This year, GameDev's 4E6 started on September 27. Six months of writing a game to compare it against your peers. I'm apparently starting on December 10. I'd like to say it was giving everyone else a chance, but my ego already knows I'm not that good of a game programmer. But, I finally started. I'm breaking Ponies Among Us into a couple steps, mainly to give me distinct goals to work on, but also to let me sit back and be happy at progress.

Most of these breaks are going to be programs that either showcase some component of the game or let me test some critical part. Naturally, all of these are subject to changing at a moment's notice, but I kind of lynched myself for timelines because I wanted to be a writer. :)

  • Character Builder GS: This is just a program that lets me load characters (ponies, cats, bunnies, and characters) into the screen, pose them, change their colors, and export them for using with my comic. The same graphics library behind it is going to be used in the game to show characters, their equipment, and also their influences (elemental for Ponies).
  • World Builder: Probably somewhere around that, I need to work on my world generator. I'm going with a strict 2D world built up around a circle. You can go in either direction, but I want to work on the automatic scenery, mountains, weather, and plot arrangement and a program that lets me see that would really help.
  • Kittah Break: Since the game is going to have a fair amount of platforming elements, I'm going to write a little Glorious Saber fighting game. Nothing really fancy, just enough to test jumping rules, climbing, etc. And probably opponent AI. Almost everything in this game is going into the final Ponies.

So, I finally got to working. That doesn't mean I have it on paper. I think I have the basic game already written out on paper, including various contingencies for when (not if) I fail to work as fast as I hope to. I already hit a few snags on it. Most of the libraries I'm working with, though they work on Windows, don't work with C# on Windows. So, this may be a Linux-only game at first (despite the fact I'm still trying to pony up a prize for cross-platform, I just may not have a chance). But, I got the first bits of Character Builder GS working.

cbgs-001.png cbgs-002.png cbgs-003.png

In the above pictures, you have the first of CBGS. The first is probably a fairly obvious character if you read my comic… no, well, if you did, you'd probably know who he was. Minus the arms and legs bit, apparently he really got nailed by an Aybssal. The little squares (handles) are centered on the body parts, that is what I'm using to move them around, relative to another point. You can see that in the last two pictures. The little curved "box" is the limits for the character, you can't drag the head handle outside of that box. The are two cross inside. One is centered on the handle, just for looks, you know. The other is the "natural" state for that body.

My idea for the natural state is to say where a character defaults over time. In most cases, this just means they'll (hopefully) stand up when they fall down or, I can do something with the physics engine and things bouncing. Yeah, probably Saber's breasts (which should get an "upgrade" from this program), but also things like the helmet and armor bouncing when the character lands on the ground. Just to give it a bit of detail. The idea came from when I tried to figure out how to handle different bust sizes in the comic. Saber is on the small of things, but there are other shapes and sizes and one of the plots is related to it (not the way you think).

So, there it is. The beginning of my game. Now, to see if I get it done by April 1. :D

Character Builder (10%)
World Builder (2%)
Kittah Break (0%)
Case of the Morning Zombies (Edit #1, 0 of 37 chapters)

2007-12-12