Posts tagged “Cart Frenzy”

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Feature cuts

Back to work after a much-needed break, I have gained a better perspective on the current state of the game. I concluded that, if I am to finish this game on time, I’ll have to reduce it in scope significantly. The following are the changes that I made to the... Continue reading

Bits and pieces

Game development can be a pain sometimes. Remember my writings on threading last week? This week has been more of the same kind of stuff: engine improvements, code cleanups, bugfixes, and only some small new features that are actually visible. Did I say visible? I meant “audible”. The biggest change... Continue reading


More work on performance this week. Things were getting a bit too slow for my tastes, meaning that they would likely be unplayable on medium-end phones. This work involved quite a bit of refactoring (which is jargon for “creating new problems to replace your old ones”), so I now have... Continue reading

In-game graphics

As announced, I made a large sprint this week to bring the artwork closer to completion. I think it’s about halfway done now, but I’m getting more and more experience with this, so the second half should go a lot faster. Here are some screenshots of the game as it... Continue reading

Title screen

Like I announced, lots of work on graphics. In-game graphics are beginning to come together, but are only halfway done, so the overall result still doesn’t look too good. The title screen is mostly finished, though. I had to trade in a bit of “obviously being a shopping cart” to... Continue reading

Let chaos reign!

I’ve been looking at my crappy placeholder graphics for too long. Every time I launch the game, a tiny voice at the back of my mind tells me how shitty it still looks. Every time I show it to someone else, they comment how they initially only saw the red... Continue reading


I more or less finished one of the first powerups that you’ll encounter in the game: the toaster. When you pick it up, it appears in the item box at the top right. You can then tap a point on the screen, and your cart will fire two rapidly spinning... Continue reading

Game architecture

Although games vary wildly in appearance and mechanics, the structure of the underlying classes and objects is often similar. There is a “world” object, which contains everything else; there are multiple “entities” representing stuff in the world, there’s a “renderer” which tells each object to draw itself, etcetera. My game... Continue reading

Performance measurements

After a week partly filled with lots of food and other Christmas celebrations, I’m back on track. I’ve done some polishing to make the game more game-like. There’s now a neat countdown at the start of the game. You can start racing before the countdown ends, but there’s a little... Continue reading

Activity flow

In Android, generally speaking, each different screen presented to the user is called an ‘activity’. Until recently, the only activity in the game has been the game itself. I’d already added a few menu screens this week, like you saw before, and have now been working on putting it all... Continue reading

Menu layout

Like last week’s, this post is a day behind schedule as well. Since I’m working on my part-time side job on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it was a silly schedule anyway – changing to Thursdays to accommodate. Today, I designed and implemented the look of the game’s menus. At first, I... Continue reading

Game structure

Sorry, no screenshots or videos this time. Instead, I’ve worked on the overarching structure of the game, the bits that should make you keep coming back. I have coded some menu screens too, but they don’t yet show the correct data and most of them don’t even fully work yet.... Continue reading

Death Rally: an analysis

Recently, I’ve become mildly addicted to the old-school top-down combat racing game Death Rally. Now, I’m not really prone to addiction, nor am I particularly good at racing games, so I found this quite interesting. What is it that makes Death Rally so compelling? What got me hooked, and kept... Continue reading

The manager

The manager is the third and final part of the game’s AI. He is responsible for the high-level strategic decisions. The core of the manager is very simple. He searches the surroundings for potential objectives, divides the benefit of each objective by the cost, then instructs the Navigator to head... Continue reading

The navigator

The Navigator is the part of the AI that is responsible for pathfinding. Actually, his algorithm is fairly straightforward. Given an objective by the Manager, the Navigator determines the shortest path through a series of waypoints that are defined in the level file, then hands each waypoint in turn to... Continue reading

Moving pictures

It’s difficult to do a screen-cast of an Android game. You have to root the device to even take a screenshot, and with the game taking up most of the CPU, a live video is out of the question. The emulator that ships with the SDK is too slow to... Continue reading


After deciding in which direction to take the game, the last few days have been a matter of implementing this. Due to various circumstances I haven’t been able to get as much done as I would’ve liked to, which is why this post is relatively short and fragmented. I started... Continue reading

Back to roots

Due to other activities, I haven’t gotten round to much coding in the last few days. However, a lot of thinking happened that is equally, if not more important. In spite of my previous discussion about the game’s objectives, I’ve decided to take the ‘shopping’ path after all. Since none... Continue reading

Intelligent design evolution

After seeing the last few posts, someone asked me why I’d gone from the original item-gathering concept to a more customary around-the-track racing game with more customary controls. This is a very good question, so in this post I’ll address some of the design decisions I made along the way.... Continue reading

Driver code

There are a handful of racing games that let you race purely against your own best time, but the majority of them let you race against others. It adds an element of competition that you don’t get when racing alone. The solitary racer is someone who spends hours trying to... Continue reading

More controls

Last time, I wrote: My brother probably expected the cart to make a turn if it was pushed on one side. Instead, it would spin around its axis, but keep moving in more or less the same direction! […] I will need to consider carefully whether this is going to... Continue reading


Although I’d previously determined that the controls of the cart worked nicely on a touch screen, they were nowhere near perfect yet. This is one of these aspects that can make or break a game, so it’s important to address it as early as possible. I developed two classes of... Continue reading

Texture compiler

After the model compiler comes the texture compiler. Decompressing a PNG file on Android is possible, but the loading code is simpler if the texture is already available in a format that we can feed directly to OpenGL. So I devised the GLT (GL Texture) format, and wrote a program... Continue reading

Model compiler

Having a level editor is a good start, but it’s not all. We need some kind of workflow to create models and textures and eventually get these to show up in the game. I started with the models. Since I know my way around Blender and it’s free, I decided... Continue reading

Level editor

Does a carpenter create his own hammers? Does a painter make his own brushes? Usually not, but a game developer often needs to build his own tools to get a particular job done. One of the most important tools to have is a level editor – you really don’t want... Continue reading

A little experiment

My mind is always full of ideas that I’ll never have time for. But occasionally, one of them does get executed. This is one of those times. The basic premise is: racing with shopping carts. It’s the controls that make it different. Like a real shopping cart, you push/pull with... Continue reading