Space Madness Update

Posted in Game Development on December 3, 2013 by cannibalcat

Well, things are going really well with the development of “Space Madness” for the PC. I’ve gotten the enemy pattern scripting core down and now I’m finishing up the remaining graphics and sprite animations. Also took the opportunity to add PhysicsFS file system support to our 2D engine along with MD5 checksum validation to deter data file tinkering. In the meantime, some preliminary screenshots!

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Utility Week!

Posted in Game Development on September 10, 2013 by cannibalcat

Taking a break from our Allegro 5 2D game platform development this week (sort of) by writing some sprite utilities that I needed for some upcoming projects. So after 2 days I ended up with “Sprite Sheeter”, this nifty little gem allows me to do the following: create blank sprite grid sheets of any cell size, dimension and fore/back color, generate a sprite sheet of x amount of rotations from a single source image, generate a series of rotations (x per each frame) from an animated sprite sheet or convert an existing sprite sheet animation into rotated frames… and of course, the application itself is just as flashy and vocal as our arcade games!

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Demon’s Sword WIP

Posted in Game Development on January 14, 2013 by cannibalcat

Well, it’s been many months since we have abandoned development with Microsoft XNA on the XBox 360, and many months since we’ve updated this site, but we have developed a 2D game framework in C++ using Allegro 5 that does everything (and then some) that our previous 2D XNA based engine did. A small little side diversion for us was to remake (and enhance) an old favorite dungeon crawler called “Telengard”. I am currently working on this with Zaid and it is coming along nicely! We decided to add a storyline and an ultimate goal to the game, 30 level randomly generated dungeon, 18 enemies to confront and numerous weapons, armor, potions, spells and loot! Here are two early screenshots of it in action… stay tuned, I’ll be providing updates as I progress. This will be a PC only release (for free!).

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Revitalized!

Posted in Game Development on October 23, 2012 by cannibalcat

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Had a recent discussion with Zaid about future projects, etc. Best thing that came out of it was our decision to go back to C++ and the Allegro 5 API. So I’ve managed to create a project starter template that can be statically linked with all the supporting libraries. Now in the process of porting over core game engine classes from our C#/XNA framework. Once that is done, we are porting “Every Other Shooter” this way and developing “Space Madness” with it as well. It feels so good to leave XBLIG and XNA behind…

XBLIG = DEAD

Posted in Game Development on October 11, 2012 by cannibalcat

So as it turns out, developers (such as myself) that target the XBox 360 platform (XBox Live Indie Games) are left in the lurch when it comes to the ability to promote our games with “prepaid codes”. These codes are given to the developer for each title they release, a quantity of 50 that they can hand out to reviewers, friends, etc. so they can redeem a full copy of the product for free. This is vital for soliciting reviewers and review sites, as they don’t have to incur the price of admission. It has been reported that this vital service has been broken on the Microsoft App Hub site for many weeks now (active thread is here: http://xboxforums.create.msdn.com/forums/p/108278/641068.aspx#641068). There have only been vague responses from the support channel as to when (and if ) this will be fixed. It’s already too late for my latest release, I never got the codes for it. Why do we pay the yearly membership fee of $99 to Microsoft if they are not willing to take our efforts seriously?? What exactly am I paying for anyway? I call on all XBLIG devs to boycott this platform indefinitely. I’m so done with this nonsense. I’m in the middle of my second release for the platform, yet I’ve lost the desire to go forward with it. I may have to do a PC only release through Steam or another service that doesn’t suck ass. FOAD Microsoft…

Unsung Heroes (Part I)

Posted in Video Games on September 17, 2012 by cannibalcat

I decided to start posting about some of the game programmers that have inspired me in the past (and also in the present) along with some of their more memorable creations. For my first installment, I am putting the spotlight on 2 classic Jimmy Huey titles that appeared on the Commodore VIC-20, “Sidewinder” and “Scorpion”.

I remember as a kid (around 1982 if I recall correctly) walking into my local computer shop one day (actually this was an EVERYDAY routine), to drool over the TI-99/4A and the Atari 8-bit (400/800) computer brochures, etc. Looking down into the display case, something new had caught my eye…

  

What is this magic that I see before my eyes?? As a VIC-20 owner, decent games were few and far between, so this side scrolling defender-like clone had me all a tingle! I asked the salesman about it and he said it was awesome, highly recommended… I needed no further convincing! But wait… one problem, the game required the 8K RAM expansion cart… something I did not have (or could afford as a 12 year old). Well, my new mission in life was to convince my parents that I needed more memory for my computer, that I couldn’t do any “school” related stuff or “learn” anything new without it! Fast forward to them finally caving in and me purchasing the much sought after “Sidewinder” the very next day for which I must have played continuously for weeks on end that summer. The name “Jimmy Huey” and “Dragonfly” now etched into my brain… I was determined to seek out more of his work. I did end up buying his “Swarm!” title as well, which was decent, but it wasn’t until this baby that I really was blown away again by his technical expertise…

 

  

 

A multi-directional scrolling shooter with varied enemies and frantic gameplay… just what the doctor ordered. I love this game and play it on occasion even to this day! (Hint: a remake may be in order in the future) Jimmy was able to do some amazing things with the character graphics mode of the VIC-20… although somewhat lacking in the smooth scrolling and movement, the excellent game play made up for it.

Both these games provided endless enjoyment for me until I upgraded to a Commodore 64 the following year (’83). I’ll never forget these two titles as they inspired me to start programming my own games on the VIC-20. Some of the style elements from his work directly carried over to mine own creations, and even to this day I rank him up there with my other great influences such Jeff Minter, Eugene Jarvis/Larry DeMar/Sam Dicker, Soren Gronbech, Andrew Braybrook, Archer MacLean and Sean Cooper.

“Home of the Slave”… Our Premier Multi-Platform FPS (Update)

Posted in Game Development on September 11, 2012 by cannibalcat

Just wanted to show some of the amazing work that our own Shaune Kelley has been doing with the development of our manic gorefest of a FPS/TPS entitled “Home of the Slave”. We are using the Unity engine for this and plan to deploy to multiple platforms when completed. A tech demo will be available soon! In the meantime… check it out:

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