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A member registered Dec 17, 2015 · View creator page β†’

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This is a reality check moment. I'd very much rather get an engineering degree than become an unlikely winner of an on-line competition. Yeah, I'm most likely out. (This is embarrassing.) I'm kind of angry at myself for not finishing up everything else before the jam and spending too much time on the UI/controls instead of game's logic, but I overestimated the amount of time I'd have this month. I had fun designing my game and reading your devlogs, guys.

I doubt anyone's interested, but I can still post the project on GitHub if someone needs a solid Autumn MVC application base. Just leave a comment, make an issue on GitHub, send an email or whatever.

See you next time, I guess.

Project for my engineer's degree is taking most of my time. Eh, I hope I don't end up with a pretty screen and no game's logic behind it.

Controls screen is kind of ready. I might throw in nickname selection there. Also, since those are some pretty complex settings that might actually become irrelevant (if you remove a controller, for example), these are not saved anywhere – you have to set up the controls each time you play. I don't think that's much of an issue, though.

And this is the one that took the most of my life:

I'm pretty happy with the result – maybe the initial settings can be awful on most devices, you're left with so many preferences that you can get it right yourself. (Eventually.)

Black is the new orange!

...Or something like that. Anyway, I ditched the lime and went with a blackish-orange interface, merging Kenney's and Kotcrab's assets. It certainly works better than the previous one:

Also, basing on LML templates from gdx-autumn-mvc examples, I made a simple settings screen, which allows you to manage sound, display and language preferences:

This is Autumn we're talking about, so of course all settings are saved in the platform-specific Preferences file. LibGDX full screen mode is kind of buggy on Linux (all kinds of weird resolution bugs happen after changing mode, and print screen button exits application…), but – well – at least it works and looks fine.

Now I'm going to prepare controls dialog. This one is tricky, as I want to support controller devices, so for the first time I'm going to use gdx-controllers extension. Hoping to make it as flexible as a player would expect. And since many controllers have inverted X and/or Y values or otherwise non-standard key mappings, I'm going to allow setting all kinds of stuff you sometimes (unfortunately) don't see in games.

If you're wondering about the code – I think I'm going to create a GitHub repo when the jam is about to end. To be honest, I don't feel comfortable knowing that someone can just re-skin the game and sell it anywhere, but hey – I guess it could happen anyway, as Java isn't all that hard to decompile. (And, well, in case of data-driven applications, you don't even have to be a programmer or even think about decompiling, when you can just replace the assets and you're golden.) On the other hand, I'm more than OK with people learning from my applications.

In case you are wondering, all of my libs can be found here: https://github.com/czyzby

I'll try not to bore you with my libraries in all of my entries. But yeah, I'm also aware that more examples, code snippets and sample applications could be helpful for at least some libGDX users. Even if there's like 10 to 20 people actually using my stuff.

Full disclosure: I'm the author of LML parser, which allows you to convert HTML-like templates into Scene2D widgets. It's a safe guess that I'm going to use LML templates for UI instead of plain Java Scene2D or some kind of UI editor (if there is one). But there IS something new about this project.

gdx-lml-vis is the new cool kid on the block. Basically, together with Kotcrab, we prepared LML syntax that parses templates into VisUI widgets. I've always liked the look (and generally more responsive feel) of VisUI, but once I've made LML, I used it in all of my LibGDX projects and ended up being too busy(/lazy) to dig into VisUI. Now I can – without having to return to the old ways of verbose and annoying pure Java UI code.

Now, if I could only try out all widgets and tweak the original skin to make it look less like a Kotcrab's application…

Oh, yeah. There's the gdx-lml-vis-tests project:

I'm kind of perfectionist and always I spend too much time on unnecessary stuff like trying to achieve the "perfect" UI look... sometimes even before the prototype is ready (or any game's logic code, for that matter). After the initial "please, don't spend the whole week tweaking the UI, pleasepleasePLEASE", I started recoloring Kotcrab's raw assets. And it's really amazing how flexible this simple UI is and how easy it is to end up with something that looks HELL of a lot better than most of my old stuff, which you definitely don't want to see. "My" skin looked like this:

UI got darker, blue was replaced with lime. There are some padding issues, but then again – I did not change any code, this is a simple skin replace. I might throw in some fancy title font and add game-specific stuff into the UI along the way, but I'm quite happy with the initial result. VisUI is definitely worth a look.

...Except I realized I need a bigger skin, since the default one is not very good for bigger resolutions (unless you plan on making game-dev tools rather than simple games). Fortunately, there's a scaled version of VisUI skin – unfortunately, it obviously uses different assets, so I needed to start over. Yeah.

This time I went with a darker green. And considering I'm a TERRIBLE artist, I somehow managed to turn decent UI assets to nearly unusable stuff:

Now, I think I'm going to merge some of Kenney's UI assets with Kotcrab's skin and see how it turns out. I'll probably drop the lime altogether, though.

...I should REALLY focus on something more important, shouldn't I?

OK, here I go.

I would be lying if I said I didn't have any ideas for the jam before the jam. It's a pity the chosen theme doesn't actually fit any of them. Oh, well.

My primary idea was to use these Ultima-inspired graphics: http://www.opengameart.org/content/denzis-16x16-oblique-tilesets – I would probably think of something that could fit into black & white, low resolution and even evolution themes. Flare graphics -– http://opengameart.org/content/flare – are also very nostalgic (although these pre-rendered atlases are a pain to work with), but I somehow don't see these two in a "life in space" game jam.

This guy makes amazing stuff: http://www.opengameart.org/users/tatermand – I always wanted to create something with his graphics. While a sci-fi shooter somewhat fits the theme, it also feels kind of cheap. And I currently have no idea how to turn such game into something new. (Except for using weird weapons and playing with lights, but then again – it's not that unique, not really.)

That's why I ended up choosing Asteroid-style space shooter, which will probably turn out to be the most common "genre" in the jam. Yay.

I'm still not sure about the graphical style – I'll most likely end up using Kenney's assets. Also, since I want to try out my reinvent libraries, the game is going to have a local co-op mode, which I'll eventually try to convert into a separate on-line mode. Let's hope a month is enough.

Have I told you I also have to finish my project for my engineer's degree this month? Oh yeah.