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DarkBASIC Professional Discussion / DBPro Community Game Project V1.0

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David Gervais
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Posted: 19th Mar 2008 21:39
Ok, to make things clear from the start this is not like the community challenges or the 'old community projects' that have/had deadlines on the dev cycle. This thread/project is gonna go from start to finish and get a finished working game that can be used to Showcase the power of DBPro. The people who work on this game and contribute code (or graphics) will all get 'Fame Points' by way of being listed in the game credits.

Eyecandy..







Currently these are mock-ups rendered in Bryce using the actual game pieces. We will post screen shots as they become available at various stages of the game development.

First out of the box, we'll need a shell to load the various graphics and set up some variables. Also, I'd like to suggest we initially set up the game for 1024x768 screen rez. I'm sure everyone can handle that.

Here is the beginnings of a 2-Do list..

1) Game Engine (Placing and handling of the game board and pieces. as well as camera placement and movement)

2) Game Logic (Player movement and what happens when specials are hit etc)

3) Score Keeping (Round Score, Game Score, High Score, Hall of Fame)

4) Background Effects (The underlaying grid and cloud bitmaps are seamless tiles, it might be interesting if we could somehow animate the clouds [ie give them some directional movement]

5) Player and game piece Effects (Even though the player shape is symmetrical I see the pyramid as rotating to 'face' the direction it moves also, it would be nice if it kind of hovered [slight up/down sideways and forward/backward movement when it is stationary] Also, the board pieces fall away and fade as the player piece moves off of it. You'll be surprised at how often you will find yourself in a no win situation.

6) Sound (I think I'll be able to make some decent sounds but any help will be welcome)

7) Music (We would need someone to step up with some music loops. [midi perhaps?] music is beyond my abilities)

8) Credits (A standard rolling Credits should be ok, I'll whip up a background image for the credits. music here would be nice)

9) GUI (Most if not all the GUI elements will be handled as sprite overlays. I'm thinking Scraggles bitmap fonts might fit in nicely here.)

10) Intro (Basic Game title and options should work.)

If you think you are well suited for any of these areas speak up, if you got nifty ideas for Effects speak up, If you see something wrong Speak Up, basically communications is the key to make this work.


Game Idea/Design

As I posted in the 'Looking for a coding partner' thread there is a game pack attached to one of my posts that requires Dos Box to run. The game you need to reference is called "Swap 'n' Go" that should give you a good idea of the 'mechanics/logic' behind the game.

Basically the board is randomly generated and the start and end pieces are placed on opposite sides. the player then 'manipulates the game board' by exchanging one direction arrow (source) with a second (cannot be the same) destination arrow. note.. ALL the arrows on the board that = the source arrow are changed to the 'destination' arrow and visa-versa. so if the player picks a north facing arrow and a west facing arrow, all the west become north and all the north become west.

After 'Changing Pathways' the player hits 'Go' (or it can be automatic) the player piece moves forward 3 times following the arrows on the board. If the player encounters a 'bonus' or 'special' piece the movement is stopped. ( the appropriate action is performed, ie gains a life, gets an additional time/pause etc)

*Important note: once the 'special' action is done a random arrow direction will be placed under the player piece. (this is necessary to give the player piece a direction to move on next turn.)

As I mentioned above as the player moves the piece he moves 'off' drops to oblivion preventing him from moving back the way he came.

The object is to get from the start to the finish without dying. (If you die a new board is generated and you get to try again as long as you have 'lives' left.)

this is the general outline, if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to 'Speak Up!'.

Let's make this the best dang Community Project we can, then in the next Project we'll have a lofty Goal to surpass.

**Attached is the first batch of Artwork and Models.

Let the fun Begin, Cheers!

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BMacZero
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 01:23
Here, I'll start the ball rolling by getting some of the busywork out of your way:

+ Code Snippet

Oh, and before we go too far, I think we need to establish a system for sharing and combining progress. For example, do we just post the code like I just did whenever we make a change? Or do we upload the whole game directory, or what?

Also, for greatest compatability with other's code, we should lay out exactly how the folder where the game's files are will look. In the above code, I made a folder with all the files for the project, put the source code in that, and then made another folder called "Media" where I put all the files in David's download.

Dr Schnitzengruber
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 01:29 Edited at: 20th Mar 2008 02:16
Quote: "Oh, and before we go too far, I think we need to establish a system for sharing and combining progress. For example, do we just post the code like I just did whenever we make a change? Or do we upload the whole game directory, or what?"


I'll do all my changes in a seprate source file. I'll wrap your code into a project to make it even quicker to get started.

But I should say, I think it would be smarter to have a single loop with a integer saying the current state of the game such as menu or credits or playing.

see attached

P.S. I'm doing tasks 1 and 2.

P.P.S. I named it bryce because I couldn't think of anything, so I picked a cool word from Davids post.

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David Gervais
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 01:43
perhaps we should set the grid size for the game board to 11x11 (with the possibility to make it bigger or smaller for difficulty levels.)

another way to make it progressively get harder is to simply remove some of the base pieces.. making it so that the chance of falling off the board gets higher

Just a thought.

Cheers!

P.S. I'm glad I'm not coding the grid,.. I was looking at cloning objects and multi-dimensional arrays and I head started hurting.

LoL

BMacZero
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 01:44
Well, the menu is really an entirely different thing, it doesn't use anything that's even similar to the main game, so that would just be causing the program to have to check an extra if statement every loop. However, if there were multiple game modes, that would definitely be the way to go because some elements would be the same while other would change.

I think I'll take on #4 for now, maybe #5 later.

Thebeely
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 01:53
I'll be more than happy to make the highscores (including the online list), I just need the gfx for buttons etc
Dr Schnitzengruber
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 02:13 Edited at: 20th Mar 2008 02:36
Already got part of the logic engine to work. The board size can be set to anything and is adjustable in the game. Here is a basic screeny. The colors represent direction. Black represents a gap.



Code:

+ Code Snippet

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David Gervais
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 02:35 Edited at: 20th Mar 2008 02:40
Here is a quick dialog box that can be used for messages, or what not.



Cheers!

Edit: maybe someone can adapt this makesprite function to "makebutton" I believe a String can be added to the parameters and the button size can be determined from the size of the text. the text should be centered.

+ Code Snippet

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BMacZero
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 02:39
Nice!

I'm having trouble with "texture object"...I'm trying to texture a plain with the cloud image and it isn't changing. The plain just looks gray. I haven't done much work in 3D, any idea why this is occuring?

David Gervais
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 02:44 Edited at: 20th Mar 2008 02:57
bmaczero, just a thought, perhaps a cube could be textured with the cloud image.. it's a .png with alpha channel so it should show the transparent parts as see-through. And the cube could be scaled to look like a plain.. make the y axis thin with the other 2 axis square.

Cheers!

Edit.. I attached a squished cube with the .png as a Decal UV map.. none of my viewers allow .png for the texture file so you'll have to test it in DBPro

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BMacZero
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 02:54
Good thinking, David, but same result...just gray.

Anyway, right now I'm working on functions to make the player bob up and down and rotate, post them in a few minutes...

The bobbing one looks pretty neat!

BMacZero
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 03:48 Edited at: 20th Mar 2008 03:49
Mm, having a few difficulties with rotating the pyramid left...run the code below. If press the leftkey when the pyramid is at 0 degrees it rotates the wrong way...after that it is fine, but still...

+ Code Snippet

I'll work on it more tommorrow....

DB PROgrammer
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 03:55
I'll help with 9 and 7 when I can. David could you explain what the GUI needs have on it. I'm guessing a timer but I can't think of anything else.


I'm Pro grammer.
Dr Schnitzengruber
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 04:15
Can you explain the game play in more detail? I especially need to know more about swapping. Do two arrows swap or do all the arrows swap?

BatVink
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 09:54
Can I suggest you take a step backwards before you go sny further forwards. It's looking good, but you have restricted the number of people that can work on this.

With procedural languages, the easiest way to implement a team approach is to use a State Machine. Thus, you can compartmentalise processes and functions, and ship them out to different developers.

You also really need a design document. I can't emphasise this enough. This has the potential to be a fantastic game. It also has the potential to be a disaster. I like the idea that this should be a showcase game, but to be that it needs to show good design and coding standards too.

Can I recommend you take a look at the Space Invaders tutorial? It has all of these elements, and was written in a way that it can be easily transposed to any project. It used the State Machine approach to make the project expandible. Part 1 explains design and approach, Part 2 introduces the state machine, and part 3 shows that once you have the first 2 right, the game just explodes out of the box in a very short space of time.

http://www.thegamecreators.com/data/newsletter/newsletter_issue_45.html#9
http://www.thegamecreators.com/data/newsletter/newsletter_issue_46.html#8
http://www.thegamecreators.com/data/newsletter/newsletter_issue_47.html#8

You also need to appoint a technical leader to maintain the trunk of the code.
David Gervais
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 12:48
My approach to making games has always been, first visuals (I hate working with placeholder graphics they lack the inspiration), second mechanics (object placement, movement etc.), and then Game logic. (This includes input, actions, reactions, score update etc.) This forms the foundation of the game. At this point you have a working alpha. Next is adding menus, sound, and SpFX etc. After this pass you have a working beta, then it's a matter of polishing.

The problem I always encountered in the way I develop, is once you get to the alpha you unwittingly spend more time playing than coding.. this is actually a good thing, as it allows you to become more familiar with the mechanics and logic. It also inspires new ideas on how to 'add bells and whistles' to the game.

But that said, you are right this project will require some coordination on the coding side of things, hmm, Batvink would you care to be our fearless coordinator?

I'll post more info about the mechanics/logic in a post following this one..

Cheers!

David Gervais
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 12:58
Quote: "Can you explain the game play in more detail? I especially need to know more about swapping. Do two arrows swap or do all the arrows swap?"


In you color example above you would pick a source color(ie: red), then a destination color (ie: blue) and then scan every instance in the grid for it's color. *ALL* the red become blue and all the blue become red

rough sample....

Select case Gcolor
IF Gcolor = SourceColor THEN Gcolor = DestinationColor
IF Gcolor = DestinationColor THEN Gcolor = SourceColor
ELSE DoNothing=0 'this is to bypass any colors not covered by the source and destination.
ENDIF
END CASE

It's not actual code, just to help you visualize what I mean.

I hope this helps, Cheers!

David Gervais
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 14:04 Edited at: 20th Mar 2008 14:06
Changing Pathways

Brief Outline:

The goal of the game is to get your 'Player' from the Start to the finish without loosing a life. On an 11x11 grid consisting of different arrows (pointing/facing) in different directions. At the beginning of each 'Turn' the player is asked to 'Change the Pathways' (or change his destiny if you prefer), By manipulating the game board. His 'Piece' will move forward 3 spaces each turn following the direction of the arrows on the board. with each succeeding turn he will slowly make his way to the 'finish'. This may seem straight forward, but as he moves the 'ground' he just left will drop away leaving a hole in his wake. this prevents him from moving back the way he came. The board will also have 'Specials' that will entice him to wander away from the 'shortest rout', these 'Specials' will be Bonus Scores, Extra Lives, Insurance, a special 'Wait' bonus that will allow him to skip a 'movement' phase and make another 'Change to the pathways'. (this 'Wait' bonus is a true 'Life Saver') Often you will find that the path leads to death, the ability to make another 'Change' before moving makes all the difference.

Score is increased each time he moves and survives, each time he hits a bonus, and when he reaches the 'Finish'. this is the Round score, which is then added to the Game score. At the end of the game the final score is compared to the 'Score to beat' and 'Highest Score'. This will determine if he enters the Hall of Fame or not.

Game is over when he has no more Lives left. Otherwise a new round is generated and he continues.

As the rounds/Levels progress the game gets a bit harder. Every 3 rounds a set number of spaces are removed from the game board. Also, the game starts in an overhead view to simulate a 2D game, at level 3 the Point Of View changes to a Pseudo Isometric view. At level 6 the Cam moves in to 3D 'Follow' mode. (in 3D Follow mode the player can also look around to analyze the board)

This is a global outline of the gameplay. I hope it helps to clear any questions. I will of course answer any questions you have about specifics as you encounter various situations.

Cheers!

BatVink
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 14:22
Quote: "Batvink would you care to be our fearless coordinator?"


I'm afraid I can't afford the time at the moment. The best I can do is offer up the tutorial mentioned earlier, and hope that it brings some order to the proceedings. No offence intended, as it good to see motivation, but I think you were heading down the DG / bmaczero exclusive route.
BMacZero
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 15:45 Edited at: 21st Mar 2008 00:48
Quote: "the DG/bmaczero exclusive route"


It took me a while to figure out what you meant by that

Anyway, thanks Batvink. I'm going to read those articles now.

MSon
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 16:30 Edited at: 20th Mar 2008 16:35
nice graphics to add there, if you want i could do some work on a HUD if you want.

My past experiance of HUD's includes ripping them from games, (including Wipeout Fusing and World Of Warcraft) for use in DarkBasic

Currently working on Fake Vista Glass effects through Darkbasic DLL's, (See Attached image)

Anyways, just thought i'd offer my assistance if requires

Everyone Be Cool, You, Be Cool.

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mr Handy
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 17:16
To David Gervais

Hi, i would like to know one thing, looking through your screens at top - is the camera (on the second screenshot) in orto? If its true - how you did that?

thanks

A door is a door is a door. Even a swinging one. =0
BatVink
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Posted: 20th Mar 2008 18:10
Like I say bmaczero, I don't mean any offence at all. In a team, you need a method of coding that allows you to plug'n'play, for want of a better term.

When I code anything that is not critical to the game itself (effects, sounds, animation etc), I code an empty function. This empty function is called from the main body, sometimes weeks before I code it. This is so that the program fits the design, even if the main guts aren't there yet. Anybody could populate that function so long as the input parameters and return value remain constant, without any concerns from the lead developer.
BMacZero
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Posted: 21st Mar 2008 00:50 Edited at: 21st Mar 2008 00:54
Yes, that makes sense. I like that idea. I'm working on converting what we have right now.

Thanks

Oh, and I definitely wouldn't consider myself the main programmer here. I may be the most active, but it's Dr Schnitzengrubber who is doing the actual engine and all the important stuff. Just for the record

BillR
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Posted: 21st Mar 2008 01:15 Edited at: 21st Mar 2008 01:16
@BatVink - great idea to suggest using a state machine design, more people can be involved, with fewer code integration problems.

We can insert special effects, program logic, whatever, without being dependent or conflicting as much with the main program code.
Dr Schnitzengruber
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Posted: 21st Mar 2008 02:59
Just to tell every body, I came up with the state machine thing in my first post.

Quote: "But I should say, I think it would be smarter to have a single loop with a integer saying the current state of the game such as menu or credits or playing. "


I win.

Back to the point, I'm doing my part separate from the project, Since it is almost the last thing to add. I am making a separate testing environment for it. If anybody would like to help me, I could post the current source( It has changed from the first source I posted yet). But I think that if anybody would like to join the project, they should do the more immediate thing( such as menu, object placement, movement... that stuff).

BMacZero
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Posted: 21st Mar 2008 03:27
That's not the same

A state machine places every action in a function, so new stuff can be added easily without interfering with other people's stuff.

Dr Schnitzengruber
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Posted: 21st Mar 2008 03:39
To prove I actually did something, I made a logic demo minus the items and finish. Click on one arrow to select it, then another to swap with it. Finally press space to move three times. *Uploads demo*

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BMacZero
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Posted: 21st Mar 2008 03:44
Alrighty, here is the main code file, guys, utilizing the "state machine".

When you add something, just zip the DBPRO and DBA files up and repost, or post in code tags.

Now let's get coding!

Don't have time to look at your demo, Dr. Schnitz, I'll look in a bit...

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David Gervais
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Posted: 21st Mar 2008 12:28 Edited at: 21st Mar 2008 13:03
First MSon, I like the idea of using a glass effect. Can you put some different size frames together and post them here? Also, are those glass windows 'coded' or like transparent .pngs?

Second, my time online is very limited this weekend,.. I'm at my sister's helping her paint, and it's also easter weekend.

Third BatVink, your tutorials will help I'm sure, and apparently we have adapted the State Machine thing (still not sure what it is, but hey I'm not the one doing the programming lol) Thanks for the suggestion.

..gonna go check the Dr's demo now...

Cheers!

David Gervais
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Posted: 21st Mar 2008 13:10
mrHandy, to get that angle I rotated the cam 45 degrees (to look at the board from a corner) then raised and pulled back the cam. I also had to angle the cam downward 33 degrees. The actual down angle to get a perfect Isometric is dependent on how high off the floor the cam is and how far back from the board. (it can vary from 30-36 degrees) how far back you need to go is based on getting the whole playfield in view.

I hope this helps. Also those mock ups were made in Bryce, moving the cam around is a cinch using the cam controls in Bryce.

Cheers!

David Gervais
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Posted: 21st Mar 2008 13:14
Ok, I made a 'Swap Selector HUD..



attached is a zip with the HUD and the 4 needed arrows for the selections.

I'm not sure what would be the best way to control the selection,.. mouse over and use scroll wheel or, mouseover and right/left click to cycle through the arrow directions..

Note.. whatever arrow is selected as the 'SOURCE' should not be available for 'TARGET' selection.

If you have any questions or ideas Speak Up!, Cheers!

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David Gervais
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Posted: 22nd Mar 2008 17:15 Edited at: 1st Apr 2008 13:40
I'm wondering how hard it would be to make a 'Grayscale' window for the dialog overlays. see this sample mock up..



the idea being the any anims etc running would still be seen through the window, but the area the window overlays would be turned to grayscale. Just a thought, in case anyone wants to try that kind of effect.

Cheers!

Xlaydos
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Posted: 22nd Mar 2008 20:08
I gave it a shot...

+ Code Snippet

It's quite CPU intensive, maybe a semi transparent plain or sprite with a diffuse value would work better?

Hope it helps
Mistrel
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Posted: 22nd Mar 2008 20:39
Xlaydos, try reading and writing to the backbuffer directly before it's rendered to the screen with GET BACKBUFFER PTR() or GET PIXELS POINTER().

http://3dfolio.com
Math89
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Posted: 22nd Mar 2008 20:57
It could be done with a shader turning everything in grey. You have to make a first render with colours, and a second one in greyscale.

If there is only one window, you can use Set Camera View to set the bounds of the view. Else, you can paste the greyscale image onto sprites and change their uv coordinates according to the position of the windows.
Xlaydos
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Posted: 22nd Mar 2008 20:57
I've never used those commands... i'll give it a shot though thanks
mr Handy
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Posted: 26th Mar 2008 13:05
Thanks!

A door is a door is a door. Even a swinging one. =0
David Gervais
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Posted: 1st Apr 2008 13:42
Woot, this project got mentioned in the Newsletter. Come on people, let's make this a real Showcase Stopper!.

Does anyone have code updates? Easter weekend seems to have had the effect of us all hitting a big speed bump,.. now we all need our axle's fixed.

Cheers!

Xlaydos
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Posted: 1st Apr 2008 14:49
I had a look around at the backbuffer commands and into shaders, but couldn't get to grips with any of it, sorry. I'll see if i can do anything else if i get the time
BMacZero
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Posted: 1st Apr 2008 17:23
Yeah, we kinda derailed there (I like your metaphor better David ). Dr. Schnitz, maybe you can post the code for your engine so we can start utilizing it with the actual tiles.

David Gervais
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Posted: 1st Apr 2008 17:27
Dr Schnitzengruber was working on the engine and logic,.. the only code I have is what you see posted above in this thread by him.

Cheers!

BatVink
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Posted: 1st Apr 2008 17:29
Dr Schnitzengruber
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Posted: 2nd Apr 2008 00:26
Uhh, For a second I thought this thread died. Then as soon as I saw the thing in the newsletter I hurried up to get over here. The code is still from the last demo I posted. I haven't yet applied items as I think they are a thing when we progress more. But as for code. Here is my demo:

Main.dba (Testing part)

+ Code Snippet

Logic.dba (Important part)

+ Code Snippet

David Gervais
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Posted: 2nd Apr 2008 01:17
nice start dr schnitzengruber. I can see the method you use for the logic is well thought out. There will need to be some tweaks, such as the start and end pieces are randomly placed on opposite sides of the game board. The start piece always faces in. The end piece like the specials forces the player piece to stop when it's moved onto.

I'm looking forward to see how this 'test' code works with the 3d models in place.

If you have any questions, be sure to ask. my time is currently limited but I do peek in several times a day. I can at least answer any questions that know the answer to.

Cheers!

Dabbler
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Posted: 2nd Apr 2008 05:49
I am sorry, but I am not a team player.

All images in this code are from this thread.

I did not intend to participate in this project, I was just playing for my own.

This code may not easily plug-in to your project, but I hope that you may use some of it.

The image "dialog01.png" is David Gervais' message box, place it in your project Media folder.

I hope you find something usefull here:

+ Code Snippet


Whatever...
BMacZero
11
Years of Service
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Joined: 30th Dec 2005
Location: E:/ N_America/ USA/ CA/ South
Posted: 2nd Apr 2008 06:53
Wow!

That's awesome, Dabbler!

I can't think of anything else to say .

David Gervais
Moderator
12
Years of Service
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Joined: 28th Sep 2005
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posted: 2nd Apr 2008 13:11
I second that Wow! and raise it by an omg!. that is a most excellent start Dabbler. It definitely shows how the game logic will work, and how planning ahead is important. I managed to make it safely across a few times in a row, but not 3.. does the POV change after 3 successful traverses?

Anyways, excellent work.

Cheers!

P.S. Everyone wanting to join this project run dabbler's code. it's inspirational and informative.

Dabbler
10
Years of Service
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Joined: 3rd Mar 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posted: 2nd Apr 2008 16:06
Sorry Dave, the camera stays in one place.

I would like to point out that this falls far short of your original vision.


Whatever...
David Gervais
Moderator
12
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 28th Sep 2005
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posted: 2nd Apr 2008 16:10
nah, it doesn't fall short,.. it glorifies stage 1 of the game

Cheers!

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