September 25th, 2010, 09:23 AM
Personally, I think you made the right choice. The thinner outline looks great, and I LOVE the new shadow!
September 28th, 2010, 03:51 PM
I built part of the first level in Dirk Dashing 2 today! It's looking very cool with all of the new graphics and lighting effects!
October 3rd, 2010, 04:32 PM
I'm still working on the outdoor section of the first level. I've had to make some tweaks to the lighting engine to workaround certain OpenGL issues that cropped up with the foreground layer when both lighting effects and x-ray glasses are on. Apparently the alpha transparency doesn't work when dynamic lighting is applied. So I've had to hack around this problem.
I also added the game's first hazards, which uncovered a few bugs in the new health system. I've fixed those bugs, and now I'm working on what happens when Dirk gets hurt. It needs some sound and some polish. I've already picked out some appropriate sounds, but I need to incorporate them into the game. And I'd like to add a little star-shaped balloon (like the old Batman "pow" and "bam" balloons) that pops out briefly when Dirk is hit to show where he was hit.
Lastly, I'm working on some of the background objects that will populate the level - things like fire hydrants, mail boxes, signs, vending machines, etc. They don't really add anything to the gameplay, but they make the scenery more interesting. One of the criticisms I had with the first game was that some areas (like the building interiors) were too sparse, so I'm taking the time to populate each area with some fun and/or interesting objects.
October 4th, 2010, 06:34 PM
Tonight, I added the sound when Dirk gets hurt, and a star-shaped "pow" balloon to show when and where Dirk is hit. (It doesn't actually say "pow", I just wrote that so you would know what I was talking about). And I created a new power-up that will give Dirk more hearts/life, so he can withstand more damage. This new power-up won't appear on level 1, but since I was working on the health system, I went ahead and created the power-up now.
I also added some more background objects to the outdoor area, including some cool-looking vending machines that Ryan delivered to me this morning. Can't wait to show them to you - the fronts and buttons even light up!
October 9th, 2010, 02:19 PM
Dirk has a new move: he can now hang suspended from cables!
You can jump up and grab a cable (using the Up key), or you can grab it while falling. You can then move left and right along the cable using a hand-over-hand method. When you're ready to leave the cable, you can either use the Down key to drop, or you can jump off it (for example, to reach a ledge that the cable might be attached to).
Cables will allow me to create some interesting puzzles and/or dexterity challenges. For puzzles, I can combine the cables with other architectural features to make the player figure out how they are going to get from Point A to Point B. They can also add some excitement to certain action sequences - for instance, I can think of cases where Dirk would be fleeing some big bad boss and need to jump from a ledge to escape, but he must grab a cable on the way down to keep from hitting some spikes at the bottom.
I still have some additional artwork and programming left to do so that Dirk can shoot or throw a gas grenade while hanging suspended from a cable. But it's coming along nicely!
October 12th, 2010, 05:50 PM
Well, I'm almost finished with the first map in level 1 (there are 4 maps total in level 1). This is the big outdoor map. From a structural standpoint, it's done - all of the background and foreground tiles are there, all of the floor and wall surfaces are in place, and all of the ladders, cables, and hazards are in. I've also added all of the items that Dirk will collect. But it still needs some bad guys!
October 12th, 2010, 06:20 PM
It sounds like you're making good progress. I like what I've seen so far. My fingers are getting twitchy!
October 19th, 2010, 02:01 PM
I just finished 2 more maps for level 1! These maps were for small building interiors. I've created some furnishings, so they don't look sparse like the first game's building interiors did. I also finished a new drawing for Agent K (who doesn't need a winter parka in this episode), and added a new friendly character that Dirk will interact with.
Just one more map and level 1 will be complete! But first I need to finish a couple of new game features, including the first new bad guy.
October 22nd, 2010, 12:41 PM
So I went to collect my artwork for the first bad guy, and I discovered that I hadn't drawn all of the animation. I had only drawn about half of it, and somehow deceived myself into thinking I had finished it. So that's what I've been working on all week.
At this point, I've finished drawing most of the animation (except for the guy's head). I really have a hard time drawing profiles of my cartoon characters. The side view is just so difficult for me, and I need a decent side view for the walk and run animations. I'd love to have a program where I can scan in a face that I have drawn and have it automatically extrapolate and draw that face from any angle that I want. That would be cool! Maybe I should write that program myself. Eh, but who would buy it? I'd rather work on Dirk 2 anyway...
Well, back to the drawing board. Literally! I still have a few more poses to do for this character - like laying passed out on the floor, shooting his pistol, etc. Then I can start scanning all the drawings into the computer.
October 22nd, 2010, 04:22 PM
OoOoOoOo my back! Been leaning over my easel all afternoon, but at least I finished all of the animation and poses for the new guard!