Tag: Boobie Teeth

Boobie Teeth 0.25

Hot on the heels of 0.24, I’ve released Boobie Teeth 0.25. In this release, I’ve gotten the mini-map function implemented the way I want it. The mini-map is now transparent, and (if you care about Game Maker internals) is now based on draw commands rather than a View. The code that draws the mini-map is based off of an example I found on the Game Maker Community forums, by a developer who goes by the handle Supertramp.

Download from the Releases page, and play it!

Boobie Teeth 0.24

Boobie Teeth 0.24 is out today. Mostly refinements in this release. Probably the most notable new feature is the wave motion. In the shallower part of the level, wave motion will be felt; dive deeper to get under the waves. I also made the level spawn event fair by having the new fish be created in a position avoiding the player, thereby avoiding unfair deaths. Some additional code refactoring under the hood.

As always, you can download the game from the Releases page.

Boobie Teeth 0.23!

At long last, I’ve gotten back into developing Boobie Teeth. I’ve released 0.23, available as always on the Releases page.

In the two weeks leading up to Notacon 8, I worked on Boobie Teeth roughly 16-18 hours/day, making great progress, but had about burned out by the time I got 0.22 ready for the presentation. I really like pushing on a project like this, where I’m interested and motivated, but probably can’t sustain more than 12-14 hours of focused effort a day for very long. I had intended to take the next week or two off from the project and focus on some other things — housecleaning, getting ready to start a new job in May. For a number of reasons, this summer has been full of misfortunes which kept me out of advancing the project as I dealt with various crises. But things have settled enough, to where I can now resume working on it.

This release was actually mostly done between 4/16-4/17. I had a few ideas from playing 0.22 that I wanted to put in quickly during Notacon weekend, and got it done quickly. There are only a few changes in this release, not as much as I probably had intended when I started 0.23, but since so much time has passed between then and now, and I’m not entirely sure what else I might have decided to include had I kept working on it — there are a number of things on my list that I might have thrown into this release if I’d kept working on it, but at this point I’m not too sure what they were.

I briefly considered just ditching what I’d done for 0.23, and going back to 0.22 and start over again on 0.23, but I decided in the end to keep what I’d accomplished in 0.23 and just put it out, then start 0.24 with fresh direction. The additions which I did make to the game seem to have been complete, so rather than drop them and add them back later, it makes more sense to keep them.

I think that in 0.24, I’m going to focus on a few performance optimizations so the game will scale up more before dropping frames. It’s about at the limit of that right now, in my demo level, which won’t do if I want to do a few things that I want to do when the game advances to the next level. I really need to be able to put more objects on the screen at once without things slowing down.

“How I (FINALLY) Made My First Video Game” Notacon 8

The talk went very well. Several people I didn’t know came up to me afterward and said that it was inspiring, which means a lot to me. I tend to discount compliments from friends, which perhaps I shouldn’t, but I always throw out data that might be subject to bias.

I am posting my presentation slides here, for anyone who would like to download and read my notes. The talk was videotaped (do camcorders still use tape? No, I think we need a new word), and will be available on the Notacon.org archive once they have time to process everything. I’ll post a link when they do; might be a few weeks or months.

How I (FINALLY) Made My First Video Game – Notcon 8 2011-04-15

Edit: The videos that were embedded in the original powerpoint appear in this version of it as single frame placeholders. For the actual videos, I have them up on YouTube:

Development Stages

Builds 0.20 – 0.22 montage

Boobie Teeth 0.22

Boobie Teeth 0.22 is now available for download at the Releases page.

I figured out how to fix the bugs with the Feeder Fish, so they’re back in the game. The problem was rather complicated, and had to do with both Game Maker’s inheritance model AND the weird way that Game Maker can change an instance of one type of object into an object of another type. When Feeder Fish feed on each other, they eventually grow large enough to change into Fish. For reasons I still don’t understand, when the built-in function instance_change() is called, it results in a weird condition with the instance’s variables no longer being accessible to the application.

In my AI targeting code, this could cause a changed instance to no longer exist insofar as the Game Maker engine was concerned, resulting in an unhandled “unknown variable” exception being thrown. To work around the problem, I had to write my own code to handle the instance_change, and so it creates a new Fish, assigns it properties equivalent to the former Feeder Fish instance that it used to be, and then destroys the original Feeder Fish.

Further complicating matters was the fact that I had initialization happening in the Create event for the Fish object, which normally gives a new fish random values for its properties. In this case, however, the Create event initialization was blowing out the Feeder Fish’s properties which I’d just assigned to the new Fish. So to fix that problem, I had to remove the call to my initialization function from the Fish object, and am now calling it from outside after the Fish instance is created. The Fish Factory uses randomized values, while a matured Feeder Fish passes its original values. This works nicely, and I am happy with the result. The game is more fun with Feeder Fish acting as an attractive food source to the full-grown AI fish in the game, so I’m glad I was able to get this in before the demo at Notacon.

I also added a function to prevent fish from getting stuck on the bottom of the sea. Now if a fish swims and hits bottom, it changes course. I have seen on occasion a fish being spawned too close to the bottom and getting stuck, and will have to fix that in a different manner. I have been trying to work some safety checks into my level_spawn function to prevent the player from being unfairly killed and prevent fish from being spawned stuck in the sea floor. So far, though, this has proved tricky. I can’t simply check for collisions, because the fish’s sprite gets scaled up immediately after it is spawned, and in the first tick of the game when the fish is newly spawned, its sprite is still normal size, so an anti-collision check could still leave it too close when it spawns. As well, I can’t merely check for collisions with the Player, because I want to ensure that the Player has enough room to swim away from a nearby threatening fish. I had some experimental code that should calculate a safe clearance distance around the player and pick coordinates outside of this safe zone to place newly-spawned fish, but when I tried running it, an odd bug arose wherein the fish count function stopped working properly — I’m guessing fish end up outside the room where they can’t be seen or eaten, but I can’t see how that’s possible given how I wrote the code that checks for this. At any rate, level transitions will be a future development goal that I will work out in more detail anyway.

The game demo level is already pretty fun to play, so if you have not yet tried the game out, now is a great time to get acquainted.

Boobie Teeth 0.21

Boobie Teeth 0.21 is now up on Releases. This is most likely the last update that I will be releasing before the talk I’m giving at Notacon 8, so if you’re reading this consider it an advance preview of what you’ll see if you happen to be attending.

This release has numerous improvements over 0.20. I went through most of the script code that I wrote and reformatted it, and in some cases did some refactoring. As a player you won’t notice this of course, but it will enable me to work faster and release more frequently as I continue developing the game. I greatly simplified the collision detection, which has yielded some modest performance improvements. As a result of some of the changes I made, I had to temporarily remove Feeder Fish from the game, but I’ll be bringing them back in as soon as I can rework them properly.

Since playtesting this version, I am really moved by some of the emergent behaviors that I’ve observed. Granted, sometimes the fish do stupid things like ram themselves into the ground or continue chasing a fish they targeted that has since grown too large for them to eat. But I’ve also seen fish leaping out of the water, feeding behavior that almost looks like schooling (though it isn’t). The thing I like the most, though is a change I made to the fish’s “normal” movement behavior. Instead of moving at a fixed speed, it changes through a range of speeds every few ticks. This gives it a movement that is more characteristic of fish swimming, with a pulsating faster/slower speed to it. I find it emotionally compelling when I see a fish moving like this while being chased closely by another fish right behind it — it looks like the fish is struggling to swim as fast as it can, falling behind, going faster… sometimes they get away, sometimes the chase fish is too fast for them.

I have a lot more planned for the AI in the game, but for now it’s at a point where it is basically playable and you can get a decent feel for what the game is meant to play like. This is much improved over earlier builds where “dumb” fish simply moved horizontally at a fixed speed.

Boobie Teeth 0.19

Boobie Teeth 0.19 is now up on Releases. I’ve skipped public release of 0.18, which had some experimental AI in it that proved buggy. 0.19 is mostly a cleanup release, where most of the script code has been re-written and documented better. There are a lot of new things in 0.19, as well:

  • Disabled unstable AI routines from 0.18.
  • Fixed Pause function to display “Game Paused” in center of main view when game is paused.
  • Fixed collision mask on fish sprites to prevent “close-call” collisions.
  • Major code refactor to replace drag/drop actions with GML code scripts for improved readability, reuse. This cleanup should make implementation of future features easier.
  • Menu and configuration screens partly implemented.
  • Game runs in Full Screen mode, automatically sized to the display.
  • Renamed constant “SURFACE” to SEA_LEVEL to avoid potential confusion with drawing “surfaces”.
  • Game reads settings from .ini file on load, checks values for validity, and rewrites default values to correct a corrupted file.
  • Game reads local stats from .ini file on load, updates file after each game.
  • Fixed a latent bug with the Fish-Fish Collision that resulted in fish sometimes mutually eating each other.

Notacon 8

I’ve received word of when my talk at Notacon 8 will be: Friday, April 15 @ 4:00PM-5:00PM in the Edison I conference room.

Schedule is subject to change, I’m sure, but if it does change I’ll post an update.

These are the cards I'll be handing out at the event