Monday, 29 August 2011

A Challenge!

Beat Hell has been chugging along slowly but steady, and I have finally decided to release an early alpha to my adoring public. As soon as I get some custom graphics (I will most likely make them myself >_>) I shall post the game to the gmc for some feedback. But until then...

I would like to issue a challenge to anyone who accepts. The challenge is to beat 1 of 3 songs on a build of Beat Hell while abiding by the following rules:

Must play on Hard difficulty.
Must play with Adaptive Speed on
Must play with detection method B

If you complete a song using the previous settings a code will be saved to 'challenge_code.txt'. Give me that code to verify.

If there happens to be a problem with the code I will still most likely believe you, because you wouldn't lie to me right?

The reward? Well you'll get the best thing a gamer can get: The knowledge that they are better than the game developer! That's right, while I have only tried a few times I have yet to complete this challenge :3

Main Download
The 3 Songs:
The legend of MAX

A quick controls run down:

Use the mouse to move your ship around.
You can shoot using left click, however this has no use as of yet.
Ctrl+R lets you select a new song.
P brings up the pause menu.

All you need to do is dodge the bullets until the end of the song... Easy right?

Have fun ^_^

Sunday, 28 August 2011

This'll be a short one.

I went to see Dylan Moran live last night, amazingly funny as always, but as usual I can't remember anything he said, it's like some sort of ironic comedic curse.

Nothing really on the games front. I'm still looking for a graphics artist so I can release an alpha build of Beat Hell to get some feedback. There was another RDC (Rapid Development Competition) yesterday as well, you get 4 hours to make a game using whatever you want. I had planned to make an fps game but it ended up being too much and I only got as far as a concept level and a few screenshots of the terrible level so I decided to scrap it having only an hour left.

There are a total of 4 games if you want to check them out. Link!

And that's all the happened since my last post... How boring.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

An Interesting Day

I had an interesting day, not today... or yesterday I think... Maybe 2 days ago (I can't remember my sleeping is screwed up ._.) Anyway, I bumped into my Uncle (Simon shall remain nameless) on Facebook (Why do I still use facebook >_> Oh right, that's why ^_^). He asked me what I have been doing recently with my gaming and... Well obviously I told him. When I told him about my Beat Hell game we ended up in a conversation about starting a website, he said he had the idea for it about 3 years ago but never did anything. I don't want to talk about any details because we have only been chucking ideas around via email for a day but I really think it's something that could catch on.

On that same day (Tuesday?)  I was came across the website 8-Bit Funding. You can create a profile about your game in progress and ask the public for money in return for perks, "perks can be anything you can think of from a special thank you, pre-order, custom game character, to even physical items.". I told my friend Curt with whom I am helping code their game Metroid: Coven about this site and we had an interesting talk. I am thinking I might try it out myself.

I have been thinking about making my game Beat Hell commercial (probably a dollar :3) and that would be a good way to raise funds for a graphics artist.

In Beat Hell news I have been working (reasonably) hard. I have added a super cool new feature called Adaptable Speed, it sets the speed of the game to the music, this will also help to gather information on a song so it can be played at a good speed later. I have added a quick menu to change controls and some options so it should be ready for an alpha release sometime soon, of course if anyone really wants to give it a test they can ask me and I'll be happy to supply the latest stable build <3

In random news, Lucas (a person I used to work for) is making a game and has been doing concept art for it. We were talking and he asked if I wanted to be in it (XD). Here is the poster he uploaded today (I'm a pirate :3):

So that was a pretty interesting... uh, Wednesday? Nevermind it was awesome.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Beat Hell

As I said previously I was thinking of making a Bullet Hell generated to music. Well after playing around with my earlier attempt at beat detection I think I have finally got a solid system, I grab a snapshot of the spectrum from channels 0 and 1 with a buffer size of 1024, after normalizing the data I save it to a variable which I then use to find the average beat size and work off that. Since all this information is gathered in real time as the music file is being played it won't be the best it can be, however I have played many songs on it now and feel it's working very nicely.

I started with just a player controlled by the mouse and an enemy floating at the top of the screen spitting out bullets according to the music playing. Obviously this was not something that would entice a player. I then added 2 turrets, one on each side of the screen, after much fiddling I set it up so the turrets would fire on the heavy beats like drum hits, while the main enemy focused more on guitar and vocals etc. I also added a simple ability for the player to shoot.

While in my usual chat #gmc I introduced my game subtly (by which I mean provided a download link and instructions on how to play). A few people were more than slightly interested and provided some songs for me to test. One of which was a speedcore song, he suggested it more as a joke since the speed of the beats are insane, so obviously I spent the rest of the time trying to get it to work. After bumping up the fps to 120, lowering the beat threshold and allowing more beats to be detected per second my game finally managed to run the song almost perfectly, that song is now one of the ones I use to test my games new features.

Later I added a simple scoring mechanic, 1 point every time you shoot the enemy, your score gets halved when you get shot. Deciding it was too hard when I couldn't get above 500 points I changed the halving to quartering and set the player to fire 5 bullets at a time (which is 50 bullets per second). I put in 4 levels of difficulty: Easy, Normal, Hard, Insane.

That is basically where I am at in the development of this game. I'm having fun testing out different songs on different difficulties. I have a few favourites already, my most being Sakura a song in Step Mania (you can listen to it here). This is a screen shot of Sakura being played on Hard difficulty:

As you can see the game is pretty dull and basic at the moment, but hopefully I can get some custom graphics into it soon before a demo. My main concern now is replay value, as it stands it has nothing to keep you coming back so I will need to think up some ways of making gullible gamers return!

My next move will be implementing a menu so players can comfortably browse their music and change modes/difficulty. And I will certainly post when I get a demo up! Let's hope I don't get bored of this one too quickly.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

A New Playlist

My playlist has been getting on my nerves for a while now so I made it my mission to find some new music I can program to. Recently I have discovered I like Nickelback, I'll ignore that little snicker just now, specifically the songs from their latest album 'Dark Horse'. The following is my new playlist so far:

J-Core - Olive
J-Core - Optical Force
J-Core - Six Nine
Nickelback - Burn It To The Ground
Nickelback - Just To Get High
Nickelback - Never Gonna Be Alone
Nickelback - Next Go Round
Nickelback - S.E.X
Nickelback - Shakin' Hands
Nickelback - Something In Your Mouth
Nickelback - This Afternoon

Very few at the moment but it should temporarily delay my insanity, let me know if you have any suggestions. Nothing much on the game making front, still hard to make something good without an artist. Since my strong point is TDS (and all of my games are so far just that) I'm going to make another, hopefully I'll get a chance to make something different soon. My plan is to make a bullet hell generated to music, I have already worked with music in this way so it shouldn't be too hard to set up. I'll show my progress in my next post.

The start of something average.

I'm starting a blog...

Yep, I want to see how long I can keep something like this up. I'm going to try to post something once week, or failing that, once month. Or failing that, well then I've just failed, so let's see how long I can do this.

I will make my first official post tomorrow, hmm better think about what I will say... Man this better not start feeling like homework.