Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It would probably make a good screensaver

Before taking Intro to Game Programming in the fall of 2012, I decided to get a feel for using Microsoft's XNA Framework, which we would be using in the class. This would also give me a chance to get more practice with C#, to build on my recent introduction to it in the Graphical Application Development class I had just taken. What I came up with is pretty basic, and doesn't look like much, but I find it sort of mesmerizing to watch and play around with.



I don't think I knew what direction I was going to go with it, so I called it TerrainGame because I started out by working on creating a randomized terrain with hills and valleys. As you can see from the image above, I ended up with a sort of contour line representation of the terrain, with each interval between lines going from darker to lighter for lower to higher elevation.

After being able to create random terrains, I came up with the idea of adding critters that base their movements on the terrain. In the code, red critters are called Divers, and blue critters are called Climbers. Divers always seek the lowest point, except when they head higher to mate with Climbers, and vice versa. This pretty much covers what the "game" does (see the GitHub page for full functionality), but in order to make it  a bit more game-like, I created a Rider, which is a white square that rides on a critter, and can be moved to an adjacent critter with the arrow keys.

You can check out the full code over on GitHub, if you like, but I'll also include a link to an executable (doesn't work), which I'd like to hear about whether it works for anyone or not.

Update 04/06/2014: Edited to remove link to EXE file.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Moving around the '@' symbol

Having done this back in 2011, I don't recall what got me started on it, but 3D Position (download executable or check out the C++ source code) allows a player to navigate an '@' symbol around an 18x18x18 cave using the 'h', 'j', 'k', and 'l' keys. (I think I was getting used to using Vim at the time, which would explain my choice of navigation keys.) What I find interesting and might think about exploring again sometime, is the limited perception of the world, where the player has to rely on only knowing what is located in a straight line on each axis from the character.

I don't know if the executable will work for everyone, so if you decide to check it out, let me know if it does or doesn't.

The controls are as follows:

  • h - One block lower on the x axis
  • l - One block higher on the x axis
  • j - One block lower on the y axis
  • k - One block higher on the y axis
  • J - One block lower on the z axis
  • K - One block higher on the z axis
  • q - Quit

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Something Created

When I posted about needing to create more, my brother commented that I could record some music for him to put in his metal working videos. It took me a while, but I ended up putting something together back in 2010, and I'm finally posting about it now.

With the help of two guitars, my POD, and Audacity, this is what I came up with:


And this is the video that Zech put it in. It's the beginning of a metal dragon he's making that looks like it will be even cooler than the other dragons he's made.

Monday, March 03, 2014

There will be more

I recently got reconnected with Isaac Vanier after being out of contact with him for a few years, and his posts about the game he's working on have inspired me to get back on the blogging bandwagon (at least for a little bit). I should be posting about a few game projects I dabbled with in 2012, and I'll do a follow up about what resulted from my post about needing to create more.

As for what I've been up to since my last post in 2010, I got myself a BS and MS in CS, and that process seems to have occupied most of my time.