Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Siphon Spirit Lives Again!

Okay okay, it just feels like there's not much going on in Siphon Spirit because it's mostly on Peter's shoulders now. But for the last week I've been adding in stuff and optimizing things so that it runs better. Peter got all the art done for the map screen and since it's animated where it wasn't before I needed to go in and make the animations work. Since I was already in there coding stuff I set up a profiler (to tell me what functions are taking the most time) and made some vital functions run faster. For the most part I'm happy with it, but we're going to need a few more tweaks before I'm really happy with it.

On the other hand we have March to the Moon. I spent most of my time on this cleaning up the controls and starting up with the audio. I don't have any actual music yet, so I'm just using Final Fantasy VI music as placeholder stuff so I can get a good feel for it. I'm also using a program called SFXR to get some basic sound effects and it seems pretty good.

I also need to do some code to load the songs in better (right now there's a bit of a delay) and figure out all the sound effects I'm going to need. I'm optimistic that I'll be able to hand it off to Dave to get the real music in about two weeks. Then it's right back to controllers. I still need to add some screens for PC gamers to modify which buttons or keys do what.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm through with being controlled!

Well, I almost am. I just got the code all in for the controls and have been getting some testing done. As expected, I had to make some fixes to the Xbox controller input. Now I just need to test the keyboard and the direct input controller.

But I'm sick of talking about controls. I've only been doing it for 10 hours codewise, but with me being sick then having a kid it feels like it's taken forever. Instead I want to talk about what happened at a family get-together recently.

I'd brought my laptop along because I wanted people to play it so I could see what needed work and what was good. I had totally forgotten that I still haven't balanced the enemies so it gets pretty hard around level 4. My youngest brother was a champ. Said he enjoyed the challenge from the difficulty and passed level 4. This is the level that no one but me beat at the last indie game night, and I had to grind more levels than he did. He said that he really enjoyed it.

Then I made my other younger brother play it. I was running late and my wife was expecting me to get home soon (she was watching the baby) but I thought it wouldn't hurt to have him play as well. I ended up being pretty late in the end because he didn't want to stop playing! Especially after I input the cheat for him that made his character level 73. He was having a great time firing off cannons and gatling guns at the enemy hoards. It was really great for me to be able to see people having fun playing it again. It made me excited all over again about it and that's always a good thing! Now I can put this control stuff behind me (for a while), touch up a couple of bugs I noticed and get into the audio.

I've also put some more time into Siphon Spirit recently. I've been doing my best to speed it up so that even my ancient laptop will be able to run it quickly. I've been making good progress on it and have more ideas about how to make it faster. Also, Peter's been updating more art! He's got animations for all the map nodes so it will be a little cooler to watch that happening.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Back to work!

Well, kinda. I've been going back to work for a few days now, but I'm driving for the most part so that I can get home earlier and help out at home. This means that my development time, which takes place almost solely during public transit, is very short.

That's not to say that I didn't get anything done in the hour or so that I had! I cleaned up the code for the direct input gamepad, making it easier for me to finish up the control master file. And I got it so that, in the code at least, I could set up key maps for the keyboard and a PC controller. Then I realized that the example code to see what input was what from the controller wasn't showing the actual offsets that I needed so I need to write one that will do what I need. I also realized that I need to add a value to the binding so that there is a difference between pressing up and pressing down on a joystick if the player wants to use the joystick for something other than direction.

Feels like I've spent about 1/4th of the development time working on just this extra thing for PC gamers. Hopefully it will pay off in the end.

Peter, on the other hand, has been working on more art for Siphon Spirit. He finished the first map of the game and it looks great.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oh, baby!

It's a baby! The day after my last post the baby came and took over the place. As such I have gotten pretty much nothing done on the game except for a little bit when I had to get some winter tires and I was able to pull out my laptop while I was waiting. Basically I modified the new control schemes so I could use it for multiplayer games (which is what we're planning next).

Sorry for the short post. Once I'm taking public transit to work again I should have more time to work on it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Okay, I'm starting to feel better. And about time too, my wife should be having the baby any day now! I still need to touch up a few things in the PC controller section and make sure that everything works well, then I can start on the audio.

I'm considering giving the character a voice. He'd grunt when he gets hurt, make a comment at the end of a level, tell you when he's leveled up, warn you when he's low on health, and say something when a boss shows up. I'm pretty sure that I can pull the voice off. But just in case, I'm going to be trying to get all the sound effects done before I hand it over to Dave for the music. This is so that I can ask him to also do any sound effects that I find that I cannot do correctly by myself.