Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Middle-ground objects

Testing out how some of the middle-ground sprites I made will look.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Crash site alien

I won't tell you what it does, but here's a sneak peek at one of the aliens from the crash site! We're hoping to get a good enough build of this game to submit to IGF this year.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Development Update #1

As we near a point where we will be able to show some pretty sweet gameplay footage and screenshots instead of just mockups and videos of me playing with the editor, I am going to attempt regular updates on the progress of the tech side of things. This may not interest some of you, but it's always good to know that a project is moving along and the developers are still alive. I'll shoot for at least bi-monthly updates, but if a week is particularly productive, I may post more often. I might try some video updates with me talking.

You may remember from earlier in the devlog that we started over from scratch, moving from C#/XNA to C++/OpenGL (if you missed this, just scroll down a bit; There aren't that many posts to wade through :P). A few weeks ago, we caught up with where we were before, and then surpassed it. The lighting engine is significantly improved and faster, both because of some algorithm redesign and the simple fact that C++ doesn't suffer from the .NET overhead that C# does.

The minimum OpenGL version required is 2.0. There are shaders that we need for the proper lighting effects, so it won't go any lower than that, but 2.0 is pretty damn good and things are going to look fantastic on all machines.

I've been working mostly on the editor for the last month or so. As it seems to be nearing feature-complete, I've moved my attention to gameplay, and in the next week or so we are going to see some videos or at least screenshots of that. Ben is in the process of moving, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to finish enough on the tech that he will have plenty to do when he settles down. I have a todo list about three pages long in my notebook, and it grows all the time.
Language                     files          blank        comment           code
C++                             23            920            269           3508
XSD                              9             34              0            870
C/C++ Header                    20            193             86            655
make                             2            172            114            473
bash                            10             57            155            254
Lua                              7             65             39            241
C                                1             59             30            131
SUM:                            72           1500            693           6132

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Preview of first 2 levels.

Finished working out the colors for the first 2 levels.  There's still a lot of stuff missing from these mock-ups.  Most noticeably the colored border of the light which creates a punch of saturation.  Let me know what you think!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Escape pod concepts

I wanted to figure out how the robot's crashed escape pod should look so I did these sketches.  Ended up picking the lower left one.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Backgrounds sneak peek

Working on some backgrounds.  This doesn't really represent how the levels will look in the game because this is the "light" version of the backgrounds and in the game most of the screen will be dark.  This is what will be visible in the beam of light.  See the mock-ups below to get a better idea of how it will look.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A timeline of mock-ups

 This was the first mock-up of the game that I did.  None of the designs were finalized, but I liked the colors.

 This was some early placeholder art.  I really didn't like the colors so I made sure to use the colors from the initial sketch when working on the final assets.  I told myself I'd never show anyone this one, but I want this design process to be pretty transparent.

 I've been experimenting with a middle layer.  This was testing the values of the robot and the middle layer and making sure that they read in the light and in the dark.

This is a test of some of the level elements that we might have.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Engine Rework

We began this project with the intention of making XBLIG our primary target, with PC as a secondary platform. I built the engine up with C# over the top of XNA. My reservations with this decision compounded over time until we hit the tipping point when we found that Ben couldn't even run the level editor above 11 FPS with his computer (this isn't my fault! I like to think that I'm fairly good at optimizing). With XNA 4's minimum system requirements (e.g. shader model 2.0), the fact that XNA is Windows-only, and the realization as our design matured that it is really more suited to PC than console anyway (i.e. it would make much more sense for PC to be our target platform rather than XBLIG), we decided a little while ago to start over with C++/OpenGL.

Fear not! There are of course plenty of awful stories ripe for the reading about the death of game projects because of engine reworks like this. Fortunately, I've been working on the OpenGL port for a while now, and I'm just about at the point where I've reimplemented all of the graphics utilities (including a content manager) that I was using with XN. Next is just the mindless language translation from C# to C++ (my least favorite part of porting anything).

This means several things:
  • Shader model 2.0 is no longer a minimum requirement (which was kind of ridiculous for a 2D game like this)
  • Without the overhead of the .NET runtime, slower computers (like Ben's) will be able to run the game just fine. In the indie community, crappy computers are relatively commonplace
  • The game can be cross platform (i.e. Windows, Mac and Linux). This is probably the thing that I'm most excited about now that we made the change
  • We can no longer easily deploy to XBLIG. Oh darn.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Level color schemes

We're still tweaking a lot of major aspects of the plot, levels, and mechanics.  Isaac is doing a re-write of the code which is briefly setting us back but should save us a lot of time in the long-run.  We recently had a long discussion about adding jumping to the game.  In the end, I think we came up with a great compromise that will add a lot to the game while maintaining a uniquely robotic feel.

David was wondering what the mood of the game would be as it progresses so I did some small color studies of some of the areas that I've got firmly envisioned.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Progress Update 2/26

A quick update on what we're working on right now:

I just finished the first broad sweep of the engine and level editor's functionality. This means that we can start playing around with gameplay mechanics and fine-tuning our original vision to make sure that everything is as fun as it can be.

We'll be throwing together some prototype levels (maybe with videos!) and ironing out the logistical details that we didn't think about when planning.

We are about to start what I see as the "real" game development, where it's not just laying the groundwork in the engine, like I've been doing for the last several weeks, but actually working on the game itself.

More videos and screenshots soon to come.

(the programmer)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

First Look: Robot

First Look: Robot from Isaac Wagner on Vimeo.

Freak-out time

(the robot is actually doing the idle, not the walk animation)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


This is me playing with mirrors in the editor I've been putting together:

Mirrors! from Isaac Wagner on Vimeo.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Here's a mock-up that's pretty close to how I hope the finished product will look.  That is the actual robot sprite and background.

Hmm, what's this?

Mystery Demo 1 from Isaac Wagner on Vimeo.