4 Hugues Ross Writes a Devlog: 07/01/2015 - 08/01/2015
Hugues Ross

7/22/15

A Look Back

With my recent string of posts nearing its end, I think it's time for the big one.
Over the past 3 years, I've managed to accumulate almost 200 posts, and almost 10,000 views. That's just a drop in the bucket, but it still makes me happy. When I first started this blog, I expected just about 0 visitors, maybe just one or two per month who randomly stumbled in. Even if I still don't have much of a well-established audience, and most of my readers are likely just web spiders and bots, it still feels good to know that someone out there is reading this.

Following that, I should probably reiterate that comments are very welcome! I always love to read feedback, positive or negative. Indeed, it's especially important to comment if you run into any issues with my work. I can't fix problems if I don't know they exist, after all. In addition, if you see anything that you don't understand, or you just want me to write about a specific topic, I'd be happy to oblige.

Now then, I think it's time for the main event, the real reason I'm writing this post. Over the lifetime of this blog, I've started many game projects, and finished exactly one of them (not counting game jams and schoolwork). I think that number needs to  change. I've long had a habit of not finishing what I start, and while I haven't forgotten these projects I also haven't worked on any of them in a long time. Thus, I'm saying it now: My goal for this next year is to revisit and finish as many old projects as I can, and use them to spruce up my little portfolio.

7/19/15

Cloudy Climb

It's been about a week since my last post about DFEngine, and the minigame I mentioned then is done. I ended up not adding a goal to the game, mostly because it didn't feel like it fit well. This release is a bit lackluster, since I'm just putting it out to give the project a pulse, proving that I'm still hard at work and not quite dead yet. Due to its quick nature, this release probably has some issues that I haven't noticed. If you find any, please comment here and I'll try to resolve them ASAP. If you'd like to play the game despite this little warning, the links are below:
Windows - Linux


Controls:
W - Jump(press once to begin the game)
A/D - Move left/right
R - Restart the game

Bounce off of clouds to get as high as you can, moving off either edge of the screen will warp you to the other side.


In addition to releasing this minigame, I've also updated the DFEngine repository on Github to the new version. In case you're interested in the new codebase, it's right here. Now that the rewrite's over, you can expect to see regular updates popping up there like they did before.

Anyway, this is a pretty short post. My next post will be significantly longer and more important, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

7/11/15

Update: "I spent 7 months rewriting my game engine and all I got was this stupid tshirt"

(tshirt not included)

Despite the title, and all the time and effort spent on this engine, I'm actually in a rather cheery mood. The engine is coming along nicely, and I feel like the peace of mind associated with having something that doesn't randomly break for no reason is worth a few months of backtracking. My job has been slowing my progress down quite a bit, but that ends soon and my next job will be a little less time consuming. Still, I haven't had an update post in a while, so I thought I'd explain the current status of the now-rewritten DFEngine.

At this point, I think I can safely call the rewrite 'done', and focus on making games and adding features. The new engine can pretty much do anything the old one did, and then some. To show off that fact, I'm putting together a super-simple game right now. It mostly serves as a 'proof of tech', just showing some basic gameplay and interaction with the engine. With that said, here are some details on the new features(and the game, of course).

New Stuff

With the rewrite about finished, I've started on adding new things again. I think now is a pretty good time to quickly go over the new features:
  1. Level and object files! This is one of the biggest things I've been missing since AMAZE. As awful as level creation was back then, it still beat what I had for later projects. Making levels is still a hassle since I haven't built a level editor yet, but it's still easier because everything is in one place. Naturally, it'll also make designing a level editor easier when I get to it.
  2. Particle Effects! Particle effects are a nice flashy feature to have in an engine, so I've been meaning to get them into DFEngine for a while. the only game on this site that uses particles currently is Space Douchebag, but with any luck I'll be able to put them into all future projects going forward.
  3. Objects can now have multiple components of the same kind, allowing some interesting things. As an example, You could easily make a character with text over their head(text and models are both considered graphical components), just by adding text to the object and offsetting it.

The Game

If you look closely, you can see a cloud of particles towards the bottom
Let's talk about the game now. It's an extremely basic affair, with a little character bouncing on clouds. The goal of the game is simply to get as high as you can without falling,
and I plan on adding a goal height to reach. Other than a win/loss screen, the game is mostly done. I also need to get DFEngine running on Windows, and do a bit more testing. After that, I'll toss the game up on this site. Due to just how small and simple this game is, I don't have much to say about it. Expect a game of similar scale to one of my game jam games, maybe a tad smaller.

I think I'll be making one more game before starting on any major projects with DFEngine, since I still have some issues that could be worked out. I haven't decided on the next game yet, but hopefully I'll have this one out within a week.