Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Flatlands Update: Dialogs, pickups and more

November 17th, 2010 3 comments

I’m starting to move away from doing engine busywork and actually into the fun part; making the game. I’ve added a proper entity system, sound effects, and started adding a proper UI, although at the moment it’s only used for displaying a dialog when the player collects an item.

Not pictured: Two days of tweaking to get the fly-in and fly-out animations perfect.

At the moment a lot of it is awfully hard-coded, such as all the entity properties and text. Over the next week or so I’m hoping to move to a proper data-driven solution for all entity types, which should make adding new items a breeze as well as making them a lot more malleable.

I’ve also been working on sound and music, and boy am I rusty at it. Getting the right key and timing for fanfares and the like is exceptionally painful, but I’m slowly improving. I’m still not sure if I want to go for an 8-bit or 16-bit feel for the sound, though. The 8-bit has a lot of charm and is a bit easier to do, but it doesn’t seem to work well with the more PSX-era graphics, like you’re listening to one game but playing another.

Categories: Flatlands, Projects Tags:

First Flatlands update

November 1st, 2010 1 comment

Okay, so recently I’ve been working on a Minecraft/Zelda styled game, tentatively called Flatlands. The main idea is to take the simple graphical style of Minecraft and expand the gameplay to be more quest focused, giving more interesting rewards for exploration and having less focus on building.

The base engine is looking pretty good, getting decent framerates for modestly-sized world. You can place and destroy blocks to your hearts content, but the chunk compilation needs a lot of optimisation as there’s a slight framerate hop every time a block is placed. When I get around to doing multithreading the compilation will be done in a different thread, which should alleviate that problem.

At the moment, it’s looking an awful lot like a vanilla Minecraft clone due to the blocky nature and randomized terrain. As I progress with the game, I’ll be moving away from perlin-noise generated terrain and towards random placement of designer-created 8×8 chunks. This will give the world a less random but more controlled feeling, and will also make it a lot easier to make man-made structures like towns and dungeons. I may keep the random terrain in for padding between large sections of the overworld, but that’ll all depend on whether or not it’ll be possible to get a good looking world through chunks alone.


Usable blocks: You can now open chests you find lying around the world. Nothing inside them yet, and the ‘open’ version looks a bit terrible, but that’ll be fixed when I do a proper art pass.

Crouching: Makes it much easier to get through small passages or traverse tricky terrain.

Air velocity: You can no longer steer yourself in the air like you can on the ground. Still needs a little tweaking, as it can make jumping small hops from block to block a bit of a pain at the moment.


Entities and Entity manager: Probably just going to use it for making items pop out of chests to begin with, then will move along to having NPCs and enemies.
GUI: This is going to be required for the chunk system, as the chunk builder is going to be in-game. Also going to use it for a nice little in-game auto-updating texture editor, which should help with visualization a lot.
Moving to the pre-generated chunk system: This will help it lose that Minecraft look and start making the game feel a bit more unique.
More blocks: Houses, better looking hills, trees, foliage.

Categories: Flatlands, Projects Tags: