September 30, 2012

Combatics Evolution v0.1.3

Well after my problem magically went away... I'm talking about legit software voodoo, here is the latest version!

Combatics Evolution v0.1.3 Release Notes:

  • Game progress now saves
    • Profiles are currently designed only to work per version at this time, meaning your progress will be erased with version 0.1.4
    • Note: Long term profiles are in the pipeline.
  • Cleaned up the menu's this is now the official layout I plan to stick with unless things need to be changed again.
  • I have created a new map edtior, it is a work in progress and doesn't do much at this point as I haven't had much time to work on it.
  • Currently, you can have as many profiles as you like, but I might try to limit that in the future to only 6 or 7.
  • Difficulties are not implemented.

The latest version can be found here:
Desktop Version
(Direct Link: Desktop Version)

Android Version
(Direct Link:Android Version)
Note: APK Download, you must have unknown sources enabled in the application menu.


Goals for next update (0.1.4):

- Get the edtior up an running for content creation. I will leave out custom tile creation unless I get time to work on it.
- Be able to load and save maps created in the map editor.

Combatics Evolution 0.1.3 Delayed

I have encountered an issue relating to deploying the latest version. The version comes with a very large number of changes which apparently completely break down during the serialization process after I apply proguard to the projects.

It seems this issue is related to something I'm not aware of, and the recommendations in the proguard manual haven't solved the problem. The alternative would be to publish unobfuscated code which is something I'm not comfortable with doing, so this version will be delayed until I can solve the problem.

The two main features that would be in this release is:
- Saving/Loading profiles.
- Initial parts of the map edtior.

I will provide an update once I can actually deploy this version...

September 27, 2012

Progress on 0.1.3

After a bit of planning and research I've finally determined how to handle saving the game between sessions. It is all working and was fairly straight forward, but it is not the final solution.

Essentially, I'm focusing on creating the temporary saves and I'm ignoring preserving saves between versions.    I figure once I get more of the fundamentals of the game fleshed out then I can worry about cross-version saves. I certainly have a long ways to go with many features I want to implement.

Right now my thoughts are on which feature to tackle next. I could spend time focusing on developing the combat, developing some actual opponents and build up the world map. Or I could focus on custom content creation and putting in the map editor. It isn't easy to decide because both will depend on each other, and developing them in parallel would be silly.

For the editor, I have a few ideas listed in priority and importance:

  • High
    • Cube-based map content (think Minecraft Classic but without the person).
    • Specifying spawn points for teams (only 2 teams for now).
    • Specify win/lose conditions from preset list.
  • Medium
    • Terrain tile sets, sort of like from Warcraft 3, but you could actually create them inside the editor.
    • Specify where units spawn and which type of units.
  • Low
    • Programmable custom event system (think JASS but I'd probably use Python).

Either way, I am on track for 0.1.3, a few more abilities might make it in but I won't make that a priority. Actually, I'm starting to think working on the editor first would be a better idea because it will influence work on a number of other systems... especially the work I've done so far for abilities. In fact, I think I will halt my work on abilities and focus my attention on the editor once I finish profiles.

September 24, 2012

Battle with Android

I am not very impressed right now, but this is what happens when you rely on third-parties. After updating my google plugin to the latest version my deployed version for android seemed to crash on startup. The problem was libGDX using reflection for creating my UI. The application exporter for android apparently obfuscates my libraries as well now. Which is fine, but not when the libraries I use expect the names/fields to be defined a certain way during serialization and reflection.

I have updated the Android version to 0.1.2b as a hotfix, so if you would like to grab the latest version I have updated it. The desktop client is unchanged because I don't attack my libraries viciously! Anyways, it took me a while to figure out what was suddenly exploding in the version I publish and why my local copy was as happy as ever!

So enjoy!

September 23, 2012

Combatics Evolution v0.1.2

I've been pretty busy working on hooking up and prototyping some future features so this update doesn't have nearly as many abilities as I would have liked to implement. I've also decided it probably would be a good idea to use a builder pattern for abilities to make changes in the future trivial.

Combatics Evolution v0.1.2 Release Notes:

  • NOTE: Game currently does not save progress.
  • Buff/Debuffs now display during the battle
    • Buffs and debuffs typically stack, there are a few exceptions to this since some debuffs do not affect the unit's stats.
    • The icon for the buff/debuff is the same as the attribute which it affects.
    • Each attribute-based effects can stack upto 3 times in both beneficial and harmful directions. Below is the code code used to indicate the stack level:
      • Blue x3 of the buff
      • Cyan x2 of the buff
      • Green x1 of the buff
      • Yellow x1 of the debuff
      • Orange x2 of the debuff
      • Red x3 of the debuff
  • More abilities have been added, mostly passives
    • More to come next update, I had to rework a number of systems for the next major update. This prevented me from getting as many abilities done as I had hoped.
  • Hooked up multiplayer authentication for desktop, android will come in the future but is not a priority at this time.
  • A 'Message of the Day' and the status of the online server is displayed at the title screen.
  • Other minor UI tweaks.
  • Other minor Bug fixes.

The latest version can be found here:
Desktop Version
(Direct Link: Desktop Version)

Android Version
(Direct Link:Android Version)
Note: APK Download, you must have unknown sources enabled in the application menu.


Goals for next update (0.1.3):

- Continue to implement more abilities and use a better architecture for their creation.
- Support loading and saving of games (called 'Profiles')
- Not watch all of Minecraft Let's Plays from RoosterTeeth... (didn't help with this last update :D).

September 22, 2012

Windows 8

I had some fun and was trying out Window 8 64-bit to see what everyone was complaining about. In all honestly, I have to say I overall really like how they laid out everything and cleaned up the UI. The OS runs significantly faster and seeing how I pretty much never use the start menu other than to find a program I haven't used in months it was a welcoming change.

I did an upgrade from Window 7 because I didn't want to torch all my programs. It got me to remove a few programs, but I can't really complain since I barely used them. The upgrade however was pretty bad, it took well over 3 hours to upgrade my laptop. My laptop isn't a very powerful computer (by powerful I mean workstation class laptops), but with an Intel i7, 4GB of RAM, and a 7.2k rpm drive I wouldn't have expected such a long time.

After playing with it for a few hours, I'm very happy with it but it certainly is more orientated for mobile devices. If you are looking to buy a new laptop/'ultrabook'/etc in 2013 (assuming the world doesn't end), then I would suggest you get it with Windows 8. This is assuming you don't want a Mac or put some flavor of Linux on it.

Linux, in my opinion is a great OS for servers/development but I have tried and failed many times to convince myself to use it for anything else. I do feel right at home in both environments, but for everyday things and games I'm pretty much going to stick with Windows. Then again, I never enjoyed using vim or emacs. but they certainly do a great job for working with files on a deployed server instance.

Anyways, back to work for me, I got Combatics Evolution 0.1.2 on the way and just want to finish making some more changes.

September 19, 2012


I am certainly enjoying logging my progress in a semi-weekly fashion so here we go.

I spent some time on the weekend relaxing and taking it easy, my courses are starting to pick up so I don't want to exhaust myself with developing Combatics Evolution on the side. I've started to implement some of the abilities, I'll probably avoid implementing some of the more complicated ones right now. I finished off the buff/debuff system over the weekend and have finished setting up the UI to display it. I think the system is really interesting and very dynamic.

I'm not sure how I should scale the duration of buffs/debuffs because as a party gains more members the time between turns per unit increases. So a 60 second buff for a 1 character  team is much better than a 60 second buff for a team of 7 characters. This is because on a single character team you get a turn roughly every 7 seconds, but on a 7 character team each character gets a turn every 36.5 seconds. (Roughly a unit becomes active every 5.2 seconds).

This means a character on a 7 player team will buff itself for 60 seconds and without rebuffing the character will only get to perform a single action with the buff active. In contrast to a single character team, the character gets to perform 7 turns with the buff active without rebuffing. I find this to be a bit extreme, while I do want both full-party 7 character teams to come with advantages/disadvantages, I feel this might be too good to keep your party size down low. I won't bother scaling it with party size at the moment, because of the other factors it could change, but I will have to keep it in mind later once I start worrying about balancing and more complicated combat.

My current goal for 0.1.2 is to get at least 2 or 3 active abilities completed per job, and as many passives as possible. I also think I should make sure the publisher for the applet warning shows my name instead of "UNKNOWN" because I have a feeling that could scare people away.

September 15, 2012

Combatics Evolution v0.1.1

Of course as promised, the latest version has been released. This one comes with a significant number of changes and I will try to highlight as many as possible, but I know I will miss a few. I should also mention since classes are starting to get under way, development will slow down significantly for the next couple months. I will continue to release updates on a weekly basis.

Combatics Evolution v0.1.1 Release Notes:

  • NOTE: Game currently does not save progress.
  • Removed level limit restriction.
  • Warrior abilities are mostly implemented.
  • Any abilities marked with (NYI) are not yet implemented and will not do anything.
  • Added animation to main title screen.
  • Abilities tab can be accessed by units who have a Rank 2 or higher job.
  • Each world map location has various options:
    • Shop - Location where you can buy/breakdown/sell items.
    • Barracks - Location where you can hire new units to join your party.
    • Inn - Location where you can pay to fully heal your party, at a cost.
    • Camp - Location where you can rest to fully heal your party, with a secret!
    • Battle - Location where you can fight against AI opponents
  • Movement has been revised in combat, everything requires time to perform and scales with skill speed, except a few NYI instant abilities.
  • Fully integrated buff/debuff system, UI for it is an invisible placeholder and will need to be implemented at a future date.
  • Masteries have been enabled, it requires level 20 which I realistically don't expect anyone to get to in this game right now.
  • Other minor UI tweaks and fixes.
  • For testing purposes I have left in an auto-win button.
The latest version can be found here:
Desktop Version
(Direct Link: Desktop Version)

Android Version
(Direct Link:Android Version)
Note: APK Download, you must have unknown sources enabled in the application menu.


Goals for next update (0.1.2):

- Implement more abilities (I have finished designing them and setting up most of the underlining code)
- Hook up icons and interface for buffs/debuffs

September 11, 2012

Path Finding and Patch 0.1.1

Over the last few years I've had to write a number of implementations for path finding. Some of them were extremely robust and scaled into the tens of thousands of units! However, Combatics Evolution is significantly smaller when it comes to the number of units and size of playing area.

Currently, the map is a 12x12 grid, but I could easily set it to any size. I plan on supporting up to a 24x24 map with 7 units under the player control and a maximum of 11 enemy units. I have set the map to being completely flat right now with grass as the only terrain type. That will be something I'll focus on changing once I have finished adding a number of unit skills into the game.

I didn't like my original implementation for moving units around, it was a simple and got the job done but that is about it. Coming up in the next patch I have changed it so you can actually see the steps the unit takes (animations are still to come in the future). It also means movement isn't instant and I'll have to deal with collision and path finding. I think I have sorted it all out, and basically if a unit runs out of spaces to move before getting to the destination it simply stops moving as far as it can. When running a battle on a 24x24 map and only needing to run the pathing algorithm while a unit is moving, there was no effect performance. Which is great, because I want to target Android and efficiency means longer battery life for everyone!

Anyways, the scheduled release for 0.1.1 is September 15. There are a number of improvements already and I still have a few more days to sneak in a couple more changes!

September 9, 2012

Combatics Evolution v0.1.0

Technically I have until tomorrow, but I figure I could get this out now. Not that I really expect a whole lot of attention. :)

A number of features are currently disabled because many are simply works in progress. While they are mostly finished I am not comfortable with putting them out yet since they are far from being polished.

Combatics Evolution v0.1.0 Release Notes:

  • NOTE: Game currently does not save progress.
  • Unit max level is 5.
  • Basic combat with simplistic AI.
  • Units only have 3 abilities:
    • Move - moves the unit instantly up to (3) squares away
    • Attack - attacks an adjacent tile for 100% weapon damage
    • Defend - restores health equal to 200% weapon damage and faces targeted direction.
  • Map editing is currently disabled.
  • World map only has 4 test locations.
    • INIT (Access to everything)
    • Battle Test (Access to battle only)
    • Shop Test (Access to shop only)
    • Barracks Test (Access to barracks only)
  • Barracks is operational, you can purchase additional characters.
  • Shop is operational, lowest level item you can purchase is 5 which ends the game. You can also sell items for gold.
  • Battle is operational, enemies scale with your levels/units.
  • Inventory is fully functional, swapping, viewing, deleting items.
  • Equipping items is fully functional, swapping, viewing, removing items.
  • Abilities are currently disabled.
  • Masteries are currently disabled.
  • Options are currently disabled.

It can be found here:

Desktop Version
(Direct Link: Desktop Version)

Android Version
(Direct Link:Android Version)
Note: APK Download, you must have unknown sources enabled in the application menu.


September 5, 2012

LibGDX Sliders

Yes I am seriously making a post about this. For the longest time my biggest dislike with LibGDX was the slider widget because it didn't provide snapping or vertical support. It drove me nuts and for the last year and a half I have been tempted to write my own.

I just grabbed the latest source and was super excited to see this has finally been implemented!!! This is great news for everyone! And since I'm here, I should provide a quick update since my last post.


  • Working on the combat AI, it's going to be really primitive for the first release as I don't want to spend too much time on it. Basically, it finds the closest target and attacks it till it dies.
  • Added combat text, you know the damage/heal numbers and when attacks miss/are dodged. Still need to figure out how to get LibGDX make the motions smooth...
  • I've cleaned up some artwork and added the splash screen. You can see it below.


  • Need to get the world map into existence, did a little bit of prep work for it. I won't make it draggable or anything since I'm waiting for LibGDX to actually implement the drag methods on the ClickListener class... (I could do it myself, but I'll just wait)
  • Work on some of the class abilities, and hook it up to the action bar.
  • Get the AI to use class abilities.


  • Debating if I want to use SQLite for storing all the enemy/story/quest/world information. Trying to see what java wrappers are good enough to use cross-platform.

Splash Screen!

Anywho, back to work for me!

September 4, 2012

Combatics Evolution

After having put out an initial deadline for September 10, I am starting to worry things will not be polished enough to do an early alpha preview. I am probably just paranoid, but I do not feel ready and I am worried about rushing it. Now, obviously this would be an early alpha preview so most features are not going to be playable. Right now, I have the sudden urge to be lazy so this is a great time to make a blog post.

The name of game is Combatics Evolution.

As far as I can tell the name is unique and nobody has taken it. Of course, I am still debating if I really like the name or not. It just feels a little bit too long for my tastes and usually people put 'evolution' in the name for sequels/etc.

Regardless, the game has had a number of sources for inspiration. The core mechanics of the game is sort of from Final Fantasy Tactics; however, I'm aiming for a real-time orientated combat system. League of Legends gave me a few ideas for combat/items/abilities but I could have picked a number of games and said the same thing. The main area I heavily expanded into was items, I wanted the feeling of an item hunt from Diablo, but being less random and allowing you to focus on getting the stats you want instead of simply rolling a dice over and over. The skill system from Diablo 3 intrigued me so I decided to mix it into the idea of a multi-class role system.

If you read that and are going WTF, well I don't blame you because until you actually see it, it isn't easy to explain. Unfortunately, I can not post any screenshots at the moment because I need to sort out my license agreements with some of the art work I am using. The down side to being a lonesome indie developer with limited art capabilities...

Initially I was thinking to create a simple website on Google App Engine to provide a download link and add some basic information about the game. However, I have decided since I'm constrained with time trying to polish things up for a public preview I'll just provide a link to a download from this blog. (I can just add a link to the side here). Yes, I'm being lazy!