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The B-Log

Not as good as the A-Log, admittedly, but it's Blaise's weekly thoughts on MMOs, and why he is or isn't playing one at the moment. A General Thought blog by someone who is studying at Uni, awaiting his moment to start working... in quality assurance.

Author: Blazz

Little Spaceship Game Tutorial ++;

Posted by Blazz Tuesday February 9 2010 at 10:18PM
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I am enjoying learning little things about how the XNA engine works.

Here's a list of features that the 2D tutorial gives you in your step by step created game:

-A Static Background
-A rotatable cannon
-The GameObject class

(contains it's own variables, things like it's position, whether it's "alive" or not, what texture it uses, etc.)

-The ability to fire cannonballs from the cannon
-The ability to kill enemies with those cannonballs
-A score

 

And that's about it... it's a nice tutorial, and I highly recommend it to game designers who have little skill in the programming department, and want to expand on what little skill they have to make, say, a little platformer or something (although the spaceship game is much more simple than a platformer)

 

Now, as of my last blog post, I had just finished the 2D tutorial. That was what, two days ago? Three? Well, I think I've improved upon the game pretty heavily, if I do say so myself. Behold, a FEATURE LIST!

-Sound (when cannonballs are fired, and when cannonballs hit spaceships)
-The AnimatedGameObject class

(contains NEW variables, like "currentframe", "currentkeyframe", "keyframetimer", and "totalframes"!)

-A pause menu, with buttons controlled by the UP/DOWN keys on your keyboard, or the DPad UP/DOWN keys on your XBox 360!
-AnimatedGameObject Explosions when a spaceship dies! (with a different alive condition, based on it's currentframe!)
-New and improved AnimatedGameObject enemy spaceships that animate to the speed of their velocity.X!

 

I think I've done pretty well, and while I may pat myself on the back (ahhh, that's the spot, right there... yeaaaaaahhhh...) I still have many things I want to do, before I consider this "tutorial" game finished!

See, I have a checklist that I wrote down a few days ago.

  1. Add a pause button (done!)
  2. Add a full starting menu
  3. Add an in-game menu (resume, exit) (done!)
  4. Find out how to play sounds (done!)
  5. Find out how to animate objects (done! And using a single file, too!)
  6. Create explosions for spaceships (done!)
  7. Make ships fall to the ground
  8. Add in a lose condition
  9. Add a lose/play again/exit menu
  10. Add weapons
  11. Add enemies
  12. Add levels
  13. Add bosses
  14. Find out how to save to file
  15. Highscores
  16. Save/load

So yeah, I still have some work to do. I'm currently working on a super-secret ComplexAnimatedGameObject class, but shhhh, I'm saving it for when I make a platformer in the not-too-distant future.

 

So yeah, erm, put your mind to something, and, if you don't have full-time work or university studies yet, you can do it!

Cheers,

-Blaise Guy

So, XNA studio, eh?

Posted by Blazz Sunday February 7 2010 at 9:43AM
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Some friends and myself are underway starting the process of creating a game, using XNA studio.

We'll be likely making a simpler version of Castle Crashers, with a different style/theme etc., for XBOX, and perhaps PC downloadable too.

I'm like, the secondary coder, and I'm checking out the XNA studio capabilities, and it seems pretty good at what it does. Perhaps I'll do a little stress test or two to see what it's capable of, but so far I've done the little 2D tutorial (that any retard could do, due to the step by step video guide) and it's sort of interesting, and it's reminding me that not every game is made the same way that I screw around in Flash with Actionscript 2.0.

In fact, Actionscript 3.0 sort of threw me for a loop way back when, since I couldn't do the same little bad code practices that I used to do with AS 2.0. But I'm losing track of the point, here.

 

I highly recommend that anyone who might wish to make some sort of indie game on the XBOX 360 or PC, try using XNA studio.

My main problem is: How do I continue to learn without the use of the tutorial videos for the next two weeks, while my internet cap slowly ambles towards me with a measly 2.5GB of internet left? That includes uploads and downloads! Damn Australia's internet... it's like... 15 MBit, at best. You Americans have 120 MBit internets... sadface. : (

 

Anyway, while it's not an MMO we're creating, I'll give you some updates on what we've done as time goes on. For now, what I've done is in the end of the 2D tutorials video over at creators.xna.com. Cheers.

-Blaise Guy

Because hey, it's been a while.

Posted by Blazz Thursday February 4 2010 at 4:16AM
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With nothing else to talk about, as nothing's really going off in my head as interesting enough to write a full blog about, I'll just talk about something that was odd about, you guessed it, World of Warcraft.

 

The gameplay is pretty well done, which is probably what has kept so many people in the game over the last five years. Now, I'm leveling a Protection Specced Orc Warrior. For those of you not in the know (very few, I imagine), there are talent trees in the game. Once level ten, you can start putting "talent points" into various parts of one of three talent trees for each class. Warriors have Arms, Fury, and Protection specialisations, or specs.

 

A move was introduced in The Burning Crusade, and until I ReSpecced and got some points out of arms and fury (5% parry from Arms, and 5% critical hit from Fury) and put them all into Protection again (I am currently level 60, with 51 talent points) - I was playing a very dull version of what I could have been playing.

 

Let me explain a little of what I was generally doing in any given combat with a monster.

 

1. Run up to monster
(no use of the move charge - I fight in defensive stance, it's just too much of a hassle to switch stances over and over)

2. Fight until either 20 rage is reached or I dodge, block, or parry
   a) Use Revenge
   b) Use Shield Bash

 

And that's a dull way to fight. I can't even really mash anything and make the fight a little more button-pressing intensive. If I'm in a multiple-person fight, it is usually the same but using Thunder Clap, Demoralising shout, and Cleave, in moments where other moves are on cooldown.

 

With Burning Crusade, Blizzard was thinking to themselves "huh, defensive warriors don't like not doing any damage to a monster, especially in solo PvE grinding - I know, let's let them do damage on their Sunder Armor move!" - and Devastate was born.

Devastate, a 41 point talent move, allows a player to do damage that increases with the number of Sunder Armor effects are on one target - a player may sunder armor 5 times on one monster.

So cool, Protection Specialised warriors can now do pretty nice damage with a move that generates a lot of threat and reduces armour. Now a normal battle consists of spamming Devastate wherever possible, and it is fantastic. Good on you, Blizzard.

 

But did they stop there? Of course not, they released another expansion - and gave us more talent points (to use on the way to level 80). Another talent added was Warbringer - making Charge and Intercept, two very, very useful moves for PvP (and PvE rage generation), able to be used inside of combat, in any stance. The latter of the two means I can happily run around in defensive stance, grinding onwards, with the use of charge at my disposal.

 

While this is all rantastic, I just want to say this:

Changing ten points from one place to another place dramatically changed my gameplay experience.

 

While people will argue about cookie cutter builds and optimum raid tanking/dps/healing vs. pvp tanking/dps/heaing builds, you can't deny that some talent points make a huge difference.

Or maybe you can - a friend of mine's druid only needs to change two talent points in order to change from a Bear tank to a Cat form dps - so he hasn't bothered forking out the thousand gold for dual specialisation.

 

Anyway, I'm off to have some dinner. And check on my internet cap - because I live in Australia, where the internet is shit.

Cheers,

-Blaise Guy

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