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Xtrapet Dev Blog

  • I have decided on entering the Windows 8 Game comp, even though I started a bit late, this is the first game I am going to show publicly.

    This is a tamagotchi style pet game, with a little twist of my own. Even though there are many pet games out there I think there is lots of room for creativity in this genre.

    The gameplay itself is pretty straight forward, feed, groom and love your pet.

    What I'm doing differently is implementing pet creation, where you choose what each part of your pet looks like. The various parts will then be animated with revolute joints(Hardest part of the game to make). At the end when your pet dies you will have a decision to make: Hold a lovely funeral for your pet and get some nice images of the pet to share or have the pet do a glorious last dance.

    *The first release of the game only has snapshot sharing, no dancing.*

    <img src="http://s10.postimage.org/vjfiqge7t/Capture3.png" border="0" />

    P.S. I cannot guarantee the game will be ready for the compo, as I started late, but Ive got most of the pet graphics done, just need to do UI, Game Logic, and animation

    [Update] Game got accepted on Windows8 Store

  • I like the combinations you can make with that.

  • Game Status:

    My graphics are about 65% complete and I may have to sacrifice some variety in colors and textures to get this out in time.

    Animations are at 1% as I have to focus on the game mechanics before that. Will be focusing more on expression of emotion than nice effects, as using joints instead of bone movement is a crippling workaround.

    I am currently working on the GUI, which will be very simple and straight forward. The color scheme I'm going for is muted to make up for the bright character sprites(careful not to overwhelm the eyes)

    Game "story"

    This game does not have a story, but it has a hidden theme about life, death and creation.

    The lifespan of the pet will be very short, making how the players interact with the pet have meaning. Having created the pet, players will feel the joy of caring for something they shaped. Perhaps players may even feel attached to their pet, making the loss of their pet even more poignant or vice-verse.

    Choosing an action in the event of theirs pets natural death will have the player consider the value of his/her pet, as choosing a more rewarding ending will leave the player nothing to remember their pet by. But choosing to have a burial will give players "photos" of their pet to remember it by.

    Things working against me

    Time limit (started with this a bit late too), I have a job, my art skills suck, I have never seriously tackled a project like this.

    Why I could at leas make this game bearable

    I am keeping things as simple as possible, focusing less on looks and more on ease of use. Simple game mechanics that allow for complex outcomes.

  • I don't know how the hell I'm going to get this game out by Friday. Why oh why did that competition mail land in my spam folder?

    Tonight I am focusing on getting the UI done, at about 50% right now.

    Had to change the way I display the thumbnails for pet creation a bit as I wanted all the parts to display, but that's just not possible.

    Screenshot: <img src="http://s10.postimage.org/f3mtg3w55/petcreation.png" border="0" />

    Just need to put in buttons for the color selection and code the changes.

    Oh and text formatting.

    Major to do's: Animations on character, Music, Sounds, game logic and data handling.

    In short, I'm screwed. Good thing I have alcohol hehe.

    Comments? Words of encouragement?

  • Thou shall not be afraid of creating vaporware. It has happened to me to the past, and probably with everyone. Enjoy your alcohol and making your game if you think you won't make it in time. Keep working on it after the deadline, publish it, make millions of dollars. Buy all the prizes you could have won.

    Indie developers and deadlines don't match tho <img src="smileys/smiley17.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • Definitely not going to make it by the deadline.

    But, I am still making progress, and will still put the game up before christmas.

    There are some major issues I am struggling with, namely the physics behavior interfering with me setting the position of the sprites before creating rovolute joints.

    Here's another screenshot of how the game will look without the gui.

    <img src="http://s15.postimage.org/5lzr2c74r/Pet_layout.png" border="0" />

  • As I havent posted my game yesterday, I have revamped the pet sprites quite a bit.

    Even though this game may not make it to microsoft on time for the compo Im still gonna post it by monday and hope they accept it.

    I dropped the pivot joints and am using sine behavior and rotation for all the animations, which is working surprisingly well as I can activate multiple behaviors at a time giving a very nice animation effect.

    Here is the latest image:

    <img src="http://s14.postimage.org/5vfk6kkgh/apple_grab.png" border="0" />

    The only problem I have now is that I cant test on windows 8 every time I add to the game so havent tested if the roaming data thingy works for remembering what pet I created.

  • Its late Monday night here in South Africa, so I've just got time to post the game up as I have like 12 hours over the US.

    I'm very nearly done, just tweeking some animations and adding audio.

    After that, I need to quickly put together a splash screen, logo and a help page.

    The one difficulty now is that Ive reached my limit of 100 events, so I'm going to have to sacrifice limiting stats to 100points.

    At first I thought, wow this will be so easy. But then the coding got real bad and I had to rely heavily on using comments and ordering my code. Construct really made that part much easier and I would never have made so much progress if I used any other tool.

    Ooh, had one scary part where construct crashed and I lost like 4 hours of work. My excuse- I was steamrolling like hell and everything was working perfectly as expected. Nearly shat myself, but I learned my lesson.

    Will post my game's details here after I recovered from the expected late night tonight.

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  • Update:

    So my game failed certification due to the game not being fully touch and keyboard mouse compatible. I was like WTF, but then I made star particles on everything the player can touch, and added a popup on the start of layout explaining each objects controls. Also used my last event to allow "esc" key to go to menu, and "M" key shortcut for muting sound.

    Dont have any events left for adding hotkeys to use items though, so Ill just hope MS has mercy on my ass.

    Things that I didn't quite get right:

    1)Having a different view when the user snaps the window, it just resizes the whole game and hides the object panel.

    2) Didnt think my graphics resolution through - the game runs at 1024x768, which means black borders on widescreen. Gonna revamp the whole thing if people think the game could work, just need an artist though.

    3) Should have used local storage from the other win8 plugin, so the player has an image in the main menu screen of his pet.

    4) some minor bugs and stuff, If your gonna try and break the game it will do some weird stuff, especially with sounds. and the ball throwing.

  • Here are some images of the "completed" game. The graphics are probably only "prototype/alpha" suitable, but hey, I'm a coder, not an artist.

    <img src="http://s1.postimage.org/utmpp0vwv/Capture.png" border="0" />

    <img src="http://s1.postimage.org/7tknqfngv/Capture1.png" border="0" />

    <img src="http://s1.postimage.org/v92kvs77z/Capture2.png" border="0" />

    <img src="http://s1.postimage.org/uxl4j0qrz/Capture3.png" border="0" />

    <img src="http://s1.postimage.org/fddqshgnj/Capture4.png" border="0" />

    <img src="http://s1.postimage.org/l2tzcsmtr/Capture5.png" border="0" />

  • Ah I'm sad to hear they rejected <img src="smileys/smiley6.gif" border="0" align="middle" /> They've been really strict recently! I hope they or Scirra give a time limit extension for people who've submitted at least once before the 21st!

    Also, the game looks great, reminds me of Oddballz and Catz/Dogz, awesome games <img src="smileys/smiley4.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • Wooo, woke up this morning and checked my email, and saw MS accepted my game! - After I just added particle effects to touch events and better explained the controls.

    All those late nights and sleeplessness at least got my game out there.

    Now I can relax and think of all the features I can add when I have a C2 license.

    Link to game on Windows store apps.microsoft.com/windows/app/xtra-pet/19c20ab9-ff8f-4a44-b661-2b38cdd1ca58

  • Po10c Congrats! mine just got accepted too <img src="smileys/smiley4.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • So now Ive had more time to test my game on Windows 8 as a full app, I'm discovering some worrying bugs that didn't show up in browser tests.

    Guess I'm a bit screwed right now ha ha ha. Not friggen funny...

    At least most of the game mechanics work, but still its not as good as it should be.

    I wonder how long MS takes to accept a Game update?

    Maybe if I sacrifice another night's sleep I can get the worst of the bugs out before the judges start playing....

    To sum up: Making a game that plays out slowly is very difficult to test for bugs even if you speed up the events.

  • I've just finished doing some emergency bug fixes and I can finally go to bed, 1:30AM and work "tomorrow" :(

    At least I am secure in the knowledge that my game won't come off as ammature as it actually is. I'm actually looking forward to actually have time to play and enjoy my own game.

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