Friday, June 22, 2012

Sliding Menus and Animated Seaweed (6/22/2012)

I have incorporated the Universal Tween Engine into Darwin's Aquarium, with astonishing effects. The Universal Tween Engine is wonderful to work with, and I highly recommend it for anyone doing java development. As of so far, I have tested it by animating the seaweed, sliding menu buttons, and have changed my color fading to be done via the Tween Engine.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sound Effects Preview

Nate Manuel contributed great sound effects for Darwin's Aquarium, which I have spent the day incorporating throughout the game. All sounds are original recordings with no post processing; work is to be done, but it establishes a solid starting point to build off of.

Along with the new sound effects, several months ago he made me this ambient track for the game, check it out!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

User Interface Updates

Working off of the basic layout I had previously sketched out, I have fleshed out a more complete version of the user interface. Some of the more prominent changes has been new graphics for the "Upgrade Food" and the back button; stand alone screens for creatures and structures; a trophy room to display your achievements (both complete and incomplete), and a save load screen.

Work In Progress of the Shop

The Main Store Screen.
The Full Structure Menu, Demonstrating locked and unlocked buttons.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Start of Summer Update

Much of the game is coming to fruition, the building creation system is nearly complete, I have finished the "auxiliary" menu which appears when structures or creatures are selected, and I have begun implementing a save system (finally!) using Gson. Gson is a fantastic google project used to convert Java Objects (and primitives) into Json and back in a very intuitive fashion. 

Much of the AI is coming to terms, a couple last bits of refactoring is needed then it just needs to be flushed out. In particular the happiness attribute of creatures need to be implemented.
My hopes are to raise enough money to pay for some kick-ass art. 

I'm planning on working towards setting up a Kickstarter soonIf that falls through, I plan on honing my photoshop skills a whip up some reasonable art assets. 

On another note, the sound is currently in progress. My good friend Nate Manuel (who has been with me on this project since day one) has created an ambient styled track for the music, and will be creating all of the sound effects. I'll throw up the ambient track here later in the week when I take some time off of programming.

All in all, I believe the game is on time to be released when school is back in session. Happy Mothers Day to all!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Structure Creation System

Everything is beginning to come to fruition, with the code settling down towards a more finalized state. Since starting this project I've learned magnitudes more about programming than previously.

Most importantly I made my object hierarchy much more shallow, moving more towards composition. In my case, this has lead to much smaller light weight classes and less bugs. I have implemented state machines (along with an event handler) rather than using a convulsive system of case blocks.

Demonstration of attaching two objects
Nothing could possibly be more rewarding than creation. Everyone has a little bit of a god complex laying latent. I wish to give the player the since of creation. There's a difficult balance to maintain here, it must be simple enough that anyone can use while still allowing for creativity flourish.

To achieve this there must be an adequate number of choices, each of which must effect the game in some manner. While effecting the game aesthetically is easy to achieve, I hope that the choices will effect how the game plays out.

For instance, there will be a treasure chest which collects coins giving the player 60 gold for the Golden Doubloon rather than the standard 50. The player can also purchase a coral reef which the user will have the ability to manipulate the shape via adding and changing 'branches' by choosing the node they connect to and the angle at which they come off of. A clever player might realize through particular coral reef designs, you could route more coins towards the treasure chest resulting in more gold.

Chaotic Motion Demonstrated Through Pendulum Chains In Box2D

I had the opportunity to use my existing game engine in a theoretical physics project. Since I was already implementing Box2D in my game I thought it would be fun to show chaotic motion in Box2D, using my structure creation system as a way to allow the player to build arbitrarily long pendulum chains. Each pendulum bob leaves a trail of dots in an Angry Birds-esque manner. It's not too much but it's a good demo for what I've been working on.
Try it out by scanning the QR code given below.
Scan to download!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Darwins Tank Meets Box2d Physics Engine

Box2d in all it's glory
I've implemented Box2d Physics Engine into my game, and a temporary way to attach game objects to physics objects. Box2d opens a lot of doors for this game, hopefully I will be able to make some interesting structures using the engine.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Daily Update of March 8th, 2012

As of 3/9/2012
What I've Added
  • Bubbles which float up and pop when you click them
  • A geyser which emits bubbles in a variety of sequences
  • More interesting sequence for emitting food from the volcano, as opposed to emitting all the food at once
  • A specific food type and different particle effects for the volcano
  • A minnow fish to act as a feeder fish for the predator
  • A high priced exotic fish, temporarily named the Clown Fish
  • Two different types of seaweed, one of which grows food to act as an additional way to feed your fish
  • Five more types of coins
  • Treasure chest, which will soon collect coins
  • Updated collision detection engine
  • Fixed predators eating objects of no hunger value, such as crabs
  • New and improved graphics!

What's To Come

  • Improved building placement scheme with some sort of "grid"
  • The ability to "design" your own structures by adding on attachments
  • Adding in the additional store screens for more buildings structures and creatures
  • The ability to knock food off of the plants

Friday, March 2, 2012

Daily Update of March 2nd, 2012

I have been mostly working on user interface, and a little bit on the features. I added in a slide in info pane when you select an object, the purpose of this will be to give information about said object, and upgrades or other options when appropriate. For example, structures upon selection will all give the option to move placement.
I have also added in five different types of foods you can upgrade to in the shop, each one with it's own texture size and stats.

Soon To Come
In the near future, I plan on fixing up the building placement, a long with general cleaning up of code. I also will be adding bubbles as eye candy.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Store Prototype Complete! Daily Update of 2/28/2012

Decorative Seaweed and new Store Hub
Daily Update of 2/28/2012
I went ahead and added in a lot of new features in a prototype fashion today. Many parts of the implementation aren't there but it's getting there!

What I've added

  • Basic store for creatures and structures
  • A button to access the store from in the main game
  • Prototype of structures, along with a couple decorative buildings (I know... I'm not artist)
  • Fish now turn green as they get hungry
  • Predictive goal seeking behavior
  • Decoupled flocking range and Detection range, now fish who are hungry will detect food at further distances and at a faster pace.

Temporary Store

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Daily Update of February 2nd, 2012

Daily Update of February 2nd, 2012

Temporary Score Font
I've switched back to working on a GUI for the store, and what not. Also working on implementing saving. Should have a working store by sometime next week.
I have also switched the font used to display the amount of doubloons to something a bit more fancy. Still temporary, but it is closer to what it will be when the game is released.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Darwin's Aquarium Current Progress

Darwin's Aquarium as of Febuarary 23rd 2012

Darwin's Aquarium Current Progress

As of this very moment, I have implemented the following:
  • Swimming and schooling behavior at run time.
  • Basic crawler behavior (like my crabs?)
  • Rudimentary predator behavior
  • Seeking coin and food/prey behavior, along with eating/collecting.
  • Growth of creatures in the tank.
  • Collecting of coins, and a basic keyboard interface to spend the coins.
  • Food dropping, and food movement.
What's To Come Soon
  • Improved crawler and predator behavior
  • Rudimentary structure code
  • Change the score font to be more decorative
  • Achievements 
  • Random events occurring in the behavior to give more depth

I'm hoping to find a little bit of time in my week to keep a documentation of my progress, so check back for more soon!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Welcome To My Game Dev Blog

I have been programming since I could read in one form or another. I started my adventures with a WYSIWYG game maker, Multi Media Fusion, or MMF for short. Being the entrepreneurial kid I was, me and my good friends at the time decided in middle school that we should make video games.

Several poor games came out of the result, including an early prototype to the game I am currently working on, Darwin's Aquarium (at the time it was labeled Fish Feeder though.)

This brings me where I am today, still making the video game I conceptualized during 7th grade English classes.

What Is Darwin's Aquarium?
Darwin's Aquarium is a highly interactive aquarium simulation for Android. Raise your fish to a ripe age, collect a variety of coins and rare gems, and complete achievements to get further rewards. Buy structures and plants and customize your tank!

Contact Me!
Up for collaboration? Be it testing, game design, graphics, sound or programming, contact me at