gp2tanx Dev Log

Completed on the train home last night:
- added “comet tail” to the fired shot so it shows up better

Completed on the train to work this morning:
- implemented destructible terrain (thank you jnrdev) and falling tanks

It’s almost a real game. Still to go:

  • wind
  • explosion graphics
  • damage
  • menu
  • pause

Haven’t ported it over to the gp2x in several days – I guess I should do that and make sure it still works!

gp2tanx – It’s Alive!!

gp2tanx - work in progressStarted off slow, but made huge progress toward the end of the weekend.

As you can see the tanks are now half the size they were before. The earlier version was good for learning but impractical for an actual game. (Thanks for the tiny tanks, Jim!)

Most of the time was spent trying to implement a fractal terrain-generation scheme (based on this article) and draw that to the screen. Once that came together, I tore apart the old version of the game, put the tanks in their own class and tried to clean up the rest of the code a bit. It’s still a big mess, I wouldn’t want anyone else to try to read it, but it does work!

I’ve got the turrets moving now as the player changes aim, although I think there is some weird rounding happening somewhere that makes some of the angles look weird. Next I will try to re-implement the ballistics code.

Here’s some great links if you’re trying to get started with gp2x development, or SDL development in general. I referred to them many many times this weekend. I’m using Cone3D’s sprite class (which is sort of overkill since nothing really animates but I wanted to learn to use it), and Lazy Foo’s timer/frame limiter class.

Programming the GP2X – Part 3: Mistakes Were Made

Tank game prototype on gp2xWell, I had not one, but two big mistakes in my code to calculate the trajectory of the bullets:

1) I had my GRAVITY constant defined as a negative (-9.8 m/sec^2), then I was subtracting it instead of adding it – so the bullet rose faster and faster!

2) The sin() and cos() functions were expecting angles in radians, and I was passing in degrees. That’s why everything got all crazy when I used an angle above 70.

    These are both resolved now, so the bullets actually go from here to there now. I can start doing some code cleanup before I move on to actually creating the explosions.

Programming the GP2X – Part 2

I got my prototype game running on the GP2X last night. There’s still something wrong with the projectile trajectory, but it was very cool to compile the program on my PC and then copy it over and see it run on the small screen.

If you’re getting into GP2X development, definitely check out the GP2X Dev Wiki, especially the section on setting up a development environment. I followed the instructions for Windows and everything worked perfectly.

I’m still not very happy with DevC++ as an environment though. I looked at CodeBlocks and didn’t like it. Eclipse looks promising but very complicated. I may just end up going with Visual Studio since that’s the environment I know best.

Programming the GP2X

Atari Adventure on the GP2XSo I ordered a GP2X last week. It’s a linux-based handheld that’s completely open for development.

If you are into emulation and classic games this is the system for you. It runs lots of emulators, MAME, etc. It also supports DivX and Xvid .avi playback.

Sean and I have decided (again) to try to write a game and Jim is on board for the art. I spent the weekend just trying to get acquainted with the system and rough out a Scorched Earth clone. I figured it is simple, but still has things like a HUD, physics, and so on.

Well, the first thing I learned is that I don’t know nearly as much about C++ as I thought. I’ve been coding C# for several years but it has tons of featured that just plain don’t exist in C++. So there was lots and lots of Googling and research.

So far I’ve got drawing both tanks on the screen, reading the input for the trajectory and power of the shot, and displaying that on the screen. Something’s funky when shot is actually fired though. I’m not sure if it’s not registering the input or if my math is way off.

Which brings me to my next issue: the debugger in DevC++ kind of sucks. I’m going to look into getting a different IDE set up, maybe CodeBlocks or Eclipse. Any suggestions?

Out of This World Re-release

Out of This WorldIf you recognize this screenshot, you probably remember Out of This World (or Another World as it was known in Europe) as one of the coolest / most frustrating gaming experiences of your younger days.

You played as Lester Chaykin, spiritual predecessor to Gordon Freeman. His physics experiment goes awry and he ends up on an alien planet. It’s an adventure/platform game with great (for its time) graphics and atmosphere.

The game is being re-released for its 15th anniversary. The graphics engine is being very slightly enhanced but will maintain the classic look. Some screenshots and more information are here.

Apparently the game’s creator, Eric Chahi has some new projects in the works as well. If you speak French, you can read more on his site.

April 14, 2006 | Posted in: Video Games | Comments Closed

Elder Scrolls Construction Set Released

If you’re the mod-making type and you own the PC version of Oblivion, you’re in for a treat. Bethesda has released the Elder Scrolls Construction Kit, which allows you to create new dungeons, NPCs, spells, quests, etc etc etc. You know, just in case 80 bajillion hours of gameplay isn’t enough.

March 23, 2006 | Posted in: Video Games | Comments Closed

Oblivion Arrives

The latest Elder Scrolls game, Oblivion, came out yesterday. It was originally intended to be a launch title for the 360 but was delayed several months. It looks (so far) like the delay really paid off.

For those unfamiliar, Oblivion is the fourth game in the Elder Scrolls RPG series.
I am sooo digging this game already. I played Elder Scrolls III and they have not given up any of the depth and wide-open-ness they developed in that one. I love how you can pursue the main quest or just wander around the world as you choose.

The fact that you can decide whether you want to walk from city to city or just “jump” there is GREAT. If you’re the type that wants to do every side-quest (and from what I hear there are hundreds in this game), you’ll want to walk. On the other hand, if you’re trying to finish something quickly before heading out to work in the morning, jumping to the next city in your quest line is very helpful.

The character creation is great. In Elder Scrolls III you filled out a questionnaire and the game suggested a character class to you. In this game, it is more transparent. They analyze how you play through the first section of the game and suggest a class to you. I went with a custom class. What I wanted was a thief-type who uses magic to give him a little extra edge. So I marked Agility and Personality as my favored attributes. For skills I picked Alteration, Blade, Illusion, Light Armor, Marksman, Sneak, and Security.

I’ve joined the Mage’s Guild but have not found the Thieves’ Guild yet. I did find a shifty-looking Orc who seems like he might have an in though…

The graphics are fantastic. Grass blows in the breeze, illumination changes as the day/night cycle continues, the number of little touches is endless. If you’re ever outside at night, make sure you look up and check out the starry sky!

I’m not very far into the game yet, but if you’re a fan of the Elder Scrolls series, picking this one up is a no-brainer.

March 22, 2006 | Posted in: Video Games | Comments Closed

Age of Conan Info

It seems like a long time ago that I signed up but the first Age of Conan newsletter has come out from FunCom.

Experience the World of Conan!
Age of Conan – Hyborian Adventures is an Online Action RPG scheduled for Windows in 2006. A mix of a deep, story-driven single-player experience and a massive and brutal multiplayer end-game brings forth the ultimate representation of the Age of Conan. Now you can enter the brutal domain of the world’s greatest fantasy hero.

I’m a big fan of the character and the novels, so I’m really looking forward to this one. I love the simple pulp feel and hopefully it will carry over into the game somehow. The trailer is up here. Looks cool, but as with any trailer who knows what the final product will look like. I wonder if they are still on target for a 2006 release.

The class tree is here. It surprises that they’re making a Mage archetype because in the Conan books it seemed like magic was both extremely rare and extremely powerful and dangerous. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)

March 18, 2006 | Posted in: Video Games | Comments Closed