Friday, September 30, 2011

Random Update

I'm still slowly working on Generic every now and then. Hopefully by pacing myself, I won't suffer from burnout as often. Anyways, I felt like posting a random update for no real reason other than to temporarily cure my boredom.

At the time of writing this, Generic is nearing completion. You can pretty much play from the beginning all the way to the last boss. Other than that, there's still a CRAPLOAD of work to do such as music, play testing, balance, improving the stupid suicidal buddy AI to be not as stupid and suicidal, and polishing up everything else. Unfortunately, netplay won't be on the final version since I've come to realize that Generic's code isn't optimized for netplay at all.

Anyways, one thing I've updated was the pause menu, which before I thought looked like crap. The new one is a bit better, at least in my opinion.

Old map screen

New map screen

Old status menu

New status menu

As always, feedback is appreciated.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Current State

Sorry for the lack of blog posts and updates. To be honest, I really couldn't figure out what I could keep talking about without giving away too much of the game... that, and I haven't been working on Generic as much as I should have in the past year. This is more or less a result of having to work on the game for so long that you'd want to work on something else/new. Nevertheless, I'm back and have still done quite a bit since my last blog post.

While I can't precisely say when this game will be done, I'm hoping to complete it this year (at worst, early next year). It's still far from finished, but it's getting there. The things that still need to be done are:

-The final boss and ending credits
-Some extra enemies that need to be reworked
-Extra rooms/secrets that lead to heart and spade powerups
-Music and sounds
-Fixing up & updating certain sprites
-Balancing, testing, and optimizations

Netplay will probably need to be cut out temporarily due to how the game in its current state isn't very optimized for it. Once I finish the game, I'll focus on implementing it fully.

Also, I updated the HUD a little bit:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

2010 Already?

Happy New Ye... wait, it's already February? Wow, 3 months have gone by and I haven't even written a new entry yet! Looks like I'll need to change that!

So, what exactly have I been up to for the last 3 months? Unfortunately, not very much, but I can say that I've been working hard on Generic.

I guess the first thing I can talk about is my attempts to improve netplay, which took up a majority of reworking on (and it's still not done). Asides from rewriting it to send and receive packets slightly better, the biggest change was removing the capped 60 FPS code and introducing a time derivative to 'slow' the game down. Before, the game would usually cap at approx. 60 FPS during both single player and netplay mode. While not much of an issue for single player, it would cause lag in netplay if one player's machine was slower or faster than the other player. Now, the game should run at roughly the same speed regardless of how many frames per second you're getting. This also pretty much required me to change A LOT of the code around.

The game runs updates at a rate of 193 fps but plays like it runs at 60 fps

But enough of the boring stuff, time for some more interesting news. Asides from the netcode, I've also managed to finish up on some of the areas I had been working on and managed to finish the code for the second guardian boss (for the most part). At the moment, I'm currently working on the remaining parts of the third main area, Aqua Shore.

The underwater section of Aqua Shore. The 666 is coincidence.

I've also implemented an init file to change around some extra options not available in the game options menu. Tired of your partner's AI going suicidal and dying before you? You can now change it so your partner is invincible but no longer attacks. Some other options include changing the way health is represented (bars/numbers), skipping the new game intro, or removing leveling and non-ability powerups for challenge purposes. Most of these changes will also carry over through netplay.

Enemy health represented as numbers.

Finally, I decided to go out and buy a gamepad... so yeah, the game finally has joystick/gamepad support.

There's a bit more, but I guess I can save them for the next blog updates. With the current progress that Generic is at, I might actually manage to finish it this year... hopefully.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Untitled Update

Well, I figured now would be a good time as any to actually post an update on the game.

Since my last post, I've made quite a bit of progress, but I'll probably just list a few of the seemingly important (maybe?) ones.

First off, I've revamped the map system. In the old version, the map would fill out as you ventured into the unexplored regions of the map. Let's say you left one small region unexplored in a room, and sometime later in the game, you get stuck with no idea where to go. You open your map and see this unexplored area and spend 10 minutes to get there. When you finally reach the spot, it turns out to be a wall and you've got about 100 other unexplored areas to go to that may lead you to where you need to go.

tl;dr: Spending an hour to find the correct path isn't fun.

With the new map system, entering a room automatically fills out the room itself in gray. The explored parts of the room will fill in color.

Hopefully, this will eliminate any unnecessary backtracking. Areas are now also color coded to make it easier to distinguish on the map.

Also, remember how difficult it was to get the dash attack ability when heading left from the beginning? Well, I've added a save point right before that room.

I guess that wasn't really exciting for an update, so I'll just shut up and post random screenshots now.

Oh, before I forget, there's one last thing I want to mention! I originally planned to start adding music once the game was near completion since I'm not really a composer nor do I know anything about music. Nevertheless, I guess I just had some strange urge to put something together, so here it is! It's supposed to be the theme for the Titan Hive (Area 2) which originally had The Great Cave Offensive Theme from Kirby Super Star.

Any feedback to this theme would be appreciated.

Huh, writing up this post took longer than I thought. Oh well, I hope you guys enjoyed this update.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Still Working On It

Yes, I'm well aware that I suck pretty hard when it comes to updating this blog. I really don't know why, but I guess it has to do with the fact that anything I'm working on at this point is generally with the rooms, and it's pretty hard to make anything about the rooms sound fun.

So... rather than posting about the possibly interesting stuff I've done to the game during the summer, I'm going to bore you by talking about an enemy instead! Yay!

This particular enemy is the Sharpie.

Found in the regions within Aqua Shore, these creatures simply crawl along the floor, walls, and ceiling.

They're pretty harmless as long as you keep your distance, but if you get too close...

... they'll extend their spines in self-defense. So long as you don't touch them in this state, you'll be fine. Sharpies can be best described as 'moving spikes.' Any other soft-bodied creature that touches the Sharpie when its spines are extended will take damage.

Unlike most other enemies you'll encounter, Sharpies have hard shells as their armor and are impervious to most attacks. While it's certainly possible to defeat these types of enemies by slowly whittling down their health, you're better off using a hard hitting attack such as Tiger Force or a charged up attack.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Boss Edition

This is by far the longest time I've spent working and re-working a single boss. The one I'm talking about is the first main guardian: the Titan Queen. I had originally planned to make this boss fight to be the end of the preview, but because of how dissatisfied I was with her, I decided to cut that part out. If you recall, the 'end' of the preview was the room before where the boss fight is supposed to take place. Anyways, I've decided to show the various evolutions of the Titan Queen as I worked on her.

This was the first design for the Titan Queen back when I was working on the XNA version. This version would simply fly left and right and only had three attacks: a homing sickle, a downwards machine gun attack, and a forward projectile attack. This was eventually scrapped and turned into a regular enemy.

This is the second design for the Titan Queen. She performed four attacks: firing missiles from the top hatch, firing a bomb from the cannon, firing a massive laser from the cannon, and firing a beam from the two rods. Once again, scrapped for...

...the third design! This version mostly stayed on the ground, but moved around every now and then. She was more or less a combination of the previous two designs. Her attacks consisted of a spinning flamethrower, homing missiles, grenades, bombs, and a beam attack. After implementing (and even finishing) her, I felt like she needed to be a bit bigger.

Uh... yea.

Considering the number of times I've reimplemented this particular boss, I was pretty much 'bored' with working on it up to this point. Nevertheless, I'm quite satisfied with the final design (or maybe I'm just saying that so I don't have to work on this boss anymore, haha).

Anyways, one other area that had a touch up was the font and text implementation. I've changed the font quite a bit and added variable-width, hopefully making it a bit easier to read.

Of course, I've actually managed to accomplish a lot more than those just listed above, but I don't wish to spoil everything. Hope you enjoyed this update since it may be awhile before I post another one.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Graphical Issues Fixed (I think...)

I've fixed an issue in regards to the code and how it handled loading graphics / images. I was loading images directly when I should have re-sized the images to the nearest powers of two. As a result, some computers with outdated drivers were unable to run the game, or it would run really slow. Long story short, the game should now be able to run without much of a problem unless your graphics card is crap. I've also removed some unnecessary files to reduce file size.

Download link is to the right under "Generic Stuff of Interest"

If the game still doesn't work, be sure to email me or post a comment.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

KsiretsA's Video Walkthrough

Special thanks to KsiretsA(aka AsterisKSC) for creating these video walkthroughs. Parts 1 and 2 are posted below.

Be sure to check out his channel!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Beginner's Guide

I've realized that some players may be having some trouble getting started since the game drops you off in the middle of nowhere and leaves everything up to you, so hopefully all this stuff in this post will help you guys out.

First off is a map of the beginning area.

I highlighted the starting room with a purple border (sorry about the quality). As you can see, you have two paths you can take. Heading left leads to dead-ends, but there is a helpful ability you can obtain. Heading right will eventually lead to a powerup and an another save point.

I also forgot to mention something in the readme that may be helpful as well. When you head right, you may come across some 'thin' platform that prevents you from going down. To pass through them, simply hold down and press jump.

Passing through platforms? What sorcery is this!?

For others who don't know yet, besides the map screen, you can also access the ability screen. Pressing Q or W (default controls) when the map screen is up should switch to it. The ability screen displays your collected powerups, your stats, and the commands for your movesets.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What is Generic?

I've realized that some people may have no idea what exactly Generic is or how it really plays, so I'm going to talk about it a bit here.

As its title implies, Generic is a generic 2D adventure platformer similar to the Metroid/Castlevania series. You're probably saying something like ", but there exists so many of those types of games already!" Yea yea, I know. More or less, I enjoy these types of games when done well (Super Metroid / SotN) and I wanted to do something similar... though it probably won't be as good, ha ha.

Throughout the game, you control one of two characters: Gene and Ric (GeneRic, get it?).

You may switch between the two whenever you feel like, but for the most part, their attacks don't really differ and they don't have any unique abilities (as of yet).

You'll be fighting your way through various enemies while exploring a large interconnected world. There really isn't much of a story and there's no dialogue, so don't expect some kind of grand RPG-ish epic. Instead, the game focuses a little bit more on exploring and using Gene/Ric's attacks to maneuver through various obstacles. If anything, the best way to describe this is along the lines of a mash-up between Kirby Super Star and Metroid.

True to the style of the Metroid series, your characters start of with very few abilities. As you explore, you'll find new powerups that will unlock new attacks and grant you access to areas previously inaccessible.

I know it has been awhile since I've updated due to some college stuff, so I thought I'd make it up by releasing a preview. It's far from what the final product would play like, but it's got enough gameplay to hold on its own for now. I've left Netplay in, but I don't recommend using it as it still needs a lot of fixing. Also, Area 2 uses music from KSS as a placeholder. Enough chit chat, here's what you've been waiting for:

Download the preview! (Windows, 10.59 MB)

Enjoy! Now if you'll excuse me, I must return to my college independent study project.