Saturday, December 15, 2012

Jurassic Survival 1.8.1 and Final Presentation


Overall this class was a great learning experience and taught me a lot about game design.  I would have liked to have more programming in this class as it is an upper division CSCI course.  Learning basic javascript was not enough to quench my thirst.  I would like to have looked at some complicated open-source games if any such things exist and take them apart, looking at all the code, how it is structured, what are some clever tips to implement tricky things in certain games like random generated dungeons and path finding.  I would have liked to have spent less time working on the story and documentation and more time making games.  If I ever got into the real industry I would just like to be working on the underlying code and fixing bugs rather than thinking of new character models and thinking about how to present it to the public.  I was expecting a game programming class not a game programming/design class.  It was still a great experience to take a look at all the game engines and learn javascript.  

I would say that I enjoyed the mobile programming class more than this one.  The calculator assignments were challenging and taught me a lot.  I really appreciate the simple calculator apps we have on our phones now.

As for the next steps in my game I can't really continue on in construct 2, but if I were to continue developing it I would look into an engine that is great for mobile platforms.  I would like to keep my game 2D and lightweight so that it doesn't heavily drain the battery life on mobile devices.  I can really see my game being made for mobile devices as it is really fast paced and easy to get into, without taking too much time to finish a game.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Luke Dicken's Challenge: AI vs Physics

This is my take on what it would mean for a game to be in the AI genre as opposed to the physics simulation genre.  In a physics simulation game, the rules for all the movements of the objects should be based on the laws of physics.  Physics is derived from nature itself.  We get all our physics equations by mathematical models of the laws of nature.  These rules cannot be changed and cannot adapt to the player's decisions or actions.  A rock will fall with a constant acceleration and it cannot choose to fall faster in order to hit the player's character.

In an AI based game the objects in the game should be striving to achieve some level of intelligence that allows it to adapt to the environment created by the player's decisions.  Most games try to simulate AI by using randomness, but I do not believe this is true AI.  An AI based game should try its best to create an environment that causes it's players to believe that it is another human being controlling the game, like a dungeon master.

Jurassic Survival Prototype Version 7

game link:


  • fixed a bug with the restart button being invisible, but clickable causing random restarts of the game
  • added levels that are achieved by killing a certain number of dinosaurs
  • more dinosaurs will spawn in later levels and will be stronger
level breakdown:
level 1: 0-49 kills
level 2: 50-99 kills
level 3: 100-199 kills
level 4: 200-399 kills
Levels will continue to increase endlessly as you reach double the amount of kills required to reach the previous level.

  • with new levels we can add new buildings, dinosaurs and a stat system
  • fix construction boundaries so towers and walls cannot be stacked at all
  • implement a better building menu so new buildings are easily added
  • find a designer to draw custom sprites for this game
  • add an end level that lets the player escape from the island and win the game


I chose to test Nyjah's gladiator arena game Sword and Legend and Adam K.'s side scrolling space fighter game Epic Space Battle. I tested the 6th version of Nyjah's prototype and version 0.13 of Adam's. I will play the next versions, but I do not have time to record another video.  Also played through the 7th version of Nyjah's prototype and I do like the next levels.  I only made it to level 2 and it seems much harder than level 1.  I also like the tutorial explaining how to play, but I would like to be able to access the tutorial again.

Sword and Legend feedback:

Epic Space Battle feedback:

Monday, December 3, 2012

League of Legends Ranked Game

Hello everyone, after playing a league of legends with Brian I realized that I forgot to turn my fraps on for the entire game! So, being a somewhat veteran lol player, I decided to play and record a ranked game with a friend not from our class.  Here is the link to the video hope you enjoy!  I play as a pirate and my friend plays as Malzahar, who is traditionally played as an AP(ability power caster), but here he plays it as AD(ranged attack damage).  We win during the laning phase, but after a long grueling match we lose horribly.

Jurassic Survival Prototype 6



  • added health bar to player
  • added health bars to dinosaurs
  • added health bars to buildings
  • added how to play screen in main menu


  • Still thinking of way to add progression and ending to the game (may not be able to fully implement this by end of class)
  • Thinking of adding character levels with stat points to allocate every level up
  • Have a campaign mode that lets you replay and keep your character level/stats with increased difficulty
  • Need to be able to save game states, character levels, options (not sure how to do that in construct 2)
  • Get better looking sprites for all units/towers (if planning to go further may need to find a designer)
  • Need to fix construction boundaries (still able to stack towers partially)
  • Make a better building menu so it is easier to add new buildings

Monday, November 26, 2012

Game Review: The Sims Social on Facebook

This game had a similar feel to it as margaritaville.  It is a free to play browser game so I didn't have to purchase or download anything.  At first they give you a short tutorial that goes over the basic functions in the  game.  I still didn't understand what all these items were popping up whenever I did something, but I just clicked them to pick them up anyway.  The gameplay is pretty basic and actions only require a few clicks.  I had a little trouble navigating around the map and would prefer to use the keyboard rather than the mouse to scroll around.  After about 20 minutes of playing I ran out of energy and it seems the only way to get more energy is to wait a certain amount of time or to purchase it using real life currency.  I am not a fan of games where you have to pay to perform actions like some sort of toll booth and I do not want to wait to play a game.  It is sad that companies resort to this in order to make money.  Overall I like the idea of being able to create your dream character and live in a fantasy that you create yourself.  I personally would like to have some super powers if I were to live in a fantasy world.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jurassic Survival Prototype version 5



  • Removed constant gold per 5 seconds
  • Added random spawns of gold piles and speed power-ups that double your speed
  • Reworked dinosaur strength and spawn times
  • Added options menu (press esc to access) to change volume and scrolling speed (this was a real pain to implement who knew an options menu could take so much work)
  • Still thinking of way to add progression and ending to the game (may not be able to fully implement this by end of class)
  • Thinking of adding character levels with stat points to allocate every level up
  • Have a campaign mode that lets you replay and keep your character level/stats with increased difficulty
  • Need to be able to save game states, character levels, options (not sure how to do that in construct 2)
  • Get better looking sprites for all units/towers (if planning to go further may need to find a designer)
  • Need to fix construction boundaries (still able to stack towers partially)
  • Add some tutorial for beginners to figure out the basic controls
  • Make a better building menu so it is easier to add new buildings

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Review: A Slower Speed of Light


Playing this game was definitely a very unique experience.  I have never seen anything like this before.  This really got me thinking about what's still out there to be explored and discovered.  At first the collection of balls was quite easy and I had no problem controlling my movement.  As the speed of light started slowing down it felt like my movements were very jerky and I wasn't going in the right direction.  As the speed of light got really slow I felt like I was teleporting around the map and it became a bit tricky to collect the remaining balls.  After playing this I'm glad light moves at its current speed as it would be very hard to get used to a slower speed of light.

Review: Margaritaville

This game was interesting to play.  I liked the quick paced tutorial quests that show you how to play the game.  One thing that I really don't like is that you have a limit on energy, so you have a limit on how much of the game you can play.  I also don't like how everything in the game can be sped up by spending real money on the game.  If a game is free to play, there should be no limitations on how much you can play and be required to spend money to remove those limitations.  This game is a nice way to kill time and would be best on a mobile platform.  I wouldn't spend the day playing this game on my computer.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Jurassic Survival version 1.4


-made all dinosaurs one sprite type with different animations
-added start menu
-added on death menu with restart button
-added pause menu (press esc in game to pause)

-now with all towers and dinos being one universal sprite I can add more types of each without needing a lot of new events
-create a level system where each level consists of a few waves of dinosaurs
-maybe add boss dinosaurs
-add some sort of final level with an escape helicopter to get to
-add more items and things to promote exploration around the field
-add scoring system and possibly some sort of leaderboard
-fix up the construction boundaries
-find better sprite images
Switching to unity may take up a lot of time and I would like to get some sort of finished product until I really decide to switch.  Maybe I should try to use up all 100 events in the free construct 2 version before I switch.  I see a lot of potential in this game version alone.

Freewrite Challenge

10 minutes starts now.  Why are we doing this challenge? So many things to do, so tired, hungry, must eat after.  Can't stop typing, but can't think of anything to write about.  Time ticks away how much longer? So many things can be done in 10 minutes why this? Need to keep going can't stop.  Quiet peaceful outside the window.  Great day to go outside.  Water condensing on cold water bottle. Books piled up along messy desk.  Dust collects upon the objects in the forever untouched room.  Unused cords tangled everywhere.  What a messy room someone should clean it up soon.  Halfway there need to keep writing.  Sounds of cars passing by on the road.  Slight breeze passes through the windows.  Hands are growing weak, but must keep going on.  Sounds of an airplane passing by.  Lights flickering on the computer.  Birds chirping happily outside.  Running out of things to write about.  Sounds of a nearby TV. Wonder what they are watching.  Hunger pangs growing stronger should have eaten before taking this challenge.  Keep on thinking never stop writing.  What else is there to do in 10 minutes.  Why did I take this challenge?  Just writing about jumbled up thoughts. 10 minutes over.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Jurassic Survival version 1.3


This is the 3rd prototype for the game Jurassic Survival.

-made building much more user friendly
-added basic construction permission functionality
-made all buildings one sprite with many animations to simplify events
-added mouse scrolling (press spacebar to re-center on player)

-fix building boundaries on construction permission (especially walls)
-make dinosaurs all one sprite with many animations
-add random money spawns and remove the gold per 5 seconds
-add more towers/dinosaurs
-add scoring system for kills, time survived, and damage taken
-save high scores
-make the game spawn waves rather than an endless constant spawn of dinosaurs
-add menu on start and restarts
-may switch project to unity if 100 event limit is reached

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jurassic Survival Prototype 1.2


Didn't make too many changes this week.  I just added some background music, a new sprite for the player (was taken from Warcraft II hope no copyright issues since this game is not for commercial use), and some explosions when units die.  I have a to-do list that I hope to get done in the next couple weeks.  Some things I need to add are: better building mechanics with proper zoning, some new towers and units, edge scrolling to look around the map,new sprites for towers and dinosaurs, and instead of free gold every 5 seconds there should be random gold piles to pick up around the map.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Jurassic Survival: Prototype #1

Jurassic Survival:

Just completed the first prototype for the game Jurassic Survival.  Forgive my crude stick drawings, but I was not able to find the right images for the game objects at the time.  I will import better images in my next prototype.  The basic mechanics of the gun turrets are there, but I would like to create a wider variety of towers to choose from.  Instead of the current gold every five seconds I should make the player gather resources around the map.  This will encourage more exploring and less sitting in base forever.  There are only two types of dinosaurs at the moment.  Dinosaurs have a set spawn rate of 1 every x seconds, but I should change it to spawn them in waves.  The way the buildings are spawned and moved is not very fluid.  I would like to make them have a build time and not be able to stack on one another.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Game Focus: Jurassic Survival

Jurassic Survival is a real time survival game.  Players are given an initial amount of resources and must collect additional resources to build up their defenses to survive the oncoming waves of hungry dinosaurs.  As players progress, they will unlock new buildings and face stronger dinosaurs.  The game can be played in single player mode or players can team up in a multiplayer mode and work together to survive.  There are a wide range of towers and upgrades to choose from and a unique set of dinosaurs with special abilities.  The objective of the game is to survive all rounds without losing all of your health and players can choose to play an endless survival mode in which dinosaurs spawn endlessly and grow stronger.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

New game idea: dinosaur survival meets RTS

Here is a new game idea:  A real-time-strategy game in which you are stranded on a deserted island inhabited with dinosaurs and must gather supplies and build up your defenses to survive.  The game will have a set of levels, the earlier levels only contain small dinosaurs that are easily dealt with and basic structures to build.  As you progress through the levels you unlock new structures and are attacked by larger, more dangerous dinosaurs.

Multiplayer would be a great feature to add to this game.  What's more fun than building up a fortress with your friends and surviving waves of dinosaur attacks?  There could also be a PvP mode where two players build dinosaurs to attack each others bases and you would have some classic RTS gameplay.

MOBA goes mobile

I have always been a fan of the MOBA style games starting from playing DOTA during my junior high days and I currently play League of Legends.  I would love to see these type of games ported to mobile devices with the same multiplayer matchmaking system.  The interface and controls for this type of game needs to be carefully designed as to allow the player to feel that they are in control.  Nothing destroys a game like having clunky controls.  I think Maya has done a good job in bringing the MOBA to mobile devices in their game Legendary Heroes.  They still haven't completed the online play feature, but I do see a promising future in this game.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong when making a game like this multiplayer.  Any server instabilities can cause players games to crash and a bunch of angry players is never a good thing.  The need for a large stable server is probably why there have not been any big MOBAs on mobile devices.  I have had some bad experiences while playing League of Legends where my entire game was ruined because of some server crash.  Overall I think developing a MOBA for mobile devices is a great idea and I look forward to playing some in the future.

Bringing back retro games

One of my game ideas is to create a multiplayer game made up a of a set of mini games which are recreations of classic retro arcade games like PacmanCentipede, and Space Invaders.  Players will be able to play with or against their friends in multiple mini games, accumulating points, and whoever has the most points at the end wins.  These games will have new twists like allowing one of the players to control the ghosts in a game of Pacman.

I believe this will be a great way to turn the classics into a new popular game that friends and family can enjoy on console, PC, or even mobile devices.  The gameplay should be similar to playing on an old coin arcade machine and each mini game should be fast paced to allow for multiple play throughs.  Game developers should take a break on creating more WoW clones and revisit the classics.

Why WoW is the closest thing to my dream game

When I play games I really don't care about the story, where my character came from, or any of that stuff.  When playing an RPG leveling up and gaining new powers and items tend to get boring, as there is always some end point where you cannot progress any further.  The closest game to the "dream game" to me would be World of Warcraft, but not for the story, the questing, the leveling, the bosses, or the items.  

When I played World of Warcraft, leveling was tedious and boring and I would try to find the fastest way possible to reach the max level.  The item grind was also boring.  So how was this even close to being my dream game?  In Game Design: Theory & Practice (2nd Edition) by Richard Rouse III the author states that "The goal of gameplay is to allow for different player strategies to lead to variables of success, to reward player experimentation and exploration, and to empower players to make their own choices." The aspect of the game that fascinated me the most was the PvP.  I'm not talking about the 40v40 battlegrounds where a mass of players group up and slaughter one player.  I'm talking about 3v3 arena battles where team work and communication is key.  Other players make much more difficult opponents than scripted AI.  As a team we had to come up with new strategies, new builds, and perfect our individual gameplay.  If anyone of us messed up by pressing a wrong hotkey it could cost us the match.  What made it even more interesting was the rewards at the end of each season which were unique and could only be achieved by being on the top of the ranking ladder.  There are even tournaments where the best players around the world compete for cash prizes.  

Improving PvP skills is much more rewarding to me than collecting items and powering up my character.  Here I have an old screenshot of a basic arena scenario showing the basic HUD and all my key bindings wow screenshot.  As you can see there is a lot going on and I have a lot of different key bindings.  This allows me extra control over my character and leaves a very large skill gap between other players who don't bind all of their abilities.  Having this many unique abilities and builds allows for players to play the game their own way and lets them develop their skills and put them to the test in the arena.  This is what I believe my dream game should be about.