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Ralphanese - One Game A Month (1GAM) Comprehensive Devlog

A topic by Ralphanese created Apr 02, 2016 Views: 592 Replies: 3
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This will be a weekly devlog.

I will have two goals: A primary, and an optional secondary goal. The primary goal is something that will be marked by BOLD lettering, and will be something that I absolutely must finish by the end of the week. The optional secondary goal will be marked by ITALIC lettering, and will be something that I can expand on, applying what I've learned in the primary goal.

EDIT: Formatting change. Posts will now be weekly, detailing progress.


APRIL 2016

Theme: AGE

April 4th, 2:25 P.M. EST - Progress. =)

I started out this weekend with some word games pertaining to the theme of this month's challenge, in order to narrow my focus on what this month's game is supposed to be about. Here was my process:

Age: A period of time measuring how long something or someone has existed. =====> A period of time marked by a change in understanding or situation. Synonymous with "Era".

I began to think about "Eras", and what kind of events would create an era, such as a scientific advancement (Era of Knowledge), or the end of a war (Era of Peace). Really liked the latter.

From this, I've crafted my current idea, iterated on it, and created what (I think) is the final design of the map. I'm beginning to flesh out the details of the game, and I am now beginning to layout the systems of the game.

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April 18th, 12:30 P.M. EST- It's become increasingly clear to me that that I won't be able to make the deadline for April. What I am attributing it to:

-My inexperience with Application Design

- My underestimation with how long certain facets of my idea would take to implement programatically

-SCOPE. My idea was interesting, but too complicated for my current skills

-Time Management: I am a cartoonist and animator by trade, and my insistence on developing an interesting visual style deprived me of the time that I needed to learn how to program.

I'm going to change focus. My focus from here on will be on learning the tools I need to use to create the games that I want. I WILL NOT be focusing on making a certain type of game, but I will be adding figurative notches to my game development belt.

Another thing I'll be changing is the tool that I am using. I've been learning Java and LibGDX for about 3 years now, and while I am grateful to the LibGDX team( looking at you, Mario) for making it easier to learn the language and use it for game development, I am beginning to realize now that there are tools out there that make your workflow much more efficient.

I am an artist by trade, and I don't plan to stop learning general programming any time soon. That having been said, I'm going to stop trying to reinvent the wheel and use tools created by those who have more skill in programming than I.

From now on, I will be developing with a tool known as the Godot Engine, an open-source 2D/3D engine that exports to PC, Mac, Linux, Android, and HTML5. Hopefully I'll be able to post on the forum more frequently. I am also rethinking my Devlog format. I will edit the original post with the change once I've come up with a decent plan for how I am to tackle my posts.


Week of Monday, April 18th

✓PRIMARY GOAL: Sprite that moves in 8 cardinal directions and responds to player input.

SECONDARY GOAL: Applying Acceleration and Deceleration forces to Sprite.

April 19, 12:32 P.M EST -

Aaaaand, done.

This one was pretty easy to do. I'm going to start messing around with acceleration and deceleration forces now.

Oh, and by the way, that counter below my sprite is my FPS counter. Accidently created a child node to the sprite because I don't know how scenes in the Godot engines work. Will try to fix that too. =P

April 22, 11:45P.M EST -

Got acceleration forces and deceleration forces to work. Somewhat. It's not tight, but it's progress. I also moved the FPS counter to the corner. I now have a better idea for how scenes and nodes work.

I'm going to start posting the gfycat links, because they're higher quality than the gifs.

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Week of Monday, April 25th -

PRIMARY GOAL: Creating an Animated Sprite.

Secondary Goal: A study of state machines and applying it to the animation.

EDIT: Tuesday, May 03, 2016-

A little late on the update, but I got an animated sprite working earlier this week. I didn't concentrate much on the secondary goal, but I took a little time to start on an idea that I had. Nothing amazing, just trying to recreate Checkers with the Godot Engine. What I've gotten so far:

Just that board. So, this week, I'm planning to make my pieces and put them on the board.

Week of Monday, May 2nd -

PRIMARY GOAL - Getting Checkers on the Board.

Secondary Goal - Implementing Checkers movement on the board.

Monday, May 9th, 9:47 PM EST - Primary goal complete. Kinda.

What I've been doing: I've been trying to research how other games integrate movement along a game board. I've downloaded a couple of open source rpg-type games to see how they handle movement, one of those games being an open source RPG made with Godot called Tanks of Freedom.

I've been looking at its code in particular because it uses something called "selectors" in its script to decide how a player's piece moves along a pre-arranged board. I'm looking into it to see if I can dissect the code and reverse engineer it.

As far as getting the pieces on the board, I have one piece; a red static body with a sprite attached to it.

My goals for this week:

Week of Monday, May 9th -

PRIMARY GOAL: Changing the Game Icon.

Secondary Goal: Implementing Movement

Simple goals. Simple Goals.

Update - 05/18/16, 11:07 AM EST:

Sorry, I've been away for a couple days, and haven't posted anything regarding my progress. So here you go.

This one wasn't especially hard, considering it was an option in Godot's project structure.

What's next:

I'm still trying to figure out a way to implement the movement of pieces on the game board. It's easy in theory; after all, pieces in checkers can only move diagonally and forwards (or backwards, depending on if the pieces are kinged). The issue is translating that system programmatically. I'm still looking into more open-source projects with movement systems.

In the meantime, I have a good idea on what exactly I should be working on next that's immediately achievable and has a lot of documentation.

Week of Monday, May 16th -

PRIMARY GOAL: Switching Game Scenes (e.g. Menu Screen to Game Screen)

Secondary Goal: Implementing Movement.

I'm thinking about taking a period of time and dedicating it completely to researching movement and it implementation. Maybe I will do that for the next Primary Goal... if I haven't already figured it out by then.

May 23rd 2016, 1:57 PM, EST - Done. Was actually done with this earlier this week, but I waited to post it for no good reason.

New Game:

Quit Application:

I had to use some trickery to get this to work. Easy trickery, but trickery nonetheless.

Let me see if I can make sense of it:

I had to create a new script for the act of changing the scenes from one to another. The script was comprised of the "New Scene" function, which itself contained a couple of functions that cleared and flushed data regarding the scene that was loaded. From what I understand, if I wanted to, I could load global variables into this function and use them across the game scene and the menu scene.

I had to autoload the script in the project setup in order to gain access to that "NewScene" function I had written in the script.

Then it was a matter of connecting the items on my menu screen with the appropriate functions.

Week of Monday, May 23rd, 2016-


Secondary Goal: : MOVEMENT, ARGHHHH

Trying to keep my goals simple and achieveable. Not trying to overwhelm myself trying to do something that may take a few weeks in a single week. I'm-a keep on keepin' on.

Tuesday, May 31st 2016, 12:20 PM EST:

Done. Had this one done yesterday, but decided to post today. I honestly thought this one was going to be harder than the last, but it took me all of a couple of hours of concentrated effort to do.

What's going on:

I have a pop-up pause menu that appears when I hit the escape button. While this popup is up, the game is completely paused. In order for the game to run without the pause carrying over into the next scene switch, I had to make sure that my menu scene's pause mode was set to "Process" instead of inheriting the pause from the game tree, and I had to make sure that whenever the new game scene was called, it had to start un-paused.

To be perfectly honest, I don't know where to go from here, other than getting the movement stuff going. So what I think I'm going to do is give myself a break for a week, and then start off again next Monday.

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I'm taking a break from GameDev for the forseeable future. I'm currently on shaky financial ground, and I need to get my finances (and my career) in order. Can't make a castle on shifting sand, after all. I'll most likely create another thread when I start back up again. When? I'm not sure currently. But I hope for "soon".

Until then, see ya later!