SBARG – Dream Build Play Entry 2008

September 26, 2008 at 8:40 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

I eventually got my entry posted. Then the deadline got extended by two days and i fixed up some more bugs and changed the difficulty level. I reposted with a new video which you can see here

SBARG - Dream Build Play 2008
SBARG – Dream Build Play 2008

The game should appear on the Dream Build Play gallery soon hopefully.

Dream Build Play Gallery

After the entry was posted I was digging through some old screenshots and videos and found this.

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XNA Game Trigger Editor

September 17, 2008 at 8:48 pm (Uncategorized)

The XNA Game Trigger Editor is a tool i built specifically for SBARG but feel it would be very useful for other games too so here is a little bit of info about it.

It allows me to visually configure actions to perform in the game based on some conditions. For example in the first level of SBARG, Dr Strobo appears to encourage the player with some motivational text when the player has defeated 1 Weed Monster. The condition is Kills 1 Weed Monster, and the action is Show Dr Strobo with text “ATTACK!!”. In the main update loop i always call TriggerEngine.Update(elapsed) which checks all triggers configured and if all their conditions return true, it performs the action.

In the first tab i can select which players to check this trigger against. In SBARG i can currently select Player 1 or the Computer AI.

The second Tab Lists the conditions.

And the third tab lists the actions

If we now take a look at adding a new condition we can see how these are constructed.

The drop list contains all the available conditions i can choose from. This list is generated by the Editor using Reflection to read my game assemblies and find anything that inherits TriggerCondition. A custom condition then adds properties of a finite number of types which are listed in the list on the form.

Depending on the type of property depends on what editor is shown when double clicking that value in the list. The number is a QualifiedNumber which has a number property and a Modifier of OrLess or OrMore.

The baddytype property is a SceneItemLookup property which is quite specific to SBARG but it basically looks inside the level xml file for anything that is a sceneitem and lists it in a drop down box for selection.

So we can use this like if Kills 1 OrMore WeedMonsterBasic.

The Actions are much the same with a set of actions to choose from, but they use the same property types as conditions so the editor remains the same.

The Actions and Conditions i have available for my game are.

Conditions

Actions

Each one with its own set of lovely properties to choose from.

There is no limit to the amount of conditions to check or actions to perform for a paticular Trigeer. And the flexibility is endless as adding a new condition or action type is a trivial task which usually involves inheriting a class and adding 1 line of code for the condition or action. some are more complex but they are a minority.

Here is a shot of my level 1 triggers. It’s not pretty, but it sure is useful.

I’ll talk about the code more in a future post along with a release of the core of this Engine and Editor with source code.

It was so simple to knock up yet it totally changed the direction and possibilities of my game.

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DBP Deadline Is Almost Here

September 17, 2008 at 5:38 pm (SBARG, XNA) (, )

So DBP (Dream Build Play) is almost upon us now, 23rd is the final submission date and while I thought I was done and dusted, I clearly wasnt. I’ve found a few more issues that I would like to resolve before submitting. I don’t think SBARG is going to revolutionize the gaming world, but i do hope more than I find it entertaining to play. I’m not as happy with my submission as I thought I would be for various reasons, but I am happy I’ve got anything to submit at all that isnt pong. I am however looking forward to getting past DBP, filling out the game with more levels which is a breeze thanks to the editor i built and publishing SBARG as a complete game for all to play. Not only will this be a great achievement but it will also allow me to work on my next “Big Idea”

While I’m tapping away at code to fix, here is the video I came up with for the entry. Unfortunatly video editing isn’t my best subject but it’s ok.

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SBARG – What is it?

September 13, 2008 at 11:45 pm (SBARG, XNA) (, , )

SBARG is a 2D RTS Game, in its basic form you might call it a “tower defense” style game. I think im going to invent a new genre right here and now called Turret Attack Game. So SBARG is a Turret Attack Game where you play as a robot who has to help Dr Strobo conduct his all important research. Your part in all of this madness is to protect Dr Strobo’s research pod where he resides from the destructive Weed Monsters. You do this by planting Pods in the world which attack and destroy the enemies. Enemies have different behaviours so different pods are required to counter this. The enemies also gain in strength and wit, upgrading pods enables you to increase your protection for Dr Strobo. You must use strategy to decide where to plant your pods because losing pods to Weed Monster attacks can be costly and ultimatly end in Dr Strobo’s demise.

I decided early on that SBARG should be as free as possible, so there is no grid to restrict your placement of pods in the world, and there are larger worlds which enable you to fly around and have even more freedom over placement. Some enemies will be very aware of its surroundings and dangers imposed and try to avoid attack before reaching its ultimate goal. Other enemies will not be so cautious or be aggressive by nature. This makes for very flexible gameplay and it’s very easy for one experience of the game to be very different to another.

SBARG is developed using the XNA Framework by myself and a friend who has produced the artwork for the game. It’s first target audience will be the judges for the Dream Build Play competition and after the game is complete it will be released to millions of XBOX users, which will be just an amazing feeling once it’s released.

Here is a tiny snippet of gameplay in screenshot form. There will be video footage soon of the game in action.

SBARG

SBARG

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My first post of a new blog

September 13, 2008 at 11:09 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Here is my new home for me to talk about my project’s i’m working on.

First post so i’ll keep it short.

I will probably be talking about my game SBARG which is going to be entered in the DBP competition which is coming up very shortly. It’s a serious entry which i hope catches the attention of the judges enough to get some publicity for it, and because it’s almost complete feature wise i’ll be talking it up to try and get you interested in the game pending its full public release.

The picture you see in the title of the blog is Dr Strobo. He is an interesting character and i’ll tell you all about him in a future post.

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