The Squares: The princess in the tower

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Hi guys, long time no see. Classes have kept me busy for the past few weeks but things don’t seem to have changed here though. I see you guys are enjoying minecraft. I got the game 3 weeks ago and it gave my cousins a heart attack. I don’t blame them, they are spoiled with games with HD graphics (would you believe they said streets of rage 3 had terrible graphics). Sadly I can’t play my version online, has something to do with not being premium or something. Oh well, tons of fun offline anyway.

With classes, exams and my final year coming up, it seems game making would be put on hold for a while longer than I thought. Its a shame too since I haven’t made a decent game in quite some time. However, I have been enjoying flash drawing and animating, which is weird since I could be using that time to make a simple mini game. Oh well, at least I can pop out a comic or two once in a while.

Now enjoy this perverted little piece

 

comic_nu1

The Squares: What are you really doing here?

Ahh, another nice follow up to the last comic I made. For greater flexibility, I have abandoned the 4-panel format in favor of  having almost any number of panels, depending on how I want to tell the story.

Also in your free time check out this webcomic series. Some of you may have seen it already, but others who haven’t should give it a try. TF2 fans will not be disappointed.
http://nerfnow.com/

comic_nu2a

New years, january resolutions

Hello all, happy new year! With the month of January upon us, it is time to look forward to what the year will bring. There will be many plans, and many experiences along the way. A friend of mine told me that the best way to live is to take things one day at a time, planning and fulfilling very short term goals. This gives much more satisfaction and limits the number of disappointments. So, with that logic, I plan to follow January by making a list of short term goals I hope to finish by the end of the month.

1.     A working prototype of a Kyle game:
Ok, this is a no brainer. Given the sheer number of projects and demos I have undertaken in the past, making one of these shouldn’t take more than a week. I am thinking of making a very short Kyle game based on the two comics in my previous blogs (links here and here). The story involves trying to “rescue” Princess Lana from a castle before she escapes and blows the place up.

logo_bannar

 

With a concept as easy as that, I should have a working prototype ready by the end of the week.

  1. Work with ruby on rails:
    Rails is a framework that I should have mastered a long time ago. You see, when I first got mazimadu.com, it came with ruby on rails preinstalled. Unfortunately, I found it so hard to work with that I chickened out and used php instead (not that php programmers are chickens). Now I intend to get a simple rails app working by the end of the week. Nothing too complicated. Maybe a list or something.
  2. Fix my site in general:
    The site as you see it has been that way for the past 8 months. I added the whole rotating updates bar as a means of showing viewers what’s new on the site. But with no new content in months, what was I thinking? I will replace it with a more practical picture of what I intended to add or just what’s hot.
    Also I intend to improve the games section and add a (simple) comic archive.
  3. Watch maximum overdrive:

This looks like an AWESOME movie! People with guns shooting possessed cars, what’s not to like?! The movie and all its good points was reviewed in CineMassacre’s review on spike tv’s web site. Check it out here (link)

The Squares: Cloudy quest demo

With GMHTML5 and GM Studio in beta, I have been testing out its capabilities on various devices. While my Droid eris gave the worst performance (no surprise there), my Herotab C8 was able to run quite smoothly even at a larger resolution.

What game am I talking about. Let me explain.
Back in February I wanted to make a HTML5 game for the global game jam that made use of only mouse input.This was scrapped due to time issues, but I revisited it since I found the gameplay interesting. So I continued and now have this little test.
The game has Kyle navigating the sky by swinging, grappling and getting fired from cannons. All controls use the left mouse button.

Letter to Yoyo Games: GM Studio hates Tiles And HTML5 hates backgrounds

I am a long time user of game maker and have been using the software for 5 years now. Usually when ever there is a jump from one version to the next I usually wait a while for all the kinks to be removed before I get the next version. But GMS and GMHTML5 are the exception to the rule and I choose to get these now that they are in Beta to learn the program while it gets improved. So far, things have been quite nice and I cant wait to get my hands on the finished version so I can start Android development. Unfortunately, I ran into a few critical presentation problems, each unique to GMS and GMHTML5 respectively.

Now I have been developing a new Squares game (another one) and have created some placeholder assets to test out my engine. Nothing to shabby. Sprites, tiles and a few parallax scrolling backgrounds. I did this from scratch using GMHTML5 and since it is using the GM8 runner, the results were as I expected below.

12325584

here, I set the backgrounds to tile horizontally but not vertically.

In HTML5, the result was similar, but the Backgrounds tile vertically instead of horizontally. Below

33135581

I imported the project into GM studio and ran it with the C++ runner. Here ther background problem is fixed, but…

46936369

WTF is up with those tiles. The pointer to the tiles seems to be messed up. They also have shrunk for some reason . Weird.

While I could easily post to the bug tracker, I felt that it would be better if everyone actively using the program saw the differences that seem to be present in each version of GM. I am confident that the yoyo team will fix this little bug and appreciate the hard work they put into the project. Till then I will be waiting patiently for the issue(s) to be fixed.

Sincerely

Mazimadu

Spriter: A tool to look out for

Personally, I am a fan of 2d platformers and an even bigger fan of games that make use of large multi-sprited bosses. Games like Gunstar Heroes, Castlevania and Contra have some of the coolest looking bosses (and in some cases, coolest boss fights) in video games and all that is made possible using this technique.

spot_gunstar03

 

A very small list of examples

In some of my earlier games, I tried experimenting with this technique but fell short since I lacked a good tool that could make this easier.

boss3va8

 

One tool that caught my eye is the Spriter project in Port Richey. The tool is an animation tool for creating highly detailed 2d real-time game characters and effects. It claims that it can provide all the features need to create 2d animations such as tweening and keyframing. It also allows for XML exports, perfect with for Game Maker Studio. The project is on KickStarter and needs donations to get finished.

The Squares [comic]: Punching Bag

Here is another comic that I made using the new art style I created. I actually drew this comic WAY back in 2011, but never got around to actually writing dialog until yesterday. Because of my rather busy schedule, I decided to scan them in, adjust the contrast and use Multiply to color in the few details. The result is a rather artsy look. Still needs some work, but better than my last comic in my opinion.I unfortunately scanned the comic in at a rather LARGE resolution. Since I also didn’t do any inking, the thing came out to a 1600×1198. Because of this, I have included a small preview of the comic below. Click in the link for the full thing.

 

preeview

 

Updates

I have been really busy on the kyle game.

Things have been going smoothly and I have most of the game just about finished and all that’s left is the following:

– Second zone level design
– 3 of the bosses
– 2 flash cutscenes
– some tiles
In other news I am practicing ruby and php. Personally, I find them much easier to learn than java.

Engine talk: Rokon Engine for Google Android

I mentioned on 64 digits that I was going to discuss different game engines I have come across over the past few months. All engines I will go over are either free or open source.

Okay, now to start with the first.

Last year, I got an oh so wonderful HTC Droid Eris for my Birthday. It is the cool gadget I always wanted, being able to do EXACTLY what it was designed for (take that Nokia NGAGE) and then some. I immedieatly downloaded the Android SDK and started programming for the device. Android has all its programs written in Java (which is good, because I don’t have time to start learning objective C) and can be tested directly on the phone (if you have a PC with a processor < 2 GHz, don’t even think about using the emulator, which takes over a minute to load). So all that was left was to find an engine that I can use. Being the lazy baga that I am, I found someone elses work and decided to use that.

So I came across the Rokon Engine[here ], a 2D game engine that uses OpenGL for its graphics. It is great since it has support for sprites, animation, tilesets, sound, touch input (using what it calls hotspots), and anything else I can think of. It also runs on my phone at 60 fps (on the phone. On my monster rig it runs at half that speed).

Before I could use it, I had to tweak it from the inside (since my phone uses android 1.5 instead of the recommended 1.6) just to keep it from crashing. Also I bought the book “Hello, Android” by Ed Burnette to get me up to speed (so worth it). After 6 hours of exercise, I was able to make a simple room, with one sprite, a background and 2 hotspots to make the character move left and right.

rokon_test

Not bad for a weeks work, but there are a few issues. First, the hotspots don’t seem to register very well. I will try replacing them with buttons to make the response faster. Second, the classes for collision detection are incomplete. If I can get this fix/replaced I should have a working game ready in no time.

In the mean time try out the engine at http://code.google.com/p/rokon/ . OK, bye for now.