Sniff… My Xbox360 is broken (again) and Space Giraffe is released tomorrow… Now I am sad, in a beastie kinda way. Somebody help me get over this….
He all. I may not have posted the past few days but sure a lot of things are going on behind the scenes… Last week I got my Xbox360 back from repair. It was working alright, but I did notice it made a sound that it didn’t make before, like if there is something loose in the case. You know, the screw you misplace when you put the case back together? Today the system got the red-ring-of-death again… So I called Xbox support again and I can send it back to Germany again via UPS. Awesome… Let’s hope the next repair action will hold up longer, sigh.
On the Trapped development front: last week I’ve been re-discovering Lightwave 3D. I thought I still knew how to use the program but I came to the concusion that my first efforts sucked big time. So I went back to the tutorials, dug up my old reference cards and got busy. Slowly but surely my skillz with the package are returning. There have been a lot of “oh yes, I remember now” moments this past week, and I also rediscover the joy of creating something out of nothing.
Not all time has been wasted on just content creation though. I have added the energy transfer code. Basic movement of the enemies is also in there, so enemies now move along, go to your shield if they are near enough and start feeding of it before they overload and explode. I can shoot or grab the enemies, dump them into my shield to regain energy, shooting enemies will advance the powerup bar, etc. The time has come to begin creating a proper game loop (start, play, die, play, game over) and to add the code to clear a level. After that I have to tweak the values of energy and points to get a stable game going.
But that is in the future. For now I keep at it in Lightwave… I’ve got another design for the player ship drawn out so it’s time to build that and see how it is looking rendered… The idea is to render out the frames and choose the correct frame to draw according to the player angle. I’ve done that before in Zone Patrol so I know it works :)
While I cannot download trailers etc. on my Xbox 360 now it’s away for repair I’ve been watching tha intarnets for information about new games to look forward to. My favorite line-up so far is that from Nintendo. Metroid Prime 3 and Mario Galaxies are looking fantastic so far! I’m also looking forward to Geometry Wars for the Wii… Looks like I will be playing the Wii a lot this year. Microsoft is showing off some awesome games as well. Mass Effect, Quake Wars and Assassin’s Creed look great.
The gamer in me craves for those kind of epic games, but at the same time I feel that I am also leaning more and more towards shorter timed games. This also made me look to my Trapped! design as well. I want the game to provide solid game play but also make it simple and rewarding enough to play it when you have half an hour or so to spare. So I’m thinking about additional modes to put into the game. Something you can pay for a few minutes and earn a medal or something. So maybe a campaign mode (main game) and challenge modes (stay alive, gather X of Y in Z time). This could be fun but let’s concentrate on the main game first :)
I’m still not sure about the game’s looks. I’ll just keep experimenting until I find a style I am satisfied with. So I went from vectors to stylized to realistic to don’t know. Sounds like I have gone through all the possibilities, he he. Luckily this has no impact on the game design and programming at all so I can play around while I create the game. I’ve started adding enemies to the game now. They roam around, trying to find the players’ shield to attach to it and make it smaller. A quick ugly HUD has been added to show the progress bar of each element (player health, player shield energy, power-up progress) So far so good.
Last night I played through some levels of Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition. I made it past the lake which I found much easier to finish than on the Game Cube version. Do you remember the lake with the big ugly beast in it? I almost crapped my pants when I saw that for the first time on the Game Cube version. The new control mechanism is really making the game more intuitive to play, and aiming is so much easier than with the analog stick. I love my Wii.
So, yesterday the kids wanted to play some games on the Xbox 360. Turned it on… red lights… bummer! My machine is a launch machine so I was aware that IT could happen any day. And IT did…
So, tomorrow my Box will travel to Germany to get repaired. Should give me some time to play Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition and work on Trapped! Every disadvantage has an advantage, as a famous Dutch football player once said.
stinkygoat: SG tutorial level vids
Great videos of Jeff Minter’s new shoot-em-up to be released on the Xbox360 Marktetplace! Can’t wait! Will it still be called Space Giraffe once it’s finished? I kinda like the name…
And I thought my new game was hard to explain :) I still cannot understand from those vids what the various new additons to the Tempest gameplay work like. Sounds and looks awesome though, I will certainly give this a try once it’s released… Jeff rocks (and he likes a game of Thrust, so he’s a spiritual friend :) )
OK, back to work. Starting on the game now for real!