Archive for February, 2008
Attack of the Meeplings is the next game from Tiny Frog Software. It’s a Neo-Retro shooter that will be played in the browser. Aside from being your typical shoot ‘em-up, it’s going to be an infinite shooter with waves looping over and over and getting faster and harder until you finally succumb – Yes it’s going to have online highscores
The game should be ready for release mid to late March – But for now, Meet the Meeplings*
* There are many more Meeplings, but these are the ones that have been finalised for the game.
If you know me in Real Life you probably know that I only buy and wear black socks. This seems strange to some people at first, but I would like to take the time to say why it is actually a very elegant solution.
I few years ago I got feed up with trying to find matching socks – And instead of solving the problem as it stands, I decided to reduce it into a smaller, but similar problem space. This is called reducing the complexity – In computer science we do this by solving many problems through recursion, when making webpages we use style sheets and instead of visiting hundreds of websites everyday, we use an RSS aggregator.
Buying only black socks is a prime example of reducing complexity.
You might remember the following typical question from High School. Jane has 7 black socks, 4 blue socks and 10 green socks. The room is dark, if Jane pulls out two socks at random what is the probability of Jane getting a pair of black socks?
Can’t do it? What if Jane only owned black socks? What would the answer be then?
It’s been a while since I posted a free game, so I thought I’d mention the game that is largely responsible for inspiring Caverns of Underkeep
That game is Castle of the Winds – A graphical roguelike made by Rick Saada and published in 1989! That’s right, the game is nearly 20 years old, and guess what? It’s still fun and playable today.
Many roguelikes are complicated affairs with esoteric shortcut keys and a level of depth that can be hard for the newbie to fully grasp. Castle of the Winds (to my knowledge) was the first roguelike that bucked the trend in this regard and employed the new (at the time) windows 3.x interface to allow easier inventory management and provided buttons (as well as shortcut keys) to streamline the gameplay experience.
Castle of the Winds is a dungeon crawl at heart, there’s somekind of plot, but I forget what it is – Something about some bad guy doing bad or something?
You can get the full version of Castle of the Winds 1 and 2 from Rick Saada’s website
Read more about Castle of the Winds at Wikipedia
Read a 2007 interview with Rick Saada at Gamasutra
I spent the morning making some changes to Caverns of Underkeep
- Fixed a double move bug involving moving the mouse as you are being attacked by a monster.
- Corrected the Antwerp graphic
- Fixed alignment issues with # of potions text
- Disarm now auto-attempts to disarm all adjacent traps – no longer need to use the mouse to select a trap
- Fixed a couple of spelling errors
- Little Blobs now drop pink acid
- Bandit archer damage lowered by 1 (again)
- Error sound plays if not intelligent enough to identify an item
- Potion of permanant strength and Potion of vigor now play sfx and output text to the console when used.
- Added short cut keys for some of the spells
- (H) eal
- (F) ireball
- (B) less
- (T) own Portal
- (M) eteor Shower
- (E) nquire
- (P) urple Death
Because some annoying prat re-registered my domain when it expired, (I swear I didn’t get an email saying it was due to expire.) I have now founded Tiny Frog Software, my new home for my projects – Including Caverns of Underkeep
I’ve lost more than a days work due to setting up a new domain and reinstalling wordpress and modifying the site to work on the new domain. There’s still some broken images, but I’ll get around to fixing them as time goes by.
I’m also working on the main page of this site which will feature a little shop where you can download and purchase some selected indie games that I will feature.
In other news, I’ve got a demo of my new 2D shooter game ready to show the AGW group tomorrow – It’s only the one level but it’s enough to get feedback and see if there are any bugs that will need to get fixed. Ideally I’d like to get that finished at the same time as the new mainpage gets launched – I’ve got one week before Uni starts again, so we’ll see how that goes.
Long Live Tiny Frog Software!
According to my logs, the random freeze bug that would happen ever so rarely has not occurred for four days now. This could mean one of two things – Either my logging system is broken, or I fixed the bug
If I did indeed fix it (random crash bugs are really hard to fix) then it was because I wasn’t calling Thread.Sleep(10) in my main loop. Apparently if you don’t do this the operating system gets in a big huffy at you as it has a hard time juggling all of its other tasks and decides to punish you by arbitrarily and non-deterministically crashing – Sort of like the toddler who decides they’ve had enough walking, so in protest they just sit down and will not move.
PS : I’m still playing around with the web design of this site. Hopefully I’ll be able to simultanously launch the new site and a new game in a couple of weeks
As you might be able to see (unless you’re reading this post through somekind of rss aggregator) I’ve been playing around with the look of this website, it’s still a work in progress – mainly because I have this horrible tendancy to muck about with live content, rather than work offline – Yes I’m one of those people that hit publish then edit.
I’ve been thinking about the direction I want to take peachysoft in the future – And I quite like the browser based game space
I’ve spent many years plodding away in my spare time, working on projects that were much too large for me to handle (like RPGs) that were ultimately doomed because I didn’t have the skill, time or money to complete them. Working on browser based games forces you to reduce scope and design shorter titles.
Shorter games = shorter development cycles
Which increases the probability of actually finishing a project.
Also, I plan on looking for full-time employment when I finish university in around six months time. I need projects that I can work on for an hour or two in the evenings and on weekends. And if I ever want to get anything done I’ll have to look at doing smaller projects – Arcade or shooter games, maybe even platformers or puzzle titles, who knows?
At this point in time I have a list of 4 games I would like to make this year. Which is quite funny because the last game I released previous to Caverns of Underkeep, was all the way back in 2005
I think if you offer webgames that have a resonable amount of replayability, can be played in a relatively short time-frame and provide a sense of competition through highscore lists, daily or personalised content, even hidden secrets – And the games are fun and look nice (they don’t need to be bleeding edge, they just can’t be ugly) then you’re doing better than 95% of people who make webgames – Because there’s a ton of crap out there.
PS : My 2D shooter game is coming along quite nicely
PPS : I’ve done a minor update to the Caverns of Underkeep Beta, just some small bugfixes and a couple new sound effects.
Changes made to the beta version today
- Can double click in shop to buy items
- Heartbeat SFX doesn’t play in town
- Bonus to XP if the player clears all the traps on a level
- “The walk back to town…” dialog removed
- SFX added when you perform a transaction in the shops
- Can now buy pants and helmets in the armour shop
- Display xp required for next level up
- Play error SFX on fail to equip an item
- Can now buy the water walk boots from the magic shop
- Using a potion no longer takes up a turn
- Archer Bandit maximum damage lowered by 2
- Removed “Do you want to use the elevator…” dialog
- Ranged attacks actually take the ranged weapon damage into account
- Fixed mis-named item, “Cursed Boots” is now named correctly
- Gain +1 attack and +1 armour when the player levels up (rather than +1 attack or +1 armour)
- Can buy multiple potions from the healers shop
- (Y) and (N) work as shortcut keys for yes/no dialogs
- (Enter) key works to dismiss ok dialog
- Increased Maximum carry weight by 25%
- Can now select ogre avatar by using the left button (previously only avalible if you pressed the right button)
- Alpha value for blinking prompt on custom name dialog fixed
- Added 20 words to the wordchest dictionary
It’s probably a little premature to be posting these images as I’ve only been working on the game for about a day and a half, but I thought I’d share some mock-ups of my neo-retro shooter
Due sometime in March (hopefully)
It should be noted that these are not screenshots, but mockups made in paint.net
I just finished a play through of the game with a friend and I have a page long list full of (mostly easy) changes to make, it’s funny how much stuff you can simply forget. Stuff that you fully intended to do (and have written the code for) but you just forget to hook it up at the right place.
The list is long, but it’ll proably be less than a days work to implement most of the items on it.
So yeah, there will probably be an update to the beta less than two-three days after releasing it