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July 2012

Traversing the Slope

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 Category : , , , , , , , , , , , 1

It can be challenging climbing up those sloped tiles.  Otto probably isn't used to working against an incline; maybe he should start hitting the gym in preparation.  Oh boy, that means I have to build him a tile-based game version of a gym!  If he works at it, maybe one day he could compete in the Olympics!  I think he has what it takes to win gold.  Go Otto!

Otto wearing an Olympic medal.
A winner is you.

All About Slopes

Friday, July 27, 2012 Category : , , , , , , , , , , , 7

I recently received a very threatening letter warning me about the laws I was breaking by not adhering to the regulations set forth by the state regarding handicap accessibility in my privately-owned tile-based game.  Apparently, inclusion of sloped tiles is mandatory for any tile-based game, privately owned or not.  The letter, which contained a generous helping of the word "lawsuit", was sent by a lawyer that contacted me on behalf of a "Mr. Maton."  Could it be...?  I think perhaps my own creation is threatening me with lawsuits for not including sloped tiles in my game!

A sinister Otto demanding sloped tiles.
Just implement sloped tiles and nobody gets hurt.

The Refined Zoo

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 Category : , , , , , , , , , 5

Ah, I almost didn't see you there, good reader!  Welcome, welcome!  Please, come in and have a gander at our grand refined zoo.  Here, you will find only the most esteemed of wildlife, including our Gentleman Gorillas and Sir Snow Leopards.  If you're lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the rare Master Marmoset!  Oh dear reader, join us at our glorious refined zoo, won't you?

Otto with top-hat and monocle.
Like a sir.

Tile-Based Games Must Animate Smoothly!

Monday, July 23, 2012 Category : , , , , , , , , , 7

One of the main reasons for tile-based games is to save on processing power and memory.  Drawing one giant image for the map is a lot more taxing than a bunch of smaller images, a lot of which are duplicates.  Nowadays, it's not really necessary to use this technique, but it does replicate the feel of older games and that is something that I'm trying to accomplish.  Also, because tile-based games save on memory and processing power, they also animate more smoothly (higher frame rate), which is not true of the past two versions of my project.

Moving Beyond the First Milestone

Friday, July 20, 2012 Category : , , , , , , , 2

Okay, well, maybe it wasn't quite a milestone, but the demo I linked at the end of last post (here) was my first significant achievement in this project.  The game at this point has already surpassed my built-from-scratch capstone version (Flixel is just amazing) and this is the first time in the development process that it actually sorta resembles the kind of tile-based game that I am trying to make, at least visually.  Even though the demo is largely uninteresting, I was extremely excited at what I had accomplished.  Unfortunately, victories like this are always short-lived because there's always more programming to be done.

The Camera Can Capture Your Soul

Thursday, July 19, 2012 Category : , , , , , , 1

I have to say, this blog is great for me in terms of making progress on my game.  "But Chris, how can you be making progress on your game while wasting time writing a silly post on your blog?" you might ask.  Well, you see, there are a lot of things I can work on related to my game right now, but I'm trying to focus on the core of it -- the programming.  It can be easy to get burnt out on programming when running into a particularly nasty bug in your code or if you just spend too much time in front of your code window, so it's important to get away when you need to.

Shine On You Crazy Tile

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 Category : , , , , , , , , 3

I love tile-based games.  I was fortunate enough to grow up playing many of the finest tile-based games ever crafted.  Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior 1-4, The Legend of Zelda 1 & 2, Metroid, Mega Man 1-6, Wizards & Warriors 1-3, Castlevania 1-3, Blaster Master, Faxanadu, Crystallis, Star Tropics, Super Mario Bros. 1-3, and Contra, just to name a few and these are only from the NES era.  There are plenty of incredible tile-based games on the SNES as well, such as Final Fantasy 2 & 3, Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, Lufia 1 & 2, Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Mega Man X 1-3, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Illusion of Gaia, Soul Blazer, and Terranigma, just to name a few more, so it should be pretty easy to see why I have a love of tile-based games.  There are also games that I've played on other systems both of and not of the same era that are great tile-based games, but I've already made my point.

Becoming Familiar with Flixel

Sunday, July 15, 2012 Category : , , , , , , , , , 2

Welcome back, dear reader!  I hope you're ready for another tale about the plight of the independent video game developer, because I'm going to jump right into it.

Before I began to work on the Flixel-based Otto's Odyssey, I had to re-familiarize myself with Flixel.  I had used it before but not long enough for it to really sink in.  Fortunately, there are many tutorials floating around the internet and a few linked directly from the Flixel homepage.  The tutorial I decided to work with can be found here, although my code now looks quite different.  I had looked at a couple other tutorials if I remember correctly, but the one linked is the main one.  If you are curious about the others, they are really easy to find if you just go to the Flixel homepage (here).  I think I also found some on Google.

Blog Revival

Friday, July 13, 2012 Category : , , , , , , , 3

Well, well, well... what do we have here?  An old, dead blog I was required to maintain for a college course?  Interesting...  it's as though I'm looking at a short chapter of my life frozen in time.  But now, I shall bring life back to this neglected blog!  From henceforth I shall use this blog to chronicle my journey in developing video games!

Those of you who know me are well aware of my passion for video games, but for those of you who don't know me, I'm extremely passionate about video games.  I've been playing video games almost my entire life, at least from six years of age and up.  For as long as I've been playing games, I've also wanted to make my own.  This interest started out as levels drawn out on paper, to levels actually crafted with an in-game level editor, to finally learning the programming knowledge I needed to be able to make my own video games.

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