Our Project

The Idea:


First we wanted something with replay value. Second we wanted something to showcase artistic ability. Third, it had to be fun and at least a bit original. Fourth we wanted to gain skills in a new programming environment.

ideation process:

We suggested a lot of ideas but often came back to the play style of a game such as Golden Axe or one more close to metal slug.

We eventually settled on the basic premise of controlling a machine while traveling through a wasteland environment and combating creatures along the way. We would like the gameplay to be multiplayer but with only one machine to control. This creates an interesting dynamic and presents possibilities for puzzles and combat strategies.

The Game:

2 players travel across arid and dangerous landscapes searching for precious precious mineral deposits. One pilots their vehicle, a tank with a retractable drill. The other is a sniper on top of the tank. The sniper must defend the tank against creatures. The pilot must navigate the terrain and drill through obstacles.




The Steel Surgeon:




The Blog:

as we work on the project we will be posting our progress for everyone to take a look at.

Friday, Feb. 12th:

Lanz: Shane and I discussed the project from a technical standpoint. We identified the need for clear milestones for all aspects of the project. This Saturday our goal is to set up the initial project plan in terms of time management and estimation. Hopefully we will have a clear outline of the milestones. Also we need to consult with Joel and make the final decision on what programming language to use.

List of Milestones

Sunday, Feb. 14th:

Lanz: a basic milestone list is now up but it needs more detail. We had a long meeting today debating the core mechanics. Our biggest shift was the change from using a mech to a tank because it is easier to animate and has fewer technical issues. The tank will have a big drill as its main form of interaction with enemies and obstacles but hopefully we can get it to jump and duck crouch aswell (metal slug anyone?). We are still a bit on the fence about the perspective (sideview or semi-sideview). Its a bit of a tough decision because we can see the benefits in both. Tomorrow I'm going to start some basic XNA stuff and see where it gets me. I'll program with semi-sideview for now.

Wenesday, Feb. 17th:

Shane: completed the first milestone. The tank moves back and forth, and we have a guy on top that can walk around on top. Lanz programed it to the point where the tank move and the guy moves within a square on top. I then added the mathematics to the bounding conditions that let the player on top of the tank move around on the entire area of the top, which is roughly a parallelogram. I have been trying to set up subversion using my home computer as the server, still working on it.

Sunday, Feb. 21th:

Lanz: well we got subversion up and running and now its down to the dirty work of programming the game! I've been doing most of the core stuff being as I've had the most free time. Right now I've coded movement and the back-end for level functionality using inheritance which means that eventually it shouldn't be too hard to create sets of stages and levels in a code-based map editor.

In terms of other mechanics we have the sniper causing damage and I spent today working on a system for making the tank respond to changes in height on the terrain. We aren't using any physics libraries so this is kinda tricky. Right now i have a list of vectors that represent various height positions and the map will detect which height the tank is currently at and tell it to fall or sit at that height. Hills are a big challenge but i have it looking sort of reasonable by using a large series of height vectors and putting in some rotation.

There are some big issues to work out with the enemies. Right now they don't follow the camera very well as the map pans with the tank so it looks pretty silly. The biggest issue though, is the collision detection between enemies. We'd like to have them pile up nicely without overlapping but they just aren't cooperating. Also they don't fight back at all.

Here's some images of what we have so far:
at start of stage
fallen into trench
on hill

Friday, February 26th:

Lanz: Well I stayed up all night getting more content into the game. The drill is two pieces now so we could code in some forward kinematics if we wanted, allowing it to drill up, down or forwards. There are big rocks the drill can drill through which also prevent the tank from moving forwards and you can spawn them in a pretty straightforward way when creating a new stage. I didn't manage to get more than 1 type of enemy on screen although Joel did art for two other creatures. The enemies we do have are floating brain monsters that splat onto the tank and actually cause damage! Also I set up a really basic HUD that displays both player's health, their current job, and the health of the tank as well as how much minerals have been harvested (currently does nothing).

I think there's enough potential in this game to warrant continued progress. I hope also that Shane can have a firmer hand in development although both of us will be considerably less free once school starts up again.

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