Another link

Poor decision on my part, but I have the game compressed with 7zip, when I probably should’ve used  WinZip – due to it being, well, everywhere.  Anyway, here’s the link to a .zip version:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/95522906/Instant%20Replay%20-%20Beta%20Test.zip

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Survey time

Once you play the game, can you please click here to take the survey.  It’s only 3 questions long and would really help me make the game much better than it is at the moment.

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BETA Time!

Finally, it’s here.  Or more specifically, here:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/95522906/Instant%20Replay%20-%20Beta%20Test.7z

A word of warning, I forgot to mention that the WSAD keys and mouse move you around, but they’re there in the options and you can remap the keys if you want.  Also the ENTER key is the only way to time travel at the moment, and will send you back the maximum amount of time (5 minutes or when you started, whichever is shorter).  Don’t worry, I’ll do something about that before the second Beta.

It works with my computer which has the following basic stats:

  • RAM: 3.68 GB usable
  • CPU: Intel Core i3 @2.4GHz per core
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT420M with 1GB RAM
  • OS: Windows 7 64bit Home Premium with SP1

This is the first of two Beta tests.  In this one, I’m trying to find out what players think of it as it is, how difficult they find the level to solve, and what else they’d like to see in it.  Bug squashing takes a secondary role, but if you find any big ones, I’d like to hear about them.

Speaking of which, I’ll be making a survey for you guys to fill out, and the first question will probably be along the lines of “Can you start the game?”.

Now this Beta version doesn’t have a whole heap of things that I will implement before the next Beta like:

  • Sound effects
  • Music
  • More Particle Systems
  • More Options
  • Level Selection
  • Persistent Settings
  • Better HUD
  • More Levels
  • Option Screen Backgrounds (Suggestions anyone?)
  • An actual title to the Splash Screen
  • Controllable Time Travel

If I have time I’ll add:

  • Shadows
  • A full Save/Load system

Oh yeah, a LOT more for me to do.  You may also be wondering why I only have one level in there at the moment.  Well I definitely know that the level is passable and frankly, it’s the one I’ve been doing most of my testing on, due to its having a nice variety of tasks.

God, this is nerve-wracking.  I’m just hoping you don’t hate it…

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Almost

I came so close to finishing all the CDR stuff yesterday (give or take a few bugs), but as I write, I’ve only got one more thing to implement before I start putting in the particle systems.  Only thing is, it’s becoming a big problem.  You’d think driving up a ramp wouldn’t be such a big deal, but yeah it kinda is.

I thought I had this figured out, but I thought about it a bit more and realised that it wouldn’t work.  Just as I’m writing this, thoughts are going through my head on how I can implement it.  It keeps coming down to two options:

  •  I could make it an animation, which takes away a lot of control from you, the player, but it makes it easier and faster for me to program (and time is something I never have enough of)
  • I could implement some fancy CDR stuff which would slow me down (painfully so), but give players more freedom.

If I’m to have any hope of keeping to my schedule, I’m going to have to go with the first option.  That really sucks because I want as much control as possible to be with the player, but I also want to finish the project.

Hope you guys don’t mind but I think I’ll delay the first round of Beta testing a few days, so that means instead of late this week, you’ll get to test my game first thing next week.

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STILL doing CDR!

Title says it all.  Hopefully it also conveys my frustration.  While Collision Detection and Response is among the first things you learn when making games, it doesn’t stop being a pain.  In happier news, I’m sure that I’ll be done by mid-week.  Yay!

In other news I’ll be conducting my first Beta test, open to all, near the end of next week.  That’s right – BETA TESTING.  Tell your friends, family, acquaintances and if you feel like it, random strangers on the bus!

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More Collisions

Happy Easter, and yep, I’m still working on Collision Detection and Response (CDR for the cools cats out there.  Wait did I just say that?  Screw it, can’t be bothered deleting it.).  I’ve got the rotation part working when testing against the time travelling copies, I’ve implemented gravity or some facsimile of it, I’ve (finally) got the lifts actually lifting stuff and I’ve even got the robot pushing the boxes around.

HOWEVER

There is still a lot more CDR to get done.  Actually it’s mostly the ‘R’ part because Collision Detection is quite easy, but making stuff respond in the way you want is … not.  I’m starting to wonder if I should have used a physics engine.

The reason I didn’t was partly to do with the overhead required to learn someone else’s tools (and I’m not talking about something analogous to a hammer and a chisel, I’m talking about something more similar to a whole hardware store).  It’s also partly to do with the fact that I’m breaking the laws of physics to make this game, so I figured adding a physics engine would probably give me more headaches than it would solve.

I’m hoping that this game will turn out to be more of a prototype or a spiritual predecessor of an even better game (fingers crossed) similar to Narbacular Drop being the spiritual predecessor of Portal (fingers and toes crossed).  However if I do further develop the game sometime in the future, I’ll definitely look at physics engines.  Oh well, 20/20 hindsight.

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Test vs Implementation

So yeah, it’s not a straight-forward thing to get something from a test into the game.  I’m talking about the time travelling mechanic.  As you can see, I’ve got it ‘sort of’ working:

MultipleBots

There’re multiple instances of the robot so that’s good, but the collision detection isn’t up to scratch.  In my test I was focusing on the collision response for translation, and I forgot about rotation.  Collision response for non-spherical objects at different angles from each other is kind of hard.  Well, back to work for me.

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Framework ‘Pretty Much’ Done

The framework is (as the titles suggests) almost done.  I just need to pretty it up a bit.  As it turns out, it took a lot longer than I expected, but at least it’s done.

Other than that, nothing much is going on other than a bunch of Alpha Testing and evaluating.  Hopefully I’ll have more to report next week.

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Time Travel – It’s Possible

At least with a little imagination and a modern computer.  Actually from what I found, the method I’m using to record time and store it in RAM would work on a computer from 20 years ago (in theory).  The tests were very successful and I even implemented some rudimentary collision detection.  However, remember that this was a 2D test so the 3D test may result in more space being needed, but nothing more that a few Megabytes which in modern computers is roughly equal to NOTHING AT ALL.

In other news, I’m also working on the framework that holds the game together like switching between option screens, menu screens, splash screens and of course, switching into the game.  It’s slower going than I expected but I reckon I can finish it within the week.

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Good News Everyone

I figured out Oriented Bounding Boxes.  It seems that you just use the Axis-Aligned Bounding Box equations but use local coordinates of one, test, use local coordinates of the other, test again.  If they BOTH detect a collision, then there is an OBB collision.

In other good news (everyone) I’ve run the first Time Travel tests.  Admittedly it’s in a 2D world at the moment, but the proof of concept is almost complete which lays the groundwork for the 3D versions.

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