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Archive for April, 2016

Update on level loading for Grenade!

April 29, 2016 1 comment

I’ve completed most of the level loading code for Grenade now, so the Android version can use the PC versions level files, the below screenshot shows the current state. Nearly all objects are loaded from the map and are displayed. I might change the scale of the soldiers as they look a bit small compared to the level and still need to load in other level details like objectives and the collision map (to stop soldiers walking over rivers and through buildings)

wipshot_290416All the graphics will get improved for the final version before release, the trees need better texturing, the rocket packs are too big, the rivers need to be darker with animated water, the bushes need to be cut down a bit (pruned) and given more variety and the grass texture could do with some variation too. I’ll also improve the look of the buildings, although that’s not in shot right now.

After I finish the map loading, I’ll start working on the interface, there’s going to be a button for grenades, one for rockets, and one for air strikes, then a minimap button and a menu key to pause or abort. The solders will also need healthbars, which I’ll put in a side bar box.

I’ve also decided to reduce the soldiers to two per mission, it will improve performance a little and should make route finding much easier, it’s also easier to manage for the player on smaller phone screens.

Small victory in Grenade for Android dev

April 27, 2016 Leave a comment

This morning I’ve managed to load the first part of a level file from the PC version of Grenade into the Android version. this did have it’s issues as it turns out Blitz3D stores data to files a little differently to B4A, but with some help from the official B4A forum )and the guy who wrote B4A), I’ve managed to fix it and have produced a screenshot below showing the correct positions for all the trees on the first level of the game. the next worklog should show a full level layout running on Android:

Screenshot_2016-04-27-10-25-50

Categories: Games development

Grenade PC version gameplay video

April 20, 2016 Leave a comment

I’ve finally uploaded a video of me playing Grenade! This is the original PC version I wrote in 2002

Categories: Games development

Mid April update on Android conversion of Grenade!

April 18, 2016 Leave a comment
Okay, time for a quick update on the early work on this PC to Android conversion.

I’ve written a task list as shown below to follow in order to convert my game. I’ve tried to make each task achievable in a small amount of time, anything from 30 minutes to a few hours. I’ll generally try to work down the list until the game is complete. The list will change over time and I’ll update it here when it does.

convert all graphics to png or left as jpg – done
add transparency to all graphics – done
check all sounds are mp3 or ogg (check online) – converted to OGG – done
redesign control system, write design doc – done
generate 500 name list – done
create all types required in b4a
test loadmission code on b4a
draw level on b4a
scroll around map on b4a
add simple movement code using screen taps
add enemy movement
add fire code
add grenade / rocket dragging
add enemy AI
add enemy bullets
add collision detection
add map collision detection
look at route finding using a* code
add prisoners
add crate pickup code
create database for storing names and soldier details

As you can see, I’ve already completed the first few items on the list. The PC game was written using Blitz Basic which didn’t support 2D transparency in sprites and needed a set colour to use to blank out as a background colour.
Here’s what I mean:

 the PC image has a white background which BlitzBasic was told to treat as totally transparent and the shadow itself is not see through.

 after updating the image using Paint.Net I remove the white background and half the transparency level of the blak image, when drawn as a texture using LibGDX this will give a much better looking shadow allowing for the grass or other ground features to show through.

The other changes to graphics have been removing graphics that won’t be required in the Android version, like custom mouse pointers, some of the animated menu items and also converting everything from BMP to PNG format.

The theme tune has been converted from MOD format to MP3 using a free online tool I found on Google.

Regarding the control design, the PC version required you to hold down G then click to throw a Grenade, R to fire a rocket, or T to call in an airstrike. Obviously I can’t do this for the Android version, so I’m going to copy the methods used by the game Tiny Troopers, and use the method of having a grenade icon which you can press then drag to the target to fire a grenade or rocket.
for airstrikes I’m toying with the idea of using a minimap to call in a strike, as done in Call of Duty on PC, if this doesn’t work then I’ll use the same drag method.

One feature I love in Cannon Fodder is that every soldier has a different name, my PC game didn’t have this but I’m going to add it to this game, I’ve used an online name generator to make a list of 500 unique names, I use Excel to remove any duplicates. When Cannon fodder was made, the first soldiers on the list were named after the developers, so let me know if you want to be on the list! When each soldier dies, he’ll be given a grave in a graveyard and the player will be able to press any of these graves to see who it is and how they died. I’ll use a SQL database for storing this.

I’ll leave it there for now, I’ll do another update when I’ve completed some more points, feel free to comment and like this post if you want me to continue.

Old source code recovered!

April 15, 2016 Leave a comment

Good news everyone! (insert Prof Farnsworth voice here), I have recovered the source code for a game I started writing 15 years ago!

The game was called Grenade! and it was a Cannon Fodder clone. It got as far as being signed with a small game publisher, but never got released. Since then I lost the source code and thought I’d never see it again.

Recently, I got in touch with someone who was involved with the company, and it turns out he still have access to the old FTP archive from back then. He took a look for me and recovered my old game! I got it the other day and have already started going through it to prepare it for an Android version.

So far I’ve got as far as converting all the graphics files to PNG format, adding transparent backgrounds and a transparent level to shadow graphics.

I’ve also converted all the sound effects from WAV to OGG and the music form MOD to MP3.

I’ve written up a design document as the control scheme on PC won’t work for phones and tablets. Luckily there is a mobile game called Tiny Troopers that is very similar to mine which I can base my controls on. Should be pretty easy to implement.

Here’s some old PC screenshots:

I will post screenshots on here as I work on the game and hope to upload early test versions in a few weeks.

 

Categories: Games development
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