Blog Archive 2011

[Game Dev] Twitter, graphics and They Come

Wednesday, November 09, 2011, 9:42 PM

Just got me a twitter account to follow some people and their tweets mainly. I plan to use it occasionally for some own game or game development related tweets.
But honestly, don't expect too much activity on Twitter from me ;-)
Seems to be like a personal no-go similar to IRC :LOL:

They Come is now in the same state it was before migrating over to Marte Engine. I can now proceed with the development. During the migration I detected a smaller bug in Marte's Entity class regarding rotation and scaling. I will commit it soon into my devtommy branch.

I decided to buy some space ship graphics to progress faster and have more positive feedback for myself by using space ships without finishing my random space ship generator. I will see how that works.

I bought them over here.

Additionally I found a great 2D graphics tutorial using Inkscape. The guy who teaches you how to draw cartoony game graphics is some well known Indie game graphics artist and you can find his blog here: I can only recommend to have a good read! It all looks pretty easy to follow.


[Game Dev] Huh? What? Where am I?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011, 9:12 PM

More than a month without any update - that's tough! But real life kept me busy and I did basically nothing on any game or tool...
Just yesterday I fired up Eclipse again (at home of course, not at work) and looked at my "They Come" project - now completely migrated to our Marte Engine. It's not fully working yet but I feel that I'll start tackling that right after this post ;-)

Another interesting bit of information is over at the forum where all those crazy Java game developers hang out.

Kev Glass, mastermind behind Slick and other cool Java libraries, is working on his great casual roguelike game named Legends of Yore.

The great thing about it is that he is coding it with Java and using one code base he deploys the game as an applet, a downloadable application, an IPhone app, an Android app, a Flex/Flash app, a HTML5 app and pretty soon on HP's WebOS too!

How cool is that?

Just today he explained how he does it over at the forums in this thread here.

A very interesting read and I would love to get my hands on his API he named "TouchAPi". I'm definitely willing to throw some money into Kev's direction - he earned it anyways for all his efforts regarding Java game development 8-)

Would be nice to deploy even to platforms where Java does not officially run (like IPhone or Flash)...we'll see if something works out some day.

But now I think I'll get my Marte version of They Come into a running state so that I can continue with the game development.


[Game Dev]More news about GameMaker:HTML5

Sunday, September 25, 2011, 8:00 PM

It's out now for a few days but the developers of YoYo Games already released two updates with lots of bug fixes. They are even active in the community forums over the weekend! Pretty impressive and shows how dedicated those guys are to their new product!

It took just a few days for some members of the GM community to come up with solutions for

  • GMHTML5 games on Facebook here,
  • connections to databases like MySQL for online highscores, achievements and anything else here,
  • URL protection to help against ripping your games and running them on other sites here,
  • creating calls to JavaScript to allow integrating APIs like Kongregate's here,
  • discussing callbacks from JavaScript back into GameMaker here.

Oh boy, that sounds all very cool and promising! I'll definitely don't regret my purchase and I'm looking forward to all the possibilities this product seems to offer so easily 8-)

So although I still think the price of 200$ for the final product is too high I'm convinced this product will spread dramatically because it simplifies web game development so much!

[Game Dev] GameMaker:HTML5 is in beta!

Friday, September 23, 2011, 7:58 PM

Over at YoYo Games you can buy(!) the beta version of GameMaker:HTML5 now for a reduced price of 99$. I don't know if they still offer it but for a short time beta customers will get a coupon code which reduces the price to 79$. The price for the final product will be 199$! This is pretty steep! Many competitors are cheaper. I think the beta price is justified but 200 bucks for the final product? Hohum 8-0

But if you have a look at the demo games here or here you'll see that they all run pretty smooth and without issues (at least for me).

So what do you get? Basically it's pretty similar to the original Windows based GameMaker including a sprite editor, a room editor, the complete functional game engine with objects, events, paths, timelines, sounds and fonts and a particle system and much more.

But instead of generating a Windows executable for your game it generates HTML5 Javascript and html and resources folders that you can upload to any website and thus present your games in the web. You can convert older GameMaker games (which might need some minor manual fixes) to bring them into the web too. The current beta version also offers the generation of a Windows executable.

The IDE changed a lot and it seems the project files are now separate resources (like images and sound files) plus a bunch of XML files which is pretty cool because it finally allows usage of a source control system like Git or Subversion and team work!

Additionally the HTML5 version of GameMaker seems to be a subset of the Studio version to come which will also allow to create games for the Mac, the iThings and Android. The YoYo Games people even promised a discount for HTML5 owners that will buy the Studio version.

So if GameMaker is your cup of tea and you're interested in creating web games (or you're just looking for a cool RAD game dev tool for your web games) you should have a look.

[Game Dev] Migrating They Come to Marte

Sunday, September 11, 2011, 2:41 PM

Last night I started to modify the existing code of "They Come" to work with Marte Engine. I think it will be finished in a few days and then I'll continue adding game content again. To cite Starcraft 2: "Hell, it's about time!"

[Website] Social buttons are gone

Saturday, September 10, 2011, 9:17 PM

Today I removed the social buttons on my site. Why? I live in the German state Schleswig-Holstein. And the data protection officer announced to sue every website owner in Schleswig-Holstein who shows the Facebook "Like" button. Can you believe that? 8-0
Why? Because this single click "Like" button allows Facebook to track the web sites you're visiting. Already while the html page containing the "Like" button is loaded due to some Javascript code involved. If your Facebook cookie is still "active" (you didn't logout from Facebook) Facebook can associate your web travels with you! If you're no Facebook user they still can track your web travels and associate that with your IP address!

But instead of blaming Facebook or starting some legal issues with them our data protection officer forces web site owners to remove the "Like" buttons.

I do agree with his arguments and I don't like what massive amounts of data Facebook collects with their "Like" button and even the profiling that's possible with it for Facebook users. But I think it's unfair to sue us website owners instead of Facebook...

Anyway, the buttons will be removed. You can still like my postings but you have to use the comments or back track links to tell other people about it ;-)

[Game Dev] Merging Marte made me mad... mostly...

Monday, August 29, 2011, 9:34 PM

I spent the last nights to merge Gornova's development branch of our Marte Engine into mine. Took me a while to get used to Git's merging mechanisms :-/

But it's finally done and Git's merging support is not too bad.

The most interesting commands I found are the following:

If Git detects a conflict in a file that can't be merged automatically you can

  • either merge the file manually (Git places markers in the source files) or
  • decide to take the version of the other person's branch (%NOWIKI%git checkout theirs path/to/file %NOWIKI_OFF%) or
  • decide to keep your version as the proper one (%NOWIKI%git checkout ours path/to/file %NOWIKI_OFF%)

Files that you have properly merged (using any of the three possibilities above) must be declared as "fixed" using the command "git add path/to/file".

The "git status" command tells you all the time which files still need to be investigated. And as long as you're merging your whole branch is in a "merging" state and you are not allowed to commit anything until all conflicts are dealt with.

Finally you can commit all your changes using commit -am "some comment for the readers" and push your local branch to your remote branch.

But I'm done with it now and pass the work over to Gornova to have a look at it and then we'll decide how to proceed 8-)

I think I'll play some computer game now and call the evening a successful one :LOL:

Good night,

[Game Dev] Marte and the games...

Monday, July 11, 2011, 9:04 PM

I'm still working on Marte's particle classes, adding usage of Pedigree's particle system and Slick's standard emitter class. Progressing nicely.

Just a few minutes ago I had a nice simple approach for in game achievements. I will start that class as long as the idea is fresh and juicy and add it to our Marte Engine ;-)

Back to the past will receive some more levels and moving platforms (horizontal and vertical) real soon. Conveyor belts are to follow. Also I will add some spikes I think. Best to be placed next to conveyor belts :LOL:

And finally I need to migrate They Come over to Marte Engine. I want to continue the game!

Okay, off now, back to coding and then it's bed time...

[Games] I survived Steam's summer camp sales!

Monday, July 11, 2011, 8:55 PM

It's over! Ten days of daily torture from Steam. New offers every day, bargains to check at 7 pm german time, hoping that they either offer only games I'm not interested in or games I am interested in with a high discount. Terrible.

I bought only one pack, namely King's Bounty. It's some turn based rpg fantasy adventure game similar to "Heroes Of Might And Magic". It was a bargain for 6 Euros so I couldn't resist.

I hope they keep me alone for the next few months until they start another sale.

But wait? Didn't they introduce the "Deal of the day" recently? 8-0 Oh those money vampires...

[Game Dev] New competitions ahead!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011, 9:01 PM

Over at the next monthly competition has started: the theme is "Disintegration". You have 7 days to create a game over the period of the whole month of July for the given theme.
It took me about half an hour to come up with two game ideas for this theme. But I'm afraid I have no time to join this time...

And Ludum Dare is approaching! The current planned weekend is around 19th to 21st of August. I wanted to join Ludum Dare for the last two or three years but those weekends in April, August and December never matched. Come on, easter weekend for daddies with kids? There is no way to steal away for two days and coding games. And August: sigh! I've been on summer vacation in August for years! Never made it!
And please tell me: why is the third LD weekend in December? Have you ever heard about Christmas? Do you know how many preparations are to be done? How many parties and come togethers happen in this month? And all those presents that need to be bought? Never ever will I get a weekend off in December :-(

But this August it could work. I'll just keep my fingers crossed and let you know if it works :LOL:

Two days of coding frenzy, combined with drawing ugly sprites, creating annoying sound effects and trying to compose 10 second snippets of music loops 8-) Sounds too good to be true. I'll just have to give it a go once in my life (or more if I can make it)!

[Website] TOWeb V4 is available!

Friday, July 01, 2011, 10:39 PM

TOWeb V4 is out! Okay, this information is a few days old. But I was a bit reluctant to buy the new version. On a first sight it didn't offer too many interesting new features for me.
So I mumbled and grumbled and looked at WordPress and looked at Joomla and bought a Joomla book and read through my older WordPress book and hesitated and investigated and on and on.

Tonight I decided that the efforts to migrate my website to another system like WordPress or Joomla is too much effort right now. And the only real advantage those systems offer is that I could add content dynamically online with just a browser. No need to publish the site from my PC to my host.
I think I will start to pester the TOWeb developer to speed up the uploading process (still uploading too many pages that didn't change at all).
Cause that's the main issue that currently hinders me to update this site more often. Adding new stuff simply takes too long.

On the other hand the new version 4 of TOWeb does offer some nice gimmicks on the second sight:

  • unicode support,
  • easy embedding of Google maps and YouTube videos,
  • improved image zooming,
  • social sharing buttons,
  • improved slide show for images,
  • better color chooser for theme colors,
  • support for visitor polls,
  • star ratings for paragraphs,
  • optimizing image file names (no longer automatically generated file names),
  • attachments and new form fields,
  • automatic translation with Microsoft Bing (not sure how good that is),
  • improvements on the e-commerce version (which I don't own, but wait until I start selling my games :LOL:)

So I bit the bullet and bought it. Now let's start that email for the TOWeb developer ;-)


[Game Dev] Progress everywhere!

Friday, July 01, 2011, 10:17 PM

It was a bit quiet down here, right? No worries, I was busy!
I completed version 1.1 of Back to the past. Jump over to the page and download it.
What's new you ask?
Here's the list of changes:

  • reduced bullet damage on player
  • added test mode for editor
  • removed wall jumping from mage
  • added more infos on title screen
  • fixed laser beams that could leave the screen
  • in game messages (for respawning for example)
  • description and script adding to levels inside editor
  • simplified level 2
  • added "greebles" to tiles, randomly placed on them

Hope you like it!

Additionally I worked more on Marte, minor issues and I started adding support for Slick's particle stuff. First test cases and new code available in my devtommy branch over at Github: Marte Engine.

[Game Dev] Fifth place!

Saturday, June 04, 2011, 3:58 PM

Yes! The Slick Competition 2011 is over and I made the fifth place! Which means I won a license of "Magicka", some cool wizard action co-op whatever magic shooter with lots of humor 8-)

I'm very happy with the result. Given that around 30 people announced to join the competition only 9 managed to send in their more or less finished entries. So my fifth place is right in the middle. Which is absolutely okay because my game Back to the past isn't finished at all. A lot of features had to be dropped, graphics and sounds stayed in their placeholder beauty and code wise I'm sure there's more than one bug left...

But anyway, judging went well and I got a price 8-)

Right now I'm still enhancing the game, the built in editor and the graphics and will release a newer version "real soon" (TM).


[Game Dev] Back to the past is free to download and gets it's own page!

Monday, May 23, 2011, 9:53 PM

I created a separate page for Back to the past. There you can read more about the game, learn the controls and see some screenshots. Additionally you can of course download the game and the source code! So why not just have a look?!

[Game Dev] Slick competition 2011 is closed now - voting starts!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 8:45 PM

So the competition is over and the voting is just starting.
It seems there are 9 completed entries including mine which isn't really completed. Let's say it's in a playable state :LOL:

As you can see I haven't setup a page for the game, there's no official download or play link to the right which is the perfect sign that I don't consider "Back to the past" being finished.

There's still tons of stuff I wanted to get in and I wanted to be in the game in a better shape...

You can download it from this topic in the Slick forum and while you're there (and in case you're a member of the Slick community) you could join the voting ;-)

Download the game here and vote

The other competition entries look also very nice and I'm a bit afraid I won't win a prize. But I learned and used a lot of new stuff (A-Star, scrolling jump'n'run, Marte improvements and so on).

Now back to normal mode...

[Game Dev] Back to the past will come in the future ;-)

Monday, April 25, 2011, 11:09 PM

Boy, what a long time without an update! More than one and a half months. Real life can be a true sucker! And still I try to squeeze some few game coding minutes in here and there.

My little competition entry (which is named "Back to the past") is progressing nicely given the small amounts of time I can spend on it.
I posted some stuff about the progress in the Slick competition forum in this thread. It's currently easier for me to post some quick news over at the forum than to update my website.

This is one of the reasons I'm thinking about switching web tools currently. Of course I have absolutely no time to start such a huge task in parallel to my 60 hour work week, my family and my competition entry :-/

So that might become an issue after the Slick compo is done mid of may.

Currently I'm working on the level editor to ease my life creating game levels. Creating levels already works. Now I have to save them and add all game elements that are already working, which is just a matter of minutes. The saving code of course takes a little bit more time.

Afterwards I want to add more game elements where I already created the sprites (programmer's art at it's best ;-)). And finally I want to work on the title screen, the intro and the main menu. I still want to do it using some kind of simple scripting inside a level. I think I can manage that code wise it's just a question of time...

I'll keep you posted!


[Game Dev] Slick game competition is go!

Friday, March 04, 2011, 9:48 PM

Okay, the announcement is here, the themes are listed as are the prices and the dates! So what are you waiting for?

Jump to the forums, sign up if you still haven't and join the contest by posting your theme, game title and stuff in this thread!

I decided to give it a try - let's see how far I'll get in the next two months (starting mid of march).

See you at the competition ;-)

[Game Dev] Marte Engine 0.2 is available!

Friday, February 25, 2011, 11:20 PM

Gornova was pretty busy over the last few days and while I'm still proof reading the tutorial pages on our Marte Wiki Gornova already wrapped it all up for a nice download, tagged it and here it is:

Marte Engine version 0.2 is out! Yeehaa!

So don't hesitate and get it while it's hot! Because we won't stop here - we already have planned features for 0.3 and more to come!

My suggestion is to have a look at Marte and then join this competition and create your winning entry and go home with some dollars and a cool game named Magicka and of course your cool game to be presented on some blogs and on the world wide web to please many many people 8-)

See you at the competition (I just hope to squeeze some minutes out of my long long working days and busy weekends!) :-)

Oh, by the way: we need a logo for Marte. As Marte is a synonym for Mars, the ancient greek god of war, one of our ideas was an ancient greek helmet plus the name as a logo. Anyway, if some graphics addicted person reads this and can't resist to create a cool logo, feel free to contact us ;-)


[Game Dev] A Slick competition ahead!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 9:56 PM

Some guys (mainly Gornova and TheMatrix154) over at the Slick forums are planning the second Slick game coding competition! You can enter as long as you code the game using Slick and any other library you want (for example our Marte Engine, hint hint ;-)).

Marte is especially recommended because the first tutorials are finished which should get you started in minutes!

Currently the allowed themes and the time frame are still under discussion but at least some prizes are already known: 5 Steam keys for the game Magicka and even 100$ via paypal (offered by Heldenhaft) to be split on the first few winners!

So there's no reason not to join and try to win, I think! Just jump to the forum thread (link on top of this post), read through it, vote Yes! and jump the train and join the best competition that's currently available :LOL:

I know I'm terrible low on spare time but that's definitely a competition I want to enter. Let's see, depending on the competition time frame, some vacation and what else it might work (TM).


[Game Dev] Development time shrinks and Game Maker activity grows

Monday, January 31, 2011, 8:19 PM

Real life sometimes strikes hard. Due to some job commitments my spare time is going down to nearly zero and this includes game coding time too. This will last until June. I'm confident that I'll manage to browse some stuff and keep up to date but I can't give any estimate right now how much time I'll find to work on Marte or They Come or on some tiny fun competition games in between.

Now for some good news: over at Yoyo Games the guys of Game Maker started a new discussion forum to talk about upcoming changes for Game Maker 8.1 (and even 9 maybe). This is pretty cool as it's really the first time (as far as I can remember) that the Game Maker creators involve the community to talk about planned changes or even ask if the planned changes do make sense or if a huge part of the community disagrees!

That's a really great approach I think and can only help to improve Game Maker. Given the recent news on their Glog (Game Maker blog) they managed to port their new C++ version of the runtime to the PSP, the IPhone and IPad and to Android! Also the complete development environment was released for the Mac.

Unfortunately Yoyo Games decides which games are ported to PSP, IThing and Android and be released under their label. Of course the developers will receive royalties, they'll get help on porting and pimping their games for a better commercial success on the new platforms. BUT you as a game developer cannot decide, bribe or simply pay for the service to get your game released under Yoyo Games' or any other label on a platform of your choice...maybe that's a way for them to make some more money - offering paid porting services...

Competitions seem to be pretty popular right now: there is the monthly competition at, then NAL started a compo over at with the theme invention and there is another competition over at with the theme Versus where you have to code a game that allows two (or more) players to compete with each other.
So if you have more time to spend than I do and are in the mood for joining a compo, feel free :LOL:


[Website]Color and frame changes

Sunday, January 02, 2011, 9:02 PM

Currently I'm experimenting with the colors and the frames of the topic boxes on the right. I also created a new banner which finally contains the logo of Right Angle Games.

Things. Take. Time.

[Game Dev]Transparency, scaling and rotating in Marte is done!

Sunday, January 02, 2011, 8:51 PM

I just finished the code to have rotating, scaling entities in Marte that can change their transparency or alpha value.
It's in my devtommy branch on the Marte Engine github. Feel free to have a look.
While I was coding the test case I also added some simple TextEntity which can just display a text. No rotating, no scaling, no transparency (yet).
But it was helpful in the test case to add some words onto the screen.

Next will be a quick enhancement on the ResourceManager. You will be able to specify a base directory for your resources and can then shorten the filename of the loaded resources to just the filename and the base directory will be added by the ResourceManager. Less typing is good.

I still got no nice looking sprites for a platform shooter, only some Ari Feldman spritelib sprites that could do as placeholders but I'd prefer better looking ones. We'll see.

Next stuff for Marte will be some entities to wrap Slick's ParticleEmitters. This should allow us to render particles at any depth (z order) on screen and easily keep track of them. It would also allow us to specify collision boxes for the emitters which is also nice to have in a game.

Gornova improved the build script and simplified deploying webstart versions of your game and also added proguard for code shrinking! Great!

[Real life] Happy new 2011!

Sunday, January 02, 2011, 7:37 PM

A bit late, but who cares :-)

I wish a happy new year 2011 to all of you!

2010 was pretty exciting with me getting a new job, my daughter starting at university and all the usual crazyness of real life!

So let's wrap it up and see what 2011 will bring 8-)

Have fun!

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