Approximately 12 years ago I started developing games in a language called DarkBasic (well technically it was probably GameMaker, then RPGMaker then DarkBasic), and began my voyage into computer programming. Back then I had no idea what a QuadTree was (The concept of Arrays was still pretty bewildering!) but I managed to coble together a Space Invaders type game where the object was to blow up the spaceships before they abducted you, unfortunately that project, the classic programmer art and source code were lost about 4 harddrives and 6 computers ago…
As I became more confident I started teaching myself to use 3D modelling software, I asked my parents to purchase me a copy of MilkShape3D for my birthday and threw together some basic models and created a small demo running the model through a giant 3D maze. There were no enemies, no power ups, no loot, it was dead slow (Culling was something to do with Foot and Mouth disease) and I lost faith and moved onto other projects. I believe there might be some old WIP screenshots still floating around the internet, although a quick google search didn’t turn up anything.
I started to teach myself PHP and moved into web development for a while, after that came C++ and Java, and a number of years where I moved between web and application programming playing with a variety of toolkits making Games, IRC Bots, Point of Sale systems, E-commerce Websites and a bunch of other projects (most half complete!)
Then came University and eventually the working world where I find myself now, a fully fledged Computer Scientist, and almost back to where I started all those years ago. I recently unearthed some old “design documents” ( a few sketches, notes and other assorted blabbering’s of my younger self) and have decided to delve back into the realm of game development - although this time I have a solid Computer Science background a and a lot more patience!
I have already released a project called Dungeon Generator, a tool that allows users to randomly generate dungeons using a little algorithm I wrote (the tool also features a rather cool room detection algorithm which I was pretty pleased with).
However, I did not want to start with a 3d game, that would be way too ambitious. Instead I have opted to remake the game I started all those years ago, although this time in 2D.
The premise is quite a simple one, a traditional dungeon crawler, running around maze like passages collecting loot and battling the creatures you meet along the way. The main objectives for the game are as follows:
- To get myself back into Game Programming - To try my hand at Pixel Art again - Introduce myself to Level Design - Get a complete working Android Game released, and hopefully trigger some more ideas.
‘What have I done so far?’
I have spent the last week, writing a quick and dirty engine. The game loads in a TMX file converts the tiles and objects into the internal formats and populates an quadtree which is used for the level layout. I have already implemented basic collision detection using the quadtree and bounding boxes and some simple touch based movement mechanism using a primitive A* search.
Thanks to the Liberated Pixel Cup who recently released some assets I have started to create some pixel art and have finished a basic main character sprite sheet (which considering my artistic skills….I am quite proud of). Although I can’t imagine why anyone would want to use them, I will be submitting any assets I create back to the competition, in the hopes others might benefit (I am also planning on releasing the code once it has a less volatile structure!)