The Vet's Side projects!

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The Vet's Side projects!

Postby stAtrill » 08 Apr 2014 02:11

Okay, so one of us (me) might wonder what people do when they aren't unproductively blasting away tanks in the spec-fest that is GC! 'What would be the best way,' I wondered to myself, 'to trick people into posting their most personal side projects on the most public of places (that is, the internet) for all to see!'.

Then I had an epiphany! I would just post a couple of my side projects, and maybe people would lose all discretion and spill the beans on theirs! It's the perfect plan! *mwuhaha....*

TL; DR alert: my backstory:
So I love coding, programming languages in general, game theory, and pretty much anything regarding computing and computers and the science behind them. My main language is C++, but I find C++ terribly disadvantaged in that it takes 5 years to code anything in. When I was in 4th grade, I started using rapid prototyping software (back then, marketed as a way to make games for people who were too lazy to code properly), and even though I graduated to 'real' languages in 7th grade, I just could never entirely drop just how quickly you can throw a project together in 'codeless' software. Averages for most people now are three weeks start to finish, rather than 3 weeks just throwing together JUST THE RENDERING COMPONENTS and fighting with the terrible DX9 APIs in C++ (I abandoned the project because after 9 months, I only had the parent-child nodal network, rendering transforms, and mechanics coded. No enemies, no bullets, no GUIs, no menus, no effects, no BGs - hadnt even begun the art, no nothing. Nobody has that kind of time). Since I barely have any time at all now, all of my projects that get any progress are in these softwares.
End TL; DR alert

I have two half-finished projects that I would like to show in today's show-and-tell! They are both over 6 years old that I have just recently started dusting off, so be nice ^^

The first game is Io, a top down shooter. I used to write purely academic articles on game programming and mechanics, and this game demonstrates quite a few of these techniques, but I won't bore you with those here. For now, mouse buttons left and right to move and shoot, and grab friendly powerups while denying enemy powerups. Press P to pause. There is no game win or lose yet, so you can just restart if things get desolate :D For dev testing, press keys 1-5 to force activation of the various friendly powerups, 'R' to force friendly powerup respawns, the Spacebar to force enemy respawns, and 'M' to create an enemy mine under the mouse. ... s5g/Io.exe

It was originally supposed to be a coop with my brother (with the ulterior motive of trying to get him to play less Minecraft), but he basically drew all of the initial art and then gave it to me so that he could get back to minecraft (mission failed....). I am going back and de-amateuring everything, in addition to cannabalizing other projects that I never finished for art and useful non-code snippets with the hopes of eventually finishing these two projects so I can move on with life. There are still tons of unfinished things, like menus, I still need to redraw the enemies, and most of the friendly units, finish some effects and mechanics, and so on.

The second game is a semi-space invader clone, where I was trying to automate and procedurally generate as much as possible (also originally as an academic exercise). There is no main menu, and my next big things on the todo list were to finish the geometrical enemy arranger (they currently just appear in lines), finish stage hazards, and procedurally generated bosses. Then, finally, the current options menu that opens up at app start will become a dev console used to tweak 'game modes', where game modes are certain combinations of these values. I just finished the last 'normal' enemy, the ghost fighter, and if you press 'one' before a new stage is generated, you can test them out ^^ Part of the academic value, by the way, was, once I finished, to code an AI that could play the game perfectly. ... fjz/

Just a tad of backstory on Io:
It was based on another game that was really popular in the Klik&Play era, Triumph War 2000, that inspired tons of other games in the genre (like the Worm Wars series, for example). These games were also favorites of my brother and I - if you want, check them out yourself for some old-school goodness ^^

Just a final note, these may trigger antiviruses due to the nature of rapid prototyping software in general. Basically, they have both the runtime and all of my code stashed together in one .exe, and at runtime, it extracts my code (and art, sounds, everything) and the runtime interpreter to a temporary location, then the runtime interprets the code. This 'extract then run' behavior can trigger AVs as it basically looks like a trojan dropping its payload.

Okay, that's me. So spill the beans people! What do you do when not blasting tanks or working! Y' know, just for curiosity sakes, no nefarious purposes here. *shifty eyes* :D


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