Dreaming… visions of you…

A few things have happened games-wise recently and I feel a bit on a high at the moment – InterSceptre looks like it might actually get finished; I had a great Code Jam with Ben; met a random stranger on the train home one drunken night who turned out to work for Packt Publishing and we had a good chat about the state of the mobile games market, and I got an evaluation copy of their XNA Beginner’s Guide book! (I will review that separately when I finish it).

Last, but most importantly, I had a great night at the XNA-UK meet last night! It inspired me in several ways.

Firstly I’d like to thank all of the members, but particularly Ed, Charles and Simon, for making me feel so welcome. The stuff demonstrated yesterday was brilliant, particularly the post-processing pixel shading special effects stuff.

Also, Ben has been nagging me about using particle systems to add a bit of razzamatazz to my games development work.

I can see the potential, and it excites me.

But not for InterSceptre.

Far be it for me, an engineer, to go off on a rant about how that would ruin my project’s artistic integrity and vision… but I think there’s an element of that in it. InterSceptre is deliberately retro, partly because those are the kinds of games I love, partly because that’s currently the limit of my ability. I think adding pixel shaders and particle effects to InterSceptre now would cause me to want to revamp the entire graphics stack of the game (I’m already imagining a “frosted glass” effect, rather than just dimming the screen, when a dialog box pops up). But, apart from anything else, that would kill InterSceptre for the Windows Phone 7, which doesn’t support pixel shaders.

Besides, I want to move on to the next project! if I keep adding new stuff to this game, I’ll never write the next one. Maybe one day I’ll come back to InterSceptre and put a bit of sparkle on it. But for now, InterSceptre has become the game I wanted it to be back in the mid 1990s, but lacked the talent, staying power, and CPU horsepower to make reality. So I’m happy that it is now everything it should be. Anything excessively funky I add into it just won’t fit. New techniques need a new game to live in.

So after I finish i-dotting and t-crossing, I’m going to take a short time to write something quick-and-dirty for the phone. I have a Bejewelled-style puzzler in mind, and I’m letting those ideas bubble away while I finish InterSceptre.

All the real funky stuff, I’m keeping back for my puzzle-platform game. I might allow myself to do some simple prep work for that in the coming weeks, but only if I think it won’t distract me.

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  1. You soppy old sod! Nice sentiment though.

    Can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since I showed you what was to become Ultra LRK and kicked all this off again.

    Good to have you back, partner! Looking forward to the next code jam!

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