Game Development

Blog 809: Raiding the Datavault

I was starting to flesh out the third section of the tutorial when I realised I was missing a screen. (What do you mean, I keep getting distracted from the minimum shippable vertical slice level?) One of the primary ways you’ll be able to get into places you’re not supposed to be is by finding the codes to keypad locks, except… well, then you need somewhere to store those codes, so you don’t forget them. You need a Notepad.

Then I realised that there was another missing piece of the datavault: the area map. How can you find your way around without a map? (Quite easily, my levels are not going to be particularly large, but indulge me, please.)

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Game Development

Blog 808: The Trigger Editor (Part 2)

The saga of me wrangling Unity into my personal level editor continues. A few weeks ago I started using Polymorphic Serialisation for my trigger conditions and actions and — so far — this is actually holding up pretty well. There was one annoyance, however, in that adding an action using the list controls created an unsightly empty/null element that you… couldn’t actually do anything with.

Except now I’ve worked out how to do something with it, and it’s simplified a whole heap of other stuff!

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Gaming

Blog 807: Elex

I enjoyed Risen 3: The Titan Lords. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good, colourful, vibrant fun. So when the same studio made a sci-fi game that was noted for being pretty similar, I thought… Well, who doesn’t want more of a good thing?

It came on sale and I figured it had been out long enough to be stable and final, so like the comet that brought the titular magic crystal (and the apocalypse) to the planet of Magalan, I took the plunge.

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Gaming

Blog 806: The Conquerors

I remember seeing a (p)review for the Age of Empires II expansion pack The Conquerors in an issue of PC Gaming World at the time… In fact, I’ve still got it on my shelf. (It’s the same issue that gave Deus Ex a very lacklustre write-up. Oops.)

I remember misreading the word “allies”, in tiny text next to a tiny screenshot, as “aliens” and getting really excited for all the wrong reasons.

Well, it turned out okay in the end.

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Game Development

Blog 805: Polymorphic Serialisation

I wrote recently of how I intend to tackle scenario-level logic in Exon; not systems like equipment handling or projectile weapon firing, but random bits of hyper-specific “bloke talks to you when you enter his house” or “quest updates when you acquire item” type stuff. This system works but has a few quirks that I’m not entirely comfortable with, so I’ve taken my life in my hands and started to look at a Unity feature that is quite fresh but seems to alleviate those concerns…

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Gaming

Blog 804: Master Chief Collection: Halo: Reach

I realise now that the name “Master Chief Collection” was a poor choice for this compilation, because the two best games out of the five Halo titles that I have now played are ones in which the titular Chef is nowhere in sight.

Halo: Reach is the game they wanted me to play first; a notion which I rejected in favour of playing the games in their original release order (with their original potato graphics where appropriate). While Reach‘s narrative may take place seconds before the original Halo, like all prequels, it wouldn’t make a lick of sense if you were just dropped straight into it. You really do need to have played the others first.

It would also be hella jarring to go from one of the best games in the series right back to its… uhhhh… roots.

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Game Development

Blog 803: Getting Stacked

I’ve had the first pass at Exon‘s inventory screen up and running for a while now, so it’s high time I refined it further. I was using a Slug Rifle the other day and realised that while I put this gun on sale, I didn’t actually put any ammunition for it on sale, and that led me to questions of how ammunition should be handled at all. Which in turn led me to item stacking.

Item stacking is a fun one because, on the face of it, it’s very easy: you just assign a number of “charges” to a particular item, count them up as you find copies of the same item, and count them down with each use.

Oh, my sweet summer child.

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Game Development

Blog 802: Buffs

For those that didn’t grow up modding Warcraft III: a “buff” is some lasting effect that is applied to a unit, such as it being stunned or on fire. Needless to say, Exon has lasting effects too. It’s not all impact-and-forget; mechs need to get stunned and corroded and all sorts of other things I haven’t thought of yet.

How hard can it be? You just stick the thing in a list and count down the timer until you turn it off… right?

Ahahahaha.

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