Thursday, July 28, 2016

2. XNA Platformer Starter Kit

       I have messed around with the XNA 4.0 Platformer Starter Kit some. I have added a grapple hook, shooting, vertical camera movement and parallax scrolling. I have also integrated the networking game state menu system into the platformer starter kit. I have changed the background so that the layers continue to scroll in the menu system. The Ai is still a work-in-progress. I will be adding more features soon. The starter kit is available to download on my game engine blog here. I may or may not use this as the basis for the game but there are plenty of things here that I can learn from and utilize. I plan on making a map editor and a character editor. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

1. Planning the Game: Our Hero

          Hello my fellow gamers and welcome to my first blog post for Superstar McClain! The goal of my first blog post is to talk about the importance of planning. Since I am currently running Steel Cyclone Studios LLC by myself, development can be extraordinarily challenging. With Superstar McClain being my first game I plan to publish, my goal is to create a loose plan and let it evolve naturally, rather than creating a rigorous design document. In my case, it is also important for me not to be too ambitious and to not go beyond what can be done. I am trying to make game development fun and no matter how hard I try, I cannot extract fun from class diagrams.

2D or 3D?
            Now 3D is not impossible for an inexperienced team or single developer. Just look at my Cyclone Game Engine Blog. I chose Superstar McClain to be 2D rather than 3D because of the scope of the game and its play-style. With 3D, I have to consider things like LOD (Level of Detail), Lighting, Animation and the math behind the Physics and Artificial Intelligence. I also chose to make the game 2D considering the limited amount of time I have to work on everything. So it is for these reasons, I will be taking the 2D route.

How the project began
            Back in college, I began working on a 2D project for my 2D class at Eastern Kentucky University. I created a very brief comic strip with myself as the main character which contained action and humor all taking place within a fictional world. Whenever I walked into class my classmates would jokingly shout, "Jordon McClain! He has arrived to save the day." Well... something along those lines. It sounded like something out of a flaky action hero movie and my classmates inspired me to make it into an actual comic book. Then I thought, "What if it were a game?"

             For fun, sometimes my classmates and I on the weekends would gallery hop and visit art exhibits. We didn't attend these places necessarily to shop but to draw sources of inspiration. We came across some old military outfits at a nearby mall and dressed up, pretending to be funny characters. This is what lead to the creation of Superstar McClain.

"We got jackals in the courtyard!!!"

The Hero
            For now, I am not going to plan too far ahead and I will not worry about what the game is truly about or the story at this stage. The goal is to create our hero, so let's create some concept art for the protagonist. 

This is just a rough sketch I made. This sketch is meant to be brief and to get the idea across. 

Next I edited the sketch some in Paint Shop just to 
add a little color. It doesn't have to look perfect for now. 

Next, it was time to add some unique patterns to our hero's 
outfit and tweak his weapon some. But wait! This game is a hack & slash, 
so something really important is missing.