Alpha 0.176

No major updates here - I just put the gas can back in. Still working on new content.

Xmas Review and Things to Come

Xmas came and went fairly fast but it was tasty and fattening. Best gift was an Amazon Kindle from Laura. I read a ton and read all kinds of crap so this really fits my style. Its lite weight and with the free 3G access I can get books anytime - something that came in handy during travels this season.

I also gifted myself several times with glorious Steam sales. The best get was Just Cause 2 which I only tried on console and didn't like due to the controls. The PC works incredibly well and allows me to do all the little tricks the game advertised. So far its been incredible and I can't wait to sit down and get some time in. I also finally go the full version of Transformers War For Cybertron and I can't wait to tear into it. I love the the multiplayer in this game - transforming above an enemy and coming down on him with a robo-hammer is just the best.

So right before flying out for the holidays I made a decision that Combo Storm will be 'released' in March 2011. I plan on the game having plenty of Waves content and the store system. Hopefully I can get the other 2 game modes finished (Endzone and Defense). First step in this process is to add lots of content to do testing. This includes adding a few levels but importantly creating several unique scripts to make the game have an experience curve. Right now it goes from easy wave to super hard. What I am going to do is add several short levels where you fight easy groups and then slowly ramp up to longer levels with lots of waves but also mix in short incredibly difficult waves. A lot of planning will be needed to get this working but I think its going help force me to sit down and tweak the game (that is once all the content is done).

I will need a lot of testers at that point and I may start paying people in some cheap games off Steam.

As always, keep watching.

Low Maintenance

A co-worker was talking about playing Shank and how it was "a game with low maintenance." I think the point he was trying to make was about the game is just pure action - there were no complicated decisions or heavy story to slog through - its just a game at its beat-the-fuck-out-of-everything core.

This got me thinking about how I have been picky recently about the types of games I play with my limited free time. I tend to ignore games that have no choice elements that relate to gameplay (choices between upgrades, some kind of leveling system) and even with the ones that I consider I get even choosier. I feel like this prevents me from playing and enjoying a lot of games that exist.

With this in mind, I went home and started up the Transforms War for Cybertron Demo. I had never really thought about playing this game knowing that the campaign was really just a straight-forward action game with no real customization. boy I am an idiot. Within moments of transforming and opening fire on another robot I was hooked. I'm excited to get a copy and play that game and telling that part of my brain that would normally make me stop playing these games to just shut up.

Alpha 0.17 - HUD and Warnings!

Check out the slightly new hotness!

Alpha 0.164 - The Intestine!

Here is a quick peak at a new level I'm working on. Try it out!

Alpha 0.163 now with new HUD!

Mike Balcerzak is a man who needs all the praise in the world. The guy is a hell of an artist and proves it over and over again. He is constantly practicing and refining his form and always reminds me to never stop trying.

With that in mind, check out and early preview of Mike's new HUD design for Combo Storm. This is an early 'rip' from a png but he just got me a psd so I'll need to tear that apart and put it in more properly.

You also may notice some new tunes...the Tron Legacy Soundtrack came out and things will never be the same.

About 0.161

NOTE: Alpha 0.16 had a major bug in it that caused you to not be able to beat a level. This has been corrected with 0.161

I put a new build up (Alpha 0.161). This contains a few new features including the Level Generator. Here is how it breaks down:

Each level consists of 2 things

  • Map
  • Script for the way enemies spawn on that map (unique to each mode)
To create a level, a rating is generated from your stats (right now its just the number of times you've beaten a level). First a map is randomly selected based on your rating (the map rating has to be <= your rating). The rating of the map is deducted from the generated rating. After that, a set of scripts for that map are looked at. The script with the rating that can use up the remainder of the generated rating left will be chosen. What this means is that you can get a hard map but an easier script to balance it out. I have to fill in more maps/scripts to play around with this system which will be my next task.

In the current build you can see it work a little. There are 2 maps. The first map (the map you are used to seeing) has a 0 rating but 2 scripts (the first being 0 and the second being a 10). The second map as a rating of 10 (its a much harder map to navigate) but with only 1 script with a rating of 0. If you can beat at least 1 level you will unlock the harder maps/scripts. At should :)

Stuff all over the place!

I have been a busy bee. I can't get into to the details of everything but I figured I'd post an update.

Some initial things were how the holidays went. We were able to grab Kinect for the cluster of people that were at my parent's place. Overall it was a raging success. We had some issues with some of the menus (children had to learn what "SIT DOWN NOW" means) but once we got through that mess it was a near instant success. Dance Dance whatever pretty much stole the show but Kinect Adventures (the bundled game) was pretty damn satisfying. I feel Kinect is a bigger deal then the Wii's motion control - and I chock that up to not having to use any remotes.

On the homefront, I've been working on Combo Storm a little here and there. The goal now is to get the random level selection system working and provide more content (which will also let me play with more with level design). I've been adding some smaller elements when I don't have enough time and I tried to throw in a "stake gun" but it only revealed wholes in the code - in this case 2 actions fighting for control of the same variable on an Agent. I'm going to write a little helper object that can help actions "take control" of the variable and deny others from modifying it during that time.

As always..stay tuned.