#1GAM Feb: Gameplay video #1

I made a short gameplay video to show you guys my progress so far!

As you can see, my bad collision somehow works alright, and two different jumping features are implemented, as well as scrolling and ending and dying (which just resets the player).

The next thing I have to work on is a concept actually. So I have this jetpack thing going on, I will probably stick with this. So next step would be to build a concept around this feature, and maybe a little story so I can get some graphics on this thing!

Btw, shout-outs to all the fellow game developers and proud members of the OneGameAMonth-Community! I hope you have successfully climbed "the wall"!
For all the ones who are interested in Game Developing: Take the chance and try to make a game this month! It will truly help you out and experience something new. It's an amazing acomplishment once you stick with it!


Post-Mortem January Game

I've got inspired by a fellow Game-Developer @tonyperriello for making a post-mortem Game blog post!

For those who are not familiar with the term: In the post mortem blog posts I would like to talk about what I have learned and achieved on a personal level from that project, and maybe give like a little insight of code if people want that?

Learned how game developing works, basic collision in java lwjgl/slick2d, 90x90 rule, wrapping up a game is harder than it seems. And to write a nice code!

I have started game developing because first of course I am into games, obviously, but second because I am studying it at a university of applied sciences.
It's crucial to know, how a game actually works (in the framework/engine you work with):

First, all the desired objects are being initialized, so they exist.
Then the game loop starts where first its updating like the positions, states, pressed buttons, collisions and so on.
Then the next picture is being rendered.

What actually blew my mind there is, that every freaking frame is rendered again, and again, more or less from scratch. And that every frame, 60 times per second for the most part, that poor computer has to to thounsands of calculations. Dude, thats hard work!

So, what I've learned in particular from my first game is a lot of java, and the super basics how collision problems work.
So the main task of a programmer is basically breaking down things in little problems, and the next steps are tackling every single problem. For collision it somehow goes like this:
1. Collision detection
2. What to do, when certain objects collide

Okay, now to the hardest thing  I was bound to learn in order to participate in One Game A Month (#1GAM):
The 90x90 rule.
That rule again. I think I've mentioned it. When you think you're almost done, well, you're wrong. You are damn wrong. Actually you have barely made it to the half point really.
And that is a frustrating point, more like a wall you have to deal with somehow.
Just let me give you this advice: Don't give up!

Last thing I have learned from this first game: It's froggin important to write a nice and well-arranged code. Things you can't do with a crappy code:
1. Properly ask for help
2. Remember what the code does
And hence 3. Work on that code after some time passed

So, please kid, remember: Keep yo codes clean!

Some stuff about my life recently:
So, right now it's finals time, and tomorrow is my first exam. Maths! It'll be alright I guess. First time I'm in the middle of finals for me, so I am kind of excited, but already super tired of it really.
I have recently found that awesome site www.habitRPG.com, it's all bout gameifing you're life in order to build up new healthy cool habits you want to implement in your life. The first time to-do lists get actually checked off by me on a regular basis! Please check it out, and if you like it, think about funding their kickstarter project :) Good night!


February Game!

You have probably not noticed, but... I havn't been updating my blog lately.. and guess what, yeah, I have an excuse. It's finals time here in Germany, and you know what that means!

Yes! PROCRASTINATION! On my February Game!

Wow. I know, there's alot to say about this... black... pants? Rock with legs? I dont really know actually. Anyway, this is going to be my super simple tiny February game of OneGameAMonth.
For those who have not heard about OneGameAMonth yet, just click the link and check it out, really!

Alhough this blog post sounded promising, I will just leave you with these two screenshots, mkay? Gotta go back to studying, and knitting socks (for real). Go ahead and guess what kind of game it will be.

It's #screenshotsaturday after all.



It's a Frogger Clone where it's all about money family! You play the responsible father of the little frogger family you have created, bringing in the money in this little action birds-view game.
Feel free to check it out!

This game is written in Java 1.6, using the LWJGL and Slick2D libraries.

This is my OneGameAMonth January entry!

Here's a link to all the related blogposts!


Apparently, just windows is working so far? Sorry! I work on an applet~

Download the game

5Frogger Source Code on Github

Little FAQ
(or let's say, what I assume people might wanna know about it, because noone really asked questions about it)

1. Why is this game so friggin hard?
Because I was the one testplaying it probably. This is my very first game, and I did the mistake that I was the only one testing it, and since it's super boring testing out an easy game, it ended up pretty hard... But you can do it!

2. Where did you get the idea for that kind of game?
I study computer science in focus on videogame programming (sort of), and we had to program a unique clone of the frogger classic game. And I like Zelda so I've put in rupees. Yay!

3. What is "One Game A Month"?
Oh! You should really check it out! It's a very supportive and motivating community with over 3k of gamedevs, from Noobs (like me) up to the high class of awesome game developers, and together we try to MAKE games. You might know that, but whenever you start a project, it's the hardest part to stick with it and put it to an real end. One Game A Month is a personal challenge which an awesome community backing you up!

4. The game doesn't work. Help?
You will need the latest version of JRE (Java Runtime Environment) and unfortunately: Windows. Sorry!
For all the Mac/Linux users: this game isn't so great anyways! Don't worry!


Frogger 1.01

I have tweeted this as well but let me tell you this:
There is no greater motivation then having people play your game and then come up to you telling you:
[16:26] <+Cald> hollowspecter, das spiel ist addictive!
 Its different when you make people testplay it or whatever. But knowing that I didn't ask him to play it, I think I didn't even give him the DL link. Anyways, you get the point.
It's awesome.
Especially because I don't think my game is fun.. alot.. it's balanced poorly, I don't even enjoy the original game, the game mechanics ok, but not special at all. And there is no ramping!

Maybe you still want to play it... after I bragged about it, ...
Because thanks to Cald (his twitter is @CaldK) I was able to fix some problems and I uploaded Version 1.01!


Maybe you want to submit a highscore? Yes? Go ahead! Just "Contact me" your highscore screenshot! And of course I'd be super happy if you give me some feedback on the game :) Thanks for reading!


Roasted Reviews #1

"Why is it called roasted reviews, and what is this even?!" 
Today I start my series of Roasted Reviews, where I review a one game of OneGameAMonth, randomly!
Well, I've come up with the term roasted because of several reasons:
  1. Roasted sounds like food is involved, and food is ALWAYS good
  2. I am desperatly trying to be funny, so I use this alliteration.
  3. It rhymes with toasted. Food reference again!
Let's just jump right in!

Today, I have randomly chosen:
Click to play it yourself.

It's a very neat game!
Its a little novel where you are a shopkeeper of a dungeon, and your boss is the boss of the dungeon. Super cool idea!
The graphics are really neat, but let me first describe the mechanics:
So basically what you do, you get the customers and you're supposed to make money and screw them up. 6 Customer-Waves, from stupid little dwarves to sorcerers and ladies, they try to sell and buy stuff at your shop.
You then have options to choose from, and it's actually not that easy.
After every round you see what you did wrong and what was good, and you can spend your money on cool upgrades which eventually will make it easier to screw up the customers!

What I love most about this game is the humor, and the mechanic works very well. What I think is a bummer is that the "main panel" for the most part is just one single picture, instead all the interaction is going on below it, in the textbox.

After all, thats a cool Ludum Dare (48h gamedev challenge) Game, it's worth a try, it surely make you giggle!

Roundin' it up with some screenshooters!

btw isn't the art beautiful!?

5Frogger for Windows, Mac and Linux

Note: This is not the super official post of my Frogger yet! Just wanted to let you know that I have packaged the game for the common operating systems now!


JRE (I think 1.6.1 will work too, but just get the latest version)

Please note: Your computer probably will tell you "NO NO DONT OPEN THIS, NOT SAFE! NOPE NOPE" but I assure you, this game is absolutely harmless.
Check out the source code if you would like, and you could even compile that stuff yourself if you don't trust me.
C'mon. You can trust me!

By the way, I know, this game is totally... unbalanced and not as fun as I wanted it to be. It does not have a dynamic level system, like it gets harder over time (ramping). It's just hard ... all the time! If you guys are lucky I might add 3 different difficulties, but other than that I am very much happy that I have wrapped up that project. This project was mainly done for school, and I did not have all the freedome I wanted to have. But it's okay, it helped me learn the fundementals of game programming!

EDIT: I uploaded the files on sourceforge instead of my dropbox! I think it's more convenient that way. The mac package will probably not work, but I will try to fix that. I have no idea about the linux version, let me know if it doesn't work either please!


Feels good, man.

Feels so good to wrap up a project.
Awww yeeah.

Okay! I know, you want to play it now, right?!
Hold tight.

I was spending lots of lots of hours to try and make it as a runnable java webapplet (so you can lazily play it in the Browser, y'know) but... it didn't work at all. I am still working on it, asking my way through all the folks I know, so be a little more patient there!

All winows 64bit users! You are the lucky ones! You can already download and play the game!
5Frogger for Windows64
Please note that you have to have the latest JRE installed to run this Java Application.
Please notify me when it doesn't work (please include screenshots/any error messages), I am still learning about wrapping up projects in Eclipse, so I will try to make it work for everybody.
Soon I will .. officially.... "publish" my game, including a documentation, screens, highscores, and all different versions for the several OS's. Probably happens this week!

Btw, some changelog with a screen:
Took out the Hotdog (sorry hotdog), put in some stylish Itali car.
Also I deleted the poop in the river, and replaced it by actal wooden logs.

Note that the new car, the yellow one, is even more pixelated. Yes, I got tired of it :|



Wait. Have a look at my new header! This whole blog is still super prototypy, but I will add some more colors and fun on the left and right side, so check every now and then, mkay?

So today, I have probably made one of the last bit of finetuning on my game.
As I said in the last post, I balanced the rupees again. The golden one being worth 50 rupees, going down to the green one which is worth 1.
The black ones are now worth -3, so it actually is worth it to avoid them.

But way more interesting is the following thing I have implemented. So I was thinking about, how I would be able to make it more interesting for the player to take more risks, in that I mean, trying to reach the very top in a very small amount of time. So I have implemented a new highscore system, where you receive other points by bringing those rupees to your wife AS FAST AS YOU FROGGIN CAN!

//Highscore Berechnung!
highscore += (long) ((timerBar.getWidth()/1) * frog.getRupeeaInBag());

It's basically: Time that is left * Rupees you collected.
Whereas the time is a number between 1 and 100. I tested it a little bit, and it is reaallyy worth it to take the whole course to the other side and then bring it up to yo wife.

Here's what the score page looks like now:
Yeah its kind of not aligned but whatever.

Especially when you did a bad job! Okay! I think I am done for today (5am in the morning...).
I hope I am going to release a browser capable game soon, hang in there!


Almost at the finish line!

Ever heard of the 90-90 rule?
It's like the slap in the face when you start to wrap up your project. Yes, by using the word "start" I imply, that this is again a whole different story.
The Ninety-Ninety Rule simply means, that the last 10 percent of your project takes another 90% of your time. That makes a total of 180%.

So in November (yep.) I started to work on frogger. So when I made some progress (like a few cars or when my frog was able to walk on the logs in the river) I felt pretty good, because I thought there would soon be an end. So then before Christmas break, I have probably hit the 90%.
And right now I am just hoping theres not another 90&% time for the last tiny 1% of my project!

Yes. I.. made some progress. Okay, I was very lazy the last few days. But I have added alot more rupees. The whole idea is, that rupees will spawn more or less randomly, worth less at the bottom, and going up high at the top, so the further away you go with your frog, the more you get out of it!
Let's see how this looks so far:

Okay, theres a couple things to say here:
1. The title is wrong at the top. Just noticed this. Putting it o my todo list right now!
2. there are 2 new rupees! The red ones ar worth 5, and the golden ones are quite rare and worth 10 rupees!
3. There are 4 segments: Number 1 the street. Alot green rupees (+1) and lesser black ones (-1), the spawn alot. Segment 2 is the middle thingy, they always spawn, alot of green, very few black ones. It's like a little "Yay you've made it across the street!". The third part obviously is the river. Not alot spawning going up there, but theres ones and alot blues there! And the top, where you get alot of blues (+3), a few reds, and on occasion a golden one. Yeah you want that one right? Yeah you want it.
4. So there are different strategies going on here, I know. Basically you can just go on the street, go back, easy money! I have not yet found a way to not let people do that, or let's say to discourage them to do that. Maybe I have to put up the money at the top. Like golden ones are worth 50 (but super duper rare), red ones are 20, blue ones are 10, and green ones really are just worth 1. Yup. Put on my todo list!

So anyway. Yeah. That's basically my game! I know. It's NOTHING close to be great, I totally know. I am still a little proud of it, it's my first game after all, and I am SO close to be done with it and then store it safely in my portfolio. (wait. I need to make a browser-capable version of it so you guys can play it!)

Anyway, I know this frogger thing is basically a big piece of shit, the game mechanics suck, the menu is kind of overworked, and overall it's not a lot of fun.
But I am a beginner.
This is the very first step in a new direction.
Please read this.


Music, Menu, How To Play, Credit, Game Over w/ Score

That's a big update! YEAH!

Happy new years everybody!
Finally, onegameamonth launched, so I worked a little extra hard on my January entry!

I have 5 things I added this time:

  1. Music
  2. Menu screen with selectable items
  3. How To Play screen
  4. Credit screen
  5. Game Over screen with Score
1. Music
I added different awesome tracks for the various screens, all made by Kevin Macleod from http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free//! Please check him out, he is an awesome artist.
I used all the songs from this collection.

The menu screen is probably my favourite, it's "Spazzmatic Polka" (on the 2nd page) and it's  such an oldschool annoying soundtrack, you are happy to skip the menu and just play the friggin game.
Somehow this track reminds me of the old Bomberman game, so it appealed to me very quickly!

The actual game has the track "Theme for Harold" Variation 1 (the slowest one). It's an easygoing track, and I thought it would fit the overall look of my game.
The gameover screen features the track "Dungeon Level", which is kind of depressing, maybe it motivates the people to play the game more often. Or it just depresses them too much. We'll see!

2. Menu

3. How To Play

Note: the sentence "press enter.." is flashing!

4. Credits

The sentence "press enter" is flashing as well here. I tried to  give credit to everybody the right way. Please let me know when I did something wrong!
5. Game Over and Credits

"Press enter.." is flashing
And yeah. it's kind of empty here. But still, I love how the Counter worked out! First time I was using a spritesheet. Well I have rather used an Image with all the numbers and broke it down into SubImages. Then I break down the rupeecounter into an array of the numbers to render the every score-number individually! I'm proud, because it has worked out right away!