Friday, March 11, 2011

Next game shaping up

It's hard to find the time to update the blog nowadays.

Not because I don't have any free time, but more because my time on the web is spread bewteen forums, mailing lists, Twitter, etc.

The next game is shaping up. It was supposed to be another tacing game.. but that's moved behind, as I found someone locally to help me with another title.. and it's always easier to work on something together with someone that is at least around the same city 8)

Talking about the new game.. here are 3 videos:

They are pw-protected and the pw is "drogato".
It's kind of silly to have something password-protected only to reveal that on a blog ! ..but it's to avoid indirect traffic, as the game is really not done and I don't want the videos to spread too much.

The game as seen on the video is recored using FRAPS at 30 fps. It runs well at 60 on my PC, but on iPhone 4 and iPad it runs between 15 and 30 fps. Unless one has some smoke from an explosion covering the screen.. then the frame rate drops into oblivion.
I'll have to optimize those explosions.. PowerVR is very good at avoiding overdraw, but with translucency, overdraw is inevitable, and that kills these mobile GPUs.

The game play is fairly easy, and that's frankly how I like it. It will have to improve though: some "exciting" achievements for Game Center/OpenFeint, more missions, maybe somewhat more aggressive enemies ?

How about a nice background story ? That's a bit more difficult for two reasons:

1) Better no story that some superlame cliche story (like 99.9% of the games... I hate cliches !!)
2) The font I'm using is hand made in a text file. So, making a Japanese translation would require me to hand-make my own Japanese font !!! (I think that I'll try to do a few characters, just to get an idea of the pain involved).

Here is an example of how a 'J' and a 'K' are defined:

. . . . 0
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
4 . . . 1
. 3 . 2 .

0 . . . 3
. . . . .
. . . . .
4 . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
1 . . . 5

Anyhow, there are still quite a few things to add to the game.. but there is more than the videos show. There is an actual game flow, UI and Game Center integration working, and the controls are not bad on iPhone (though I'll need more testing).
It could be worth $0.99 with a few changes and improvements, but I don't want to rush it too much, and I'd rather make something that I'm confident that I can sell for $1.99.

..we'll see how it goes !



  1. The password doesn't work anymore! :(

  2. You sure ? Works here and it just worked for somebody else..

    ..without the quotation marks of course 8)

  3. I'm not sure what happened yesterday, but it's working now. It looks really nice! :)

  4. Davide tutto ok dopo il terribile terremoto? Marco

  5. Marco.. tutto bene 8)
    A Tokyo pochi danni.. era anche meglio pero' senza la questione nucleare fra le balle (^^;)

  6. Scott.. cool !!
    I'm adding some dynamic lighting now.. the next version should look better.. as long as the frame rate can hold it 8)

  7. Looks great! For the font, how do you specify two points at the same location? As in the 2,4 point on the "K".

  8. Hey Davide, that looks fantastic. It's come a long way since the triangle ship I remember at the Ninja restaurant!

    What's the reason that you're drawing the fonts yourself rather than using font textures?

  9. Thanks guys !

    The font matrix for a glyph can be specified using more than one matrix. That's how I handle overlapping points. An "O" will have one matrix that defines it as a "C" and one more with the closing segment. Kind of hacky.. but could come handy.

    The reason for the vector font is that I wanted a old-but-provent-tech looks. So the jet-fighterish HUD. Which seems to have a vector font plus and analogic component to it (HUD is reflected by a mirror etc.)
    I'm also doing AA by multiple jittered drawings of the lines in additive mode.