Monday, March 31, 2014

Finished the session yesterday morning, but had a busy day so I wasn't able to post it.

This game is a villager simulation where you direct your villagers to do your bidding. Villagers can be educated with a trade and when they are, they gain the ability to do any task related to that trade. You will build a town or several towns to create a nation of villagers which harvests raw resources, creates tools, food and items from those resources and then builds an ever expanding empire. Teach villagers the military trade to start a military which will protect your nation from other AI nations. Design and construct buildings to be used as a work centre for the villagers who are educated enough to work at them. Build houses for your villagers to claim to keep them from the weather and dangerous animals. The goal is to make an in depth villager/city/nation/war simulation where you control virtually every aspect of the game and where every conceivable possibility is possible.

For the first version I was hoping to get a small 50 x 50 randomly generated map, some different tiles for the terrain, some different tiles for the plant life, water, corn and corn seeds, and a villager with the farm trade.

I failed trying to complete everything I wanted to for version 0.1 but managed to get what seems to be a bug free, playable version. Unfortunately there is no concept in the game yet and so playing it is boring. There are a few things I managed to implement in the first version.

- The 50 x 50 map is randomly generated
- The tiles include dirt, grassy dirt, and stone
- The plant life includes trees, grass, and corn
- The seeds include corn seed.
- After a random period of time, corn seeds grow to become corn
- Indication of frame rate
- Indication of game time
- Click-able map tiles: when clicked, display tile info

That is it for this version. For the next version I hope to implement a villager whom has the farm trade and can be directed to harvest corn and plant corn seeds. The villager will be able to convert corn to corn seeds. The villager will store seeds and corn in "piles" which will have a certain capacity per tile. There will be water, and corn will only grow next to water. I also hope to create a better tile set.

Download is for Linux only, but I hope to add Windows and Mac in later versions. It requires SDL2.0 library to run. A command like "sudo apt-get install libsdl2.0" in the terminal should install it. If not you can search for it with something like "sudo apt-cache search libsdl2.0". This method will only work with apt package manager.

Linux Download:

Friday, March 28, 2014

The time has come for the first Agile Session. I am just announcing that I am going to follow through with it this week and I am officially starting on version 0.1 of my game. In short the game is going to be a war, city, economy simulation and block building game. I will post more details about it in a later post. My hope is to get a not to boring, playable version 0.1 in the next 2 days.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

This is the first post to the Agile Session blog. What is Agile Session you ask?

Agile Session is my attempt to wrap agile development into a 12 hour game jam challenge. The challenge is for me to write a game in 12 hours. However the game does not have to be complete, it just has to be playable, releasable, and reasonably bug free.

It may sound strange that a challenge would only last 12 hours, and you may think that nothing good can be programmed in that time. And you are right. The idea behind agile development is to have a tangible product every week which shows your work and progress. This method is flexible because, if at any point in development a game begins to get bad reviews the developer can be made aware, and change it without to much trouble. Where as if a game is planned over a period of months and then programmed over a period of a few more months then it's release may be a failure and impossible to recover from.

The Agile Session aims to allow me to write a version of a game in 12 hours and then release that version. But not as the final product. Instead Agile Session will allow me to work on the same game through many 12 hour sessions over many weeks until it is complete. However there are some rules I will follow.

Monday - Friday of each week are "pen and paper days". Any game programming genius that I come up with can only be documented with a pencil and a piece of paper. Then on Saturday and Sunday it's game on. I can not use all 48 hours of Saturday and Sunday, rather I have a maximum of 12 hours within those days to program my game. For example I could code for 4 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday. Or maybe I only code for 3 hours on both days for a total of 6 hours. That would be OK to. So why am I doing this?

Well... I recently participated in a 7 day rogue-like challenge, and with a wife and 2 kids I didn't have the time I wanted to complete the game I wanted. I am trying to design this to be very flexible with life. Everybody has the weekend off. Well most people anyway. My hope is  to learn website design, and then build a website to host my Agile Session's for any developer to participate. I will display ads and collect donations to bring in money which will be distributed to the developers whom participate. I would like the website to become known across the game world as a dependable place to get great, quality, indie games. And who knows maybe I will even program my own client for these games... sort of like Steam.

For now that is a dream in the far distance, and so I want to just try it out myself to see if it is worth doing. And to see if it is something that motivates the completion of a larger, more complex game.

If it does work out, I will update my progress here. I will declare when I start the session, any updates in between, and when I finish it, as well as provide links to the most recent version of what ever it is I create. This Monday on, March 22nd 2014 marks the official start of the first Agile Session cycle, and with it the first "pen and paper day". That means next weekend, from Saturday March 29th 2014 to Sunday March 30th 2014, I will be completing the first 12 hour Agile Session.