Game Development

From Soy Sauce has been hard at work on their latest game, Touhou Super Smash. This game, if the title is not clear, is a combination of Super Smash Bros. gameplay with the Touhou IP. As part of this development, FSS has begun a regular YouTube devlog of progress on the game. So far they have released 7 updates showing off basic move sets brought from SSB as well as a few original move sets.

Even if you have no clue what Touhou is, and I am still pretty foggy on it, this is still a fascinating inside look at a game’s development from concept to finished product. And if you want to see further into their development process, FSS has also been posting two other video series, one about Unity tips and another about using Maya.

Space Driller Made For Ludum DareGame jams have been growing in popularity among indie developers and even professional game developers. They are a great opportunity to step away from your current project(s) and comfort zone and make a game you might not have tried making otherwise. They can expand your skillset, your creativity and your career.

With this potential, it is often necessary to take a further step and try performing a game jam with a team rather than as a solo effort. But how does that work? How can you go from working alone to working with a team overnight? Luckily, we have had one such team recently who made a wonderful game for Ludum Dare, the Space Driller team, who took the time to share some tips.

When writing about the game last time, I asked some questions about the team experience and received some great responses from each member. Despite not all of them having worked together before, these guys really pooled their talents together and came out with a great game. So what made this possible? Let’s find out. Continue Reading

Unfinished Bomberman Clone by Divine KnightAs we all very well know, not all game development efforts are going to be a success. There are times when even the most basic of games cannot get done or just don’t turn out right. In these situations, we simply must buck up and take what we can learn from them and do better next time.

Divine Knight Gaming had just one of those experiences in their efforts to create one game a month. In the month of May, they set out to make a Bomberman clone but due to issues outside of game development, they were unable to complete it. However, there are two things they learned while making this game. Continue Reading

At last week’s  Oklahoma Game Developers Meetup, Dennis Ferron showed off the Irrlicht 3D engine and some of what it can do. He has been working with it for a number of years and is currently building a game with it. Unfortunately, his game was not in a state that he could show it off, but he did show a lot knowledge of Irrlicht. For those looking for an alternative 3D game solution, Irrlicht is a powerful cross platform option.

Dennis Uses the Code::Blocks IDE:
http://www.codeblocks.org/

Irrlicht can be found here:
http://irrlicht.sourceforge.net/

Howler.js LogoWhile developing its latest HTML5 game, Casino RPG, Goldfire Studios ran up against a severe weakness in the current technology, specifically regarding audio output. Frankly, HTML5 audio sucks when it comes to doing much of anything aside from embedding sound clips on a web page. This is a common complaint from HTML5 game developers. With that in mind, it is great to see that one game developer is looking to solve the problem, hopefully once and for all.

Enter Howler.js. Goldfire has put together a great all in one package for handling audio for cross platform playback. The library allows the game developer to assign several sound files to a single audio object and the library plays back the file that the user’s browser supports. Additionally, it has all the features you need for great game audio such as looping, mute, fade in/out, etc.

It also contains support for what are known as sound sprites. With this, you can put all your audio into a single file and play back only certain sections of the file for different sounds. This reduces the strain on bandwidth for most games as they would require numerous sounds and multiple download streams to play without this feature.

It is great to see something like this coming from a studio in Oklahoma. This certainly shows the talent this state has to offer. If you want to learn more about Howler.js, head on over to the project description. Additionally, Goldfire has open-sourced the library and has it available for download over at Github.

Finally, if you want to support Goldfire for its efforts in creating this much needed and great sound library, then head over to their Kickstarter project, Casino RPG, and pledge them a few bucks. After all, it is this game that spawned this library.

Making Games With Python and PygameCross Posted from Divine Knight Gaming.

In my efforts to get game programming further under way, I have been busy going back to school so to speak. I have been in web development for so long, I have all but lost my touch in adapting to new programming styles and projects. Since most of what I have done over the last 5 years has been almost nothing but form handling , I have all but forgotten what it means to program something as dynamic as a game. So I have decided to not only work on Demon’s Hex via Actionscript and Flixel, but explore a new language and library as well.

In deciding what language to take up, I stumbled across a new venture called Udacity. This excellent online curriculum for computer science (and more too) has been a great resource for me. They have courses on Algorithms, AI, Physics and more. All the programming courses are based on the Python scripting language. but the processes and ideas are universal.

As I spent time taking the Intro to Computer Science course, I have grown a fondness for Python and what it can do. The potential for such a language is excellent. As I grew to love it, I decided to see what it has to offer for a game developer. Knowing the game development scene and hobby, I figured that someone out there has already put Python to the use of making games and I was not disappointed.

Enter Pygame. This game engine seems to be a powerful engine for making any number of 2D games. The library, much like the nature of Python itself, is cross platform for Linux, Mac and Windows. There are also many people out there working to port the games to Android and Iphones. So it could be a great engine for what we have planned once Demon’s Hex is done. Shoot, it might also be what we use to bring Demon’s Hex out of the browser and onto phones.

There is also a really great and free book on using the Pygame library. I am always a sucker for books. Of course it is only free if you don’t mind getting the PDF version. The paper book will cost some money, which is fine by me. I have run through the first couple of chapters and played around with it. The book is a good introduction to Pygame. However, you should be familiar with Python before you dive into this book, which is where Udacity comes in. Or you could also look at the Invent with Python book by the same author, which introduces the reader to Python..

Beyond 2D, there are also plenty of options to make 3D games with Python. For example, the popular and free 3D modeling software Blender uses Python in its game engine. Another engine I have looked into is Panda3d. This one isn’t as full featured as I would like, but it does hold a lot of promise. I am sure there is more out there.

I can’t wait to really dive into Python programming on a much larger scale.