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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Lib GDX

I’ve started working with a great framework, libgdx. I intially started looking for a framework to allow me to get around having to work without an Android emulator.

This framework provides this and allows a write once deploy anywhere approach to app development.

It also has a great implementation of the box2d physics engine as well obj and MD2 model support.

This fantastic library can be found below:

http://libgdx.badlogicgames.com/

 

OpenGL for Android

3d graphics programming is hard. But I do have experience with DirectX with C++ and C#, and I have a good grounding on the principles of the rendering pipeline as well as the maths involved in 3d programming. (vectors, radians, etc) With this knowledge I’m jumping in the deep end with Open GL.

I’ve been following these tutorials: http://blog.jayway.com/tag/opengl-es/ on the Jayway website.

The tutorials are detailed, have great diagrams and explain everything really well – they’re pretty much ports of the beginner tutorials from NeHe but the extra explaination and diagrams go along way to making a complicated subject accessible.

The major drawback of working in Android, (if you don’t have an Android phone) is that the emulator takes a long while to load up, and you have to do this everythime you build your app.

Getting Started with Android

With a little free time I wanted to take a look at Android development. Having not touched Java in a few years I was surprised how easily it all came back and had a hello world program running in no time. The documentation on Google is great and I particularly like the way they use xml as a manifest – this has great potential for localising games if, say, I wanted to seperate the text from the logic, and then develop my app in multiple languages.

Other Remakes

After doing some research I’ve found 2 noticeable Fan projects set in the SD universe.

  • Memories of Mana Set a year after the events of SD3, a quality fan game using the RPG Maker XP engine, with enhancements developed using the Ruby Game Scripting System (RGSS)
  • Return to Mana Set 42 year after the events of SD2, this ambitious project aims to allow multiplayer gameplay using Valve’s SOURCE engine.

It’s nice to see other people working on ambitious titles with the Return to Mana project; and the Memories of Mana project is a great example of a game seen throught to completion. (It also has a sequal)

Development Decisions

Appearance

Enhanced Remake I’ve chosen this path as I believe it allows me practice my 3d modelling skills without setting exceedingly high expectations on the quality of the demo. I avoided the lazy port option as from the outset “Improving my 3d modelling skills” was a goal of the project.

Development

Microsoft XNA Framework I’ve carefully chosen this development environment as I believe it will yield the best results. Although I am pitching the appearance of the game at a relatively low level, I feel it would be prohibitive to have to work with limited resources, with optimised models that require several iterations to get them running on the DS. I think the development process would be sped up by having slightly higher-poly models running with ample resources than having to rework the models for the limited resources of the DS.

I think the XNA Framework is a slightly more welcoming development environment, as well as not having to work with the constant memory and resource management of the DS.

Audio

To familiarise myself with the audio for the game, I’ve been listening to the OST (downloaded here)