Skip to main content

Shaders (getting trippy here)

So for this next area of Robo-Ninja, I've been trying to figure out how to do some crazy wavy-screen effect as Robo-Ninja teleports into the new dimension. Suddenly, my lack of knowledge about modern computer graphics really shows up. The Gameboy Advance and DS used their own proprietary 2d graphics systems, and so far I've just been using some high-level 2d libraries in libGdx, that protect me from having to learn much about the actual openGL stuff that's actually going on.

But to do this crazy effect, it looks like I'm going to have to use shaders. So I'm going to have to learn a little bit. Thanks to some nice folks on the libGdx IRC channel, I found a page with some nice example code of something vaguely like what I'm trying to do. Playing around with that example code, I've turned Robo-Ninja into a serious trip-fest:

So...that's weird. Not exactly what I'm going for, but I think I can use that to get pointed in the right direction of what I want for the transition. The real question at this point is, how much time do I spend really learning this stuff properly (the syntax of the shader language isn't complicated, but to really understand it, I need to have a much better understanding of 3d graphics than I do, which could take quite a bit of time and work to really get there), vs just barely understanding it enough to achieve the effects I'm looking for (which is pretty likely in this case, since it's just for this one visual transition, and not crucial to the game itself). We'll see what happens....


Popular posts from this blog

Retrospex 32 Review

RetrospexInternational recently sent me a couple units of their new handheld device, the Retrospex 32, a new dedicated GameboyAdvance emulator handheld.  To make the unit playable out of the box, they pre-loaded a handful of homebrew games, including Anguna, which is why they were kind enough to send me 2 of the units to play with.  I was pretty excited to get my hands on the device and try it (I loved my old GBA micro with a good flash cart!), and see Anguna running on it. So here's my thoughts after playing with it.

Their website lists the Retrospex 32 for £59.99, which is around $100 USD. It seems like it's marketed toward people into retro-gaming (which makes sense for a dedicated GBA emulator device). At that price, with that target market, and such a limited set of functionality (why not make it a multi-machine emulator, and emulate all the old consoles?), it would hopefully do a really good job of it.

The short version of my review: it doesn't. It has one job (emula…

Making the game fun

The real trick for Spacey McRacey (as I'm calling it now) is going to be making it fun.  And that's what I'm rather unsure about at this point.

I have a game design that basically works. The technical issues are mostly sorted out, I just need to get a few more implemented before I can seriously play test it.

But fun? It's hard to know if it's actually going to be any fun to play.  With a 4-player party-style game, it's seems like it might be hard to hit that fine line where everyone is close and competing, where everything feels exciting and tense, as opposed to tedious and boring.  And despite envisioning my game as fun, it might just be boring to play.

Some of that comes down to tweaking it. Tweaking the speeds, difficulties, etc, will make a difference. (If it's too easy to shoot people from behind, then it will be nearly impossible to hold a lead for very long, which could ruin it and make it no fun. If it's too hard to kill the guy in front, it wil…

Killer Queen

So at PRGE, I played an arcade game that just left me amazed.  Killer Queen.

It's a 10-player game. You have 2 cabinets linked together, and 5 players huddled on each one. Each one is a team of 5 people, working together to play a simple one-screen 2d platformer.  But what made it work was the high quality game design.

First, the game is relatively simple, yet there is a lot going on at once.  One player plays the queen, the most important and powerful character on the team. The others start as workers, but can become warriors who can fly around and attack in a very joust-like flappy contest of height.  The real trick is that there are three completely different ways to win: either collect a bunch of berries and bring them back to your base, or ride a REALLY SLOW snail across the screen (while other people try to kill you, and you hope your team protects you), or kill the enemy queen 3 times.  There's some other things going on as well (using berries to upgrade, capturing upgr…