I have finally gotten back into my groove with Demon’s Hex. This is after a long while where I decided to take a quick breather and try out some other stuff. Unfortunately, I did not manage to get a game up and running on the Ouya like I had hoped. Many of the snags I hit there had a lot to do with my knowledge of HaxeFlixel. Not that it was anything bad about the technology, it is just that I have not quite figured it out enough to get where I need to be.
So I have taken up Demon’s Hex again and boy did I run into a wall. HaxeFlixel released its version 3 during this brief respite. And with that update came a whole lot of changes to some of the core functionality of Demon’s Hex. There were three big changes that tripped up Demon’s Hex.
The first was with the way to embed a custom font. Demon’s Hex uses a font called Solemnity which gives it that nice look. But with the new update, the ability to add a custom font was removed on accident. Thankfully the fine folks working on HaxeFlixel were able to quickly add that functionality back, although in a very different fashion. I still need to make some tweaks to the display of text as now everything is offset from where it needs to be.
The second problem was with animation. Previously, I was using a function called goToAndStop to run an animation to a specific frame and end the animation. However, the new version of HaxeFlixel uses a very different way of animating sprites and goToAndStop was decommissioned. I had to figure out a custom solution that duplicated the behavior. This is working as needed now.
The final problem was with the glow effect around the tokens when placed on the board. This one was the most difficult to figure out after the change. This was a highly different process from before. It required some extensive rewriting and experimentation to get functioning correctly. I spent many hours working on it. I just finished this up this morning and I am happy with the result.
Overall, I like the changes that were made to HaxeFlixel. The new organization of the class files should make developing games with the technology far easier in the future. I had just not been keeping up with the development of it like I should have been. Had I actually been watching these updates, I probably would have been able to anticipate and account for these changes earlier.
I am now moving one to working on the actual story mode of the game. I think for now the battle portion works as a very close approximation of the final game. So it is time to give other parts of the game the love they deserve.
/ Tags: Demon's Hex
Continuing with my experiments in Flixel and the Flixel Power Tools, I have put together Dragon Fire. It is simple shooter game. You play as a dragon protecting your nest from invading monsters. Don’t read too much into it. The game was just to help me play with a few more features of the Flixel Power Tools.
I am really enjoying this time exploring these great Actionscript libraries. The people who developed them are really talented and I hope to be able to provide similar tools for aspiring programmers in the future.
One thing I would like to mention about this game is the importance of balance. During development I spent a fair amount of time playing around with the number of fireballs, the time between firing, the number of enemies, and the speed of the enemies. Each of those played a key part in the overall balance of the game. Set one too lenient and the over all game was way too easy or set one to restrictive and the game was too hard.
For example, as I was working on the game, I had only a single enemy coming at any given time. No matter how few fireballs I allowed and how long between firing them, the game was way to easy. I couldn’t make a fun and challenging game with just one enemy at a time. So I added two and the whole game changed. Now it actually mattered how many fireballs I allowed. Now the rate of fire mattered.
I can only imagine the work that a much larger and more in depth game would require to properly balance it. As I look around at the vast number of shooters with their varying types of enemies, enemy behaviors, player power ups, life meters etc, I stand in awe at the time it takes to properly balance such a game. Even them, you could completely throw off the game by making one too powerful attack or one too powerful enemy.
That is just the beginning. Think of the tremendous balancing work that goes into an RPG like Final Fantasy or Torchlight. Or a card game like Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon. These games have far more intersecting elements that require a fine tooth comb when balancing. For example, Magic once had a card called the Black Lotus that made the game super easy for players of Black decks. The card had zero cost to play and could be tapped for three mana. This allowed the player of such a card to completely dominate the game early if he got it in play in the first hand or two. That was just one card out of thousands.
Anyway. I hope you enjoy this small game and the discussion i have found in making it.
/ Tags: Dragon Fire
First of all, I am sorry for the lack of updates. I have been busy with a variety of things that have held me up. I wanted to be way farther along with Demon’s Hex than I am right now. That is really frustrating to me and I know to those of you who want to see the game made. Part of my frustration is with the limited knowledge of the Flixel engine i am coming into this with.
For a little background, I graduated with a degree in game design. I have not really been putting that into use the way I should have been. Since graduating, I have been working in web development as an employee of government contractors. Not really the best use of my talents. So I have been working in my spare time whenever I could. But it never seems to be enough.
So in order to help me learn Flixel better and do a better job programming Demon’s Hex and get it to be th best game I can get it to be. The game you deserve. So I am working on a number of smaller games to help me familiarize myself with Flixel and the Flixel Power Tools created by PhotonStorm.
You can play the game, Dragon Punch. Nothing special. A simple Duck Hunt style game starring dragons.
So this is what I am working on right now. After a few of these types of games, I will most likely feel much better about my game programming skills that I will make some heavy progress on Demon’s Hex.
/ Tags: Dragon Punch
While working on our first game, I decided I wanted to share some of the wealth of knowledge I have gained on AS3 programming. So I put together an simple Memory Match game and wrote a tutorial to go along with it.
The game plays like any other memory match game but uses a series of hexagon shaped cards rather than rectangle. It is also limited to 10 cards so the difficulty level is rather low. I was able to beat it in 6 turns at one point simply because I got lucky.
The tutorial is pretty thorough for the game and covers everything from creating a title screen, writing the game mechanics and creating a card class. I hope it is not a jumbled mess and you can follow it and learn from it. It is my first coding tutorial.
I mainly wrote the game for my own benefit and decided that there was some information in this game I had trouble finding else where.