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Project Retrograde

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Hey guys!  Sorry, I know our updates have been very few and far between.  Progress on the various projects we're working on have been intermittent.  Hopefully we will have more interesting news to share soon :)

In the mean time, our music guy James Paddock took some time to make a post about a personal game he is working on.  It's called The Adventures of Square and I highly recommend everyone to check out the demo that he released recently!


-mek
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Project Retrograde

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We took a break from 3D to implement marching squares in our HTML5 2D tile-based engine.  Just in time for #screenshotsaturday   Try out the pre-alpha "in-game" editing features yourself:
http://games.project-retrograde.com/marching-squares/

These cheesy placeholder tiles are just to smoketest the rendering and editing code.  They'll come in handy as illustrations in our upcoming 'How To' blog post that contains all the details needed to get this type of marching squares working in your own projects.

-vc
#html5canvas #html5 #gamedev #indiegamedev
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To really stress test some of our game engine features we made a mini game within the 3D GUI.

The video was created using our demo record, playback, and video output features.

Thanks to our composer, James Paddock, this vid has a cool MIDI tune! :-)
Check out his Youtube channel for tons of awesome music:
http://www.youtube.com/user/JamesPaddockMusic

Check out our blog post for more info:
http://blog.project-retrograde.com/

-vc
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Somehow the audio track got messed up. Jimmy P. was quick to point out my stupidity -- Those are DRUMS, not Pianos... (o_O)

Fixed!
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Using a reduced palette instead of full 24bit color can give precice control over the colors situation that will be displayed.

One of the issues with working with limited colors is converting images between palettes and ensuring they look their best.  Many image editors can convert an image between two palettes, but we need to convert between multiple palettes at once, so we have to make our own tools.

-vc
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On the path to making some of our own game editor features we've made a little detour.

Neither +Brett Harrell or I could find an image importer / exporter that handles the Eternity Engine's unique console font file format, so we just made one.

This means folks who play Supplice in Eternity won't miss out on their new nifty new console fonts.  :)

P.S. The screenshots coming out of the Supplice Mod are really amazing!  Check 'em out at the bottom of Mek's blog post, here:
http://mekworx.the-powerhouse.net/2012/11/28/re-suppliced/

-vc
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A prototype of the scan beam mechanics is mostly working.  This changes the way the game is played significantly.  Players can easily build bigger chains of blocks before exploding them.

As we add features we're also setting the old logic aside instead of scrapping it permanently.  Depending on the final result, we might be able to use the other game logic for different modes of play...

-vc
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The particles have simmered down to nominal levels, thankfully...
We'll be making a video soon to show them off a bit more.

It's still #ScreenShotSaturday in Retrograde land, so have a screenshot!
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Project Retrograde

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Marching Squares is a handy tool to have in any game dev's toolbox.

This blog post is a comprehensive How-To guide explaining the details of making Marching Squares stitch terrain tiles automatically.

Beginning at the basics we cook up a few automatic placement strategies, then boil down the bits to extract the very essence of the marching squares algorithm.  The result is a simple but blazingly fast implementation that's flexible enough to use in almost any project.

-vc
#gamedev #algorithm   #html5 #indiegamesdevelopment
HTML5 Procedural 2D tile placement game engine uses marching squares with no conditional branching logic, for maximum GPU acceleration speed.
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When it comes to palettes, 3bits per RGB channel (9 bits per pixel) is a pretty sweet spot.

We'll be mining this 512 color palette for our pixel-art assets in upcoming games.  It's similar to the colors available on the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive, so it’s got a sort-of retro look.

A quick search didn’t turn up any examples of this colorspace sorted by Hue or Saturation.  So, I wrote a quick program to do just that.

There's a bit more info at our blog:
http://blog.project-retrograde.com/2013/05/mega-palette/

We thought sharing the color sorting might help other pixel prospectors create gems of their own.

-vc

#indiegames #gamedevelopment #palette  
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Every engine needs a seamless Noise function in their code base, and now we have one -er, Three!  Our 2D, 3D, and 4D noise functions are similar to Perlin noise, but are much faster to compute, especially on the GPU.

Noise functions like these are an important part of 3D graphics, they're used in everything from real-time water, cloud and terrain generation to random resource & particle placement and sound effect generation.

The image shows the large structure of the noise patterns before many finer details are added.

-vc
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Here's a short video clip of the scan beam destroying a combo chain.

Now that we have demo record and playback working we can make much smoother and higher resolution videos.

-vc
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We've made some major minor improvements to the minigame.
Mechadon has selected a cool color palette, I've fixed a big bug in the gravity system, and we've added a nice indicator for where the cells pieces will drop.  In short: Lots of work, for only a little bit of visual progress -- That's how things go sometimes.

The graphics are still WIP / "pre-alpha". We've got big plans for updating them with with even cooler 3D stuff, but there's even more core game mechanics to get to first!

-vc
#videogames #gamedev #indiegames
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Yeah, they're really sweet, I like 'em a lot.  There's several groups from the rest of palette that work equally as well -- ie colors not shown above.
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Bringing classic game-play to the next level.