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Quest Game Engine Update

Tue, 04 Oct 2005 14:10:00 GMT

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/jmiller/archive/2005/10/04/55959.aspx

I got called in to manage the project from hell (Only verbal specs, a client that changes what they want weekly based on what competitors are doing, 5 contract programmers of which 2 don't speak much English, and an impossible deadline) so I haven't had time for anything else recently.  Below is a screenshot of where things were about five weeks ago.  I can generate a random maze or map based on the HK (Hunt & Kill) method or us Chris William's dungeon generator from HA!  The image below shows a HK map, the beginnings of the overview map, and a list of the rooms.

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Quest Game Engine Update

Mon, 15 Aug 2005 15:14:00 GMT

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/jmiller/archive/2005/08/15/50244.aspx

I've spent the last couple weeks looking into different dungeon generation methods.  The method that I've decided to begin with is one that starts with a maze, then works from there to produce a viable dungeon map.  You can find out more about this method from Jamis Buck's Dungeon Generator page and this page that describes maze algorithms.  The first screen shot below is of a random 2D, normal, orthogonal, perfect maze (check the links mentioned for definitions).  The second screen shot is another random maze with the initial steps of turning the maze into a dungeon applied.

So far this method has turned out to be very easy to implement.  If I can continue at this pace I should have a fairly solid random dungeon map generator in the next couple weeks.

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Quest game engine update

Wed, 03 Aug 2005 11:31:00 GMT

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/jmiller/archive/2005/08/03/48995.aspx

Between spending 4 days at church camp with 50+ 4th and 5th graders and catching up with work, I haven't made as much progress on Quest as I had hoped.  I did fix a bug that would sometimes let you walk through a solid wall though. 

Now that I have a character that can move around the map, I've decided to spend some time focusing on the map generation process.  As I mentioned previously I was able to quicly hook in Chris Williams' dungeon mapper from HA!  I'm going to dig deeper into Chris' implementation as well as explore some others.  I actually have some free time at the moment so I expect to be able to spend time on it this week.  Look for an update next week on how I will proceed with the mapper.

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Quest (Adventure Game Engine) update

Fri, 15 Jul 2005 18:42:00 GMT

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/jmiller/archive/2005/07/15/46777.aspx

I feel like a lot of progess has been made this week.  Thanks to Chris Williams making the code for HA's dungeon mapper availalbe, I can now display real dungeon maps instead of just random tiles (see snapshot below).  Integrating Chris' VB.NET code into my C# application took less than an hour...don't you just LOVE .NET!

I fleshed out more of the Character and Tile classes as well as adding a handful of new classes for Features.  Features will manage things like openings, doors, stairs, traps, etc.  One feature of doors that came to mind this week is limiting the directions from which a door can be entered/exited.  This would allow for one-way doors and other interesting scenarios.  I replaced several of Tile's ArrayLists (this project was actually started with VS 2003) with List structures.  I have to say I really like generics and being able to easily have access to a type-safe collection.

Hopefully progress will continue next week at the pace it has this week.

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Where to find good MSDN Universal pricing?

Thu, 14 Jul 2005 13:09:00 GMT

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/jmiller/archive/2005/07/14/46480.aspx

My company just let all of their MSDN Universal subscriptions expire and the intern that found us great pricing last time is no longer with the company.  I know a couple years ago we got them for just over $1000 each, but the prices I'm finding now are closer to $2000 each. 

So, where do you go to get your MSDN Universal subscriptions?

 

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Game Engine update and request for Icon resources

Wed, 13 Jul 2005 12:07:00 GMT

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/jmiller/archive/2005/07/13/46184.aspx

I finished up the work on my ViewPort class so it can now display a Map of any size.  You can scroll using the arrow keys or buttons, no mouse scrolling support yet.

On a side note, a year or so ago I found a great archive with hundreds of free 3D icons.  There were replacements for all of the Windows icons as well as tons of arrows and misc icons.  Unfortunately I can no longer find the site so I'm again on the hunt for some cool 3D icons.  Leave feedback with your favorite icon source and I'll summarize in a few days.  Thanks for the help.

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Adventure Game Engine Update & more - long overdue

Fri, 08 Jul 2005 16:03:00 GMT

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/jmiller/archive/2005/07/08/45741.aspx

ACK!  Its been 6 months since my last post!  Work and family have kept me extremely busy.  So busy, in fact, that I have had to resign my INETA position as user group relations liaison for Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  I loved working the the user groups, but they are now in the very capable hands of Brian Tinkler.

Following Chris Williams' progress on HA! has given me the kick in the rear I needed to get back to my adventure game engine.  I started back by converting it to VS 2005 Beta 2, which went without a hitch since there wasn't that much code to convert.

While this is a rogue-like game, I wanted a graphic display instead of ASCII.  I took a look at several 3D/2.5D engines and decided none of the were worth the effort for what I wanted.  So, I'll just be using a 2D tile based display system which will give me what I want without too much complexity.

I started fleshing out the Map, Tile, and Sprite classes to get a basic display working.  I can now display a background map as long as it is smaller than my viewport, currently 40x55 tiles.  Next up on the agenda is scrolling support so maps can be larger than the viewport.  Once this is done I plan on taking a break from the display issues and work on some of the basic engine classes like Character, Item, and Inventory.

Hopefully I'll have some progress to post about late next week.

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Game Engine Update

Thu, 06 Jan 2005 18:34:00 GMT

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/jmiller/archive/2005/01/06/19308.aspx

Instead of working much on the game engine over the holidays I ended up finishing part of my basement.  While it wasn't very fun, it did knock several items off my wife's honey-do list and earned me a bunch of brownie points.

What work I did was related to transparent forms.  I've created a base transparent form that I can add the various game panels to and display them over the top of the map.  Creating the form was simple, what I don't like is that I had to use a Form to do it.  I would have loved to be able to use a control that I could have added to my main form's control collection.  Unfortunately Forms are the only thing that I see that can easily support transparency.  I may come back and revisit this later, but for now it is working using a Form.

Jay

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Adventure Game Engine Update

Thu, 23 Dec 2004 17:47:00 GMT

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/jmiller/archive/2004/12/23/18426.aspx

I've spent most of the last week getting more familiar with WinForms.  I realized that for the 3 years that I have been using .NET full-time, only about 3 weeks has been working with anything WinForms related.  All my time has been consumed with ASP.NET and business layer stuff.  I've created several different types of panels that will be used for differend areas of the UI.  None of the panels are rendering anything interesting at this point, but they display and the plumbing for basic communication between them is functional.

I've also identified what I'm guessing will be about half of the main business classes and have started working on their interfaces.

I'm off work for the next 11 days, but I'll have to see how motivated I am to sit back down in front of a computer.  If the weather stays the same I'll probably get a lot done.  There is currently 14-16 inches of snow covering my yard and we are under a snow emergency which means only emergency vehicles are supposed to be on the roads.  With another 6 inches possible tonight, I may be look for a lot of ways pass the time.

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Tinkering with an adventure game engine

Fri, 17 Dec 2004 12:55:00 GMT

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/jmiller/archive/2004/12/17/17937.aspx

It's been 6 months since my last post, but sometimes life happens.  Things have become remarkably calm over the past few weeks (especially given the time of year) and appear that they will stay that way so I have decided to start tinkering with an adventure game engine.

I've enjoyed adventure games from the time I played Zork many years ago up until a couple years ago.  Maybe I'm just getting old, but the violence and bloodiness of most of these games got to me so I lost all interest.  1st person shooter type games tend to make me feel sick from the speed of movement, so I'll be avoiding that type game as well.

I'm looking at creating a game that uses a 2D isometric view for display and will allow for fairly complex adventures/puzzles/problem solving.  I'm no artist, so the graphics will not be very elaborate.  My oldest son is expressing some interest in programming, so I'd like to keep the design simple enough that he can grasp it and possibly use it to do some teaching.

I'm just beginning the design and I'll blog here periodically about how it's going.

No grandiose plans.  Design a simple engine, have fun, touch some ares of .NET that I haven't had the need/time to explore yet.

Jay

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TechED - INETA

Wed, 21 Apr 2004 11:15:00 GMT

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/jmiller/archive/2004/04/21/4168.aspx

As a member of the INETA User Group Relations Committee I'll be at most of the INETA events during TechEd.  Check out Bill Evjen's blog or the TechEd site for more information.  This INETA page also has more information about the INETA Birds of a Feather (BOF) sessions. (image)



I'm finally bloggin'

Wed, 21 Apr 2004 11:09:00 GMT

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/jmiller/archive/2004/04/21/4167.aspx

I'm finally getting around to my first blog entry.  Things are kind of hectic now so the pace be slow for the next few weeks.

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