Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Keeping up the momentum

I've gone back to work, so I haven't been able to keep working 12 hours a day on the zombie defense game. But I have kept up the momentum. I made a hard and fast rule for myself that I can't let a day pass without doing something on the game. So far this week I've fixed a couple of bugs, and implemented the losing and winning screens. Things are moving along well. I'm planning for a July release, and it looks like things are on track for that.

I feel that if I can make consistent progress then I should have a well polished product ready for market come July. I'll make periodic updates here on the status as interesting things happen.

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Game Cow Week: Day 6

Today was pretty productive. I focused primarily on polishing things. I added buttons for deploying the different defensive units, and implemented limits for the defensive units and defensive barriers, so that the player only gets a limited number of each. I also fixed some bugs relating to zombie movement, defender firing ranges, and several other areas. I added range indicators, so now the player can get a visual indication of what zombies are in range for each of the defenders. Overall the game all works pretty well.

I’m very satisfied with my results. I wanted to have something that was a working game, and that’s what I’ve got. I plan to do quite a bit more polishing, and add some new features. But I’m very pleased with what I got from my week of work.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Game Cow Week: Day 5

Today was pretty unproductive. I think a week of working way too hard, coupled with really late nights has finally caught up with me. I felt pretty unmotivated and was completely unable to focus. I did however add a title screen, and set up the level loading logic, so that I can now load and unload levels according to the player's wishes.

Here's hoping for a good final day tomorrow.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Game Cow Week: Day 4

Today wasn’t quite as productive as the other days. But I still got some good stuff done. I had to do a lot of debugging, and code refactoring. I expect that I’ll have to do more of that as time goes on because the code base is getting a lot larger, and more complicated. Additionally, when I wrote some earlier code I was making assumptions that no longer hold true. It’s been interesting producing so much code in such a short time.

I spent a fair amount of time reworking the defender classes. I added some methods to calculate line of sight so that I could have the defenders hold their fire until they can actually see a zombie. I also modified the defenders so that when they are standing on buildings they can’t shoot immediately around themselves. This is a gameplay move, it gives you a reason to put defenders out on the streets, because they can shoot zombies that are up close, rather than just ones that are farther away. I also added some code so that the defenders have accuracy stats, and their weapons also have accuracy stats. This along with some other changes allowed me to implement three different defender classes. There’s the rifleman, they fire in three round bursts that do decent damage, and their accuracy isn’t great, but it’s okay. There’s a sniper, that has a really long range, good accuracy and damage, but they shoot slower, and only shoot one bullet at a time, so they can only hit one zombie at a time. Then there’s the saw (squad assault weapon) soldier, he sprays the bullets, with low accuracy, and pretty crummy damage, but he puts out a whole lot of fire.

Today marked the first day where it really started to feel fun. As I was setting out the different troopers, and trying to figure out the best spots to put them to stop the zombie hordes it was really fun. Hopefully I’ll be able to improve on that as I add more features in the coming days. I’m hoping to finish up the humans tomorrow, adding experience points, and morale to the mix. I’m also planning on reworking how soldier deployment works some, and putting limits on how many soldiers can be deployed. If time allows I’m also going to be working on polishing up the interface some. Adding some menus, and adding methods to display story text, and information about individual soldiers.

Instead of a screenshot today, I have a video. Putting out the troopers was so fun, that I decided that there needed to be sound effects, so I added some gun sound effects. The whole thing was so fun to watch that I decided a screen shot just couldn’t do it justice and downloaded a cool open souce video maker and made a video. I stuck on youtube, you can watch it here. I recommend watching it in high quality.

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