Adarakion Developer Diary: Issue 4

Project Blast! is really starting to take shape now.

It’s a really exciting time, seeing the various fruits of our labour come together. Don’t get me wrong, we still have a long way to go yet but most of my time has been spent coding the actual game engine which sounds a lot more technical than it feels, but I guess that’s what I have been doing! Deciding what to implement and when has proven tricky, but I feel like we have nailed it in the correct order, with the final “major” engine function, collision detection, being pretty much finished and just bug fixing remaining over the next couple of weeks. Bug fixing. Gah! Its equally as frustrating as it is rewarding. It feels like you spend an extraordinary amount of time actually locating bugs and 5 seconds fixing them! It feels a bit like a waste of time (in a roundabout sort of way)!

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The next stage of the coding process will be implementation of a HUD and probably the front end menu system. I say probably as no doubt Ill get sidetracked doing something which I find more exciting than coding a menu! With coding in mind, its time for the final, last but by no means least, introduction to the team – my co-developer – Liam..

“Hey 6X peeps! I’m yet another aspiring game developer, alongside Lee (aka gnipper). Right, back to the introduction, my name is Liam North (aka FateFirst) and I’m 29. Yet another married one and have 2 kids. That personal stuff aside now onto my interest in game development! Well mine probably started waaaaaay back when a friend of mine got a Spectrum. Couldn’t take my eyes off the thing…probably my first true crush :P. (gnipper: or should that be Crash – see what I did there) I kinda made my friend go mad because I was always knocking round his house and pestering him to let me play on it. Granted it was probably quite a few years after its initial release but it was still amazing at the time. Who could fault this beast with its 8-colour 256×192 resolution ;)

Years of pestering made my parents buy me a commodore 64. Many a time I spent starting a game to load and then going to have dinner and coming back an hour or so later to a game. Isn’t it funny how we get annoyed if something takes that extra few seconds to load today yet years earlier you were looking at 100 times the loading time.

Moved onto an Amiga 500 from there and actually spent more time playing with Workbench than games etc. This system was my first real move into coding though, tearing apart any software I could. My biggest success (much to the dismay of my parents) was editing the code on several versions of Play School (which my little sisters used). So instead of a very square/green pixel frog jumping around the screen helping the player count it was a very pink-square pixel penis or breast ;)

Anyways, coding etc. featured heavily during my early years, right through to today. At present my job is a developer (completely self-taught with no real development qualifications) but this is mainly websites/online applications and software.

I joined Adarakion due to the fact that myself and Lee (who are both on the same C++ game development course) had pretty similar tastes in games, similar backgrounds as well as also being limited with personal time due to job/family commitments. I knew this meant he could understand my time constraints. At present I haven’t done much in the way of development on ‘Project Blast!’. I have solely been in charge of setting up servers for hosting, databases, email, project management software etc. (most of which is actually done now).

After these items have been cleared my time will then be used to learn more of the Blitz3D SDK and start to take chunks of coding work away from Lee and leave my little bit of magic in the game ;)

Its exiting to be part of a small team who get along so well and communicate everyday (need to increase mailbox sizes at this rate :P) and to also know that at the end of the day the games we are trying to produce are built with ‘fun’ in mind. Something which I feel a lot of games miss lately ;) My input on the AG Diary, initially, will be my experiences with learning/adapting to the Blitz3D SDK as well as the various stages of development throughout ‘Project Blast!’.”

As Liam states, getting our website and other online software up and running with Phil has been his main focus, but (thank goodness) we will be able to share the coding of the game engine now, and having twice the developers means twice the speed of development and hopefully twice the quality of the final product! Next weeks diary will be the first where we will start to reveal a little more about Project Blast! which feels quite nerve wracking – will you like it, will it make sense to you? Hope so! Hopefully when this goes to press our website will be updated, with shiny new logo, forums, and game information etc. etc. so keep looking at www.adarakion.co.uk and sign up! See you on the other side!

Previous Developer Diaries.

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