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Work in Progress / Gem Game Beta

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erebusman
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Posted: 10th Mar 2012 04:26 Edited at: 15th Jun 2012 05:10
Hello,

I've been working on this since February 1st 2012 and just entered beta on 9th Mar 2012.

Will be editing top post to give recaps; see posts throughout thread for progress updates over time.


EDIT UPDATE 6/14/2012

Game is finished as of 6/10/2012 and email sent to first publisher to see if there's any interest. Check 2nd page for some videos, blog posts, etc.

Posted 3 new Videos (see page 2)

Most Recent Video here:

The "anchor" gem for the lightning special is a place holder as I don't think it fits the graphic look of the game very well.





***EDIT*** UPDATE 5/30/2012
- see larger bugfix post near the end of this thread's first page for bug status
- marking some items complete
- trimming down some of my items to complete as I have decided to focus this on a 'classic' gameplay mode to avoid feature creep

So this project is coming along very well. I am starting to compile a list of what I think is needed to finish the game so thought I would share it here and check the list off as it gets done here in this post.

Check list to Finish Game

1. Graphic effect for Gem destruction (lightning preferably)

2: PowerUp Gem CODE (at least 3 powerups if not 5) * settling on 3 due to some bugs when I did some crazy powerups
2B: PowerUp Gems graphics (same number as above) this could include modifying the look of existing gems or some all new gems

3: Sounds laundry list
- "select/click" sound
- 2x,3x,4x,5x sound or Sound(s) (unclear if one sound is appropriate or perhaps 3 sounds with a random one being played so its not too repetetive?)
- invalid move sound
- no more moves sound (pirate vocal sound probably)
- high score 'cash coins jingle sound"
- hint 'sparkle' sound
- possibly different gem 'destroy' sound to accompany destroy graphic when that is finalized
- create in game volume slider
- create in game music slider <- wont need this with the music off/on toggle below
- create in game music on/off toggle for settings menu

4: A method to keep track of 'levels' for progressive game play. 100% done

5: Sounds ON/OFF - since all sounds are functions have it check in the function if sounds_play= 0/1 and play or not play it according to the flag

6: "Quest" mode laundry list <- moving this out of my first release if game does well I can build in more modes
- quest mode 'progress screen'
- quest mode code
- quest mode sounds

7: Localization English, Spanish , French

8: Change text under the high score on the end of game screen to be proper graphics (plain text at the moment)

9: Create exceptional 'AA(A)' quality game "title" screen &/or Box art that apeals to casual gamer core audience.

10 *OPTIMIZE* Game currently seems to take 25 % of available CPU resources (even in a quad core machine ) see if this can be optimized in any way? **********UPDATE 4/30/2012 - I have done optimizations yet the game always runs the same amount CPU, I continue to think this might be due to the way DBPro works but will continue efforts to optimize anyways.**********

11: FIX ALL OPEN BUGS - while big studios get away with bugs the very harsh user community rating system can be a product killer for a indie/small developer. Set the stage for success rather than pissing people off due to a silly bug. (see later post to track these)



UPDATE 4/2/2012 ** Most recent image will be shown here**





Older Images
http://studio-erebus.com/punchy/2012/gamegem-0003.png

And here is a video to some brief game play footage. http://www.youtube.com/embed/zqzf9ISFhWo


So now begins to add more features of which I have in plans for the next week:

1: Score
2: Destroy matches after a collapse
3: Move limitations (aka right now you can click ANYWHERE and move ANYWHERE).

After that I am contemplating some of this:

1: Animation
2: Sound
3: Gameplay twists to differentiate it from other 'match 3' games.

Finally since it is my first game I am blogging about it if you care to check out some of my posts about that experience of learning to program after being an indie artist for 15 years here is a couple of sample posts:

1: Learning to Program
2: Programming Motivation Plan
3: My visual debugging tool
4: The evolution of the main menu screen
5: I'm back, and I win!
I'll try to update this post as I hit milestones.

Thank you!
erebusman
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Posted: 11th Mar 2012 01:41 Edited at: 3rd Apr 2012 06:28
Changelist for today:

3/10/2012
+ EASTER EGG: Changed "0" Gem to friends face as a joke for when he tests it for me.
+ CHANGE: Changed backdrop to line based instead of grid based - shows off transparency better
+ CHANGE: Resized Gems 15% Smaller improved game field look
+ ADD: Added Transparency to game gems
+ BUG: BG1.0 : the loop that checks for additional matches after a collapse does not work 100% of the time
+ ADD: Debug code to begin troubleshooting BUG BG1.0
+ ADD: Coding to support a score system
- 3 in a row or more to get points
- 10 points per gem matched
- if matches >= 4 2x multiplier
- if matches >= 5 3x multiplier
- if matches >= 6 4x multiplier
- if matches > 7 5x multiplier

Current Screenshot:


I may do a little bit more but the next item on my list could take a couple of days honestly! Trying to figure out how to limit the player to only clicking on 'valid moves' with the second mouse click

For example this grid below features an idea of possible moves.
=================
xxxx
x2xx
212x
x2xx
xxxx
=================
x= invalid move
1= first mouse click
2= possible second mouse clicks

I'll have to think about how to implement that in code. Usually I wake up the next day and all of a sudden I know how to do it!
erebusman
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Posted: 12th Mar 2012 14:21 Edited at: 3rd Apr 2012 06:29
Change list for Sunday:

3/11/2012
+ ADD: Complete graphic rework.
+ ADD: Sound effects for gem collapses
- 3 potential sounds of different pitches
- 2 random sounds are played per collapse so it usally sounds different
+ ADD: Code to limit move within 1 square horizontal or verital of current square
+ ADD: "Check_Valid_Moves" Code to detect an invalid move; alert the player and move the gem back.
+ ADD: Animation ; added first 'real' animation of visual alert that player made an "invalid move" alert sprite on the screen which then fades down the screen.
+ BUG: BG2.0 when executing the "Check_Valid_Moves" code it does not recognize it as an invalid move if some other valid 3 combo exists on the board.
This Bug may be naturally fixed when removing the ability to have a match on the initial board is put into the game. But will still be a problem due to the bug BG1.0
as sometimes there will be a 3-match left over that is not destroyed in that loop. - Defer Fixing further testing for this bug until BG1.0 is fixed.



And the related blog post.
baxslash
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Posted: 12th Mar 2012 15:20
This looks great! Excellent graphics

kamac
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Posted: 12th Mar 2012 22:09
Wow. I agree with baxslash, nice graphics!

erebusman
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Posted: 13th Mar 2012 14:18 Edited at: 13th Mar 2012 14:19
Thanks for the compliments guys.

Was a work night for me last night so minimal time (thus the smaller list):

3/12/2012
- REMOVE: Removed additional debug code
+ ADD: Refined game field to address concerns "it looks like a checker board"
erebusman
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Posted: 16th Mar 2012 15:15 Edited at: 3rd Apr 2012 06:29
No further code updates as I've spent my free time in the evenings polishing the graphics up a few more notches.

Current screenshot:



I plan on working on displaying a graphical font for the score next.
erebusman
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Posted: 20th Mar 2012 14:08 Edited at: 3rd Apr 2012 06:29
Updates for the past few days:

3/19/2012
+ CHANGE: Improved code to remove possibility of a 3+ match on game start - no matches found on 30 tests
+ BUG BG4.0 : Score is artificially bumping itself up by checking for additional matches and increments the score even when no additional matches are found
+ RESOLVED + BUG BG4.0


GAME GEMS BETA CHANGE LIST / WORK
3/18/2012
+ CHANGE: Improved initial board population to lower the possibility of initial 3+ match occurring
+ ADD: Added graphical font score
+ BUG: BG3.0 had to add value of +10000000 to have score display properly in graphical format need to figure out how to get it to display without that
- REMOVE: removed debug code that is no longer need to print arrays on side bar
+ RESOLVED + BUG: BG1.0 ; MatchRecycle=1 flag was being set twice once in the X axis and once in the Y axis. Changed it so it is set only one time before both are run and this appears to be fixed now.

3/16/2012
- CHANGE: redesigned blue sapphire gem
- CHANGE: improved ruby heart gem
- CHANGE: removed Pearl gem and placed in a princess cut purple gem helps counter the yellow tones of the backdrop
- ADD: added specific colored drop shadows to all gems; left black drop shadows for coins

3/15/2012
- CHANGE: changed sounds to be more appropriate to the look and feel of the game

Screenshot update:



At this point I have only 2 goals until the game is complete for core functionality:

1: any possible moves / endgame / no more moves code & Hint system
2: Decouple logic from frame rate

After that I will take some passes at graphics again and game play - need to add in some power-ups, levels, and progressive difficulty scaling.

I left the game play tweaking to be close to the last item in beta because in my opinion you can't tweak the game play if it doesn't .. you know ... play ...
Pincho Paxton
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Posted: 20th Mar 2012 20:05
Is this the game where you can move one piece in any direction to make a line? I like that game.

zeroSlave
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Posted: 20th Mar 2012 23:50
I must say, you are doing an excellent job! It is really coming along!!

erebusman
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Posted: 22nd Mar 2012 06:10
Thanks for the kind compliments guys much appreciated.

I worked on the 'main menu' screen this evening starting to look decent I think:

erebusman
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Virtual Nomad
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Posted: 26th Mar 2012 02:37 Edited at: 26th Mar 2012 02:38
Quote: "Latest Game play video"

been watching this thread, waiting for a vid to be posted

great start. some thoughts:

1) before you get too deep into the sound effects, consider a more "pirate-appropriate" approach. ie, pirate-voiced phrases for successful plays:



i suspect your own voice + a little help from Audicity's various effects would go far.

if that's too much, even simple "jingling coins" or a cash register "Cha-Ching!" would deliver more of the theme.

for illegal/non-scoring plays, maybe the "Ker-Plunk!" of an errant cannon ball hitting the sea, or clashing cutlasses would be good.

oh, and Parrot-Talk would be appropriate, as well. you get the idea.

2) you are aware that we can hide the default mouse pointer and replace it with our own creations via sprite/image commands?

3) seeing your artistic talents, you know we're expecting cut-scenes, complete with pirate and (said) parrot, right?

4) reading through some of your blog, it's good to see your sensible approach. your victories and accomplishments here as a dbpro newcomer should prove inspiring for others, as well.

keep up the good work!

Virtual Nomad @ California, USA . DBPro V7.5
AMD Phenomâ„¢ X4 9750 Quad-Core @ 2.4 GHz . 8 GB PC2-6400 RAM
ATI Radeon HD 3650 @ 512 MB . Vista Home Premium 64 Bit
erebusman
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Posted: 26th Mar 2012 06:34
Hey Virtual Nomad,

Great feedback thank you.

Let me answer some of those thoughts questions:

1: Absolutely! I have definitely been thinking about use of pirate vocals as part of the sound scheme.

One of those considerations is (to me) that using say a pirate growl like "Arrrr" every time you make a 3+ match would get very irritating.

So my current thought is to use it for things like the following
- power up used
- progressive level advance
- game over sound
- invalid move sound

In other words events that are less common and it would hopefully be then perceived as flavorful rather than irritating. I will definitely test both ways once I record some vocals though.

Believe it or not though the current 'destroy' sound is actually an 1854 penny dropping into a penny jar I recorded here at home. So it is a jingling coin sound .. but its not like say a bag of coins jingling. I recorded 6 sounds of coin collisions and that was the one that felt 'right' with the way things look on screen.

I definitely will be doing a LOT more sound testing though. Thanks for these suggestions

2: I was not aware - but I suspected. I would like to use something like a pirate's hook or a dagger or something for the pointer but it's been lower on my priority list. Of course now that things are coming together towards the end I will look into this very soon thanks for the tip.

3: In one of the game modes which I am tentatively calling Treasure Hunt mode the player will progressively uncover a pirate's treasure map. I do have some cuts planned for that. Being my first game I will keep them sweet & simple rather than complex and lengthy animated scenes. Honestly something as short and sweet as the cuts in Fruit Ninja - Puss & Boots edition would be perfect for my current skill level I think? What's your thoughts? (the game has a free version to check out if you haven't seen it yet)

4: Thanks that's very kind of you to say. I was hoping that some might get things out of it in the way your saying.

And speaking of which I just updated the blog with a new post about Mind Boggling Conundrum's if anyone is interested!

Thanks again for the thoughtful and detailed comments.
erebusman
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Posted: 30th Mar 2012 02:34 Edited at: 30th Mar 2012 07:08
EDIT**** UPDATE **** I just finished my work for tonight and I was able to get the CHECK_FOR_MOVES_** code finished. It tested out successfully! I've been working on this code for a couple of weeks ; this is a major break through for me!

Here's the change's since 3/19/2012

While I am working plenty on the check moves routines -- I should note I have been house hunting so while I work on it *every* day .. some days I have had as little as 15 minutes available to work on it. So its not as much moving forward as I might like.

3/29/2012
+ CHANGE : Refind all CHECK_FOR_MOVES_** code further; it now appears to be fully functional.

3/28/2012
+CHANGE: Coded in debugging info to help debug the CHECK_FOR_MOVES_Y and CHECK_FOR_MOVES_X subroutines.
+ADD: Coded in 2 new check's for non-linear matches CheckX2_Moves_Left and CheckY2_Moves_Left

3/26/2012
+CHANGE: CHECK_FOR_MOVES_Y and CHECK_FOR_MOVES_X now working with several bugs.


3/25/2012
+CHANGE: Not having sucess with algorithm in CHECK_FOR_MOVES_Y and CHECK_FOR_MOVES_X ; taking a different approach.

3/24/2012
+ CHANGE: Continued work on CHECK_FOR_MOVES_Y and CHECK_FOR_MOVES_X

3/23/2012
+ CHANGE: Further work on the main menu
+ CHANGE: Added "Settings" button to main menu for future use


3/22/2012
+ CHANGE: Picked my favorite of the 3 menu screens and fine tuned it
+ CHANGE: Fine tuned audio events to more closely align with on screen events
+ CHANGE: Put some IF statements in to help sounds not play when sometimes inappropriate

3/21/2012
+ CHANGE : Made 3 new mock-ups for the initial menu screen to test between


3/20/2012
+ ADD: Began code to check if any moves are left CHECK_FOR_MOVES_Y and CHECK_FOR_MOVES_X
erebusman
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Posted: 31st Mar 2012 23:41
And here we have a screenshot for your enjoyment. The first official appearance of the "Game Over" screen after there are no more moves left on the game board.

The graphic is temporary of course it was the first time I saw it too so I need to make it look better. Although I don't think it looks bad We'll see what else I can come up with.

Andrew_Neale
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Posted: 1st Apr 2012 10:23
It does look very nice. My only suggestion would be to darken the game board whilst the 'GAME OVER' message is shown to improve the contrast as it is a little hard to read at the moment.

This is looking incredibly polished overall though. Looks like the kind of game that usually does quite well through Big Fish Games.

Nice work!

erebusman
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Posted: 3rd Apr 2012 06:27
Hey Andrew,

Thanks for the suggestion I knew something was missing!

I'm still playing with it but I think darkening the board made a big difference:



And thanks for the tip about BigFish Games I don't go there often so I had forgotten about it. I think your right when I look at the products they have there - this seems to fit nicely into what they have available. If I do a good enough job maybe they will accept it

thanks for the feedback!
Andrew_Neale
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Posted: 3rd Apr 2012 10:54
Nice, the contrast looks much better. No worries, it looks like a really nice project and it would be good to see it finished off nicely and even better to see it become commercial. Its still a sadly rare thing for DarkBASIC projects. Let us know how it goes once you get to that stage!


Previously TEH_CODERER.
erebusman
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Posted: 5th Apr 2012 06:56
4/4/2012
+CHANGE: Removed the matrix utils usage of array sort and used a bubble sort , high score function now works properly
+ADD: Added function to print the high score in a graphical font


4/3/2012
+ADD: Added highscore code to support the high score screen. Having some trouble with the Matrix utils and the array sort command

4/2/2012
+ADD +OPTIMIZE: Added code to set the sync rate to 24fps and added manual sync's to the game logic to only call for sync when needed


4/1/2012
+ADD: Added HighScore Screen after Game Over Screen
+CHANGE: Fine tuned "Game Over" graphic to 'dim' the play field amd prompt player to press any key.
+BUG BG5.0 Scoring system does not properly add multiplier when matches greater than 3 occur.
+RESOLVED + BUG BG5.0
+ADD HighScore_Type UDT array for storing players name and score and output values on HighScore Screen


3/30/2012
+ ADD: New graphics for 2 new gem types.
+ ADD: "Game Over" Graphic and accompanying code.


Here's the new high score screen:
CumQuaT
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Posted: 8th Apr 2012 11:52
This is looking beautiful. Well done!


erebusman
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Posted: 9th Apr 2012 06:43
Thank you for the compliment CumQuat!

===========================

So things are progressing super well. I am posting two posts tonight.

The first is my changelist from past few days. The second will be edited to the top post which is my check list to finish this game. Obviously it might grow if I find things that I didn't think of! But I am fairly determined not to feature creep myself to death with this game.

So with that being said here's my work the past few days:
===========================
4/8/2012
+ADD: Added code for Settings menu
+ADD: Created graphics for settings menu
+ADD: Coded in 4 difficulty level radio buttons
+ADD: Coded Sound ON/OFF radio buttons (have NOT coded the actual sound toggle yet)
+CHANGE: Read that use of sprites can be a performance issue if you use 'hide' so optimized code to create sprites 'as needed' and delete them when done for the Bonus x2,x3,x4,x5 alerts
+CHANGE: Moving bug tracking list to new document its clunky to track here , new bugs and resolution will be mentioned but overall tracking needs more attention

4/7/2012
+CHANGE Changed gem difficulty seed from hard code to a variable so I can use this as a progressive difficulty flag as well as a game mode difficulty flag

4/6/2012
+BUG BG8.0 Some times on the very first move you can move it so you get 2 3 in a row combines. When this occurs you only get 30 points score instead of 60
+ADD: Added Code to display X2,X3,X4,X5 Bonus alerts and animate the graphic towards the score board
+ADD: Created Graphics for X2,X3,X4,X5 Bonuses

4/5/2012
+CHANGE: Completed hint system code
+ADD: Added Hint graphic button to press.
+BUG BG6.0 Some times the hint will show off the grid ?
+BUG BG7.0 The first time you press hint it will show the previous hint first . The second time this does not happen.
erebusman
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Posted: 9th Apr 2012 06:52
Here's the new settings menu. The audio and localizations are not coded in just getting the menu ready to receive them.

Pincho Paxton
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Posted: 9th Apr 2012 15:55
It's very nice. The skull, and crossbone is used twice. I would change the shadow version to a treasure chest, or parrot.

erebusman
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Posted: 10th Apr 2012 20:43
Pincho: thanks for the comments.


I have in fact used that space up in part for the hint system graphic so the lower skull is no longer seen. Good suggestion though,
erebusman
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Posted: 12th Apr 2012 06:47
Blog post update:

The evolution of the main menu
erebusman
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Posted: 18th Apr 2012 05:40
Minor update here. I've had a very bad flu for about a week, making it very hard to do any real work. Normally my weekend is very productive, and I got nothing done this past weekend.

Change log is sparse accordingly:

4/13/2012
+ADD: Implemented code for powerup type 3 into matching system.
+ADD: Added destruction code for powerup type 3
+BUG: BG10.0 desctruction code for Powerup 3 creates array out of bounds error when the powerup is activated.
+CHANGE: Changed powerup injection code to randomly assign one of each of the 3 available powerups

4/12/2012
+ADD: Implemented code for powerup type 2 into matching system.
+ADD: Added destruction code for powerup type 2

4/11/2012
+ADD: Implemented code for interjecting powerups.
+ADD: Implemented code for powerup type 1 into matching system. Works in all but 1 scenario so needs some refinement.

4/10/2012
+ADD: graphic for X/Y axis destroying bonus gem, which will use the lightning graphic
+ADD: explosion graphic for blank/destroyed gem spots
+PROTOTYPING: Worked on pseudo code for how to interject powerups into the match detection system
+PROTOTYPING: Worked on pseudo code for how to interject powerups into the random gem creation system
erebusman
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Posted: 27th Apr 2012 06:53
And the wheels of progress have begun to turn again after my bout with the flu.

While this screen doesn't do the graphic justice I'm waiting to do another gameplay video until I have more sounds in game as I think it will make a huge difference.

This wave clears the board, and then repopulates the board after a level up.



And the changelist for the past few days.

4/25/2012
+ADD: Created 'bracket' graphic to show the current selection

4/24/2012
+ADD: Customer cursor for point / wait

4/23/2012
+BUGFIX: BG10.0 and BG10.1 - in the current build these bugs do not occur. I believe the fix in BG11 also fixed these.
+BUGFIX: BG8.0 appears to have been fixed in the work I did about a week ago to refine the scoring system as this now works properly.
+ADD: Graphic for gem explosion/destroy
+ADD: Code to display the gem destroy graphic in-line as gems are destroyed


4/22/2012
+CHANGE: Finished Progress Bar code
+BUGFIX BG11.0 - found an instance of GameBoard(X,Y) that got inverted from when I was trying an experiment and didnt fix it ..
+ADD: Added additional level-up code to support all 9 levels.
+CHANGE: Changed score code to happen at the same time as individual destroys so score is moving more often - more perceived fun.

4/21/2011
+ADD: Wave graphic to destroy/repopulate game board after level up
+ADD: Code to animate gmes destroy/repopulate and wave
+ADD: Graphic for "LEVEL COMPLETE!"
+ADD: Code for my company splash screen
+ADD: Began scaling code for level progress bar to match the scale of whatever the top score is for that level
+BUG: BG11.0 When combining 3 in a row vertically on the last 3 rows it leaves those 3 and then destroys 3 horiztonally off to the upper right; and then gets in a
permanent loop re-detecting this match and destroying the wrong 3 gems. This did not used to happen and must have gotten broken when I put in special move code is my guess


4/20/2011
+ADD: New bubble/housing graphic for level indicator
+ADD: Numbers for level indicators
+ADD: Code to print current level number on the bubble for the current level


4/19/2012
+CHANGE: BG10.1 Noticed that array out of bounds was occuring even when taking the destruction code out, commented out the special injection code and will test further
+ADD: Coded basic progression bar code

4/18/2012
+ADD: New graphic for anchor power up
+ADD: New graphic for level progress bar
+ADD: New graphic for level progress bar housing

4/17/2012
+ADD: New graphics for cannon ball powerup
erebusman
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Posted: 30th Apr 2012 16:38
4/29/2012
+ADD: Sound for invalid move
+ADD: Wave sounds for level up
+ADD: SOUNDTRACK! ARrggggh wahooo!
+ADD: Cannon sound for Cannonball special
+ADD: Code for music to be lower volume!
+ADD: Mouse selection "click" sounds

4/28/2012
+ADD: Added code to support the selection bracket.
+ADD: Sound ON/OFF code added.
+ADD: Sound ON/OFF added to settings.ini file
+ADD: Sound ON/OFF set during game load & exiting of settings menu
+ADD: Sound volume slider code.
+ADD: Sound volume knob graphic
+ADD: Sound volume to settings.ini file
+OPTIMIZE: Optimized some menu settings code
+ADD: Music button code
+ADD: Music On/Off code
+ADD: Music loop play when game starts


4/27/2012 - house hunting no work
4/26/2012 - house hunting no work
erebusman
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Posted: 1st May 2012 05:16 Edited at: 30th May 2012 07:09
So I was being perhaps overly generous with myself when it came to bugs.

Lots of little quirky things that I said mentally "I'll fix that later" but I have not gotten around to doing yet.

As I'm crossing off my 'final list' I realized I needed to be honest and document every single bug I could think of so this is the new bug of everything I can find right now:

OPEN BUGS 4/30/2012 *updated 5/29/2012
===============
BG22.0 In some instances the cannonball special will not display the explosion graphic when destroying gems. This only happens for the 3 gems above the cannonball.


FIXED BUGS
==================
BG2.0 When executing the "Check_Valid_Moves" code it does not recognize it as an invalid move if some other valid 3 combo exists on the board.
BG6.0 Some times the hint will show off the grid ?
BG7.0 The first time you press hint it will show the previous hint first . The second time this does not happen.
BG9.0 In any one play session high scores sort properly and retain proper values.
But upon launching a new game , values that are inappropriate and sometimes impossible appear in the list in an out of order
BG12.0 When you start a new game from the main menu you may hear a sound or graphic from the work that is done to ensure the initial screen has no matches.
BG13.0 When you level up the screen that is populated often has many matches when it should have none.
BG14.0 Specials appear to either combine unexpectedly or cause matches to happen when none should some times. Need to debug to define this bug further.
BG15.0 The settings menu does not immediately apply changes while IN the menu, only after you leave it.
BG16.0 There is an unexpected & unusual delay for the invalid move alert.This was not a bug see changelog notes.
BG17.0 When you level up any specials left on the screen are destroyed by the level up process. While not a programming but this is undesired behavior.
BG18.0 The splash screen sounds stopped working.
BG19.0 If ever a special gem is the first in a potential match set it will not count towards it. Only when it is after a gem will it count towards potential matches.
BG20.0 The 'selection' bracket graphic stays after the destruction of the gem it was highlighting and waits until
the cell was repopulated and finally the player is ready for a new move before it dissapears.
BG21.0 While displaying 'invalid move' graphic the progress bar for the level progress blanks out and then re-fills once its done.
BG23.0 The music is too loud in the mix.
BG24.0 Sometimes when cannonball triggers the diagonal bottom left square does not destroy. Possibly only when cannonball is on top row.
BG25.0 On level up screen second wave 'smears' (aka need to cls between syncs)
I'll update this post as I find more,fix them, etc.
Pincho Paxton
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Posted: 1st May 2012 12:30
The wave looks like it needs moving to the left about 16 pixels.

erebusman
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Posted: 2nd May 2012 02:53
@Pincho:


Well that is a fair observation from the still image for sure.

See the problem is I don't know how to paste the image off screen to the left and the only other solution is to do a hard cut instead of a transition on the wave and then align it hard against the left edge.... BUT honestly when its in motion I don't think you would have noticed that little quirk.

I think what I'll do is wait until I have a game play video up showing off that feature and see if the feedback indicates that another evaluation of the graphic is needed or not at that time.

Thank you very much for the feedback!
erebusman
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Posted: 2nd May 2012 05:58 Edited at: 3rd May 2012 15:13
WOW ... I missed a HUGE bug.


I believe I found a combo I totally MISSED when checking for matches!

Its amazing that both A) I did not think of it and B) somehow I have not caught an invalid 'game over' situation yet? I have no idea how THAT happened!


Fortunately this was caught when attempting to fix bug BG6.0 Some times the hint will show off the grid ?

So now I have to add in additional check for matches logic as well as figure out why some times the hints are off grid! But at least the ramped up efforts to find bugs helped me find this one, I would have been quite embarrassed to ship with a bug like this. Core game functionality!
erebusman
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Posted: 2nd May 2012 16:30
So to make this even more confusing I tested further until I found another 'off grid' match as outlined in this image.

I feel relatively sure that this is the ONLY match on the board also.

If that is true then despite the fact that I only programmed match detection as noted above for hints .. I must have some how either made a mistake or other scenario that both catches this match as well as marks it incorrectly:



Testing was about all I got done last night but it was time well spent.
Pincho Paxton
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Posted: 2nd May 2012 18:56
Paste image works with a negative number like -16.

erebusman
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Posted: 2nd May 2012 21:35
@Pincho:well that's awEsome thanks for the tip!
erebusman
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Posted: 3rd May 2012 04:12
So call me a ...well whatever you want to call me but I figured out that I was checking for the match noted 3 posts above in a different subroutine..

It had been long enough that I wrote it I forgot I split the match detection into 2 different subroutines for EACH axis so there are in fact 4 subroutines for match detection.

Knowing that I now have an angle to troubleshoot that issue better!

Will update more soon.
erebusman
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Posted: 7th May 2012 05:35
Been doing really nice progress on bug fixes. Hope to have another game play video up perhaps in the next week.

Here is the work log from last few days:


5/6/2012
+RESOLVED BG13.0 When you level up the screen that is populated often has many matches when it should have none.
+RESOLVED BG24.0 Sometimes when cannonball triggers the diagonal bottom left square does not destroy. Possibly only when cannonball is on top row.
+RESOLVED BG23.0 The music is too loud in the mix. ; reduced overal level of volume in the music.
+RESOLVED BG17.0 When you level up any specials left on the screen are destroyed by the level up process. While not a programming but this is undesired behavior.
+RESOLVED BG25.0 On level up screen second wave 'smears' (aka need to cls between syncs)
+CHANGE: Moved wave graphcis to start -16 pixels off the left of screen ; looks more aligned with gameboard now

5/5/2012
+ RESOLVED: BG15.0 The settings menu does not immediately apply changes while IN the menu, only after you leave it. <- it actually was just not the music which made it appear as if it wasnt as this was loudest in the mix
+ RESOLVD: BG18.0 The splash screen sounds stopped working.
+ADD: Mouse click sounds while in settings menu
+ RESOLVED: BG2.0 When executing the "Check_Valid_Moves" code it does not recognize it as an invalid move if some other valid 3 combo exists on the board.
made it so no matches can exist as it will destroy them all in loops before allowing the player to move as it should or on a level up it filters
it out until there are no matches on the new board
+BUG BG9.1 In any one play session high scores sort properly and retain proper values.
But upon launching a new game , values that are inappropriate and sometimes impossible appear in the list in an out of order fashion.
This issue worked last night through 3 launches of the same executable. Today I made new builds and the problem is back. Unclear if the new build
creates the issue or something else?


5/4/2012
+RESOLVED: BG6.0 Some times the hint will show off the grid ; CheckX_Moves_Left: subroutine had the X and Y hint in inverted order.
+RESOLVED: BG9.0 In any one play session high scores sort properly and retain proper values.
But upon launching a new game , values that are inappropriate and sometimes impossible appear in the list in an out of order fashion

5/3/2012
- no work house hunting
5/2/2012
- no work house hunting

5/1/2012
*WORK - worked on BG6.0 Some times the hint will show off the grid ?
*WORK - worked on BG7.0 The first time you press hint it will show the previous hint first . The second time this does not happen.

4/30/2012
+RESOLVED:BG12.0 made two new "checkanddestroy' routines that performed the logic but skipped all the sound & graphic work
+ADD Created more comprehensive bug list to include the following new bugs
BG12.0 When you start a new game from the main menu you may hear a sound or graphic from the work that is done to ensure the initial screen has no matches.
BG13.0 When you level up the screen that is populated often has many matches when it should have none.
BG14.0 Specials appear to either combine unexpectedly or cause matches to happen when none should some times. Need to debug to define this bug further.
BG15.0 The settings menu does not immediately apply changes while IN the menu, only after you leave it.
BG16.0 There is an unexpected & unusual delay for the invalid move alert.
BG17.0 When you level up any specials left on the screen are destroyed by the level up process. While not a programming but this is undesired behavior.
BG18.0 The splash screen sounds stopped working.
BG19.0 If ever a special gem is the first in a potential match set it will not count towards it. Only when it is after a gem will it count towards potential matches.
BG20.0 The 'selection' brack graphic stays after the detruction of the gem it was highlighting and waits until
the cell was repopulated and finally the player is ready for a new move before it dissapears.
BG21.0 While displaying 'invalid move' graphic the progress bar for the level progress blanks out and then re-fills once its done.
BG22.0 In some instances the cannonball special will not display the explosion graphic when destroying gems. This only happens for the 3 gems above the cannonball.
BG23.0 The music is too loud in the mix.
BG24.0 Sometimes when cannonball triggers the diagonal bototm left square does not destroy. Possibly only when cannonball is on top row.
erebusman
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Posted: 14th May 2012 06:58
Work for the last few days:


5/13/2012
+ADD: Added code to support the lightning special
+ADD: Added code to support the lightning sprite showing on screen
+CHANGE: Changed injection code for cannon and lightning specials they now inject when 4 in a row, and 5 in a row are combined specifically
-- note the lightning rarely appears this way need to test & reconsider if needed
+CHANGE: Changed special injection code for 'wildcard' to be 1 in 21 seems to be roughly right at the moment
+CHANGE: Fine tuned level progress to be more realistic - previously this was set to be 'too fast' of leveling to test the level up process.
At this point I need to test actual game play progress instead.
*WORK : Performed work on BG19.0 (If ever a special gem is the first in a potential match set it will not count towards it. ) The two attempts I made at fixing this
created a much worse bug that would create dozens of false matches on the board.


5/12/2012
+RESOLVED: BG14.0 Specials appear to either combine unexpectedly or cause matches to happen when none should some times. Need to debug to define this bug further.
+RESOLVED: BG20.0 The 'selection' bracket graphic stays after the detruction of the gem it was highlighting

5/10/2012 to 5/11/2012 Special work project requiring work at home in the evening could not program.

5/9/2012
+ADD: Debug code to work on : BG14.0 Specials appear to either combine unexpectedly or cause matches to happen when none should some times.
+CHANGE: Figured out what was causing BG14.0 ; first attempt at fixing does fix the bug but it also makes special moves not work ; need better solution or refinement of this one...
+CHANGE: Changed to an alternate code variant of above - seems to reduce some of the improper combine's but not all of them.


5/8/2012
* house related paperwork

5/7/2012
+CHANGE: Attempted to introduce timer based movement to "optimize" game. At least on my Win7 64bit system this caused the game to use about 3-4% more CPU , need to test on lower end systems.
+CHANGE: Changed so mouse cursor turns to 'hourglass' or spinning cursor while you cant click
+CHANGE: Changed so selection bracket goes away quicker.
erebusman
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Posted: 26th May 2012 02:53
5/24/2012
+WORK: Worked on BG19.0 If ever a special gem is the first in a potential match set it will not count towards it. Only when it is after a gem will it count towards potential matches.
+WORK: Worked on BG19.0 If ever a special gem is the first in a potential match set it will not count towards it. Only when it is after a gem will it count towards potential matches.

5/23/2012 - son's birthday no coding

5/22/2012
+WORK: Worked on BG7.0 The first time you press hint it will show the previous hint first . The second time this does not happen.
+WORK: Worked on BG21.0 While displaying 'invalid move' graphic the progress bar for the level progress blanks out and then re-fills once its done.
Determined the cause for this bug is that 90% of the tim the graphical level progress bar is written by the ReDraw subroutine but some few
subroutines such as the invalid move subroutine handle their own screen refreshes specifically to animate messages and effects on the screen.
In all cases of this occuring I have not called the ReDraw subroutine specifcally because it does other things that I do not want done at that time.
So either for the .5 seconds that animation is occuring I can decide to accept it wont draw OR for all subroutines where animations occur I need
to insert a new call/subroutine for the refresh of the level progress bar in-line with the animated effect. So root cause has been determind
defering decision for now.

5/21/2012
+WORK: Worked on BG16.0 There is an unexpected & unusual delay for the invalid move alert.
After assessing this 'bug' I have come to the conclusion what is happening is that it takes the *SAME* amount of time that it takes to perform a full
normal move by the player. This is 'correct' because its built 'in line' so to speak and if a match never gets done it says it was an invalid move
and then cancels it out. So this is not in fact a bug at all but instead expected behavior. I suspect additionally that the perceived slowness
comes from this being in DBPRO which is written in basic and the two nested loops per subroutine cause the interpreter to be slow rather than it
really beign a very heavy slow program. I am deferring/resolving this bug until I try to port the product over to C as I beleive at that
time it will naturally resolve itself as it will no longer being interpretted at run time.
+RESOLVE: BG16.0

5/20/2012
+RESOLVED: BG9.1 In any one play session high scores sort properly and retain proper values - but eventually they display improper and impossible values.
+WORK: Worked on BG19.0 If ever a special gem is the first in a potential match set it will not count towards it. Only when it is after a gem will it count towards potential matches.

5/19/2012
+WORK: Worked on BG7.0 The first time you press hint it will show the previous hint first . The second time this does not happen.
+CHANGE: Cleaned up 4 subroutines involved in Checking moves left as they are used for the hint detection , removed antiquaited debug code to make it easier to read.
+ADD: Added hourglass icon when the player can not click
+WORK: Worked on BG 9.1 highscore bug

5/18/2012
+ADD: xBonus sound added
+ADD: Hint sparkle sound added
+ADD: Lightning sound added
+CHANGE: Changed lightning interjection to be 'chain reaction' injection - meaning if after a match is destroyed if upon filling the blanks another match happens then the
lightning special will be included in the the 3rd fill ; this now appears on the screen at an acceptable frequency

5/14/2012 = 5/17/2012 Special work project requiring work at home in the evening could not program.
erebusman
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Posted: 26th May 2012 07:28 Edited at: 26th May 2012 07:40
3 New Game Play Video's


This video features the lightning special and a level up sequence.

The "anchor" gem for the lightning special is a place holder as I dont like think it fits the function super well.






This is the CannonBall Special video showing it off and some game play afterwards.




Splash Screen & Menu's.

There was some HD writing going on that slowed this down but it still works to show off the screens so please forgive the out of sync audio.





Comments are welcome on anything you notice.

Thank you
erebusman
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Posted: 30th May 2012 07:12
Tonight was a big milestone - I have been working on getting all "priority 1" bugs out of the program and hit that goal tonight. Pri 1 bugs are those that effect game play.

I put in a lot of very hard work to get it to this state, and there is in fact only 1 bug left which is a cosmetic bug - in some situations a destroy graphic may not show completely . I will still try to fix it but at this point this game can ship code-wise.

I still need to finish some audio work and do a final graphic pass so there's a little bit of work left to be done.

Basically though this game is in its final beta state as of this writing

Work done over last few days:

====================

5/29/2012
+RESOLVED: BG7.0 The first time you press hint it will show the previous hint first . The second time this does not happen.

5/28/2012
+RESOVLED: BG19.0 If ever a special gem is the first in a potential match set it will not count towards it. <- this one killed me as you can see from work history
+RESOLVED: BG21.0 While displaying 'invalid move' graphic the progress bar for the level progress blanks out and then re-fills once its done.

5/27/2012
+WORK: Worked on BG19.0 If ever a special gem is the first in a potential match set it will not count towards it.

5/26/2012
+WORK: Worked on BG19.0 If ever a special gem is the first in a potential match set it will not count towards it.

5/25/2012
+WORK: Worked on BG19.0 If ever a special gem is the first in a potential match set it will not count towards it.
tiresius
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Posted: 30th May 2012 07:38
I'm always jealous when graphical artists learn how to program and produce cool stuff like this. You should put this on AppUp and sell it when it is done. Nice work!


A 3D marble platformer using Newton physics.
erebusman
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Posted: 31st May 2012 15:10
@tieresius : thank you for the compliment, and I definitely plan on trying to take this to the next step and go with AppGameKit, AppUp and as many places as I can take it once the first phase is done.

Updated screenshot doing some final graphic polishing.

- new gold coin graphic
- new lightning gem graphic
- polished several UI elements to be sharper and more them consistent

erebusman
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Posted: 11th Jun 2012 05:26
The game is now *DONE*

The only things I am working on is packing at this point. Will be sending out publisher inquiries this week!

Worklog

6/10/2012

+WORK: Further work on BG25.0 , decided to remove the dirblock form my 'data' directory as this has the highscore files and
the way I was using the dirblock it would never have updated the highscore files. Did not resolve bug.

6/9/2012
+WORK: Further work on BG25.0 ; posted forum thread on this as it doesn't make sense

6/8/2012
+BUG: When removing the directory or files from the read/write opreations for dirblock it removes all files EXCEPT .wav files
while not a game bug per se I would like to resolve this before shipping as the files need to be 'packaged' according to
the license
+WORK: Worked on BG25.0 , same results

6/7/2012
+ADD: Added dirblock read/write to archive / protect files


6/6/2012
+CHANGE: Modified lightning gem code to make the location it appears random ; it previously would always appear in the first available
top left position which gave the appearance it was appearing in top left corner 'almost all the time'.
+CHANGE: Doing a pass on mixing up gem graphic types. I have about 12 gems and want to get the best 'mix' of gem colors and shapes
that is also eye pleasing. This did not involve code changes just swapping out the graphics.
+CHANGE: Refined graphics for green gem.


6/5/2012
+CHANGE: "completed" cover art - I reserve the right to tweak it though!

6/4/2012
*ADD: Sound for "game over" screen pirates voice.
*ADD: Sound for Wildcard Gem
*WORK: Worked on graphics for settings menu
*WORK: Worked on graphics for cover art.

6/3/2012
*ADD: Added a new "HELP" screen that shows you "HOW TO PLAY" I don't feel its necessary but several players noted they were wanting / looking for it.
*ADD: Sound for the endgame / highscore screen

6/2/2012
*WORK : Worked on cover art / new main menu graphic mainly researching imagery
*PROTOTYPING: Did some prototype's to see how I liked some of the concepts for the new cover art

6/1/2012
*WORK : Worked on cover art / new main menu graphic mainly researching imagery

5/31/2012
+CHANGE Adjusted the code for the matching of specials first to include if a special was then also found later inline and *should* be included it was not but now is.
+CHANGE Fine tuned level up score spreads. First 3 levels are a little 'too fast' with how much action takes place on the game board.
+CHANGE Adjusted level progress bar. Essentially this was a bug where it was showing the progress of the total score so far
rather than the score needed to proceed through this level only.


5/30/2012
+CHANGE new gold coin graphic
+CHANGE new lightning gem graphic
+CHANGE polished several UI elements to be sharper and more them consistent
Virtual Nomad
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Posted: 11th Jun 2012 06:16 Edited at: 11th Jun 2012 06:16
Quote: "The game is now *DONE* "

sounds great, but have you had people (beside yourself) test the game before you get at publishers? ie, how about a demo?

Virtual Nomad @ California, USA . DBPro V7.5
AMD Phenomâ„¢ X4 9750 Quad-Core @ 2.4 GHz . 8 GB PC2-6400 RAM
ATI Radeon HD 3650 @ 512 MB . Vista Home Premium 64 Bit
erebusman
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Posted: 11th Jun 2012 17:00
@Virtual Nomad ; well yes I have a small group of friends mainly from work who have helped test the game out. That's where some of my bug list came from although I found most of them myself.

As far as a Demo I hadn't put any thought into that yet.

Its unclear if a Demo would be useful to me?

If I did do a demo; with such a simple game how would I 'limit' it? Most demos I'm familiar with are FPS demo's where you play the first two levels of a game that have maybe 20+ levels?

I suppose I could make a version that as soon as you were ready to level to level 3 that it gave you a 'game over - please buy the full version' screen? What do you think about that?

Thanks for the feedback!
Mychal B
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Posted: 11th Jun 2012 22:52
There could be a time limit

The fastfood zombie killer
erebusman
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Posted: 15th Jun 2012 05:11
@ Mychal B : I've put some thought in to it and I may do a demo afterall. But if so I may wait until the game is available to purchase at at least 1 place so when the demo expires or the timer is up a screen can point you to where you can buy it at.

Right now there's no point as there is no where to buy it right?

- New blog post

5: I'm back, and I win!
erebusman
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Posted: 15th Jun 2012 05:12
Launched my new company's website "Infernohawke Entertainment"

The site is simple and needs work but its at bare minimum serviceable and I really like the game feature page:

http://infernohawke.com/infernohawke_entertainment/GAMES.html

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