Surprise, surprise


It should come as a shock to absolutely no one, but I’ve changed direction yet again.  I really think this one is going to stick because I’m going back to a single-player, 2d RPG.  And I’m using an actual game engine, instead of trying to make all the tools myself from scratch.  It has taken me a little time to get used to it, but the Godot Engine is absolutely amazing.  I’ve messed around with Godot before but was never serious about it because I didn’t like the idea of exporting a game to HTML5 because it would be packed together and it would create a delay for the game to initially load.  Eventually I thought, “Screw it!” because every game on earth has some kind of load time.  Besides that, the browser caches quite a bit of that data so it really only slows down the very first time you run the game.  

I’ve been working on a new story and doing some preliminary testing with Godot’s 2d tools and I’ve made really, really fast progress, at least as compared with other times I’ve tried doing everything from scratch.  The game’s view is top-down.  I have a player character that moves in 8 directions and animates in 4.  I have three very basic scenes: a town, a house in the town, and a bedroom in the house.  The player can use the doors to go in between the scenes and everything generally works.  Just this basic level of functionality is really fantastic to reach because a lot of the important building blocks of how Godot works were necessary to get to this point, and it really hasn’t been too bad.  The map editing tools are a little clunky but totally work, and the whole process is just like 1,000% faster than trying to figure out how to do absolutely everything in code, or with tools I’ve made myself.

I still like the idea of incremental development where I frequently release versions of the game with minor improvements between versions.  I’m already up to v0.00.005, but I may wait until I have something that at least resembles a game before I really put it up here for public consumption.

This will still be a huge project but I think I’m off to a better start than I’ve maybe ever been before because I’m using tools that lots of other people have used to successfully make completed games, and that’s always encouraging.  I’ll try to post here regularly as I make progress, so stay tuned.

Simple animation


I spent some time today trying to do a really basic animation for my player character.  I had to go back and brush up on my Blender rigging skills but I managed to make a truly horrible animation that loops for your player in the game.

I fully realize that it’s hard to tell from these two images that any animation is happening at all, but trust me, the player now does this terrible flailing kick and arm waiving motion that makes no sense.  Fortunately, my goal was not to create something believable as character movement, but just to have the character move at all and I accomplished that.  Using animations in BabylonJS isn’t too complicated as long as you get the export out of Blender done correctly, so in the near future I’ll try to make an actual walk/run cycle along with an idle animation and maybe even an attack animation.  Then I’ll try to do some animation blending so that you can run and attack at the same time.

Bonus: you can see the new spooooooooky tower off in the fog in the images above.

I’m Back!


After a fairly lengthy absence I’m back to developing!  This time around I’m setting my sights a little higher and hopefully that means that as I progress I’ll start seeing something I’m actually proud to show others.  The idea this time around is a basic MMORPG, but one that is playable entirely in a modern browser with no plugins, downloads, or other weirdness.  I’m not even 100% sure this is technically feasible, but I believe it is as long as the game is scoped appropriately.  I’ll be using BabylonJS (and eventually Node.js for the server side) so I’ll post here with my adventures learning these two frameworks.  I’ve already found BabylonJS to be pleasantly powerful but frustratingly quirky at times.  When I find confusing or frustrating parts of this framework I’ll post about it here as a resource for others, but also as a way to force myself to learn.

My goal is to post here at least once a week, even if I don’t have much to report, so stay tuned.