Posts Tagged ‘ghul’

OK, I’m actually a few days late for the first week of National Game Design Month, but as you’ll see below I’ve been busy. I’ve never participated in any of the various do X in a month challenges, but couldn’t resist this year.  Maybe it’s all the collaboration and effort I’m seeing friends put into Nagademon and Nanowrimo. Maybe it’s the ugly mugs of random old friends with mustaches showing up on FB promoting men’s health pushing me to do something productive in November. Maybe I couldn’t resist the siren call of something that begins with Naga and ends with Demon.

I’ve worked on short indie projects before but frankly have a history of going epic and overboard with my side projects. I hope Nagademon will provide a good design constraint, help me stay grounded and keep out the feature creep. I’m severely time constrained, and have a few big projects lining up in December, so limiting the effort to 1 month and at most a few hours a day is perfect. Let’s see how the first week turned out.

Before Nov 1

I have a game concept going into the gate. Three things:

  • I want to build something for Windows 8 marketplace.
  • I wand gameplay around a simple, swipe mechanic
  • Since this is Wandering Monster Studios there needs to be wandering monsters.

That’s it.

Day 1

Went to the store, got a copy of win8 and started installing it. Signed up to be an App Developer and got an email:

Thanks MS – Email sent me here in between updates.

Looked at other Nagademon  projects spinning up (like this rpg about the Smithsonian’s “Special Antiquities Collections Division” (SACD) and this one: “Monster Tales”

Starting missing lots of stuff that was Win7 but not Win8 – maybe the new OS wasn’t such a good idea. at least if I fail miserably and Nagademon I’ll have my updated OS to show for it.

Going through some of the documentation MS sent my way and got excited about monogame. Figured this was cheating though (porting some of my previous games instead of building a new one) –  I knew I would have to cheat eventually to make the 30 day date but decided not to do it in day 1 or 2. Maybe day 3

So far I’ve put about 1.5-2 hours and all I’ve done is some reading, install stuff and run updates. Perhaps this isn’t my forte. Realized I only had 5 hours until I had to get up again, so I left the computer installing Visual Studio 2012 for Win8, running updates, and downloading a number of javascript samples and framework thingees:

Prayed my 7 + 4 year olds would sleep through the night and called it quits for day 1.

Day 1: 2.5 hours. Nada to show for it

Day 2 – Friday Nov 2nd

Machine ran through night installing stuff without hiccups, yay!


Started going through the tutorials MS had sent me on game development. Skipped day 2 + 3 tutorials. Jumped to day 5 (windows game kit) which had the first decent source code sample. Skipped ahead again after that – downloaded the Atari SDK samples. Went for other downloads in my quest for good sample code and assets.

Took a quick look at the free previews of  Gamemaker, Game Salad, Creator, etc that are advertised as helpers for Win8 development. Still cheating to some degree but picked a date (Nov 10th) where I’d start falling back to frameworks like this if I wasn’t happy with my progress – by progress I mean I want the core mechanic in place –  and it needs to be “fun” already.

Finally get space cadet from win8gamekit.codeplex.com running – whoop.

This sample is actually pretty good for what I’m looking for – but the controls seem iffy on my surface device so that’s what I’ll probably look at first.

Checked out the Space Cadet authors blog to see if he has any tips or a more thorough code explanation – He does, so I start digging in. I Listen to his game loop video tutorial.

Game loop looks like:

  • initialize
  • load resources
  • input
  • react to input + feedback, via draw loop

Also listen to the animation and touch instructions videos. I’m not seeing the Prince of Persia sample from the video on codeplex anywhere – lame, I really want to do animated sprites and hoped for a good sample.

Told myself I would focus on controls – Davedev is using Mspointerup  to catch his touch events. This isn’t what I want for my swipe mechanic, so my first actual code change in Space Cadet is to switch the mouse/touch event to this:

//Handle Touch

canvas.addEventListener(“mousemove”, touchHandler, false);

Now, instead of mouse up we can swipe to hit ships. I think swiping is much more fun than tapping – and feels more Wandering Monster-ish, and almost sword like. And now it’s easier to levelup:

Level 42 – how far did you get in space cadet?

Changing touch was easy – now I need to change the AI. Started experimenting with updateShip() but then needed close it down since the kids were getting up and I needed to get them off to school and hit the day job

Day 2: 2 hours and I have Space Cadet with a swipe.

Saturday 11/3

I was too busy –touched no game

Sunday 11/4

Ditto – today is a total wash

Monday 11/5

Downloaded paper.js because it looks like I’m not going to hit my deadline by the 10th. Remember how much I hated trig as I start to work on vector functions for AI. Skip the trig because I’m starting to feel the burn of time constrain having basically nothing to show after 5 days. Open up my standby AI book AI for Game Developers. Thumbing through it decide to start with a simple move towards the player algorithm and build more complexity later (if there’s time):

if (ship.x > middle_of_the_screen.x) {

ship.x– -ship.accel;


else if (ship.x < middle_of_the_screen.x) {

ship.x ++ -ship.accel;


if (ship.y > middle_of_the_screen.y) {

ship.y — -ship.accel;


else if (ship.y < middle_of_the_screen.y) {

ship.y ++ -ship.accel;


With Swipe and some simple AI, its starting to take shape.

Tuesday 11/6

Changed my ships to sprites that are animation capable using this article:


Discovered that the key to sprite anims are the slicing of the image. That and using a timer. Got it.
//Animation Timing (for my homebrew sprite additions)

function myTimer() {

if (animationTmer < 7) {

animationTmer = animationTmer + 1;


else {

animationTmer = 0;




ctx.drawImage(ship.img, animFrame, 0, SHIP_WIDTH, SHIP_HEIGHT, ship.x, ship.y, SHIP_WIDTH, SHIP_HEIGHT);

Want to build more and follow the tutorials gradients et al  but I’m out of time again.

Wednesday 11/7

Looked at a bunch of other cool Nagademon projects:

Decided on a rough timeline I need to adhere to:

  • End of week 1: core mechanic in place. Game is “fun” at it’s most basic.
  • Week 2: game code/ game play done (i.e. Code complete)

    Art from an earlier, yet as unpublished Wandering Monster Studios effort

  • Week 3: All art/assets done (i.e. Content complete)
  • Week 4: testing, playtesting, and marketing (marketing really should be 2-3 weeks, or as long as development, but I figure it can bleed into December)

Thursday – 11/8

Lots of polish – Replaced most assets and imported animations. Here’s where I cheat a bit and bring in art I have used in earlier, unpublished games I’ve worked on, as well as assets that I’ve either scrounged or purchased (like Wit entertainment’s fantasy character pack and Pow Studios effects).

With the art and all of the fiddling I’ve done with spawning, AI, and sprites I now have something that looks OK, uses a swipe mechanic, and has wandering monsters…. In other words, I hit my Fun goal (and just in time).

Will post more next weekend. Meantime here’s a  screenshot and video.

Screen after week 1.

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Ghul on the move

Ghul on the move.

In history and myth Ghuls(or ghouls) differ. They can be Arabian desert monsters or recently raised undead. They can be half human/half animal, or blood-suckers.In ancient Arabian folklore, the ghul (literally demon in arabic) dwells in burial grounds and is a devilish jinn sired by Iblis. It is desert-dwelling, shape shifting demon that can assume the guise of an animal (commonly an hyena) luring unwary travelers into the desert wastes to slay and devour them.

For NIMBLE, ghuls are the result of humans driven to the brink of starvation and swayed by the shadow of the necromancer. They start weak, zombie-like, but cannibalism makes them faster, stronger, smarter and grants them abilities over time.


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