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Showing posts from October, 2014

Getting stuff done...

So I got a lot done this weekend (not counting the work I did on my back porch, but this isn't a home improvement blog, so....)

I got the basics of the scripting system working for cutscenes in Robo-Ninja. I reworked my original design slightly (to put the entire script in a single file, instead of a different script for each "puppet" in the scene). I still need to flesh out a number of the script commands, but I have a very ugly basic cutscene working, where Robo-Ninja stands there as Prof. Treeblot walks away from him, and then a buggy half-broken Dr Squidbrain shows up.
On Atari Anguna, I did some thinking, and realized the way I had written 3 completely separate kernels was dumb. I managed to rework it so that the the smaller, simpler kernels were just subsets of the bigger more complicated kernel. They are a couple cycles slower, as I had to add a branch to possibly jump out of the kernel loop for the smaller kernels, but I managed to squeeze the branch into a spot wh…

Kernels, enemies dying, and bankswitching

So for the past couple weeks, I've been putting off working on Atari Anguna because I've been up against a bug that sounded difficult and boring to solve: whenever I killed an enemy, it messed up my kernel logic, and everything went haywire.

What's supposed to happen, is that every frame, I sort my enemies by Y position, and then compare all their Y values, select the right kernel mode, then draw them in order. If an enemy is dead, I'd sort it to the end, and select kernel modes that ignored that enemy. But it wasn't working.

I sat down to tackle this today, and happily, it only took about 10 minutes. It was a simple logic error in my sorting routine, which occasionally caused a dead enemy to get sorted to the front of the list.

(Tangent time! I ended up using a *gasp* Bubble Sort for sorting these enemies. Why? Because I realized that for N=3, which is my case, Bubble Sort only requires 3 comparisons (a/b, b/c, a/b again). So it's a really simple sort to imple…

Jetpack and death counter

Tonight was back to Robo-Ninja. First, to make Aaron happy, I went ahead and created the jetpack item. He's been wishing for that non-stop for months, so I thought it would be a fun surprise to add for him. Plus, it was one of those few times that something was really easy. It helped that it's so similar to the double-jump item in function.

Then, I felt like doing something different (the scripting stuff, while interesting, required some serious thought and design work, which I didn't feel up to tonight), so I added something I've been planning for awhile: the death counter. What good is a hard game if it doesn't regularly remind you about how bad you are at the game?

With Anguna, when I released it, I had a little contest, where the first person to win the game with 100% of the hidden items being found, won a free copy of the game. It was a fun way to drum up some interest and attention. (and was fun from my end -- the 2nd place winner was only a few hours behind …

3 enemy kernel (getting close!)

Spent awhile tonight working on trying to get my 3-enemy kernel working for the atari game. It basically amounted to a ton of branches, checking to see which enemies were close, which frame I was in, etc.

Basically, I have to see which enemies are close to each other vertically, pick the appropriate kernel (whether to render 1, 2, or all 3 enemies), then swap around the enemies in the enemy array to make sure that the correct enemies are rendered for this frame (since enemies that overlap a row only get rendered on alternating frames).

So tonight was my first pass at it. It works in a few of the cases, but completely freaks out in a few of the arrangements. So now I get to start the fun job of isolating which cases fail, and debugging. This should be fun.

Robo-Ninja Puppets

So now on Robo-Ninja I have the fun little diversion of figuring out how to do the scripted sequences for the beginning and ending stories. It will consist of little more than a handful of characters (Robo-Ninja, Prof. Treeblot, and Dr ?, maybe a robot guard) moving around and having word bubbles over their heads.

But I need a nice way of scripting it.

So that's what I'm currently working on, which is fun because it's a different sort of thing. I decided to not go all out and embed a lua interpreter in my game, but I AM making a super-simple script language that I'll run for each character.

I've extended my GameCharacter class (which handles drawing characters, animated them, detecting collisions with other characters) to create a new class that follows a script. Now I just need to actually implement the script system (and parser!)

I haven't finished planning it out fully yet, but I'm envisioning something like:

2.5   moveto 132,234
1.5   say    This is text …