Archive for January, 2014

Dying with M.E. as a software developer

January 27, 2014 41 comments

[If you’d like to donate, please click here: Crowdfund or Become a Patron]

[Updates to this article: Final wishes: Crowdfund Update, and Future of my Blog: I’m Still Alive]

A couple of months ago I wrote about Living with M.E. as a software developer. What I didn’t write about was the true extent of my illness, the potentially fatal prognosis of M.E. and what I want to happen as a precaution to my possible death. Read more…


2D Platform Games Part 12: A Framework for Interactive Game Objects

January 4, 2014 5 comments

IMPORTANT! To run the pre-compiled EXEs in this article, you must have Windows 7 Service Pack 1 with Platform Update for Windows 7 installed, or Windows 8.

This article builds upon the demo project created in 2D Platform Games Part 11: Collision Detection Edge Cases for The Uninitiated. Start with 2D Platform Games Part 1: Collision Detection for Dummies if you just stumbled upon this page at random!

Download source code and compiled EXE for the code in this article as well as the complete source code and compiled EXE for the level editor.

We’ve spent a lot of time adding different types of platforms and collision detection behaviour to our project, but of course the real meat of any platform game is in the objects you can interact with like coins, baddies, levers and switches and so on.

Goals and Terminology

Over the next 5 parts of this series, we will build a framework in which we can place interactive game objects like enemies and collectibles, and look at all the complexities of this topic which must be tackled for a complete working implementation, including:

  • Defining a class hierarchy for interactive game objects (which I’ll call game entities from hereon to differentiate them from actual C++ objects and platform geometry and instances) (Part 12 – this article)
  • Handling the movement logic of static game entities (those which do not move in the game world), game entities with pre-defined paths (for example enemies which move backwards and forwards in a fixed pattern) (Part 13) and game entities which can move around the game world of their own accord under the rules of physics we have already defined (which I’ll call free-roaming) (Part 14)
  • Handling animation of game entities with a unified animation function (for example, changing the sprites used for animation depending on the direction the game entity is travelling in) (Part 13)
  • Unifying the collision processing code for entity-platform, entity-entity and player-entity collisions (Part 14, Part 16)
  • Allowing entities to have custom behaviour on collisions with other entities, platforms or the player (for example, making a coin disappear and adding its value to the player’s score when the player collides with it) (Part 16)
  • Unifying the internal representation of the game world to simplify the code and make it more easily extensible (Part 16)

We will also review the collision detection code and go through some really tricky edge cases that only come up when non-player game entities are added to the world, in Part 15.

Finally, I shall also present a new level editor which will allow you to place game entities and modify their properties, in turn giving way to a new level definition format for our level files (the level editor also contains a lot of other minor improvements and bug fixes). Read more…

2013 in review

January 1, 2014 Leave a comment

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 110,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

From Katy: Thanks so much to everyone who supported my blog and donated in 2013! Personal circumstances are difficult these days but I will do my best to write lots more interesting and informative articles in 2014! Love to all of you, Katy.

Categories: Programming
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