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Wed, 23 Jan 2019 17:52:47 GMTScary Changes (Yes Clickbait)Happy New Year!
For both my biggest coding and music projects I will follow a very good friend's advice and do the following for a month or two, or three (my schedule shifts the concepts of time, a lot):
<b>- Coding - Onslaught -</b>
I will step back from the blueprint-only approach which started in me priding myself in the ability of using blueprints and hating literally copying the code into C++ which is a technical possibility.
Still I designed literally everything to be absolutely identical to the code, out of respect, and it will stay this way for at least the first release(s) - I might develop a version that has things I deem valuable as feature or maybe even big fixes, but for the first version I want it to be as close as possible to the original, because that is what it was. Close to perfect, and a gem of its time.
I will start fresh with this project [not throwing anything away, I will take use of some important blueprints later down the line for the implementation], I will implement the core code in C++ and by doing so basically literally copy the code and do small adjustments if needed for the code aspect of it, but I assume I will really be able to use 95% of what Gaby wrote. And I will have to design the GUIs (but I need to do that anyway).
If these three months get me further into the implementation, I might go through with going there full force. As I want to make it as true to its roots as possible, recoding everything into a new system does not really do what I intended to do, I just make more work for myself and I delay the process of keeping the ball running because I have to recreate everything manually (and not just GUIs and some actors).
TL;DR: I will pause development on what is the current blueprint game in progress and start fresh with a C++ based version (still allowing blueprints, but the main code will be in C++) which will allow me to re-use most of the original code, more or less. I expect much more and faster results, especially to show off things that and how they work. However this means that there will be a kickstarting time of no updates. We will see :)
<b>- Music - Undertale -</b>
I will step back - you could say leap back. My initial plan was to go through each and every song and remake / play it in some way as "my own". The more I tried imagining myself doing this with the first song, I realized that this would not really actually be what I thought it would do - do justice to what is the epic soundtrack of Undertale - but it would be (if I succeed at recreating the soundtrack) not really much better than all the people who re-upload the MP3 with some hastily crapped together gameplay footage [well I have that already but that is besides the point].
I think it would be more true to myself as an artist and more respectful to the original art pieces to actually choose my battles here. I will invest a lot of time into finding pieces that click with me, either musically or rhythmically. This will most certainly not result in what I hoped myself to achieve - replaying / redoing the whole soundtrack - which would be an endeavour of investing a YEAR - given that I release ONE VIDEO PER WEEK - which coincidentally does not allow for much creative spirits to thrive.
I think it will result into something that satisfies my pride more than my completionist desires to "do the whole thing" - I have no idea where that idea came from, not even the most talented and featured artists do the whole thing [except for the one shot things like the drum-along by 8bitdrummer ;) ].
TL;DR: I got lost in wanting to bite off more than I can chew and will step back to focus on things that will be fewer in numbers but greater in enjoyment, both for me and the ones listening to the results. This also means, like the coding topic, that the first month(s) will be planning and attempting with close to zero results, unless I get really lucky and inspired.
Thanks for your support. And if it is only you two people reading, that still is worth it to me :)
Wed, 2 Jan 2019 20:00:48 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1546459248Modding Hey there :)
This week has been devoured by the modding manager, specifically the modding defaults. There is all sorts of things that you can change in the game, and this backend has defaults, about 70 variables that can be changed in the modding system. The backend for this is now complete and I can get into the actual implementation next time around :)
Also I implemented the savegame mechanism, it is pretty straightforward in UE and I believe the original savegame was pretty basic, integers and strings. The biggest thing about the savegames, calculation [MD5 for low tech cheating prevention], is already done :)
For the crazy people like me being into statistics, this week marks about 1500 lines finished, as all the moddable values and their defaults had to be in the file(s), literally speaking, next to what will follow, their actual usage and implementation.
Happy holidays, enjoy the last weeks of this year, hug your loved ones.
Sat, 8 Dec 2018 19:14:17 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1544296457ActionScript 2.0Hey there ^^
This week I tried something new... actually old... I tried opening up and actually fixing up the original flash project to maybe get something that works for the time being, as I found out that there is a relatively easy support for a standalone flash player executable for Windows and Mac - however the latest Adobe Animate version only supports ActionScript 3.0 and <i>many</i> things have changed, it is crazy.
After spending two days of fixing compiler issues - those that I could solve - I hit a wall where it suddenly just points me to references that are unknown even though I clearly see them as defined, and public, and in packages, and what else AS3 throws at me. I think I can safely say I would have to recreate this project from the ground up, in flash, too, and I just do not know enough about AS3 and my flash is approximately 15 years too rusty :D
As most sources on the internet have been telling everyone to "recreate it from scratch" - I really do not see this project - heavily relying on many internal Adobe Flash based specifics - really working on any Flash based third party system. I will probably never give it up entirely until the game is done, but for the time being I have not found a working solution. I rather invested the trial period of Adobe Animate to look for code that I missed, and thankfully I think I found all the scripts hidden in the depths of the animations themselves which I previously not did see.
The progress indicator page has been updated to reflect this, my overall progress dropped now, which does not even actually accurately show the work ahead of me, but it is something rather than nothing.
What I can do in the final remaining 2-3 days, depending on Adobe counts this, is try to get some animation parts out of the system so I do not have to recreate these things or leave them out, in the first version. It should be relatively easy to expand the animations from the current 20 or 30 FPS - I should know this :P - to maybe 160 FPS and then let the engine handle / skip it at its own will. Having more data for smoother animations will not cause much of an issue as the general data is pretty easy to handle and not remotely comparable with the complex polygon things floating around normally in this engine. We are talking flat 2D surfaces ;)
We will get this done. I will. :)
So long, stay awesome :)
Sat, 10 Nov 2018 00:59:16 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1541811556Progress!Finally I can show some more progress. Most of the latest Onslaught code has been very tough to display.
But the last days have been quite eventful. I tackled one of the bigger classes, the Turret Manager. It should be fully ported, even these fancy things here:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QJx4DWANfdE?rel=0" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
I created an overlay class that I can freely orient to a degree angle and I can set its spread angle. This will be needed for the directional targetting and I will probably also use it for the regular range indicators :)
Chris / SLiPCoR
Fri, 12 Oct 2018 01:28:35 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1539304115HeatThe summer has struck hard this year, and it is really hard to stay focused with 30Â°C in the evening after work.
Progress will continue to be slow, especially in the music department, it is too exhausting to invest the literal energy needed.
Coding does still progress, but I think I will look into gaming more, streaming something here and there...
Stay awesome :)
Wed, 25 Jul 2018 14:52:06 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1532526726The Road to a RoadThis might be a very small update - and a cryptic one - but this image represents the victory over a long struggle:
<img src="https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/455776461232799745/458416090570293259/unknown.png" width="1023" height="425" alt="dynamic spline generating the visual road for attackers to pass on, with round angles" />
A spline is all I needed, that is what I figured out after watching some tutorials about level design by <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/levelsandmaps">Victor Popa, a.k.a. LevelsAndMaps</a>. Luckily he covered the dynamic creation of a fence based on a spline. So the spline fills itself with meshes to look like and act like a fence.
Before, I had skipped the road implementation as in Flash it was done with drawing a thick line. This is not a thing we can do in Unreal Engine, and as I had no clear idea on how to solve this, I am very happy that I now found this tutorial which will pave the way, literally for the attackers, and figuratively for me, so I can stay away from pregenerated map images and keep doing things like the map editor, export, import, and so on.
The last week I had nothing to show, I was just hacking away at the code, Rockets, Shockwave, Smoke, Sound... Now that I solved this riddle, I think I will spend the rest of the week actually implementing the road manager, so that we can maybe some day see some attackers running around the map.
Even if deadly, it would feel more lively ;)
Not sure when the next update will be, as I will be gone for vacation in two weeks. If I have a breakthrough with the road manager, you bet I will share it all over the place :D
Have a great week :)
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 01:02:22 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1529366542Short Hiatus UpdateHey there :)
It's my first week after the 4-week-hiatus I had - starting with YouTube stuff, and coding will be next week :)
As I touched on in the last blog post, the main work-after-work topics are alternating, and the only constant will be music, due to the band rehearsals being weekly anyway ^^
So, this will will probably not get any public coding updates, but next week will. I am looking forward to working on Onslaught consistently again :)
See you then!
Chris / SLiPCoR
Mon, 14 May 2018 17:28:40 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1526315320Hiatus Half-Time?So far this month has been a success, I feel that I have been stuck in some negative feedback loops that kept me stuck internet things, distracting me from what I really want to do, a very big part of my daily time.
So as I kicked this out, even though I focused a lot on my RL, I was able to edit a youtube video which, by the definition of the way I do it, takes longer time than daily upload people do it - the rest has been slow as predicted, but I came up with a change of schedule. The way I work on things will be changed from a by-day-basis to a by-week-basis.
So far, I basically focused on things for [parts of] a day and next day I changed the subject from Golf to Onslaught or to My Little Blacksmith Shop.
I think this change with 7 day gaps [more if stuff in RL happens...] has been detrimental to my progress, as I had to get back to things like "where did I stop last, where am I going right now", I am very certain I will produce better and more consistent results when I focus, literally, by not changing things around too much, and still, taking breaks every day.
So updates will happen less frequently but then I should have more things to show. Is that good? I believe it is :)
Take it slow and be cautious around crazy countries like Germany who "celebrate" the first of May by rioting in the streets ^^
Sat, 28 Apr 2018 20:38:51 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1524944331No fooling around in AprilThis month, progress has been very slow, as I am preparing for a hiatus of some sort.
I will focus on some RL things starting this saturday, basically I'll stop actively checking/participating in social media, reflect on some things, and refocus my priorities.
The end goal is a more balanced way of living which will result in more stable health and focus on the tasks at hand - so hopefully overall better results through concentration on the things that really matter and benefit me and the things that are important to me.
Things that are still happening (as doable offline):
* Onslaught coding - I really am motivated to get back to that without self-distraction
* Soccer Physics Theme - this really is tickling my fancy at the moment, even though it might have been a bit too ambitious, so I will be focusing on drum practice
* Dune II [midi->somethingelse] music recording
Even though I just recently discovered that what I used a base for my GP files is considered inferior to the Dune 2000 soundtrack, by Frank Klepacki himself - I was considering taking this soundtrack as reference, which would then basically push me back --- but part of me does not like all aspects of the new soundtrack - and the things I like, I feel like I would not have to add to it or I would not be able to actually do this justice then.
Dune 2000 is actually using a synthetic orchestra in WAV audio, where Dune II used the midi channels which had enormous restrictions and thus I felt I would be able to add to it. To the orchestra version, I am not so sure about.
Maybe this will turn into something wholely different, like an original album inspired by the dune vibe / melodies.
I have felt the need to get back into creative things, like writing songs, or other artsy things... but this requires some focus I do not have at the moment because I have too many things on my plate I am checking on a literal time schedule so I am able to get everything done - which I fail regularly right now because work has been getting to me in a way that I was tired after work for two weeks, every day.
So far, everyone has been understanding and supportive of what I do and of my hiatus. Thanks for that, and hang in there, I am not gone, and I do not plan on abandoning anything I started, yet. Yes, the MiniGolf game is also still in progress :D
Have a nice spring start and see you soon!
Wed, 11 Apr 2018 00:23:09 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1523402589Upgrade bars <3Another POC because I am pretty happy with the result :)
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6ktdmEVVxcI" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
This will be displaying the current state of the corresponding value (damage / range / rate) - and it will work like it did "back in the day" - so there are 5 divisions indicated by their max value in numerics and with linear scaling on the way - per division.
I added some screenshots of the original flash game to show that I am doing my best to keep the functionality and style as close to the original as I can. At some point later I will go through all the assets and make them even more similar/better, e.g. replace the plain color with a gradient like in the original :)
After only seeing blueprints and nothing happening on screen I am very happy to finally be able to see and present something, so this is why there are a lot of POCs lately.
This might be the last one as the GUIs are almost done and there is not much to show left, I guess. Maybe when I am implementing the turrets? That will be some work :D
Have a nice rest of the month!
Thu, 22 Mar 2018 22:42:01 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1521758521GUIs are in progressThis week has been pretty fruitful, behind the scenes. I have been adding GUIs to the game, so at the moment I am dealing with the small menu window, which brought to my attention that I had to re-create the circular upgrade gauges.
They were realized with fancy MovieClips before, and I have to work on animations, but for now they will be static images that are calculated on the fly.
Here is a little proof of concept, I added some sliders to the general tab so I can debug the values, filling and coloring. It is fine for now, more detailed UV maps will be added later so it will be a seamless ring of color when updated fully.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6GR9C47v2tc" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Soon I will be done and continue implementing the existing functions, many of which need this menu window to write their values - especially the turrets ---- looking forward to that :D
Tue, 13 Mar 2018 16:15:29 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1520957729Credit where credit is dueSo while I am committing the files being done, here is a little something to keep the hype going.
I added the little credit animation that only was shown when you played on the very home page, or on the static page now.
Sadly the default linked version is in debug mode so these credits are skipped. They will not be for the version I am creating :)
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tSOlkIs7CGo" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Ignore the main menu for now, this is intense WIP, but so far I am happy with how it is reacting.
Have a wonderful month of march :)
Mon, 5 Mar 2018 21:20:01 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=15202848012 Months later......I am back in action. I really feel like I needed this break to recharge my batteries.
So, today was both fruitful and not, because when trying to get some bigger files done, I noticed again that I will have some big rewrites incoming, basically replacing the implicit MovieClip base with an explicit class that more resembles a GUI?
I will have to think about how I can pull out the good things that I still can use even though the Unreal Engine is not really as much movie-based, in the sense of how Flash allowed of nesting of movies. Basically you could always LOAD a movie that contains sub-movies that are all inherited from one thing, and all contain methods that can be used staticly / globally / relatively. This system does not really work in UE - so I will have to think about a way to make this work.
It will probably be doable, but at some point later this year, the progress display will make no sense, as I will no longer be dealing with the remaining code, but rather be writing things from scratch or rearranging things so they make more sense in the Unreal way - basically getting no code progress done - this is where video updates will come in handy where I can explain the issues and possible solutions.
Have a nice rest of the week, and HAPPY VALENTINES!
Wed, 14 Feb 2018 02:33:13 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1518575593Last week of restUpdates will resume in February, I just had to take some time off to recharge my batteries :)
Chris / SLiPCoR
Thu, 25 Jan 2018 01:16:52 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1516843012Back to work? Not quite yet ^^I hope you all had a fine round of holidays.
I am still recovering from a cold, and I will be on vacation over new year's, so I am not sure there will be much progress until then. Well I do not expect anyone to sit here and hold their breath anyway.
If you are one of those people, it is time to stop. Now.
Have a great start into the new year, I will be back with updates in the second or third week of 2018 :)
Tue, 26 Dec 2017 22:26:34 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1514327194Progress of one monthAlright, so it seems that one month has passed since I started porting Onslaught to the Unreal Engine.
Just today, I updated the file counts to properly reflect the actual code base that I am dealing with, by removing third party classes that I can not or will not use. From around 16% progress before, we jumped to a solid 20%. So given that, we can expect the game to be fully ported in 4 months ---
However, there still exist things that need to be done after the fact, if I do not do them on the way there:
* testing (modular?)
* implementation of savegame features [replacing the SharedObject implementation] - estimated time - approx 24 hours
Some things that might go into a separate branch maybe
* removing redundant declarations that just hand forward accessible methods [GameManager, which I just finished, has tons of those]
* check for unused methods and remove them
* apply best practices methods I know from java - too many things to list here, maybe too hard to find, we will see
So, it is unclear how much time I will spend when I am done with the pure code.
But I see the big class "Turret" still waiting in line - oh and I will have to do the GUIs and the actual turret actors. This will need designing and/or a way of getting the sprites I have now into this system. And I fear a decent number of things will not work out of the box - and I am not a designer :O
Anyway, I will get this done, I am pretty pumped still, and dedicated to get this done. Maybe I will do motivational streams where some ppl might watch and get hyped on the way? Who knows ^^
Sub to the channel that owns the video linked on the 3rd of December for updates on that. Or check my <a href="https://twitter.com/slipcor">twitter</a> :)
That's it for today, talk to you later. Have a Christmas-y Chrismas!
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 13:51:09 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1512913869AnimationHey there ^^
Today I want to present to you a little demo of what I have been working on the whole day:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/je8RBV6c7m4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Next to adding some blast implementations, this is what I have been finally able to make work!
The movement of the black hole debris uses a framework that will replace the former Flash-MovieClip-move-to-point "VisualEffect" object, and the Combonly rings work in the very same way, they just rotate and do not change position.
The new VisualEffect class will be used to do everything that the former MovieClip system was able to provide:
* Alpha / Color tint changes
* Function calls "on Completion"
Particularly the width and height will pose some issues because the Unreal Engine works with scale rather with actual pixel sizes. I touched on that subject in the last post, there is a solution to that, and it should work :)
Back to work ;)
Sun, 3 Dec 2017 00:23:13 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1512260593*poof*Wow, this week went by fast. We had some struggles at work, and I had some other things that kept me busy.
Nonetheless, this week was absolutely productive. Not so much on the public line count side, but in the backend!
I have imported all images that I was able to extract from the original files. Sadly, by design, flash works and saves things very scalable, and in a movie-compatible format, not really suited for image exports.
What is a great plus for flash as-is poses to be very hard to port over to anything else, because I can only export static images.
In flash you can zoom in like crazy and you get crystal clear turrets/projectiles, you have smooth animations that look awesome still if you go down to 10% speed.
Getting this done in the 20 FPS exports I have now does never work smoothly. Oh, and I will always have some sort of quality loss, so the best way for now was exporting the images at 16 times the original size, and scaling them down in the editor. This looks good so far :)
In the long run, I will have to redo the animations, for now static images or slightly misaligned parts might be happening. But for what I am creating, this should be enough.
I am not aiming at a 100% working exact clone. For now, I am still in the POC-phase, so far I have not encountered anything impossible, even though I really see the practicality of flash eveywhere.
One thing that really will break my brain one day is the ability to set a clip's width and height. This is not how size works in UE - you can only SCALE things - but what if I do not know what the initial size of the shape/sprite is? Well, seems for the affected sprites/classes I have to literally save it on load, for now.
Again, everything is possible somehow. Motivation: 95%
Let me take a nap to fill it to 100% again ^^
Have a great week!
Chris / SLiPCoR
Mon, 20 Nov 2017 02:58:04 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1511146684The first weekThe first week of Onslaught coding has been quite a rollercoaster ride.
I have first created all classes that existed in the former ActionScript project, including inheritance (yet empty), and I have added some functional classes on the way. Before, they were not necessary, based on the "lazy implementation" that ActionScript allows, Objects that later get parsed into actual values, string keyed arrays, etc. Something I cannot really do, I solved most of this through Enumerations :)
Phase 1 will be grabbing all the original Source Code that I have received - and making this into BluePrint based Unreal Engine classes. Especially things like Flash Effects [for moving, for growing and fading] will be interesting to do, but I am fairly sure I have found ways of doing it.
Not sure whether I should do unit testing of the things I have at hand. I feel with the 200 classes I have to deal with, this will get out of hand real quick...
I am a grunt work guy, so what I have to do so far is not really challenging, most of the time I am copypasting variable/function names and comments - oh boy I love Gaby's humor - and the actual time on implementing functions is rather small, as the classes are overall well organized and very modular. This keeps me from getting lost, for sure.
On the way I already had to create some assets and/or import assets that I have been provided. Thanks again to Chris, I owe you!
Phase 2 will be more on the asset side, actually making sure we can have a look at things. Adding assets, textures, models?
Based on the calculations on the Onslaught page, I estimate to be busy for 2-4 months, with Phase 1 only - so, don't hold your breath! But glancing over the modding capabilities and the challenge modes, I really feel that this game will still be fun to a lot of people. And it will allow for a community to form, sharing maps, sharing challenges, sharing scores. "It's gonna be huge"
One day :)
Have an awesome week!
Chris / SLiPCoR
Mon, 13 Nov 2017 09:19:51 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1510564791A new coding blog!Hey there :) This is a new attempt at a blog :O
Given the fact that I will be investing a lot of time into this and this process will take a long time, a blog will be the best solution until actual results are presentable.
Does anyone remember <a href="http://onslaught.playr.co.uk/">Onslaught 2</a>? Because I do. And I recently got the consent of the important persons around the late developer <a href="http://vanhegan.net/">Gaby Vanhegan</a> after I learned about his death in 2011, several weeks ago.
To this day, I feel that this game excels through its simplicity and sturdyness. I feel strongly that this game should stay alive, and because <a href="https://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2017/07/adobe-flash-update.html">the doom of Adobe Flash</a> being imminent, I volunteered to help with this.
So this is the big news about coding, there will be little bits and bytes here and there, progress information will be on the <a href="http://slipcor.net/index.php?page=onslaught">Onslaught Page</a>, and there might be occasional updates about my other game, a MiniGolf implementation - but as this is presentable already, I assume I might actually keep the updates about this on my <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCljVWLMLXC_AGRvPidKJglQ">YouTube channel</a>
Have any feedback, any questions, just hit the "comment" button, and if it is about the website design - give me until the end of the year to make it sturdy and maybe even good looking :P
Have a nice winter season!
Yours Chris / SLiPCoR
Thu, 9 Nov 2017 19:00:46 GMThttp://www.slipcor.net?page=blog&time=1510254046