Archive for the ‘technical’ Category

Call for testers

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

“Good news everyone!”

We have reached the point where we can start having some players test and try break things with the current pre-alpha-thingy-candidate version of the game. We are looking for just a couple of testers who can cope with the fact that they will get early spoilers and experience a not entirely finished game narrative and interface. On the other hand you will greatly help us stabilize things, spot a few more bugs and make final improvements!

Take into account that you will have to use an issue tracker to report us problems (ie, using a website with a form to check for existing known problems and report new ones) and that we will ask you some questions after you played.

Use the contact form in this blog to get in touch with us :)

Residency @ BALTAN – a report from Dave

Monday, October 18th, 2010

The residency we did in september at NIMk was almost exclusively using paper and pens as we were working together to design our game world. We could go for walks while thinking, and mostly keep to analogue methods.

This residency was very different – naturally at this stage focused on the software, we started with an initial list of showstopping things to fix, and then used online methods of organisation via mantis and the wiki.

We also presented the project for the first time, at NIMk’s space invaders event, and we had some super volunteers from Eindhoven Technical University Game Experience Lab to test the game (which Aymeric describes in more detail).

One of the things that I was pleased to get a chance to tackle was how to cope with the basics of online multiplayer games: (more…)

Meet the users: Playtest Session at Baltan

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Today was a crucial and quite scary step for the project: playtesting.

Most demanding facebook application?

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Naked on Pluto is not this greedy, but it’s interesting what you can do from a facebook application. Would you click on “allow”:

NIMk Sprint day 2

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Today was all about taking the themes from yesterday and making them into concrete game mechanics we can use. We started by mapping out possible constraints imposed by multiplayer activities. We want a large amount of what you do on pluto to be coordinated with other players – and this impacts on the logic of the game world. For instance, doors can be locked – sometimes in a room full of people we only want players who are carrying a key to be able to get through the door, at other times a single player might be able to unlock a door for everyone (perhaps for a limited time).

A locking conundrum.

This sort of play requires a way for players to coordinate with each other, for example using a realtime chat system. A minor crisis involving the details of how to handle this feature was narrowly averted and we escaped to the shores of Ljsselmeer to begin considering the vertical slice, the moustache as core game feature, community service and mandatory fanny packs.

Development Master Plan

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Developing some piece of software on your own is usually simple in terms of infrastructure as you can do pretty much everything you want, including using all kind of tools and workflows that nobody else would need to understand or appreciate. This is of course another story when several people are involved, and usually working at the same time on the same project. Then you need a Master Plan (as illustrated)! (more…)

Web games tech for beginners

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

I have been recently trying to understand how multiplayer online worlds work, from the basic technical matters, to higher level game mechanics. This is a new area for me, and seems a bit of a black art so I thought I’d write some of the things I’ve discovered here for others following a similar path, or more likely, so people can tell me where I’m heading in the wrong direction.

I had to start with the complete and utter basics (as a recovering computer graphics guy) and to start with these games are split between a client and a server. The clients I’m interested in run in players browsers, and the server needs to be on a machine which is running all the time to provide the persistent world, and record the changes people make.

In terms of languages, when considering the client you are quite restricted as to what you can use. Every browser has a Javascript interpreter, and most people have flash – sidestepping the hot potato I’ve already written a bit about. Luckily for flash there is also haxe. (more…)

Revving up the engines

Friday, June 4th, 2010

A tentative first post from me! I’ve collected together some of the R&D experiments I’ve been developing recently and put them on our fresh and shiny new git repository.

Small steps to begin with, but we have some client/server communication happening between javascript and scheme (possibly more on the gory tech details later) and an teeny exploratory facebook api app (definitely more on that soon).

A largish chunk of the code is a simple build-your-own text adventure web app which is explained a little more here, and will be the basis of further experimentation to come.