Untitled: Demo-in-progress

Things are starting to come together. Basic mechanics, using the controller, time bomb all seem to be working. I’ve decided I’m going to make a little mini-game based on what I have right now. It will be a wave-based mini-game where you try to take on as many waves as you can. There will be some small RPG elements as far as leveling up the Painter’s abilities and maybe some aesthetic changes. It will be simple, but I think it will help me flesh out what is fun about the game so far, and I’m kind of burning out on just implementing new features 🙂 I think it will be a needful detour.

So here is the primitive version of that experience. You’ll see the Time Bomb mechanic which is working well. Toodles:



Untitled: Good things accomplished

Got lots of good things done the last few days. The Time Bomb mechanic is implemented and works great. Really crazy that I was able to make that happen. The essentials are that the player can move it until it reads “0” or the player presses the button again and explodes. While exploding for ~3 seconds, shooting out particles in a medium area, the player can still move it up and down with L-R. This adds more functionality and makes it so you can get around large enemies, have it go off, and reach their weak-point.

Also got the game working with the analog stick which is much more natural. Starting to feel really great. Don’t know if I mentioned this but I also added a PAUSE feature which was like 6 lines of code. Don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. Just rambling now: also added better bullet speed stuff, shield hit-area, and a splash screen! Oh ya, forgot to say that. Right now it just says STUDIO TREX but I’ll change it to the titel eventually.

Good stuff happening!



Untitled?: Recent Update

Just a quick update for personal record:

I was able to get the dodge upgrade working but it looked pretty lame. There’s some work I could do to fix it, but I think in the end it’s going to be too cheap of a move to use anyways so I’m probably killing it. I might end up working on a rewards system in the game that gives the player “upgrade points” they can use mid-game on special upgrades like dodge. We’ll see.

I’ve been working on the time-bomb upgrade and I think it’s going to be a really cool thing that can be used in a lot of different ways. I want to add in some levels that incorporate the time-bomb mechanics. Here’s the lowdown on the time-bomb: when the player presses the bomb button (assuming they have some in inventory) a bomb shoots out with a descending number on it; 2….1….0. While the number is descending, using L and R, the player can direct it up and down on the screen avoiding enemies. This would be useful for getting behind enemy shields or hitting lock-opening devices that are blocked from the Painter’s bullets. The player will be able to direct the bomb (with L/R) while still having full control of the Painter: shooting, dodging, even using the Chroma Cannon if you wanted to.

When the time-bomb explodes, either by getting to zero or hitting an enemy (can be used as a regular weapon), it shoots out ~50 bullets in every direction in an area ~200-250 pixels wide.

I think it’s going to be pretty sweet and add a lot to the game. I like the idea of having some new mechanics in sh’mups. It’s so often the same thing. One thing I would like to add is a level where you have to shoot certain orbs in a specific sequence to get the proper tone-sequence. It would be something familiar like the ding-dong-ding-dong some doorbells. It’s the first four notes at the beginning of this clip. That could be cool.

Anyways, my goals for the game in the next few weeks are (in no particular order):

– get time-bomb working

– add hit and death animations for enemies

– get Painter movement to work with the XBOX controller joystick as well as the d-pad

– screen shake (?)

toodles –  Austin


Untitled?: Chroma Cannon

So the reason for the ‘Untitled?’ is because I guess there is a game on Steam I saw recently with that name. It may have Monochroma, but ya it’s still pretty darn close. So not sure what it will be called. I want to call it “Are You The Painter?” or “The Painter” but I think it would be kinda lame. Maybe “Van Gogh” or something artsy? idk.

Anyways, I got the Chroma Cannon working now. The Chroma Cannon is like a special attack. You will collect particles of color from the enemies you destroy and that will build up until you have enough for the Chroma Cannon. I want it to be something you can get frequently. It should add some strategy to the game and make you feel totally awesome for being able to use it. I think it turned out really well. The only drawback I see is that it makes the normal firing seem pretty lame and I need to fix that. Not sure what I’ll do yet but, that’s where I’m at. The CC looks great though. That feels good!


Monochrome: Updates w/ Trigonometry!

It has been about a month since I really worked on the game. It was essentially do to an issue I wasn’t quite sure how to overcome. Back in December I thought that one essential thing I’d like to add to the game is the ability of enemies to fire in the direction of the player. Usually in shmups you have enemies flying in a specific pattern and shooting straight of shooting out in a spray of bullets. Although I’ll have plenty of that, I’d like to add more difficulty by having enemies shoot AT you. The same concept is carried over into heat seeking objects. It was clear that knowing how to implement “directed forces” on my object was important.


Vectors are some quantity with a direction and a magnitude. They are used every millisecond in AAA games so they are a pretty big deal in games in general. Usually vectors in games take the form of a force in a specific direction. Sound familiar? Ya well, this is what I need. But working with vectors requires an understanding, albeit simple, of some trigonometric principles. The reason why trigonometry is the coolest thing ever is because it allows you to calculate distances and angles between points you can’t touch or measure, using points you already know. Trigonometry is used in GPS to give you super-detailed distances between places in your car or phone. It’s used for a lot of military applications. And it’s used in physics.

Anyways, I took trig last semester and became pretty familiar with how to get points, lengths of sides, and angles. But what I needed was a vector velocity in (change in x per second, change in y per second). An angle is in units of radians or degrees and is not in x,y because an angle describes a relationship between two points without any information as to how big, far, long distances are.

Taking the month to find the answer to this problem, I discovered the proper mathematical way to convert an angle to vector x and y. The actual x, y are very small, only big enough to describe the direction between to points (the player and an enemy). By multiplying the x,y values by an arbitrary magnitude (I think in the game mine is like 750), you increase the ‘force’ of the vector. Then I assign this force/direction (aka vector) to the velocity of the bullet I create and VOILA! The bullet shoots in the direction of the player.

In the game I also set up a delay so that enemy ships shoot every 100 frames or so. This is fully adjustable and will be cool to work with as I continue to build the game and the enemy patterns.

Oh and I made the basics of a shield. 🙂



Monochrome: Update

So this week has been pretty crazy at school so I haven’t really had time to work on the game. The things I need to work on next are the shield upgrade and directional shooting from the enemies. Speaking of upgrades, I would like to have all the upgrades working properly before I flesh out the rest of the game. Things are coming along nicely though. Here is a tentative plan for the rest of development:

– Upgrades (Shield, Time Bomb, Dodge are left, plus any we add later)

– Enemy behaviors (shooting, maybe some dodging capabilities)

– Level-Select Screen and Game State Structure

– Level Enemy Patterns

– Game Story fill-in

– Graphics

– Sounds

– Testing

The core game mechanics are pretty simple. I have enemy patterns set up based on time so all I have to do is write (on paper) what I want each level enemy-flow to be like and then implement that into the Pattern Engine. Should be fun!

Side-note: I was just turned on to Heart Machine’s game Hyper Light Drifter and all I can say is wow wow wee wow. Looks great. Here’s a vid:


Monochrome: Splash Screen / Weapon and Speed Upgrade

Man I’m getting so super stoked. Things are going good. I was able to figure out some basic state handling so we can start adding in a menu and level select screens, etc. I have our logo on the opening splash screen. The CrossFade class I made a few months ago worked like a charm. It’s totally awesome for reals.

So I’m having a little trouble with my logic for killing enemy sprites from their sprite group. I think the problem is that when I kill one with the Painter’s bullets, I kill them from the main sprite group they are a part of, but I don’t remove them from the list I’m carrying all the enemies in. Then when I press “M” to add more enemies to the screen, it blits all the guys I just killed because they are still in the list we are blitting from.

You’ll notice that when I press “O” I upgrade the Painter’s main weapon. Since the game is about bringing life back into this colorless world, I thought it would be cool if the upgrade made the bullet stream look like a DNA Double Helix. Its subtle, but if you look closely, that’s what’s going on 🙂

Then when I press “T”, I change the thruster particles coming out the back of the Painter to a bunch of multi-colored triangles and my speed increases. This will signify the speed upgrade. Drew and I were saying that it would be cool if each level the player gains a new upgrade that they can add on an “Upgrade Select” screen. But the upgrades will just be represented by symbols. When they pick one to add to the ship, the little ship on the bottom of the screen will change somehow.

Anyways, its coming along now!