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  The Levels, They Are A-Changin' 07:09 PM -- Fri February 19, 2010  

Yes, this game shall have an editor! It's actually quite a bit like Costume Party in most ways, with the exception of playing totally differently. So think of how that works regarding creating levels and playing user-made levels and such, and that's about the Daibaka way (difference being this game includes vast amounts of Hamumu-made levels, it's not entirely about user levels). I think level editors greatly enhance the appeal, longevity, and interestingness (in terms of having something to talk about) of a game, so I definitely try to include them when it makes sense and isn't crazy work.

One nice thing in this game is autotiling. I created what you see in the shot by just scribbling, and the only tool that exists right now is blank space, so it automatically carved all those corners and everything as a result. None of that tedious work finding just the corner piece you need. Incidentally, I made the tileset today too - let me tell you, it takes a lot of tiles to cover every combination. 47, I believe, unless I forgot some.

This weekend is a Mini-LD contest. I think I will give it a try, so I may have a mini-er game to show you after the weekend!
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  Daibaka Development 08:47 PM -- Wed February 17, 2010  

Look, there's a menu now! This is the equip menu, which as you can see contains precisely one weapon. The 402 in the weapon description is actually drawn from the weapon's stats, and changes as it levels up (maxes out at 2400). It is hoped that there will come a day when it instead contains 70 weapons, 70 devices, and 70 kabooms (not soon - this game won't be, and doesn't need to be as you will find out, complete at launch). Kaboom was the best (well, now I'm questioning that seeing it written here...) suggestion for a 6-letter word that would mean superbomb. I'm wondering if it should be X-Bomb instead. The other tricky bit about them (that Kaboom doesn't support) is that many of them won't be bombs. They'll be time stoppers, cloaking devices, super-repair droids, EMP pulses, maybe other weird stuff. Anything you'd have as an emergency trick you can pull out only once or twice rather than firing constantly.

Anyway, this page will contain notably more information than it currently does at some point. Like it'd be nice if it told you what level you were about to play, and your current level and XP and whatever. Maybe a picture of Quasar (that's the guy who builds and repairs Sol's spaceships and weapons) would be appropriate. Maybe Q-Bombs should be the superbombs, since Quasar makes them.

But anyway, I'm so glad to be past painful bugs and feeling like this thing is moving along and making sense now. It's going pretty fast at this point, even if there's still no gameplay per se. Do you really need gameplay when you have a menu with so many potential items in it?
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  What are you DOING here?! 06:05 PM -- Mon February 15, 2010  

Take the poll!

I made a poll to get some handy info. Please put in your info. It would be very handy to know such things. Thanks!

Man, I've had another sketch sitting around for like a week and I'm just too lazy to take the picture and upload it. For that matter, I ought to sketch more sketches since, you know, "daily". Today's an interesting day, not so much a productive one, but some stuff has happened. Haven't touched Daibaka though, that's tomorrow's job. Speaking of jobs, I need to come up with a new web feature to add this month, don't I? Hrmmm...
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  Yar, Boarded By Bugs 07:03 PM -- Fri February 12, 2010  

In this picture, you can see who is the first crook Sol Hunt will face. Remember him? Also, you can see several new things. For one, Sol is holding her superbomb in the non-gun hand (in this case, it's apparently a giant bowling ball. I just made a random shape to test it, but really, that could easily be one of the bombs. Not sure what it would do!). For another, on her back is a Device. Devices are a passive bonus of some kind, whether it's extra armor, radar tracking, boost to your weapons, or something far more interesting like a radioactive pulse that hurts all enemies a little bit every second. And the last new and interesting thing is that the gun arm, flame, shells and bullets are all now antialiased. They look way better! That was a nice feature in the new version of Flixel I am now using, but I'll probably end up having to turn it off as the game fills up with monsters and bullets everywhere. It slows things down.

So yeah, that new Flixel version. They just released a major update for it yesterday, and I decided to switch to it when I read about the things it offered (mainly faster collision checking - I knew I would have tons of bullets in this game, and that could prove very important). It's way better than the old version! For one, it's a lot faster. I no longer experience slowdown in debug mode with all my bullets and shells flying. It's also got a lot of great features and it makes a lot more sense to me too. I really like coding with it. On the downside, I'm having some serious problems. For one, I had to take that screenshot with Daibaka facing right, because the backpack and bomb both refuse to flip when you face left. I have no idea why, and I can't find anything that makes them different from the other parts which do flip. The other major problem is that I can't for the life of me get Daibaka to collide with walls anymore. The bullets have no problem hitting walls, but she just zips right through them.

These are really frustrating issues because I have the complete source to Flixel, I can dig right in there and I do. I put trace() statements to see what's going on, I check everything, and it all seems to be working just fine... it just doesn't! Total mysteries.

I'm not blaming the fact that the game will not even be hardly started on February 14th on these issues, though. It is nowhere near far enough long to get finished either way, and I accept that. I have been slow on it. But I am having fun, I am enjoying the game concept, and I feel like I'm learning a ton about making flash games.
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  To Ease Many Minds 05:15 PM -- Tue February 9, 2010  

(And stop the constant questioning!) The new Claim Yerfbucks page has absolutely no purpose. I made it for potential future use - so I can give Yerfbucks to people without regard for what their Dumb Account is or whether they even have one. The primary purpose would be so that paper certificates could exist like "Sign up for Hamumu, enter this code, and you'll get 50 bonus Yerfbucks!" That sort of thing. Maybe you'd be able to buy gift certificates for people that they could cash in on that page.

So do not give it a second thought. As an existing Hamumian, it has no effect on your life whatsoever. If someday you were to get a claim code for some reason, it wouldn't be any different than if I just gave you that many Yerfbucks directly, only it's more work for you. The exciting thing would be whatever it was that caused you to get those Yerfbucks, not the presence of a page where you can claim them.
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  The Real First Gun 04:43 PM -- Tue February 9, 2010  

It was fun messing with the uberflamethrower, but here's the actual gun you start the game with. It's currently called the Autocannon, but I can probably do better than that. It is much faster than this picture makes it seem - the bullets just fly really fast, which is why they are so far apart. To be precise, it fires 2400 rounds per minute.

I just had to try making it spew casings, and they work pretty well. That's actually only half as many bullet casings as it should be. It used to be the proper number (and had double-muzzle-flash to go with it), but that was just a ridiculous waste of resources. I'm totally going to cause massive browser slowdown with the things I want to do in this game. Probably not the best plan to jam as much firepower as possible into a flash game, but I enjoy it and I will keep going until I discover it's too slow. I will probably have to reduce this monster's rate of fire to start with.

I guess maybe some idea of how the game actually works would be good. You'll learn more as time goes by (Ha, the 14th... notice there was a "Yeah, right" voice in BTD! I'm trying, but I'm not holding my breath). For now, let me tell you that it's a series of smallish levels. Before you go in, you pick which Weapon, Device, and Bomb you will equip. You will gain more to choose from as you beat the bosses. The levels are in sets of 5 - if you collect all the evidence in 4 of those levels (aka beat them - collecting all the evidence is how you finish the level), the 5th level becomes available, and of course the boss is lurking within. Or to be more precise, the crook is lurking within, for you to apprehend and collect your bounty!

And fair warning on actual progress: ALL the game consists of right now is that random garbage level (made of Robot Kitty tiles, yes! That's temporary) in which you can float around blasting away at the walls. I'm making progress, but half the time I feel like I'm developing an entire new paradigm of game development to work around how Flixel does things and how Flash itself does things (still, Flixel is giving me lots of free features I don't want to throw away). At least it's all a lot of really good learning even if it's slow.

And besides, I'm working really hard on the Fool For Love achievement in WoW. You don't want me to miss my chance, right?
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  Just thought it was kinda cool 10:28 PM -- Mon February 8, 2010  

I drew an explosion animation and wanted to test it out, so for a real quick first pass, I just replaced the bullets I had with explosions (would've taken a lot longer to actually implement a legitimate cause for explosions than to just insert them in place of the bullet launching code). Voila, it's an uber-flamethrower! Of course, they whip along so fast, I actually can't tell if they work as explosions at all, so I will have to implement them the right way. But this is fun to swing around for the moment.
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  Daibaka Design 01:59 PM -- Fri February 5, 2010  

(image is pixel-doubled, it's really half this size) When I first decided I wanted to create a suit of battle armor for Sol Hunt to fly around in (inspiration: Bangai-O... try it, it's fun! Oh that's right, the Dreamcast is DEAD), I had a specific image in my head. It was going to have a big orange cockpit in the middle, all surrounded by the usual metally bits that mechs are made of. But getting that image down on pixels turned out very tricky! This sheet is an unedited copy of how I got there.

The stuff in the lower right were my first attempts... just sort of fiddling around in a 16x16 space trying to put together a basic shape (which works great on living creatures, I don't know why this was so tough!). That didn't go well. Another attempt, and a random grey blob that might be a duck, is to the left of the large middle robot.

Then I tried creating it as vector art. The big one in the middle is a greatly shrunken down version of that. Again, I was just doing basic shapes, not a detailed final. I liked what I had in general, so I shrunk it way down, which is what you see on the left (top one). Then I pixeled over the shrunken one to make it as defined as it needs to be when it's so small (that's the lower left).

This pleased me! It's not 'cool', it's a wacky eggbot, which is exactly what I want (and not easy to do in such a small space!). So the upper row is it being colored into the final Sol Hunt colors (she always uses yellow and orange, that's her thing). I wasn't sure about the arms being orange, so I tried the white arms on the left too. Orange is better. The third of those is subtly different - it's her standing on the ground. I don't know if I'll even use that. It's a 'fly around with a jetpack' game, so you don't ever need to land, it'd just be a pointless visual effect for when you happen to have ground directly under you.

In-game, the left arm is a separate object which rotates to face the mouse cursor rather than having discrete angles. She fires with the left arm, the right arm is just there because you can't make a one-armed robot. Maybe it can be involved somehow in the 'using a superbomb' animation. If I make an animation for that. The fun thing I just implemented is that her gun arm is different depending on which weapon is equipped. There are many weapons. Well, there's one. But there will be many.
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  Daily Sketch #15: Mongrel 05:08 PM -- Thu February 4, 2010  

I think this is a REALLY bad drawing. I couldn't come up with how to give his body the proportions I wanted... I like his head, and that's it. Anyway, these are big monster dogs, a lot like the Ice Hounds in LL2 (and those have the body structure I wanted to make here!), but instead of being icy, they are rather fiery, as the inset with text explains. They're not dogs made of fire, just sort of demonic. They're scavengers that prowl the Thorny Ruin, and don't like being disturbed.
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  Behind The Dumb Episode 9 is here! 02:41 PM -- Thu February 4, 2010  

Episode 9 of Behind The Dumb will get you up to speed on all the decades between the last episode and now. Sorry, Loonyland Tactics, we will miss you and your cute rideable bunnies! Stay tuned to the journal for information on Daibaka MAX over the next couple weeks.
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