Game Progress Update #11

Update #11

Hello world! And welcome to the eleventh Dev with Dave Game Progress Update! It’s nice to say that I (think) I have done everything I said I would do at the end of the last update! It’s a good feeling 🙂 lol

Upgrades store

I managed to fix the problem of accidental purchases when scrolling the upgrade store. After trying many things, over a much longer period than I’d have hoped, I finally settled on recording the buttons position on release and comparing it to the buttons position when pressed initially. If these are the same (plus or minus 1% for accidental movement) then it’s a press, otherwise just ignore it. This was the best performing solution I tried.

Purchasing an upgrade now deducts the price of the upgrade from the players coin total, as well as changing the text and price of the next upgrade.

Powerups

Once a power up is unlocked in the Upgrades store, it can now spawn in the game. Only the shield power up currently does anything, but they are all now unlockable.

The powerups spawn at a rate of 1 every 15 seconds or so, which is more for testing than anything else. I expect in the finished game the initial spawn rate will be much higher.

Once the player pickups up a shield powerup, the game sets a few variables to indicate the shield is active, the start time, and the duration (Which is extended the further upgraded the shield is)

If the shield isActive flag is true, then the collision system simply ignores any zone objects which would otherwise cause the player to crash.

The shield sprite is also toggled to visible when the powerup is activated. This remains until the duration has passed, where upon the isActive flag is set back to false, and the shield sprite is once again hidden.

Next time

The next Dev with Dave progress update is going to be later than usual, because it’s Christmas in two weeks! (I know? I can’t believe how quickly the last few months have gone)

The next update will be on the 15th January 2021, which is a week later than expected. I’m going to be taking a break away from the keyboard over the holidays and it’s thrown the calendar off a little.

However, with the next update I hope to have the rest of the powerups working (Well maybe not the magnet? I’m not 100% sure how I’m going to approach this yet, lol), as well as making place in the store for the single use powers.

It still feels there is so much to do before Flappy-vaders is finished, but overall I’m really happy with what I’ve achieved so far, especially considering the limited time, hardware and resources I’ve been using.

I really need to bring the Trello up to date, and there are some revisions which need making to the GDD also. I’m hoping once the Christmas period is over I’ll be able to devote some free time to bringing these things up straight.

See you next time 🎅

Game Progress Update #10

Update #10

Hello world! And welcome to the tenth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update! This week the work has continued with the menus and a few graphical updates.

Menu Graphics Updates

After what felt like an eternity of downloading and trying different 8 bit style pixel fonts I finally found the one I’m using in the picture below (With a little help from @Opkins from the MK:Game Dev discord, who sent me a link to it).

It’s certainly clean and stylish, but I’m a little sad that the zeros don’t have the line through them. This is the single most distinguishing feature for an 8 bit style font in my opinion.

The main Flappy-vaders logo on the title screen has also been updated. The original was too high-resolution and didn’t match the rest of the graphics. The new version fixes this.

I also have spent some time creating icons for the buttons, as shown in the picture above. These represent upgrade purchase, in game currency purchase, view trophies and about/help.

I’m not entirely happy with the icons tbh, but they’ll certainly do until I can get more time to update the graphics.

Upgrades store

The other main area I’ve been working on is the upgrades store section of the menus.

As you can see from the video, the player can now scroll this list by dragging their finger up or down the screen. And also purchase the shield upgrades by tapping on the button.

This is about as far as I managed to get this update due to some problems I’ve been having trying to differentiate between a tap and a drag with the UI system.

Currently if you start a drag by pressing on the buttons, then the purchase is made and the next box lights up to show this. Unfortunately this isn’t desired behaviour, as I do not want a drag to register as a purchase.

Upgrades

I have also spent some time creating a system to maintain the upgrade purchases the player makes. Currently this is just an array to store values in and a couple of functions to load and save the array to disk.

Next time

And thats all for this time round 🙂 In the next update, I hope to have the dragging bug fixed, and the rest of the upgrade purchasing stuff finished.

Once these are done then it’s time to actually implement some of the powerups in the game.

See you next time 🙂

Game Progress Update #9

Update #9

Hello World, and welcome to the ninth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update. I’ve not managed to get as much done as I’d have liked, but once again, the curse of tiny image resolutions has made creating the graphical assets take a fair bit longer than I was expecting.

The Menu

The first and most obvious change to this update is the inclusion of the menu button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen.

I’ve used a simple ham burger style icon to represent the menu, shown above with the red exclamation mark indicating that there is something to see in one or more of the menus.

Pressing the menu button opens up the main menu screen. There are currently three buttons, but depending on how things look, I may split the upgrades into two sections, which would require a 4th button.

I didn’t have time to finish the icons for these buttons so they have only simple text labels right now. Each one of the buttons opens up a new UI page.

Pressing the Upgrade button takes you to the upgrade page, where the player can unlock and upgrade various powerups,

All of the UI elements on the menus are created using the existing UI systems which I created earlier in the project.

Power Up Icons

I’ve also created icons for the power ups which the player collects. Below are the icons for the Magnet, Shield, Multiplier and Smart-bomb powerups.

I’ve not however managed to implement them properly into the game yet though.

Refactoring the UI Systems

I spent several hours refactoring the UI systems code after I noticed a much better way of organising the variables. It’s not really changed the way the code works, and there are no visible changes to the player.

Next time

In the next update I hope to have the UI looking a lot more complete, and be fairly functional as well. I’d also like to get the power-up collection a little closer to completion as well.

I also have a lot of updating to do on the Trello board and the GDD, I will try and get these done soon and I’ll update you via social media.

See you next time 🙂

Game Progress Update #7

Update #7

Hello world, welcome to the seventh Dev with Dave Game Progress Update. I’m happy to say that I have at least managed to get the button handling system working this time round, even if there is only one button so far!

Buttons

The button handling system is a simple set of functions which can add a button to a UI page in a single command, check for button presses every frame, and also handle the response to each button press.

The system uses variables to track whether the mouse has been pressed, is being held down, or has been released. This will allow the buttons to animate eventually.

The button properties are all stored in an array the same as the other two UI element types I’ve created.

Problems I’ve faced

The biggest issue I have had whilst creating the button handling system, was the fact that the scanlines overlay was interfering with the button sprite detection. Any checks were simply returning the overlay sprite ID instead of the button below it which was the intended target.

I fixed this by simply moving the sprite offscreen which I check for button presses, then move it back before the screen updates. It’s not an elegant fix, but It will do for now.

The second problem is that I have found it very difficult to make recognisable icons using the low resolution that the game is based on.

In the next update

Over the next two weeks I’m going to spend some time creating graphics for the various UI screens, so hopefully lots more buttons and stuff for you to see (even if it’s not entirely working by the time the next update is here)

I also need to add a system to allow pickups to the gameplay, to allow the player to use powerups. Although I doubt this will make it in until the update after the next one.

See you next time 🙂

Game Progress Update #6

Update #6

Hello world, welcome to the sixth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update. This time round I have a whole new zone to show off, as well as having fixed a couple of niggling issues with restarting the game and some work on the UI handling system with the buttons.

Asteroid Zone

The first addition in this update is the new Asteroid Zone (Section 3.3.4. in the GDD). I’m currently using an asteroid asset which I found on Open Game Art, I like the style, but it’s not using the correct colour palette.

Because of the Zone systems I’ve already set up, spawning the asteroids was fairly straight forward. I did however have to make a small modification to the UpdateZones() function. It now checks to see if the current sprite is an asteroid or not, and if it is it adds a y velocity to the movement as well.

I expanded on the zone description a little on the Trello as well, which I need to update on the GDD, but that will probably wait till Monday now.

Game Restart

The changes here are mostly just bug fixes. The particles now no longer remain on screen when the game restarts, most (if not all) game related variables now reset when you restart the game.

The last thing I changed here was adding a function to remove any of the existing zone sprites ready for a new game.

UI Handling System

The one thing currently missing from the UI Handling System is buttons. I’ve added some variables and some empty functions ready for this, and created some place holder graphics which you can see below.

I had a real issue trying to create the settings icon in such a low resolution and sticking to the design principles.

In the next update

Next time I hope to have the buttons working, and have made a start on creating some of the other UI screens.

See you again in two weeks 🙂

Game Progress Update #4

Update #4

Hello and welcome to the fourth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update. This update sees a little bit of refinement in the graphics, as well as the introduction of a couple of new systems.

UI Framework

First, I’ve started fleshing out a UI Manager script to help make setting up and updating the UI elements of the game a little easier. Although this is currently only behind the scenes stuff at the minute.

I’ve created a typed array to store data for all three element types (Text, Image and Button) which I’ll be using for the UI, as well as an array to manage which elements are shown on each page.

Coins

The next new addition is coins! The player can now collect coins when they appear on screen. They are spawned by the existing zone handling system, and the only changes I made were adding a couple of variables to the player type to store the total coins collected, as well as the coins collected from the current game, and adding a quick check in the collision handling function to see if the sprite hit is collectable or not.

Graphics

The eagle eyed among you will have noticed that the game looks a lot more like the concept pictures now. I’ve spent a good few hours using paint.net to create some graphics which are a little closer to what I intend the game to look like, rather than those awful placeholders it was using previously.

I’ve also added the scanlines and CRT overlays for the authentic retro look.

In the next update

The next job will be to replace the current Game over screen, and create a pre-game UI screen with a play button as well. I think it would be a good idea to add a UI card or two to the Trello to help keep track of progress.

I’ll also be doing more graphics work, creating sprites for the forthcoming zones, and perhaps adding further tweaks to the existing stuff.

See you next fortnight.

GDD Update

Click the button above to see the revised GDD for Flappy-vaders.

The modifications this time round are mostly oversights which got missed off the first time round. One which I hadn’t thought of, and one which I simply forgot to include (D’oh!)

For those interested, the modified/addition sections are as follows.

3.5 Player Death

The game ends when the player dies.

The player will die if the player character collides with any of the obstacles or enemy or gets shot down.

The player will also die if the ships y position gets too low on the screen.

3.7 Daily Bonus

To encourage player retention the game should include a daily bonus system.  The more days played consecutively, the larger the reward. 

Rewards can be either in game currency or powerups.

Powerup rewards cost in the store determines there value here.

The actual type/style of the daily bonus will be determined later.

Game Progress Update #3

Update #3

Hello and welcome to the third Dev with Dave Game Progress Update. I’ve been busy building on the prototype systems which had been developed previously.

Zones

I have added a second subset of zone data to better demonstrate the random selection of zone subsets. I also included a length value into the zone data so that zones can vary in length and still flow seamlessly from one to the next.

Player Death

Adding the hitboxes to the sprites was fairly simple in AGK, as was checking the collisions. I opted for the more complex polygon shape (Polygon will create a close fitting convex polygon around the visible pixels of a sprite) as I am only checking for collisions with a handful of sprites and it will mean more exact collision detection.

I also added a simple particle based explosion to the player ship which plays when there is a collision. The image used for the particles is one taken from an asset pack I purchased years ago and is simply a placeholder again for the time being.

Game States

Another system I’ve added as a prototype in this update is a system for handling game states which was necessary to allow the transition from Playing the game to the player crashing and the game over message being shown.

This system works by having two variables to track the GameMode (Things like Initialisation, Showing Menu, Playing Game, etc) and Loop Mode (Which breaks the game mode down into sections, e.g. Pre-Game, Game, Post-Game stuff). This way I simply have to update a variable to switch from running one bit of code, to the next.

User Interface

I have added a script for the UI stuff, and added a simple text only Game over message to display when the player has crashed.

I’ll be developing the UI further at a later point in development.

GDD Updates

There are a few changes which need making to the GDD this week.

I had omitted the fact the the player dies if they crash into the bottom of the screen (in section 3.5 Player Death), and there are a couple of new additions as well.

I’ll try and make these changes over the weekend and get the revised Flappy-vaders GDD uploaded on Monday.

In the next update

And thats all for this time. Over the next two weeks I will be carrying on with getting some more prototype systems in place for the other zones.

I will also spend some time creating graphics to replace the placeholders that I am using currently.