New level in progress

by Niels Brouwers 17. October 2011 03:15

Hopefully you didn't notice that I upgraded this website to a newer version of blogengine, it did happen however and actually it was pretty easy. The only thing that didn't work out of the box was the twitter feed, but I fixed that.

I have started on the third level graphics for Carter Jones, I still need to do the entire level 2 graphics but I am expecting those graphics to be a little easier to draw (level 2 takes place inside ...err... something - it's supposed to be a surprise). Level 3 is a real interesting level to draw, it takes Carter through the jungle to the temple where he will find what he was hired to look for. He will also find a lot more, here's a quick concept sketch I did today which will also satisfy all the halloween enthousiasts out there:


Excuse me sir, where can I find the toilet? Oh, right there huh? Thanks!

Ofcourse, when trying to post this entry I stumbled upon a error... fixed it, but it did catch me by surprise!

The value of good Level Design and the Tools for it

by Niels Brouwers 18. September 2011 03:36

Because I am enjoying myself so much whilst making Carter Jones, I decided to expand the animation tool with a level editor. This will enable me to quickly move around stuff (the background, but also the baddies etc.) in a level. Previously I was doing all that in the game itself, with a built in level-editor (and I was placing baddies through a manually edited xml file). That was not ideal, now it is just an easy to develop windows forms application so if I need some special function (like the roll that you see on the screenshot) then I can build it really easy.

This tool will grow in functionality and will greatly reducde the time to 'design' the levels. Designing levels is probably the hardest part in a game, if you mess up the design then the player will notice immediately and reject the game because it is no fun (it is probably just annoying or boring or somewhere lacking). So by enabling the design process outside of the game I hope to increase the quality and also the quantity of the levels. Level editing was kind of a chore before, now it is actually fun!


Wobbly lines in autumn

by Niels Brouwers 5. September 2011 07:40

I have totally optimized the code for Carter right now, there are no garbage collecter issues anymore and the drawing of the background is now completely done by the hardware - which is nice (hardware instancing is awesome)! Now I have to get back to designing the game and drawing graphics for it! I also managed to get some work done on the out-of-game level editor. This thing will make life a lot easier for me as it is a windows forms application containing the XNA display. It is actually integrated into the animtool I presented a couple of months earlier.

I did some quick sketches in Sketchbook just to see how some things come out. You can see the result below, I was totally not happy with the linework that I got when using Sketchbook. I have been trying out a couple of settings but so far, the lines are wobbly and totally unacceptable for me. In Photoshop I have found out the right settings to get the kind of linework that I want to achieve (pretty default actually) but in Sketchbook I can't seem to get it right. Such a shame, it is one of the coolest software around (and very affordable).

Anyway I wasn't happy with the inking but after painting and resizing it (about half the size) it looks kinda OK. I guess I'll be using Photoshop until I sort out the line thing... 

This is my version of the German Mechanic. (hint:movie reference!)

New baddy for Carter Jones

by Niels Brouwers 27. June 2011 01:24

The last couple of weeks I have been busy optimizing my code, there was some heavy Garbage Collection going on, also my game-loop could use some improving so that's what I did. There are still some memory leaks but the big issues have been resolved.

Meanwhile, I have drawn another baddy for your destroying pleasure:

I call it a crab, sooo cute......I think I'll have him fire lightning bolts from his err....hands.