Saturday, March 15, 2014

Day 7 - Success!

Third Planet

I have finished my 2014 7 Day Roguelike - Third Planet! I have done everything I can to stay within the spirit of the challenge. I tried to make a complete game with all the features I planned. I tested it as well as I could alone. It has multiple levels and a win condition with a bit of a story to guide the way. I supported several key options and provided a help screen. I uploaded the game for review and technically have about 7 hours left in my week. Therefore, I am calling this year a success!

I got a lot of polish in my last day. I tweaked the alien AI to make it hard but not impossible. I also made some other changes to get it in a good spot. I worked on the difficultly curve quite a bit. It was hard to gauge since I could not beat it without cheating. I was able to complete the last two levels starting out there. I think start to finish is doable and provides a good level of fun and challenge. I will work on beating my own game outright later.

I added the energy system I planned. It was needed to balance the game and it gives a resource to manage which I think is fun. It was a bit more challenging than I thought it would be to get something that worked well.

I worked on level generation quite a bit. I tried to place elements in interesting ways but keep randomness. I would like to have added some more variety but I think for the length of the game it is adequate.

I cleaned up the interface and added a nice font. I was looking for a way to represent energy besides a number. I thought of a graphic and then I realized - 'duh' the @. I am happy that I worked that in.

The last thing I did for features was improve the transitions and ending. They were abruptly jumping to the next phase which didn't give a good feeling of flow. I wanted a something to happen for beating the game too. You have to do it to find out what it is though!

I cleaned up my compiler warnings, removed invincibility, added various key support and generally tried to get everything tidy. That way I was really prepping for a final deployment. I know its legal to have a later bug fix release. I just didn't want to intend on it.

I really enjoyed the experience this week working on my game. Completing a game is something I have daydreamed about for some time. Now I have done it!

Third Planet 7DRL

Friday, March 14, 2014

Day 6

I have a game! I turned all the concepts I had into a working game with levels and a win condition!

I got a ton of work done today. I added a title screen, menus, help, intro, credits and win/loss screens. I added a director to manage the game flow and put all the elements together for a level. I put in messages to guide the player. All in all it is looking really good.

Right now I am struggling with how to balance the levels. My brain just isn't working anymore though.

I will post it up for feedback as soon as I can. Day 7 will hopefully be all polish and testing. For now I need some rest.

Here is an attempt at a download link:

Third Planet Day 6

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Day 4 & 5

Days 4 & 5 are complete. I didn't have much time yesterday but I did get Alien ships added along with path finding to player.

I was enjoying my progress today. I refined the alien AI and gave it the ability to shoot at the player. Its too good which discourages me from making this a one hit point game. One thing it is not good at so far is surviving in an asteroid belt!

I spent way too much time today trying to add tiles larger than 8x8 to the scene. I did finally get it worked out. You can see my placeholder (hopefully) art for the base ship and alien mother ship.

I have small and large asteroid belts, comets, nebulas, alien ships and giant motherships. Now all I need is a game. It is amazing how much those things combined do not make it a game. I have been having fun flying around testing things out, shooting at stuff and dodging asteroids. I need to get that fun captured in a sequence that has some organized flow. If I don't get that done tomorrow then I probably won't be able to call this a success from the 7DRL challenge perspective. The bright side is that I have been having a blast doing it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Day 3

It was another work day but I got a couple hours in on the project. I added collision between the player and the environment. I also allow the player to adjust their speed up or down. The faster you go, the less control you have of the ship. I like that dynamic.

I am debating about making this a one hit point game. It makes some thematic sense that if you hit an asteroid or are shot by an enemy that your ship is relatively weak and would be destroyed. I will have to think about it a bit.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 1 & 2

The first two days are in the books. Its definitely going much slower than I hoped. Day 1 I got a lot of time in but covered a lot of basic ground. I can see why they recommend using ASCII. I spent most of my time just getting the tiles right. I have randomly generated sectors of space and the ability to move around. 

Day 2 was a work day so I only got a couple hours in. I added a messaging system and the ability to display messages (not shown).

The experts said to get a working game within the first couple days. Thats not looking good so far but its next on the list. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Day Zero - Third Planet

I started this blog to document my experience with the 2014 7 day roguelike challenge ( This is my first attempt at making a complete game. I have read many books on the topic. I have experimented with code on countless occasions. I have tried to rope my friends into making a game. However, I have never just sat down and made a complete one on my own.

I first heard about the 7DRL challenge on Roguelike Radio right after the 2013 event. A new crop of them had just been finished and I learned about all of the interesting games people were able to make in just one week. I knew then that I wanted to try it out this year.

I am working out the details for my game. The working title is Third Planet. It will be about a colony ship that is returning home to find its origins. The player will pilot a smaller ship that is used to gather information and resources that are needed to find the way back to the third planet. They will also protect the ship from alien races that are determined to stop them from reaching home.

I decided to make my game in Java using libGDX. I have been experimenting with it and find it to be a very useful framework. I have been able to make some basic sprites moving around on the screen. I am not confident how far that will get me into completing a full game because there is so much more that is required. That is what I am here to find out.