Saturday, January 26, 2013

Punchy Update

Latest version has been released on the Stencyl Arcade

I'm happy with how this is coming out generally, but may have to stop work on this where it is currently, only so many more days in the month and I feel as a proof-of-concept and a learning exercise it's come as far as it can for now. I'll likely want to make a more complete version later on, have ideas for projectile effects and destructable terrain I think could be implemented without too much hassle, but honestly I'm fairly happy I was able to build a platforming control behavior from essentially scratch.

That said, I'm giving serious thought to abandoning Stencyl. Coding issues aside, it's just been problem after problem with little to none feedback explaining why. The most recent days-long issue was with a music file that could compile to the testable version, but not to the exported SWF, and there was nothing explaining as much. Converting the bitrate was a doddle, but if there is absolutely nothing suggesting this is the massive, crippling problem other than "Error, check internet connection", the hell am I supposed to do? Now that Construct 2 is available on Steam I think I'm going to give that a shot for the next project I think, most of the logic should translate without incident. I'll give Stencyl another look when it finally gets to version 3, which they've been teasing for the past year.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

So here's Stencyl for you

I present a screen from the first Prototype of Punchy!, a run-n-punch-em-up I'm putting together as my January project for One Game a Month, and while it's just past in my time zone, it still qualifies as my first proper Screenshot Saturday. I've also got a Link to the prototype such as it is, not very much at the moment (he can't even Punch fer crissake) but he's got Running and Jumping down... sort of.

I'm having a bunch of trouble with Stencyl, trying to get it to do what I want it to do. In my head I have the logic set out all basic: Press right, go right. Press Jump, and Jump. Press Punch, and Punch. and then I get into Stencyl and try to use the basic sets of code for the simple things and run right into problems. The basic "Run and Jump" behavior block, for instance, gave him squat for friction so he slides around everywhere. Trying to do the "On Punch-Keypress, play punch animation for 0.3 seconds, then return to idle stance" thing  gets overridden by built in thingies as well, and it's frustrating because I'm trying to use the stuff that makes this convenient, but that will just give me the game I don't want to make.

The way I'm looking at it presently I have one of two things to do: A, resign myself to having to learn all of this from the bottom up, not using any of the convenient behavior code-packets built into Stencyl (and if that's what I'm doing, I may as well just learn ActionScript for a year, which I sort of don't want to do) and try to re-learn Game Loops and all sorts of stuff I never properly learned in the first place, or B, try to make either a much simpler game (one without physics at all) or C, bugger around with GameMaker or Torque or something in the hopes that it gets easier. Either this just isn't... it just isn't doing what I want it to at the moment.

Once I get him moving around and behaving the way I want, though, I think the rest should come easy enough. The idea through the game is power-ups will give you bigger and bigger fists, you can beat down enemies, and with enough force, you'd knock them back hard enough to hit other enemies and stuff. Just a crazy, messy, carnage-fest of a thing by the end that's all sort of procedurally generated by the built in physics.

I have better ideas put together for later months as well, after this I want to try an Idea I had for a JRPG based loosely on the Power Rangers, go from Human to Warrior to Robot to Enormous Mecha. But the twist would be maintaining character dynamics between otherwise clashing personalities, without which the Mecha can't achieve certain forms. To my knowledge (which is, I'll be the first to admit, limited) I don't think there is a JRPG like that, and I don't know why.