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Friday, December 21, 2012

Project Green: Why Lite and no Pro?

If you searched for "Little Green Hood" on the AppStore, you may be able to find something called "Little Green Hood Lite". If you played the game and you like it, you might start wondering... where the "Little Green Hood Pro"? Why can't I find "Pro"? Where the hell is it?
If you don't like it, well, you don't have to worry a thing.

Well the thing is, the game is not 100% complete yet. I was simply releasing this as sort of a Beta-demo... or as iOS developers like to call it, the "Lite version".

This game was funded by Mdec under the ICONdap program. Getting funded means there're obligations which I must follow. And one of those obligation is that I have to release a build of the game on November (which was eventually dragged to mid-December, which is right now).

To fulfill those obligations, I chose not to release the Pro version too early, as the game is still rigged with bugs, many planned features are still not implemented, the UI design are still not very elaborate, lack of art assets, the story has not been implemented yet, etc.

Instead, I focus on creating a Lite version using the only resources that I have at the moment, to bring you a less buggy version, with most of the working features at the moment, that can show you what the game is really about and what it's really capable of.

The project I envisioned was much bigger than what I wanted to work on when I pitch it for the funding, and obviously having a full time job while working on this as a side project wasn't enough for me to complete it, let alone working on it solo (programming side). But of course, this has taught me to scope down the project and cut down some not-so-important features.

I promise I'll try my very best to finish up the game and release the Pro version by the first quarter of 2013.

You can try the game by following this link:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/little-green-hood-lite/id588214686?ls=1&mt=8

Credits (for the people who are involved in this project, as I do not have time to place them in the game, was so rushed to push the game to the store):
- Game design/programming: Lee Zhi Fei (Me)
- Game design/writing: Lance Ee Uli
- Concept artist (Outsourcing): Jarold Sng
- 3D Character Artist (Outsourcing): INOTRI Creative (Carson)
- 3D Environment Artist (Outsourcing): Billy Wong
- Concept artist (Prototype): Gan Zin Jer
- Composer: Richard Daskas
And last but not least, the ICONdap program by Mdec, for making it possible for me to make this game.

Well, wait for the Pro version then~ ^^

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Games I created in 2012

Since I'm joining a game making event called One Game A Month next year, I think I should come up with a list of the games I created this year.

1. AppQuest (PC/Mac)
A game which me and my team created in 24 hours during a local jam called Hackweekend.
You can read more about it by clicking the title (link) above.

2. Company's Game #1
A non-disclosable, casual-type game that I made while working in my previous company. It was cancelled half way through, but I did finish a simple prototype.

3. Company's Game #2
With nothing to do while working in my previous company, I propose a new turn-based strategy game project to my boss, and was working on it for about 2 to 3 months before I quit my job due to stress-related issue. I did finish the prototype though, but too bad I won't have the chance to continue working on it.

4. Ganggu (PC/Mac)
Also a game which me and my team created in 48 hours during a local jam called iTrain Hackathon.
Where we are required to create an app or game based on the one of the short films created by the contestants from another 48 hours film-making event. We chose one called "Ganggu" (which means "interfere" in Malay), a comedic shorts about ghosts and bomoh, and decided to create a 3D adventure game project based on it. 
The end product is a bit of a failure, mostly because I aimed way to big, and couldn't finish the environment art on time. Anyway, you can still download the game if you want:

5. Little Green Hood (iPad)
A "little" game projects I started in November 2011, inspired a lot by the rescue missions in Hitman and MGS... with a little bit of Zelda (visual side). I've been working on it on and off for the past 12 months. You can see me blog about it sometimes in the posts with "Project Green" in the title. I even had a Facebook page for it: 
I recently submitted a demo build (Lite version) to the AppStore and hope it can pass through the Apple review, for a release by the end of December 2012

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So that's about it, I created 5 games in 2012.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

EGP October Roundup Reviews

It's a bit late (it's almost the 3rd week of November now), but I'm doing it while I have some free time to play games.


The EGP's October theme was "Vegetation", it's quite an interesting theme. The games created for the month of October looks pretty interesting too.

Let's start reviewing.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Unity3D + JavaScript: Fading screen in and out in a scene

It's JavaScript's time again. Today's topic is on fading screen in and out in a scene, because for some reason, people finds it cool to implement that in game, even myself. 

Well, I usually do that I was setting up the scene (like placing characters, what animation pose it should have when the game started). I don't really wanna show people the ugly side of the setting up part, so I add a fade in screen to hide those activities (which usually took 1 millisecond to carry out) in the background.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Project Green: Finishing a build

I admit, finishing a game is hard. 
Project Green is nowhere near finish yet, but I haven't make a single build in months. The latest playable build was 4 months ago if I'm not mistaken.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Unity3D + C#: Cloning the Content of a Serializable Class

Found a pretty simple and neat method for cloning the contents of a serializable class from one to another: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/78536/cloning-objects-in-c-sharp

Here's a copy of the script (for Unity use), to make your life easier:
Download

Given the serializable class:
[System.Serializable]
public class SimpleClass
{
    public int x;
    public int y;
    public int z;
}

Project Green: Enemy AI and NGUI

Been doing lots of updates on the game lately, completing the enemy AI, fixing some bugs and porting the game main UI into NGUI (Next-Gen User Interface).

Enemy AI

Originally, I was planning to post something which was entirely about the game's enemy AI, but I think I'm just gonna squeeze it into this post instead, in a short way.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Adobe Illustrator: Creating Color Palette

Was trying out this tutorial on How to Design and Vector a Set of Character Poses for a Video Game, when I got stucked at step 7 -- on creating a color palette. Now I'm not a very frequent user of Illustrator, and I use Photoshop more than any other Adobe softwares these days. Despite that, I'm still not sure whether Photoshop got that Blend tool that Illustrator has. 



Anyway, I tried to follow Step 7 with my tiny knowledge in Illustrator, and I failed, because for one, the tutorial given was not detail enough. I suppose the tutorial was for someone who's already familiar with the software. After a couple of tries, I've finally created the colour palette using the Blend tool, and I'm writing down a more "detail" procedure on how to achieve that in Illustrator... in case I forgot how to do that in the future.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Unity3D + C#: Min, Max, and Sort

Min(): To find the minimum value inside an array.
Max(): To find the maximum value inside an array.

There's two kinds of commonly used array type in Unity:
- classic array, e.g.: int[], float[]
- List array, e.g.: List, List

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

(Another) Fail Ludum Dare attempt

I can't cite enough how many times I've joined Ludum Dare and failed at completing the game submission. 

The latest Ludum Dare was sort of a collaboration with Kongregate, and was held 2 to 3 days ago.
The theme was "Evolution". It was a hard one for me, as I was trying to think of an idea which is actually about evolution, mechanic wise. And I did came up with one, after about half of the first day of the LD compo.

It's called "Variation". 


So, "Variation" is a FPS game about continuously killing an evolving enemy AI.
Every time you killed it, it'll evolve into a newer, stronger form.

Here are some notes and scribbles about the design:



Unlike all my other previous attempts, I like this idea a lot, particularly because it involved AI development and some procedural generation element, which is sorta my favorite thing right now. 

I'll try to find some time to work on it in December, as I'm currently very occupied all the way till the end of November~ ><

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Project Green: Progress

It's been a long time since I last posted here about anything at all. Ever since I re-started the development of Project Green, I had been trying to adjust myself into the world of making commercial games. You see, I was given 6 months to develop this project. I spent the first two months panicking about team and financial management. I was still very new at that time, but now things has stabilized, and I'm slowly getting back on track.

Within the first two and a half months, our team has completed the GDD and almost all of the characters' designs. We've yet to touch the environment design as my concept artist is very occupied at his day job. The game designer can't start working on anything new as I haven't finish up the new prototype, but he does give advice for the concept artist from time to time... like an art director.

In the mean time, I've been trying my best to do everything as fast as possible. I do procrastinate a lot during the third month. For some reason I just can't get my mind to work on the game, and instead, I wanna just sit in the living room and play some games on my Xbox. And then in the middle of the night, I would wake up and tell myself, what the F are you doing man, you've only got 4 more months to finish the game. 

I originally promised myself to compile a prototype during the one week Eid holiday. Though the official end date of the holiday was Sunday (one more day to go), I felt like I can't keep up with the timeline. My mind now feels like a mess, I'm afraid that I won't be able to finish the game, or the game ended up being a huge failure in the future.

Just three more months left... I'm gonna have to try even harder~!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Project Green: Editor and some level loading stuff

This was supposed to be a post for two weeks ago, too lazy to post it for some reason~ :P

Anyway, about the updates I've done for Project Green.

1. Building an editor for loading and saving a level scene, from and to XML.
The game loads its level by reading from an internal XML data, and then spawn all the elements within a level according to the XML data.

Problem
a. For a while now, I've been building levels into a scene, and then export everything into a XML data. And when I wanted to combine two scenegraph into one, I had to copy from one scenegraph data to another, which is quite a messy process as all the exported XML data were sticking together in a big chunk, and is very hard to read and edit.
b. Previously when I wanna to load a level, I had to start the game and wait until I get into certain area, in order for me to see whether it's loading correctly, or is there anything I need to add or remove. And if there's something I wanna to add/remove, I had to get back into the scene (where I build the level), re-edit it and then export it again.. (and it goes back to "a." all over again)

Solution
To solve all these tedious issues, I went on and build a simple editor window which could load a scene from a XML data, and into the Unity editor without the need to start the game on runtime to see it.
I can also delete and add scenes, and then save all of them into the XML data again.
After 3 to 4 days of struggle (as I'm not really familiar with building an editor), it's finally done, and level design got much simpler~^^



2. Entry Point to the next area
The game environment is built in a "Zelda: A Link to the Past"-esque way, where every time the hero walks towards an "entry point", the next area will be loaded, while the current scene is removed.
The hero will be spawn to the corresponding area.



Well, building an "entry point" is really simple, you just need to add a trigger at an "entry point" and then just let the scene-loading process happen when the hero walks up towards it.


In addition to loading a new area (based on the XML data), I also try to play around with some Gizmos, and I made this:


You can also see a bunch of these in "1."

What this is basically, an "entry point" gizmos, where the blue cube is where the hero must enter in order to get to the next area; while the red triangle thing is where the hero will be spawn when this area has loaded from another area.

The purpose of doing this is to prevent confusion over the whereabouts of the area of influence of these entry points, and player's spawn area.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

EGP June Roundup Reviews

EGP, or Experimental Gameplay Project happens every month where a theme is given, and you have to develop a game within 7 days and submit it. It's an event that I'd longed to join for a long time, but never really got around to joining it. This month's EGP has just started, with a theme, "Audio Input". 


The theme for the previous EGP in June was "Rotating", and they've got 7 games submitted. I'll only review some of the game which is either made for web, or double platform (PC and Mac), as I do not own a Window-running hardware at the moment. So let's get the reviewing started~!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Unity3D + C#: Zero Waypoints AI Movement for 2D Games

The context is this: I wanna make a simple enemy AI which would move in two directions (left and right), along a floor tiles on air... like those mushroom men in Super Mario.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Working in an indie startup, so far...

Since the 1st of March, I've been working in an indie startup called Terato inc., and being positioned as "iOS game engineer". My job role is mainly designing and developing mobile games using Unity3D and Xcode. 

So far, it's been good. Upon entering, I spent the first one month and a half working on a client project, which later on got cancelled. The project's cancellation didn't came as a big shock to me as I kinda expected that (unintentionally), but it makes me realize a lot about running an indie company, and doing businesses with business-minded clients. 

The next two weeks after that, I've been involved in the company's other personal projects, which have very near deadlines. Because of the lack of manpower, I've been assigned into different roles. I turned from a mobile game engineer to an AI designer, then I became a game producer (as my boss called it), and then a 2D game artists. 

I've gotta say, this role switching thing was quite fun. As I get to involve in so many different fields of game development at the same time, learning how to team-working with other developers, understanding the weakness of the team and project, etc. 

Well, I've only started working for two months, who knows what my role will be in one year~ XD

Friday, April 27, 2012

Unity3D + C#: SequenceEqual() // Similarity between the sequence of two arrays

Problem
While working on a combo-related project, I stumble upon a problem on how to check whether my inputs can match any of those in my combo library, thus activating the corresponding action. Such as in those action fighting game where you press punches and kicks in a sequence, in order to unlock an awesome combo animation which instantly kills your opponent.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

AppQuest - A game made in Hackweekend


AppQuest is a game made during Hackweekend, a 24 hours hackathon held at National Science Centre Malaysia, from 31st of March to 1st of April. Don't worry, this game is not an April fool joke.

The team who work on this:
- Me (Programming)
- Lim Gua Liang (Artist, a very excellent one)
- Nobuo Uematsu (Music... April fool! He's not really working with us, but we borrow some song by him from FFI)

You can download the game here:

AppQuest is made based on the Hackweekend's theme: "Make apps, not war". And since I'm working on a game, not apps, I thought I make a game about a guy who wanted to learn how to make an app. So he went up to the mountain, look for a temple and for an old guy called Master Silicon, who then asked him to go into the Dark Forest (originally was called Silicon Valley, but I forgot to change it for this version), and look for 3 items: CODE, ART, and SOUND... And so he began on his journey to look for these 3 items. There's still a lot more mechanics planned for this game, other than the dungeons and turn-based battle, but we never got around to finish them on time. 

Anyway Hackweekend was a great event, a blast~! I've had a lot of fun over there, spending 21 hours coding continuously until my partner thought I've gone crazy~ XD 

Hope to go for another one next time!

This is an image of me presenting the game... Special thanks to @LowyatNET for the photo~


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Free Unity3D Mobile Basic License


A happy news for Unity3D fans, the Mobile Basic License which used to costs $800 for both iOS and Android (each $400)... is now free... until April 8th. You can get it now by visiting the Unity store~


Because of this, I'm determined to produce something by the end of this month to be released on the AppStore... using this free mobile license~! :D

Project Green - Meeting and Announcement

The Meeting
I was having a meeting with the possible investors of Project Green this week. It was inside a big meeting room at the MDEC building, with lots of people in suits, sitting around a big meeting table. Everyone looks so serious, I was really nervous when I first entered the place.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Project Green - Prototype

I'm starting a new column here called "Project Green", it's gonna be for a game called "Little Green Hood" which I'm currently developing. Theoretically, I've been working on this game for about 2 months now, in which I spent the first month building the prototype to pitch for funding.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Golden Guli (ゴールデン玉) Review

A friend of mine just released a new game on the AppStore called the Golden Guli - Hit The Marble Out. This game is one of the projects under the IPCC 2011 programme, where the selected (winning) teams are given a sum of 50,000 (Ringgit Malaysia) to develop a casual game within a specific period of time (approx. 6 months). You can get the game for free now on iTunes.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 - Chapter 1

Well, I did said that I'm gonna write one post per week, so here's one for the first official entry of 2012 (the resolution piece doesn't count).

I've been hard at work recently, adding features for my thesis game project - SecondVisions. Before the project even starts, I have high hopes for it. But two semesters later I realized things does not turns out to be as good as I hope for. The game... well, was a bit of a failure, as the game's design got kinda mess up around October to November last year. 

But I'm not giving up on it just yet, because if I do, I'll fail the course~XD So, right now I'm basically just adding more features into it, finishing the part which I originally promised (my lecturers) to work on, and just continue designing the game along the way.

Moreover, I've learned a lot of stuff between last year and this year when working on game-related projects, so I've got a lots of scripting tips and stuff to blog about next time when I'm done with SecondVision. It'll probably be around February or so. Stay tuned~:D

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My 2012 Resolutions

A list of stuff I wish to accomplish this year, and some of them may be derived from the 2011 resolution.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A look back at my 2011 resolutions...

Before I get started on my new resolution this year, I'm taking a look back at the resolution I made for 2011, see what I've accomplished: