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Dev Blog: Project Moldering

Voting has begun!

In just 7 short days we crammed countless hours into a game full of character, charm, replayability, and pixel art. For anyone who doesn’t know, the Ludum Dare hosts one of the largest game development competitions to-date.

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We participated in this month’s Mini Ludum Dare to create a real time strategy game as a prototype to a game design we’ve been floating around. The result was so successful that we’ve decided to flesh it out as a complete package and distribute it on the web as freeware.

Without further ado:

World’s Aftermath: A Sickening Dystopian Warzone Realtime Simulator.

Please take it upon yourself to do us the great service of rating the project in hopes that we may finish in the competition gloriously.

More info about the game, the development process, what we had to cut, and what we plan to add in the coming weeks can be found here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2013/07/30/worlds-aftermath-post-mortem/

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Computer music filled with binary love.

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So, in the spirit of figuring out how many months I’ve spent on Moldering (see below), I was curious as to how many lines of code I’ve written for the project. Right now, here are the current stats:

April 2012:

  • # of source files: 128
  • # of lines of code:15,721

This does not include any of the code I’ve removed, rewritten, or just doesn’t exist any more for various reasons. So, the amount of code I’veeverwritten for Moldering is definitely a bit higher. But let’s just use this data and look at some comparative statistics:

Let’s assume the median book length is about 64,000 words (http://askville.amazon.com.com, 2012). Also, let’s take the average sentence length as 20 words (http://strainindex.wordpress.com, 2012). Then, the median book is about 3,200 sentences in length. If we were to assume that an average line of code is equal to about an average sentence in length then that’s, word for word, a little under 5 (≈4.91) novels worth of code I’ve written in the 19 months I’ve spent on the project.

There’s a lot of things we didn’t take into consideration and it’s not necessarily possible to compare the two. Also, given different data (the mean value and standard deviation, for example), I could have given much better statistics, however, that’s still a lot of hard work and dedication considering I’ve personally written every line of code in the project.

Anyway, just thought those stats were fun so I figured I’d share them.

-James

References:

http://askville.amazon.com/average-length-words-typical-min-avg-max/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=505617

http://strainindex.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/the-average-sentence-length/

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So, I went through the developer’s log I’ve been keeping of Moldering. I actually started the game later than I thought. I had originally thought I had started Moldering in 2007, however, the first documentation goes back to March 2008.

Also, I haven’t been working on the game as much as I had assumed. for one point I put the project down for almost a year. Here’s the years broken down into when I worked on it:

  • 2012: 1 month
  • 2011: 4 months
  • 2010: 3 months
  • 2009: 6 months
  • 2008: 5 months

I had originally thought I put more time into it overall, but rather than having worked on the game for 5 years now, I really have only worked on it for 19 months, that’s just over a year and a half. Here’s hoping I can keep development more continuous now that I’ve taken to documenting the entire game and it’s features on graph paper!

-James

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Tonight’s updates are brought to you in list form:

-Programmed in locks for KeyBugs. The locks run a user-made script when activated with the corresponding KeyBug. They work like a charm!

-Added StoneTablets. StoneTablets are basic stone blocks, operated by magic. They can be moved by scripts and can be all sorts of things, from hovering/moving platforms to rising stairs or door. This is the big thing. It’s big because I made use of some old physics code that I could never get working, but finally fixed tonight which runs algorithms to transport whatever is on top of them along with them perfectly, and solidly.

Again, that is all.

-James

P.S. These things were implemented straight out of the first chapter’s design. More on that later.

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Finished programming KeyBugs (yes, the name’s not original, but you get what they do.) The key system in Moldering will be very different in regards to most other games in that the keys flutter around the player until they’re brought to a lock. In all other matters they’re the same.

Also, programmed the locks and a color coding scheme which designates which keys can be inserted into which locks.

-James

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That is all.

P.S. They look freaking sweet.

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Just a small update for all the curious minds. Haven’t taken a hiatus, rather some good news. Six of the abilities have been implemented. We’ve been spending time implementing and tweaking them. I’d say three of them are done, mechanically, they just need visual aesthetics to make them more pleasing. The other three need to be tweaked more to get them perfect.

The six abilities so far are: Wind, Fireball, Rock, Earth, Vine, and Bees. Some other ideas we’ve been toying with are Time, Gravity, Teleport, Water, and a few others that we’ll leave hidden for now. Videos should be up soon showing some of them off after we get some new maps done for demonstration purposes.

-James

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Zack and I were asked to do an interview about Moldering for a small indie game blog, Grizzly Pixel. The interview provides some insight into Moldering and also us as developers as well. If you want to check out his blog, we’ve given him previously unreleased screenshots showing off the current state of the game and the current abilities. Unfortunately, his post won’t go up until Friday, so for now you can check out the interview in it’s entirety below:

Read More

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Fading Caves and Ability Ring

This video shows off the ability ring. The mouse is used in Moldering to select abilities and then to use them. Since this video, three have been implemented: Rock, Fireball, and Quake. Each of which requires a unique use of the mouse. You’ll have to wait for future updates/videos to see these in action.

Secondly, you can see how caves can be entered. Upon entering a cave the foreground will disappear and the player will be able to see inside the cave and all the beautiful things contained within.

-James

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Lighting, Weather, Parallaxing, OH MY!

Here’s two new video’s to show of some of the new neat-o-rama updates for Moldering. There’s also a few smaller changes, if you pay attention closely (or read the dialog boxes), that haven’t been in previous videos.

The first video shows off the new volumetric and ambient lighting systems. There’s three in place. I personally favor the first, and I believe we’ll be using that for most things. The others might prove useful in caves, or other areas.

#12 Moldering: Lighting Effects

#12 Moldering: Lighting Effects

Some ideas we’re toying with: little glowing lightning bugs that hover and dart around, complete with their own light source and strings of glowing mushrooms that glow brighter as you near them. Again, complete with their own light sources.

The next video shows off many different features including the new predictive camera system that lets the player see ahead of them. This video also shows off the dynamic weather system which adds to the atmosphere of the first world, as well as the parallax scrolling that I’ve been meaning to implement for some time now.

#13 Moldering: Parallaxing, Weather, Camera

#13 Moldering: Parallaxing, Weather, Camera

Since these videos we’ve added some other features, including fading foreground objects. This way the player can enter caves and the walls in front will fade to let the player see into the cave. You’ll see these updates in upcoming videos.

Feedback is always welcomed!

-James

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New Lighting Systems:


There are three candidates for the lighting system used in Moldering. I’ve designed all three myself using Java2D (which for some reason runs faster on my computer than OpenGL). Certain areas and worlds will be shrouded in darkness, both to add to the atmosphere of the game and to affect the gameplay centered around exploration.

-James

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