Posts tagged “game design”

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Ballistics distance

Just a short post to share something I’ve been working on that mightily pleases the Kerbal Space Program player in me. In testing Orbital Express, it became clear that having three controls (compass direction, inclination, and launch speed) is too much for beginning players. So I decided to simplify the... Continue reading

VR will remain a niche

Virtual reality seems to be all the rage in gaming these days. Everyone seems to be buying into it. Big corporations like Facebook (Oculus Rift), Sony (PlayStation VR) and Microsoft (HoloLens) are pouring money into VR as if it’ll be the biggest thing since sliced bread. But right now, few... Continue reading

Scoring in Orbital Express

After Ludum Dare, it’s back to working on the game I blogged about last week. Name clashes notwithstanding, I’ve decided to call it Orbital Express after all. As I mentioned, there is work to be done on progression, balancing and scoring. Current state Currently, the core game loop works as... Continue reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some facts about beavers

Beavers live on wood, bark and aquatic plants. I would have guessed that they ate fish, but they don’t. Beavers can hold their breath for up to 15 minutes. Beavers build dams to raise the water level, creating a still pond to provide them with shelter. They build a lodge... Continue reading

Puzzle concepts

I’ve been doing more experimenting with the engine, trying to come up with a workable puzzle concept. Below are some videos and reasonings. First off, the game objective. Assuming that it’ll have something to do with the fluid, one possibility is that the player has to make the fluid flow... Continue reading

The aspect ratio problem

In the days of MS-DOS, things were simple. If you developed a game, you usually wrote it for one specific VGA or SVGA resolution, such as 320x200 or 640x480. If someone’s video card did not support this resolution: tough luck. Nowadays, there is such a variety of screen resolutions that... Continue reading

New approach

From my previous posts, it must now be clear that free-surface fluid dynamics is hard. This is mainly caused by the free surface. Without that, it is possible to write a fluid-in-a-box in a little over 100 lines of C code, as Jos Stam did in his paper Real-Time Fluid... Continue reading