wickedworx

March 14, 2011

THIS BLOG IS MOVING

Filed under: Uncategorized — wickedworx dev clone 1 @ 4:25 pm

I have moved this blog to http://blog.wickedworx.net … it’s a whole “new” blog (although I have migrated all the old content from here, to there..). Give it an hour or so, if you are impatient… Party on!

February 1, 2011

post ‘world of love’ update

Filed under: Uncategorized — wickedworx dev clone 1 @ 12:41 pm

Friday was the World Of Love independent games development conference, in London. I went along not really knowing much about any of the individual speakers or companies involved…but I guess that was half the point, right?

There were some interesting talks (the highlight, for me at least, being a talk by the creator of “Dark Wind“, a one-man created mmo. very impressive, and stand-out. Some of the other talks were more along the lines of “this is our company, and this is how we work” – which, for me, is less interesting…especially when these companies tend to act more as an outsource for IP-owning clients, rather than really developing independent projects. – not really so much the side of things that I’m interested in, personally.. although there are some areas of cross-over, I’m sure.
All in all a very good day, met some genuinely enthusiastic indie devs (and non-devs) and had 3 cups of tea. Also had this cake which was really good.
So is there a place for content driven independent games? Uh.. well, I guess we’ve still got that to answer. And I guess the main thing that stuck with me from the day is: “How do you describe Excruciating Guitar Voyage (series) in one sentence?”. That’s something that’s got to be thought about.

(SIDENOTE: EGV1 is now popular enough that it has been pirated, by some pirate group. thanks a lot, you dicks!)

The next morning, we went along to the post-WoL game-jam (we being myself, Joakim and Ben)..we’d had about 2 hours sleep after a particularly tiring evening/night/morning in Islington, and it was showing.. we created a small game, which I’m currently calling “Tortune”.. it’s a spinning disc rhythm game with poly-rhythms and awkward sounds.. it was pretty much a manifestation of our exhaustion, in game form.. we made a 2 player mode which was way more fun, but then we added some animals textured with train seat textures – and you couldn’t see them that well with 2 players – so it was back to 1 player… It was great to hang out with some other devs and see some of their work… and, uh, apologies we were such a state!

Monday – back to EGV2. The “isolated puzzle area” I’ve been working on is all coming together well.. it’s actually gotten to be quite large.. hopefully not too large. It’s got ghosts, gingerbread, and bookcases.. it’s all a little spooky!
Got some awesome new assets from Tim. EGV2 is going to look great. A few people played a section of it over the weekend – which has led me to think it needs a little difficulty balancing… we hadn’t done any real testing (of any kind) with EGV2 previously, so it was nice to see a few reactions. The intro and new animations seemed to impress, so that’s GOOD NEWS.

Stick Unleashed went back in to peer review yesterday…. We got loads a bit of Kieronononon recording done – some of which will almost definitely end up as part of the EGV2 soundtrack. So, yeah, I’ve been busy.

well, that’s my blogbligation complete for this week. BYE. fucking screenshots next time, yeh?

(oh yeah, PX has new legs:
)

January 22, 2011

EGV2 updates

Filed under: Uncategorized — wickedworx dev clone 1 @ 11:54 am

the past week I’ve been back on the EGV2 path. The first major update is that Tim has given PX a new body:
PX new body
He looks like a real person! The 7-sided blob body is gone… forever.

I’ve been working on one of the ‘set piece’ levels. It’s going pretty well so far – we’ve got those nice dynamic shadows, moving staircases, gingerbread men, and a whole load more.. I’m about to put some heavy machinery in and actually start shaping the puzzles… it’s a fairly isolated area in some respects, so it doesn’t have to rely on, or have any major implications on other areas of the game….which is good for design freedom here.

The preview build is still coming along… we’re planning that it’ll showcase the first 5-10 minutes of the game, our new graphics and new interface.. it’s not too puzzle heavy or difficult, as it’s the very first section of the game.

Not much else to report on..everything progressing fairly solidly. Oh – We’ve also got the new “objectives and inventory” screen in.. it’s much less intrusive than previously.. More soon!

January 11, 2011

Stick ‘Em Up: Even More Stick

Filed under: Uncategorized — wickedworx dev clone 1 @ 4:21 pm

I’ve been working on a follow-up to 2010’s “Stick ‘Em Up”.. It’s called “Stick ‘Em Up: Even More Stick”.

One of the key features of SEU:MS is the new level editor! You can now build your own VS levels, co-op levels, or even just “stick man playgrounds” right within the game on X360.

I’ve made a video of me creating a level from scratch here:

There were several challenges in creating the level editor. Firstly, I had to occlude any lines which should not show, where geometry overlaps. In our own levels, we can always control where geometry overlaps – so we’d just not put in any of these lines… but I can’t stop a player from doing this – so I’ve had to use some stencil buffering to make it render multiple objects which overlap, as if they are one solid block.

I’ve had to make some optimizations to the SEU framework/engine in general to speed things up – it’s highly likely that a player will create rooms packed with more enemies than a normal SEU level.. I’ve had to put some limits on how many enemies can be placed in the level (for memory and performance), but I’ve also optimized all the AI and object spawning to make sure that things run as smoothly as possible even when at these limits.

One fun thing is that I’ve included all the vehicles in the editor.. so you can just create a set of ramps and obstacles for the car, should you wish… or just add a whole load of invaders (and invader ships for the players) and make essentially a twin-stick space level!

December 14, 2010

EGV2

Filed under: Uncategorized — wickedworx dev clone 1 @ 10:18 am

We’ve started work on EGV2. There’s no point keeping it secret. We’re working on EGV2 right now!

A few things have changed and improved since the first. We’re making a real effort to bring the characters and the whole EGV world to life… we’ve got better animation (including animated mouths!) which gives a lot more weight to the characters.. and we’ve made a few changes so the whole world feels a little less flat.

I started the week with the worryingly talented Daniel Gallagher (Dan Flashbang) recording some new material for the game… it worked out a lot better than we expected, especially given the time constraints we came up against on the night. We may have used a little too much time eating tacos (yes, really..) and watching “Hotel Inspector” (ugh), but we got the job finished by 11pm!

Then we’ve got this really great scene at the beginning of the game…. I don’t want to spoiler it yet, but I’ve been working on that.. There were a few technical challenges – we’ve got a far improved camera system, which has allowed us some really nice dynamic camera choreography for the intro scene… I’ve also written a pre-cache for our level geometry, which means we can do some neat dynamic effects mid-level.. instantly change the shape of whole buildings, etc.. with absolutely minimal overhead, as all the vertex buffers for the change have already been generated. A fairly obvious thing, in a way – but we hadn’t needed it in previous projects as level geometry had remained relatively static once created.. Not this time!

November 8, 2010

SUPER JANITOROID & more

Filed under: Uncategorized — wickedworx dev clone 1 @ 12:30 pm

Since EGV launched on both X360 and PC, I’ve been fairly busy (considering I was originally going to take a break for a week or two) working on a “spin-off” called SUPER JANITOROID.

In a lot of ways it was an exercise to see how flexible our current framework is at creating a different style of game.. We’ve got new animation tools, and improvements to our level editor – which have definitely helped with this new game… as well as a few speed improvements in loading / object creation.

The majority of programming for this game has been within components…which is a good sign! I’ve written a few components for enemy AI, for weapon types, and moving platforms.. the rest of this project has mainly just been level design, animation and similar content creation tasks! So – that’s been quite good in “proving” the framework.

EGV has done pretty well in comparison to our expectations.. it’s definitely a complex game to explain to someone, despite it really just being platform/adventure, there’s something else to it which might initially throw people… either way – the feedback from those who’ve played it has been brilliant..and that’s what we can hope for! party on! anyway – time for me to try and finish off SUPER JANITOROID.
TRAILER:

September 25, 2010

EGV in peer review!

Filed under: Uncategorized — wickedworx dev clone 1 @ 5:18 pm

We’ve put EGV in to peer review on X360! Let’s hope it gets through!!

September 8, 2010

Finished!

Filed under: Uncategorized — wickedworx dev clone 1 @ 9:15 pm

Excruciating Guitar Voyage is finished.
I’ve forgotten what I do with my time when I’m not working on it.
While I work that out, we’re busy packaging the game up, and looking at our options re: distribution (on PC, at least)… on X360, it’s easy – through the indie channel. PC is now the more difficult platform distribution wise..

Wow. Finished. It’s been amazing how the game has all fallen in to place. It’s so dramatically different from what it was one month ago, or even two months ago. We’re really really epically pleased with how its turned out, so here’s some screenshots… I’m not going to resize them to fit because I’ve done enough work for one day:





August 26, 2010

New Excruciating Guitar Voyage Trailer

Filed under: Uncategorized — wickedworx dev clone 1 @ 10:29 pm

EGV is going amazingly well… we’re getting very close to finishing this thing off, and I’m getting more enthusiastic every time I play through the game. We’re doing some voice-over recording this weekend (so far 4 out of the 10 or so characters have been voiced)… the QA-ing volunteers have been putting on really solid tickets to the database just slightly faster than we can solve them – which is an excellent motivator. The machine is working, so to speak. 🙂

We’ve done a new trailer:

July 3, 2010

Some new EGV screenshots

Filed under: Uncategorized — wickedworx dev clone 1 @ 4:11 pm

Here are some new EGV screenshots, showing off areas from the beginning of the game… some of these areas featured in the preview video we did already.

You’ll notice the majority of these sections are set at night – hence the blue/dark kinda feeling (with the only bright light coming from lamps and such…).

We’re at a point now where the majority of our work is scripting and level editing – so it’s all fun! There’s a lot of dialogue and character scripting / animation to do for this game, dialogue trees etc.. – but it’s all worth it – it’s coming along great!

I’m going to write a more technical blog about the workings of the scripting system soon.

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