2007-09-24

2007-09-24

After playing the "Quake: Enemy Territory" demo and having it run slow on my 1 year old computer with low settings, I vowed to do everything in my power to make sure I never release a game that can’t run well on a current average computer. For flash, this means making the transition to Action Script 3.0. Bowmaster Prelude’s game engine is created entirely in Action Script 2.0. I’m taking this opportunity to create a brand new, highly optimized engine based on the Prelude design but implemented in AS3. Before making this decision I created performance tests to compare the difference between AS2 flash 8 and AS3 flash 9. The difference was quite significant as the AS3 version outperformed the same code and graphics of the AS2 version by up to 5 times the speed.

So what does this mean for Bowmaster 2? With AS3, BM2 will have more targets on the screen, more projectiles flying through the air, more advanced physics using Vector based collision detection (no more arrows passing through things — unless of course you’re using the pierce arrow ;), better animation and graphics, but more importantly BETTER PERFORMANCE FOR EVERYONE!

Check out the demo below to see the power of Flash 9 and AS3! Muahahah…

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Specifically, this demo features the new "boulder" collision detection code that can be applied to any spherical object such as catapult ammo, loose boulders, or debris from castle explosions. This demo also features a more advanced projectile collision detection system that can allow arrows to hit targets at ANY speed. See for yourself by clicking anywhere on the screen. A super fast "test" arrow will be fired from the top left corner and will collide with the FIRST object it comes in contact with (be it a boulder, foot soldier, or the ground).

Please note that this is just a demo and not the final game engine. Unit animations, terrains, unit stats/behavior, gravity, projectile speed, background artwork and graphics may appear different in the final game.

I’m currently not bought off by nVidia. You will not see at the beginning of BowMaster 2 an animation that says "nVidia… the way it’s meant to be played" and I will not require Window’s Vista or Direct X10 to play the game.

2007-09-17

The unit AI and animation integration is coming along nicely. I’ve been running automated tests over night and have been pleased to see that the game continues to run nicely and the unit’s are staying smart :). The new game modes are working well too.

You may remember from my ninja demo a few weeks ago I showed new units jumping around the map. That was just a demo, but I successfully created a "ninja" test unit that acts pretty smart. It will jump towards an enemy until it is in range and then walk until it’s close enough to attack. When his health is below half, he will jump back in retreat until he has regained more than half of his health back. I also made it so that the ninja can only jump when he has enough energy (separate from health) so he can’t just jump all the time. This is just a test unit at the moment, but with my new Animation and AI architectures combined with my improved physics engine, I’m able to implement pretty cool AI behaviors fairly quickly.

2007-09-04

Happy Birthday Pat. Below is a dire wolf graphic and animation I created. Check out his majesty. I call him Fang, after my WoW pet (who is almost 3 years old… they grow up so fast). This week I spent a lot of time working on animations such as this (I don’t want to spoil the surprise), but I also spent a lot of time with some very important code I’ve been neglecting… I’m planning on having the next Bowmaster game support multiple game modes (not just Capture the Flag like in Prelude) so in order to do this I had to re-code a lot of the "hard" coded features in the old Prelude code. Codie co decode code. Say that 10 times fast. Basically I was able to create a very nice foundation for supporting multiple game types and unit AI’s. For example, in Defend your Castle mode, you need to keep your castle alive and kill all the enemies. The enemy AI will advance towards your base at all costs and they will have no castle on their side. Your AI will defend your castle at all costs, attacking any nearby units, but perhaps staying closer to your castle (exact AI behavior is still being worked out).

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