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What I've been up to lately ...

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Brykovian
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Hi all ... and sorry for my absense of late. Thanks again to Scurra and doho for taking over the GDS for a couple of months -- I should be able to run April's (the 1-year anniversary!).

I'll spare you the TMI about my dayjob -- it's been crazy and the end of the tunnel seems to be sliding away.

However, in the few spare hours, I've put together an arcade/action computer game for a coding contest. A few of you have already heard about it from me, and darke even saw an alpha version.

Now I have a BETA versions available:
Edit: Link Removed

It assumes that you have at least DirectX8 and a fairly good video card (needs 1024x768x16 or 1024x768x32 mode and able to handle 512x512 textures). If your graphics card isn't up to snuff, the game should tell you so.

If you interested in testing and giving me feedback, I appreciate it ... the deadline for the contest is March 31st. (Of course, if you just want to play the game and not tell me, that's cool too.)

I hope all is well with everyone else ... I expect to start showing my face a bit more as we head into April.

-Bryk

phpbbadmin
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What I've been up to lately ...

Having already put a few hours into testing this game, I can honestly say it's really great. In an age of 3d everything and too much fluff, this game is really refreshing! I might play more computer games if more games like this were available.

Here are a couple of comments:

-I love the old school graphics with new style effects, if that makes sense. There are a lot of little details (such as the crosshairs rotate depending upon its orientation to your 'ship') that are really cool. Great job!
- I love the way your shots don't always hit their mark. This can actually come in handy, especially when you're shooting at really tight angles. It also balances the powerful missles, as they become less effective at longer ranges.
-The purple gems that launch the 'tracking' bullets are really, really hard. I've yet to come up with an effective strategy for dealing with them.
-I love the use the mouse/turret system. As you know I'm a big fan of ARC, and I think this actually gives me an advantage with the game. However, for some reason, it still takes a little getting used to. I think I told you it's probably because I'm used to ARC's centered map scrolling. With the mouse firing system, it allows you to do a lot of peeking, firing, and ducking. I dare say the game would be a lot more difficult if you couldnt do this sort of firing from behind cover.

All in all, I have to say this is a great little puzzle shooter game. I'm not sure, but I think I actually 'won'? I got to a certain point and it recorded my name in the high scores list, and I still had some ships left so I guess I won.

Suggestions:
I wish the player could be more 'active' with collecting the white gems. Perhaps some sort of tractor beam would be neat.

It might change the feel of the game, but have you considered some way to 'hurry the player up'? Currently if you clear the board of the 'bad' gems, then all you have to do flip the switches to advance. It might add a little something if maybe some thing started to chase you when you killed the last bad gem. Also I'm wondering if you couldn't make an 'arcade' mode where you were forced to try and flip all of the switches as soon as possible. Maybe because of respawning bad gems perhaps?

Overall great game. I did have it crash on me once, but the actual crashed was caused by the dlgx.dll (I think that's what it was caused), so I doubt it has anything to do with your program.

Great Job!
-Michael

Brykovian
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What I've been up to lately ...

Darkehorse wrote:
-I love the old school graphics with new style effects, if that makes sense. There are a lot of little details (such as the crosshairs rotate depending upon its orientation to your 'ship') that are really cool. Great job!

That's actually the focus behind the game engine ... exploiting the cool graphical toys available with DirectX while sticking to a 2D format. A lot of the "cool" things are truly just 1-line calls to the engine. It makes life very easy in that regard.

Quote:
-The purple gems that launch the 'tracking' bullets are really, really hard. I've yet to come up with an effective strategy for dealing with them.

Personally, I use the "Monty Python" method: "RUN AWAY!!!" ;-) They're not the smartest things, so you might need to encourage them to get around a corner to run toward you. Then run away in a straight line and shoot back over the path you just came -- they should run right into your shots. Also, there is 1 square on the board that you can move onto and they won't ... I'll let you figure that one out. ;-)
Quote:
All in all, I have to say this is a great little puzzle shooter game. I'm not sure, but I think I actually 'won'? I got to a certain point and it recorded my name in the high scores list, and I still had some ships left so I guess I won.

The game always consists of 10 levels, no matter how often you clear a level or how often you blown up. The point of the game is to get the best score over those 10 levels.

Quote:
Suggestions: I wish the player could be more 'active' with collecting the white gems. Perhaps some sort of tractor beam would be neat.

That's actually the point of the sequel ("Gem Raider", planned for this fall or winter) ... retrieving the white diamonds, because the security circuits can no longer be switched off. It will also have bigger maps, allowing for the ARC-like scrolling, another new enemy (Orange Gems), and a more traditional play-until-you-die-enough-times type of gameplay.

Quote:
It might change the feel of the game, but have you considered some way to 'hurry the player up'? Currently if you clear the board of the 'bad' gems, then all you have to do flip the switches to advance. It might add a little something if maybe some thing started to chase you when you killed the last bad gem. Also I'm wondering if you couldn't make an 'arcade' mode where you were forced to try and flip all of the switches as soon as possible. Maybe because of respawning bad gems perhaps?

Your score is based upon how quickly you get all 4 switches flipped. You start with a score -- like $3,000 -- which ticks away $1/second. If a white diamond is destroyed, you lose an extra $200. To get the best score, you need to get to the switches as quickly as possible. Blowing up the bad gems does nothing to your score ... but tends to make getting to the switches a lot easier.

Quote:
I did have it crash on me once, but the actual crashed was caused by the dlgx.dll (I think that's what it was caused), so I doubt it has anything to do with your program.

Actually, that *is* my code, in combination with that DLL (the game engine). I have it listed in the credits file as a "known bug" ... but I haven't figured out how to even identify exactly when it occurs yet.

Quote:
Great Job!

Thanks -- it's been a fun little diversion over the past month.

-Matt

Brykovian
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What I've been up to lately ...

For those who care to see the "final" version of the game, you can get the full installer here:

http://www.mwgames.com/_ufiles/GemRunner_Install.exe (~6MB)

If you had installed the BETA version of the game, you'll have to do an uninstall of that, then manually remove "dxg218.dll" from your System32 folder before installing the final version.

-Bryk

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