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Main forum => Beta Tests => Topic started by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-14

Title: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-14
Just thought I'd let you know I am using GLBasic to prototype my test game (the project I will use as a comparison of dev speed between Unity, Monkey X and HaxeFlixel). It will be a good test of the development speed (at least for me) when using GLBasic too. Although, it will be the longer version of course as this is the one that is sorting out all of the details. I will be sure to note that on my blog at the end.

The current "code name" for the game is Mars Explorer and may change. Just needed something to call it.

Anyway, if you want to check it out I will be updating the page with daily blurbs and videos (perhaps screenshots too).

http://garsgames.com/blog/game-development/testing-2d-game-development-systems/prototyping-mars-explorer-in-glbasic/

Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: erico on 2015-Aug-14
Looking good Gar! The 3 ground tracking wheels + stabilized rover body seems to be working perfectly.
I have a patrol game under the hood too, but it is an extreme low resolution one (84x48), 2 colors and no 3 wheels but a track :D

Keep it up!
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: bigsofty on 2015-Aug-14
Good luck, it's looking good already!  :good:
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: MrPlow on 2015-Aug-14
Nice, I like it...Nice comments on GLB too :)
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: Ian Price on 2015-Aug-14
Looking good so far :)
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-15
Hey thanks for the positive comments. I appreciate it! I am enjoying the GLBasic development so far. It takes some getting used to like everything else of course. Once you get used to it everything kind of just makes sense and seems quite logical.

Tonight's dev log is now on the page:
http://garsgames.com/blog/game-development/testing-2d-game-development-systems/prototyping-mars-explorer-in-glbasic/

There should be one there each night until the project is finished.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-15
I have a patrol game under the hood too, but it is an extreme low resolution one (84x48), 2 colors and no 3 wheels but a track :D

Wow! Now that is retro in a major way. I am going low res and low color but not nearly as extreme as you are! lol

I have 8 colors on my sprites and 8 colors on the background at this point. I did the background in a lower resolution than the sprites. Basically at full screen, the background scenery is at 320 x 240 and the sprites are at 640 x 480. I will probably end up using about 20 to 24 colors total in the end.

84 x 48 in monochrome is extreme. Not sure I have ever played anything with that kind of resolution and palette. I remember playing many games on the Intellivision long ago and even that had a 159 x 96 resolution with 16 colors. ;)
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: MrPlow on 2015-Aug-15
84 x 48

Thats like a game watch res!
:)
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: erico on 2015-Aug-15
Wow! Now that is retro in a major way. I am going low res and low color but not nearly as extreme as you are! lol
That is mainly because of the hardware, the game is designed for the Gamebuino.  http://gamebuino.com/

I have 8 colors on my sprites and 8 colors on the background at this point. I did the background in a lower resolution than the sprites. Basically at full screen, the background scenery is at 320 x 240 and the sprites are at 640 x 480. I will probably end up using about 20 to 24 colors total in the end.
I noticed the mixed resolution a bit, you would keep to one resolution if you don´t want raged pixel purists. :D
If you want to keep to a fixed color count, palette, you should check Dawnbringer´s award winner palettes:
http://www.glbasic.com/forum/index.php?topic=9306.0

and his latest fun16: (can´t find the proper analyzes page now...)
http://pixeljoint.com/pixelart/95350.htm

84 x 48 in monochrome is extreme. Not sure I have ever played anything with that kind of resolution and palette. I remember playing many games on the Intellivision long ago and even that had a 159 x 96 resolution with 16 colors. ;)
Well, Myndale created an emulator for the Gamebuino that can play all its current games, works really great.
I reckon it is really low res and very hard to create with such restrictions but sometimes, having upper res and eternal color count, usually makes me waste just way too much time with gfxs, so I lately resorted to very restricted style so I can concentrate on the code.

But back on the topic, how is your Moon Patrol going? Did you add more?
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-15
I noticed the mixed resolution a bit, you would keep to one resolution if you don´t want raged pixel purists. :D
If you want to keep to a fixed color count, palette, you should check Dawnbringer´s award winner palettes:
http://www.glbasic.com/forum/index.php?topic=9306.0

and his latest fun16: (can´t find the proper analyzes page now...)
http://pixeljoint.com/pixelart/95350.htm

Hey Erico! Yeah the graphics differences are just because graphics are always very low on my list of priorities. I've never understood people spending days, weeks even months just working on making top notch graphics before actually doing any actual development work at all. I mean sure graphics are a big part of game development but I think too many people think graphics are the game or are the most important part of the game. I don't agree with that at least not from an absolute quality perspective. Graphics are very important because they are one of the primary feedback methods. And that feedback can be as effective with a flashing 2D square as it is with a highly detailed 3d model.

I am familiar with DawnBringer's DB16 palette. Didn't hear about this new Fun16 palette though. Thanks. I actually have several palettes I created myself ranging from around 8 colors up to 64 colors. My current favorite is a 52-color palette. I analyzed loads of arcade game screenshots and created a 52-color palette that all of the arcade game screenshots could map too well.

My 52-color palette is on my 2D Graphics page (http://garsgames.com/blog/game-development/2d-graphics/) along with a very simple scene using the palette (not the entire palette of course).

Actually, I will put the scene here. I made a couple pixel art trees, rocks and a wizard then arranged those into this:
(http://www.garsgames.com/STUFF/MyDrawings/PixelArt/TreesRocksWizard.png)

Anyway, the graphics in Mars Explorer are purely just placeholder at this point. I really should have done the sprites in the same low res though but honestly graphics were such a low priority to me at that point I didn't even think about it.

Yeah, there is a new dev log and video on the page (http://garsgames.com/blog/prototyping-mars-explorer-in-glbasic/) showing where the game is at now.

I am about to start an early dev session and the first thing I will do is knock out some low-res sprites so everything shares the same resolution. Truthfully, I often just use solid colored rectangles when I am prototyping. To me game play is King. If it is fun to play with solid color rectangles then it will be fun to play with nice graphics. If it is not fun to play with solid color rectangles then it will not be fun to play with awesome graphics either. Just my view on it.

That is another thing I don't care for with Unity. It is a very powerful dev kit but I think most of the developers are way too focused on shiny graphics beyond all else.

Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-15
Just a quick note that I got busy and wasn't able to do a proper dev session. And now I am about to get out of the house for the next several hours. We never have enough time to work on this stuff do we? lol ;)

Anyway, I did manage to spend 30 minutes on the graphics. Wasn't a priority for the reasons I mentioned earlier combined with the whole purpose of this being just an experiment to test the development speed of different game development platforms. I was never thinking of actually releasing this game.

Still, I thought there was no harm in at making the graphics cohesive. Everything is low res now and I recolored all images to use my custom 52-color palette.

New entry with a new video on my page (http://garsgames.com/blog/game-development/testing-2d-game-development-systems/prototyping-mars-explorer-in-glbasic/).
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: MrPlow on 2015-Aug-18
Good stuff!

I like how the Moon Buggy game is shaping up!! Great work so far!

:)
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: bigsofty on 2015-Aug-18
Yup, looks great and it's a pretty smooth too.  :good:
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: erico on 2015-Aug-18
...
To me game play is King. If it is fun to play with solid color rectangles then it will be fun to play with nice graphics. If it is not fun to play with solid color rectangles then it will not be fun to play with awesome graphics either. Just my view on it.
...
I certainly agree. I try to do the same, but sometimes is not quite possible for me. I usually start coding from some layout hand draw sketches.
The proportion objects take on screen, huds, etc are amongst the primary mockups I usually do. I try to use those mockups first.
But then, one thing that keeps my enthusiasm/motivation on the game, is the fine tunning of this mockup.
Gfx changes a lot during game dev, but I still find it easier to code the game with all the gfx defined, even if it is at least on its final size.
On the other hand...this is the exact same reason some of my games take ages to finish. :(

That is another thing I don't care for with Unity. It is a very powerful dev kit but I think most of the developers are way too focused on shiny graphics beyond all else.
When I tried Unity, I was happy that it could import my whole lightwave3d scene and object with a single click and in seconds I could be going about my scene as in an FPS. Digging deeper, I found that Unity has a very own way of doing stuff, and that using the program I would be stuck with its ways and such would not apply to other code programs but to itself. The drag and drop things apart, anything deeper requires a form of script, and if I´m coding something, then I better code it all. Also, the price is simply prohibitive to me.

Yep, the drag/drop thing in Unity makes it really easy to import art from other packages, which makes life a lot easier for artists to pull out something pretty, but then, it is just the usual Unity standard ´game´ with pretty gfx and poor gameplay, which we get to see a lot all around. Some people in press even state that those games are getting like a ´Flash´ style stamp, like "oh, just another Unity style game".

So market gets saturated with those, but that dosen´t mean Unity is not a competent tool, I own Running with Rifles from the very beginning and it is a marvelous Cannon Fodder knock off, really fun stuff with a very stylish gfx. :good:
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: erico on 2015-Aug-18
...
My 52-color palette is on my 2D Graphics page (http://garsgames.com/blog/2d-graphics/) along with a very simple scene using the palette (not the entire palette of course).
...

That is great! You said 52 colors? I analyzed the image with Dawnbringer´s script and it states 55. Here the results.
edit: not much on the purple/pink side of things, which arcade games did you base it on? Cheers!

edit2: Checked your latest dev videos, looking great, I particularly enjoyed the front fire aligned to the vertical position of the rover when on ground, that is a nice touch from the original!
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-19
You said 52 colors? I analyzed the image with Dawnbringer´s script and it states 55. Here the results.
edit: not much on the purple/pink side of things, which arcade games did you base it on? Cheers!

Great catch! Admittedly by the time I was done I think my brain was fairly burnt out and I ended up with a few pixels of a slightly off shade in there I'd guess.

Since I only click in the center of the squares I work with 52 colors. Or thought I was at least. In reality it turned out there were only 51 colors. lol

Anyway, I just updated the palette image. Made it double size so I could more easily edit it. Added a purple for 52 colors. Then removed one shade of blue because there are a lot of those. In its place I added a sort of pinkish hue. Now there are 52 colors.

For the games I went through dozens of screenshots at GameOldies (http://game-oldies.com/) and ended up choosing I think it was 16 that seemed to best represent the overall color usage. Then reduced those down to 52 colors through the automatic color reduction in Paint Shop Pro and manually.

Anyway, here is the updated GarsPalette52:
(http://www.garsgames.com/STUFF/MyDrawings/PixelArt/Gars52ColorPalette.png)

I think there definitely are a few too many blues.

Maybe we can make this a community project. Edit and improve.

I'd only ask if you do that you try to arrange the colors like I have to indicate shading between the different hues. That is the reason for some of the colors being larger and in different shapes than just a square. That represents a color that can be used in that spot in both of the hues as a shade.
 

Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: erico on 2015-Aug-19
Nice!
I´m not a master palette maker in anyways but an enthusiast. It certainly is a loooot of work.
In general, I feel the palette a quite saturated one. If you consider dithering, some of those colors could be dropped or have different hues and still work out. But that sure is artistic preference. I do prefer the ´scrabble´ way of showing palettes though.

I certainly want to mess with it, it will be a while since I have hardcore stuff to be done before 3rd september.

How if the moon patrol coming?


 
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: Hemlos on 2015-Aug-19
hmm


are you guys seeing this pallette the way i am seeing it?
with black areas?

I tried to reproduce exactly how i see it here
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-19
@erico:

The palette is definitely saturated. I did that on purpose just to get the style I was after. I wanted a vibrant palette and the arcade games I analyzed used rich saturated colors. Then I added a slight boost to the saturation. So yeah it is kind of"heavy" on the color. lol


@Hemlos:

Yep, that is the layout of it.

Basically the colors of the palette are positioned in relation to the other colors to make it easy to find different hues of the same relative brightness levels.

The colors are also filled out to show the shading that can be used where a shade from one hue may also be used as a shade for a different hue.

The black is just expanded all around the others to fill in the empty space.

Just makes it easier to work with.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: MrPlow on 2015-Aug-19
Totally agree that a lot of Unity games have a 'samey' feel - like flash.

Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-19
Well I agree with @erico that Unity is a fantastic development tool. No doubt about that. It has made it so Indies can make games of an almost AAA scope. Performance and their multi-platform support are top notch.

I spent a lot of time in Unity just focused on workflows to use it the way I am used to developing. Which a much more code-oriented approach. It actually does support that. I just think development that way tends to be a little slower in Unity because it kind of goes against the way Unity is intended to be used.

Because it is so powerful and accessible from a GUI perspective you are right @MrPlow that we see a lot of games being created by artists. Of course, they still need to do some programming to make the game actually work. They are very experienced and skilled in art and not so much in programming. So we end up with a lot of simple games that look great. There are many other games made with more focus on gameplay. It is just the beginners are not going to make those kind of games.

I like Unity a lot. I just am hoping that for me personally being able to use a more code-oriented development that I am used to in GLBasic, Monkey X and HaxeFlixel will be a little faster for me. Am very interested in finding out and hence the reason for this project!

Hopefully, I can wrap up this prototype of the game within the next week then get started on development in Unity, Monkey and HaxeFlixel to compare and find out which one is faster to develop in (for me at least). So basically I am investing several weeks of my time in the hope that at the end I will find the best way for me to go.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-20
Missed last night and tried to make up for it with a solid 2.5 hour dev session tonight.

At this point I already have 13 hours in this GLBasic game project (http://garsgames.com/blog/game-development/testing-2d-game-development-systems/prototyping-mars-explorer-in-glbasic/).

This stuff just takes time for sure. I am getting close to the end though!

Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: Slydog on 2015-Aug-20
Unity does take some time to fully understand, because of their Component based programming.
Doing it all through code took me a bit to grasp, but I've reached a comfortable equilibrium.

I have only a few game objects in my scene (mainly managers, such as level, player, camera, sound, ui, etc, but most can be placed on a common master Manager game object).  I do most everything else via code, because I can follow code much easier than the hierarchy of game objects and how they interact.  That's why I started with GLBasic way back when!

Each code / class / component file is independent of the other classes, which does make each one easier to understand and adapt.  The trick is to make each class as generic as possible, and not rely on other game objects / classes needing to be present or configured a certain way. I've even created a UI creating class, and create all my menus via code that runs the moment a menu is required, very clean and simply to modify.  Plus I can use common constants such as ButtonWidth, etc.

As far as games looking similar, well, that may have since changed with Unity 5.  It uses a different shader system which seems more adaptable.  Games before 5.0 would use the standard Unity shaders (unless you bought or created your own), which would make games look alike.

And Unity is now Free, even their iOS and Android platforms.  Heck, they even combined the features only available in the pro version into the free version, so you now have no limitations.  Even less reasons to need the pro versions.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-20
@Slydog

That is about exactly the same approach I use In Unity. The only GOs in the scene are managers. Everything else is a prefab. The main issue I have with it is the workflows for 2D assets. I greatly dislike messing around in the Editor loading and slicing spritesheets (with the bugged sprite editor) and then assigning the images to prefabs (or animations) because it is a very tedious workflow.I know you  can load from the Resources folder and have not tried it that way. Mainly because I feel like if I am going to continually do things in the non-Unity standard why then why am I even using it? lol

I think if they focused more on providing a solid API to work with the assets that would do a lot to help programmer-oriented people like me. Generally in any other 2D dev framework I have used there are commands available to easily load not only a single image but also a file containing multiple images and easily slice the images out during the load. If I had made that 2D Collider auto-gen system I'd have linked the colliders to the actual images or sprites as Unity calls them. Then as the SpriteRenderer displays different images the colliders would automatically change to reference the appropriate collider associated with the current image.

It is these kind of fundamental aspects of working with 2D that Unity seems to be lacking. The stuff you'd expect would just be there and not even be anything to consider. Having the colliders and collision system is good and at the same time it is flawed in its current implementation because they are associated with a game object not the actual images themselves. Of course, each person has their own preferred way. I'm just saying their current implementation is not very logical in my opinion.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: erico on 2015-Aug-21
...
And Unity is now Free, even their iOS and Android platforms.  Heck, they even combined the features only available in the pro version into the free version, so you now have no limitations.  Even less reasons to need the pro versions.

Are you sure of that? Not long ago we were looking at 10k dollars + percentages of sales above a certain profit, I re-check the site today from your state, and the prices are all hidden inside a ´we are all freeee´ kind of site. Very well hidden to the point I´m not going to work it out to find exactly where is the catch. Do you have a link to easy that up?

Considering it all free, inside it we have to conform to their ways, while at GLB I´m conforming to BASIC and C++.
Heck, even C# is a bad no no to me. :(

Maybe I´m just ancient. ;)
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-21
Unity has free versions and paid versions.
The Unity 4.x versions have the free versions with missing features.
Starting with Unity 5.0 Personal Edition (the free one) includes all of the stuff the paid version includes.
The paid version now is simply for added services not added features to the Unity game engine.

The whole industry is kind of going that way. Unreal is also free. As are many of the others. Godot. And so forth.

With Unity you do still need to upgrade to the Pro version as soon as you are making $100k per year from your game projects.
I think that is reasonable though and something most people won't ever need to worry about.

For 3D Unity is probably the best way to go.

Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: erico on 2015-Aug-21
Not much different then microsoft or apple when it comes to dev tools.
By the time a hobby gets to 100k, your knowledge on coding is heavily stuck on their grounds, which is an unique one.
What are the prices on that pro version?

I agree there is no problem with that, and unity IS certainly the best tool for non-coders.
Heck, I know them from when they were an apple only dev pack billions years ago. ;)

off topic apart, are you going to push the moon lander into the ludum dare?
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-21
What are the prices on that pro version?

The best way to go is the subscription (https://store.unity3d.com/). $75 per month gets you everything except ability to deploy to mobile. So $900 per year.

iPhone is $75 per month. Android is $75 per month. I have no idea why they charge for each of these two mobile platforms (other mobile is included in the base $75 per month).

If you wanted to be able to target everything the cost is $225 per month. $2,700 per year.

Honestly, I never paid any attention to the prices because they really do not even matter to me. If I was working on building a games business and reached $100k per year income from the games then spending $900 per year in subscription fees (I have no interest in developing for Android or iPhone) would be a very reasonable and tax deductible business expense. I think their prices are easier than Unreal which also charge you a % of royalties on top of the flat fee amount.

off topic apart, are you going to push the moon lander into the ludum dare?

Oh no. :D That would be completely against the rules and spirit of the LD challenge. At this point I already have 14.5 hours into the GLBasic development of the Mars Explorer project (http://garsgames.com/blog/game-development/testing-2d-game-development-systems/prototyping-mars-explorer-in-glbasic/). About 18 hours of total development time with the tile map and graphics work. That would be a huge unfair advantage in a 48-hour event.

I am actually debating participating in it though. Always wanted to and just never do because I generally never spend more than 2 to 3 hours working on game development in any one day. Especially on a weekend when I am free from work and can get out of the house and do other stuff.

It would be fun though! At the same time I am thinking I can probably wrap up this Mars Explorer GLBasic version this weekend if I stay focused on it.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-25
Still going... 20 hours now... didn't complete it this past weekend but I am getting closer all the time.

I am sure by the time this weekend comes and goes I will have it wrapped up.

Anyway, latest video is at the bottom of the Mars Explorer Dev Log (http://garsgames.com/blog/game-development/testing-2d-game-development-systems/prototyping-mars-explorer-in-glbasic/) page.

Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: erico on 2015-Aug-25
...
I am sure by the time this weekend comes and goes I will have it wrapped up.
...

...and then, a super feature just creep in mind and it has to be implemented, and another... :P
Looking nice, I specially enjoyed the particles on the enemy´s explosions.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-28
...and then, a super feature just creep in mind and it has to be implemented, and another... :P
Looking nice, I specially enjoyed the particles on the enemy´s explosions.

Ha ha. Isn't that the truth. These things can drag on forever because there is always something else to add or an existing something that could be improved! Just have to say enough is enough and call it done at some point.

And...

I am done (http://garsgames.com/blog/game-development/testing-2d-game-development-systems/prototyping-mars-explorer-in-glbasic/)!

Of course, it only has two stages and that was my goal. At this point it'd be easy to increase it to 5 to 6 levels and even add in a new enemy or two. But I am not going to do that.

Before this I spent 3 hours in GLBasic developing the TiledMapLoader and TileMapRenderer.
Then I spent 25 hours in GLBasic programming this game and 3 hours on graphics and an hour designing the stages.
I don't consider the TileMap stuff as really part of it because that is something that was just needed and is needed in about all 2D games.
That kind of thing should just "be there" I think which is why I threw my source out on the forum.

Anyway, man it is good to have it done! :)

I will put a download up for the game sometime within the next few days.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: Ian Price on 2015-Aug-28
A very good blog, but it really would be unfair to base any language on the speed it takes to write the same game in. As you said, you did a lot of the hard work while using GLB that will probably save a lot time in other languages. I do hope your comparison between each language willl be based on their positive and negative aspects rather than the time used to create something.

It'll be interesting to see your other blogs - do keep us posted. :)
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: erico on 2015-Aug-28
Nice, congratulations! 2 things:

- Just like Ian said, but on an extra note, I see that you are comparing for "fast" and "easy" within your own knowledge. Wouldn´t that be a very subjective thing for others to understand? It does help that you described your background and prior experience though.

- About the final art/place holder discussion you mention on the blog, ye, some people will always extreme value gfx yesterday, today and tomorrow. You should not bother. Specially on the likes of unity, which imports 3d stuff extremely flawlessly. So imagine all those 3d artists that are now able to create simple but beautiful games...they sure will want to push the sardine to their side. :D Did anyone on that discussion mentioned sound and music? Is it ok to use placeholders for that? I have seen a lot of pretty games with fully crap sound lately so that discussion could go this way too.

I might not be a good example to quote but I have been doing games from the time you could only draw with letters so I´m not impressed with super gfx when the game itself is crap. The art of making computer games (hypermedia) is strictly in the hands of the coder, he is the artist here, the rest just plugs along. The coder can do a game without the other artists/staff while a musician or a painter can never do the same within their field.

We can´t argue that GTA5 gfx´s is great, they truly are (the music too), but GTA5 imho is an advanced version of Dragon´s Lair...all media, sucky scripted gameplay with a pinch of a broken fake sandbox.

edit: and yeah, being on ok artist myself, I know gfx take a monstrous amount of time...the reason my next couple games will be low res and B/W. :)
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: Slydog on 2015-Aug-28
Re @Eriko: "So imagine all those 3d artists that are now able to create simple but beautiful games"

Especially when they use one of the visual 'scripting' tool available for Unity.  They hide the code from them, and they just drag nodes around and set behaviors and such.  There are a few packages for sale that do this, such as PlayMaker from http://www.hutonggames.com/ (http://www.hutonggames.com/).
It is getting quite elaborate and people can create fairly full games this way.

I've never tried it, as I like to see my code and know exactly what's going on, but hey, different strokes.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-28
A very good blog, but it really would be unfair to base any language on the speed it takes to write the same game in. As you said, you did a lot of the hard work while using GLB that will probably save a lot time in other languages. I do hope your comparison between each language willl be based on their positive and negative aspects rather than the time used to create something.

It'll be interesting to see your other blogs - do keep us posted. :)

Yeah I definitely realize I already worked out the game framework, systems and so forth, design and even art assets in the GLBasic version. I intentionally noted that on the blog as a reason I expect the other versions will not take as long.

On the dev speed thing... that is the whole reason for me doing the experiment. I can do 2D games in Unity yet I've had a nagging question in the back of my mind for a long time now wondering if Unity is making dev harder and slower or easier and quicker.

While prototyping my latest Unity game project to make a "better" shmup...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ETqKFSjcsI
...I finally just stopped work on it deciding to see what alternatives are available and then test each one.

For me personally all I care about is development speed. Their positive aspects will likely have a positive effect on dev speed and their negative aspects will likely have a negative aspect on dev speed.

Development speed is so important to me because the faster I can develop the more (and better still the more ambitious larger scope) games I can develop. I only do this stuff very part-time generally averaging about 90 minutes per night. If it takes 3 hours less time in one framework than it does to make this simple 2-stage game than it does in the others well... that is 2 days of additional time I have to spend. Whether I spend it polishing the game or starting a new one. It is all about time. If I had an extra 8 hours per day that would help too. ;)

I suppose people might think if I only care about development speed... getting things done... why not just use GameMaker or something like PlayMaker? Because that kind of stuff just doesn't click with me. I am a programmer. I am used to just designing and coding everything. The GUI stuff is what I am trying to get away from. All of my Unity work I spend as little time in the Editor as possible and just code everything up. I use that approach no matter what I am using. Unity however just has certain requirements to go into the Editor for certain things such as sprite slicing, creating prefabs and so forth.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-28
Just like Ian said, but on an extra note, I see that you are comparing for "fast" and "easy" within your own knowledge. Wouldn´t that be a very subjective thing for others to understand? It does help that you described your background and prior experience though.

It definitely is primarily just what ends up best for me. However, it should also apply to other programmer code-oriented people as well. My signature on the Unity forums says this: For a programmer, what is the fastest "kit" available to make 2D games? Let's find out! and that leads to my main page doing the comparison and includes my background and so forth.


I might not be a good example to quote but I have been doing games from the time you could only draw with letters so I´m not impressed with super gfx when the game itself is crap. The art of making computer games (hypermedia) is strictly in the hands of the coder, he is the artist here, the rest just plugs along.edit: and yeah, being on ok artist myself, I know gfx take a monstrous amount of time...the reason my next couple games will be low res and B/W. :)

I am the same way. Been programming a long time and playing games a long time. While I can ooh and ahh over superb graphics and definitely appreciate them when it comes to games I do not need that stuff to enjoy the game. In fact, I'd say that when people play games they only notice the graphics in the very beginning. When playing a game your mind is in that feedback loop mode where you are reacting to the messages the game sends to you and watching how the game reacts to your actions. Graphics and sounds are simple the means the game uses to communicate with the player. At its core that is it.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: erico on 2015-Aug-28
oh, I now understand better what you meant by ´fast´.
Since you are approaching those packages on a code level, I suppose they all benefit from recycling code and functions for future games, and thus save more time, is that the case?
Within those packages, did you ever experienced newer versions that rendered those code/functions useless by changing/updating its core functions?
Just some bits that popped on my mind.

I see you did some AMOS back in the days, did you use to visit amos factory?
cheers.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-29
Since you are approaching those packages on a code level, I suppose they all benefit from recycling code and functions for future games, and thus save more time, is that the case?
Within those packages, did you ever experienced newer versions that rendered those code/functions useless by changing/updating its core functions?

I see you did some AMOS back in the days, did you use to visit amos factory?

I try to stick to the same basic structure regardless of what I am developing in so I can rely on past experience. At the same time I am always dabbling trying to improve the way I approach game development.

Basically, I use the same patterns in everything and try to improve on them each time. Mainly just to get a cleaner "better" structure that is easier to maintain and build on.

So, in that sense sure it saves time because no matter what I am developing in I just take a look at what I have to work with and how I can apply it to my development style. And like with the GLBasic version of Mars Explorer much of that should easily map over to Unity, Monkey X and HaxeFlixel.

What determines the increased or decreased speed as far as programming time basically comes down to the kind of support the game-oriented API offers. I try to minimize those requirements greatly by basically only using the fundamentals: loading assets, drawing images, playing sounds, managing frame-rate those kind of things. I don't use any built-in stuff for physics and so forth. I just don't see the need for such things anyway and don't want to get "locked" into any one game dev environment by relying on such things. Because we never know how long they will be around such as AMOS and XNA for example. This also makes it so updates to those APIs almost never affect me because I am not using any of that higher level stuff anyway.

I heard of AMOS Factory many times but never knew what it actually was. I did a search for AMOS one day a few months ago (just out of curiosity if there were any sites around covering it still) and found a site mentioning AMOS Factory. There was actually a new cross platform version of AMOS being developed a few years ago that I found on a forum there: http://www.ultimateamiga.co.uk/index.php/topic,9499.msg44951.html


Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: spacefractal on 2015-Aug-29
Amos was a nice language for Amiga computers. Im have done one game with it, and that game got turned into Genius Greedy Mouse.

About dev speed, Im have not bother with that, but more im have do more thinking how much a game might take to create. CatchOut was property that game, that took shortest time. Greedy Mouse and Karma Miwa took quite long time. Im property sure im will not done a Greedy Mouse and Karma Miwa length again, but want to do smaller games in this language (like CatchOut and Spot Race).

PS. The final game seens to been very great and do the job. The only issue is the music can been annoying after a while. But its a prototype :-).
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-29
Amos was a nice language for Amiga computers. Im have done one game with it, and that game got turned into Genius Greedy Mouse.

About dev speed, Im have not bother with that, but more im have do more thinking how much a game might take to create. CatchOut was property that game, that took shortest time. Greedy Mouse and Karma Miwa took quite long time. Im property sure im will not done a Greedy Mouse and Karma Miwa length again, but want to do smaller games in this language (like CatchOut and Spot Race).

PS. The final game seens to been very great and do the job. The only issue is the music can been annoying after a while. But its a prototype :-).

AMOS was very good. It made it easy to access the capabilities of the Amiga and was the first programming language I used on the Amiga. Then I switched to Blitz Basic for its increased speed and a couple other things. Then switched to C & Gamesmith and dabbled in 68000 Assembler.

Have you heard about the new RetroVGS (http://www.retrovgs.com) system? I hope this one finally makes it. It would be awesome if all of the retro gamers & developers supported one console such as this. Currently, I feel the market is way too fragmented across the GPX2, Caanoo, UzeBox, GCW-Zero, Dingoo, WIZ, Zodiac and others. Plus the desktop retro games. Mobile retro games. Even the latest gen consoles have some retro style games. Anyway, I hope it does well.

Greedy Mouse looks very cool. The clay-based graphics reminds me of the BB game Platypus. I imagine your Greedy Mouse did take a lot of effort and time. Game dev in general just takes a lot of time which is a good reason for people to team up on such projects, find the fastest thing to use for developing them and build up a library of code, dev tools and perhaps even assets that can be reused.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: spacefractal on 2015-Aug-29
The only problem, the system seen closed and even its a cool idea, im dont sure how good succes ii is. Im hope they using Linux or Android system, other its can been hard to get succes on that platform. also Selling on cartridge can give risk to dev as well....

GlBasic do supports some of the named minor Platforms.

About Greedy Mouse, the inspiration was from the adventure game, Neverhood. Her also used Real clay. Recently im Got hit with the 4096k texture issue.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Sep-25
Just a quick update to let you know I completed Mars Explorer in Monkey X last week.

The game is playable on my Mars Explorer Monkey X Dev Log (http://garsgames.com/blog/game-development/testing-2d-game-development-systems/dev-log-for-mars-explorer-in-monkey-x/) page.

Also the full source is available for download.

Not sure if anyone has any interest here but since some of you were following the project I wanted to let you know.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: Ian Price on 2015-Sep-25
I'm definitely interested, but at work at the mo :(

I had a play with the monkey X demo, but found it severly lacking compared to Blitz or even Blitz Max, so didn't pursue it for long. I've seen some great things done with it. Jayenkai (A Game A Week guy) over at socoder bangs out loads of great little games with it for pc, Android and iOS.

Keep us informed - just because we use GLB primarily doesn't mean we aren't interested in other languages :)

BTW I'll have a look at your blog later.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: erico on 2015-Sep-25
...
Keep us informed - just because we use GLB primarily doesn't mean we aren't interested in other languages :)
...
Exactly.

Just a quick update to let you know I completed Mars Explorer in Monkey X last week.
...
Just gave a go, the web output is really great and things move really smooth!
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Sep-28
Thanks for trying it out. I am very happy with Monkey X. I wish GLBasic supported web game development. Maybe in a future version it will.

Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: UBERmonkeybot on 2015-Sep-28
It does doesn't it?

html5 and webGL
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: erico on 2015-Sep-28
I guess it does. I have seen some great examples though I once tried to compile one game of mine for it and it complained about memory or something like that. So my guess is that it needs more testing. In my case it would probably be a matter to start a project for it an go around checking what works and how.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Sep-28
Not that I know of. I posted a question about web support when I first found GLBasic and the replies stated some young fella originally created the web support and then just disappeared. I tried building for web several times even just simple examples (from the GLBasic examples) and none worked.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: erico on 2015-Sep-29
It seems there is some code restriction when doing html stuff natively with GLB, like loops with while. I think I did read a bit of this somewhere here.
This is a link to an html exemple with glb, there were others but I can´t find them now.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/292449/html5/Iso/isometricdemo.html

I think Gernot posted a christmas demo too with full screen.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Sep-29
If someone can build an HTML5 or WebGL version of a simple game like the arkanoid style example that comes with GLBasic and post it along with the source code that would be awesome.

I've seen a couple examples including that one you shared but it doesn't seem like it actually works now. At least not in the recent GLBasic I am using from a couple months ago.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: erico on 2015-Sep-29
Yep, I´m having trouble with html on V14, it is not creating anything, I did post about on the bug report.
But a simple example game would be perfect to understand what on code should be different.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: MrPlow on 2015-Sep-29
Hmm, so the port to Monkey X took almost as long as the whole dev process for GLBasic - is that a plus in GLBasic's favour then?

I was impressed with the web player for your monkey x version but it reset on me after 30 secs or so of playing...might be a small bug somewhere...

Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: GarBenjamin on 2015-Sep-29
Not encountered the resetting issue.

Ah I think in the end dev speed wise they are about the same. The MX version was a couple hours less but then I had the advantage of the game design and basic structure done in GLBasic. Yet at same time I had to restructure things to a degree anyway to fit MX architecture and also fixed a couple minor bugs I found. I might fix those in the GLBasic version sometime.

In the end both are excellent rapid development tools.
Title: Re: Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic
Post by: erico on 2015-Sep-30
No resetings here either. All plays fine. It could be something on your browser, I´m using chrome.
I do get reseting every once in a while on some s***ty newspaper news page, but I suspect it is them trying to fish more exposure for their ads. :P