Kings Can Fly

by Firedroid

Archive for June, 2011

Balloon Brothers on the iPad

Posted by Roy On June - 23 - 2011

After some minor issues with licenses and software we finally have our work in progress running on the iPad! This was amazing to see and test after waiting for so long, since it’s hard to guess what will have a big impact on performance and what our game’s performance would be at this point.

After a few modifications to our input system the game ran pretty well and it would seem we’re clear from any performance problem, which really takes away some worries.┬áIt’s also way easier to show others our game now!

It’s running pretty stable at 60fps at this moment, although we won’t be able to make the full game run this fast; there is still a lot of geometry and textures to add. All in all, we’re very optimistic and happy with it’s current performance.

Tech progress week 11

Posted by Roy On June - 18 - 2011

On the tech side this has been a productive week. Last week we implemented placing fans and having fans influence the ship’s route through the level. This week we expanded on that, implementing the wind indicators and fixing a bug with the ship’s roll.

After that we heard that our Unity iOS licence was about to get ordered, so the focus shiften to rotating and moving the camera around and about on the playfield. We were still using buttons and since the iPad has none of those, it was important to have it done by mouse since it’s a small step from mouse location to finger location.

Later into the week we added the four fans on the right to check whether we could easily add fans that followed the world’s rotation, seeing how we want to set limits to the amount of fans per direction available to the user.

So there you have it! The camera can now freely move and rotate by using the mouse and fans work nicely.

A video showing all the recent goodness:

Art progress week 11

Posted by Willem On June - 17 - 2011

It’s been a busy week!

Our to-do list said “create a spawn and finish point.” Or rather, Roy (programmer) said: “Hey, what about those spawning points? Still using cubes over here.”
We looked at each other and started talking about the hangar idea that was proposed weeks ago.

After the first rough sketches Rachel (artist) headed straight for full-glory concept while Willem (modeler) immersed himself in Blender. Ironically, both finished at the same time.
The hangar was textured and animated in the following days.

Early work: Our prototype

Posted by Roy On June - 16 - 2011

Apart from the concept art and stylesheets, we’re been working hard on a prototype. Developing purely theoretical is doable, but it’s much more efficient to have a prototype to check whether your concept is engaging and fun.

So we turned to Flash/AS3/Flixel for development speed and after a few days of programming and super smooth & polished programmer graphics, our prototype was done.

As you can see the interface is quite rough and the ships move jerkily, but the core ideas are implemented. After a few iterations the prototype reflected the core gameplay properly and it seemed like a fun and engaging puzzle game in its basic form.

Styleframe v1.0

Posted by Rachel On June - 1 - 2011

This is the first styleframe that was made for the game. The GUI is not designed yet so all buttons are placeholders.

In the end we came to the conclusion that we need to increase the size of the fans, give them more body and make them more interesting and distinctive. The wind effects are stylish and effective, but can be made more varied.

Also – when we viewed the styleframe on the iPad, we noticed that the colours deviate and appear way more red than on our development screens. This is something we’ll need to take in consideration and test on other iPads.

Moving ships

Posted by Roy On June - 1 - 2011

The basis for our game is a grid of tiles. In our setup we’ve got a grid and tiles, with every tile aware of its neighbours (left, right, above, below). This makes lookups for determining the next tile to navigate to faster and easier.

The airships need to navigate this grid and turn away from mountains (because that’s what the airstream does). While navigating the grid we want the ships to move exactly one tile per ‘tick’ (a tick is a arbitrary amount of time, the rate at which ticks go by basically control the speed of the game). This isn’t very hard, all we need to do is make the ship pick a new tile when a tick has passed. Movement still needed to be smooth however and since we will be making turns and moving up and down, simple interpolation wasn’t going to work.

So we’ve chosen to use Bezier Curves to move our ships. The basis for this system is that the ships should move on the current tile towards their next tile, with the beginpoint being between the last tile and the current tile, and the endpoint being between the next tile and the current tile:

The begin and end points (p0 & p2) are shown in yellow, with the control points (p1 & p3) being shown in green, with lines from the begin/endpoints to them in green as well. The blue line is the bezier curve itself, and the red point is the ship’s position. The ships current direction is shown as a red line.

I’m quite happy with the way this turned out, the ships seem to move naturally. Of course there’s a lot to do to make the ships movements appear more natural, such as swinging from side to side, bobbing up and down a bit, etc. Still, this is a very nice basis for movement and I hope it’ll continue to work well.