Thursday, March 28, 2013

Been A While! - SMDP, Umbra, Generic Menus

Hey everyone, sorry it's been a while.

I don't have too much of an update on Super Monster Dance Party. After doing some more testing and research I found out that PhoneGap would not work for us. It seems that the sound issues we were encountering is a pretty serious issue with it and so far there haven't been too many effective workarounds. I did find a good workaround for the sound issue using CocoonJS, it was simply a matter of changing an action from "Silence" to "Volume -200db" The only problem with just using the volume is that with "Silence" it would mute and stop further sounds from starting, but this is so trivial for our game that is won't be an issue. After we got the CocoonJS file exported I got to test SMDP on several different phones, which was pretty exciting. So now I'm taking a step back and letting Dave Troyer and David Fuson add in all of the art assets so we can see how much left of the game we need and what needs refining. I think we are still fairly on track for our end of April release, I just hope we don't run into many bugs once we get everything in.

We're in our last quarter for school, and Umbra is getting wrapped up as well. We got Zone 1 to our lead programmer of sorts, Ryan Olson, so he can start putting enemies in and testing them. After they get in all that is left content wise is playtesting and any tweaks we need to make from there. While that is being set up Andrew Talarico has been working on getting some pretty cool looking animations for the main intro, as well as the ending scene. Currently, I'm figuring out how to add our own custom loading screens and getting the streaming between levels working correctly. Should be pretty easy I think, just making a loading animation and replacing the existing video with ours.

Since I'm not working as hard on SMDP as I was previously I decided to start working on a custom crafting screen using ScaleForm. I ran into all sorts of things I have/had to learn in order to get this working. I ended up having to figure out how to add my own inventory system so I could reference my items correctly. I also ended up making some new pickups and gained a better understanding of how extending classes works. One interesting thing I found was how to pass an entire array from UnrealScript to ActionScript3. The process involves a for loop that goes through all of the items in the array, saving them to a temporary array which gets shoved into a GFxObject and passed to ActionScript3. Here's the chunk of code for it:
function UpdateResourceInventory() { local byte i; local GFxObject DataProvider; local GFxObject TempObj; //Creating the array that will be passed DataProvider = CreateArray(); //Setting each element of the array to include all the variables in //In the Item struct. i is what elment of the array we are on. for (i = 0; i < GP.ResourceInventory.length; i++) { TempObj = CreateObject("Object"); TempObj.SetString("ItemName", GP.ResourceInventory[i].ItemName); TempObj.SetString("ItemType", GP.ResourceInventory[i].ItemType); TempObj.SetString("ItemSubType", GP.ResourceInventory[i].ItemSubType); TempObj.SetString("ItemDesc", GP.ResourceInventory[i].ItemDesc); TempObj.SetInt("ItemID", GP.ResourceInventory[i].ItemID); DataProvider.SetElementObject(i, TempObj); } //Setting the ActionScript3 array "resourceInventory" equal to //DataProvider RootMC.SetObject("resourceInventory", DataProvider); //Calling the function to update it Flash-side ActionScriptVoid("_root.updateResourceInventory"); }

Overall the inventory system is pretty hacky, but it works. I'll have to go through and look at the basic inventory system that UDK has and see if there is anything I can take from that and adapt it. I'll post updates as well. If anyone knows of a good tutorial for that sort of stuff let me know!

Till next time!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Progress! - SMDP

Hey guys!

Just a really quick update on Super Monster Dance Party. Still testing out some of the different exporters. So far PhoneGap has proved the most reliable, but it still has some issues with the sound. I need to look into it a little more to see if there are some workarounds that we can use. Seems like the exporting for mobile is still a little new. Other than the sound I think PhoneGap will be our best bet.

That's all.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Some News! -SMDP, Umbra

Over the past week for SMDP I've been going through the events and trying to optimize them more. I also did some preliminary testing with the CocoonJS, as well as the AppMobi, export options. Both had some issues that may make them unusable as export options for this particular game. We're still trying to work it out, and I still have to try exporting with PhoneGap. That probably means very little to anyone, but oh well. Yesterday we decided to take the infinite mode out of the game due to the event system not being able to processes it exactly as we want. If we have some extra time I'll try a theory I thought of while typing this out.

Speaking of extra time, we has set an expected release date of April 14th. That's pretty soon, but the events are almost completely done and the David Fuson is working pretty fast on the art assets. There are only two things that I can think of that will delay the release date. One is not being able to work around the exporter limitations, and the other is if we don't have our music and sound assets ready. Both Dan Langford and Corey Farmer have been pretty busy with schoolwork lately and we're not sure how far they've gotten.

As far as Umbra is concerned, we have it mostly done! Last week we started compiling all of the zones together. All the zones are nearly done, mostly just waiting to get the enemies placed so we can start testing. We did run into quite a few issues getting maps to open on other computers. We are going to try and put it all on one computer and see how things go from there. I'm still waiting for the intro anims so I can finish up the zone 1 intro. Corey was almost done with them a couple days ago, so I'll have to check up on them.

We're getting there!

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Quick Update - SMDP

Just a quick update on Super Monster Dance Party. I got the story mode done as much as I can(I'm waiting on the songs from Corey). I also got the save system fully working and implemented. In addition to saving which missions have been completed it will also save if the boss has been unlocked and your personal highscore for each mission. Speaking of highscores I also made it to show a "New High Score!" graphic when you beat your previous best score.

Now I'm on to setting up the end events to show different stuff depending on your percent hit. For instance if you got 80%-89% of the notes then it would show the "Good" end message, where as if you got 60% or below it won't show anything. Once I get that finished up I plan on working on getting the Infinite mode working how Dave wants it to.

And to wrap it up here is the logo for the game, also made by Dave:

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Umbra and Stuff! - Umbra, SMDP

Hey there!

Over the past week or so I've been working on both Umbra and SMDP. For Umbra I have the intro to Zone 1 complete except for getting the custom animations for our main character. Once I get those from Corey Farmer I should just be able to plug in the names and be 100% complete. Once I get them I'll try and figure out recording from Matinee and upload the intro.

I think I've made a lot of progress on SMDP in the past couple days. I wasn't satisfied with its performance, it had some issues that didn't really hinder gameplay, but were pretty annoying. The main one was when you clicked on a button and there was another button in the same spot(Like on page that was getting switched to) it would hit that button as well. Because of this I ended up restructuring the entire infrastructure of the game. In the end the execution of the code is cleaner, though there is more stuff in the editor. I also added the rest of the story mode levels and made it so to unlock the final boss for use in infinite and free play you have to beat the last level in story mode.

Thanks to David Fuson we have quite a few of the art assets done. Dave Troyer has been working on getting the sprite sheets all set up so the monsters dance in the levels. Corey has been working on composing some songs, and is off to a great start. I'm currently working on getting the game to save and load your progress. I have that working for one stat, now I just need to add them for the rest of the levels.

Well, back to work! Thanks for reading!