Game Development Personal Development

Thousander Club Update: March 26th

For this week’s Thousander Club update:

Game Hours: 262.25 (previous year) + 69.75 (current year) = 332 / 1000
Game Ideas: 616 (previous year) + 12 (current year) = 628 / 1000

I now have menus in my Space Invaders clone. I had two choices with the implementation. I could have designed it in a generic way so that I could use the menu system anywhere, or I could hack it together so that I can finish this project quicker. As tempted as I was with the first option, I knew it would probably set me back another week or month. I want this project finished as soon as possible, and so I went with the second option. I wrote two classes, one for the main menu and one for the pause menu, but they each had a lot of the same code, especially when handling input. I also had to do some hacks to get the code to run correctly.

Frankly, if I changed the way the input system works so that pointers to handler functions could be submitted, then the input system could simply call the appropriate handlers whenever a key is pressed or released. It keeps the input handling code in one location and leaves less room for error in the remaining code. I would not need to do strange tricks in code such as setting variables to certain values because of the way my current input system works. If I want to work with the menu system some more, I am going to need to make it easier. There is no point fighting it when I can make it do exactly what I want.

Also, I need to start working with audio. The game has been silent long enough. At the very least I should have sound effects. I am going to mess around with Audacity and probably search for free sound effects online.

While the game will be technically finished with the addition of audio, I would also like to “tighten up” the graphics. The game looks terrible. I could do better.

8 replies on “Thousander Club Update: March 26th”

Good job! You can even tweak it to your hearts content AFTER you finish it. The purpose here is so you get it done. Whatever you do afterwards isn’t impeding that. You may choose to take a month to tweak, or a month redoing your input system for next time. And in fact it’s a good idea to pick something from this project you want to improve for the next one. But again as I said… after you’re done.

Once you’re done, the second one will be so much better… Then you can plan the way you want from the getgo. But then don’t let that stop you from finishing project #2 either. Like I said, one aspect, you redo that one aspect, and then you work on the next project just like previously… just hack it together (except for the thing you choose to improve).

William: Thanks! I’ll try!

Keith: Well, I guess that settles it. I should concentrate on audio since it is the missing component. Everything else exists in some form and can always be improved later.

Yeah, good work G.

I had a kinda-space invaders type game I used as a test development when I was improving my framework, I never intended to finish it (it was purely to get needed features for a “working game” into my tech) but reading your stuff has me enthusiastic about going back and doing it… the problem is I can never just settle for bare minimum, I would end up spending weeks on it to do it justice/be proud of it and then want to sell it to recoup the time spent, which is why I didn’t bother in the first place because I had other more advanced games to get out the door (I’m close!!!)

So is this going to be a proper release/for sale game or an excercise/freeware (sorry I didn’t follow the whole story on it)

Sharpfish: Thanks! To be honest, I keep forgetting that this project was meant to be a small exercise to prove that I can finish a game. I had some initial designs and ideas that were relatively complicated and more interesting than a simplified clone.

I can’t see it selling well, if at all, and as I didn’t give much thought to market research, I will likely just release it completely for free. My goal is to release this game and have it resemble any other game you might find on some random website. If someone has to download it and think hard about how to install it and run it because it isn’t anything like they expect when downloading a game, then I haven’t done a good job.

I have been giving thought to selling sequels or modified versions. This release will prove to myself that I can finish a game. Otherwise, I would be continually working on it until it resembles something that a person might pay to play, and who knows how long that will take. B-)

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