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!