Developer diary

Achievement unlocked! unlock achievements

Achievements

Steam integration is going on nicely, using steamworks4j it was very easy, a lot easier than Google Play Games or Apple Game Center.

I’ve just implemented one achievement and it’s just plugged to a test button, but integrating everything will be pretty straight forward from now on.

screenshot_2016-01-09_12-52-37

There are too many achievements in the game, and some don’t really fit with Steam achievements (all speed-running ones for example), so I’ve decided to select a bit more than 20 of the current achievements for Steam integration.

Current achievements will remain as they are not account dependent (you can unlock them again on a new save) and give in-game money, but I will probably rename them to avoid confusion with Steam achievements.

 

Streaming

I’ve also tested a bit streaming, I didn’t have to do anything, it worked immediately out of the box. I had some input lags, but I was using wifi and the streaming PC is not very powerfull, so I guess it’s ok.

 

Cloud saving

Cloud saving has been integrated, again it was very easy, I just add to tell Steam where to look for save files and that’s it, everything is automatic.

Capture d’écran_2016-01-09_16-02-13

 

capture_2016-01-09_15-59-48_0029_Steam_

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Alien Blitz PC will happen :)

This is just a quick post to tell you that Alien Blitz has been Greenlit !

I will make a cleaner news later, update the banner and such later on.
The game was approved a few hours ago, and all I wanted to do for now was to play with the SDK and try to launch the game from Steam 🙂

And it’s working ! I can download & launch the game from Steam, of course it’s very basic, there is no Steam integration yet (achievements and such) but I’m very pleased to see how easy it was to set-up (I just had a problem that Valve staff corrected in less than one minute after asking support)

 

 

Now I will have to work with the SDK itself, thankfully there is an open source project to use the SDK from Java, so it should help a lot.

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Alien Blitz: Demo updated (1.3.5)

Made a few changes to the PC demo, just some very small glitches correction and upgrades:

  • Reduced size of the blocks falling from the first boss, they were overlapping
  • Changed the in-game map visualization, undiscovered areas are a lot darker
  • Moved a bit the debug information (some were behind the ammo count)
  • Removed a random help message that was specific to Mobile
  • Added a new option to choose the camera distance / zoom level while playing

And in case you didn’t test it yet, here are the download links to the Demo :

 

Windows

Download Alien Blitz demo for Windows

Linux

Download Alien Blitz demo for Linux (32 bits)

Download Alien Blitz demo for Linux (64 bits)

Mac OS

Download Alien Blitz demo for MacOS

 

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Alien Blitz: Alpha demo available!

header_680x160

 

Alpha demo for Alien Blitz on PC/Windows/Linux/Mac is now available !

 

This is an alpha version of the game, you might encounter bugs that will need correction, and all features are not yet available.

This demo is limited to episode 1 (13 maps), but saving is disabled. It means if you quit the game you will loose your progress.

Download links

Windows

Download Alien Blitz demo for Windows

 Linux

Download Alien Blitz demo for Linux (32 bits)

Download Alien Blitz demo for Linux (64 bits)

Mac OS

Download Alien Blitz demo for MacOS

 

Screenshots

720p-lava 720p-rocket

 

Requirements

Alien Blitz should run on any recent (>5 years old) gaming (capable of running 3d games) computer.

It has been successfully tested on following configurations (but should run on other too):

  • Operating System
    • Windows: Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 10,
    • Linux: Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 15.10
    • Mac: MacOS Yosemite, MacOS El Capitan
  • Graphical card
    • Nvidia : GTX 280, GTX 660M, GTX 980
    • Intel : HD graphics 4000
  • Memory
    • 2Gb minimum

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Alien Blitz PC: camera

Camera

Camera has been changed one more time on PC, up to now I was using the same camera as mobile version. This camera zoom & unzoom depending on context (size of the room, shoot from far away,…), this is done because mobile screen are smaller so we need to be “near” the action, and furthermore there’s no easy way to move camera.

On PC things are different, screens are a lot bigger, and moving camera around is easy (right click with the mouse or secondary stick with a gamepad)

Problem with the mobile version of the camera is that there is a weird effect where it seems that the game is lagging (especially noticeable when moving and the camera unzooms). This effect is not very visible on mobile (mainly because we can’t run using stamina) but on PC I couldn’t unsee it.

I made some corrections lately that made things better, but still not good enough. So I’ve finally reverted to an old camera system, a lot easier, and it’s a lots nicer now.

Basically now the camera just follows a virtual point in front of the player at a fixed height.

capture_2015-11-02_21-02-04_0930_Alien_Blitz_

I’ve also moved life/armor bars at the bottom of the screen, and added the stamina bar there. The life bar above player as been removed as there was a weird effect when camera was slowly moving that I couldn’t correct (the bar “randomly” moves 1px around).

 

 

 

 

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Alien Blitz : more particles, shrapnels, new sprites

I am quite motivated at the moment and I’m adding some graphical stuffs to the PC version, to make it better :

  • Particle slider in the options, 3 positions : low / medium / high
    • Low is like the mobile version
    • Medium add more effects to bullets and such
    • High add even more effects and make particle a bit more “complex” (will bounce on floor and such)
  • Auto detection of graphical quality, if your PC seems powerfull enough (based on number of cores and max MSAA available) then quality will be set to high, medium otherwise (can be changed manually of course)
  • More particles effects
  • Chain lightning will now generate random sub-chains when hitting a wall
  • New sprite for laser based weapons (player and monsters)

 

Rocket shrapnel:

 

 

Impact on wall:

 

Monsters fireball debris:

 

Chain lightning on walls:

 

New laser beam sprite:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alien Blitz: ios, PC demo

IOs

iOs 1.3.3 update has been approved and should be deploying soon. It took longer than usual, but in the end everything’s fine and the build is iOs 9 approved 🙂

 

3.5-coloredkeys

 

PC demo

I’ve corrected again a few things on the PC version :

  • Player was disappearing in a specific spot, I guess it did that for quite a long time, but I never noticed it (when moving in a specific spot near the point player lands at start)
  • Camera has been tweaked, it will move more slowly on PC now.
    Users on PC will tend to go quicker than mobile users (controls are easier, and there is stamina/run) and fast moving character + fast moving camera (when turning quickly for example) was giving a strange effect.

I will continue doing some tests but I think it should be really close to completion now.

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Alien Blitz: PC build

Weird movements near walls & sprites

I’ve finally corrected the player weird movements near walls (in certain situations) and around sprites (depending on angle).

It wasn’t an easy task at all, basically what happens in the game is:

  • Physic is applied at 30 fps in the game, monsters and such are updated at 30 fps
  • Rendering is done at 60fps, with movements interpolation
  • Player movements & camera are controlled at 60fps, synced to rendering
    This is done to avoid some weird artifacts when moving (up to 3 frames can be rendered before actually moving the player, resulting in some kind of like input lags, just worse)

So for the player most physics are applied at 30fps (projection when an explosion happens, gravity,…). But some need to be done during rendering also, else player could “go through walls” (just visually, physical engine is always “right” and will revert player position on its next cycle).

And that’s the hard part, both engine (rendering and physic) need to “agree” on what to do and not interfere.
This can lead to some strange situations where the rendering engine wants to revert the player position, but the physical engine still needs to know the player was trying to go into a wall (because that’s how is made auto jump, if you try to walk into a small wall the game will make you auto jump).

Next engine I build will definitely have the physical engine plugged into the rendering engine, having two threads is way too tricky.

That being said, this is now corrected 🙂 The rendering engine does more collision check but still let the physical engine decide what to do, I had to cheat here and there, but it works !

I am very pleased, these artifacts were driving me crazy, once I began noticing them I couldn’t unsee them… A “regular” player would not have seen them that much I think (players don’t tend to touch monsters as there is no close combat weapons), but it’s just a lot cleaner now.

 

PC build

I ran into some troubles on my laptop when using the Intel card (right part of the screen was always in the fog of war, but just on Windows, not Linux), but it ended up being a driver problem, updating it corrected everything.

I am now continuing tests on the alpha/demo version and alpha/full version of the game. It seems all right so far, but still needs more testing.

 

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Alien Blitz: updating

Mobile versions

Tests are now completed, the new update (1.3.3) is being published (could take a few days) :

  • Corrected a bug at then end of map e01m06
  • Cheat menu is back (if activated…)
  • Misc minor changes

I’ve spent some times updating the iOs version as I had lots of updates to do at once, and I had a few troubles:

  • iOs 9 now requires to support iPad multitasking, I just changed the configuration a bit to indicate the game is full screen (<key>UIRequiresFullScreen</key><true/> in info.plist.xml)
  • For some reason the game was not fully signed, i just renamed executable file and it worked afterwards (I guess executable name must not contain “:” or space)
  • I still have a few warning during compilation about some build version during link part, but it doesn’t stop compilation

And I’m not sure if ads still work on android demo version, if they don’t I will just remove them on next build, doesn’t really matter anyway.

3.5-tonsofbullets

 

PC version

I made some last corrections on the demo/alpha PC version, mainly some wrong screens or texts (used by Android demo version) and some missing monsters (because this version uses some mechanisms of the, very, old snorms demo).

I still have something I’d like to correct before releasing it: when player is walking against a wall or a monster (depends on walls/angle/… it does not always happen) it seems like he is pushed backwards on very small distance & very quickly (1 out of 2 frames at 60fps). It is because player position is updated every frame but engine is updated only at 30fps, and both don’t seem to agree on player position in this case.

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Alien Blitz: some news

Sorry for the lack of updates last weeks, I just didn’t have time/motivation to work on personal projects between my work and personal life.

I began working again on the demo for the PC version and discovered a blocking bug that also affects Android/iOs versions. So I will first work on updating them, the Android version is quite easy to update but the iOs will take longer (I need to update MacOs/xcode/ios/libgdx/robovm/… and rebuild everything)

So plan for next days is :

  1. Update Android & iOs versions
  2. Do more tests than last time, I should have discovered this bug earlier but didn’t
  3. Publish Android & iOs versions
  4. Build demo
  5. Publish demo

3.5-14weapons

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