SAGE 2015 Delayed

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SAGE 2015 Delayed

 
    Bad news :(! The Sonic the Hedgehog fans who were going to host SAGE (Sonic Amateur Games Expo) for 2015 have decided to postpone the event from Dec 2015 until Spring 2016 now. Full details about this delay (and why) can be found at Sonic Retro's post. EagleSoft Ltd submitted a Demo #3 release of Sonic CD Breakout to the event, and was planning on submitting a first demo build of Colonial Combat to the event.

     The good news is that, if the fans running the event allow an extended submission deadline, this gives us a chance to receive and implement feedback and bugfixes from those who have played the Demo #3 release,  to incorporate into a v3.1 release to submit into the now-postponed SAGE event in Spring 2016. It also definitely gives us time to add more levels, FMVs, and improved code to Colonial Combat for the event.


  We will keep the EagleSoft fans/blog readers informed about the extended SAGE date
(and SCD Breakout/CC development) as it occurs :)

-Tamkis

New mobile section!

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New Mobile Section!

    Good news! Although EagleSoft Ltd mostly does not like mobile app development for "smart" devices (because we're too cool and old-school for hipster new school), for what few apps for smart devices we may make, we now have a NEW Mobile Section on the website! Check it out; we have a new app for a graded project (mostly as a PoC) for an equations database called "The Equator", and have added a link in that section down to our famous mobile port of UAHDX!

Enjoy
-Tamkis

Colonial Combat: Story Part I and AI!

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Colonial Combat: Story Part I & AI!

            Team Colonial has finally added FMV videos into the currently finished levels (Training, Braddock, Street, Gym, and Lawn). No video for Bell Tower yet, due to 3D Movie Maker corrupting the awesome fight scene file I was working for it ;_; . The game now has a semi-intelligent AI, so the game now has a challenge for battles against the CPU!

Check out the video of our progress below!
 

Colonial Combat: Thanksgiving beta build!

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Colonial Combat: Thanksgiving beta build!


  A lot of development has taken place since our first post/official, public announcement of the development of Colonial Combat (Halloween 2015). For this beta build for Thanksgiving 2015, we present more options, improved Character Select and Level Select screens, all of RoMo's sprites, a total of 6 levels (Training, Braddock, Street, Sewall Gym, Nicholson Lawn, and Bell Tower), and more FMVs (Intro and Credits)!

Check out the video below!
Playable demo coming sometime 2016!

-Tamkis

Sonic CD Breakout: Demo #3 RELEASE!

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Ho ho ho! Finally! It's here,
DEMO #3 of Sonic CD Breakout, just in time for Christmas 2015 and SAGE 2015!



    This demo has been in the works for 2 years (since 2013), and is finally ready for a release! To summarize the changes, bugs were squashed, two new zones were created (Desert Dazzle Zone and Quartz Quadrant Zone), 3 special stages were created, and time zone based backgrounds and borders were created for all levels. What is Sonic CD Breakout? It's a Sonic fan game, which is a Sonic CD themed breakout clone, using the BreakGOLD game engine as a total-conversion. For more information about the fan game project, see this page. The latest demo can always be downloaded from that page. READ the readme in order to learn how to install the game, because some "assembly" is required.

This demo #3 is planned to be released for SAGE (Sonic Amateur Games Expo) 2015 Act :)! Will created a post announcing when it has been submitted and hosted at the expo
 
Demo #3 Release Video


Enjoy! C&CC welcomed!

Colonial Combat preview!

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EagleSoft Ltd presents...

Colonial Combat!

     Although EagleSoft Ltd has been on hiatus for fall 2015 (due to a laptop dying and university work), EagleSoft Ltd is proud to announce its new video game project, Colonial Combat! Colonial Combat is the new, exciting, retro-styled, 1-vs-1, 2D, Unity3D fighting game, loosely based off Robert Morris (the historical figure and the university). It is a graded software engineering project. The gameplay is styled after Virtua Fighter, but 2D. Full details about the project can be found at its project page.

    Shown in the video below are the menus, characters, levels, and basic fighting system. Much more is needed to be done, including finishing character sprites and rigging more collision boxes, but the main system is there and working. Stay tuned for more developments on the project at this blog!



-Tamkis

Site cleanup and additions

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Site cleanup and additions!


  During the week of 09/20/15-09/26/15, I cleanup up the site and add a few pending items. I converted the leftover, hard-coded URL links to soft-links that will update as pages/content is moved around with our web host provider tools. Most importantly, I added a few pending items, including an update to the music page, now including YM2612 Genesis tunes and YM3812/YMF262 tunes for OPL2/OPL, an unofficial WIP music pack release of the YM2612 and OPL2/3 tunes for StarEagle (with VGM Play) and an official updated release of the YM2612 tunes for Ultra Air Hockey (Retro). Also updated is the main page with the internship project and an addition of an EET page for electronics and a page for Microsoft Office Macros.

Enjoy the new updates and content, and stay tuned for more EagleSoft Ltd development!
-Tamkis

Sonic CD Breakout: Special Stages & Future Dev

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Sonic CD Breakout: Special Stages & Future Dev

 
    Way back in 2014, we showed a preview of what was in the works for Demo #3 release of the Sonic CD Breakout fangame, including Desert Dazzle Zone, Quartz Quadrant Zone, and the training special stage. Although in that post we predicted having a release of Demo #3 for Act 2 of SAGE 2014, that did not happen, since we decided to hold off on doing so after we completed both of those zones and of the special stages. Not only did we do that, but we also added dynamic background images depending on each level's time zone. Since that post, we have finished Desert Dazzle Zone, Quartz Quadrant Zone, and also the Special Stages for all of the existing zones! (Desert Dazzle Zone does not have a special stage, as that would create 8 Time Stones, and is not exactly a "cannon" level in Sonic CD.)

Special Stages

   All of the special stages (except Quartz Quadrant Zone and Desert Dazzle Zone) are completed now. The special stage levels are accessible by hitting a silver ring monitor. In the special stages, the players must traverse various level layers (similar to the fan game's Time Zone system) by either moving up or down between by hitting certain up/down arrow blocks (instantaneously, instead of with a wait delay as with the time signposts), in order to find and collect the Time Stone. Certain blocks can be destroyed after up to 4 hits, some cannot be destroyed, and there is a slot machine system which could earn you rings and other prizes. The player must also avoid spike balls, which can cause damage. The layer system is intelligent, graying out and shrinking sprites as layer blocks appear in up to 3 farther layers. However, there are more to just these levels than these features; the players have only 4 "attempts" to get the time stone, as their ring count is set to 90 rings and counts down to zero (no overflow of rings with reset back to zero occurs). If the ring count reaches zero, the player dies, the rings reset to 90 rings, and an attempt is removed. Collecting rings in the stage naturally counteracts the ring countdown. After all attempts are removed, the player is kicked out of the level without the Time Stone! Collecting all 7 Time Stones will allow the player to fight the Final Boss in Final Fever Zone at the end of the game.

Video
 ___________________________________________________________________________

Future development

    However, in the process of making these levels and these further edits, a development roadblock was discovered; apparently, the BreakGOLD Level Editor seems to have some type of maximum, hard, internal limit of producing .bgl level packs upto 3.87 MB. Attempting to make any level pack greater than this (by adding more content) causes the saving of the level pack to fail. We are using the BreakGOLD Level Editor v2.0 that came with the full version of the v2.0 BreakGOLD game, which was acquired on an Breakout collection of games from an eGames Software CD-ROM called "Break!" from Big n' Small Lots (now Big Lots) back in 2004. It is unknown whether the latest, paid, PC, full version of the game has an updated Level Editor that fixes these (and other) known bugs with the v2.0 editor.

  If this bug is not fixed in a possible newer version of the Level Editor, we shall either try to create a small, personal assembly patch for the Level Editor to fix the issue, or just simply breakup the fan game into two parts: Part 1 (up to Quartz Quadrant Zone), and Part 2 (Quartz Quadrant Zone Special Stage up to end of game). If this split needs to occur, Part 2 shall start the player with a "perfect game" from Part 1 (5 Good futures, 3 Time Stones), and start the player with Quartz Quadrant Zone's special stage (it could not fit in the current level pack, due to the hard 3.87 MB limit). We have pushed the engine to its limits with this total conversion for the fan game!

  Regardless of which direction the Sonic CD Breakout fan game will be going with regards to possibly splitting up the project, before we make an executive decision, we are going to release a Demo #3 of what we have "very soon", with a potential patch to transplant the game to the Android port of the BreakGOLD engine!

Stay tuned!

Sonic CD Breakout: Quartz Quadrant Zone (Full)

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Sonic CD Breakout: Quartz Quadrant Zone (Full)




    It's been exactly one year (Sept 2014) since any major progress was made on Sonic CD Breakout! However, we have finally put some effort and finally finished Quartz Quadrant Zone! Both main level acts involve finding the goal sign, which requires traveling through the Time Zones in order to hit a switch to reverse the direction of conveyor blocks, which are preventing access to the goal sign. Various enemies are in this zone, including a Caterkiller (with various destroyable parts), a jumping spider (which deals damage if you hit them when jumping), a Skorp (which shoots deadly lasers), and a moving snail (which can deal damage if you hit them when they unleash their spikes). The zone ends with a simple boss, which shoots bombs, which you must repel back towards Eggman in order to defeat him.

    Overall, the levels have plenty of gimmicks, different gameplay, and are challenging.
Check out the gameplay video below!


BreakGOLD: PoC Asset transplanting

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BreakGOLD: PoC Asset Transplanting


Nope! BreakGOLD modding and development on Sonic CD Breakout is not dead yet! Although development of both has been put on the backburner, I did determine how to transplant a custom BreakGOLD table mod (such as Sonic CD Breakout) to the Android version, and Android-exclusive assets to the PC version. The results and method are not streamlined yet, but as a PoC, it works. Bugs with the transplant include no audio, lack of transparency on images, and a higher paddle. Such transplanting features will (eventually) be implemented into the next version of the BreakGOLD Editor. The next demo release of Sonic CD Breakout may have an Android port once I perfect the issues.



More coming soon!

Quick 8.3 filename conversion

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Quick 8.3 filename conversion

   It has been sometime since I have posted some Windows Tips at this blog. The other day, I was tinkering around with a Windows 95 Virtual Machine, in order to try and install/play a CD copy of Megaman X I found at Goodwill two years ago. Unfortunately, the video game installer and the game itself on the CD were MS-DOS based, and would only accept 8.3 filenames for the installation directory ;_;. Whatever shall we do?!

   As I found in a MSDN forum, you could create a VB script, and then drag n' drop a file from another window on it, or simply cut/paste the original path directory in the script's pop box. Just open up Notepad, paste the following script code, save as .vbs, and chug away!

Set fso=CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

' Is object a file or folder?
If fso.FolderExists(WScript.Arguments(0)) Then
'It's a folder
Set objFolder = fso.GetFolder(WScript.Arguments(0))
rtrn = InputBox("Here's your short path:", "SHORT PATH", objFolder.ShortPath)
End If

If fso.FileExists(WScript.Arguments(0)) Then
'It's a file
Set objFile = fso.GetFile(WScript.Arguments(0))
rtrn = InputBox("Here's your short path:", "SHORT PATH", objFile.ShortPath)
End If 

Have fun! (Now to get back and kick some robot butt!)



 

New misc section

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New Misc section at EagleSoft Ltd!
 
Nope, EagleSoft Ltd is neither dead nor undead, but still alive! We at EagleSoft Ltd have created a new section on the website: the misc. section! At this section, we have added some Sonic Robo Blast 2 lua scripts, moved the old music page from the Sega section here, and added some racetracks/mods for Trackmania! Soon, we shall have a page with some Microsoft Office macros we have created.

   We are also working on a NEW Unity 3D game! An official blog post detailing the game will be posted later. The content is currently on the website unofficially, but the development should hit the ground running in the week after next and especially during the school year, since I intend to use this project Integrated Engineering Design class as a Software Engineering project :).

Enjoy!

-Tamkis

Ultra Air Hockey v1.1 Android port, now on Google Play!

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UAHDX v1.1 Android Port,
now published on Google Play!


   Ultra Air Hockey DX (UAHDX) has been updated to v1.1, as well as an initial release of a new Android Port, both as a side-loadable app, and as an officially signed app at the Google Play Store! Due to lack of full-version purchases for the PC version (read: none!), the demo and full-versions of the game have been merged into a single, full, freeware version! It is strongly encouraged to give a donation of any amount to EagleSoft Ltd for future developments and motivation :).

Enjoy!

EagleSoft Ltd: Now on Facebook!

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EagleSoft Ltd:
Now on FaceBook!

 
   Yep, you read the title correctly! EagleSoft Ltd now has a FaceBook page to further inform and to keep customers in the loop of current events with the indie dev group. The page will be used to relay blog information, and to give the latest news about the group. "Like" us today and share!

UAH (Sega, Redux) Progress: Paddle Movement

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Ultra Air Hockey (Sega, Redux)
Paddle movement!

      After days of arduous experimentation, debugging, SGDK discovery, forum chats, and sweat, managed to get some more progress done on the redux of the Ultra Air Hockey Sega ports with SGDK. Managed to implement the following:

  • Implemented flying eagle sprite for intro FMV
  • Added game initialization code
  • Added paddle movement
    • A-button to change speed within current speed set
    • 8-directions of movement 
  • Implemented British announcer guy
  • Added HUD
    • Displays scores
  • Added Debug stats and features
    • Display of FPS
    • Display of free memory
    • Paddle stats
      • x and y coordinates
      • dx and dy values (change in x and y)
      • velocity value, current speed index, angle
    • Announcer guy test
      • X button to speak score
      • Y button to increase blue paddle's score
      • Z button to increase red paddle's score
Below is a video showing off
the improvement and progress so far


   Although there are a lot of bugs at the moment and features coded in but not tested nor utilized yet, progress is going smoothly. Paddle movement runs consistently between a smooth 50 to 60 FPS. A few coding hiccups occurred with sprite management and with paddle movement, but most of them have been ironed out. Next development milestone and preview should have collision detection (and bug fixes) :)!

Ultra Air Hockey (Sega ports, redux)

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Work resumes (again) on the Sega ports of
Ultra Air Hockey

   As I may have mentioned earlier in older news posts, the BEX/Sega homebrew port of Ultra Air Hockey was cancelled around Winter 2014/2015. (BEX is a BASIC language for the Sega Genesis/CD/32x.) This was due to several issues that occurred while developing it, including
instability of the BEX compiler and other bottlenecks. As the homebrew ROM executable became bigger, internal errors of the compiler being unable to compute jump offsets of large "bsr.w" branch Motorola 68k instructions began creeping in. Although it seemed to be a false positive of an error (since the ROM still compiled), further in development, I feared the ROM would corrupt further as it became bigger and more complex; in fact, at one point, a subroutine of code dealing with paddle movement ceased working between two builds, despite the BASIC code of that subroutine being nearly identical and valid between both builds. Furthermore, I made the mistake of trying to build a (poorly written, custom) port of the SpriteLibrary I used for sprite management in the PC QB64 code, and using the buggy "include" command of BEX to include that code, which seemed to create problems. I attempted to port that library over, with the future intention of using it to port over other games written with that library from QB64 to BEX and the Sega Genesis. Coupled with future problems of having to rewrite sections of the game code (due to the QB64 code using some subroutine/functions with parameters passed by reference, a feature which BEX cannot do), manage sprites and collision manually, and most importantly, have to deal somehow with trigonometry to handle puck movement and rebound angles (because BEX cannot handle neither trig functions nor 16/32-bit fixed point arithmetic), major development issues were ahead. It was at this point that I decided to ditch the BEX build, and refactor the game using C and the SGDK library for GCC

   Why did I move development to the SGDK? Well, for several reasons. Firstly, the SGDK is opened source, C-based, more stable, and is updated more regularly than BEX (which hasn't had an update in years). With it being C-based, I could use a real programming language, and use main parts of the code in the future for any additional ports of the games to other retro platforms, and simply modify the baseline code for hardware-specific changes. Furthermore, it contains more complex and useful programming features out-of-the-box, including direct sprite support (including sprite collision), fix16 and fix32 fixed port arithemetic and trigometry functions, passing function parameters by value and by reference, etc. Furthermore, being C-based, it is easier to split the program into smaller testable modules of .c and .h files, instead of having a giant text file of all the main function and all of the subroutines and function.

   Although SGDK does have its benefits, it has a few drawbacks in comparison to BEX. BEX is cross-platform, allowing the user to write the code once, make a few minor tweaks, and allow that same code to run on the Sega CD and Sega 32x add-ons. At the time of this writing, SGDK does not officially support hardware-specific Sega CD and Sega 32x features, but there are a few ways to extend the baseline SGDK support to run and compile for Sega CD and 32x, but I believe it takes more effort. Also, the BEX port had the benefit of a very close code translation between the original QB64 code and BEX (being that both are BASIC languages), and is BASIC.

    Over the past week of summer, I have begun transcribing the old BEX Basic code to SGDK C, and have most of the menus and introduction created, shown below. These menus are mostly the same as shown in older videos, just written in C and with a few additional features, including fade outs of palettes and splitting the sound test into a separate music test and sound test options item. There are a few bugs to fix, but the functionality is basically the same as before, and as tested with my Everdrive MD, the code works on hardware too!



  Now to working again on the paddle handling :)!

Still Alive

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EagleSoft Ltd is still alive!



   No, I have not flunked out of college, defaulted on my evil Satanic student loans and committed Grant Theft Education, been assassinated by the NSA, or died as a hobo... however, it is Tamkis' birthday! So, being still alive (for the time being), what have I done for my birthday, and what are my upcoming goals and plans for EagleSoft Ltd?
___________________________________________________________________________________

    Firstly, due to gaining a whopping $500 tax return from my Uncle Sam for my birthday from last summer, I decided to devote a <$150 budget for purchases I needed and wanted to make. Some went towards important items such as a haircut, a new pair of professional dress shoes, and gasoline. A large chunk (~$80) went towards something I have been wanting to purchase for over 3 years, but did not have enough surplus money to purchase guiltlessly. With my love of technology, programming, tinkering around with modern and retro video game consoles and computing platforms, and video game development, I decided to purchase...



  An EverDrive MD is a flashcart for the Sega Genesis and its add-ons. For those who don't know, a flashcart is a special type of cartridge for a cartridge-based video game system which allows the user to perform certain system functions and to play backed-up copies of video games (aka ROMs) on the real hardware, usually from an SD card. It is essentially a rewritable cartridge. With the usage of flashcarts, gamers can play not only official games, but also rom hacks, homebrew, dumped unreleased games, unlicensed games, rare games, and more! Specifically, the EverDrive MD can perform the following features:
  • "SEGA Master System Games supported
  • SEGA 32x games supported
  • CD-BIOS Loading function [for the Sega CD]
  • Hardware MegaKey [for playing import games]
  • Max. ROM size up to 7Mbyte
  • Return to menu after reset
  • High compatibility with Chinese clone systems
  • SRAM auto backup on SD card
  • Supported SD/MMC up to 32GB
  • FAT16 and FAT32 are supported
  • GameGenie cheat codes
  • Simple menu"
   I ordered my cartridge from Stoneagegamer.com. Due to wanting to save money, I only ordered a bare PCB (with free cart label), instead of spending the extra $15.00 for a custom-fit cartridge shell. Luckily, a year earlier, I bought a cheap, poor quality sports game called Leader Board Golf for $2 with future intentions to cannibalize its case for an EverDrive. I also found some NOS empty VHS cases at a thrift store, so I repurposed one case as a Genesis Game case with EverDrive cover art I found online. After some drilling, sanding, removing and replacing those annoying Gamebit security screws (with some speciality GameBit drivers) and applying the game label over the old golf game, the case now aligns with the SD Card slot and the Sega Master System pause button, and the EverDrive is ready for play!


Pics of SAG box, EverDrive cart and case:


(Sorry cartridge, but you are being sacrificed for a higher purpose)






 
(Gamebit Screws replaced with normal ones)
(The Sega Monster System is complete!
Sega Genesis CD32x overpowered with EverDrive,
backwards compatible with Sega Master System games,
partially compatible with some Game Gear games,
and also plays some Mapper 0 translated NES games)

   The EverDrive MD will not only be used personally to play some great classic gamesm but more importantly, for contributing to the small Sega Genesis homebrew and game hacking communities. With it, EagleSoft Ltd can debug and test its homebrew software and hacks on real hardware, in order to verify if the software is indeed working correctly.
_________________________________________________________________________________

    Other than acquiring an EverDrive MD for development, EagleSoft Ltd is not doing much lately, due to real-world responsibilities such as having to finish up the Spring college semester, prepare for an internship, and soon begin a summer semester.

   We are currently working on creating the final v1.2 version of Ultra Air Hockey DX, which will have online multiplayer support. Once finished, the Android port will finally be published to the Google Play store, with both a free and paid version. The retro edition of Ultra Air Hockey for the Sega Genesis/Sega CD is being rebooted using SGDK rather than the BEX BASIC programming language. Furthermore, the Sonic CD Breakout fangame is still in development, and a Demo #3 is being planned for the next SAGE (Sonic Amateur Games Expo) iteration. Due to more reverse engineering efforts, it is possible to port (or rather, more specifically, "transplant") table sets and files from the PC version of Break GOLD to the Android version, so a mobile hack release may be possible too :).

-Tamkis

0xdbin Release!

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0xdbin Release!




   As part of a quick project for Computer Architecture class, I wrote a binary/hexadecimal/decimal converter called 0xdbin! It not only converts between the 3 data types, but does so intelligently and with plenty of options, including sign processing modes for unsigned, sign magnitude, one's complement, and two's complement; the ability to pick binary and hexadecimal prefixes, and more! Try it today for your digital number converting needs!

 

0xdbin EagleSoft Page

Schell Games studio tour!

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Tour to Schell Games Studio!
http://www.etc.cmu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/schell-games_RGB.png
 (Disclaimer: The following post is not sponsored/licensed/endorsed by either Schell Games, Robert Morris University, or ACM. Statements and opinions expressed in these articles are solely those of the author, not of EagleSoft Ltd as a whole.)



   A few months ago, the ACM Chapter at my university of Robert Morris and I were able to book a March 2015 tour to Schell Games, one of the more well-known, local video game design studios in the Pittsburgh area, located at Station Square. After a stressful and confusing drive due to Pittsburgh traffic and detours, I arrived at the studio (although 15 minutes late). Luckily an employee who was also approaching the entrance let me in so I didn't have to ring in and wait for someone to do so. On the left were various Toy Story posters, while in front of me was the elevator. Entering the elevator in order to get to the studio on the 3rd floor, we were greeted by an interactive voice-activated R2D2 Droid in the corner, with a foam cup of change in its extended left hand The employee asked it "Hey R2! Do you remember Darth Vader?", and R2 cowered in fear. If even the elevator is decorated with toys and fun, who knows what awaited me on the 3rd floor!

Interactive voice-activated R2D2 Droid

   On the 3rd floor I was greeted by the receptionist and a classic tabletop arcade game; however, due to being late, I quickly wrote myself a name tag and met with the rest of the tour group, who were currently sitting in one of their meeting rooms. The tour guide for today, Chris, gave a short speech about the history of Schell Games and a few of its more noteworthy current published video games, including PlayForward: Elm City Stories, Toy Story Mania, and others.


    Afterwards, five employee panelists entered the room (from the secret bookcase-door on the right, of course!), who gave a brief background history of themselves and a plethora of information about their video game development experience and general career advice, while going through PowerPoint slides in the center projector.


The most important things I took away from the discussion panel, the studio environment, and the Schell Games company culture for pursuing a career in video game development were:
  • Have a passion for video game development
    • Be enthusiastic about your career
      • In the SG studio, everybody's workspace is decorated not only with professional/personal effects, but also with video game swag and memorabilia showing personality
      • Be yourself
    • VG Dev is fun, but also much work
      • If you are not passionate, the amount of work involved will frustrate you
  • Play video games
    • Games inside and outside your comfort zone
    • Analyze them
      • Observe the game mechanics
      • Observe what makes the game great
      • Observe what makes the game unique 
  • Make video games
    • Start now
      • One of the panelists had difficulty in getting into the video game industry due to lack of video game development in his youth
      • He strongly recommends learning as much as you can now, especially in an internship
    • VG Employers are more concerned with your initiative in your hobby and professional development experience, not necessarily your grades
    • Publish your games if you can, even if they are free
      • Sending a link to download/play a published game to an employer looks more professional and is more interactive than simply showing pictures, text, and videos
    • Showcase even 
    • Employers not only want to know what games you have created, but why 
      • What is your motive?
    • Learn the trade, tools, methods, and lingo of game development
    • Be creative
      • Think outside of the box
      • Hang out with a diverse group of people to get different perspectives and ideas
    Afterwards, we were given a tour of the impressive, large, open-air, semi-casual studio downstairs. Unlike other boring corporate offices, the studio is cubicle-less, filled with natural lighting with tall ceilings, and is a bustle of activity, with most employees decorating their workspace not only with professional/personal effects, but also with video game swag and memorabilia. Chris asked for a volunteer, with fellow student Craig volunteering to test out an employee's Occulus Rift prototype game, which was an escape-the-room type of survival game. The game was running off a Rift devkit and devbox, with the devbox's monitor mirroring what Craig was seeing. Very exciting to actually see (although not literally, in-person like Craig did) an actual Occulus VR set in the wild in action, and I wished I volunteered!






Occulus Rift

  Lastly, we were lead to the game demo room, which showcased some of Schell Game's published video games, including Enemy Mind (Steam/PC), a dev-build of The World of Lexica on iPad, and Race to the Beach. Although none of us played Race to the Beach that day, it was interesting to note that the game controllers were four stuffed turtle dolls with motion sensing capabilties to move underwater. Also shown were some in-progress games, including a candy-crush like match game (iOS), a platformer game about waterbears, and an educational chemistry app (iOS). With the aid of colored balls and sticks (something like Geomag), a picture can be taken of molecules created to check if it is valid molecule and to show its properties. (I think I know how I am going to pass my retake of Chemistry I eventually :)). Most of us ended up playing Enemy Mind using wired XBox 360 controllers. Finally, we headed back up to the meeting room to gather our belongings, gather some Schell Games swag, and leave for the day.



  Honestly, the Schell Games tour was a very fun and engaging experience, and those from ACM who did not attend missed a good time! It has inspired me and given me more knowledge about the industry for video game development. Unfortunately, after asking Chris, he explained to me that their summer internship program, which I applied for in January, has already been filled and that they are lacking internship work at the moment, but I will try again next summer and look for other local opportunities in the meantime. My day ended with taking the elevator downstairs and donating some change to R2D2.

-Tamkis

UAHDX v1.1 and Android ports in progress!

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UAHDX v1.1 and Android ports

   A v1.1 update of UAHDX (Ultra Air Hockey DX) is being created for PC/Mac/Linux, as well as a new port to Android KitKat! This updated version will fix some serious bugs, including poor flipper AI and flipper positioning in Pinball mode, fixing of the score digits upon gameover (they were at the wrong angle); the inability to use the pause, respawn paddle, and respawn puck cheats/features if powerups are disabled; the pinballs freezing their velocity upon first spawn, and improper paddle raycasting. It also obviously adds digital buttons for the controls in the Android version. No online multiplayer yet; it will be implemented in v1.2 (which will hopefully be the final major version.)

(All screenshots subject to change)

Init Screen

App icon

  Title Screen

 Air Hockey mode with Android buttons

Buttons from top-to-bottom and left-to-right:
Puck respawn, use powerup, respawn paddles,
rotate camera left, pause, rotate camera right

Left clicks are performed by tapping with one finger,
and right clicks are performed by holding one finger and tapping with another finger.
This controls powerup selection and left/right flipper flipping

Pinball Mode

Battle Mode

ETA is during Spring Break :)
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