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fog
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Posted: 19th Sep 2014 11:14
Quite a while since I posted something new on here.

I see there are still a few fellow oldies around who might remember "echoes" that I wrote in DBPro and released many years ago. I later did a much improved version of that on XBox Live Indie Games, and this is that game ported to AGK.

It's essentially a modern day take on Asteroids with 6 game modes, 4 difficulties, 100 trials (Achievements), all new online leaderboards and a bunch of other stuff.

Just PC for now, but other platforms will follow.

Game Page: http://www.binaryzoo.com/echoesplus_page/

Direct Download Link: http://www.binaryzoo.com/games/echoesplus/echoes_plus.rar



Video from the XBox360 XNA version, but, thanks to the excellent work Paul is doing, the AppGameKit powered version is identical...



As ever, any feedback much appreciated.

Van B
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Posted: 19th Sep 2014 11:26 Edited at: 19th Sep 2014 11:29
Looks great! - I remember Echoes, one of my favorite games ever made in DBPro, it's great to see it being ported. It would be a good product for tablets of course, but I think it would be especially great on Ouya and capable devices with a controller, Shield for example, these games always play best using a dual stick controller.

Good luck with it, can't wait to try it on my tablet! - and hope it makes enough money for you to warrant converting Mono as well.

I am the one who knocks...
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Posted: 19th Sep 2014 11:48
Seeing this has put a huge smile on my face.

I've not had a chance to play it yet but I played the original Echoes to death, really enjoyed it, and I've still got it, with all my high scores.

I'll have a play of this later and let you know what I think.

Digital Awakening
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Posted: 19th Sep 2014 11:49 Edited at: 19th Sep 2014 11:51
I think I have played this game ages ago. But it's been so long since I've played your DBP games. I don't have a dualstick controller set up with my current gaming PC. I need to look up how to get my wireless 360 adapter working. I have it working on my laptop but I rarely use that one these days.

The game definitely looks good and I think it will do well on Android consoles like Ouya. However, depending on how you make the graphical effects work, this might not run smooth enough on Ouya. Ouya is uses Tegra 2 and is horribly limited with fillrate. And it doesn't really like transparent sprites. Maybe this will run well in 720p. RTA needs 720p to achive 60 FPS. And I think this is a game you want to run in 60 FPS.

A good example to show off what can be done in AppGameKit

BatVink
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Posted: 19th Sep 2014 22:55
I'd forgotten just how barbaric this game can be! Those orange pentagons - as always - are the death of me.

I have a 27" touchscreen table PC that wants you to touch-enable this game...please!

As always, extremely impressed. This is the ultimate showcase for AGK.

Van B
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Posted: 19th Sep 2014 23:07
I wish I was better at it, but anyway it's slick as ever

Definitely a great showcase for AppGameKit - just don't play it before bed, or you'll probably not sleep!

I am the one who knocks...
RickV
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Posted: 19th Sep 2014 23:50
Just played it and cannot see straight now!

Great game, probably the best AppGameKit game to date.

Can you post it to the AppGameKit Gallery?

Rick

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fog
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Posted: 20th Sep 2014 11:47
Thanks for the comments all. As ever it's much appreciated and a great motivator

Regarding an Ouya version, they actually contacted me a couple of days ago asking if I wanted a free console so I will be doing an Ouya version once I get that. I know I will have to turn a few FX settings down, but I like a challenge.

Thanks for the Ouya info DA. I may well have to pick your brains at sometime

Quote: "
...and hope it makes enough money for you to warrant converting Mono as well.
"

I'm only doing Freeware ATM so I doubt I'll make that much money The original mono was only really a demo for the "full" game and now that AppGameKit has the necessary render images, shaders etc I really need to make that happen so that I stop getting asked about it all the time lol.

Quote: "
I have a 27" touchscreen table PC that wants you to touch-enable this game...please!
"

I hadn't planned on doing a mobile version of this game as I wouldn't be happy with the controls. I'm sure they would work better on a larger touchscreen, but I've no way of testing it.

Speaking of testing, with so many target platforms and hardware, if anyone fancies a bit of informal playtesting sometime then let me know.

Waffle...

This is actually the third AppGameKit game I've written, I just haven't released the other two yet (1982 & Feedback). I decided to use e+ as a test for all the new systems I wanted to add to my game engine which will then be implemented in those other games.

So I've added a Binary Zoo News System (for promoting new releases etc), Online Leaderboards (with news feed announcing new highscores in game), Update Notification (tells user if a new version is available and what has changed), user soundtracks, HTML based colour coded log files (ooh pretty), debugging tools, joypad config app, game skinning (gfx & sound can be switched mid game) etc etc.

FWIW I've been using my own scripting system for a while, so I could take the scripts from the XBox version of e+, drop them into AppGameKit and have the gameplay running straight away. (I highly recommend something similar to anyone planning long term.)

Sorry, I'm rambling again.

Digital Awakening
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Posted: 20th Sep 2014 13:38
Quote: "Regarding an Ouya version, they actually contacted me a couple of days ago asking if I wanted a free console so I will be doing an Ouya version once I get that. I know I will have to turn a few FX settings down, but I like a challenge."

Sweet

Quote: "Thanks for the Ouya info DA. I may well have to pick your brains at sometime"

Your welcome BTW, AGK2 alpha 6 has Ouya export built in. Tried it yesterday and it works great. You can even change the resolution with code now. And nowadays you can activate upload on Ouya and easily transfer builds over your network. Or use the player, that's even faster.

fog
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Posted: 21st Sep 2014 18:23
Quote: "Your welcome BTW, AGK2 alpha 6 has Ouya export built in. Tried it yesterday and it works great. You can even change the resolution with code now. And nowadays you can activate upload on Ouya and easily transfer builds over your network. Or use the player, that's even faster."
I'm using Tier 2 so I think it's a bit more convoluted than that unfortunately

unlikely
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Posted: 22nd Sep 2014 11:35 Edited at: 22nd Sep 2014 17:46
Just got around to playing this... It. Is. Awesome. Well done!

(Btw, chalk me up as someone interested in a Mac version, if ya get around to it! )
xCept
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Posted: 22nd Sep 2014 23:11
Awesome! Beautiful game. I was wondering if you achieved the motion blur effect using SetClearColor/EnableClearColor commands or is it a Tier 2 technique, or just a lot of individual sprite manipulation? Paul has (at least for the moment) disabled EnableClearColor functionality in V2 and I experienced problems trying to achieve similar motion blur functionality via Render Image stuff (traces of the background were always left). Haven't messed with shader capabilities in AppGameKit yet.
fog
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Posted: 23rd Sep 2014 00:48 Edited at: 23rd Sep 2014 00:50
Thanks

Quote: "(Btw, chalk me up as someone interested in a Mac version, if ya get around to it! ) "
Yeah I'll be doing a Mac and Ouya version at least. I was just waiting until I knew the PC version was bug free before doing those and it seems fine.

Quote: "I was wondering if you achieved the motion blur effect using SetClearColor/EnableClearColor commands or is it a Tier 2 technique, or just a lot of individual sprite manipulation? Paul has (at least for the moment) disabled EnableClearColor functionality in V2 and I experienced problems trying to achieve similar motion blur functionality via Render Image stuff (traces of the background were always left). Haven't messed with shader capabilities in AppGameKit yet. "
Yeah it's just done through various manipulations of a full screen sprite.

Myself and DA raised the issue with Paul in another thread and he said EnableClearColor would be left in for PC (and Mac I assume) and removed for mobile.

http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=211921&b=41&msg=2533010#m2533010

I'm still using V1 of AppGameKit (v108.24) so I haven't tested using RenderImage etc. but, provided they work properly, the same technique should work. Hmm.

Digital Awakening
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Posted: 24th Sep 2014 11:23
Wouldn't get image be better for your needs? That would allow you to capture the current screen rather then rendering to a separate image that you then draw to the screen. I think using a render image will be a lot slower or limited hardware like Ouya.

baxslash
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Posted: 24th Sep 2014 15:07
DA, GetImage for fullscreen is much slower than RenderToImage. I tried it a few times for different projects.
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Posted: 24th Sep 2014 19:30
I've had a more of a play of this and it's as hard as I remember.

My main niggle is to do with the keyboard controls for movement (I've not tried a gamepad). The movement feels a too sloppy, as if there's too much inertia, and it takes too long to change direction. I find that I don't feel in control of the spaceship and I can't quite weave between the various asteroids and enemies.

I'll have a go with a game pad but I like the keyboard controls - I generally have my laptop with me when I'm out and about and it's nice to have games that can be played with just the keyboard, especially for train journeys.

Apart from that it's a great game and I like the different modes.

fog
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Posted: 25th Sep 2014 00:50 Edited at: 25th Sep 2014 00:51
Quote: "Wouldn't get image be better for your needs? That would allow you to capture the current screen rather then rendering to a separate image that you then draw to the screen. I think using a render image will be a lot slower or limited hardware like Ouya."
Like baxslash says, my experience with GetImage in the past is that it's way too slow to be used for this type of thing.

Ouya hardware is pretty poor so I expect to have to make a few cuts and edits here and there

Quote: "My main niggle is to do with the keyboard controls for movement (I've not tried a gamepad). The movement feels a too sloppy, as if there's too much inertia, and it takes too long to change direction. I find that I don't feel in control of the spaceship and I can't quite weave between the various asteroids and enemies."
Is the "fast" movement setting too slow too? TBH I've never heard from anyone else that uses the key controls so if you want me to tweak them I'll do that in the next release.

Also have you tried using mouse controls with your laptops touchpad (trackpad to move, WASD or cursor to fire)? I can play really well with that set-up. Thanks for the feedback

unlikely
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Posted: 29th Sep 2014 05:40 Edited at: 29th Sep 2014 05:44
Those little cyan pests!!!



I finally managed to get on the scoreboard for a mode. I'm dead chuffed.
fog
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Posted: 30th Sep 2014 03:23
Quote: "I finally managed to get on the scoreboard for a mode. I'm dead chuffed. "

Wow. Survivor mode on Insane difficulty as well. One of the harder leaderboards to get onto. I'm impressed.

unlikely
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Posted: 30th Sep 2014 04:34 Edited at: 30th Sep 2014 04:40
Quote: "Wow. Survivor mode on Insane difficulty as well. One of the harder leaderboards to get onto. I'm impressed. "


Ha, thanks. Fun game--very polished. (I've since entered the board on survivor - easy as well, though that difficulty seems a lot more spread out!)

Reminds me of the vibe of the puppygames games--which is a very good thing indeed.
fog
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Posted: 1st Oct 2014 04:15
Quote: "Reminds me of the vibe of the puppygames games--which is a very good thing indeed. "

Yeah I love the Puppygames stuff so that's a good compliment thanks.

In fact Paul, who does the XBox360 and Windows Phone versions of Puppygames games, was one of my small band of playtesters on e+.

BatVink
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Posted: 10th Oct 2014 23:47
How do you get the "Get hit 100 times" award? I can get hit hundreds of times, but it only ever shows 40 or 50.

Quite proud of my award for getting below 50% power and back up to 100%

DavidAGK
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Posted: 11th Oct 2014 00:12
This has a fantastic look about it! Just awesome!
fog
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Posted: 11th Oct 2014 00:15 Edited at: 11th Oct 2014 00:16
Quote: "This has a fantastic look about it! Just awesome! "
Thanks David. And proof that XBox360 code works too


Quote: "How do you get the "Get hit 100 times" award? I can get hit hundreds of times, but it only ever shows 40 or 50."
Getting hit while shielded doesn't count as technically you aren't getting hit. Plus that would be far too easy

Also if you're going for that Trial then make sure you collide with smaller enemies as they do less damage.

Good luck. On higher difficulties it's possibly the hardest Trial to unlock as you would need a crazy number of health powerups to stay alive after that many hits even by small enemies.

In future games (although I might add it to E+ too) I'm thinking of having a leaderboard for Trials too so you can see how you're doing compared to other player.

BatVink
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Posted: 14th Oct 2014 23:55
I can sleep well tonight - 115 hits, I have masochistic tendencies

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur
fog
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Posted: 15th Oct 2014 13:25
Quote: "I can sleep well tonight - 115 hits, I have masochistic tendencies "
Seriously impressive. What difficulty?

After wrestling with setting up Android tools for an eternity I've got this running on OUYA now. Although "running" is something of an exaggeration as it's more of a slow stroll right now.

BatVink
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Posted: 15th Oct 2014 13:45
Quote: "Seriously impressive. What difficulty?"

A not so impressive Easy. I just needed ot fill up the first screen of achievements

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur
Digital Awakening
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Posted: 15th Oct 2014 18:51
Tried with mouse and keyboard yesterday. Thought I did well but about 10% of the top 10 scores...

I played the default mode with 10 stages. Would have been nice if the game announced when I hit a new stage. I found the stage counter but I think announcing the new stage would make it more exiting.

I quite enjoyed the game. I would prefer something that is a bit more intense from the start. Making it to stage 9 took longer than expected and most of the game felt too relaxed for me. Maybe there already is a mode in there for me?

The game looks good and plays well. Feels very solid.

What resolution are you running at on Ouya? You can change that in code now.

fog
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Posted: 15th Oct 2014 23:37
Quote: "I quite enjoyed the game. I would prefer something that is a bit more intense from the start. Making it to stage 9 took longer than expected and most of the game felt too relaxed for me. Maybe there already is a mode in there for me? "
That's what difficulty settings are for

I collect stats from all leaderboard scores so I can see what difficulty people play on and there's a pretty even spread from easy to insane. That's why difficulty settings are so important. It's impossible to write a game that's the right challenge for everyone without them.

If you want a faster game then try Time Attack (10 levels condensed into 3 mins) or my favourite Survivor mode which has even faster level progress but you only get one hit and then you're dead.

------------------------------------------

On Ouya I haven't done anything to the code yet so it runs at 768 lines high. I know I'll need to tweak it, I was just concentrating on getting everything set-up. All the alpha sprites will be the killer

Digital Awakening
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Posted: 16th Oct 2014 00:17
At least use this on Ouya:

SetScreenResolution( 1280, 720, 1)

Yeah, transparent sprites eat upp all the fillrate. Setting the resolution to 720p gives you almost twice as much power. You could try setting it even lower as well.

fog
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Posted: 17th Oct 2014 16:56
Had a quick tinker. Changing the resolution did very little. As suspected it's the transparent sprites, or more specifically the full screen one, that are causing the slowdown.

Switching just that transparency off everything runs perfectly and while it lacks that extra something that motion blur brings, it still looks pretty decent.

I'll mess around a bit more with the graphics, but I'm pretty impressed that everything, including my online leaderboards, worked first time.

unlikely
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Posted: 18th Oct 2014 02:50
Hey fog, I assume you are using AppGameKit 2 (what with Ouya and all)?
fog
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Posted: 18th Oct 2014 15:11
Quote: "Hey fog, I assume you are using AppGameKit 2 (what with Ouya and all)? "
Nope. V108.24

It does everything I need for Echoes+ and I haven't hit any bugs with it so I see no point in moving to V2 for this project. (unless someone tells me there's a big speed increase on Ouya )

Van B
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Posted: 18th Oct 2014 23:05
What about using a disabled clear colour to make an old fashioned motion blur effect?

Might be better than nothing on Ouya, assuming that an alpha sprite with a single colour doesn't affect the frame rate too much. When I've used it, I always end up with dark screen artifacts that I can't get rid off - but as I say, it might be better than nothing!

I am the one who knocks...
Digital Awakening
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Posted: 18th Oct 2014 23:23
Quote: "unless someone tells me there's a big speed increase on Ouya"

I don't think you can alter the resolution in code with v1. So SetScreenResolution( 1280, 720, 1 ) probably doesn't do anything for you on Ouya. An easy test to print the screen resolution.

fog
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Posted: 19th Oct 2014 00:04
Quote: "What about using a disabled clear colour to make an old fashioned motion blur effect?"
That's what I'm already doing. I'm an old fashioned type of coder

If you lower the full screen sprites alpha too much then you do get artifacts left behind. I get rid of these because I flash the screen when there's an explosion by temporarily changing the background sprite alpha and colouring it white. A nice effect with the benefit of removing those artifacts.

Quote: "I don't think you can alter the resolution in code with v1. So SetScreenResolution( 1280, 720, 1 ) probably doesn't do anything for you on Ouya. An easy test to print the screen resolution."
There is no SetScreenResolution command in v1 IIRC but I'm using Tier 2 so normally set the device resolution in core.cpp

Now that I look into it that doesn't seem to work for Android/Ouya so I'll need to find out how I do that.


Thanks for the suggestions gents.

unlikely
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Posted: 19th Oct 2014 03:21
Quote: "Quote: "I don't think you can alter the resolution in code with v1. So SetScreenResolution( 1280, 720, 1 ) probably doesn't do anything for you on Ouya. An easy test to print the screen resolution."
There is no SetScreenResolution command in v1 IIRC but I'm using Tier 2 so normally set the device resolution in core.cpp

Now that I look into it that doesn't seem to work for Android/Ouya so I'll need to find out how I do that."

Yeah, that's why I was asking about V2. I think possibly using some of the newer features (like changing the render buffer) might might help your speed?
Digital Awakening
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Posted: 20th Oct 2014 17:29
You can alter the resolution in the manifest, IIRC. But I never got it to work myself. Others have.

Currently you can't turn off the background color in v2.

DavidAGK
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Posted: 20th Oct 2014 18:13
Fog - the IDE is worth the upgrade to V2 alone. It's soooo much nicer than the V1 one.
unlikely
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Posted: 20th Oct 2014 22:52
Quote: "Fog - the IDE is worth the upgrade to V2 alone. It's soooo much nicer than the V1 one."

Except seeing as he's using Tier 2, it'll be the same.

But you are totally right, the Mac version and the upgraded IDE in general are great.
DavidAGK
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Posted: 21st Oct 2014 00:03
Lol. I didn't realise!
Naphier
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Posted: 21st Oct 2014 21:57
Finally got the chance to play this. Awesome visuals! The controls are a little odd. It says for mouse that you click to fire, but that only does bombs for me. Would be great if you had full options for control customization.
As for a mobile version, you might find that it works fairly well. You need two onscreen joysticks and a button for bombs. Check out Beat Hazard on mobile they did a very good job of this. All in all, great work!

fog
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Posted: 22nd Oct 2014 14:53
So it sounds like from what you guys as saying I can change the resolution easier in V2, but can't currently turn off the background colour. I haven't looked at V2 myself yet so I guess I need to do that sometime.

The Ouya version of Echoes+ might have to wait a bit. I've had 2 other games ready to release for months now so I want to get them out. And they shouldn't have the FPS problem Echoes+ has because they don't use the alpha which causes the slowdown.

I really want to move onto something entirely new ASAP

Quote: "Finally got the chance to play this. Awesome visuals! The controls are a little odd. It says for mouse that you click to fire, but that only does bombs for me."
The instructions only say that for "Classic Mode", for all other modes firing is done via WASD or cursor keys.

Quote: "As for a mobile version, you might find that it works fairly well. You need two onscreen joysticks and a button for bombs. Check out Beat Hazard on mobile they did a very good job of this. All in all, great work!"
I've played loads of twin stick shooters, including Beat Hazard, and never found one I'm totally happy with. I could make it work and I'm sure most people would be ok with that, I just personally don't want to release something that feels compromised.

I'll give it a try

unlikely
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Posted: 23rd Oct 2014 18:08
Quote: "The Ouya version of Echoes+ might have to wait a bit. I've had 2 other games ready to release for months now so I want to get them out. And they shouldn't have the FPS problem Echoes+ has because they don't use the alpha which causes the slowdown.

I really want to move onto something entirely new ASAP "

Quite looking forward to your next project.
fog
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Posted: 8th Jan 2015 22:57
Now available for Mac if you like that sort of thing.



A quick update on other issues I mentioned earlier...

I updated to AGK2 and rewrote my motion blur routines to use Render Images. This should now work on all devices.

Mac version has joypad support which I was having bug issues with (thanks to Paul for help there)

The framerate issues of the Ouya version are gone and it runs beautifully.

The only thing left on the Ouya version is to get text input working for name entry. Does it actually work Ouya?

CodeMonkey
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Posted: 9th Jan 2015 01:01
Love this game. By far the best AppGameKit game I've seen So well polished too
DavidAGK
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Posted: 9th Jan 2015 23:15
No doubt about it, this is a very polished game. Totally impressed. What a great advert for what can be achieved in AppGameKit (if you have the right talent!!!).
fog
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Posted: 10th Jan 2015 03:15
Thanks both.

Quote: "What a great advert for what can be achieved in AppGameKit (if you have the right talent!!!)."

Talent is debatable. I'm not a great artist and technically I'm not a good programmer either. My code, especially in C++, is bad and would horrify most "proper" coders.

If anything I'm an advert for what can be achieved in AppGameKit with average talent, but a focus on gameplay and presentation which, at the end of the day, is all that really matters.

haliop_New
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Posted: 10th Jan 2015 06:05
i agree with fog
i also am a mediocare programmer and i have managed some really nice things with AppGameKit tier 1 and DarkGDK C++

i think its more about dedication to a project to make it work, the more time you spend on it the better it will become even if it is a very simple one.
unlikely
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Posted: 12th Jan 2015 03:19
Mac woohoo! How did I miss this till now?

Thanks fog, great work. (Favorite AppGameKit game so far.)

Agreed, great example of what AppGameKit can do with the addition of some elbow grease.

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