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Dynamic Sketch Book [dev log]

  • Hi everyone, I just wanted to introduce my work in progress - Dynamic Sketch Book. It's a physics based drawing game - and it's almost ready for alpha testing. I started working on it just before Xmas '14 and it's taken up all of my spare time to get this far. I've completed 2 chapters containing 24 levels although I want to make a few more before I try and market it. It's not too buggy but there's still quite a bit of polish that needs to be added before it can see the light of day. My big win was with the physics - I eventually elected to use the standard plugin with some carefully designed (and complicated) game logic to enable the drawing and collision of complex shapes. It works quite well but it's not without its limits (which I've tried to work around).

    When I no longer think it'll be too much of an embarrassment I'll post a link to it and I would really appreciate any ideas and feedback you might have.

    Chapter 1 example:

    I hope to be able to add a link to a demo/alpha version in the next week or so...!!

  • reserved...

  • Wow, this looks really cool! Kind of like crayon physics? I'm pretty amazed you could do this in C2. I suspect there is a bit of math-fu involved...

  • TiAm - thanks - and yes to the maths-fu (I like the phrase!). I gave today's prototype to my kids to mess around with and now have a bit of tweaking to do... It always pays to test on different hardware (slower, but not a problem) but the real lessons come from having someone who's not familiar with what you've done then give it a good work out. I suspect a later than ideal sunday night for me... But I kind of love the challenge!

  • Very cool. It reminds me a lot of Amazing Alex which my son and I love to play together.

  • Wow, looks very cool!

  • Thanks Burvey and enjoythetale!

    So, I think I have ironed out some recently discovered misbehaviour of my physics line construction engine. A bit of testing tonight on my old laptop should indicate if my optimism is well placed our not...

    After that I need to work out the level completion / stars parameters so players get reward feedback.... and then sounds need to be added. I think sounds are going to be a bit tricky to get right - my job for the next few days, after the scoring system, is to set up a velocity tracking system so I can establish some sort of collision force between physics objects. Shouldn't be hard to set up, but it might just take a bit of experimentation to get right.

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  • I love this! Looks a lot of fun.

    Also, really impressive use of C2.

    Well played

  • Thanks Flump, I appreciate the positive vibes!

    So, after much angst I think I've sorted out a level-completion technique that counts how many seconds you have left, how many eraser erases / ink lines etc remain, and then it awards stars according to your performance overall. Should be sort of fair...

    As for sounds, I'm going to do some recording later this week and then crack open audacity for some tweaking. I'm not sure of in-game music, but I was thinking of some gentle blues via Music Maker Jam. We'll see how far I get with that!

    Here's a screen shot of debug mode page one of chapter 3 - "Candy Crash".... You only score if you manage to transport your candy load over the line - no candy - then get back to drawing....

    Every time I look at these images I'm reminded to redraw that settings button in white. Must do it now... LOL.

  • So.... The game now has a total of 36 levels, which I think is enough to let me change focus to tidying everything up as if this will be the final product; if I can think of an original theme for another chapter or two (12 more levels each) then I'll put them together before release or, more likely, as an update. Just depends on how many neurons I have left.

    Other firsts for me: I've registered myself as a developer both with Indie DB and Desura; I now feel grown up and responsible, even though I've been a grown up for many decades... LOL. An abbreviated trial version (probably web based) will be available at launch, while the full version will be packaged using NW.js 10.5.

    There's still some work that needs doing - music, sound effects and then some proper testing on different hardware just to make sure I haven't missed something obvious.

    I will let you know when beta testing will begin - maybe in a week or so. I think I'll make the beta available to up to half a dozen kind souls - drop me a PM if you're interested - I would really appreciate it!!

    Here's the game icon and another screen capture.

  • Hi - I think I've almost done it!! Well, 36 levels of 'it' at any rate.

    I've given the alpha version a good work out and now need the help of a few good souls to do some beta testing for me. PM me if you're interested - I'll give you a link to a full version of the game (which I might update as we go....). For your pains I'll give you a final copy (either by PM or, if I can figure how to do it, by Desura redeemable keys) - if you think it's worth it. I hope you do....!

    Thanks!!

    Edit to add: I've had some generous offers of help and think I have more than enough to be getting on with. Thanks!!

  • Woop woop! I have started designing chapter 4 (music's already done).... See if you can figure out what on earth is going on LOL!

  • Great stuff. Those fluids look good (physics circles on a layer with fancy blending mode?). Something you might try is different physical properties on the lines, eg. a rough jagged line (crayon/charcoal?) that has high friction, or a smooth zero friction line (ink/watercolour?). Or even make a springy line using constraints between segments for drawing ropes or trampolines.

  • mattb, yes indeed - some careful blending is going on there. Ideally I would have also added a horiz/vert blur to that layer as well, but the overhead was too much - with it you could discern some input lag in the game, so I had to take it out. Not to worry, I think it's good enough...

    Some good ideas for physics fun there - thanks! There are some trampolines already, but I hadn't considered having the user draw them. Mmmm - I'll have to think about how to weave that into the engine. Cheers!

  • Colludium

    Really nice. What i really like are the small level previews as you pass over them on the level select. Good luck with it

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