Aspiring independent game developer, working on Kobo II. Responsible for Kobo Deluxe, the enhanced XKobo port, and various strange engines and stuff.
Things (apart from time, that is!) haven't been moving as fast as I would have liked around here, and it doesn't help that I need to take on some contract work to pay the bills. However, the state of affairs with this account here is, as you've probably noticed, even worse! So, here's a short summary of what I've been up to since TP2.
Input processing has received a few bug fixes, and the configuration dialogs are a bit nicer; most importantly properly working OK/APPLY/RESET buttons, and visual feedback on the currently configured controls. Also, new, handpixeled fixed and proportional fonts; both based on Korataki, and some minor cosmetic tweaks to the GUI toolkit.
Started working on some new tracks, one of which is pretty much finished, as far as that goes with the current state of ChipSound. Using this one as the ingame track for now.
There's also a preview of another track in a much earlier stage. (That's how I usually start out; a basic "sound", a rudimentary song structure and a rough outline of the melodies and chord progressions I have in mind - and then I tweak it until it sounds right and/or matches my original vision.) Lots of little details left to do on that one, and the melody (chorus only so far) needs some work, but you get the idea...
And yes, both of these were handcoded entirely in ChipSound, as usual. While "simple" chords, melodies and rhythms would be quicker to record from the MIDI keyboard (which is a feature I plan to add soon), the text editor has turned out to be surprisingly effective! Thing is, I tend to "hear" parts of the music before I even start, so it all really comes down to implementing it one way or another. Less distraction is better, and that's exactly what you get with a single minimalistic tool like ChipSound. It's much like dealing with simple 8 bit sound chips, except you can use a few hundred of them if you like. Not much tech to get lost in - just get on with the music!
I've actually done some work on that too! ;-) I've been working a bit on the physics engine, adding damped springs and some other useful features, over which I've implemented a framework that allows the construction of physics driven bases by locking modules of various kinds together.
The modules are implemented as vehicles - and yes, they can still have shields, weapons, thrusters and even pilots, allowing for some true weirdness. Some indestructible modules, some modules with serious guns on them, a bunch of interesting base layouts, and this is starting to look like a game, I think!
As you might know, I participated in the now rather big Ludum Dare game development competition, where lots of people develop games over a weekend, either solo and all from scratch in 48 hours, or with a bit more relaxed rules in 72 hours. 891 games were submitted this time!
In case you haven't noticed, Kobo II has been authorized, and now has an official presence around here!
In other news, I'll be participating in the Ludum Dare LD22 this weekend. Last time around, the result of this 48 hour individual game development contest was 599 games, that is, almost double that of the round before that. Theme voting statistics suggest that we may see around one thousand games this time around...!
I'll be participating in the Ludum Dare 48 hour competition next weekend, using the tech behind Kobo II; EEL, ZeeSpace (though I probably won't be using that much, this time), ChipSound, OpenGL etc. Right now I'm trying to clean things up a little, and maybe make some little micro-LD entry for the Warmup Weekend thing running right now.
What this means is that some time before next weekend, I'll release a minimal package with the "Kobo II executive", along with some EEL code that I consider engine/library code rather than part of the game. This includes configuration management, a plugin/addon subsystem, a GUI toolkit and some other handy stuff. Also, a simple tool for visually marking up bitmap fonts, and a "ball editor." (Yeah, I'll let you think about that last one. ;-)
And, I just uploaded a small gameplay video from the Kobo II Tech Preview: Youtube.com
More to come, soon!
The Kobo II Tech Preview is now available for download! Long overdue release – short announcement! ;-)
From the included README:
Kobo II Tech Preview 1 Release Note
Kobo II (working title) is a top-down scrolling 2D
shooter, developed completely as a one-man endeavor
by the creator of Kobo Deluxe.
Unlike Kobo Deluxe, Kobo II is physics based, and is
intended to be played with dual analog sticks. (As in,
a modern game pad.) Although aiming to be a bit more
accessible and less unforgiving and frustrating than
Kobo Deluxe, Kobo II is in no way intended to become
a low resistance casual shooter.
As you may know, Kobo Deluxe is not an original game,
but rather a new engine and new media for the game
logic from Akira Higuchi’s XKobo. As such, Kobo II is
actually a new game by a different designer, more
than a true sequel.
It may in fact turn into something rather different
over time – and this is where You come in, aspiring
fighter pilot! This game is for You, me and all others
who loved XKobo/Kobo Deluxe, and want to see that
concept upgraded to modern standards. I want Your
ideas and feedback, to iteratively develop Kobo II to
its fullest potential.
As usual, everything is taking longer than expected, and building a new web site is no exception - but at least, that one is on-line now!
No user accounts yet, but pre-purchase is actually open for the adventurous; $3 for the first 300 comers, or until the first Alpha release.
Now for some audio mastering (soundtrack WIP snippets), and then back to finishing up the Tech Preview! Release before this weekend...?
I've been keeping a very low profile here so far - but that will end in a few days! This October, I've been participating in the Ludum Dare October Challenge 2011, with the intention of getting Kobo II ready for some sort of tech demo or alpha release.
That means there should be something for you to have a look at before Tuesday 1st! :-)
Kobo II started out in the previous October Challenge, with the idea of putting something very basic and minimalistic together, just to demonstrate the gameplay. However, I didn't get to actually spend much time on the game, being in the middle of starting my business, among other things, so I didn't release anything at the time.
As to this year's Challenge, after spending the first two weeks mostly messing with my scripting engine, I'm not likely going to get to where I originally intended. (The downside of rolling your own - and being pervertedly amused by tinkering with that sort of things...) I haven't had much time to work on content or gameplay, but I'll try to get some fun in there, these last few days. Might keep you entertained for a few minutes, and give you some idea of where this is going. :-)