Dev Diary

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Game development journals and diaries.
Matt Barton's picture

Dev Diary 027: Online Multiplayer with Smartfox and Unity C#

I'm a little apprehensive about putting this out, because although it seems to be working fine on my end--who knows what'll happen when people actually try to connect to my humble little PC. At any rate, I'm curious enough to try it out. Assuming you're able to connect, the game is controlled by the keyboard as follows:

A/D - rotate left and right
W - thrust
+/- - adjust power
space - fire

I've disabled the other ship models and weapons here--if all goes well, I can always put them back in. After I catch up on my book project, I'll polish this thing up (assuming it's not a turd. Although Mythbusters proved that you CAN polish a turd; but I digress). Have fun!!!

There is currently only one game room available. In theory, you should be able to enter your name and be put in when it comes available, but I've not tested this yet. I'm not expecting a huge load here, but if it did become an issue, I could add more rooms (and hopefully find some way to have this thing hosted for real).

At any rate, enjoy, and let me know (gently) about all the bugs and glitches you find.

Keith Burgun's picture


Hey all! Sorry I haven't posted much these days, it's because I've been working so hard on my new turn-based strategy game, AURO. I've got you guys on my google reader though, so I have been keeping up with my lurking.

I just wanted to let you guys know about the progress of AURO, and in case some of you don't know, what AURO is.

AURO is a turn-based, tactical, hex-based game with nice pixel art animation. Its design is driven by a strong philosophy: basically, that games are all about making decisions. If the decisions presented to you are interesting, that's a good thing.

I think that most video games are really, really bad at delivering these decision-situtaions. 99% of the time you're playing a modern video game you are doing one of the following things:

Matt Barton's picture

Dev Diary 026: Learning SmartFoxServer

There's two problems with the current Outlaws game. One is that it requires joystick support, which while great if this were an Xbox 360 indie title--and, who knows, maybe one day it will be!--most PC gamers don't have a gamepad connected to their machine like I do. Secondly, even if they did, they don't have anyone locally around willing to play the game with them. Adding keyboard support as an option is relatively trivial from a coding perspective, so I decided to tackle the far greater problem first--online multiplayer.

Matt Barton's picture

Dev Diary 025: Outlaws of Gravity Beta

Outlaws of GravityOutlaws of GravityI know it's been awhile since I last made a dev diary. I've been working steadily, but it took me a long time to get enough of my "Outlaws of Gravity" to be able to offer a working prototype. Quite a bit has changed since the last version! Note, too, that this is an executable file. I do plan eventually to make this playable in a browser, but there's some issues with inputs that I haven't worked out yet. The standalone versions allow the user to setup their own controls for joysticks, so that's what I'm going with for the time being. There's no online multiplayer (yet), so it shouldn't be an issue anyway. Download the prototype here. Okay, so here's what's new:

1. Choice of ships. I downloaded a "star fighters" pack from the assets store for $30. I got about 8 or so ships and was able to use all but one of them (it was oriented differently than the others, and I couldn't figure out how to change it).

2. Each ship type has a different speed, hull, energy, and bonus damage variable.

Matt Barton's picture

Dev Diary 024: Two Player Dog Fight

Two Player!Two Player!This has been a rough day for me! I finally got my space duel game working with two players. That is, it worked fine in the EDITOR. However, when I made a build of it, the fire buttons wouldn't work! I spent hours looking into the input functions to no avail. Finally, I discovered the problem had something to do with the update speed of the editor vs. the build. I'm still not exactly sure what the problem was, but it had something to do with the way I instantiated and positioned the bullets. I figured I'd check to see which fire button was pressed, then check to see where the corresponding ship was located. The big complication here is that I need to impart an initial velocity (set by each player) to their bullets. But how to get the right variable to the bullet? I'll spare you the details, which I don't really understand, but the short of it I managed to kludge through it.

At any rate, I think there's enough here for you to finally see my vision for the gameplay. You've got a two-player dog fight, ships orbiting the planets. Each time you fire, there's a cooldown period before you can fire again. You have to hit the enemy ship head-on to blow it up, and, yes, you can blow yourself up if you're not careful.

The keys are below:

Matt Barton's picture

Dev Diary 023: Procedurating Solar Systems

Sparkles!Sparkles!The ol' dev diary has been quiet lately as I had some very tough times getting over the next hump of my gravity game. By the way, how does "Outlaws of Gravity" strike you as a title? Little play on "Law of Gravity." But, anyway, I've been busy trying to make a system for procedurally generating the solar system, giving you a random distribution of planets and moons. Of course, later on I'll add some different textures for the planets, so that they don't all look the same.

I had a really tough time with the moons. I don't want them to be smashing into planets or each other, so I had to keep spacing out the planet orbits more and more, until finally it just wasn't practical. I went down a dead end of just making them decorative. Didn't like that, so went back to the old way. Finally, decided I just had to limit the number of them. I originally wanted three as the max, but just wasn't feasible unless I really went big with the resolution. I'm still not really happy about the moons. I think they're cool, and make it more realistic, but they don't seem to serve much purpose. I guess one strategy could be trying to put your ship right next to one, so that hopefully it might catch a bullet. Other than that, I don't see a point, so I might end up taking them out. IIRC, they didn't have them in gravity wars anyway.

Matt Barton's picture

Dev Diary 022: Gravity Balls!

Fun with gravityFun with gravityHaha! Man, it's such a beautiful thing when stuff comes together. I had a lot of issues getting this to work. Again, I'm suffering from my lack of math skills with this. I guess I should quit whining and just buy some videos from the Teaching Company, but thankfully I was able to find the formulas worked out by somebody else. Some copying, pasting, and tweaking, and viola! Gravity balls! I still have a long ways to go, obviously, but I think there's already enough here for you to give this a spin and see if it's something you'd enjoy.

Matt Barton's picture

Dev Diary 021: Making Planets Move

OrbitalOrbitalIt's been awhile since I worked with Unity--been too distracted with Legend of Grimrock. I decided to try to get something done today, breaking apart the project into bite size chunks. I figured I might as well start tackling the heart of the game first, and spent the morning getting a basic system worked out for orbiting the planets around the sun. I'm not quite satisfied with this--for one thing, I can't seem to work out a way to make the planets rotate in sync with their orbit. I'm guessing there's some heavy math involved in something like that, so I might just fudge it. No reason (I can think of) why I can't just pick some textures that won't make much difference how they're angled. In other words, making a ringed planet like Saturn look right would probably drive me nuts, so I might just stick to rocky worlds and gas giants. At any rate, I'm fairly pleased with this part. Now I just need to make some ships that will rotate around their respective planets.

Matt Barton's picture

Dev Diary 020: Orbliterator Takes Off

Orbliterator Sketch 2Orbliterator Sketch 2Well, here we go again. I've been thinking about what I'd tackle for my next game project, and have decided on a project I'm calling "Orbliterator." This project is a combination of an old game my dad and I used to play called "Gravity Wars" and a bit of real-time strategy and shoot'em up action. Ideally, this will be an online multiplayer game, probably 2-player but possibly more if it turns out to be feasible. Alternatively, I'd like to have a one-player version, though that will of course require some AI--though cheaply, I could see offering a "Practice Mode" with dummy targets.

Okay, so maybe I'm getting ahead of myself here. Let me break down the gameplay.

A desperate duel to the death...

Shawn Delahunty's picture

Retro-ZAP! Redux: Part 3 of... um, 2.

In my last article, I wrote at length about my experience making Retro-ZAP! on my near-ancient TRS-80 Model III computer. As I described, the experience was a fun and interesting one. It provided a mix of both high- and low-points, all of which were fun to write about. What I did not expect however, was the level of attention that would be generated by a Space Invaders knockoff, written in interpreted BASIC.

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