Eibwen - A Development Adventure

A dev blog for a currently in-development action/adventure game.

May 24

A choice has been made

Alright, I decided. I’m going to abandon Construct, after reading reports of it being pretty much the worst thing to use for anything larger than an arcade game. I might come back to Construct 2.0 for something in the future, but for this game I’m not going to bother. (Plus, with Construct 2.0 they seem to be targeting the sort of people who make arcade-style Flash games anyway. Not my type of thing.) As of right now, I don’t know how I’ll bring Eibwen to life. I’m looking at using C++ with SDL and looking up bits of pre-made code as I go along, but honestly I just don’t know. It’s kind of exasperating being back at square not-quite-one, but hey, at least I have some sprites and music. It’s something.

I seriously hope I can get all this sorted out really quickly. I’m getting sick of having “that project I’ve been working on for 4 years but never gone anywhere with.”


May 13

Well that was interesting…

So I wanted to make a whole lot of progress on the game, and then second semester came up and said “Oh hey, I heard you didn’t like having free time. I can take care of that for you.” And it did. As a result, I’ve made very, very little progress since the last post. And that was… how long ago? Two and a half months? Crazy. Anyway, summer vacation is nearly here, and I may or may not get more free time because of it. I’ll be working, so I don’t know how much time I’ll actually have, but we’ll see. However. All this talk of time and the lack thereof is not actually the point of this post.

I was poking around on the internets, and I found some reports of Construct being… less than awesome. From what I read, it seems that Construct works wonders for small projects, like arcade-style games. The kind of things you would normally find on Newgrounds. Except… not done in Flash. Apparently with larger projects, the environment gets extremely buggy, crashes often, and has a particularly nasty memory leak. Large games produced with it also have a tendency to just not work as they should, sometimes running poorly on certain computers, or not running at all, or just up and eating save files. So I’m thinking maybe this isn’t the best environment to make my game in. I’m still not sure if I want to abandon Construct, seeing how much progress I have made, but it might happen. I don’t want to end up finishing a game just to have it unplayable. I’m thinking that if I do decide to move to a different environment, I’ll likely choose one in which I actually have to write some code. Drag & Drop environments are cool and all, but hey, I’m going to school for computer science, I might as well put the things I’m learning to use. At the moment, I’m leaning toward XNA, but at the same time I don’t want to depend on Microsoft products too much, simply because I’d rather be able to make the game cross-platform. I guess we’ll see if and when that time comes.


Feb 27

Slowly but Surely

It’s been too long since I last posted here. Second semester started and I needed some time to adjust and get used to my new schedule before I did any more work on the game. As of today, however, I’ve made significantly more progress since my last post. Right now, I’m about 3/4 through animating all of the projectiles available to the player over the course of the game. After that, I’ll be working on some weapon icons, a basic pause menu, and maybe some implementation of stats. Once all that is finished, the game will be ready for the next demo. If all goes well, that should be finished by the end of this week, but that may or may not end up being the case.

Have some music!

This one is called “Rain”. It’s… a bit sad sounding. And I really, really want to work it into the story. But I don’t know how yet.

That’s all for now!


Jan 5

Eibwen looked on the ground and found wepon.

I’ve been working lately on adding weapon animations to the game. It’s been long and tedious, but they’re all in there now. None of the weapons actually do anything yet, but at least the animations are all there.

Next on the list of things to do is make some enemies and give both them and Eibwen functional health meters, as well as giving the weapons something to do. Slowly but surely!

Music:

This one is called “Pressure”. It was actually originally a terrible little MIDI thing I made for use in an RPG maker game that never came to fruition. I already have a plan for where in the game to use this song, but I’m not telling you because it would ruin the fun!

These weapon sprites were made by the epic and awesome Turtlekid. He likes turtles. Check out his music on Newgrounds!


Dec 22

First preview-thing ready!

Finals are over, Christmas break is here, and this thing is ready to be unleashed upon the masses! This here is what I’ll call the “Red” preview of the game’s engine. It contains just the very basics of movement, nothing more. (That was the goal for this milestone, if you will.) Download link is here, and controls are as follows:

  • Move: Arrow keys
  • Jump: X
  • Crouch: Down arrow
  • Drop through thin platforms: Down + X

That’s all there is to the game at this point. The next preview will focus on basic combat, including making the HUD actually do something and giving the crouch a function beyond stopping your movement.

Here’s another song:

This one’s called “Joyous”. It sounds pretty joyous, wouldn’t you say?

Thanks a whole bunch to Unleashed Arcade for hosting the executable for me. If you feel yourself lacking in flash games, check out the site to get your fix. It’s got quite a nice selection!

Questions? Complaints? Constructive criticism? Let me know in the comments!


Nov 9

And then, something interesting happened!

So, you know how the picture in the last post was blindingly red? Well, after I made that post and decided that future pictures would be different colors, I had a neat thought. I figured that I should color-code the different stages of the engine. This is what I came up with.

Red - Preliminary engine, consisting only of movement functions and related things.
Green - Includes weapons and a few enemies.
Blue - Includes more enemies (with better AI), and weapon combination effects. (more on the weapon combinations in a later post.)

After those three stages will come a demo, which will include a small bit of the beginning of the game, likely also including at least one boss. After that will be a beta test, and after that hopefully the game will be ready for release upon the general public. I plan to make the executables for all three “colors” available when they’re finished, for any interested people to play around with. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do with the beta test, but at the moment I’m thinking that it’ll be a mostly-closed beta (as in I’ll distribute it to people that I know personally, and people that helped with the creation of the game). But plans may change.

As before, I don’t have a date set for any of this madness to happen. It will be ready when it is ready. Hopefully that will be pretty soon, but you never know what’ll happen.

While I’m here, why don’t I post another song?

This one is called Expedition. I made it to sound water-ish. When I asked my mom to describe it in one word, she said “expedition”. So I guess she didn’t think it was all that water-ish. OH WELL!


Nov 8

Something to look at

This here is a picture of the game engine as it currently stands. No, there’s not very much to it. In the about-the-middle of the picture we have Eibwen, the protagonist. This, or something very close to it, will likely be his final design. But, he may end up radically different. Probably not though. All he’s able to do at this point is run and jump; I’m still working on how to implement weapons.

If, after looking at that picture, you’re saying “AAGH MY EYES”, fear not! I promise the final game will not be ugly like that. In fact, future images probably won’t even be ugly like that.

In other news, here’s another music track:

This one’s called “Cascade”. It sounds piratey. It also sounds like the Windmill song from Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It’s also in 3/4 time. That is all on purpose.

Enjoy!


Nov 2

The Music of the Adventure

In the previous post, I mentioned that music was the only part of this game that I’ve got a lot of. That was entirely true. I’m not entirely sure why I’ve kept writing so much music while not working on any other aspect of the game, but that’s not really all that important. From time to time, I’ll upload a bit of music that I’ve come up with. Today will be the first of those times. This song (below) is the most recent one I’ve made, and is tentatively titled “Generator”. I like the 8-bit style, but I don’t know yet if I want that to be the musical style for the entire game. If you listen to this and the music I’ll upload in the future, you’ll notice that there is no consistent instrument set, but keep in mind that all of these songs are likely to change at least a little bit by the time I’m actually finished with the game. For now though, just enjoy.

This one straddles the line between stage music and boss music. I’m not sure which I’ll use it for. Maybe both.


Oct 23

New Dev Blog

I’ve started this blog on Tumblr to replace the old, never-updated, pure-HTML, and now nonexistent site I had for Eibwen up until recently. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and are wondering what Eibwen is, 1) Well hey, a new person is aware of this and 2) It’s a PC game I’m working on currently, tentatively titled “The Adventure of Eibwen”. As of right now it is in a very, very early development stage; I’ve only got some sprites, music, and minimal code done right now. If you’re not the type of person to be interested in anything more specific than that, feel free to skim past anything you don’t understand. With that said, I’ll move on to the details.

The Adventure of Eibwen is planned to be a game similar in style to Cave Story or the Metroid series, in that it will feature a large, two-dimensional, interconnected game world. It will be a shooter/platformer game with a heavy focus on exploration and discovery. The player’s goal will be to become familiar with the environment and the protagonist’s ever-growing set of skills, and use those skills to advance the story.

The game is being coded in Construct, a free event-based game programming environment. I had previously been working with Game Maker, a commercial engine, but upon discovering Construct I decided that it was far easier to use and, being free, cost far less money. It is being developed primarily by myself, but I do have several friends helping with story and art work, so this is certainly not a one-man project. I don’t have any idea as of now when this game will be released, as development to this point has been sporadic at best. (It’s been almost five years since the original concept, and all I have now are a few sprites, a very basic test engine, and a load of music!) I expect development from this point to be fairly regular; I hope to do enough work to make a post to this blog at least once a month. A release date may be in sight once I’ve got enough content for a trailer and/or demo, but for now I’ll just say “It’ll be done once it’s done.”

Lastly, I need to get word out on this project. Chances are, if you’re one of the first people to read this, you’re one of my close friends, or at least are familiar with me personally. If this looks like something that you’re interested in, save the link! The URL for this blog is http://eibwen.tumblr.com, and an RSS feed is located at http://eibwen.tumblr.com/rss. On the same note, if you read this and know of someone who would enjoy it, pass a link along to them. Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to get information out there, after all.

If you’ve read all the way down to here, I commend you for your perseverance. Thanks for being interested! Stay tuned, and I’ll try to make something that you can enjoy.

-BriGuy92