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Plans for Sprint 1

Chances are that there's going to be some more problems related to the route system for me to solve, but barring any major distractions, my plan for this week is to work on being able to select convoys apart from when they're docked on a planet (which doesn't include convoys that are waiting on that planet until they launch again). Without this, once a convoy is assigned a route it can never be selected again, so it's an important feature but shouldn't be all that major of a task, which sounds perfect for this week.

Sprint 11 Results

Game Progress

This week was pretty unfocused, but also fairly productive.

First of all, as I already posted, I fixed the sync problem on day one of the sprint! While I didn't like the idea of basing the convoy's movement on the clock (so that it waits until a given time before launching and then travels until a given time to start waiting again) rather than actual values for how many frames to wait/travel for, I decided that there wasn't a problem with using the clock a little bit for route calculations. Like I said at the end of the last sprint, calculating the total amount of time left to finish the convoy's current course was somehow introducing a problem, and so I cut all of that out and instead assigned each waypoint the frame at which it should arrive and then found the difference between that value and the game's current frame. By doing so, I was able to get what should have been the same value, but in a much simpler way that didn't somehow introduce errors. Problem solved!

After that, I didn't feel like jumping into another big task or spending more time trying to round out all of the features supporting routes, so I just looked around for something fun to do and went with that. What I decided on was implementing names for convoys. Previously, there wasn't any way to access information about a convoy - once you made it, you didn't know how many ships were in it or anything - and I thought a good first step towards distinguishing them was to be able to name them. However, I didn't want yet another popup window that would require more input when the player creates a convoy, but I did want there to be some encouragement to input custom names rather than the automatically assigned "Convoy #X".

The cool thing is, the Swift game development libraries that play a really big part in interfacing with the app's visuals and player input provide a lot of handy object types, one of which is a UITextField that recognizes taps and automatically pops up the keyboard and displays whatever you type into it. In addition to the 'text' property, there's also a 'placeholder' property that displays the assigned string in a faded color when there's no actual text. So, my solution was to default to the generic "Convoy #X" name as the placeholder text so that the player doesn't have to assign a name but can still distinguish between convoys and, I hope, gives the impression that it can be changed. Once it receives a custom designation, the convoy's name is displayed as regular, solid text.

kCN5hpc.png

I still didn't feel like getting back into something big, though, so I spent another couple days making improvements to lots of little things. For instance, the blue arcs that show how long a convoy is going to wait for before launching towards the next planet were changed to only be displayed if the time left to wait is less than one full orbit (otherwise, when convoys need to wait a really long time, no other useful information can be displayed - there's just a solid blue orbital path). I also made one of the windows look a little bit nicer by filling in some weird empty space with a nice header, fixed a problem with the convoy visuals not fading away when it's run out of waypoints and is busy calculating more, and made the maximum acceptable bounds in a route a bit more flexible. Sometimes two planets in a route will shift to be in really inconvenient relative positions so that it takes forever for them to come around again to be close enough to meet the route's requirements ("don't travel further than X"). So, for every full orbit made without finding any suitable launch opportunties, the maximum acceptable travel time increases by a decent amount.

Unfortunately, as I was testing some of these changes, I was reminded of some weird route behaviors that hadn't gone away with the other problems. Every once in a while, very unpredictably, one waypoint would be assigned to launch before the one it comes after, so that the convoy would jump around and expect planets to be where they were a moment ago but no longer are. After a bit of diagnostic work, I found the problem with a piece of code that no longer works properly because of some of the other changes that I've made but was able to fix it pretty easily.

Here's a video of the route system in action:

Goal Progress

I spent at least 30 minutes programming every day except Monday, totaling four hours and fifty-eight minutes.

Change in Location

From now on, I'll be posting updates at this thread, for the new competition. I look forward to seeing what all of you come up with and am excited to keep working - I'll see you there!

The Game

In a sentence, this game is (going to be) an interstellar trade simulator. The player will manage ships, create trading routes, and more to earn money and grow even bigger. I have a lot of ideas for cool features, but I'm trying not to get ahead and myself (and, realistically, I kind of doubt that I'll ever get far enough to start implementing more than the relative basics, but fingers crossed!).

All of my progress so far can be found here.

Goal

Spend a minimum of two hours over at least four days every week programming.

Achievements

Carry-Over Achievements

½KLOC: Your game reaches 500 lines of code. You're off to a great start!
1KLOC: Your game reaches 1000 lines of source code. Making progress! Excellent!
2KLOC: Your game reaches 2000 lines of source code. Keep it up!
Hang it on the Fridge: You create at least one piece of art (sound, texture, model, sprite, etc.) for your project.
Artistic: You create four pieces of art for your game.
Widget Factory: Add a UI of some sort to your game, with buttons, sliders, check boxes, etc.
Heads Up: Add a Head-up Display or other UI overlay to your game.
It's Just Temporary: You put in artwork in your game that you claim is temporary, until you or your friend can provide you with better art.

I've also already spent seventy-eight hours and twenty-four minutes working on this game, but for the most part I'll start counting from zero again. I may make note of when my overall time reaches big milestones like one-hundred hours, though.

New Achievements

Hey everyone. I've been pretty absent lately.

However, mid October should work for me. I've been happy with the format in the past of 1 day for these. Willing to try other ideas as well.

-Brett

I still haven't decided what I'm doing for the competition exactly, but it technically starts today. Actually yesterday, because now it's after midnight on Saturday.

With the eclipse happening and with how busy I've been at work, I hate to say it but I think I'm going to push back the competition time frame for myself by a full week. I just don't think I'll be getting a whole lot done this weekend, since my brain is elsewhere….

If anybody else is going to the eclipse (which you all should) may you have clear skies and clearer roads!

I'll post more updates after the weekend as the start of my time frame begins.

RB's Game Thread by rbwhitakerrbwhitaker, 19 Aug 2017 06:27

Yeah, my favorite word is "guess", as opposed to "predict" or "estimate." I think it is much more accurate in what it conveys. It's a stab in the dark. It's certainly wrong, it's just hard to know how much and which direction.

For these game dev things, I've started to feel like a Kanban-style approach is probably a better fit for me, personally. You don't commit to completing any specific set of features in general. Rather, you just always work on the single most important thing, and don't pick up another thing to work on until it's done. Limit "work in progress."

It's been fun to see your weekly reports come in between the two competitions, Marcus! It's nice to see somebody was able to do that, even though I failed at it myself, despite really wanting to do just that….

This time, I'm just not going to predict how long things are going to take to finish!

Funnily enough, I had an idea for a new approach and fixed the sync problem in about an hour. (It does involve some use of the clock, but it's minor enough that I don't consider it to be too bad of a design choice.)

(… Also, yay!)

Sprint 10 Results

Game Progress

Been a tough week, unfortunately.

The first thing that I did was actually to go ahead and implement the universal clock, not so that I could avoid the sync problem that I've been getting with the routes but so that I had something dependable to compare the timing information with, the idea being that I could use it to track down the source of the problem.

Actually tracking the problem down, though, has been a massive headache. I've tried numerous approaches, had a couple false discoveries, and am still faced with the inexplicable sync problem. Everything works great for a few waypoints, arriving at each planet either on time or only one (maybe two) frame(s) away from when it was supposed to, but if it needs to wait on a planet for a significant period of time before launching again, it doesn't wait for as long as it should. The amount of time into the future that the route calculations work with is accurate, so my current suspicion is with the calculation of the summed travel time (which I use to calculate how long the current waypoint should have the convoy wait for before launching, by subtracting the total amount of time the current route will take to complete from the amount of time into the future that a new launch point has been found). The game's log is currently filled with a massive amount of 'print's detailing the function in question that I need to go through with a fine-toothed comb and my trusty calculator, which I'm kind of dreading.

I did get a couple of other, smaller things done, though. The course selection window really needed some work to automatically resize when courses are deleted, so I went ahead and finished that window up. I also added some code to check whether the raw course that a route is provided closes into a loop or not, and if it doesn't, to do so automatically.

Goals Progress

I spent at least thirty minutes programming every day except for Friday and Saturday, totalling six hours and seven minutes.

Plans for Sprint 11

Clearly I'm already pretty late getting started on this sprint, but my plans going forward are still unchanged. This time, I'm just not going to predict how long things are going to take to finish!

A little late to the party, but I'll be joining as well.

Not too sure about the specifics of what I'll be doing this round (the plan was continue on the same game) but I feel like I need a little change, and several paths come to mind.

Updates as they come in.

Good luck to you all, and I can't wait to see how things progress!


"May the mercy of His Divine Shadow fall upon you." - Stanley H. Tweedle, Security Guard class IV, The League of 20,000 planets

Re: Signup List by PiscesMikePiscesMike, 14 Aug 2017 04:38

At the request of a few people in the forum, we're starting the competition on the 18th. That's next weekend, so the start is coming up fast!

Re: Time Frame by rbwhitakerrbwhitaker, 12 Aug 2017 22:48
Image is outdated but still pretty cool and close to what ill be doing
fy9W

Intruduction

As some of you know, I've started a personal Game that I intend to sell at one point, for those of you that don't know about it I will give you a basic summary for Future Game.

My dream for this game is pretty much that each person will have a army of User-programmed-computer-controlled-units, fighting in real time, the player would then help these troops in battle using a single manually controlled unit, along with moving fireteams, squads and platoons around a global map (like risk) in a simultaneous turn based system.

My Goal for this competition is the following.

Future Game Pre-Alpha 0.1:

Artificial Intelligence!!

Pre-Alpha 0.1 will be the first public release where it contains the "gist" of combat in Future Game.

  • One or multiple A.I. that can have its programming altered by spending points on it between rounds.
  • The A.I. will have basic necessity's like pathfinding, targeting and health/destruction.
  • At least 3 different types of stats that can be increased/decreased as the game progresses, but no spoilers yet as to what they do.

While it seems simple enough, this is actually a big goal for this competition, Good news is that i've been getting better at integrating game dev into my normal work life which is the ultimate goal.

Bug Fixes!

Of course, one of the most important things is to get rid of bugs, I will create a bug sheet at the bottom so feel free to send me a message (in the discord preferably) if you notice anything.

Bugs - 0.0.17

Toddler
AI has problems with walking, walking slowly when moving on some angles, and facing east/west after reaching its destination

Current Dev Version: Pre-Alpha 0.0.17

Current Public Version: Pre-Alpha 0.0.16

BIG HUGE DOWNLOADS BUTTON

Total Achievements

These achievements are accumulating throughout competitions.

Achievement Name: Description:
Joined The Empire: Officially join this competition.
Joined The Rebels: Officially Proclaim yourself a Rebel in this competition.
Thinking Ahead: x2 Spend time before the start of the competition planning your game.
Leveled Up: You learned something that you didn't know that you can reuse in other games or other programs.
The Tinker: Fiddle with a complicated piece of code and get it to work only after a lot of failed tweaks.
The Thinker: x3 Spend a hour thinking through a complicated piece of code and get it right first try.
Prototype: x2 You have something that could loosely be called a working A.I. by the end of the first weekend.
Less is More: Lines of code ain't everything. Sometimes, the best solution is to refactor to eliminate redundant lines of code, leaving you with less but better designed code.
It's Just Temporary: You put in artwork in your game that you claim is temporary, until you or your friend can provide you with better art.
Two Can Play This Game!: You make your game multiplayer (same computer/device, LAN, or Internet all count).
Jurassic Programming: While making your game run into a situation where you must add a ton of code lines to get something to work. (IE: adding points into a collision detection array) - "I wrote a million lines of code to run this park!"
Future Game Pre-Alpha 0.1 by SwatacularSwatacular, 08 Aug 2017 20:31

Ill be joining this one.. And resuming my goals from the last competition.

Ill paste in my previous thread too.

Re: Signup List by SwatacularSwatacular, 08 Aug 2017 20:30

Count me in! I don't know what my programming schedule will look like, because I'm starting back at school in a couple of weeks, but I do plan to continue work on my unnamed project from the last competition as I have the time and energy to do so.

Also, because I'm already working on my entry for this upcoming competition, I have no preference for the official start date.

Re: Signup List by Marcus42Marcus42, 08 Aug 2017 18:56

I'll sign up, too! I also don't know what I'll be working on.
It doesn't matter when we start to me either though.
I also won't be able to do hardly anything on the solar eclipse weekend.

Re: Signup List by Icecream-BurglarIcecream-Burglar, 08 Aug 2017 17:51

In these competitions, we like to include some little side quests or bonuses, styled after the Achievement Unlocked! meme of video games. Below are your very own Achievements to unlock while you work your way through the competition!

These achievements are self-claimed. When you feel like you've met the criteria for the achievement, then claim it as your own accomplishment! (Most people list their achievements in their game's development thread, but it's not required.)

This list is not exhaustive. If you feel like you've done something that deserves recognition (or a self-deprecating dubious award about new creative ways you wasted time) add a new post with the achievement so everybody else can claim it too!


Accomplishments

Leveled Up: You learned something that you didn't know that you can reuse in other games or other programs.

Prototype: You have something that could loosely be called a working game.

Victory: Beat your game for the first time!

The Great Unveiling: Provide a download for your game.

Additions: Add at least one game feature that you weren't planning on or didn't think you had time for.

Seeing the Matrix: Share your source code with the people in the competition via GitHub, BitBucket, or a simple download.

Goals

Taking Aim: Set a goal for yourself for one week (or the full length of the competition).

Claim Adjuster: Change a goal during the competition after seeing it not go so well.

Stay On Target: Take the time to re-evaluate your goals during the competition, and determine that they're working.

Failures

Law of Live Demos: You show your WIP to somebody. Something goes horribly wrong.

Happy Accident: You accidentally create a bug that leads to humorous results. Post the video or screenshot in the Happy Accident thread.

Time Machine: Worked for over an hour on code that you rip out.

"Research": You spend a few hours playing a game when you should have been making one.

Monday: The entire weekend went by and you didn't get any programming done.

Wait, We Were Supposed to Make a Game?: Go for a full week without spending any time on the game.

Insufficient Vespene Gas: Eliminate at least one game feature due to time pressure or lack of programming knowledge.

Game Features

Game Over: You add the ability for players to lose the game. (Also, you just lost the game.)

Gratuitous Blood: Your explosions and deaths result in far more destruction than is necessary or even believable.

A Box Without Hinges: Create an Easter Egg and hide it somewhere in your game.

Konamified: Make the Konami Code do something interesting in your game.

Special Thanks: Create a credits screen which list all those who have contributed to your project.

Plot Whole: Create a story (however simple) and implement it into your game.

I'm Sorry, Dave. I'm Afraid I Can't Do That. Add an AI enemy, opponent, or component to your game. It doesn't have to be any good.

Two Can Play This Game! You make your game multiplayer (same computer/device, LAN, or Internet all count).

Heads Up: Add a Head-up Display or other UI overlay to your game.

Widget Factory: Add a UI of some sort to your game, with buttons, sliders, check boxes, etc.

Programming

Head Banger: Use recursion in some form in one of your games.

Jurassic Programming - While making your game run into a situation where you must add a ton of code lines to get something to work. (IE: adding points into a collision detection array) - "I wrote a million lines of code to run this park!"

Less is More: Lines of code ain't everything. Sometimes, the best solution is to refactor to eliminate redundant lines of code, leaving you with less but better designed code. Do this and unlock this achievement.

Art and Sound

It's Just Temporary: You put in artwork in your game that you claim is temporary, until you or your friend can provide you with better art.

8 is Enough: Use old school 8 bit graphics or sound/music in your work. Could also be a midi file on the music side.

Hang it on the Fridge: You create at least one piece of art (sound, texture, model, sprite, etc.) for your project.

Artistic: You create four pieces of art for your game.

Vincent van Gogh: You create 10 pieces of art for your game.

I'm a Lover, Not an Artist!: You get all, or most of your work, from online sources and do very little of your own artwork.

Silence is Not Golden: Add sound effects or background music to your game. 8 is Enough optional.

Progress

1 Hour: You spend at least 1 hour working on your game during the competition.

10 Hours: You spend at least 10 hours working on your game during the competition.

25 Hours: You spend at least 25 hours working on your game during the competition.

50 Hours: You spend at least 50 hours working on your game during the competition.

100 Hours: You spend at least 100 hours working on your game during the competition.

½KLOC: Your game reaches 500 lines of code. You're off to a great start!

1KLOC: Your game reaches 1000 lines of source code. Making progress! Excellent!

2KLOC: Your game reaches 2000 lines of source code. Keep it up!

3KLOC: Your game reaches 3000 lines of source code. Your game definitely has some weight behind it!

5KLOC: Your game reaches 5000 lines of source code. Well done!

10KLOC: Your game reaches 10000 lines of code. That is a lot of zeroes! And it's 16 in binary! (That makes it sound… rather unimpressive!)

15KLOC: Your game reaches 15000 lines of source code. Are you programming in your sleep or something?

20KLOC: Your game reaches 20000 lines of source code. Are you just copying and pasting lines of code to unlock achievements?

25KLOC: Your game reaches 25000 lines of source code. OK, you must be cheating. How are you writing this much code?

Miscellaneous

Applying Research: Spend at least an hour programming when you should be doing something else.

Moral Support: Leave a comment on somebody else's game thread with (constructive) feedback.

3 AM Code Fest: You spend several hours programming your game between the hours of midnight and 6 AM. Beer and pizza optional.

Back of the Line: Don't get started until the competition is well underway.

The Thinker: Spend a hour thinking through a complicated piece of code and get it right first try.

The Tinker: Fiddle with a complicated piece of code and get it to work only after a lot of failed tweaks.

Way to Brag: Claim at least 15 achievements.

The Buddy System: Spend all or part of the challenge building a game in a team.

Lonely: Program on a Friday or Saturday evening.

Change Of Plans: You stop making the game you originally entered and instead enter a new one. Whether you got bored, stuck, or whatever, the whole point is to have fun and make something you like!

Thinking Ahead: Spend time before the start of the competition planning your game.

Open Invitation

This list is not intended to be comprehensive (despite being "official"). If you come up with something else that you think is deserving of recognition or note, please help us add to this list by posting below.

Achievements by rbwhitakerrbwhitaker, 08 Aug 2017 04:09

I'm joining this competition. I'm not sure what game I'm going to be working on yet, though I've got a few days to figure it out. I've started so many other games in the past, and want to continue with them, but I'm also more in the mood to work on a new project. I'll keep you guys posted.

As for me, I don't care if we start this Friday or next. I have one weekend during the comp that will be hard to get much done in: the weekend of the solar eclipse. But I'll just plan on doing less that week.

Re: Signup List by rbwhitakerrbwhitaker, 08 Aug 2017 04:04

This thread is the place to sign up for Competition #12!

Signing up isn't mandatory (you can do the full competition without ever signing up) but signing up is a great way to make a public commitment to the world that you're going to work on a game for 31 days and try to produce something interesting.

Please feel free to sign up below here to get the ball rolling!

Signup List by rbwhitakerrbwhitaker, 08 Aug 2017 04:03

The goal of this Game Development Competition is more about providing the right kind of motivation to get you to actually sit down and build a game than it is to prove you're a better coder than everyone else. As such, these rules are pretty light, and pretty casual. If one or more rule doesn't suit your needs, feel free to be a Competition Rebel, break the rule, and enjoy the competition anyway.

These rules are tentative. If you want to suggest a change to the rules, post a comment below and we can talk about it as a community.

Picking Goals

Because the focus of the competitions are to get things done on a game, the competition doesn't prescribe how much or what parts of a game you should make. Instead, you must choose a specific goal for yourself.

There is a preference for process goals over target goals. The following are target goals:

  • I'm going to complete a game in the 31 days of the competition.
  • I'm going to add networking to this game I've been working on.
  • I'm going to build enough of a game that I can start play testing it with others.

These are good goals, and the competition doesn't discourage using these types of goals, but…

These are process goals:

  • My problem is that I keep doing other things instead of working on my game. My goal is to dedicate at least 6 hours every week to working on my game so that it can actually progress.
  • My problem is that when I sit down to work on my game, I get distracted by other things. My goal is to eliminate my distractions when I program by turning on my Strict Workflow Chrome extension to block Facebook, YouTube, etc., close Discord, and put my phone in the other room while I'm working on my game.
  • My problem is that I put my life on hold when I start working on a game and burn myself out by doing nothing but game dev. So my goal is to get at least 8 hours of sleep and spend 30 minutes taking care of other life responsibilities before moving to game dev.

Target goals are not bad. We eventually want to get that first game out there. But software development is extremely difficult to predict. Something comes up and suddenly, your target goal is out the window and you lose motivation for continuing because you can't hit your target anymore.

This is what makes process goals better. Process goals are way less prone to surprises happening. The outcome of a process goal is nearly always the result of your own efforts and decisions, not some external surprise.

A key part of the competition is picking one or more goals to aim for during the competition. Process goals are preferred, but target goals are also acceptable.

Another key part is continually re-evaluating your goals. You are not only allowed to change your goals during the competition, you're strongly encouraged to re-evaluate them and decide if they need to be adjusted. (This is commonly done as a part of our weekly sprint cycle.)

Rules

1. You must choose goals for yourself. Since the competition doesn't prescribe exactly what you must complete on a particular game, the burden is on you, the participant, to decide what you need to accomplish during the competition. Pick one or more goal for the competition and list it in your forum thread or elsewhere that people can track your progress. Process goals are preferred to target goals, but both or either are allowed.

2. Show your work. To count as a "win", you must show your progress to the other participants. The most common way to do this is by creating a forum thread for your game in the competition's section of the forum. In your thread, you can post status updates, screenshots, and even downloads for the game. (Even source code, if you want to make the game open source.) Some people post daily updates or weekly updates, but at a minimum, final results are required to meet this requirement.

At least weekly updates are strongly encouraged, as the community tends to have a weekly sprint/cycle/cadence. A week is usually enough time to show some amount of progress, and keeps you moving forward one week at a time. For most people, this ends up being Sunday evening or Monday sometime.

3. Making sellable games is strongly encouraged. Not that you have to actually attempt to sell it, and not that if you tried to, somebody would pay money for it, but you should be carefully watching licensing agreements an avoid copyrighted material (or get permission from the copyright holder). For anything that requires attribution, the copyright holder should be listed in the credits.

Beginners can have an exception to this rule. If you've never made a very large project before, it is probably better to start by cloning a really simple game first (Tic Tac Toe, Pong, Breakout, etc.) to start to figure out how to build functioning games before tackling the magnum opus floating around in your head.

4. No restrictions on team size. While most people tend to work alone, working in a team is allowed and encouraged. If you don't have a team, post a message in the competition's section in the forum and ask for people to join you or express your interest in being a part of a team.

5. No restrictions on tools, engines, frameworks, languages, etc. The competition doesn't prescribe any particular language or engine. Use whatever you think is best for you and your game.

These rules are quite different from earlier competitions, so if you have questions, comments, or suggestions to improve them, comment below.

Official Rules by rbwhitakerrbwhitaker, 08 Aug 2017 04:00

Based on the established pattern from earlier in the year, the Summer Competition should already be underway…

But it's clearly not.

I'm currently debating on just jumping on in and starting this competition on Friday, which keeps us as close to the original time table as possible, or starting a week from Friday, to give us 10 days to get ready for it.

Does anybody have any thoughts or preferences?

We don't have a ton of time to debate the pros and cons, so if it makes a difference to you or you have an opinion, jump in and share it soon. Based on the feedback we get, we'll make our decision by about tomorrow (Tuesday) night.

Time Frame by rbwhitakerrbwhitaker, 08 Aug 2017 03:59

I'd like to get the discussion started on a potential 3D modeling challenge during the fall, like we did in the spring.

In the spring, we did 8 weeks where if you were participating, you had to spend 60 minutes (I think that's what it was…) working on a 3D model and share the results. It's a simple, straightforward pattern. I don't feel a pressing need to do anything different necessarily, but if people have ideas, let's talk about them!

I'm not sure on dates yet. Perhaps something that runs from the end of the Summer comp until the start of the fall comp, which should be… November-ish? I need to check the dates again.

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