4 Hugues Ross Writes a Devlog: 12/01/2012 - 01/01/2013
Hugues Ross

12/31/12

More time lost

Have a funny-looking guy on a boat.

I realize it's not my best work, but I don't have the Gimp installed right now, and I only have a few hours 'til next month/year. If you're wondering what's taking so long, the answer is simple: For reasons that I don't care to disclose(due to my utmost stupidity) I had to reinstall everything again. This time ought to be the last. Everything's set up perfectly after a full 10 hour stretch of wrangling up drivers without(initially, at least) internet or usb support. Still, it sucks to have been unable to do anything for so long. I need to get something done, even a simple screenshot, by the end of the week. This is getting nuts!

Well, I wish you all a happy new year! I'm thinking of writing another design post or two this week, so keep your eyes peeled.

12/29/12

Delete.....Everything.

You know how I said movement would be next? Scratch that for now.

I may have accidentally broken my computer's window borders, menu bar, etc. a couple of days back. Fortunately, I backed up all of my files and wiped my computer. I can work again. Unfortunately, I've now lost several more days of productivity in an already unproductive vacation. Now, that said, I have gotten a bit of work on Chainsaw Deathrace done. I've been writing a new method of drawing autotiles that's better suited to my engine. This allows for walls, corners AND full sized tiles(to a degree). Also, it makes for smaller tilesets. I'll write up a proper post about that later. Another thing that has come from my little wipe is that I now keep Windows in a virtual machine, rather than dual-booting. This means that I may have trouble testing/releasing Windows builds, until I get the hang of it.
I still have a few things left to set up, but I have my code back. I'm reinstalling my libraries right now.

12/20/12

1k

Google Analytics tells me that this blog has somehow reached 1000 pageviews. I'm under the impression that most of these are just web crawlers/bots, but a milestone's a milestone, right? Besides that, I mostly use this as an excuse to stay on track and see my projects to completion. Seriously though-if any of you invisible viewers ARE real, why not leave a comment once in a while? It livens things up.
Now that that's out of the way, have a celebratory .gif and announcement:

Chainsaw Deathrace Design #2: The Grid

This is my second post on the design of the new version of Chainsaw Deathrace that I'm working on. This one will be about the grid and the placement of various objects. The previous one was about the characters. Read it here.

If you've played my game at this point, you might ask "What's wrong with the grid now???" The answer is, of course, nothing. The grid isn't what I'm worried about. Walls, on the other hand, are a gigantic pain in the rear to deal with.(You may want to skip this next paragraph, which is a gigantic rant about walls)

12/19/12

Chainsaw Deathrace Design #1: The Characters

Now that I'm back to regular development, I'm planning on writing several posts about designing the next version of Chainsaw Deathrace. Obviously, since the original version was the quick and dirty product of a game jam, the whole thing needs to be remade. However, beyond the code, thought must be put to the design to make sure it's well balanced and fun. During the jam it was about quantity; now it's about quality. Now that that's been said, on to the first topic: the characters.

The original concept behind the characters in Chainsaw Deathrace came from the jam's theme: "Disadvantage." After all, what's a bigger disadvantage than missing limbs? Unfortunately, I didn;t spend much time on balancing. In the end we had:

  • Billy, who was slow. Anyone who ran into the Chainsaw Killer was dead anyway, so he had no real downside.
  • Sammy, who could only carry one item at a time. Occasionally this turned into an issue, but blood bags could be used immediately anyway, and there was no "health" cap, making his disadvantage nothing more than a minor annoyance.
  • Fred, who couldn't see, couldn't use blood bags, didn't know what any items were, and couldn't know when the Chainsaw Killer was near. Also, he had far less health than everyone else. This was an enormous disadvantage.
In this remake/next version, I'd like to rebalance this. In the end, I'd like to see each disadvantage bring some sort of unique unforeseen advantage as well. On harder difficulties, these would be more pronounced, leading to a more careful and strategic game. At the moment, here's what I'm looking at as a more balanced way of doing things:

  • Billy who can't run. I'm adding a running mechanic to allow you to escape traps/the Chainsaw Killer. However, Billy won't be able to do so. His advantage is his(lack of) height: As I plan to add combat mechanics of some sort, Billy will be harder to hit, and may have some other combat-related perks.
  • Sammy, who(again) can only carry one item. This is similar to the first version, but he'll also have trouble climbing, if he can at all. As an advantage, he'll be faster at running and capable of breaking down doors easier.
  • Fred, who can't hear, can't really see, and dies quickly. However, he will have a sort of "Instinct" from what little brain is left. This means he can sense things, even through walls. Also, his random lashings out may grant him some advantages in combat. Also, I have another idea for him. Suppose he couldn't use most items correctly, but they had some alternate purpose only he could find? For instance, blood bags could change from healing to bait, leading enemies to a certain place while he went elsewhere. I'm still toying with that.
Obviously, none of this is final. I'm going to spend a long time testing their traits to make sure that none of them are too hard or easy. This does give me a nice guideline to go with, though. That ought to be a big help moving forward.

Next post: Walls, Floors, and Ceilings!


Also, I should mention this quickly: The album for my last game, A Wheelie Good Time, can be found here
I plan on posting more images as I go into Chainsaw Deathrace's album here.

12/3/12

The End is Nigh!

The end of the semester, that is. With two weeks left until freedom, everything is getting nuts! This means that I might not have much to write about for a little while. The Sprint ends in less than a week, and I'm getting a little burnt out from all this programming. I'll try to get back in the mood in time to make something festive, though. I'd also like to get out that fabled Chainsaw Deathrace v2.0 before classes start again. Already, it seems that I have quite a lot of things on my plate.