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A Princess Tale

12-07-2009, 01:29 AM
#1
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 362
Send a message via Skype™ to micah
A Princess Tale

Hey, I just started on a new iPhone game a couple days ago, and I decided to start an Insurgent Games development blog about it: http://www.insurgentgames.com/blog/

I'll be updating it through the entire process of developing the game, and it's a pretty ambitious fantasy game too, what with a plot and tons of maps to explore, dialogue with people and quests.

Here's the first post:

Quote:
Iím starting on a new iPhone game, and this time Iím going to try something different. Iíll be writing regular updates about how development is going, sharing all my ideas and decisions along the way, probably even sharing snippets of source code, and overall keep you informed about the whole development process. Hopefully this will end up being useful to budding game developers trying to figure out how itís done, and to myself, since Iím still trying to figure out how itís done.

The working title of my new game is A Princess Tale. Crystal and I have been talking about making a game that goes against the norms in gaming for some time, in which you play as a princess whose goal is to go off and rescue a dragon. Lately Iíve been interested in retro games for the iPhone also (although I found the gameplay and plot slightly too simplistic, I was overwhelmed with nostalgia after playing RPG Quest: Minimae, and I sat there for a solid 2 hours and beat the whole game). Iíve been toying with the idea of making an RPG myself, but I decided that I would prefer to make more of a fantasy action game instead, in the same grain as the Legend of Zelda for NES. Although Iím tempted to stick to just a couple colors and make everything low-res and blocky, Iím not going to. But so far I am thinking everything will be pixel art, and all the music and sound effects will be 8-bit. Iím also a fan of the MMO Kingdom of Loathing and of Monty Python, and I think Iím going to try to go slightly in that direction in regards to humor. So thatís the premise of A Princess Tale: an old-school Zelda-like action fantasy game thatís funny and thatís about a princess who has to go save a dragon. This is the most ambitious game project Iíve started yet, but Iím confident Iíll keep with it and end up with an awesome product.

Since the original idea for the game, Iíve developed the plot some more, which Iíll be covering in greater detail later (which I suppose will include sploilers for the game, once itís actually released, so read with caution). Hereís a brief summary: The game starts out with your father, the King, ordering a witch burning. Itís very horrible, and when you protest the King doesnít take you seriously because youíre a woman. So you decide then and there to overthrow the Kingdom and restore justice to the land. Iím still working out the details of the story (and Iíll surely go into much greater detail later on), but you discover that the King is keeping a dragon prisoner and that surely by freeing him he will aid you in taking down the King. Along the way youíll need to bribe a troll guarding a bridge with a cell phone (heís lonely guarding the bridge, and wants to send text messages to his girlfriend), and befriend a covenant of witches to help you break an enchantment thatís holding the dragon in bonds.

Thatís it for now. In the next post Iíll talk about the game engine and level editor, and how I intend to make them, and also my brief adventure with GameSalad. Iíll also scan in some game design notes showing off plot ideas, level editor programming notes, and maps.

--=] Insurgent Games website | twitter [=-
Cryptose (TA) - Skeleton Key (TA) - Skeleton Key HD (TA link) - Aeropack (TA)
12-07-2009, 01:33 AM
#2
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 241
Send a message via MSN to tukun
its always great to read other dev's story. Keep us update

12-07-2009, 09:40 PM
#3
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 362
Send a message via Skype™ to micah
I've posted a second post now: http://www.insurgentgames.com/blog/a...-game-engines/

It includes scanned game design sketches, a little bit of video from what I've done of the map editor iPhone app, and my rationale for deciding to go with Objective-C and cocos2d-iphone for this game.

--=] Insurgent Games website | twitter [=-
Cryptose (TA) - Skeleton Key (TA) - Skeleton Key HD (TA link) - Aeropack (TA)
12-07-2009, 10:36 PM
#4
This is intriguing.

I'll admit that I am not a big fan of the RPG genre. However, I do enjoy certain games that have RPG elements to them. Legend of Zelda (the original) is still among my favorites.

Recently I've been playing the successful Arvale series by Jaybot. I mentioned this because just like 'A Princess Tale', Jaybot decided to make his storyline much more linear in his latest installment Arvale: Treasure of Memories (PC only). I think that might be a good decision on iPhone.

I've read the blog- you mentioned using GameSalad. I thought GameSalad didn't have a savestate. Won't that cause problems with your RPG? Or are you going to go really oldschool and use codes?

Overall, I'm glad you opted not to go full retro with the blocky graphics. If your game is funny with great pixel art like Arvale, I will definitely give it a try.

One last question: How are your scripting skills- specifically for a language like Lua?

A ragdoll physics platformer:Flickitty
The artist: randall schleufer
Twitter: @FlickittyiPhone
12-07-2009, 10:49 PM
#5
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 362
Send a message via Skype™ to micah
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flickitty View Post
This is intriguing.

I'll admit that I am not a big fan of the RPG genre. However, I do enjoy certain games that have RPG elements to them. Legend of Zelda (the original) is still among my favorites.

Recently I've been playing the successful Arvale series by Jaybot. I mentioned this because just like 'A Princess Tale', Jaybot decided to make his storyline much more linear in his latest installment Arvale: Treasure of Memories (PC only). I think that might be a good decision on iPhone.
Interesting, I haven't heard of that game. I'll definitely go check it out though. You know, for research . (I love doing "research" as a game developer, by the way)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flickitty View Post
I've read the blog- you mentioned using GameSalad. I thought GameSalad didn't have a savestate. Won't that cause problems with your RPG? Or are you going to go really oldschool and use codes?
Actually, I started out getting really excited about GameSalad because it looked like a good way to save lots of time, but then upon realizing you can't save, realized it just wouldn't work for this game. Instead I'm going the much more challenging and time-consuming route of programming it all myself in Objective-C with the help of cocos2d. I think this is a much better choice in the end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flickitty View Post
Overall, I'm glad you opted not to go full retro with the blocky graphics. If your game is funny with great pixel art like Arvale, I will definitely give it a try.

One last question: How are your scripting skills- specifically for a language like Lua?
I have never used Lua before, but I'm a pretty good at scripting. I write bash scripts and python scripts on a regular basis, and I'm not half bad with javascript, and I've done a fair share of php as well.

I just looked up Lua and it's an embeddable scripting language, huh? So, maybe I can give each actor in my game a Lua script for them to run? I can definitely see how this could make the development of my game much quicker.

The way I'm planning on doing it now is marking specific actors on each map as "triggers", and giving them a number. And then, in Object-C upon loading the map, scripting all of the behavior of the actors, based on their trigger name, in Objective-C.

--=] Insurgent Games website | twitter [=-
Cryptose (TA) - Skeleton Key (TA) - Skeleton Key HD (TA link) - Aeropack (TA)
12-07-2009, 10:52 PM
#6
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,741
Quote:
Originally Posted by micah View Post
Actually, I started out getting really excited about GameSalad because it looked like a good way to save lots of time, but then upon realizing you can't save, realized it just wouldn't work for this game. Instead I'm going the much more challenging and time-consuming route of programming it all myself in Objective-C with the help of cocos2d. I think this is a much better choice in the end.
Ouch, did you only find that out after paying for GameSalad? I hope you still get your moneys worth.

  /l、
゙(゚、 。 7 ノ
 l、゙ ~ヽ
 じしf_, )ノ
12-07-2009, 10:58 PM
#7
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 362
Send a message via Skype™ to micah
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidianGTX View Post
Ouch, did you only find that out after paying for GameSalad? I hope you still get your moneys worth.
Yup... hence my simple game ideas thread. I'm still hoping to get my money's worth: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=35782

--=] Insurgent Games website | twitter [=-
Cryptose (TA) - Skeleton Key (TA) - Skeleton Key HD (TA link) - Aeropack (TA)
12-07-2009, 11:09 PM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by micah View Post
I have never used Lua before, but I'm a pretty good at scripting. I write bash scripts and python scripts on a regular basis, and I'm not half bad with javascript, and I've done a fair share of php as well.

I just looked up Lua and it's an embeddable scripting language, huh? So, maybe I can give each actor in my game a Lua script for them to run? I can definitely see how this could make the development of my game much quicker.

The way I'm planning on doing it now is marking specific actors on each map as "triggers", and giving them a number. And then, in Object-C upon loading the map, scripting all of the behavior of the actors, based on their trigger name, in Objective-C.
Yes, Lua is embedded. Flickitty required 26,000+ lines of Lua code, which I wrote personally. I mention this because Flickitty's engine core, 2Dex, might be available.

2Dex has been approved by Apple on several occasions, so they do not have a problem with our engine nor the scripting. The scripting is encrypted to prevent tampering.

2Dex is only the very basic core of an engine- everything is completely coded and accessed through Lua so it gives a huge amount of flexibility without bogging you down with features you don't need. Indeed, each object in Flickitty has its own script and behavior. I can even combine scripts to get q more complex object- gravity, draggable, breakable is what is used for the rocks.

However, since you have to code the whole thing anyway, going with pure Objective-C will work as well. You might consider building a game engine and introducing extremely simple Lua for your first attempt (data tables, etc.). Then expand it for your next title to include collision events (triggers) and more complexities based on need.

A ragdoll physics platformer:Flickitty
The artist: randall schleufer
Twitter: @FlickittyiPhone
12-09-2009, 03:17 AM
#9
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 241
Send a message via MSN to tukun
http://www.cocos2d-iphone.org/wiki/d...p/tips:generic

this maybe is the solution for your gaps problem
12-09-2009, 09:17 PM
#10
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 362
Send a message via Skype™ to micah
Quote:
Originally Posted by tukun View Post
http://www.cocos2d-iphone.org/wiki/d...p/tips:generic

this maybe is the solution for your gaps problem
Actually, I tried each thing in that list, and I also tried positioning my sprites at half pixels (adding .5 to each x and y coordinate) because it worked for someone having a similar problem, but none of it worked.

What ended up fixing it is padding all my sprites by 1 pixel on each side. The sprites are 30x32 big, so in the tilesheet I made them take up 32x34 pixels each. And then I let them bleed out 1 pixel. So what happens is, technically, there are still small gaps for just a part of the screen, but rather than the gaps being black, they're filled in with the extra 1 pixel bleed, so you can't tell.

I have no idea why it does this, but as I've tried everything else, I'm fine with it.

--=] Insurgent Games website | twitter [=-
Cryptose (TA) - Skeleton Key (TA) - Skeleton Key HD (TA link) - Aeropack (TA)