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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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  Meet Me 11:03 AM -- Fri March 26, 2021  

Oh no, I did a video with me in the corner! Yikes! More progress on assorted random facets of Moon Invaders 2, so check it out anyway. I'm really annoyed that "Tower Power" is the name of a key stat, but "Tower Damage" wouldn't be right for support towers, so for now it's the best name I can come up with.
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  Meet Some Random Stuff 10:47 AM -- Fri March 12, 2021  

Here's more develog action! This week, I skittered around wildly into different areas of the game, just to have something there rather than huge black holes. Pretty sure my focus over the next couple weeks will be the gear system though, which I have barely scratched the surface.

Secret bonus info to the video: The WORST part of making games is dealing with the wonky UI systems that every single game engine in the world uses. Guaranteed, whatever you try to do, no matter how simple, will somehow break a fundamental rule of the engine's system. For me, I spent hours yesterday dealing with the fact that as soon as I held down the mouse button, all my buttons would stop responding to mouseover (including the button I was on, which was reporting "hey, the mouse is no longer over me!" the instant you click). The functional success you see in the video above (the gear drag n' drop) is actually a huge hack, which is inevitable when trying to twist a game engine UI system into shape. Writing from scratch is so much nicer, but I'm trapped in these blueprints!
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  Meet The Alien Editor 11:25 AM -- Fri February 26, 2021  

Another fine develog today, showing off some random junk, including the alien editor - now, I know people's brains often flip out when they hear the word editor, so let me say that this is a developer tool, not an end-user feature. While I could polish it up for end-user use, this just isn't a game where player editing makes any sense. Since a level just consists of a collection of aliens attacking, there's not really anything interesting to edit. It's not like Dr. Lunatic where you get to build an entire world and make puzzles and things. So I can't see anybody really using an editor for this game. Anyway, check out what IS in there, and I'll keep working on it.
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