Going Where the Creative Wind Takes Me

It's been a while since I've done any work on Suburban Scavengers. I haven't had the urge to do any real work on the game in a little while. It's not to say that I haven't wanted to work on games, just not Suburban Scavengers.

I've been thinking about the card game that I started on during the storm. I don't think that it would take too much to get a working prototype to test out. That would give me a reason to purchase Tabletop Simulator. Easy access to playtesting. I wouldn't have to make any physical pieces until they were balanced. 

I'm back to posting my Magic collection on TCGPlayer. I'm hoping that I can make a push for direct seller status so I can buylist cards through their website and fill orders through their Direct program. It would help bring in more money. I could definitely use it right now. 

Currently, I feel that I should make creative content based on what I'm feeling most excited about. There's a possibility I may make content based on some of the card games that I already play. It seems like reaching into an existing market for an existing IP brings an easier to obtain audience. My flippin' Vanguard calculator is at 4800 downloads with almost 1500 active installs. I didn't advertise it at all. The game just had an existing audience.

Progress may slow down a bit due to the push for my online card store to grow. It takes lots of time to list cards. I need to post a few thousand more in order to have the minimum inventory required for Direct status. 

Until next time.



Quick Update

For those who don't know, I live in central Florida. Irma ended up going directly over me and I haven't had power since. Luckily, there's no serious damage to my house, but it's still hot and gross not being able to shower and whatnot.

During the storm, I did jot down some ideas for a card game. It really has no precise direction at the moment, but some cool ideas are there. I have 4 pages front and back of notes. Maybe I'll have more to expand on that once I get power back and have more time to make a decent post.

Just letting the readers know that I'm alright, just hot and grouchy.

Until next time.


Patching Things Up

This week, my focus was on changing some main menu systems to accommodate for the new single player mode. This required quite a bit of tuning.

The first thing that I had to do was create a sub-menu item for the two single player modes (Scavenger Hunt and Quick Scrap). The modes are basically ladder mode where the enemies get increasingly more difficult and exhibition.

Next, I had to change the code that tells the game which menu items to transition and when. This was the most time consuming part. 

Ultimately, I will need to add code to detect when you win or lose a match and where to send you if either happens. I will also have to add code that will change the backgrounds and characters for different selected areas to fight.

It's pretty crazy how much code it takes just to make a menu work. Every button press for the menu needs its own bit of code. Then, after the button is pressed, the items effected by the press need to have code to know what to do. In the instance of the menu that I added, when pressing X or A to go into the Scavenger Hunt sub-menu, the following things happen:

  • The phase (variable used to keep track of where in the menu system you are) changes to 11.
  • The character portrait on the left slides 20 pixels per frame to the left until reaching a specific point.
  • The map in the background slides in from the right at 200 pixels per frame until snapping into the view. 
  • 5 black squares set at a partial transparency slide in relative to the background, covering the location squares.
  • The rotating square outline slides in relative to the background on the selected location.
  • The Choose Your Locale text at the top slides in from above the view at 50 pixels per frame.
  • The information box at the bottom of the screen slides in from below the view at 50 pixels per frame.

The text to the right of the colons appears and changes based on the selected location.


These same things all trigger in reverse if the player presses "B". The differences are that the phase changes to 10, the previous menu items spawn and fade in with the highlight bar sliding in from the right.

I'm feeling like the amount of work that I have yet to do with the code is fairly small. It's a weird feeling. I've been working on this game for so long that it seems like it will never end. Thinking about a time where I won't be working on code much is strange. I'm kind of looking forward to it though. I just need to get a stronger interest in art now. Get hyped about creating a bunch of new characters and backgrounds.

I'm hoping to have all of the groundwork set for the single player modes this week. 

Until next time.



What have I done?!!?!

Well, I imported the new single player ladder menu elements into Game Maker. This made me realize that with the transitions that I planned on using, I had to add more information to the background map that I made. Now there are hidden cities, rivers, and lakes that you'll only see if you record video of gameplay and stop during the transition frames. Nice little easter eggs. :P

I coded most of the movements of the menu elements but have yet to create the new phases in the PlayerStats object (the persistent object that holds most of the information). It's pretty weird having what I'm fairly confident is coded correctly already ready to go without ever even looking at it in action. The positions are all based on the background's x and y coordinates so everything should line up perfectly. Of course, once I put it in action, it won't be as smooth as I expect.

Adding the new sub-menus and menu changes has me really....nervous I guess? It's giving me this fear that it will be very frustrating and that I won't be able to finish it in a sitting. It's not a reasonable fear, but it's looming around.

Hopefully, I'll have some time to work on the game this week. Since it was my birthday weekend and with my work moving this week, I don't think I'll have much time. It's all part of being a full time member of working society while trying to be a self-employed, self-motivated business owner.

Next entry should include some new video footage or at least a gif. Hopefully I'll have something within a week.

Until next time.


Push Start

I have started work on the single player AI "ladder" mode. The idea is to make a simple single player experience reminiscent to the original Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. I have the basic logistics and a test layout for the menu system. I still have to import all of the assets and make it functional.

The basic idea for the behind-the-scenes workings for this mode is to first have the player select a scavenger from the normal character select menu. Next, the Locale Menu will slide in from the right, Choose Your Locale sliding down from the top and the Rectangle on the bottom sliding up from the bottom. The Burbs will be highlighted by default unless a player has chosen another locale in a previous match. Each location will have an item that is always being fought for there. The Burbs will have the couch. After the first locale is selected, a tab will rise from the right side of the rectangle asking the player if they're ready. If the player presses X or A the Locale Menu will slide out to the left with the Choose Your Locale and Bottom Rectangle slightly lagging before they also slide out to the left. Behind the menu, the selected locale will already be loaded, the character portrait will slide off of the left of the screen, the players will run in from either side and the match will begin.

The idea with the menus in this game is to make them feel as seamless as possible when converting to gameplay. Two Player mode is already fairly seamless due to the background of the selected level being the background of the menu. 

I haven't yet decided how I want to approach character select after a single player ladder has started. Logistically, it would be easiest to not allow character select after the ladder has started, but people are weird and will want to be able to change characters after losing even though all characters are mechanically the same. I suppose the sprite origins could make a difference for the player. I'll have to keep thinking about this one. I have some possible solutions but nothing concrete yet.

Difficulty will be handled by the number of scavengers defeated. If you win a match against a specific scavenger, that scavenger will no longer be able to be fought. For each 2 scavengers defeated the difficulty will go up by 1 point. This will allow for strategic ordering of gameplay to allow players that are worse with a specific interactable to play them first and more easily defeat them. It will also allow the player to select levels at their leisure, making it feel like the game provides more freedom.

Also to note, there will be 2 scavengers per location. 

When I next work on the game, the plan is to make all of these things do what I just stated above. Hopefully it'll be able to be finished without much hassle.

Lots of work yet to be done. 

Until next time.