Progress, Planning and Plushies

Who was supposed to be keeping an eye on May, huh? Where has it gone? I’ll be having words with your manager! Ah well, as we hurtle towards June, so too do we hurtle towards the next weekly update!

Recently I’ve been trying to free up my Fridays by writing bits of blog in the early mornings and evenings of my SockMonkey days, the idea being that I can then get more dev time in on the Friday so Horde isn’t at a complete standstill. It seems to be working! Last week saw a pretty big jump in progress. For one thing, I finally got the “deck” to spawn a card of each type that was listed in the level info (courtesy of work I spoke about in the previous post). The cards have the name, the amount available and the stats of the zombie all populated by code. I also made them selectable, so you can switch between zombies by tapping the card you want, and made it decrement the remaining spawns of the selected card by one when you spawn a zombie. I rounded it off by disabling spawning when there were no zombies available and suddenly we have gameplay!

Zombie Selection now working
Ok, they still look the same, but they have different stats! Promise!

It looks pretty ugly at the moment, but once it’s got some art direction, we should be ready to rock! I may have to go through my code at some point and make sure it’s tidy though. It might be working right now, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there are some highways of data travel that shouldn’t exist.

Background for non-techies: In general, you want to keep your code as insular as possible, with each class (programming term for “box of stuff”) working as independently as possible, without touching other classes unless necessary. If a class needs to touch another class, it’s always better to have a one-way connection, so class “Dog” touches class “Bone”, but “Bone” should never touch “Dog”. I suspect I have not managed this so far. I’m pretty certain there are bones touching dogs, and touching the dog’s collar and ball to boot. But perhaps not touching the boot. That would be silly.

To wrap up the day, I connected the menus scene to the game scene, and installed the whole thing on my phone to check it all worked as expected… And it did! Now I have an app that opens to a splash screen, shows a simple menu with a button that takes you to the testing level, where you can spawn up to four zombies that can destroy barricades and inevitably in turn get destroyed by a single human. Human needs nerf. There isn’t a game over yet, but you can exit to the menu and load back in, so the game is never in a “locked state” (where you are unable to interact with it), so that’s something. Check it out:

In SockMonkey news, I’m happy to report that I’ve been putting the new Xbox to good use. Although I will inevitably still be needing an actual devkit for building native rather than UWP, adding achievements and testing multiplayer, I have now managed to get the game running at 60fps solidly on an Xbox One with the current setup! This has left me with very little to do again; I was hoping it would keep me busy for a bit longer to be honest! Still, there’s bits and pieces I’ve been able to work on, haptics (pad rumble) and tidying up some of the login process and the like, so it’s all good!

So that’s the week in work. In non-work activities, a couple of friends of mine have been making plushies for a while now. They are very cute. Cute enough to convince Suzie to give it a try, which in turn convinced me to do the same! So this week I got around to using a pattern I’d found a while ago and put together this guy:

Simon Sisyphus Shark

His name is Simon Sisyphus Shark. I know what you’re thinking, and no, I don’t alliterate everything. I didn’t name him, and any correlation to my blog titles is purely coincidental. The middle name comes as a result of his slight defect in that one fin is a little smaller, and a little further back on him than the other, so he will spend his entire life swimming in circles, never reaching his destination!
I still think he’s cute.

Oh! The livestream! I have a plan. Kudos to housemate Richard and to Suzie for helping me come up with it! The idea is that I will host a livestream in the evening (currently looking at Monday, but maybe Wednesday or Thursday) a couple of weeks from now. I will be drawing concepts for the various zombie types in the game, that I can then take to artists in the future, as well as taking suggestions from you guys for elements of design, ideas and generally just chatting while I work. The products of the stream will also be in the early stages of the game as the card images until we get said art. Hopefully we can work somewhat collaboratively to make something better than I could make myself! If that sounds like fun to you, let me know in the comments and I’ll see you there! Also let me know if you have a preferred day; if there’s enough of a bias I’ll try and make it work.

Right, I’m off to do some more Horde work, enjoy my weekend, and above all, avoid thinking about recent political events for fear of a brain aneurysm. I advise you aim for two out of three.

Matt out.

4 thoughts on “Progress, Planning and Plushies

  1. Brilliant, and I’ll be there whatever day your livestream is – exciting stuff! (and the alliteration was totally you)

    1. Excellent! I look forward to seeing you there! I’ll confirm the date and post it everywhere next week, so stay tuned 🙂
      Slander! I added the “Shark”, I’ll admit, but had no part in Simon and Sisyphus!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top