Monday, January 30, 2012

Week update – School Madness

Well not real madness, but the name of the project is “School Madness".

The project

I haven’t really talked about the school project I’m working on. To complete my school we have to take certain tests at the end of the year. But we also have to create a “product” that has to do with our education. Since I’m learning for a computer technician (translated) and we are doing different programming things in school I decided to create a game. It’s something I’m best at and it suits me. I probably have one of the most ambitious projects in our class. The standard also isn’t very high and so creating a simple game out of pure C++ using many different libraries (SDL, OpenGL, Freetype, FTGL, irrKlang) is way (waaaaaaaay) above it. So I’m not concerned by the fact that the game is really simple platformer. But I’m still trying to do my best.

The projects is really organized with much emphasis on OOP (Object Oriented Programming) and using the languages more complex features everywhere. I’m also writing short comments everywhere on my mentors request and so that if I will need to discuss the code I will immediately know what is where.


(A screen of the current project running)

Edit the level editor

Currently most of the work is going into the level editor. I’m making it user friendly and easy to use. I’m planning on making it the bigger thing in the game promoting creating your own levels. And I think it will be more fun than the simple platforming game. It’s clearly the best level editor I made so far with easy to create levels, test them, and saving/loading works from in-game.


Here you can see the editor menu opened up. By clicking Save/Load Level a “menu” pops up where you input the name of the level. It works really well and it’s the first time I done text input in a game.The red boxes around the objects are collision boxes. It adds a fancy/technical look to the editor.

I still have to add a camera to the editor and some more objects like the player spawn and exit. I will make the rooms a fixed size so that level creators can’t go crazy with it. After that is done I will focus on the actual platforming part of the game. I still think I have to add some kind of power to the player so that is adds some challenge to the game. I think that a double jump will do which the player will then use to do some of the more tricky moves. That way the game won’t be too boring because I’m not planning on adding enemies or moving (deadly) objects.

And that is all about the project for this post.

I have been sick in the last few days and wasn’t really able to do much. I have been learning some 3D modeling with Blender and it’s really interesting. Maybe in the future you will see some low poly models on this blog. But don’t expect any 3D games Smile 

I also thought about starting to make video logs. Nothing complicated just a 1-5 minute video where I show you what I’m currently working on. For example on this post: I would show the code a little and how it’s structured, then I would run the game and show some of the features of the level editor and maybe run the player animation. Really simple. I think it would make a really nice addition and it wouldn’t take me much time to make them since I would make them totally spontaneously with no real goal. Fellow YouTube subscribers might appreciate new videos. Please give me some opinions about this idea in the comments. 

If you don’t know what I’m talking about here is a video log from Chevy Ray Johnston (An awesome indie game programmer/designer). If you can’t see the video click on the empty space and it should pop out.

Hollow's Deep - Ledge Grab & Tile Stitching from Chevy Ray Johnston on Vimeo.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My workspace

Everyone has a workspace, and it’s time that I show mine.

A room to work in

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll just stick with that.


Not really high quality (I took the picture with my phone) but it should do. As you can see I use a “dual” monitor screen setup. I’m using my laptop (HP ProBook 4530s) all the time and have an external 21’ LG monitor hooked up to it. I use the big monitor for developing/programming and the small one for things like browsing, music and messaging. The laptop is not really a beast but it’s really good for any kind of development and it still runs most of the games. It’s really practical that I’m all the time one the laptop so that I can simply unplug it and go to school with it and continue there. My other computer (the gaming beast) is currently using my younger brother. I sometimes miss the power but as I said my laptop is good enough for me. I use a classic English layout HP keyboard and the Logitech G700 mouse. I usually listen music on my over 6 years old speakers.

My software setup is Windows 7 64x OS. I’m not using Linux, because it has really bad support for the ATI graphics card and Windows gives more battery power. I miss many Linux tools (I use a Virtual Machine when I really need them) but I really got confortable with Windows. Mainly because of his wide support for different developing environments and better software support. I can use Visual Studio for my IDE again and FlashDevelop for AS3 development. Windows also has Graphics Gale, the best pixel art graphics program. Other software I mostly use: Qt Creator (For C++ GUI development), Eclipse (Java Android development), Aptana Studio 3 (HTML, JS, CSS, PHP development), Inkscape (Vector art), GIMP (Raster graphics / free Photoshop clone), Windows Live Writer (Blog posting), Winamp (Music listening), Pidgin, Skype, Steam (You can find me as "#include<luka>" add me for a round of TF2), etc. There are more but I think this is enough.

As you can see I have a big whiteboard in the middle of the room. It has some “secret” things written on it but you won’t be able to read of it because of the high quality image. I just got the board yesterday so I still don’t have colored pens and it’s not as full and colorful as it will be.

In the bottom you can see my high tech TV with my Wii hooked up to it. My brother can’t understand how I can enjoy playing games on that TV size but I love it that way.

And that is mainly it. Nothing special really just my room where I made all the things you can find on my blog. Other interesting things on the picture: a Pokemon cup, fancy lamp, full trash bin and a copy of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

And that fellow readers was my room.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

‘Me and my shadow’ v0.2

Whoa! A new post the same week as the last one. Well yea, I said that I will post more regularly. This post is about an old game of mine.

A better game

If you have been following my blog, you may have noticed that last February I posted about giving the source code of ‘Me and my shadow’ to a small team of developers. As it turns out the team is really passionate about the project and has brought the game to a completely new state. They revamped almost everything and added many great things. The game also has many new levels and a much better level editor. A completely new game but with the heart of the old one. I’m really happy and a little flattered that they took my game and made so much more out of it.

So what are you waiting for. If you liked the original or if you like platforming/puzzle games then you should really try it out. You can get the game from Sourceforge or from their site. There are also very open to anyone who would like to contribute to the project. Just check out the forums and ask where they need help. You can make new graphics, levels, sounds, music and if you are a programmer you can help them make the game even better.

I wish the guys good luck with the project and I hope that next year, I will be able to make a new post about an even better ‘Me and my shadow’

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Year 2012 is here

And another year has passed. The year I turned 18 and the year many things happened. You could also call it a year of my empty blog, because there wasn’t really anything on it. Well let’s change this.

A year in review

First let’s look back at year 2011. One could say that I didn’t do much in terms of game development, and that is probably true. I started the year with an “A game a month” project, but only completed 1 game. Then for the rest of the year… nothing. So it wasn’t really a good year for my game development.

On the other side, I accomplished many other things. I started working on my personal framework and can happily say, that I brought it to a state where I can use it for all my game development. It covers things like events, rendering, fonts, sound and game logic, and that is what I need. I will probably work more on the framework in the future, but for now I’ll leave it until I make a nice game out of it.

I also started making C++ game programming video tutorials. And they kind of “exploded” on the YouTube. I’m not saying that I got millions of views and thousand subscribers, but with 450 subscribers and over 100.000 views that were brought in just by these videos, I can say that I’m really happy with the result. And I hope I helped others find a way to create the game they want to make.

I also got 3rd place in the “national programming tournament” last year and that is something I’m proud of. I’m still using the mouse I got as an award.

I was in Ireland this year, working for a networking company, where I worked as a Python programmer. I learned much about Python and databases there and also got much experience from working abroad and for a real company. It’s something I won’t forget.

There ware also a ton of other small projects, which brought me much more knowledge in my expertise. Because of school, I had to take on many databases like PostgreSQL and MySQL. I also had to dig into Qt for C++, which is an amazing framework for GUI programs and almost everything not game based. It has so many different things you can use it’s simply amazing. And it’s cross-platform. I really recommend it to everyone who will try something else than games in C++. I also did some work in C#, learning the language and actually creating some things. I also got more into Android programming (with Java) and I plan to continue with it this year. Altogether I did a lot of different things and also finished many projects, which were never mentioned here because they were for other people or for school.

If I can sum up last year: I learned and created a lot of different things last year, which brought me a lot of experience and knowledge. But for my personal game development, well… you could say that was the worst year for it. But that’s OK.

New Year

This year there are big plans. I kind of got “mature” with computer programming and this, so I’m a lot more organized and hard working. I’m working more and more and not just slacking of playing games. I’m really trying to complete the projects I set myself.

Currently there are 3 bigger projects in works.

I am working really hard on making a new “C++ Game Programming” course/tutorial, but this time it’s for a paid site. The owners of the site saw my videos and asked me if I want to make something like that for their site. And I agreed. There are many videos already done and many more to be made. It’s going well, but making quality videos takes more time that usually. I really hope that people will like it so that I will make some money out of it. I would really want to make some money out of my works and I hope that this will be some kind of  a start point for me. I won’t tell many details about it, but when it’s done, I’ll make a post about it and make sure there will be coupons for those of you interested.

Because of that project the YouTube videos are on halt. I just can’t make both of them at the same time so they will have to wait. I don’t know if and when I will return to making more YouTube tutorials, but I can say that it won’t be soon. Sorry folks, but there are other priorities.

This year I also have my “finals” in school and I have to create a final project for that. I decided that I’m going to make a game. A simple Mario rip-off game, but I don’t mind, because it’s not a big project and won’t go public. It’s just something for school that I have to finish till March.

The last project. Well it’s a game. A quite big project for me and will probably be my first polished complete game (kinda) since JAHP. It’s also bigger that JAHP and more complex. I won’t tell anything about it, but I will post a screenshot when it’s so far. Currently I’m not working on it that much, because I’m making videos and I really have to create the game for school. But once that clears up, I’ll put all my effort back in the game.

So that’s all I had to say for now. Big things happened and are going to happen and I will make sure I’ll write much more on this blog so that you can read and see what’s currently happening. Have a nice day.