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Default Lucky Day's Wizard War! for Android development thread

October 3rd, 2012, 14:25
Time constraint mostly.. haven't given up… also still looking for good people, with all those kickstarters going on, it is even harder to find a good resources who'll stay on a project.
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October 3rd, 2012, 17:44
Thanks for the suggestion - I will probably do that. One of the issues is trying to get different textures to look unified.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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October 4th, 2012, 01:56
ok - well here are a couple of attempts

Spoiler


this is the original texture with me using the airbrush tool over it to try to just make it darker. as you can see it looks horrible.

Spoiler


now here's a new texture. looks good but it illustrates my big concern: it lacks unity. the colors are all wrong. they need blending. maybe lighting could correct this but not with the gradient tool. that just makes them look grainy and this kind of detail does not like grainy.

I could try the color pick tool but somehow I think that's going to be more trouble than its worth.

Edit: well I did a quick color pick using the "select by color" tool then painting over it with what I selected. The initial concept looked ok - smoothing out the textures do happen on footpaths over time so I thought it might work…

Spoiler


…it doesn't.

couple of attempts to keep the original texture and blend the mortar.
Spoiler


hmm..for some reason I hadn't looked at the built in filters. maybe they can do something.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
Last edited by Lucky Day; October 4th, 2012 at 03:38.
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October 4th, 2012, 03:27
ok - what do you think of these

here's the original

Spoiler


I used the original floor texture but darkened it by

10%

Spoiler


and 25%

Spoiler


does this look better or should I still go with another texture?

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
Last edited by Lucky Day; October 5th, 2012 at 03:04.
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October 4th, 2012, 08:55
I was thinking that the floor doesn't have to look the same at all. Just maybe similarly coloured.

Like this ?
http://www.wyenot.com/images/2003/dungeon02a.jpg

Or this :
http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Wewels…ungeon6730.jpg
Where the stones are much smaller on the floor than for the walls.
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October 5th, 2012, 03:14
your first link is broken

funny - I was thinking the stones being larger would compensate.

trying it your way I've come up with this

original



which I think looks a lot better but they still blend. so adding my darking idea

at 10%



and at 25%



I think the 25% darker version shows too much contrast. The first one still blends into the wall bricks too much.

I think the 10% solution is the happy middle. It maintains the unity and keeps a distinction between the floor and the walls. Just a small glitch with a bottom piece sticking out. That'll be a 1 minute fix.

Edit: or maybe the original is best.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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October 5th, 2012, 03:20
GG, about how much have you finished? Estimated how long do you think you have to go? Are we talking Vault Dweller size?Certainly yours is much larger than this thing I'm doing. I'd like to finish this in a month's time - two or three tops.

I'm sorry to say by the time I first seriously looked at your project I think you had it up here at least a year. I didn't know it was one of our own. I wasn't paying enough attention to our news site I guess.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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October 6th, 2012, 00:54
In my eyes, they all look much better. You might want to try slightly more gravelly look too, which was what the first link was supposed to show.

I think gravelly is the term for it
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October 6th, 2012, 03:09
I know what you mean. My original idea was dirt floors (which doesn't make sense in a multilevel dungeon) but unless I hand draw them I don't think I can find a texture that will work right.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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October 10th, 2012, 20:36
Z level done. Players can move up and down ladders.

for now it uses Alerts for the player to choose if they are moving forward on an UP ladder or the retreat button signals one if they are on a down ladder.





I think I've said before I would like to use "swipes" to move up and down and although it is intuitive for smart phone users to do this I think I would have to teach them their use for ladders. This is for a later time as the code I've found for noting swipes is long and I think I would have to rewrite my onClicl code.



this proved to more and less difficult than I expected.

Overlapping the ladders on the walls was really a challenge. I had discovered the LayerDown technique which is a view that stacks images in an array. This proved really flaky - it kept picking up the wall images too late (or not at all - not sure which) so the bottom most layer was empty. I broke down and did my original plan of creating multiple layers of stacked images.

Android is warning me that performance may suffer by having more than 80 views (I have 54 images now - the walls and one for each depth of ladders), however I won't be adding many more and I will be removing debug automaps etc eventually so that should be fixed.

I had created functions to have the walls delete any ladder images behind them but they were flaky too - probably a problem with my logic. I ended up deleting them directly in the wall creation routines and it was alot more consistent. It was easier to see as well because with the naming I used I could easily see which ones needed to be deleted. It proved a lot simpler to do it this way.

-

Adding the third dimension to the array was simpler than I expected thanks to good find and replace and good naming. (I recall the old games only had 2d arrays and loaded any 3rd dimensions in dynamically - heck I remember them loading in just sections of the map from disk).

Getting the ladders to go up and down proved straightforward enough. I wanted to create a table initially for them to move to different sections but this proved troublesome. Having it just change the Z variable was much easier. I will still have tables for the future but I'll keep it simple for now.

I had to give the player the option to move through the ladders and that meant a popupmenu and this lead to no end of hair pulling. My attempts to add the dialog were ignored so some research showed me they weren't available on my build level.

I found this list of users and their build levels so I've thought about upgrading the user requirements.

http://developer.android.com/about/d…rds/index.html

(Good idea - allow it to work for only 26% of all users. However, now I'm thinking of rolling it back to 2.2 to include that extra 12.9% of users I'm not compatible to.)

So to do this I was working on Context Menus which come up on the bottom on my level (ugh! I wanted it in the middle of the screen for easy access to my thumbs). I got it to display a couple of black screen choices and I eventually got it to partially work. Its kind of ugly because it needs to code in its own function outside of the display - you have to call it.

So more research suggested I use Alerts.

Perfect!

Since Android is an extension of Java of course it has to be backwards compatible. I found some straightforward examples and the screenshots you see are the results. I can't center it or get ridden of the buttons without some major work - I won't bother.

In my research fro Context Menus I also discovered its best if I call different activities for different actions which makes a lot of sense. This will be the Activity for movement and I will create new activities for "camping" and user options, and for combat.



I'll throw in up/down ladders this afternoon, but first I have to mow my lawn.



The code for ladders work for specials so it should be "forward-compatible" for things like statues and fountains.



I'm not happy with the up ladder color. its proved to be a pain against he black roof.



Now I can begin the game in earnest. What to do first? Combat or Camp menus? Hmmm.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
Last edited by Lucky Day; October 10th, 2012 at 20:49.
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October 10th, 2012, 20:43


ps - oh, I also got annoyed with the Androids extremely slow emulator. I managed to get it to debug directly to my devices through the USB cable - however this is a little inconvenient and sucks some battery.

Then I managed to get a Virtual Box to run the android-x86 emulator after a few days of pulling my hair out.

The problem with the built in emulator is it runs an ARM simulator on top of the x86. Google can have it running directly on x86 instead but it requires 4.x Android and I hear its not that great. Developers created this ISO as a workaround. Its 100x better and can be run for any level.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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October 11th, 2012, 01:35
up/down ladders done



Alerts are tethered to the existing up and down dialogs so you won't see an option to move back if you pressed on the middle/top, and no option to move forward if you pressed the bottom.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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October 13th, 2012, 18:20
Camp button added that brings you out of the display and into a new screen. For the time being its my showing playtesting map.



Good fun. Originally I couldn't get it to come back - it kept restarting the game. A little research found I could could save the save and restore the settings in case the Activity crashed wish is what I thought it was doing. It didn't work so further research suggested I should force it with the "finish()" command. A little more research found people complaining the back button can escape out of the activity (like it was a browser) into the previous one and that's when they should use finish().

So here's what happened: I was actually starting new instances of the game. All I had to do was call finish() on the back button to return to the game.

In the meantime I have a function that future proofs against crashes and I also got device rotations to not restart the game which is how Google designed it bey default - that is, now you can keep playing the game if you switch orientation.

This is a significant addition because now combat screens can be done in earnest. I've also learned I'll have to prevent players from cheating by hitting the back button.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
Last edited by Lucky Day; October 13th, 2012 at 18:36.
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October 13th, 2012, 22:27
Nice updates…I like what I see.
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October 18th, 2012, 20:42
thanks Sherwin

rudimentary random encounters are now working



It turns out loading an image dynamically is not only complicated, its a resource hog. But since I am only doing this once it shouldn't be a big deal.The portraits for the monsters that is.

As you see above some of the portraits get muddy and distorted. The Skeletons and Goblin I reduce to about 25k and the dragon is 98k - they show a big difference in quality at that screen size so I guess I will have to redo them.

Right now all you can do is attack and run.

I am going through a number of images that are in the public domain - basically anything over 100 years old.

I did get a kick out of one site featuring heraldic crests saying that his public domain images are definitely not for commercial use. I wonder if he has advertising on his site? Still, collections of them are copyrightable but I won't be using enough of them to be counted as such. In fact, my variations of them become copyright because I added changes - but I won't sweat that.

here's an example of something I can use



What do you think? I can't find much modern that is available free for commercial use and you want to make sure the images have the same sort of look. Medieval artists were required to maintain certain styles so different artists from the period tend to blend well together. Another option would be for me to hand draw them but that would take time (and effort).



The next step is to transfer the complete player information back and forth between activities and it uses a system Android calls parcels. A lot of Java developers like to use serializables and say they are simpler to work with but Parcels don't look so bad and serializables are an absolute mess in memory and speed I read.

My other option would be to set up an SQLite database and write directly to it instead. That's looking more and more like a better idea.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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October 19th, 2012, 01:58
I'm enjoying watching this project take shape - thanks for keeping us updated. I love the idea of the medieval monster art!

You might want to check out Dover books for usable public domain artwork. They kind of specialize in making books full of old public domain art like old engravings and that medieval, vintage kind of stuff. Good quality and the CD-ROM versions have 600 dpi scans - which would let you have the art at any size you could possibly need without blurring. Usually they're very reasonably priced.

I quickly browsed their clip-art collection books just now and found these which might be useful for an RPG project like yours:
Monsters and Dragons
Mythological and Fantastic Creatures
Dragons and Wizards
Arms and Armor
Imps, Elves, Fairies and Goblins

Also their Pictorial Archive books could be useful but you'd have to scan the pieces yourself.
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October 24th, 2012, 21:55
Thanks for those links. Those could come in handy and they look really good. Maybe I'll go see if Barnes and Nobles has them or even the local library.

Aesthetics is proving to be an important factor, as I knew it would, even though its not the lions share of work. Well it is if you consider how much modification needs to be done on it. Gimp and Audacity are my friends!

I am working on audio and that brings a whole lot to the game. It makes it seem alive and a lot less sterile. Unfortunately, it doesn't lend itself to updates. Just in play testing I can already seeing where things can be more exciting by adding dynamics. I might give every creature an introduction sound and I might give player weapon attacks to overlay the monster portrait.

Finding free works in sound for commercial use is difficult. Freesound.org and a few other sites is really helpful but what makes them difficult is the various licenses you have to mire through. I have to keep on top of these authors who want attribution and insist on a link back to the place I got them. Its going to make a heck of a credit list.

The other thing too is audio can take up a bit of memory if you're not careful.

On the way I have found some pretty good ambient music I'll try out. I'll have to include some controls on it - people won't want to listen to it all day.

I've discovered Kevin MacLeod's work which he gives away with Creative Commons license, and many of it original. A lot of the work I do for including media is just finding the right ones to use.



Combat is coming along slowly. It works in a very simplistic way - the Armor HP's aren't calculated yet but I should have that in a day or two.

On this version of the game I'm thinking doing it of one player one monster . There is a system in place already to expand it to multiple players (the player being used is actually player[0] of the party object) but that increases the complexity I'd have to track, particularly inventory.
—-
The inventory system is going to be a pain. Three of the inventory slots include Weapon, Armor, and Shield. But what to do if the player wants to drop stuff or store them? I'll have to create some sort of storage object that can hold a stack of items.

As for a store, the premise of the game is the player is trapped in a dungeon so city market place don't make a lot of sense. Underground nomadic dwarfs caravans then? Maybe..maybe not.



One thing that has the Android development community frustrated is that Font sizes won't adjust themselves dynamically. This forces the developer to check for the size of the screen at the creation of the Activity and set the text views accordingly. I could create a number of picture fonts for the preset phrases and numbers instead but this seems like a real headache. Having 26 pictures for every letter of the alphabet and 10 numbers and some punctuation..oy!

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
Last edited by Lucky Day; October 24th, 2012 at 22:11.
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October 25th, 2012, 17:57
Kevin MacLeod is great - I've used his music in a couple of work projects.
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
As for a store, the premise of the game is the player is trapped in a dungeon so city market place don't make a lot of sense. Underground nomadic dwarfs caravans then? Maybe..maybe not.
I like the dwarf caravan idea. It could also be goblins, deep gnomes or other opportunistic underground races making some gold off of the "captive audience". I guess it all depends on if any kind of organized societies exist in the dungeon.

Some roguelikes just stick merchants in the middle of dungeons without any regard to realism, so you could go that route too.
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October 28th, 2012, 16:36
Originally Posted by Myrkrel View Post
Kevin MacLeod is great - I've used his music in a couple of work projects.

I like the dwarf caravan idea. It could also be goblins, deep gnomes or other opportunistic underground races making some gold off of the "captive audience". I guess it all depends on if any kind of organized societies exist in the dungeon.

Some roguelikes just stick merchants in the middle of dungeons without any regard to realism, so you could go that route too.
Its a bit of joke cliche now. I remember in Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure
Spoiler


But thinking about it there are ways that it can make some sense, some more loosely than others. I'm not thinking of having any drow city underneath but I could do something - or just do what Grimrock did and and put puzzles in to get better inventory.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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October 30th, 2012, 19:34
I've implemented background music and by putting it on a service I can keep the MediaPlayer from shutting them off when a sound effect occurs.

However, because its a service separate from the application the music continues to loop even when you've exited the game. The secret for this sort of thing I found is to "bind" the service (to the application or activity I assume) but figuring this out is not easy.

So far it seems I have to throw out my existing service code which plays the music. I'm searching for examples that show it simply.



screenshots of combat:


Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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