Posts Tagged ‘inthedark’

Still Going

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Haven’t posted any updates in a while. We were hoping to have a video showing off the levels and monsters we’ve been working on done last month but other obligations have been in the way.
Here’s a general idea of where we’re at right now development wise:

Game mechanics and general programming: Basically finished, we have a couple more things to finish up but really the programming is done except for some map specific stuff and minor fixes.

Level editor: Fully functional, just needs some polish.

Animation: Probably about 2/3rds of the animations have been made, but Katy plans to improve several of the first animations that were done for better consistency.

Levels: This is tricky, about 30% of the levels are in alpha or later stages. About 60% are sketched in some way but haven’t been made into something playable yet.

Backgrounds: Until levels have been play tested quite a bit there’s not much point in doing the backgrounds, since a major change would mean completely repainting the level. Maybe 15% finished.

Packages Sent

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

All the shirts and posters have now been sent with the exception of a couple of people who we’ve already spoken with. Unfortunately we have regular jobs which makes it difficult for us to actually get to the post office to mail something, but that’s finally done.

The monster code for In The Dark has been completely overhauled to be more efficient and flexible. Mainly there are now monster “parts” so that we can separate the animations of the more complex monsters into pieces. For example, previously if we wanted to make a monster capable of running at biting at the same time it would’ve been very difficult to make look decent because the monster was all one piece. Now we can just animate the mouth and the legs separately and it looks great.

We’ve also just about finished with the last puzzle elements for the game, so most of what’s left is just monsters and levels.

Glitches and Swag

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Haven’t posted anything for a while so here’s whats been going on:

We’re going to be at Katsucon this weekend. Primarily for Kerry and Katy to sell artwork and the like, but we’ll have some ITD stuff for sale too.

The posters are now in! We’ll start shipping the posters, shirts, etc. next week when we get back from the con. If you’re supposed to be getting something and your address has changed in the last 6 months, now would be the time to tell us. If you happen to be at Katsucon come find us and we’ll give you your stuff.

In The Dark had a major glitch last week, and it was funny enough that I decided to upload a video of it:

Game development has been going somewhat slowly over the last 2 weeks, It’s been difficult for the three of us to coordinate our schedules. Nevertheless I think we’ll have a new video hopefully in March showing some of the new puzzle elements and monsters we’ve added to the game.

Beginning Testing

Friday, January 13th, 2012

It’s been a crazy week for us. Magfest was great, maybe next year we’ll get a table to show off game demos and stuff.

Many of the bugs we were experiencing in development have disappeared  thanks to the Löve developers, without them In The Dark wouldn’t be happening. Because of this soon we’ll be able to get something playable out to all our testers, and eventually the whole game. I’m hesitant to estimate dates on anything but hopefully we’ll be giving you a finished game in a few months.

 

Art Prints

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

We’ve been busy visiting friends and family, but we’re getting back to work now. We keep falling behind as new things pop up, but we will finish it. We are finally going to start shipping the rewards soon. Soon some of you will get shirts, posters, and the mini posters which will look like this:They’re about 8.5 X 5.5 inches and will be signed by us. Anyone whose getting a shirt will also get one of these.

The game itself is coming along nicely, a lot of things have been reworked, most of the remaining game elements have now been implemented, so now we mostly have to concentrate on the actual levels and artwork. Maybe we’ll make another video showing some of the new stuff sometime soon.

Physics Bugs

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

We’ve been working on updating In The Dark to the latest version of box2D and while we’re at it are rewriting and optimizing pretty much everything a long the way.  My goal is to hit 50 average FPS on my netbook. If we can manage that then I think mobile ports will be significantly more feasible in the near future. Unfortunately this has also opened up quite a few little bugs that we have to work out, and thats eaten up most of our time over the last 2 weeks. As an example I recently wrote about how the lights for ITD are calculated. The old version was 460 lines of code, the new one is only 240. That doesn’t always mean faster, but I think most programmers will agree that “less is more”.

Sadly on rare occasions the new lighting makes mistakes.
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Making Solid Lights

Friday, November 25th, 2011

I’m slightly surprised at how rarely anyone asks us about how the lights for In The Dark work. I guess most people assume that the lights are not much different from lights in any other game, but in fact they are very different. In most games lighting is handled more or less entirely on the graphics card, with little or no feedback to the rest of the game. Also in most techniques lighting only has to be roughly accurate. Obviously, In The Dark requires a high level of accuracy and feedback or the game would be unplayable. In fact the lighting for In The Dark is handled almost entirely using the physics engine as it is a physical object within the game world.

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What’s Up?

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Development has been slow the past few weeks mostly due to our other jobs and some minor computer issues. We may be releasing a small game or two, most likely for android, before In The Dark is finished. This will help us with our funding issues, and in the long run should speed up development.

We’re also trying out a different level creation pipeline that should be a little bit quicker and hopefully result in better levels.

We finally got the Tshirts in! I was going to upload some photos of them, but it turns out glow in the dark stuff doesn’t photograph very well. We’re really happy with them, and I think everyone we’re sending them to will be too. Initially we were planning to sign them, but it doesn’t look like thats going to work very well, and that would discourage wearing them, so instead we’re going to send them with a signed print. We still have to get something printed up, but hopefully we’ll be able to get them shipped by the end of the month. We also have a few extra shirts, which we’ll be selling at future conventions and possibly online for anyone still interested in one.

 

 

Making an Endless Boss Level

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

One problem I ran into recently while working on the demo for ITD (which hopefully will be done soon) was making the boss level physically long enough. This boss chases Bump until you beat him, so the level needs to vary in length depending on how much time that takes. In The Dark wasn’t really developed with this sort of level in mind, but luckily there is a fairly simple way around that. The test version of this level looks like this:   
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Player Movement (or Why You Should Never Rely on Physics Engines)

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Making Bump move 100% the way I would like him to is impossible. But by the time In The Dark is finished, I hope that he will move how I want him to at least 99.9% of the time. In The Dark only relies heavily on physics because it has to, if I were making a traditional platformer or something I would write my own collision system. I’m stupid for relying on the physics any more than I absolutely necessary,  but over time I’ve removed almost all of the physics properties from bump, and really just rely on it for collision and as a means to consistently propel him around.

So why are physics engines so bad for handling characters in games, or really anything in games other than crates and barrels? (sure see a lot of those in games nowadays, huh?) The problem stems from classic games, you can lay most of the blame with Mario. In classic games (this applies to 3D as well as 2D) there wasn’t really any processing power to handle realistic momentum, collision, or even acceleration so games cheated. At the same time, speed and scales were exaggerated to make the games more fun and skill based. Everyone started copying the early games that did this, and now it’s so ingrained in most gamers that when a game attempts a realistic simulation it “feels wrong.”

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