Hey everybody. Just wanted to toss this out there and say that I’ve released version 0.03 of the video game I’ve been working on. The game is based closely on the Gape’s Chronicles stories that I’ve been posting under the Free Stories tab on the menu bar.
Though it’s quite far from being a game, I am ready to start doing some bench testing for performance across different machines. I know the game runs on Linux, but it needs to be play-tested on Mac and Windows. I might open up a VM for windows testing, but it’s so much fun getting other people involved in the project so I can get extra feedback.
While the game is mostly incomplete, I’m working to get the basic functionality down before I start going crazy with assets, and there’s still quite a way to go. So far though, I’ve nailed down most of the camera movement, the bones for collecting items in the world, a menu system that currently powers the foraging functions and will later be home to NPC interaction, and more, along with some workflows for creating and importing various game assets from Blender and GIMP. So, while it isn’t much to look at for the moment, adding functionality is important at this point. It’s the “bones” of the game, to which the meat will later attach.
If you want to grab a copy and have a look about, I’ve made a download page for it on the Gecko Print Publishing website, and a little walk-thru/about type of video on YouTube. It’s available in Mac, Linux, and Windows versions, which I believe are all 64-bit, if you need a 32-bit build, just shoot me an email (email@example.com) and let me know.
What I’m looking for
Anyone who likes can download the game and give me some feedback at their leisure, but I’m also looking for a couple of specific things. First is the frame-rate. I’ve made this part super easy, as the FPS figure is displayed in the top-left corner of the screen, as in the following image:
Combined with a little bit of information about the computer you are running the game on, knowing this number on start-up or at various different places will help tremendously with keeping the graphics humble enough to ensure smooth running, even on dated machines.
What kind of information? The basic necessities are the processor and graphics information, i.e. CPU, GPU, and Video RAM. I think most of this can be handled in windows with a screenshot of the system information. In Linux, it’s the output of two commands, as shown here:
On Mac, I have no idea, but Googling “system information for Mac” and “Graphics information for Mac” should provide some insight.
By comparing the FPS from the game with the above information, I will be able to see what is working or dragging on various systems, or at least infer if the graphics are eating up too many compute cycles. To any die-hard gaming, the above specs might make you giggle, but this is what runs my laptop, and it’s the current baseline that I’m using for game performance.
Other things you can feel free to comment on are more personal. While keeping in mind that this is a bare-bones game engine, you might add some commentary about how the movement controls and menu buttons are working for you (“WASD” and mouse for movement, R,F,Esc, and E for various menus [C coming shortly]). What you think of the general map layout. Ideas for the foraging system, etc. I talk more about the commands in the YouTube video.
What isn’t working right now? Mostly everything. Foraging pebbles works pretty well, so long as you start by the lake near the village. The menus use the W/S keys to navigate and ‘space’ to select. Foraging fiber plants, sticks, and other is currently a pretty poor implementation. The inventory system (E key) is not complete, as I still need to add some error checking for inventory fills and moving the back-pack while there is still stuff in it. There’s lots to do, but getting the basic system running took me about 10 hours of coding yesterday, just for the inventory code. That doesn’t count design and layout which I had already completed. And there’s still much to do on almost all fronts.
The map tile should be big enough to explore around a little bit, but there isn’t much to see at the moment, and you can still find an edge to fall from in about five to ten minutes if you want to jump off the world and plummet into the abyss.
So, give it a try. You have nothing to lose. The files are fairly small, around 70Mb. And you can download straight from the GPP Landing Page. There’s some extra information there about the scope of the game and where it is headed. Most of all, let me know what you think of the functionality (how easy is it to use the controls, for instance) and what kind of FPS you are getting on your system via emailing me, or maybe drop a comment here if you aren’t bashful. Let me know if your download is working or not. Stuff like that. It’s all helpful information that should get the game rolling right along.
My next steps? I’m not sure, but I’m trying to set up a patreon for my games and stories, but hitting a road-block at one point in the sign-up process. I would also like to start publishing “how to make a game” videos to show others some step-by-step learning processes while making other games that are a bit smaller in scope. And of course writing. I have another Gape story in process, but I’m having trouble finding a narrative focal point to base the short story on.