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gamecoder95

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A member registered Nov 16, 2016 · View creator page →

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Hello everyone!

In this sprint, thankfully, I accomplished quite a bit of stuff! I completed what I had trouble doing so from last sprint, and began implementing some more features. Unfortunately, I also slacked off in a lot of the days, focusing on either other things or being too lazy to work on the game. As slow as it was, I, at the very least, have something to show for it.

Game Background

A quick, little summary of the game I'm making:

Treasure Breaker is essentially a spin-off of the traditional Brick Breaker, with the goal of finding a specific "treasure" brick hidden in plain sight among the rest of the

bricks within a time limit, instead of destroying all the bricks on screen.

This Sprint's Progress

At the end of last sprint, I began working on basic touch controls for moving the paddles. In this sprint, I have completed them, and also managed to create a successfully working basic build for Android. Creating this Android build

for testing the touch controls took much longer than I expected, and was a cause of unforeseen frustration, so thank God I tried that early!

After a few days of fruitless building and testing for Android, the issue ended up being that I had "Auto-rotate" as the rotation setting for the Android build within the Unity editor. This was messing up the positioning of the paddles

because in the code I positioned them and limited their movement using Screen-space coordinates - with "Auto-rotate," the game would take the screen width of the phone in portrait mode and use that to limit the paddles' horizontal movement

(the similar effect also occurred to the paddles that move vertically), so this would offset the paddles' positions very oddly when I try to move them using the buttons.

So the solution was simple: force the game to be in landscape mode! This killed two birds with one stone: having the game in landscape mode - which was better for what I was making - and fixing that annoying bug.



Moving on, after finishing up with the paddles, I then moved on to adding the ball. My goal for this sprint was just to have the launching feature of the ball, the ball's movement on screen and collisions against the walls of the screen and the paddles, and the ability to be "placed" on any of the paddles so that it can be launched again. For now, launching the ball is implemented as simple as possibly, with its direction being perpendicular to the paddle that it is on.

These tasks I had for myself were not so bad given that most of the basic functionality of the ball had been implemented before in the previous version for the game jam. I simply took the script for the ball and cleaned it up for this new version, as well as some general improvements given whatever knowledge of C# I gained now compared to before.

I then added some simple code to place the ball on a paddle of choice, launch the ball, and reset the ball on one of the paddles. This worked really quite well and I was able to test it quickly, before I moved on to the more tricky part: the management classes.

One mistake I've kept making in earlier games was simply mismanaging my code and my classes. I would have them tightly coupled with each other, have multiple with static functions that are referenced everywhere in a disorderly way, and the components not being as modular as they should be.

For this game, and for future games, I plan to come up with a better design to solve that issue. Rather than one "Game Controller" class that is responsible for literally everything about the game, I will split up the tasks of managing the game across multiple classes. This is a rough idea of the structure I am going for:

- Each game entity manages itself. These entities are primarily the "prefabs" of the game, like the ball and paddle. They have the essential code to move themselves, and provide the necessary public functions to be manipulated accordingly.

- For entities that are related to each other in some way, a *Manager* class would handle the code that "relates" them together. For example, the ball and the paddle system are managed by the *BallPaddleManager* (need a better name though). The *BallPaddleManager* is the class that decides when the ball is on the paddle and the launching of the ball.

- Finally, the *GameManager* is like the "Big Boss" of these manager classes, where it handles the "relation" among the *Manager* classes.

This was tricky because I spent a lot of time brainstorming and on trial-and-error implementations for several ideas as to achieve this kind of scale-able and reliable structure of the game's code before finally settling with the

above, which is what I currently think is the best idea so far. I'm hoping it'll pay off in the future when the code becomes larger than my hopes and dreams so that it'll be easier to rummage through it to debug and add on to thecorrect areas.

And that's about it for now!

Up Next

I plan to accomplish these goals in the next sprint:

- Finish up the code for the management classes.

- Add in the touch controls for placing the ball on a paddle and launching/resetting the ball.

- Add in the bricks.

I also came up with a lot of ideas randomly that I put on Trello. Most of them are currently irrelevant, but the one that I feel is most important to try and implement are better touch controls for paddle movement.

Even though I was happy that the touch buttons worked on my smartphone, I didn't feel that they were practical for the game - they were too slow and awkwardly placed. They also take up nearly a quarter of the screen space combined.

I am thinking of replacing them in the future with dragging controls. They would not only be smaller, but allow the user to comfortably move the paddles at the speed of their fingers, which is much faster than pressing and holding a button to make the paddle move at whatever speed they are programmed to move at.

Hello everyone!

This is my very first devlog for the first game that I plan on commercializing. It is called Treasure Breaker, and it will be a mobile app game that I am developing solo. I am applying the Scrum methodology, working on the game in two-week sprints, with a devlog done at the end of each sprint.

(You can skip to Game Background if you want to just read about the game I'm making).

About Me

My name is Ahmad El-Baher, and I have recently graduated from Concordia University (Montreal) in Computer Engineering. Being an artist at heart and one who enjoys playing video games, I picked up game development as a hobby, through which I learned how to program. From there I made several games and joined some game jams as well, but I was indecisive about the prospect of professional game development for a living.

I decided, in the end, that I would like to try creating and selling my own games, and see where that goes. At the same time, thankfully, I am working full time at Ericsson as a Services Professional (basically advanced tech support). While it makes game development more difficult, this job will serve as my source of income, my source of funding - should I ever need it in a game I'm working on - and my backup plan, in case this doesn't work out.

I have already done the mistakes of first-time developers in the games I have made previously, including: over scoping, focusing more on additional features/aesthetics than the game play, bad sense of difficulty, etc.

You can find these games at my itch.io page: https://gamecoder95.itch.io/

Game Background

Treasure Breaker is a game I made for a week long game jam organized by the Game Dev Network (Discord link, if anyone's interested in joining: https://discord.gg/q5zRH3) on itch.io that had the theme "Hidden Things". My game was essentially the classic "Brick Breaker" game with a twist: instead of destroying all the bricks on-screen, the goal is to find a specific "treasure" brick, hidden among all the bricks, within the time limit. The way to do so is to destroy bricks and observe their destruction animations:

- A "explosion" of just dirt indicates that the treasure brick is still far away from that brick.

- A "explosion" of dirt mixed with gold dust indicates that the treasure brick is near that brick, but still several bricks away.

- A "explosion" of dirt mixed with gold dust and gems indicates that the treasure brick is very near.

Then, finally, when the treasure brick is destroyed, lots of gold coins spill out, indicating a victory. If the player runs out of time or all their lives, it's game over.

One tool to help the player are 3 "magnets." Because the player has no control over where the ball goes except for the initial launch, the player can press Space to return the ball to the paddle to launch it at another area. This action consumes a "magnet." When the ball is on the paddle, the player can launch the ball straight upwards, diagonally to the right, or diagonally to the left, giving a little more control over the ball to the player.

Some game play of original Treasure Breaker game jam game.

Some game play of original Treasure Breaker game jam game.

Quite shabby overall, but I'm proud of having submitted something. You can play this game at the following link: https://gamecoder95.itch.io/treasure-breaker

The New Project

After finishing that game for the game jam, I realized that this is a simple idea that can be made into a fun and challenging mobile app, which I now began to work on. However, I have many design changes planned for the new version of the game, with the biggest of them being that I want the focus of the game to be solely on finding the treasure brick in the fastest possible time. I don't want the game to be narrowed down to "destroy all the bricks and the treasure will inevitably be destroyed," but rather "what can I do to find the treasure brick faster?"

This will be done by giving the player as much control over the ball as possible and constricting the time limit such that they can't break all the bricks in the level, even if they tried. I feel this will make it a more interesting and challenging game as opposed to a mindless casual experience. Furthermore, any bonuses/power ups acquired will be used to destroy specific sections of bricks rather than an indiscriminate bunch, and hazards will reduce the time given to complete the level.

My vision for the final product will be composed of a number of levels, where each level has a unique layout of bricks, with one or several treasure bricks hidden among them.

Progress Thus Far

Finally, onto the good stuff! My short term goal at the moment is to make the most basic, playable level of my game with the new design principle. Here are the features I plan to add/change from the old game to create the minimal, playable level of this game:

- No lives: time will be the only "obstacle." This means that the bottom edge of the screen acts as a wall that the ball can bounce back from.

- Quadruple Paddle System: Rather than a single paddle to hit the ball back, there will be a system of four paddles surrounding the bricks on each edge. The top and bottom paddles move simultaneously, as well as the left and right pair. They are closer to the middle of the screen such that it takes less time for the ball to rebound from a paddle than it does to rebound from an edge of the screen. (Side note: this is not really an official name, it's just what I call this feature for the sake of documentation.)

- Better treasure brick selection: rather than choosing a treasure brick completely randomly, a few select bricks will be marked as "potential treasure bricks" and one of them will be randomly chosen at the start of the level.

So far I have completed the first of these features, and have nearly completed the second - I am in the middle of adding touch controls to move the paddles. I created dummy sprites for the touch buttons and placed them on the scene. I just have to write code for them now.

Progress so far: the Quadruple Paddle System with its positioning and limited movement.

Progress so far: the Quadruple Paddle System with its positioning and limited movement.

The bricks will be in the middle of the paddles, with the distance between the paddles being adjustable by code. Otherwise, yea...there's still much to be done, but I will hopefully get there!

Theme

This will be more relevant later on when it comes to the art, but I think the theme that will fit the best with this game is ancient Egyptian treasure hunting. In fact, I already made a title screen for this game with that theme in mind:

trhrtjh

Treasure Breaker title screen.

Treasure Breaker title screen.More specifically though, I am debating between these two specific themes:

- Archaeologist searching for treasure.

- Egyptian pharaoh tomb robbery.

I am inclining towards the second one as it makes more sense to have a time limit for it. One idea to add on top of that is to visually show the level of difficulty increasing by having "increased security," and shifting the visuals from more ancient times to more modern times.

Up Next

Firstly, next devlog will get to the point more quickly. I rambled on quite a lot here, as this was more of an introductory post to myself and my game. So from now on, excluding exceptional cases, I will only cover the major updates to my progress.

Secondly, I plan to get the movement touch controls working and the improved treasure brick selection as well by next sprint. With work + fasting for Ramadan it will be tough, but I believe I will be able to do it God willing.

That's all for now! Thank you for reading, and I'd love to hear your feedback and input as well!

Clever game, it was fun and challenging and I the color-switching element was well executed.

You're welcome, glad I was able to help!

Oh I see now, so the player was meant to only avoid the enemies? As I played it I had a feeling that that was the case but kept trying to kill them anyway haha XD

No I haven't found that unfortunately, but that's really cool that you have one in there!

Thank you for the suggestion, and yes you're absolutely right about that. Ideally I'd want a background image, but unfortunately I ran out of time to make it before the deadline XD

I loved the art and the story. In fact, the story was what motivated me to finish the level. The game play has a cool concept behind it, but I felt that it wasn't clear how exactly to kill an enemy as I would dash into them, sometimes not losing any health, and most of the time taking damage. If that aspect is fixed, then this game would be much better.

Nevertheless, good job!

I love the concept of this game, kind of reminds me of the card game "Boss Monster" how it puts you in the shoes of the video game antagonist. Great art and animations as well.

For feedback, I would recommend to cover the solid black parts of the level (i.e. the "outside") with tiles, just to make it complete (more of an aesthetic fix really). Also, I got confused with the trap door in the beginning, as I thought I could hide treasure there.

Lastly, I'm sure that this was rushed for the jam, but for the instructions it would better if you had some graphical demonstrations of how to put keys and treasure in things as it took me a few tries to figure out how the game is actually played.

Other than that, great job! And I'd highly recommend that you continue with this.

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I really liked this game! The sounds and the art were really nice and gives the game a nice charm to it, and the game itself was a lot of fun to play.

Since you are planning to release the game on mobile, here are some suggestions that I feel may help you improve the game:

- Sound effects for each kind of guess, one for too high and one for too low, with perhaps a visual of some sort (such as a flash, or even better, animations of the wizard signaling with his hand and body language).

- A non-plain background

- When I press "Enter", I lose a life but the guess indicator doesn't show until I press the "Guess" button. You should handle both cases as some people may find it more convenient to press the "Enter" button to submit a value from a text field.

On a side note the apprentice wizard has only 11 possible numbers and you give the player 10 guesses which is far too many.

Thank you for the feedback! I'll keep that in mind when I work on it some more to improve it. Can you please tell me specifically what colors you think should be brighter?

Oh ok I didn't catch that aspect about the  paths...sorry about that! That makes much more sense and is a cool way to implement the theme!

Well done overall! Visuals are awesome, and the concept was great as well. 

One thing you can add to this game are finding weapons along the way, or crossroads where you have to choose which path to take.

The graphics and audio were great, and the concept is funny!

I didn't really get how it related to the theme. Also, I would recommend using the mouse to aim and shoot instead of the arrow keys, as that makes it easier to play.

Other than that, great stuff! 

Was very fun and relevant to the theme. Visuals and sound were great. Overall I had a lot of fun playing this game.

As feedback, I would suggest making the opponent more active, especially in the beginning, and also put elements in the game where you would sabotage your opponent by somehow draining money from him (ex: food inspectors, fake complaints, etc.).

Great work man!

Really enjoyed playing this, it was really puzzling and tough to find your way around, which tied really well with the theme. The light effect was nice and the visuals were alright.

I would suggest: make the background change with each room to indicate that you're in a different room, and make the character slide less (i.e. increase the "friction"), as it makes the platforming a bit difficult.

Nice job man!

The art, animations, and sound were great. It controlled really well and the game elements were nice.

I felt that I couldn't find the connection to the theme, it wasn't evident in the game play.

I would suggest making the camera a bit more zoomed out, as it is a bit hard to find where to go or where I am.

Overall great job man!

Thanks, glad you liked it! If you like this one, be sure to check out Badass Defense Game: Dragon Ball Z Edition (https://gamecoder95.itch.io/badass-defense-game-dragonball-z) because it's practically the same game but with a lot  of improvements and more abilities.

Fun game, although I found it really tough to play on a mouse pad XD  I liked how the character spins out of control when you hit walls, to reward players who do well and punish those who suck. Like the others said, there are some sketchy collision bugs, but other than that it was fun and challenging. Great stuff!

Very creative game! It captured the theme in such a unique way, and the art was nicely done. The mini story was also great. I can see this becoming an app game, if you keep working on it, maybe you can add other elements like bigger maps, path construction, "frozen" tiles, and other obstacles. Great work!

This was really fun! Very challenging and engaging, my kind of game! The graphics and sound were awesome as well. Great stuff! I'm down to try out more levels if you continue to make them.

Unfortunately I didn't enjoy this much because I didn't have a player two with me lol, so I can only give feedback on the visuals and aesthetics.  The soundtrack is good, and the graphics and animations as well. The concept of trying to punch the other guy to reduce your own health is great and very original. I would recommend: making the background a bit lighter, and putting content in the "Help" menu (it was empty when I clicked it lol). Great work man!

At first I didn't get what the game was about, but then I kinda got hooked to it XD, quite a funny story! The game gets really fun and funny when you unlock all the power ups and see your health drain. The graphics were really nice as well. It was fun to play but I found that it was not challenging, which could be the point of the game, but it would be nice if there were elements that go against your goal. Maybe like people trying to save you by throwing healing potions at you and you have to click them to make them explode in midair before they reach you. Or something to make your powers less effective, or less time until you heal at later levels in the game (1 minute was good in the beginning, but by the end, I would kill the minions in a few seconds lol). Overall, great stuff man!

Out of all of the games that I played on this jam, I think this one by far best fits the theme - the player literally is trying to get himself killed! The graphics are awesome and the concept is original and great. I agree with the others that it needs to be more challenging and have a greater variety of game play elements, but overall, awesome job!

Awesome improvements, the game is much more fun and a lot more challenging! Now I feel like I could die very quickly if I mess up, which fits the theme very well, and I have the goal to survive as long as possible. Also, I like how even the enemies, which resemble the player, die from shooting as well, which also fits the theme and makes it even for both the player and the enemies.

Great stuff man!

Great visuals, animations, and sound, and it's fun to play. I enjoyed double jumping around to dodge buzz saws and collect the items.

The idea behind the game is great, but I couldn't really find a link to the game jam theme. Like @Kranker Apfel said, it has great potential to be an awesome game if you continue to work on it after the jam is over. Keep it up!

The visuals were amazing, and the controls were smooth. Great job on the blood particle effects!

However, I felt like that there wasn't a clear goal nor was it very challenging. I agree with @Chykary that info about what you have to do upon beginning the game would be beneficial. I would also recommend adding things to make it more challenging, such as flying enemies, and as well something that motivates the player to risk her life to get more blood, like filling up a meter to get extra bonuses.

All in all, great stuff, especially for one week! Keep it up!

Thanks everyone for your feedback! I definitely agree with all of them actually; I should add sounds, power ups, and progress indicator on the game over screen. Unfortunately I ended up rushing the game to make the deadline, but I'll keep all of your suggestions in mind should the time comes that I have the chance to continue working on this game.

Amazing visuals, the particle effects are awesome and the soundtrack is also nice. I liked the way you introduced the power ups one-by-one, that saves the need for having to read "help" guides.

The only things I would recommend is an indicator to the players progress (example: x/y levels completed). 

Awesome game! Graphics, controls, and concept are all great, and I found it quite challenging!

marcciosilva Thanks for the review, and glad you liked it!

Yea, haha I was quite inconsistent with the difficulty...I made it so that you can't beat the game without buying the super saiyan forms XD

As for the experimentation, if you answer "No" for the question "Is this your first time playing the game?", you won't get any tutorial text during game play. This way, the game ignores all of the tutorial text. You can try it out if you'd like.

Thanks once again!

PS: yeah, it is called the Shuriken Storm XD

Thank you, glad you liked it :)

I have to agree with @liamsorta, the graphics are really nice and original, great game!

Thank you so much for playing my game and even more for the feedback, highly appreciated!

There were a lot of things that were rushed at the end, which is why I ended up omitting things in the game, but I'm looking forward to working on it more when the judging is over, so I'll keep your suggestions in mind if and when that time comes.

Looking forward to the next game jam! [fyi the bars are logs with spikes on them ;) ]