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  Meet Devi! 11:01 AM -- Fri September 24, 2021  

Look, it's actually about meeting someone!

Devi Bhura is the main character of Moon Invaders 2! The fabulous artist Ben Rose - known to many of you as HSB since he's been a Hamumian since approximately birth - has done portraits for all the Moon Invaders cast that will be used for conversations in the game. Whoa, his username on our forums was actually HSB, but I just realized it could stand for Hamumian Since Birth (it doesn't, by the way). Deep.

As a player, you won't have to meet Devi, the archaeologist from Earth who was sent up to the moon to examine the alien monolith, since you are her. But the other characters are ones you will be meeting as you make your way around the moon, getting to know them better in typical Groundhog's Day fashion, by squeezing info out of them so that on your next loop around you can get to know them better, until eventually you have their deep dark secrets, allowing you to convince them you are caught in a time loop and get them to help you without having to spend your entire loop explaining things to them (see the Tom Cruise movie Edge of Tomorrow if you are unclear on the concept - it's a fun movie, too).

Right now I'm deep in the tangled tentacles of how this conversation/friendship system works and it is indeed a mess. I'm getting some ideas though.
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  Meet Missiles 03:12 PM -- Fri September 3, 2021  

So at long last we have another video update. This one is just an assortment of different things I've added since last time. It's actually missing a lot - a couple of new moon buildings and the features they create, tech elements and bug fixes, a bunch of stuff. But you get to see 2 cool new towers! There's now one tower of every category in the game: Blaster, Laser, Missile, and Support.

Since I explained what makes lasers unique last time, let me explain what makes missiles unique: instead of having a magazine they have to reload, missiles have a storage capacity which is constantly refilling by building new missiles. But building missiles takes a long time, so we also have the Cease Fire button. When you press that, all your missile towers will not shoot until you press it again. So you let your non-missile towers do work most of the time, while your missile towers build up their arsenal, then (as the video says) whammo blammo, you open fire and the missiles clean up the screen. You can also just let your missiles run all the time, they just won't do much damage since they're firing at a very low rate (I mean technically they're gonna do the same DPS either way, it's just a matter of when that DPS is applied). So every category of tower has a different style to it, to spice things up a bit. And there will be 4 tower types in each category, eventually.
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  The Future Adventures of Bouapha 10:39 AM -- Fri August 20, 2021  

Thanks to Ben Rose (aka HSB) for creating a tiny bit of art for me. It was just an idea I had and wanted to see. My elevator pitch was "Dark Souls Bouapha". I did not suggest the Yerfdog shoulder tattoo, but now that I see it, I feel like I may finally have to get my first real tattoo. Maybe. Not the no-pumpkins one though, because I have no problem with pumpkins.

I had it printed out on canvas, and it looks amazing on canvas. I have not managed to get it framed yet, but I'll share that when I do.

While this picture does not represent any actual development plans, it can be assumed that if Bouapha returns in a 3D adventure, his hammer will be at least this big.
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  Old Hamumu Flash Games! 03:02 PM -- Fri August 13, 2021  

Hey folks! Someone was asking me about playing the old games, and I looked in my files, and there is indeed a way to play my old flash games (not all of them, for various reasons, but a lot)!

You will need this tool: Adobe Flash Player Projector

Download that (don't even need to install it!), and then download the flash games from here: Hamumu.com/sourcecode. Drag them onto the projector EXE, and blammo, you're playing! I included Mia's Happy Day here, but it's fairly broken without internet stuff. You can still play the original levels at least. Others might have some minor issues as well.

I got sucked into these all morning, and not to toot my own horn, but those Boy's Life games are awesome. Super addictive. Pardon me while I continue my Scouts vs. Aliens build.
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  Meet My Pain 10:31 AM -- Fri August 6, 2021  

Well friends, I thought I should update more often, and here I am. But this week's update is the update of pain. I started straight in this week on making the Cryolaser Tower functional, and it is straight up pretty awesome (will show in the future). A slicey icy beam of destruction, which currently doesn't freeze anybody but does seem to rake in the damage, probably faster than it should since freezing is its purpose.

Well friends, there was a little hiccup. On a level with a large number of enemies, suddenly the second the beam starts firing, the framerate drops. HARD. In fact, in the debug build, it reached the point where the game actually quit out, reporting an infinite loop. There was no infinite loop, it's just that it had gotten slowed down so badly that it assumed there must be one (as far as I can tell, anyway). Like 1 FPS. So obviously before I could do anything else, I had to root out this issue.

Well friends, the issue is still there, and I found more issues. The first thing I tried was to see if this is a debug-only problem, which is quite likely - dealing with lists of enemies (actually, the issue is the cubes the enemies are made of - each one is its own entity, and there are a lot of them) is inevitably going to be massively slower in a debug build than a final build where it may be effectively instant, if the optimization is good. So let's see how the final build runs. It'll be good to see how to even make a final build, which I haven't done yet.

Well friends, we do not have a working final build. After a few hours of getting through a bunch of errors that only showed up in the release build (UE4 bugs/limitations, really - you have to manually recompile every blueprint that uses a structure if you change anything about that structure. They work fine in debug, but somehow it requires that manual recompile to get the release version working), I got it running, only to find that the aliens are invisible in the release build. Not only invisible, but the towers won't fire at them (understandable, you can't shoot what you can't see!), although they do wind up their firing animations. That's where I currently sit because I do not know how to resolve this. Something quite strange is going on with these items that are only visible/functional in a debug build. I'm sure it's solvable, but I don't really know where to begin since the code clearly works fine, as long as it's a debug build. It's gonna be a long long string of rebuilds with slight changes until I can pinpoint the issue, and building for release takes a long time each time. This is my least favorite kind of bug, and it's a real issue when working with somebody else's engine where you can't know what's going on inside.

Well friends, I've had a few days off doing other important life projects, and I'm glad for the break! So yeah, that's the update. Sometimes you hit these brick walls, but I will bash my head against it until something breaks, and I'm hoping it's the wall.

Well friends

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  Meet A Cool Dude 09:55 AM -- Fri July 30, 2021  

Hey dudes! I think things are coming together in a new way in this game. The past couple weeks have been all about ironing out all kinds of really dumb 'in-dev' type issues, like how I was ignoring a major issue with the repair truck (it would constantly freeze in mid-repair, making towers take three times as long to repair), because I had other things to do. So I cleaned up all manner of little bugs and missing elements. I didn't do a lot of actual new content, but here is one (half-finished) such piece.

It's the Cryolaser Tower! Classic, straight out of the original Moon Invaders, though there are some subtle changes. The tower is no longer a tank, for one. But also - not that I've coded this yet - it fires a continuous beam rather than pulsing individual shots. The beam gradually freezes the targets more and more (up to a point - it can't stop them completely).

While Blaster towers have ammo magazines of a certain size that have to reload, Laser towers work differently. They heat up with use, and when overheated, they have to cool completely before firing again. It's not *that* different, but it does mean that if no enemies are in sight, the laser can partially cool off and get more use rather than having a fixed number of shots between reloads.

Since the models are so tiny in-game, I thought I'd show the full-size Blender model today, to give you an idea of how that is. The materials are just very rough approximations, since I have to make the materials separately in the actual game anyway, so I don't bother to make anything fancy in Blender. I even changed my mind and made those yellow side bits blue (it's a CRYO tower!), although I'm not super liking that either, I should change it. The coolant tank's color isn't for looks, it's indicating how overheated the laser is.

I still haven't figured out what a "reasonable" number of polygons is, and I suspect I'm massively undercutting it by orders of magnitude. But I'm very old-school and I can't help but minimize it as much as possible. This model is 1,786 triangles. A quick google indicates that a Playstation 2 could output 20 million polygons a second, so I might be a little on the low side. I could probably add a detail or two. But you wouldn't be able to see it on that tiny tower anyway!

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  Meet The Noodle 11:35 AM -- Fri July 9, 2021  

I'm taking my ugly mug off this video because you don't need to see that. But you do need to see the excitement and adventure contained in MI2! It's going places at last. Feels like there is a light somewhere at the end of this tunnel, or at least rumors of one.
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  Meet The Gear 10:39 AM -- Mon June 14, 2021  

One month since the last update exactly! Oops. Check out the video for the latest info on that total gear overhaul I suggested was coming. It happened! And was a lot easier to implement than I expected.
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  Meet eor 10:18 AM -- Fri May 14, 2021  

It has been a while since the last update! The game is not in a state I want to make a video of, so here's another little text update. Since the last update, things have slowed a bit and gotten kind of penny ante. Lots of little tweaks and internal changes, refactoring things. One thing I've got is this:
That's the moon exploding! Something that would certainly have made a nice video rather than image... oh well! What I've really been focusing on for several weeks is something I came up with years ago as a very bad way to make a game, but a way to entertain myself. That is making the very beginning of the game 100% complete, and then just playing it, and each time I hit a wall (have skill points to spend and no skills to buy, for example), I add that part. Unfortunately, I'm still not totally done with even making the beginning complete. I'm very close - I can play a first zone which is semi-balanced, and either lose or win, but nothing happens when you lose yet (see picture above for what it will be soon).

It is really getting there though! I'm excited about the improvements. I think I'm heading for a total gear overhaul soon (fewer stats, which are more meaningful and fun), but I figure I should probably make it work to where you can get gear before I worry about what that gear is.
Actually, it's been such a long time, I kind of forgot how many little things have changed... here's a screenshot of gameplay with tons of small changes for you to puzzle over and consider! That building is the Apollo Lounge, where the all the cool people on the moon hang out.
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  Meet Fluff 12:08 PM -- Fri April 16, 2021  

Here's the latest hits on Moon Invaders! Dive into the time tunnel!
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