiple sockets for others to link to, but only one linkage of their own -- so think of it as a tree branch: limbs can sprout, bend, and split off down the line, but they don't run back into the trunk!

I'm glad I took this feature on. It has been quite amusing.

Now, what's cool is that I'll eventually be able to stick things at the end of the limbs, or even stick them to empty socket on the arms/legs/body. Cannons and big-ass melee weapons ahoy! I can have a segment stuck to the end with a sword texture, and give it a contact behavior and damage rating, and it'll hurt stuff it comes into contact with. Yum.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Crabthulhu wants your tasty soul.

Okay, yeah, this was totally worth the hassle. The monster in the pic is just something I whipped up this evening. Crummy though it may be, things can only get better from here. As long as the segments are moving (or are at multiples of 45 degrees) you don't notice Allegro's craptastic unfiltered rotation :)
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PoV
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude.
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Bean
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's awesome! I want to kill it!


-Bean
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IMakeGames
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome sauce! :D

Did you manage to get walking working correctly? In the sense that the crab's feet are not "sliding" but staying still while on the ground. That must require some tweaking I suppose. And what about movement changes?

I guess the crab is shooting lasers from its eyes? And do I see the crab's brain there? CRABTASTIC! (in a good way!) :-)
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Gil
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't suppose you could use OpenGL just for rotation rendering. I'd hate to see you shoot yourself in the foot graphically because of an allegro deficient.

Also, I'm loving the crab like crazy :)
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the moment, the crab is just shuffling along by picking up its legs; nothing special. That doesn't mean it couldn't do it -- I just didn't have time to get that far in one evening. It has one glowing eye, and there are no exposed brains, but I could always apply a different color and make it look that way: probably not a bad idea.

If this turns out to be useful, I can whip up a bare-bones editor to handle defining joints, limbs, movement ranges, etc.

As for OpenGL, I experimented with that back in '08, and it was a half n' half type thing: scaling and rotation were nice and clean, but I had poor access to things I'm used to having via Allegro for manual drawing, and having to write shaders in GLSL annoyed me greatly. In the end, for every thing that got better, something else of equal value (to me) got worse. I decided I'd stick with Allegro in pure software mode for a bit longer. Sprite rotation is the only thing that looks janky, but the trick is to keep things moving... then you hardly, if ever, notice it. Looks bad in static screen captures, obviously!
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Gil
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also suppose that with these big solid shapes you use, it doesn't go into the seizure inducing, scattered mess that complex pixel graphics display when rotated without filtering.

Actually, with these simple graphics, wouldn't it be easier to come up with a simple edge AA system of sorts?
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gil wrote:
I also suppose that with these big solid shapes you use, it doesn't go into the seizure inducing, scattered mess that complex pixel graphics display when rotated without filtering.

Actually, with these simple graphics, wouldn't it be easier to come up with a simple edge AA system of sorts?


Totally. Richly detailed pixel graphics get slaughtered by low-res rotation effects. In those instances, I either keep detail low, or make sure the rotation is so fast you can't notice how bad individual frames look :)

I'll do that with these bosses. They will make rapid movements and pause at angles that look nice. As for a custom rotation routine with edging, that's something I've contemplated for a while, but never got around to doing. That might be a very nice experiment for next year? Allegro's routines are optimized for speed above accuracy, which was very desirable once upon a time. Now that I have CPU cycles to burn...

Right now I'm still playing around (felt bad today, resting). I gotta put my raep face on and close out some of these projects I'm working on. I'm looking forward to seeing how this boss turns out when he's fully animated and issuing attacks, dying, etc. The minor warbling of the joint coordinates caused by the disparity of Allegro's rotation math and mine seems to vanish when the subject matter is large. I'm very happy to see that.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm working on some code for the skeletal thingy. It's not *bad* for an initial experiment with zero research, but I get the feeling I could do things better. I'll assess things in a deeper manner once I'm through with the game. It's useful enough to roll into the framework.

Each object can have an arbitrary number of sockets, which other objects can hook into via a joint. Now I have code that allows an entire socket to rotate, which makes any objects hooked into it rotate as well (no matter how far down the line they are linked). I also have code to rotate just one joint.

So I should be able to achieve a nice level of animation at this point, even though I really have nothing to properly demonstrate that. I still intend to make a truly bad-ass final boss for this game, so I guess I have my work cut out for me :)
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Bean
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest having a way to specify per object if it's rotation is affected by the thing it's attached to. Sometimes you'll want to have the rotation independent and other times you'll want it to rotate as it's parent rotates. Being able to toggle this on the fly can be a good thing too!


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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



I swear to god he just followed me home.

No Mom, I have no idea what he eats. Probably virgins, or souls. What was I supposed to do, just leave him there? There's a trailer park up the road, I'll just steer him in that direction when he gets hungry. It'll be fine.

Trust me.
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Bean
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm having flashbacks of the spider mastermind from DOOM.
Looks great. Just needs some flashing or something to indicate hits ah la Contra.

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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup. Damage indicators are up next along with some variety to the attacks and movement.
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Gil
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure if this is an actual problem, since I haven't played the game and the video might be a bit blurry compared to the real thing, but it feels like you are getting into bullet hell (which isn't a bad thing), meaning I'd probably want the enemy bullets a little more visible.

And holy batman, at that pace of gameplay, I doubt I would care much about jaggies in the monster legs :D. Looks crazy fun too.
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0xDB
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great so far! I like the smoke effects where its' legs touch the ground.

Speaking about legs, here's some major nitpickery: The movement would look more believable and make the creature feel heavier and more menacing if the legs would push the center piece upwards a bit when it moves. The legs really should be the supporting pillars carrying the weight of the body. Also, the legs push outwards on both sides regardless of the direction it moves. Both legs should push/pull the same direction depending of movement of the whole creature. e.g. when it walks left, the right legs should push outwards while the left legs should grab forward a bit and then pull inwards, so that all legs push/pull body/ground to the right to make the creature move left.
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Gil
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In terms of extra mayhem, slight screen shakes when the feet hit the floor might make the fight even more hectic, making it harder to line up shots and such.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not going to put in an excessive amount of detail, so for the moment the legs will stand (pun not intended) as they are. The video kinda massacres the sense of movement against the foreground, so the monster looks like its sliding around more than it really is. It's a side-effect of my choosing a flat gradient for the ground. That's why I've loaded down the background with parallax and even put in a layer in front of the player, to compensate for that.

The gun in the video was just a single-point turret stuck to its head. Now it first out of the yellow slats, and the shots are large, round, and glowing bright-ass yellow so they stand out very well. They're also less numerous. I'll be working on a "falling down" animation, as well as a death animation, and I'm almost done with a mouth-mounted cannon that's quite pretty, but I'll have to save that for later.

I've got a project due on the 14th, and another huge project to get done before the end of the year. Both are non-game related, so at some point I'll be talking about them, but not right now.


Edit:

Oh, and I was almost finished with a bare-bones perser for making game objects. So I could say something like "make a sprite with a 16x16 square hitbox with frame 4,18 at 16,800,109 and I want it to rotate fast."
and it'd just happen. I'm mostly done, but there are a couple of tokens it doesn't understand yet. I have several other ways of making things, but sometimes it's late as hell and I really just want to "say it" and have it happen.
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mandrake
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should definitely put this up on Kickstarter. I'd pitch in.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mandrake wrote:
You should definitely put this up on Kickstarter. I'd pitch in.


Eh... I just don't see a need to do so. While I *could* get some $$$ for what I do, I know it'd eventually twist the content to suit whatever monetary ambitions I may have. I'd rather do this for free, and remain free to unleash my true insanity on the world.

I'm now finished with one of my other projects, so I can get back to work on this. Wheee.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



I'm WIP'ing a bit, but this is the instruction page. For simple games like this, I like to post a little blurb for people before the start of the game, so we can dispense with tutorials and other nonsense that need only apply to more complex fare. "Arcade mode" should say "continue" but I didn't get around to changing it before the shot happened. Control options that don't apply to you will be dimmed into the background. So, if no one is using mouse+kbd, that pane will fade out. Same thing with characters, as it's possible to play with as little as one character, although that would effectively be suicide. Heh.

The nice thing is that there are three screens one must get through to start a game, and all three "continue" buttons line up, so it's convenient to get through if you know what's going on. Line the mouse up, click, click, click... kill stuff :)

Suicide mode assumes some things, so it's a single click. Then stuff kills you. Heh.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm back to work on this, now that the few side-projects I was paying attention to have passed. Expect better progress for the time being :)

It's hard to see given all the stuff flying around (heh!), but the boss has a mouth-mounted weapon it deploys now. This does minimal damage, despite looking awfully dangerous. The real effect is in throwing players away from the blast, which sends them toward the twin cannons mounted at the top of its shell, aimed diagonally downward. See that blue cloud of funk in the second shot? Yeah, that's stuff tossed about from the shot exploding.

The ground shakes when he walks, and I'm working on a jump move for him that will be far more flashy than practical.


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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



I haven't been working on this much. So here's a static AI test. What happens when I let four bots try to fend off waves of close and ranged enemies?

The short answer is that if the number of enemies gets too high, they croak. No surprise there. If I keep the inrush low, they can pretty much operate forever, avoiding damage and running over to the medic when they get smashed. I'm not a nice guy, so this video doesn't end up that well for them :)

Bots are designed to operate in concert with at least one human player, so with all four being bots, they just stick to their preferred locations and try to roll with the punches. Kinda boring, but it made for a good test. The AI's damage avoidance code is intentionally flawed. Sometimes they just fail to see bad things coming their way, just like a real person would. It'd also make the game too easy if they could just magically move to avoid all damage!
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



A not-entirely-recent vid I captured about a month ago. It just shows off an updated boss, as well as some functional barricades and stuff. The foreground parallax layer is now visible (cranked up the brightness on that bit) and the boss has a secondary breath weapon that blows away players, sending them off to the sides where its cannons can rake them.

I really need to get back to work on this!
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