Now with more sensible controls

I’ve updated my level editor - the controls make a lot more sense now, and it’s a little better to use on a touchpad.

W, S - change tile under mouse
Number keys - select specific tile under mouse (useful for drawing lines of water, for example)
cmd+o - open room
cmd+s - save room


Levels - Editing!

This week I took my programmer art and I rigged up my level editor to actually…edit levels. I need to refine the tiles that are selected for each area, and the controls could use some polish (it’s basically impossible to use with a trackpad), but - here it is:

- Up/Down arrow: change tile underneath mouse
- S: save room XML
- L: load room XML

Programmer art

I've spent the last couple weeks trying to do art for my current project. Things I tried:

1) Pixel art - painstakingly slow, and I don't get the results I want.
2) Buying a tablet and drawing by hand - I'd still like to get better at this; but for now - I am bad. Terribad.
3) Fiddling around in Illustrator/iDraw, sometimes with the tablet (also bad)

After getting frustrated I decided to do some research/procrastinating and I stumbled across this post about game art for programmers. I was pretty sure I was interested in doing vector style graphics (at least for now), and then I stumbled across the fact that you could use Flash for that and had an epiphany.

10 years ago, I spent an entire summer teaching myself ActionScript 2 and basic drawing with Flash. I don't recall getting much farther than drawing cubes and stick fingers and maybe animating them, but - it's a toolset I was comfortable with. I downloaded a trial copy, dredged up those skills, and … proceeded to crank out some programmer-quality-but-workable art.

Which I then used.

That screenshot is just a rendering test for the different tiles I did, but - progress.


As a basic exercise, I made Pong again but tried to stay as close as possible to how it was originally.

This is also my first project where I added sound effects! I got to play around with cfxr for the blips and bloops - it's great for quickly generating sounds that are Good Enough For Now (although it exports wavs, so you need to convert them to mp3s for Flash to play nicely with them).
(Disclaimer: there are no lasers in this pong)

Always back up your work

I'm attaching this as a small, sad reminder to always back up your work. It's the only artifact left from this micro project after an ill-timed git reset blew away the source code it was generated from.

Lonely Bear Trap

I took the grid drawing logic from Just The Socks, and then expanded it a bit and built out a game kind of similar to Explorer, but on a flat grid instead of hex this time.

When I hit the point where I realized that I was just doing the same thing as I did with Explorer, I stopped - I'm putting this one on hold, for now. It was still a good excuse to produce some sample code for the next project though; now I have samples for parsing tmx files, stitching textures together, and working with scrollable containers.

Just the socks

I spent the weekend building a really basic game about sock matching - but I don't have any good sock graphics, so instead you're just matching coloured squares.

I probably spent more time on the grid animations than I needed to - but the game will continue to draw the grid and add more pairs infinitely.

Actually connected worlds

More progress has been made - you can now encounter Algol 4601, as well as choose new destinations to head towards afterwards. Choosing a new destination after Algol will cause a crash though, because I haven't filled anything else in yet.

New projects

The theme for this weekend's Ludum Dare was 'Connected Worlds' - I watched it happen, but I didn't have any luck coming up with a good idea I wanted to run with (or at least, I don't think I did).

However, I did have *one* small spark of an idea, which has started to take shape…you can see the early results below.