Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Fletch - The Missions System

Last time I talked about the achievements system, which was implemented into the game very early on, taken out and then reimplemented at the end. Today, I'd like to talk about the missions system.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Fletch - The Achievement System

Fletch is nearing the end of development, and it feels quite strange that in the past year we, Three Stage Studios, have created an enjoyable game that should last at least an hour on the first playthrough. The strangeness comes from the amount of troubles we have overcome - levels being scrapped or totally redesigned (multiple times), missing deadlines and doing weeks of work and yet the results don't show. Thankfully, now, they do. So I'd like to begin a series of retrospectives, specifically on parts of the game I worked on. We'll start with one of the first, and yet also the latest, additions - Achievements.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Pokémon Logic

A couple of years ago, I questioned just how Pokéballs actually work. Somehow they must distinguish between Pokémon and humans but the sheer amount of species out there means that at least one of the 649+ critters must share some kind of DNA set with humans. Especially given the legendaries from Gen IV and above supposedly crafted the world.

Today I was playing White 2. I got it when it first came out but recently have found myself playing to boost my Pokédex numbers. This was probably caused by getting Meloetta from GAME. I like the Medals System in the game, and combining a Medal for catching 50 Pokémon in a day with upping my Pokédex, this seemed like a no-brainer.

My journey across the region eventually led me to Mistralton Cave which is where I had my latest epiphany. The cave is one of the places where you have to use Flash. Ever since playing Blue back in the 90s, I rarely use Flash which meant as a kid I used to get hopelessly lost in Rock Tunnel. But I was walking around today, not being able to see anything and then suddenly - a trainer spotted me. I couldn't see him. I never saw his little exclamation box pop up, I never even saw his overworld sprite. As far as I was concerned, the game just froze for a few seconds before booting me into a random battle.

But if I couldn't see him, how could he see me? If he was using a torch, or Flash, surely the light from that would have lit up the area around him, and yet it was still pitch black for me. Random trainers spotting me in the dark happened a few more times until eventually I left the cave with the only thing gained being a level 30 Axew.

How can they even see?

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Opinion: The Decline of Doctor Who

Tonight's episode of Doctor Who (The Rings of Akhaten) has really divided people in their opinions. Some really loved it, others absolutely despised it. Usually there is some general consensus with the odd person who disagrees, but not tonight. Even I am split - I liked a lot of things and yet I didn't feel like it was a good episode.

Because I had not been born during the original run, I was brought into Doctor Who in 2005 (although I had actually seen An Unearthly Child, the first episode from 1963, before). Since then I have loved the show, participated in online fandom, quit it, and now act as a casual observer. But for the past couple of years I have worried a lot about the show; I've felt that the consistency of good episodes has been dropping. So I've decided to conduct a little experiment.

Previously each episode, for me, either falls into a Good or Bad category. Akhaten breaks that trend because I genuinely cannot describe how I feel about it. As such, I am going to rate each series with the percentage of good episodes. Before we begin, my feelings on each series:

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Error: UndeterminedNumberOfBlocks Exception

When I set out to create Starch, I knew what the end goal would include. The biggest thing would be items, and items would have users attached to them. The problem I've having with creating the first iteration of the Framework is determining what exactly it should have. Clearly items are a big part of it, but users shouldn't be. And, yet, I have written a dedicated User class which includes friends, friend requests, items created and similar variables. For a base of the framework, this is probably OK, but, while untested, I've spent time writing the save and load functions. Given that I haven't even refined the save and load functions of the items, it has become clear to me that, even though I'm doing work, I am procrastinating. I am doing work but, at the same time, I am not doing work.