First prototype released

So here it is. The first prototype of the game - download it here. Nothing too fancy - move the camera around using the arrow keys or WASD, zoom in and out with the mouse wheel and select stars with the left mouse button.
Please disregard the placeholder menu. Also the graphics are far from final. I'm experimenting with an 8 bit retro visual style with this game, I thought it might turn out interesting, tell me what you think.

I'm happy with my random name generator, I think it produces nice and readable names most of the time and it is not very rigid and predictable like simply alternating consonants and vowels. It took me a while to get it right and if anyone is interested I might make a post about how I did it.

I am also happy with the fact that my galaxy features 10 000 stars. I had to abandon all linear algorithms I am so used to because then I would have perfomance issiues. I was initially thinking of using a quadtree, but then I found out about vantage point trees. Actually this last link is mostly useless and I found that there is very little information on VP trees on the internet and it is mostly very vague. It took me two full days to understand how to use them, I ended up reading about them in academic journals that you'd usually have to pay to access, luckily for me I am currently a student and my university has a subscrition to such collections. It might be worth making a post that explains them clearly with simple terms and free of charge.

I couple of days ago I found out about GameSprout - a cool website where people can share there ideas about games, discuss and refine them and help each other with art and programming. The very best ideas will be turned into reality by a game studio working with the creator of the idea and he will get a part from the profit. It is still in beta but I think it has great potential so I submitted We Are Not Alone - you can see its page here, it has already generated some interest. The guy that came up with this site is Jesse Schell, famous game designer, he leads the studio that will work on the most promising ideas. He aslo wrote "The art of game deisgn : a book of lenses", it is practically the bible when it comes to game design, I recommend it to everyone interested in that sort of thing, it is great for beginners. There are even some things in it that aren't restricted to just video games like designing interfaces for example. There is a set of cards that is sold with the 100 'lenses' from the book but my opinion is that they are not worth the money, I didn't get them, especially when there is an free android app with them. Still the book is great and the cards are just a way to quickly reference the lenses.

Whew, that was a long post, atleast by my standards. So play the demo, tell me what you think, comment about anything that I said and I will be sure to get back to you!


Posted by FiLkAtA | at 1:10 AM

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