August 10, 2008

Come Play With Me

Filed under: Games Development,Pandemonium,XNA — bittermanandy @ 4:28 pm

The first few articles on this blog have been written with the intent of sharing ideas, information and best practices with everyone else out there with an interest in developing games. It sounds like at least some of you are finding it useful, and I’ve been getting some great feedback, as well as ideas on how to make it even better.

I hope you will forgive me if I take a moment to be rather more selfish, and shamelessly publicise my in-development game, Pandemonium. That said, as well as showing off (the very early stages of) my game, this video also demonstrates several of the techniques I’ve talked about previously, most notably Kensei.Dev.Options and using PropertyGrids to rapidly tweak game variables.

I know, it’s not exactly full of eye candy! At this stage it doesn’t worry me. You can probably tell that Pandemonium is going to be a third-person platform game, very much in the vein of the classic Mario 64 or Banjo Kazooie games. The key to this genre of games (as with all games, really!) is the character control – if the player doesn’t enjoy moving their character around, they’ll never enjoy the rest of the game; and I’ve therefore decided to concentrate on honing the control first, before I start worrying about graphics, models, shaders and other such trivialities.

To this end, I’ve knocked together a small test level, which I’ve called the Playground, that contains a whole bunch of geometry for my avatar to run and jump around. I’ll use this level to refine how my character moves, and establish early on how far it can jump, how fast it can run, and other constraints that will make later level design much easier. Over time, as I add more features to the game, the Playground will get expanded; by the end of development, I’ll be able to load up the Playground and instantly test or demonstrate anything the player can do on any level of the game proper.

I mentioned SketchUp (the 3D design tool I used to create the Playground) before, and I used Bulent’s Screen Recorder to capture the video.

“I think I can make an entirely new game experience, and if I can’t do it, some other game designer will.” – Shigeru Miyamato


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