Monday, June 18, 2012

Mike Pope - Week 15

This is the true finale, for tomorrow we present our game to other classmates, professors, and just about anyone else who wants to come in and check out the presentations. I am very very happy at how far this project has come and how hard of work each of us did throughout the past 16 weeks.

This past week I haven't done much in the ways of art assets for the game, but I was able to put together the game's website with the help of Andrew and Kyle. With that done and out of the way, I created my speech and powerpoint slides for our presentation. Also, I created a brand-new game icon for our game! I think it looks REALLY cool. It's a spin-of of our old icon, so it still has that same feel. It felt really nice to take a much needed break from the crazy amount of work we've been dealing with.

Thanks for taking this amazing journey with us!

Kyle Windsor - Week 15

This week has been a fairly light week compared to last week.  I have been putting the finishing touches on a couple aspects and making a couple of the later levels easier because the difficulty was too intense.  But the actual work on Fat Ninja was fairly low.  What has taken up a bit more time has been doing the final prep, working on the site, power point, etc.  All told, this week has been busy, but a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of the past couple weeks.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tate Marske - Weeks 13-15

It has been some time since my last major update.  This is namely due to the fact that I have been working like a mad person getting absolutely EVERYTHING within my power added, redone, and/or polished!  As easy as I think it would be to compose a list of things I DIDN'T do, I'll take the time and let you all know what has been going on in my line of work on this project.

 - For our third world (Egypt) and up, the ROLL ability has been added, fully tested, and implemented.
 - For our fourth world (Hawaii) and up, the STEALTH ability has been added and implemented.
 - Testing has been done on tons of devices on my end, which led to me being able to fix and polish a TON of stuff.  More on that in a bit.
 - Menu scene has been completely scrapped and redone.  Some buttons weren't going to be used, others needed to be added in.  I redrew and re-programmed everything so that it matches the rest of the UI.
 - A "Sushi Bar" has been added.  Some call it the hunger bar.  Something needed to be added in to cause the player to feel a NEED to collect the sushi.  BOOM.
 - Unlock screens have been added for when you unlock new weapons and abilities.
 - Finish flags!  Finally, a handy way to see where the end of the level actually is.
 - How to Play.  This screen replaces the silly little dialogue boxes we originally had in a "tutorial" in level one.  It's much better on the eyes, and easier to read.
 - Can you sayyy, GAME ICON?!
 - I am positive there is more, but things are progressing at ninety miles per hour, so don't yell if I forgot something!

BUGFIXES / POLISHED / REDONE: (From the biggest to the smallest)
 - A HUGE fix is crashing.  I've re-programmed the entire level resetting state, so that all assets are more than properly dealt with and the game should no longer crash upon multiple resets.  Phew.
 - Sound should no longer cut out on any devices after multiple resets or otherwise.  It just plain shouldn't happen.
 - After level resets, some phones were having a problem re-loading textures.  This one was a toughie to nail down, because it only happened SOMETIMES on SOME phones.  However, I've solved it, and it's much more streamlined now.
 - Slashing has been completely redone.  Thanks to a suggestion from my professor, I was able to narrow down the phone-slowing culprit and redo swiping as a whole.
 - UI has been redone.  In addition to the new sushi bar, I wanted to keep things looking consistent and acting that way, as well.
 - General code streamlining has been done to make everything run just that much more smoothly.  We want to actually sell some copies of this bad boy!
 - Stray sushi has been removed and/or fixed.  Now you should actually be able to collect all of it.
 - Sushi counts on certain levels have been redone and fixed.


Rolling and Sushi Bar:
 Here, you can see chin rolling underneath of a bunch of large enemies.  This is the only real way to avoid these guys, so you're going to have to put this ability to good use!

At the top right, you can also see the first example of the sushi bar in action.  It slowly goes down, and climbs again as you get sushi.


 Here is the first peek at the Stealth ability.  Chin goes to 30% opacity and the little meter next to the stealth button begins to tick downwards.  You only get a certain amount of stealth per level, so use it wisely!


Here is the new menu in action.  The buttons slowly bounce back and forth, and it feels good to press them.  If you are an avid game-player, you know what I am talking about.  If you aren't, you think I sound like a crazy person.

Unlock screens:

This is the type of screen you will see when you unlock a new item or ability! pretty nifty, huh?

Finish Flags:

 Here you can see me rushing past the finish marker at the end of the first level.  Mike has had these flags for a long time, I just never really thought to stick them at the end of the level.  I think it's a nice touch.

How to Play:

 This is one of the example pages from the "How to Play" section.  It's much more basic than our initial way of running the tutorial, and players will appreciate it more.

Game Icon:
A nice little piece of sushi for your app drawer!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Andrew Morrison - Update 3


To date, I have composed 5 pieces, all distinct from one another and suited for the level that they are associated with.  In addition to this, I have also completed all of the sound effects!  I am very excited for people to hear my creations, and though the levels are a bit shorter than the duration, the gist of the technicality and intricacies can be heard, even through the subtle pieces.

The audio is a bit minimalistic, as I did not want it to detract from the music and the gameplay.

Either way, this game is turning out fantastic, and I cannot wait to see how it does on the Android Market.

Moving forward, the rest of this week will be comprised of constructing the website, as well as working on my portion of the presentation. will be updated this week as well, for the full versions of the pieces that I composed.

Happy Gaming!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kyle Windsor - Week 14

This week has been my longest and most productive week yet.  I completed all of my remaining levels, 3-3, 4-1, 4-2, and 5-1.  I didn't have any more issues and the one error I was having on 3-3 refused to show itself again and didn't interfere at all.  The only challenging part about all this is the time it took. 

With that said, next week will be finishing touches.  I will go back through the levels, make sure all the sushi is positioned right, add finishing touches to it, etc.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mike Pope - Week 14

This is it. This is what we've all been waiting for. This is the point where all of our hard work pays off. We've watched our once small and lonely soccer ball on a field evolve into a slashing, enemy dodging, platforming running monster of a mobile game called Fat Ninja. This last upcoming week will be all about small tweaks and polishing. Hopefully, no huge bugs appear in these last moments.

As I mentioned last week, I was in dire need to completely finish up the remaining list of assets we had for our game. This included the rest of Egypt, Hawaii levels 1 & 2, The final level of Asia II, different unlock screens for our abilities and ninja tools, and finally some super cool extras that will just make our game POP!

I don't want to spoil too much of what we have planned for our final stages, but I will finish off this post with some screenshots that show off what I completed in this past week. Next week comes presenting! HERE WE GO!

Roll Ability
Retry Screen
Inside of a pyramid
Hawaii 4-1, with specific layers turned off

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kyle Windsor - Week 13

This past week has been one of my busiest ones yet.  I completed levels 2-3, 2-2, 3-1, 3-2, and got a good start on 4-1.  This made a large improvement and easily doubled the levels we already had completed.

The only problems I had was with level 3-3.  I'm pretty sure I know the issue, there are too many enemies in the level.  But I'm not sure where to change things and so I will be talking with Tate on Thursday where we will decide what to do.  The only issue is that if we back off on enemies in 3-3, then when we do the final level which is supposed to be very long, we will have very few enemies there.  Regardless, things will be decided Thursday and Fat Ninja is on it's way to being completed next week.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mike Pope - Week 13

Jumping straight in again, a lot has been going on for everyone during this point in the project. Unfortunately, in order to meet a beta deadline in the next 2 weeks, we are in the need of cutting and replacing some original ideas that we had. This includes things from extra features to extra levels. It stinks, but that's what happens. Anyways, here's a nice list of my accomplishments in this week that went by super fast:

Outlined Chin & Enemies For Easy Visibility
Chin Roll & Stealth Sprite Sheet
Egypt 3-1 (Desert with pyramids)
Egypt Platforms (Highly reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. 3, world 2 blocks)
Pass Screen
Fail Screen
World Select (and buttons)
Level Select  (and buttons)
Large Samurai (90% Textured - just needs sprite sheets)

You must be thinking, "What's left to finish?" Well, there's a pretty decently sized list of final art assets that I need to create, such as the rest of Egypt, two levels for Hawaii, and changing up of Asia 1. From here, there's about 2-3 extra assets that need to be created for our levels, as well. While it's hard to juggle all of these responsibilities with classes and work, It's honestly not a lot once you start working on something... you can get everything done quite fast! (Like I did with this past week).

For the remainder of this week, we will be implementing the rest of these assets to finish out our game. Next week we will be focusing on polishing up our game, and hopefully ironing out some kinks we've been having with multiple platforms. It's going to be amazing once it's all together. Trust me.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Andrew Morrison - Update 2

You will have to forgive my absence from this blog.  The past two pieces have been coming together pretty slowly, and that has taken the majority of my time and mental power.  But anyway, the level 2 music has been fully completed and implemented into the game.

As of now, the music for levels 3 and 4 are sitting at roughly 70% completion, and I intend to knock those out, as well as new sound effects for the sword slashing, shurikens, and enemy abilities, as well as the rolling and stealth sound effects tonight.  Due to size constraints, we will be reusing the menu music (how much of it will honestly be heard on the menu?) for the final level, as I feel it will be suitable for the conclusion of the game.

After tonight, the rest of the sound effects, level completion, and jumping, will be completed by this weekend.  This will make everything easier on Tate as he will not have to scramble at the last minute to get my assets implemented. will be updated more this week as the remaining background music is completed.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tate Marske - Weeks 11-12.5

Summing this three-week span up into one word; long.  I have been absolutely working my tail off trying to get everything working perfectly for further level integration, and we are just about there.  Since my last post, my team and myself have accomplished a lot, and gone to new heights!  So, here is what's going on right now:

 - I've gotten Mike's basic enemy working with some very simplistic artificial intelligence at this point
 - Thanks to this, I've been able to test and rework some aspects of slicing with the sword and throwing shurikens, which will be two main attacks within the game.  All systems are go here!
 - World selection and level selection have both been worked in this week, which is HUGE.
 - The game is now capable of saving and loading progress.  This is a huge step in the right direction, and has been tested on quite a few devices now.

Basic Enemy:  This guy was fun to work with, and now that he's implemented, it makes the game a lot more fun, and gives it a hook.  Although it may seem counter-intuitive to only have basic AI working at this point, that's all we need.  Since the level is flying by you rather quickly as you run, you don't want complex things to have to compute in your mind as you try to avoid 'smart' enemies.  These guys basically sit and wait, and throw a single shuriken at you each, once you come within a range.
Here, you can see that I'm in a rather tight situation, while testing this out!  I've just sliced through one enemy, right next to my character, with the sword.  However, the enemy above has anticipated my arrival and thrown a shuriken my way!  I had better time my jump well!

Slicing and Throwing:  Nothing much visual I can really put here, but I've been working hard on making sure slicing and throwing shurikens work accurately.  Over the course of the next day or two, I plan on getting a new ability integrated, too!

World Selection and Level Selection:  Okay, so...  This should have been something done very early on, right?  Well, I needed more than one testable level to properly integrate this, so I did have to wait a while.  However, this proved to be a huge challenge.  I had to completely rework and restructure certain portions of my code in order to make sure you could smoothly transition through levels in general and then quit the game, reload it, and pick an unlocked level.
The world select screen and level select screens work together flawlessly now.  Variables are passed back and forth and read / written to a file, which I will talk about soon, so that the proper buttons become clickable and readable at the right times.  Pretty nifty, eh?

Saving Progress:  This is another thing that may seem trivial to some.  Well, it was my first time doing anything like this, so it was rather rough and strenuous!  Thanks to the help of my professor and a lot of research and debugging sessions with different devices, I was able to overcome my issues with this.  I had to reconfigure which screens were able to read and/or write from/to this file, and when it was able to happen.  Right now, it saves out a simple text file...  Hopefully in time I am able to change the type so that it is less-easily manipulated.

Plans for the next few days include getting another ability to work, and integrating Kyle's newest level designs.  I must absolutely perfect everything in what I already have before I implement it into new levels, so I'll be excited to see how everything fits together!

Just a bit of recap for you:

In thirteen weeks, we have successfully transitioned from this:

To this:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mike Pope - Week 12

Hello again!
I'll go straight into this week's post by saying that we're just about half way done with our Beta version, and we've got this far within only 12 weeks (and we still have 4 to go!!). In these next 3 or so weeks, we're all going to be working double hard, especially me, but we'll talk about that later.

Rock cliff Formations
This last week I finished up the backgrounds for the Madagascar World, which was a very fun set of levels to design. I started off in a somewhat sun-setting, kind of sparse, savanna. After that, it the player ends up in one of the "rock forests", running on top of rock formations which is just in between the savanna and the deep dense jungle. Would you like to take a guess at what's next? That's right! A deep jungle setting! This level is really all trees, of a bunch of different types. There'll definitely be a lot of obstacles on this level, I can tell you that.

This next week is going to prove quite difficult, but I know we can manage just fine. Since there's only 3-4 weeks left, we want to leave those last 2 or so weeks open for polishing our current game and other things involving the game (like website, trailer, etc.). For these next two weeks I need to complete world 3 and 4, and potentially a special end level ;). With these, I also need to finish up the character/enemy assets by getting the power-ups for Chin, and finishing the animations for the Armored Samurai. On top of this, I need to create the rest of the menu assets (which I hope to do in the next few weeks). We're almost there!

Fat Ninja

Monday, May 28, 2012

Kyle Windsor - Week 12

This week proved a surprise to me.  I had business that took me out of town so I made preparations to accomplish my work away.  The problem though, is that for Fat Ninja to compile, you need an internet connection even if the ADT is referenced locally.  As such, I have been unable to complete any levels this week.  As soon as this is done being typed I hope to work on a level tonight and tomorrow morning so I can hopefully have one level done for tomorrow.

I did manage to complete a couple new levels from world 3 though.  This will lighten the work load a little bit for this upcoming week which means I can hopefully be able to complete my leftover work from last week.  My worst case scenario is I can't accomplish any of my left over work for the next 3 weeks.  All told, this isn't the end of the world though because week 7 is when we are aiming to be done, fully built and finished.  But week 7 is still a week that can have work done in it so if through some issue or another, I am unable to complete a level until week 7, missing a day from it won't impact our schedule too greatly.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mike Pope - Week 11

Hey guys!
This past week I was pretty much focuses on getting all of the current art assets polished up for our first bug testing run! So far, we have 4 complete levels, and that means all 4 levels needed to look spot on, with no glitches or errors going on (like un-even tiling/repeating or line breaks). What's very interesting is that on one phone, none of the above stated ever happened... but on other phones (like mine) there'd be line breaks ALL OVER THE PLACE!

Anyways, I was able to finish up the first level of our second world, Madagascar 2-1 this week. The original concept of this map was to have Chin end up running on top of the trees. There needs to be a lot of extra programming behind that, so I'm not too sure if that is plausible at this point. If not, it still works great as a floor running map... like our previous levels. Also, I started working on a samurai character, which will be pretty large compared to the rest of the enemies (and will be used much later in the game). From here on out, I am going to be working extremely hard on creating fresh, new levels for the remaining many that we have planned. Until next week!

Kyle Windsor - Week 11

This week has gone great  for me.  With the exception of a couple issues early on, I have made great progress. Early on, when I hadn't looked at the code much, I was getting some errors and issues.  But within about an hour I found out what caused them all, and I could read the code sufficiently to negate them all.

As for my work, I have completed 3 levels this week, as in I have debugged and tested them so that they are in Fat Ninja.  Only the last level I did, world 2 area 1, needs more work and that's because enemy types and terrain obstacles aren't in and will need to be placed.  But this can be done at a later time and should take a fraction of the time it took me to do the levels.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Andrew Morrison - Update

Okay, so I am a little behind in my posts!  After remedying some technical problems (external HDD crashing, bugged version of my composing program), I am back on track and ready to make your ears bleed (WITH AWESOMENESS).

The music for World 2 - Madagascar is tentatively complete, pending approval from Tate, and the sound effects will continue to trickle out as well.  They are a bit more tricky, as the sound manipulation can be rough at times.  World 3 - Egypt music will be worked on throughout the remainder of this week and next week as well.

QA testing is next week, and I am excited for feedback on how Fat Ninja is progressing, I think we have a very strong game thus far, and I can't wait for more people to get their hands on it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tate Marske - Weeks 9-10

     It's been a VERY busy couple of weeks for all of us.  In particular, I've been working on extending our game's capabilities since I got back from a longer-than-expected spring break.  Today was my second meeting with my group, and I've compiled enough work to share in this blog after hours of toiling over what seemed to be simple things.

     Particularly, I was having problems implementing a sort of level selection map for our game.  It seems simple enough - a map with a bunch of buttons all over it, and each loads a different level!  Well, it is that simple from an outside point of view, but I had to reconfigure a lot of previous framework code that I had written in order to make this work correctly.

     Here is what has been completed on my end:
          - I now have an implemented, but currently blocky looking, level selection screen.  Once I can get a sort of map layout from our graphics guru, I'll be able to make it look much nicer!  The important part is, it's working

          - I've gotten all of the current animations for our character working and implemented into the first two levels, at least for bug testing.  Before, our character simply ran through a looping running animation.  Now, we have a running, slicing, and throwing animation for our character!  Swiping has become more exciting by ten fold, now that our character actually reacts to it!  It's pretty neat.

          - I've also managed to aid my level designer in correctly installing and using his development environment.  It seems that moving the entire eclipse project from one computer over to the next can be rather challenging.  Either way, I'm glad he's up and running now, as testing his own platform and enemy placements will become much smoother and easier!

     I expect things to pick up pace here a bit.  There was a bit of a lull after spring break that was rather hard to break, as I was having some major technical setbacks and everyone wound up a little jumbled.  Still, I have enormous hopes for this project when presentation day rolls around.  We are going to be ready for it!

Mike Pope - Week 10

This week I've been working some more on the enemy ninja and the rest of the background for Asia 1-3. Soon, I will be working on the start of World 2, which is Madagascar! Since I'm starting from scratch, I hope that I can get through it quickly, since I have some basic ideas of how I want to do it. Unlike the first level, there will be a one or two time dynamic object that will go by, which will help play into the background a little more, which helps the player know where exactly the gaps in the floor are.
Here's some pictures of what I had going for a background this past week.

Asia 1-3

Like I mentioned, I finished up the ninja and rigged and created animations for it. Basically, all it does is throw ninja stars and die. Unlike the main character, this mesh was rigged using the 3DSMax Biped, instead of standard bones. I think it turned out very well! We'll see what we need next for the new levels!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Kyle Windsor - Week 10

This week has been one of my most productive yet.  I spent the first half of the week trying to get eclipse fully working.  I uninstalled and re installed it on my primary system and things didn't work.  I then tried to install it on a fresh computer and everything worked fine there.  The only difference (besides being a fresh computer) is I had to install 32 bit on the other system.  When I tried on my primary system with 32 bit eclipse worked fine and the errors I had with my code at large were fixed.

Andengine proceeded to have issues then.  I proceeded to Google a few things and after testing some solutions (adding a library type, fixing/cleaning the file, etc) nothing seemed to work.  I'm still not sure why, but when I took a look at things today, the Andengine issues were fixed but then Fat Ninja still had a ton of errors.

After talking with Tate and looking through some options, the only thing I can see is that the Andengine files aren't actively in Fat Ninja's library and as such, they aren't being referenced in any way.  I haven't found a solution yet but with the issue narrowed down so far, I hope to have everything fully functional tomorrow.

As for my progress, outside of the computer issues I have coded out a preliminary form of levels 2 and 3.  I have levels 4 and 5 partway done and plan on having those completed for tomorrow in a similar form.  I will also have at least 1, I'm aiming for 2 more levels drawn out and if possible coded in though having the ideas down is my priority.

All told, despite not having the levels actually done, I think I have managed to stay on top of things sufficiently that I am not too far behind.  By the end of next week I should have 6 levels fully completed.  If my goals for this week are met and my computer is running for next week, I should have 4 levels completed and 4 more coded if not necessarily debugged.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Kyle Windsor - Week 9

This week was fairly productive despite having a problem that hindered work.  I finally got the code working, sorta, on my computer.  This allowed me to view everything and to make changes to it which was something I couldn't do before.  But now there are a few errors within the code that prevents it from compiling at all.  So for this week, I was unable to actually test any of the levels I made and put in place.

Instead, I took the format established in the code and coded 2 levels in a word document that can easily be copied and pasted in at a later date.  This way I at least kept some work up until the code is fixed.  But that only got me two levels that were half completed.  So I also made sure to have at least the design sketched out for the following two levels.

All told, I have levels 2, 3, 4 and 5 completely designed, with levels 2 and 3 also coded on the side.  This week I hope to fully complete, test and have ready to go these 4 levels.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mike Pope - Week 9

Well, back from spring break and going into the final stretch of our Senior Project! While the past two weeks have been for relaxing and revitalizing for the last 8 weeks, I've been very productive.

First off, I wanted to make Chin (the main character) blend into the game a lot more. What I mean by this is that the way I rendered him in 3D for the alpha made him look "too realistic" to fit into the drawn, cartoony style of everything. Deciding to tinker with the rendering and material settings in 3DS Max 2012, I found out a great way to make a more "cell-shaded" or cartoony render setting.

As you can compare to previous rendering outputs, the shading is now much more flat and solid colred. To make sure this style looked perfect for the game, I even tested it against the level background. I must say it looks pretty damn good! Also this week, I finished UVW Mapping and Texturing Chin, as well as re-tweaked some animations.

Finally, I completed the Asia 1-2 level. Bascially, I wanted to keep the same structure and feel as the previous Asia, so I decided to put it in a sunrise moment, giving everything a orangish-purple hue. Also, the area is slowly going towards the forest, so there are less buildings and added trees. For Asia 1-3, I plan on making it at the very tip of the forest, so there will be a lot more trees.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mike Pope - Week 7

Hey guys! This last week has been incredibly productive. First matter of business I attended to was the first enemy. Since this enemy does not have any animations, I decided to just draw a 2D sprite from scratch instead of modeling one. The only part that's animated on him is the "ZzZz" above his head to indicate that they are sleeping, These are animated through the code that Tate has written.

Secondly, I created 6 sushi assets for pickups. I took a lot of ideas for these from the mini-game Lickitung's  Sushi-Go-Round from Pokemon Stadium. It gave me a lot of ideas on the basic types of sushi to draw out. Drawing them out was fairly simple. Once again I used Photoshop. These pieces also animate, dancing back and forth and glowing for the play to easily see them in any environment.

Next week we are presenting our Alpha, and I am extremely confident!

Tate Marske - Week 6-7

It feels like only yesterday we started this whole project off, and now we're about to present the alpha build of "Fat Ninja" to our peers and professors.

Over the course of the past two weeks, I've been working hard to get my team's final Alpha assets put into our game and getting all of the mechanics to work well with one another.  Have a look!

As you can see, we have our main character running and animated, our final backgrounds (which act in a parallax as they run by the screen to give depth), our platforms, and our sushi.  All of our algorithms, sprites, and audio assets are working together perfectly, and we're very excited for our presentation later this afternoon.

I plan on presenting our game itself by running a camera-projector to a television.  Until I get the proper display cable, this will be the most lag-free way of presenting our working game application.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Kyle Windsor - Week 7

This past week I had some of my most satisfying progress yet.  With the coded elements now implemented in game, I was able to transfer the first level into the game.  This proved very beneficial because I now know exactly how long my level was time was/play wise, how much I have to scale up, are jumps too short/long, etc.  So early on I balanced as much as I could out to create a smooth run through level 1.

After I completed level 1, I started revising levels 2-3 so I can start to input and edit the levels to get them into a playable state.  All told, I'm happy where we are at though I have a small concern for the future.  We still have a lot of work to do to meet our end goals and if we progress remotely close to the pace we did this session, our current goal won't be feasible.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Andrew Morrison - Week 7


2 weeks to go! Music is done for this build, just need to work on sound effects.  I've had the chance to tinker around a little while at school, but unfortunately because of issues with FL Studio running off of the external hard drive, most of the writing needs to be done at home due to random chunks of the sound library disappearing.  On tap this week (by Saturday!) are sounds for jumping, tossing shurikens, menu sounds and a sound for Mikes awesome little Sushi grab on the title screen.

I am even more excited for next session, as without the online class, I'll be able to put even more time into crafting awesome music!

See you in a week!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mike Pope - Week 5/6

This post might be a little long because I'm mashing two weeks of progress into one. To make things easier for you guys, I'll try to space out my progress as much as possible!

     First up last week, I worked on the main menu assets. Everything was hand drawn through Photoshop CS5 (arm, chopsticks, sushi, dish). The only thing I didn't personally draw was the font... but I did however change it up to suit our needs. I used several filters, brushes, and blending techniques to achieve each desired  look for every asset. The dish, by far, was the hardest to get looking just right. Overall, the main menu took about 3-4 hours. In the end, there were about 24 layers, and many of those layers were condensed and merged. The ninja hand/arm asset alone was done in 10 layers.

     Secondly, I have most of Chin completed. All that is left for him is texturing and animating the rest of his animations. Right now for animations I have: Idle Run, Idle Run (sword), Attack Run (shuriken). For making the sprites, I found two programs that would help in converting my 3DSMax files into sprite sheets but unfortunately... both of them supported files that were much different then mine (.DTS/.DTQ, .B3D, .X). I spent a good few days trying to research how to convert these to use them, but I had little luck. What really made this very dis-hearting for me is that this influenced how I created, rigged, and animated my model. In the end, I just decided to render them out straight from 3DSMax. I then found another program which took each picture and merged them all into one sprite sheet. This was the one thing that worked in my favor up to this point!

     Last up this week, I created the background and platform assets for our Level 1-1. Once again, I created every single piece in this level, using the same techniques as mentioned before. The only stock images that I used in the actual creation was the sky and the mountains, but they were still heavily modified. Everything else, I used reference pictures to understand how each house was built and how their living areas looked like.

     To start off, I created each piece of the house (base, wood, sidings, trims, windows, roof, etc). From there, I created a different house setup using the same pieces, plus a few more. After that, I copied over each of the different houses I made for the "distant background" and darked them. In order to keep this as a background and not have it interfere with the "gameplay elements", I decided to put a nice small black to transparent gradient over the buildings... which really helped bring out the enemies and platforms the player is jumping on!

     This Photoshop file had a total of about 30 layers. Once again, this number is drastically dropped down due the fact that I duplicated layers and merged them all to create one easy to manage layer. For instance; I have the base pieces of the house I created first. After that, I took all of those and merged them to have a layer called "House merged". I used that to copy over each house in the background. Overall, I had so much fun making this level!

Next week is the alpha presentation for our game. I think we're all really ready for this! BRING IT ON!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Kyle Windsor - Week 6

This week I can finally start implementing the levels into the game.  I spent the first part of the week transferring all the levels over to grid paper to get an initial level down.  From there, I proceeded to tweak and refine some of them to make them work better.  For example, in the original design it would leave it impossible to jump from one platform to another higher up.  This required some tweaking to make it fit.  I have also done some preliminary adjustments to make the level of the appropriate challenge and to make sure there isn't anything unexpected that initial designs didn't account for.

Now, I encountered an issue with loading the project onto my computer, so after Tuesdays meeting, I will be able to quickly input all the levels into the game.  At that point, I will need to actually test to make sure the levels are long enough, and things aren't too challenging for a first level.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Andrew Morrison - Week 5

This week, I made huge progress with the music for Fat Ninja, knocking out music for a level as well as the menu music.  Next up on the list is working on the sound effects, which will take the better part of the next week and a half.

The two pieces I've completed are at the bottom, and again, the portfolio will be updated when the new sounds are completed.

See you soon!


Tate Marske - Week 5

This week has been insane.  It's almost as if my team and I finally got the kickstart we needed to start really cranking stuff out!  After finally getting everything all configured and hunky-dory last week with AndEngine and figuring out how and where to implement what I wanted for a given scene, I took the ball and ran with it.

Here is what I've accomplished this week:

  • MultiTouch has now been fully integrated and implemented
  • A Scene Manager class to keep track of, unload, and load assets for whichever scene should be showing.  (This is used to create menus and multiple levels.)
  • I've gotten my algorithms for platform spawning and removing transferred safely into code  (Fully-working as of late last night.)

Take a closer look:

     Unfortunately, it's extremely hard to show this one in a blog post visually.  However, I can assure you that I have successfully integrated MultiTouch capabilities into our application.  Don't worry, though!  Even if you don't have multitouch, you can still use the application, it will just default back to using only single-touch recognition!  However, for those of us with MultiTouch-enabled screens, we will probably get a lot less frustrated with the application's performance when the going gets rough in later levels!

     Using a scene manager, I can now load, unload, reset, run, basically do anything I want with any given scene.  This means that I can now actually structure the game application like, well, a game!  I can implement a main menu (which I have), pause menus, settings screens, map sequences, you name it!  It's all very possible and within grasp, now! 

Here is the main menu, for example.  (Thank Mike for the awesome title sequence!)  Once you hit the play button, the Scene Manager will load up the first level.

This is what the Main Menu looks like after a bit of time.  The flower and petal emitter slowly blows the blossoms across the screen.

     This might actually be neck-and-neck for my most accomplished moment thus far, tied up with the cool swipe integration.  Here's how it works:  The level's "world" is divided up into 64-pixel measurements, kind of like columns.  ((Don't worry, it's not visible.  It's all code!))  A counter keeps track, through the update loop, of how many pixels the player has moved.  As we know, the player doesn't actually move left or right in our game, the main scene stays with us as the world moves by.  So, using a method I conjured up, I can easily pass a few numbers dealing with what segment I want my platform to start at, and how many segments I want my platform to have.  Then, the module will spawn a left edge, however many center-blocks it takes to get my desired platform length, and then a right platform edge.  Throughout the update loop, I can test whether or not the player is within contact of certain parts of these platforms, and act accordingly.  For instance, the player can land on top of the platforms, and run right off the edge, and drop back down to the ground level.  However, if they smack into the left side of a platform, the level is going to be reset!  Yikes!

Are you curious about that counter at the top-left of the screen yet?  Alright, I'll tell you!  It's for bug-testing.  See, platforms won't spawn until they NEED to.  Meaning, as the player progresses, the platforms get closer and closer to him.  As soon as a platform's position (stored in an array) come near the right edge of the screen, the platform will be spawned, and that many blocks will be added to the counter.  Soon after the blocks leave the screen (though not TOO soon, due to timing constraints), they are deleted, and the "Blocks:  " counter will reflect that, too.  It's just to help bear in mind what kind of strain is being put on, or in this case being taken off, of the processor and phone internals!

     If you've been at all curious about how the Swipe implementation is going, see for yourself.  I've filled a couple of whiteboards and notebook pages with ideas on how to improve it further and make it look like more of a sword's edge.  After looking at a few peoples' theories on how to do this online, I've pretty much narrowed down the type of shape I should use for the implementation, and have derived how I could go about drawing said shape in an appropriate manner.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Kyle Windsor - Week 5

This week has been a busy week for me.  I've had a lot of other work and so I've done as much as I can with the levels.  This past week, the final list of what will be included in Fat Ninja as well as confirmation on the rough flow of skill progression was given.  So most of this week was spent going back over my previous designs and modifying them and editing them to work with the finished ideas a lot more.  Mostly, the levels overall design stayed the same with a few needing minor changes to make jumps doable and such.  The biggest changes came with the enemies and some environmental hazards that wouldn't be there.  It was a juggling act to keep the rough feel while still keeping the same challenge and flow.

That said, my main goal going into this next week is to start actually putting the level in game in some form, even if it's nothing but placeholders, so that there is some notable progress on my biggest task this session.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tate Marske - Week 4

This week was exciting!  And by exciting, I mean very exciting!  I've finally been able to get a lot done on the coding portion of the project.

Not only did I finally actually get something happening on-screen, but I also learned how to use touch events to my advantage along with particle emitters and camera scaling to get things working properly on multiple different devices.

Although all of the assets are only mock images right now...  (Yes, our ninja is currently a soccer ball...)  The core components are actually falling into place already.  Have a look:

Here, you can see a screenshot of the player rapidly tapping the shuriken button!  Our little soccer ball is shooting!  Oh, and by the way, those shurikens are being kept track of in a varying-size arraylist.  This means that we aren't calculating any more than we need to each time through the update loop!

Next up, we have jumping!
Although this may seem like a simple implementation, it was clashing with something else, and was very hard to implement the way we originally wanted it.  Basically, the player will simply tap the bottom-right corner of his or her screen to make the ninja jump.  If you like this, you'll love the next one...

Drumroll please...
We have SWIPING!!!

Yes, it's true!  After only one week of getting some work done on coding, we've actually got a working swipe module going!  I won't go into too much detail on how the particles are being positioned and such, but it's actually a pretty interesting set of algorithms!  They still get a little broken up if the player moves their finger TOO fast accross the screen, but meh.  It still looks really cool!  And our little Toast function even tells us that it recognized a swipe!

Oh, and if all that wasn't enough for one week of work, multitouch is now working, too.  Although we don't forsee our players needing to do two things at once, we may as well give them the option to!  We don't want to frustrate anyone by limiting the application now, do we?

I'll be working hard again this week, and I'm sure I'll have some really cool new stuff to show off in the next post!

Andrew Morrison - Week 4

This week, I actually began working on the BGM for the first level.  Due to the fact that FL studio does not have mandolin samples in its sound bank, I had to tweak the settings for a different sound to make it similar.  Once I get the file hosted on my website, I will post a link to it here.

Once I finish that piece, I will begin work on the sound effects and the menu music.  Sound effects will be the most difficult, as I have to foley and/or alter sounds in order to get the desired effects.  Once these are complete, I will upload them as well.

The project is going exceedingly well, and everyone seems to be on top of their game!  Can't wait to see the finished product!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mike Pope Week 4

Hey everyone,

I've been hard at work this past week! While I've been working with Kyle and Tate to finalize ideas for our levels, obstacles, and enemies I've been working on a bunch of the art assets that are going to be in place for the alpha build of our game. My main concern is Chin (the main character). I plan on having him completely finished... this includes being modeled, rigged, and animated for the bases of our alpha. Other than Chin, I've worked on a few select 2D graphics that we will be using throughout our game!

I really think the game is coming along very well now after seeing what Tate, Kyle, and Drew are doing!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Kyle Windsor - Week 4

This week I have been coming up with some new levels so that they can be quickly implemented as soon as the framework is in.  Until I can play around with things, these are very rough because the levels might be too short, too easy, etc.  I can still get rough levels down though, and that will greatly excel the process in the end.

The main issue I'm running into is making the  levels challenging without being too difficult too quick.  We will have at least 10 levels I believe, at an absolute minimum, and the difficulty has to slowly ramp up.  Mostly, I have to make sure there isn't anything too crazy and to make sure that the level is beatable despite any potential random effects.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Andrew Morrison - Week 3


This week, I began to research more sound effects by watching older martial arts and ninja films.  These will most likely be the most difficult assets to create as sound creation is much more complicated than sound modification.  Ultimately, I may decide to just record some Foley sounds, but I will see how far I can get with them in the next week.

Production will begin on the main level piece this coming week, and I will have a rough idea of how it will sound. This is the piece that I am using for a whole lot of inspiration.  One of my favorites from back in the day.

I look forward to having more to show!  And with that, my new portfolio web site can be found at Morrison Gaming.  See you all soon!


Tate Marske - Week 3

     It always seems like these weeks fly by!  This week, I settled in and worked through the final version of our game design document.  I added onto the first draft from last week and narrowed everything down a lot more.  After we get word back from our professor, I should be able to tweak and soup up a few extra little pieces here and there and get it completely finalized.  I also worked with my team members to work on our Technical Design Document.  This document is pretty simple; it basically lists all of the different files we plan on using.  Although it may not be extremely accurate once we get to the end, it will at least serve as a strong guideline.

     Over the course of the next week, since we are a bit ahead on document work, I plan on expanding the tutorial that I followed on OpenGL so that I can work on implementing our team's assets as opposed to the originals.  I'll also be rewriting the game type to fit what we need the game to do.  This means that, pretty soon, we should have some form of working game model!  Things are getting exciting as we pull out of our heavy documentation stages.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mike Pope - Week 3

This last week's meeting with the team proved to be very valuable! Kyle, who is in charge of our level design, gave us tons and tons of very feasible ideas for enemies, level layouts, and other various things we could potentially include. Kyle was even able to come up with some rough sketches for enemy ideas for the early levels of our game. This put us all in the right direction and on the same page. From here, we just need to narrow down each section so we can make it possible to maintain through the next few months.

Now that we understand what we're shooting for to include, I can really start to get to work on all of our 3D models. Now, because our game is on the mobile device, I need to make all of our art assets into 2D ones, so it runs with minimal problems across all android platforms. To help this process, I found a neat little program called "SpriteWorks", made by EnvyGames. I will be looking into this program as to help my goals get achieved with ease!

(EnvyGames Website:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kyle Windsor - Week 3

For week three, I have kept up with what I've done so far as well as some basic planning.  After reviewing the GDD I came up with some new ideas for area specific enemies as well as when what enemies will be introduced at that stage.  This lead into me completing some very rough concept sketches of what some of the enemies would look like in the first area.  On top of that, I am in the middle of coming up with a rough idea of what the first level will look like, a rough layout to make my job easier when it needs to be implemented.  Before class, I also will be coming up with a couple more area specific challenges if possible such as environmental hazards.

All told, this week has been relatively easy and has been more time consuming then difficult, attempting to get unique ideas and different abilities that aren't being repeated.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tate Marske - Week 2

     This week was certainly a bit of a stretch, as I spent most of it at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco!  Besides the fact that I had an absolute blast, I still worked to create a rough Game Design Document draft for my team and I.  We took a look at it during our meeting and even added a few new ideas, which is great.  We also worked together to create a statement of work for the course of our first eight weeks.  We decided that in order to have something worthy of being able to be considered an alpha build, we should be sure to have a full level implemented by the end of the first eight weeks.  We will need a full engine and framework build in Java, as many sprite sheets for characters and enemies as possible, sounds for our character as he sprints through our intro level(s), and the full design for the first level must be completed and then translated into code.  Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I hope to fully bring our game design document to life and get past the large roadblock in code development.  Should be a cinch, so long as I don't wind up in San Francisco again!

Andrew Morrison - Week 2

This week has been full of more musical research, as I discovered a fantastic piece of Violin based Dubstep, which could potentially be imitated and utilized for menu or level music.  Of course to keep with the Asian/Eastern motif, I would make use of Mandolin and Pan Flute samples, which I am still attempting to track down.

FL Studio is going to be my milieu for this project, with possible splicing and audio creation taking place in Audacity.

Research into coding techniques will also continue, as we are not using the AndEngine libraries that I am used to.  Streaming the audio will still be relatively straight forward, however, getting the music to start and stop properly and when it should will be a little more difficult.

With this team, I believe we will have an exemplary product, and I look forward to the coming weeks!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mike Pope - Weeks 1&2

Hey guys.

I'm a little late on updating this blog due to the Game Developer's Conference, but hopefully I'll be able to regularly update from now on. Most of what I've been working on these two weeks include brainstorming with Tate all the ideas and concepts in order to complete the GDD and High Concept documents.

Now that these are basically done, I can start working on drawing up more sketches for level ideas and characters/enemies. I've started to think of the types of enemies and obstacles there could be throughout the levels. One of the many ideas I've come up with includes traditional non-armored samurai, large heavily-armored samurai, and many types of flying enemies like swallows or even arrows show by other ninjas or enemies.

As for environment/obstacle ideas, I had some really cool ones. Some of these include watch towers that you might have jump over or to slice down, rooftops to run over, jungles, icy areas... even a Japanese castle that could potentially be the enemies or your own clans. There are so many possibilities that can happen with this type of time-period and situation.

Hopefully in this upcoming week we can start to figure out what type of art style we are going to be using (2D vs. 3D. Either both 3D background and characters, or only 3D background). I'm definitely looking forward to getting started on creating the real assets for Fat Ninja!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kyle Windsor - Week 2

This week, I have been responsible for coming up with some ideas for enemies/map situations that can prove challenging to the player.  No actual work can be done yet until some basic assets are completed.  The enemy ideas I have so far are a basic small enemy that has to be dodged and a larger enemy that you have to roll to knock him down.  Those could both be Mongolians of some form to be more bulky.  Two flying enemies, one of  which is something like a swarm of gnats that drains your score and another that is a delay then swoop attack.  A ghostly enemy that can only attack you when your stealthed for a potential issue there.  I would also like to try and find some way to work the Chinese Zodiac into the enemy pool but I can't think of a mechanic at this time that would make it quality.

As for game mechanics, a couple ideas are more traditional like having slick surfaces and other generic environmental items like falling rocks, crumbling ground, pits, etc.  I also thought of making it so you can leap out of rolls so you can drop off an edge while rolling, get further distance then normal to get an item and then to leap out of it to get back to safety.  Also, to have some areas that are stealth access only, like animals blocking a way when you come running through but when your stealthed, you can move into the area they were blocking.  Also, the concept of bamboo branches or something that can sling you to higher areas and give you boosts.  The only other big unique thing would be to implement a mechanic in a level that is light based, that otherwise limits visibility such as a lightning storm where you only see by lighting flash or torches near you that limits your visibility to half the normal amount.

As you can see, there are lots of ideas already there, more then enough to get through a first level.  I am still working on coming up with other, new ideas and touching up some that were mentioned here.  The main challenge has been coming up with unique ways for some of these ideas to work that doesn't make the game too difficult, replicate something too similar to existing ideas or over complicate the game with too many things to keep track of.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Andrew Morrison - Week 1

I spent this week researching new music styles and figuring out ways to combine them into unique pieces to fit the dominantly Asian motif of this game.  One of the pieces I chose to most listen to was the song Samurai by Juno reactor, which combines elements of techno and mandolin/pan flute music.

Going back to previous projects, and experimenting with streaming sounds to minimize memory consumption.  I must now also figure out ways to minimize the amount of physical memory taken up by the audio, while also maintaining high quality sound.  My previous project contained roughly 20 megabytes of audio, and while Fat Ninja will require significantly less, the struggle to balance compression with quality resounds.

I am looking forward to the completion of this project and hopefully, putting it on the Android Market!


Kyle Windsor - Week 1

This is week one of Senior project and things are looking good so far.  We decided to make a side-scroller running game on the android platform.  This will be similar to games like Flood Runner or Robot Unicorn Attack.  You will play as a fat ninja who must use his sword and other abilities to dodge obstacles and make his way through a series of levels to try and prove himself to his fellow ninja’s.  The idea sounds solid, it will be more cartoony but the idea is very sound.

Now I have been brought on as a level designer.  In short, I will be the person deciding where everything fits in the map for optimum balance, making levels challenging without being impossible, and to come up with ideas to make the levels better.  This is great, but early on there isn’t as much to do.  Because I joined the group after the high concept was mostly developed, my first week has been spent learning the platform.  I’ve never worked on android before or with java.  So for the time being, I am honing my skills so they will be up to the task when my part is ready to be started.

Tate Marske - Week 1

I spent most of this week writing and developing a full High Concept Document for our game.  The main goal of this was to give each of my group members a much clearer idea of where this game would be going and what I would be looking for from my team.  

I also began looking a bit into OpenGL capabilities on Android devices.  I've chosen to write the framework to incorporate these capabilities as it is quick, easy on memory, and can accomplish many things much more easily than using Graphics and Canvas classes can.  Even though the game will be two-dimensional, building the game in this '3D' space will create many different opportunities for the game itself.

In order to learn more about OpenGL for Android, I've been reading a book entitled "Beginning Android Games" by Mario Zechner.  There are many great resources and references in this book, and I've read parts before to become more familiar with using Java as a whole for Android.

All in all it has been a productive first week.  Although I will be at GDC 2012 all of next week, I still plan to keep up with my studies and will be reading up further on OpenGL.  Who knows, maybe I'll get some actual code written!  However, priority number 1 is to get the full Game Design Document completed! 

Start your engines!

This will be the official production blog for "Fat Ninja", a 2-Dimensional OpenGL game for the Android platform.  Posters to this blog will include:

Tate Marske - Team Lead and Lead Programmer
Michael Pope - Visual Designer
Andrew Morrison - Sound Production
Kyle Windsor - Level Designer

"Fat Ninja" will be created over the course of a total of sixteen weeks from start to finish, and the goal is to get the game to at least its 'Beta' stage.  Enjoy!