March 30, 2013

Scala Again

Scala has been a love/hate of mine for the last year or so because of how lackluster the tool support was a year ago. However, it looks like the Scala community is not only growing, but also maturing a bit. It is a fantastic language with so much potential that I look forward to using it more and more. I am a bit rusty with it so I figured this was a great time to really relearn the language with the new features in 2.10. However, the lack of up to date tutorials is rather surprising. I haven't searched for very long, but still that seems rather surprising.

I'm using some older tutorials, and I am aware of some of the changes since the tutorial was written, but it would be nice to find a good solid set of tutorials for Scala in 2.10. I will probably being prototyping a game for Scala + Android using libGDX in the near future so I'll be able to provide some more insight into how that works. I might even go as far to write some tutorials on using Scala with libGDX, but I will first have to see how feasible it really is.

March 17, 2013

Scala 2.10 + ScalaIDE + LibGDX + Android = True

I decided to do an experiment since I'm tired of working on PaintParty for the moment. I wanted to see if I could integrate LibGDX with Scala and run it on an android device without any issues.

It worked flawlessly, and ScalaIDE has certainly improved over the last year so I might start to seriously consider doing development with Scala now. I admit I've become a bit rusty, but I have already learnt Scala once, I'm sure it wouldn't take much to relearn the basics. (The advanced topics in Scala scare me, but with time, I will learn to love them). The biggest thing missing with ScalaIDE was some basic error suggestions and a customizable Syntax Highlighter. The suggestions still has some work, but it is a huge improvement over the old version I used.

Scala is one of those things were you can use it interchangeably with Java. This means for better or for worse you can use all the Java libraries with it, the syntax might get a bit funny because of crossing languages but it does work perfectly well.

The means, when I get back into working on Combatics Evolution I may start on it in Scala. However, before I go through with that kind of investment I will need to write a small game that can run on Android using Scala. In fact, I have a very simple idea I would like to make which could turn out to be a simple new game. I guess we will have to see in the next few weeks, until then I will be going full tilt with PaintParty.


I've noticed this post has gotten a decent number of views. For people who are actually interested in setting this up correctly I will point you to my answer on StackOverflow until I get around to actually writing a tutorial. From my initial tests it works perfectly fine, but because of linking source to the android target, it likes to rebuild the android project when you make changes (its also blocking when android builds so pretty dang annoying).

March 15, 2013

Combatics Evolution Updates

So, I haven't started work on the project yet as I am focusing on finishing off PaintParty as well as a number of other minor projects. I have however had the chance to replay Diablo 3 and play Starcraft 2 HotS. Both games are a great inspiration to want to get back to working on CE. At this point in time a have a few things I will need to do before I can seriously get the game into a more reasonable state:

Update Combat Graphics:
- Use lighting and other rendering effects.
- Provide switch between perspective and orthographic.
- Optimize rendering for OpenGL ES (this is a big one)
- Update units to use 3D models (probably without animations, based on new LibGDX 3d code)
- Particle System and Effects (for spells/abilities/etc)
- Allow for in battle dialog (for story and such)

Update Combat Engine:
- Network the game engine for multiplayer and to simplify further design.
- Optimize and compress combat system
- Allow for large-scale maps
- Implement abilities (always going to be the slowest task)

Update World Map:
- Create something a bit more than the current squares.
- Flesh out a world zone
- Create 2-tier world layout (regional maps and world map)
- Allow for in world dialog (for story and such)
- Create 'quest/mission' system

Update Game Mechanics:
- Revise attribute system (minor).
- Revise buff/debuff system to be more customizable
- Rework ability system by providing more unique and interesting abilities as well as a better upgrade path

*Update Artwork:
- This will probably require gathering some open media content, but will still remain a low priority for now.

This is a decent sized list and easily 2-3 months of work full time so I will have to judge and see what I can manage. The first task I will focus on is getting the game engine networked since everything else will be built on top of it. I've spent a significant amount of time testing different was to network games and determine how to approach it for CE. I believe I have a solution, but when I start to seriously work on the game come April I may have something different to say.

March 2, 2013

PaintParty: Upcoming Preview Release

After a short trip to visit a new place, potentially where I will be moving in a few months, I have had lots of time to think and like I seem to frequently do, I've changed my mind. Anyways, first thing to talk about is PaintParty.

The application itself is a bit rough right now, and some features are missing from our third iteration. I won't have time right now to push a preview as this week I will be swamped with midterms, but I will try to harden a few things and get ready to push a preview next weekend.

I've decided to drop my ideas for any sort of Minecraft mod. It is pretty clear to me that it is going to take months before any sort of early modding api will come into existence. Therefore I should focus my effort else where, that means back to Combatics Evolution.

Over the last couple months I have played around with a number of very important aspects of the project, and I feel ready to tackle the harder parts of the game. Including networking, skills, and full-3d with good performance. I won't be touching it till probably April at the earliest, but that is the current plan once I finish with PaintParty.