Gaming Your Way

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DN8:Pulse preview review preview review

We really like FlashMush, Robbie is reviewing lots of games and doing a really good job of it.

Because of that we asked him if he'd be up to review DN8:Pulse before release, and he said yes, and I said cool and then he reviewed and now I'm linking to that review.

Straight forward enough.

Go here my young beauties if you want to see if our game was good or a bit shit ( Hopefully by now you'd know we'd still write this post even if it was a bit shit, but without spoiling things too much, it has a happy ending ).


PS. Outpost:Swarm is still waiting sign off, DN8:P is waiting for someone to buy it, the Android version is coming along albeit slowly and we've started a new game which I guess we'll talk about soon enough.

Outpost:Haven, an arty postmortem

I've been meaning to write up a postmortem for Outpost for months now, just never have the time.

Lux has been the same, but cracked and found some time today. If you're interested in how the look & feel and overall design came about shoot on over to Lux's blog here. It's a great read, even I got new insights ( Even though we work really closely together we don't go through thought processes all the time, so there's always lots of "Ah, that's why you did that" moments ).

You'd think this would be spur me on to write mine wouldn't you...


Week whatever

We're getting there.

New in from last time are Perks. These are as you'd expect, unlocked at a certain rank and there are 3 available at once from a total of 6. There's nothing really earth shattering about them, it was more a way to justify XP / Challenges ( Which I've still got to do, but can't really face ).

Also we've got more levels in there now, I'm just starting on level 9 ( It's a bit of a slog ), there are some asteroids in the background to go with the planets which add a little something and the save routines have been tidied up a lot.

I'm trying to think what else has gone in there, obviously nothing too astounding otherwise I'd remember it ( I will the second I post this ). Hopefully either tonight or tomorrow I should get some new music and player sprites to go in there which I'm really looking forward to. Ah, pause mode, I think that's new from last week. How grasping at straws am I.

Shall we do a little beta ? If you fancy giving it a go post a comment and I'll hopefully post something up tomorrow ( via email, not the blog ) and then you can let me know I'm deluded and it's not really all that. Cool, it's a date then.


Week IV

Another pretty productive week on DN8:Pulse.

Particle orgy

I've managed to get all the player power-ups in there, and today added the first boss ( Which doesn't sound all that, but it meant doing the whole "Warning" text stuff which took a while to design nicely ).

We're currently up to 5 levels done out of 12, which is pretty good going. Also quite a bit of time has been spent on the Android version, the control mode is finally nailed in that now, it plays much better than I'd have hoped and we're not sacrificing too much visually ( Less particles, fewer use of blendModes etc. but in terms of gameplay it's exactly the same ).

I also checked how my phone, HTC Desire S, performs in comparison to other Android devices, and it seems pretty poorly actually ( Not that you can tell from the phone itself, it's silky smooth ), which is good news as the game isn't dropping too many frames on it. Anyone with a newer phone / tablet should get a really good 30fps experience with it.

And before this turns into an advert rather than a dev update I'll wish you a fond farewell until next time.


PS. Outpost:Swarm should be gold, or near as damn it, we're hoping for final feedback this Friday, so hopefully some news about that soon.

Week III

I was in two minds about posting this, the past week or so have all been about Outpost:Swarm so DN8:Pulse hasn't progressed much, but I've had a stupidly productive day today so take my hand as we talk about new things.

As you can see baddie bullets are in now. They didn't take long at all as I'm lifting so much code from the original DN8 its almost obscene. To test how well the game copes I just get each baddie shooting a bullet every frame, and even with all those bullets with a blendMode we're not dropping a frame. Nice.

I added the floating points to the game the other day, updated the skybox to make it more colourful, altered the baddie explosion particles ( I spent hours on Friday doing that, and the end result was just dog shit, I mean really bad, so I ripped it all out and started again ). Last night that little planet in the background you can see there gained a ring ( A sphere with it's z scale set to 0.1, then rotated around ).

Today after the baddie bullets I've been working on the level progression code, and it's nearly there, and to celebrate I nailed down level 1's attack waves, so that level is officially done. It's amazing how one good days coding can give you a real lift.

And I think that's enough for Pulse this week, more soon...


Nearly there

We're pretty close to Outpost:Swarm being gold, we've just finished working through the amends, so it's just a couple of little bits and pieces dealing with the portal's API to finish off, and we're done.

Should we celebrate with a screen grab of level 2 ? Yeah why not,

I'm sure there will be a couple more screen grabs before it's actually live. Ah pimping, it's what makes the web go around.



As you can see, my imagination for snappy post titles has long gone.

Ok, we're two weeks into DN8:Pulse, what's new ?

Well we've got baddies in there now. They follow patterns and detect the player bullets. In terms of the sprites themselves, I use the same code as in DN8 to generate them, creating 30 random ones every level. These are stored in one bitmap and then converted to a texture which we can then use to batch all the baddies.

As you can see we've got paths in there too. These are again batched sprites just plotted on the curve which we use for the baddies movement. You'll notice they're strangely thicker in places, that's because they pulse to the music ( Yeah, the name makes more sense now doesn't it ).

The baddies move and blow up when shot, the explosions are also connected to the music, and the paths are drawn. That's about it really. Last night I reduced the stage size from 854x480 to 700x480. Not for performance reasons, but to make it more portal friendly.

Also a couple of days were spent playing with Air 3.2. It's mentally impressive ( Even more so when I remember back to struggling with the very first beta Air for iPhone ). The paths affect the performance, but when they're not displayed it's a rock solid 35fps, and that's on my Desire S. It's feeling good that this is going to make it to the Android market.

And I think that's about all. Not the same huge steps that happened in week 1, but that's to be expected. It feels like it's going to be really good and that is more than enough to make me happy. If it turns out to be really good, well we'll have to see.