Category Archives: General

General Information

Programmus Interruptus

Hello out there!

I’m still alive and kicking but my time for game development has been reduced in the past month and I don’t have much new to report. I’ve dabbled here and there adding more support for obstacles (pipe barriers, and even “props” a level can have based on a theme). I was able to green out another item in the To Do list, now that I have “Fun Points” working in the editor the Widgets portion is complete. That leaves doing complete obstacle support in the editor (half-done), and polishing up the Level Picker screen in the game.

The time it is taking me to get done with these last few tidbits is causing me to change my outlook on what a “private alpha” is going to be like. It might not be so private any longer. In order to solicit more feedback and [possibly] get some encouragement, I’m seriously thinking of posting my alpha milestone on the Darkbasic Professional forums WIP board and see how it does on the many different system specs represented there.

My life will only be getting busier in the next couple months so I’m not sure how much will get done during that period. But I will try to get the full Alpha working as soon as I can so it can “get out there” for others to see.

The Raw Numbers

So a good amount of progress on the Editor has been made recently. I’m not sure if I designed the editor code framework really well, or my day job has made me more proficient at writing/enhancing client applications, but the Editor work comes to me more easily than writing the game itself.

I pretty much ignored the game engine these last couple of weeks, so no change there…

Marble Maze Game: Total lines of Code is 4983
Marble Maze Editor: Total lines of Code is 6659

Judging by the To Do list I am on the home stretch for the private Alpha to be passed around. I might add a new widget to the mix for fun, since the list of available widgets has not changed for a long time now. This will also give me a nice guestimate of how much time it will take me to add a new widget to the system.

Back on Track

Hello out there!

No pencil sketches available today but there is news of some good progress being made. I’ve actually been able to update the To Do list, which is something that has stayed the same for two months. Has it been that long? 🙂

Since the last To Do list was updated a bit of prep work has gone into getting the Widgets to be selectable and dropped on a map. It still amazes me how certain things take so much code to come together in order to see any benefit, you almost start to lose hope after a while. But when it does come together… it hits you like jolt of electric joy.

Of course there are still things to do (the Widgets is marked as functional but not complete) but at this point in time I can add Widgets, and all the maps where I artificially added widgets via code are now viewable in the editor as such. Here is a screenshot showing the Widget panel as it is now (pretty vacant, but functional!) for a level that should look familiar to you Alpha Testers…

Behold! Here is the widget panel in all its 5-Widget glory!

So what is left to do before you lucky few get to play with the editor? Here is the list:

  1. Ability to Erase a widget
  2. Ability to Undo/Redo widget activity
  3. Level Picker screen needs some polish (to handle lots of levels)
  4. Fun Points system added to cap level features
  5. Editor logic to handle Save conditions
  6. Ability to add Obstacles/Pipes

I’m hoping by month’s end I will have something to send out. The Obstacles addition may be a hefty one, but should be easier than widgets. Time will tell.

Slow and steady wins the … Slowpoke Award

Real life has taken over and kept me busy for a bit, so development has slowed to a crawl. Where there has been spots of free time I have chosen to spend it elsewhere. That’s not to say that Marble Maze has been forgotten. Oh no, it is something I think about near daily.

My young son is a fan of the game, and he enjoys “painting” his own levels and then playing them. So he is quite familiar with the game. He has his own requests of additions to the game (keeps asking about getting a lava tile that hurts the marble). Sometimes while we are drawing pictures together I put out some ideas of mine and ask him what he thinks about them.

I scanned in a couple of the pictures from these sessions and here they are for your amusement and enjoyment. Okay, really more for your amusement. 🙂

That red mushroom-looking thing in the middle is supposed to be a "bumper", akin to those things in pinball machines.

Showing two enemies: a Green Ooze (left) and a Whirly-Gig (bottom right), and what a lava tile might look like.

The Raw Numbers

Hello out there! Despite all appearances I have not disappeared. However, progress has been quite slow. Adding Widgets is a major part of the editor and it is taking a fair amount of effort to accomplish this.

Here are the code lines for each project:
Marble Maze Game: Total lines of Code is 4982
Marble Maze Editor: Total lines of Code is 6266

Work continues, although the ToDo List remains static!