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AAA: The Game Development Diary #1

Recently I’ve been working on a new game based on one of my favorite podcasts, All About Android. This game is a 2d infinite runner with a fun Android theme!

The story for the game is not fully fleshed out yet so I’ll just focus on the game play for now. Your goal is to dodge rocks by jumping and ducking while collecting as many jewels as you can. Along the way you will collect various Android themed power ups to help you! You tap the left side of the screen to jump and the right side to jump. It is simple and fun!

My goal was not to make anything terribly groundbreaking but something simple and fun that would be appreciated by fellow Android nerds such as my self 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2013 in Developer Diary

 

The Wandering Wizard on iOS

 

 

 

Well this is one more major platform to cross off the list. The Wandering Wizard is finally available on the iOS app store!!!

If you are an apple user and have been waiting for a chance to try out this fun and challenging game then NOW IS THE TIME!!!!!

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2013 in Developer Diary

 

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The Wandering Wizard for Windows 8

After a few roadblocks and delays I’ve finally been able to release The Wandering Wizard onto the Windows 8 app store!!! If you have windows 8 head over to http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/the-wandering-wizard/39735284-732a-45e2-98bf-f22ae374c0ea and check it out!!!

Hopefully in the not so distant future I’ll be able to release the game on iOS and and Windows Phone as well.

 

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in Developer Diary

 

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Thruster Phase (Proof of Concept)

Thruster Phase (Proof of Concept)

I recently came up with an idea for a new game and have spent some time fleshing out a quick demo of the concept. I want to throw this out to the community basically to get an idea if this would be fun or stupid.

Thruster Phase!!!

Concept

Thruster Phase is a science fiction game where you guide a spaceship through various levels to reach an energy source at the end. The catch is that instead of directly controlling the ship you specify a series of thruster phases that are then executed in a simulation!

Basically the ship has 4 engines each in a direction and you tell each one how long to fire and how strongly. You keep iterating on your sequence until you complete the “mission” succesfully.

If this doesn’t make sense then hopefully it will when you try the demo 😀

Screenshots

Here are a few images of the game to give you a general idea.
Unity - MainMenu
Unity - Level1_2
Unity - Level1

DEMO

Last but not least is a demo with a little tutorial and 5 introductory levels!!!

I’d love if anyone reading this would try it out and let me know what you think of the game concept!!!

CLICK HERE TO PLAY

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in Developer Diary, Other Stuff

 

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Random 2d Terrain

About a week ago I started wondering how random levels are achieved in games like Tiny Wings. The terrain in these games are basically just smooth rolling hills that can go on forever. After learning about some basic ways this could be implemented but after a few days of searching I couldn’t find any publicly available samples or tutorials that did this in Unity.

As a result I set out to develop this functionality myself 😀

The Plan

After doing a lot of research into how this could be achieved I came up with what I thought was a pretty simple plan…

Generate Base Points:

First a list of (x,y) coordinates are generated randomly. To do this I generated a number of random values for the y coordinates and made the x coordinates automatically by adding a set amount each time.

This resulted in a list of evenly spaced y coordinates.

Interpolating the Points:

These random coordinates were a good starting point but they don’t give me the smooth look I’m going for. The solution to this problem is to interpolate between these points. this process basically generates a set amount of points between the existing ones in order to generate a smooth curve.

I got the algorithm to do this from http://paulbourke.net/miscellaneous/interpolation/

The function is as follows

double CosineInterpolate(
   double y1,double y2,
   double mu)
{
   double mu2;

   mu2 = (1-cos(mu*PI))/2;
   return(y1*(1-mu2)+y2*mu2);
}

This function takes the 2 y values you are interpolating between (y1 and y2) as well as the location bewteen the points we want to get a value for (must be between 0 and 1). The result is a y value for that x coordinate!!!

Creating the Mesh:

For me this step was the hardest since I have very little knowledge of direct graphics programming. I took the list of coordinates generated from the interpolation and used them to create a 2d mesh of the terrain.

First I made a bunch of vertices. Each coordinate produced 2 vertices (a top and bottom one) which acted as corners of rectangles.

Next I made triangles by assigning which vertices belonged to each triangle. In Graphics programming everything is made out of triangles so for each rectangle I needed 2 triangles.

PRESTO!!!

Unity Web Player  Random 2d Terrain - Google Chrome_2013-09-06_13-16-28I learned a lot from this project and hope to use it someday in a game. I posted information about this as well as a link to the source code on the Unity Forums here in hopes that someone more knowledgeable than I might improve it and so that the Unity community can benefit from it 😀

 

Playable Demo

In case anyone wants to see this project in action. Here is the link to the webplayer demo.

http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/199287-Random-2d-Terrain

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2013 in Other Stuff

 

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Where to get FREE ART

Things To Know

Before you go downloading and using other people’s art it’s important to know what all of the opens source licenses mean. If you are planning to make an open source game there are a lot of appropriate licenses for you but if you want to make something to sell there are really only two applicable choices.

Public Domain: This basically means you can do anything you want however you want. It’s the most open license there is and the easiest to deal with.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0: This is also fairly open to use for whatever you want but it’s important to note that you must credit the author of the work in your product. In The Wandering Wizard I provided a credits page that attributed all of the proper artists.

Anything besides these two you probably don’t want to use for a commercial product unless it’s some proprietary license that allows for it.

For a bit more info on these and other licenses I recommend reading this faq page from opengameart.org

Sites I’ve found

http://opengameart.org/

This site has a ton of 2d and 3d art as well as music! It’s my number one go to for all of my game asset needs. Pro tip if a submission has more than 1 license listed that means you get to pick the one you prefer.

http://powstudios.com/

This is a blog by an indie game development studio and contains reviews and news and stuff. It also contains a few awesome animation packs

http://www.reinerstilesets.de/

Although I’ve never used anything from this site at this point it still has a large number of 2d and 3d stuff and is worth looking into.

http://www.vickiwenderlich.com/category/free-art/game-art/

This one is a blog by an indie game artist and she occasionally released an art set for free which is pretty awesome

http://www.indiegamedesigner.com/category/free/\

This site is just plain awesome!!! There are a bunch of free art packs but they don’t stop there. You can also find a few art tutorials here that can bolster your own skills. If the free art isn’t enough to meet your needs they also have a store with fairly priced art assets. These guys have some pretty high quality stuff and I would highly recommend them.

http://www.lostgarden.com/search/label/free%20game%20graphics

Last but not least is the blog of former professional game artist Daniel Cook. There are some really awesome sets in here. I used one in the proposal platform and am planning to use another in my next game Valaron

Well I hope this is helpful for someone, as it’s harder than you would think to find legal free art that you can use in a commecial game 😀

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Tips & Tutorials

 

Games Porfolio Published

I decided to built web player versions of all the unity games/demos that I have and host them in my dropbox account so that people could check them out.

If you’ve wanted to check out The Wandering Wizard but don’t have an android phone this is your answer!!!

I also put links to my Proposal Game and my Animation Demo

P.S. The Wandering Wizard was meant for touch screens and is a bit more difficult with a mouse in my opinion. Still very playable though

Check the link in the site header or just press

THIS

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Other Stuff