Coding & Logic & Fantastic Flights

My list of work this week has been less visual or exciting so I haven’t posted much of it here.

First I created the bits of code that control the character. This is very much a work in progress, but the character can be controlled with the WASD keys, space, and the mouse.

Next I created code that allowed the player to pick up various items and store them in a C# list. I didn’t decide on an inventory for this game, but it’s still very much in the cards.

The third item, which I’m still working on, is the enemy movement.

As you can see in the tweet above, it hasn’t been going smoothly. My current struggle is figuring out how to code it so that the keyper can knock the player back when they collide.

The idea is that the keyper rushes into you, knocks you down, and takes the keys away from you.

Then it will rush around returning the keys to their starting positions.

Maze Game Mechanic

A smaller update this time. I had my shiny new list that Victoria had helped me create in hand and a bit of time set aside to do some work on my personal projects in the evening. So I used a tiny bit of it to get the first list item out of the way.

What is the Overall Game Mechanic?

Drawing may not be to scale, contain items that will actually be used, or even any good.
Drawing may not be to scale, contain items that will actually be used, or even any good.

The idea is simple, I want to create a game with some simple and increasingly more complex mazes. I want them to contain puzzles of various kinds which act as gatekeepers preventing the player from progressing through the levels.

Another key mechanic that I had tossed around (and actually coded) was the idea of a key thief or a “keyper” as I have named it here. The key thief doesn’t so much steal the keys as it takes them back to where they were originally in the level.

And that’s it! It sounds really simple but I’ve taken a while to make any progress so I feel like writing down a plan will help me with that focus thing.

Maze Game Plan

I created a list of all of the steps I could imagine needing to do to complete this simple game. My first list went way off the rails, falling victim to my mind’s desire to categorize everything.

I had lofty ideas this winter of starting work on a simple game consisting of mazes the character had to work through. It was going to simultaneously be a demo of my abilities and a method for me to accrue and hone them.

I haven’t ever completed a game before other than simple Qbasic games in DOS. I used to make overhead shooters and side-scrolling platformers and weird graphics demos.

Well the plan this time was thwarted by a lack of focus, several other personal projects and a complete lack of an… actual plan.

Victoria helped me here by getting me to do a few things:

1. All of the things!

I created a list of all of the steps I could imagine needing to do to complete this simple game. My first list went way off the rails, falling victim to my mind’s desire to categorize everything.

The first list, not what we were looking for.
The first list, not what we were looking for.

After showing Victoria and her visibly expressing displeasure and disappointment at not getting the point across, she helped me write out the second list. A simple line-by-line list of items. A simple to-do list.

All in a row, ready to be sorted!
All in a row, ready to be sorted!

2. Need vs. Want

Then the next step, she informed me, was to split them into tasks that 100% require to be done and tasks that are nice to have completed.

She may have misspelt necessary but she organized my life.
She may have misspelt necessary but she organized my life.

This created a list weighted toward practical, 100% required items but with almost as many nice-to-haves.

With a list of attainable goals (I hope) I am now prepared to take on the challenge. I am ready! Here I come, game development!

Wreck-it Ralph is adorable while Skyfall perplexes

I’m not really sure how I feel about Skyfall yet. It was fun to watch, but some things didn’t really make sense to me.

I’ve also noticed that the Scotiabank theatre uses DLP projectors on some of their screens. It was a bit better than most, but the screen I watched on had some strange colour artifacts whenever the picture was dark or fast moving.

Wreck-it Ralph, however, I’ve seen twice now and I loved it. The snappiness is pretty heavy-handed at parts but that’s overshadowed by how gosh darned adorable it is.

The game references were there in full force and one might think that the movie would rely heavily on them, but Disney chose instead to use them as a backdrop to a fairly colourful, funny and probably textbook story of changing your stars.

This movie seemed very much like a Pixar flick despite being released by Disney and the level of detail in every object, character and backdrop makes it shine. The expressions, sounds and odd quirks made it a joy to watch. Twice even.

Now many friends seem to be keen to create costume versions of the racers from Sugar Rush. I can’t say I blame them. I might too if I have the time. How cool would it be to do a photo shoot at a go-kart track?