There’s a new version of Ultrablast HD coming up! This version allows dynamic window resizing, input configuration with gamepad support, etc.
I started using a development branch of GLFW instead of SDL to solve some issues. Since this is a change that may affect everything, I needed to make sure there are no problems across different hardware configurations. Also different gamepads and joysticks needed testing; I recently patched GLFW to add proper support for POV hats, so testing the game with different gamepads would also help us test GLFW joystick code as well.
But finding people to test can be time consuming. Luckily I ran into a website named MacDeveloper, which is an open QA platform for Mac apps. Basically, users sign up to test apps and receive discounts or free apps in return, and developers publish projects for testing and assign a reward for those who contribute in a valuable way. Publishing a project costs, but it is pretty cheap. For testers the service is free.
If you’d like to test the upcoming version of Ultrablast HD, head over to MacDeveloper and join the Ultrablast project channel. All help is appreciated! :) The binaries posted on the channel are DRM-free and are not limited in any way. You can get Ultrablast HD for free in return.
If you are a Windows or Linux user and want to test, please contact me via form or G+, as I have Windows & Linux versions ready as well! It would help tremendously! Bonus if you have a gamepad or a joystick around to test it with. Your name will be in the credits as a token of appreciation :)
I've been playing around with more shoot'em up ideas. So far it's been 2-3 different prototypes (excluding Project Crystal), and I am trying to determine what to keep simple and which one to go for!
A lot of bullets! Seriously, what the?
Ultrablast is a traditionally linear game, but this time I want to make things non-linear, with an emphasis on exploration. Exploration is in fact one of my favorite gameplay mechanics!
Another aspect is customization. I'd like to try something new here, but nothing set in stone yet.
Cyberpunk City of Placeholders
The screenie to the right shows the beginnings of a sci-fi city from an earlier prototype. It has some dynamic theming. Or had. To minimize dev time I decided to leave out the city and went with another concept, but I do have plans to put it back, and with proper art!
So far everything is being developed on Mac, but I will soon start building them for PC (and/or iOS). I'd like to make an alpha version available shortly after.
Also, RetroFlux is now on Google+! Check it out, yo.
First impressions: Awesome (is my fanboy showing?)
First thing I did was to reverse the mouse scrolling direction. It is fine on the touchpad (or a touchscreen device), but not with my Logitech mouse. (uh oh, I don't have Magic Mouse)
Launchpad definitely cleans up the mess and makes things all tidy. You can organize things in folders just like on iOS. But there's no shortcut to bring up Launchpad by default. You can set up a Hot Corner instead: System Preferences > Mission Control > Hot Corners (button at the bottom).
Mission Control is Exposé + Spaces combined, and seems to be a lot nicer and more functional. You can also switch between spaces using three finger horizontal swipe. It is very smooth and makes spaces a lot more accessible.
Each fullscreen app goes to its own "space", so to speak, which makes it possible to switch between them using the same horizontal swipe. It is a very cool idea, and I remember seeing it in a video a few years back as a prototype OS UI design - which I cannot seem to find at this moment. Gotta hunt it down and bring it back from the depths of the internet.
There are many more features and numerous enhancements. One of them is the Resume feature. Ability to hibernate and resume applications in an isolated manner sounds awesome.
That's it for a quick review! Hope to post more updates, especially after Xcode 4.1 installs!
It has no name (yet). I just call it Crystal for now.
So what is this?!
Well, it started as something of an arena shooter. It isn't [supposed to be] one though. It's not new either, it's just been sitting here for a while.
Eventually I'd like to build upon this with some unique gameplay mechanics. I have several ideas, like adding puzzly bits along with large explorable levels (with a twist!), but I haven't decided on anything specific so far.
I've done some tests - the feel of the environment, colors (somehow it always turns out blue later, like this page O_o - but the white theme is intact! and is going to be prominent), some shader stuff and effects. In fact, the game materialized out of a visual test I was doing with my little engine. I wanted to do something quick with it, but it turned out to be yet another dual-stick shooter!
The engine is being developed side-by-side. It's written in C++ w/ OpenGL ES 2.0, and is fully portable (Mac/PC/iOS). So the game is most likely to be released on these platforms as well.
That's it for a small sneak peek! I'll go into technical details later, and go over how the game is being built. The engine is also powering up another shoot'em up project that's in the queue, something which I will be sharing soon!