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 Post subject: Reflection!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:36 pm 
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Goblin
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So as some of you may know, my computer decided to not work during the latest competition. :x This meant that I didn't get very far with my entry. But I liked the idea I came up with and promised myself that i'd make it into a full game. So here I am!

I present my work-in-progress game, Reflection. Being written in Python with pygame

A brief overview of my idea
Reflection will be a game about reflecting lasers to destroy enemies. You'll play as a circular character that can move around in levels and reflect laser beams being emitted from small turrets. l'll be doing the programming and I plan to do most, if not all of the music. I might do the art.. Depends on how much of a terrible artist I decide to be! (And if anyone wants to help ;) )

Dev Log - 15th Apr
Lith wrote:
*snip*

This was a large post, I don't want to spam it everywhere so I suggest that you read it down below...


Links!
Github
videos
Original Reflection Demo
Dev Log 1
Soundtrack 01 'Buzz'
Soundtrack 02 'Lasers Are Cool'

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Last edited by Lith on Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:34 am, edited 11 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Reflection!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:26 pm 
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Goomba
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I feel your anxiety about talking in videos, but I would like to hear more about the development, and the project in general. :)

Ps: I read the links you sent me via youtube, pretty interesting and easy to understand.

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 Post subject: Re: Reflection!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:38 am 
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Zora
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Looks awsome. And I guess there's a lot math behind this. I'm looking forward to what you come up with.
Keep up the good work! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Reflection!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:48 pm 
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Goblin
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Good evening. It's time for an update!

I've been working on the game a little, and i've managed to get it to a showable state. Have a look at this video I just uploaded. Things done include level loading and a developer console :o It's the first video i've done where I talk, so i'm sorry if it's a little.. shit :lol: Feedback on the video in general would be helpful. Like is it something you enjoyed? Was it really boring? Was it educational? Should I show more code and explain how things work better? Or would just the updates be more interesting?

Onto the specifics.. I have levels being loaded in from xml files. My aim is to not have to touch the game code at all when making a new level. I can just sit in a text editor, write the xml and test. I also made a cute little developer console where I can type commands and the game executes them, more on that in the video. It's probably pretty useless as I do most of my debugging with the python debugger but I had so much fun making the console that I think it was worth it! :geek: Next up: Enemies...

Fream wrote:
I feel your anxiety about talking in videos ...

Yeah it was pretty weird at first and I felt all anxious and weird about just talking to my computer.. I ended up putting earphones in so I couldn't hear my voice too clearly. No idea why, but it worked! After that I managed to force myself to just start talking about my game and eventually (after a few takes..) I got a good video! In the future i'll just have a short list of stuff to talk about/show off and i'll just start talking about them.

anihex wrote:
Looks awsome. And I guess there's a lot math behind this. I'm looking forward to what you come up with.
Keep up the good work! :)

Thanks! Yeah there was a little messing around with vector math to get the reflection all working properly. I made it easier for myself by using a math library for python called euclid. It took care of the collision detection so all I had to worry about was the actual reflection.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:33 pm 
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Zora
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I didn't watch the whole video. But I still got some suggestions. Since I'm doing Video-Tutorials myself.

Sound:
A common mistake is not using Noise-Reduction. You can hear noise all the time. Try to use Noise-Reduction to filter it off. Good tool for this would be Audacity

Video:
I saw you're using CamStudio. That itself is not a mistake. But to me it seemed like your video was lagging at some point. Maybe your CPU is too weak or you're using the wrong Video-Codec/settings?
If you haven't yet, try this:
x264vfw / Setting : Ultrafast and lossless. You can also set it to "ABR" like 60k (example!) this should give you a smoother video.
If you STILL got a laggy video, I can recommend ffmpeg + UScreenCapture.
To make recording easier, I use a small batch-file for recording. I'm gonna upload it. For this however, you have to record your voice seperatly. Also: You might need to restart your PC. If you encounter any problems, just write me.

Record-Screen.bat
Make sure, you're using 32-bit FFmpeg AND 32-bit UScreenCapture!

If you need a Video-Editor that's more powerfull than Windows-Movie-Maker, you can use Lightworks. Lightworks was used in some Hollywood titles such as "Mission Impossible", "Bruce Almighty" and many more. But it's not easy to use.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:55 am 
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Goomba
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When I first saw your video about the reflections I thought you gonna make some sort of puzzle game, but this is even better :O I can't wait to see more about this.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:22 pm 
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Goblin
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Fream wrote:
When I first saw your video about the reflections I thought you gonna make some sort of puzzle game, but this is even better :O I can't wait to see more about this.

Thanks for the support! Yeah I toyed with the idea of a puzzle game but I decided to make it an action/shmup(remup?) game instead because It seemed more original and more of a challenge programing wise :geek:

anihex wrote:
I didn't watch the whole video. But I still got some suggestions. Since I'm doing Video-Tutorials myself.

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll definitely take some of them on board. TBH, I think my video was just too darn boring... I'm going to try and make them shorter, to-the-point and more energetic in the future.

As for the game, some progress has been made! I've been quietly working on and off on the enemies and (more recently) a rewrite of the ray physics. Enemies are mostly done, I just need to make them be killable and make there be some sort of loose condition. Today I finished rewriting and implementing the new ray reflection code. The old code was a "god-forsaken mess" (quoted from my readme file :lol:) I redesigned the whole system, now it's much cleaner and easier to read. (barring one super duper ugly patch..)

Anyway, once enemies are fully in i'll make video number 2!

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 Post subject: Re: Reflection!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:18 am 
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Goblin
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Hey everyone, sorry for the recent lack of updates, i've been working.. I promise!

The enemy system is done. The physics code rewrite is done. Game saving and loading is done. A lot of things are done :lol: Once I make the mission select menu and the win/loss screen, and fix some of the bad bugs, I think I can label it as officially in alpha! Depending on how fun it is at that point, I might throw together a few levels, put it up for download to see what people think.

More interestingly, i've been working on the music a lot. You can go listen to the main theme song here. I'm curious to hear everyone's feedback. I think it turned out alright considering I don't do much composing.

See ya later!

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 Post subject: Re: Reflection!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:32 am 
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Goblin
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I thought I might as well give a small update for anyone that's interested.

I took a little break from working on this but i'm back now and working harder than ever! I've got some important school exams coming up soon so I guess progress will slow in the near future but I plan to have this game finished by early Summer!

The bulk of the main gameplay logic was so ugly I couldn't bare to look at it anymore so I completely ripped it out and made it again in around 3-4 days. (of hard work!) It's now much cleaner and I even made a little diagram when I was designing it :p The menu code is still crap but i'm going to leave it because if I try to make every little piece of code perfect, I'm never going to finish.

I feel as though I've grown a bit as a programmer. I feel more confident designing reasonably large systems in code. I've acquired some first hand experience of why all of the resources I've learned from teach some specific things (Like making data member private with public accessors). Refactoring my code was the force that drove this. It really helped my identify what parts of my old code were bad and how I was going to fix it. I recommend that any programmer out there do this. A lot. Especially when you're very new to programming. It will give you a good mindset for your future. But mind you, don't do this endlessly. You've got to ship at some point and the code is never going to be perfect. There's always going to be some niggling little code that you KNOW doesn't belong where it is or some hack that makes you shed a tear every time you look at it. Take the lesson from it and apply it to your next project, don't let it keep you from finishing this one.

I've also gained some knowledge on programmer burn out. As I've mentioned before, the last few days have been spent furiously rewriting the game logic. A lot of that work was spent essentially making a little system, and getting it to work with the rest of the code with lots of imports, loops and general data shuffling... Not fun. The more and more I did of that the less fun and the more tedious it got. I woke up today and dreaded working on this game and doing more boring work. Programmer burn out is a deadly thing. On a previous project I tried to just ignore it and soldier on, what a terrible decision that was.. It just got worse and worse and It ultimately made me give up the project. I've realised that when you're feeling like this, you've simply forgotten about the fun stuff. The ideas that originally drove you to start your project in the first place. You just need to remember them again, and look forward to realising them. What helped me was talking to someone about how my game was going and asking them for suggestions on how it should play when it's finished. I got some really cool ideas and it got me thinking like I did when I first started the project. The fire was buring again.

So what has changed since my last post? Well, the actual gameplay hasn't changed, but the gameplay code is all new. I have most menus and screens done. I've made another song, you can listen to it here. I thought the last song I made would be the main theme but now that I've made this one, I think it would be better suited for the job.

Going forward, I need to finish up the mission select screen and make it be able to launch levels. Then the game will be in alpha and I can get to the fun work of adding new enemies and other cool features!

Hope you enjoyed the wise words and status report ;)

Until next time,
Pedro.

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 Post subject: Re: Reflection!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:45 pm 
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Quote:
I took a little break from working on this but i'm back now and working harder than ever! I've got some important school exams coming up soon so I guess progress will slow in the near future but I plan to have this game finished by early Summer!


Glad to hear the project is still in full swing, and best of luck on your tests!

Quote:
The bulk of the main gameplay logic was so ugly I couldn't bare to look at it anymore so I completely ripped it out and made it again in around 3-4 days. (of hard work!) It's now much cleaner and I even made a little diagram when I was designing it :p The menu code is still crap but i'm going to leave it because if I try to make every little piece of code perfect, I'm never going to finish.


I've had the same issue, it's a back and forth struggle between continuing to make code better or to leave it be and make new code. Every programmer should have this struggle with their project since you'll never know when it will feel "perfect" to you. It will never be perfect regardless so you're right on that one.

Quote:
I feel as though I've grown a bit as a programmer. I feel more confident designing reasonably large systems in code. I've acquired some first hand experience of why all of the resources I've learned from teach some specific things (Like making data member private with public accessors). Refactoring my code was the force that drove this. It really helped my identify what parts of my old code were bad and how I was going to fix it. I recommend that any programmer out there do this. A lot. Especially when you're very new to programming. It will give you a good mindset for your future. But mind you, don't do this endlessly. You've got to ship at some point and the code is never going to be perfect. There's always going to be some niggling little code that you KNOW doesn't belong where it is or some hack that makes you shed a tear every time you look at it. Take the lesson from it and apply it to your next project, don't let it keep you from finishing this one.


Interesting exercise you recommended there. Not sure about anybody else but I rarely go back to a very old project and redo the code. I bet I would see tons of mistakes :lol: . Definitely a good learning experience to be had there and to give you perspective on your own self development since you last touched that code.

While working on a project and learning while doing it I definitely see issues with my code and want to keep revising it. There's just a point where you have to say "I'm going to leave this as is and move on" or you end up with pretty code but an incomplete project or you abandon it entirely. I agree with you, shed a tear for the mistake, learn from it, and move on.



Certainly enjoyed your update. Please continue to keep us posted!

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