February 20th, 2012 22:15 Development Diary

Back in the Saddle

It’s been a while since the last dev diary, and it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Lots of things have changed, but there’s not really much to show. At the moment I’m writing a pretty hefty set of articles on the technical side of the game. There’s a lot of notes to go through so I’m not really sure when it will be ready, but it seemed like a waste to do so much work behind the scenes without sharing it.

The biggest change was the switch to a kernel based engine. It’s added a bit of overhead, and it’s probably over-engineering things, but it makes adding new functionality to the main loop a lot easier. Services can be added and removed dynamically, and can either be called every loop (like the screen renderer) or just sit in the background (like the resource database).

Once example of how useful this can be is with the debug listener. A DebugListener service object can be created and added, and it watches for changes to certain directories. Once a change is detected, it send an event so the resource manager can reload things. Because it’s added dynamically, it can be left out of non-debug releases, or even added via the debug console during runtime.

April 14th, 2010 16:27 Development Diary

Update – April 14th, 2010

Just a quick update today. Things are progressing well, and it’s starting to look more like a game now than just a lot of parts stuck together. There’s still a lot more to do, but it’s getting there.

Anyway, here’s a quick screen of how it looks so far:

Shining Online - Walkabout

So far there’s a scrolling map with front and back layers, transparency and full collision detection. Nothing too amazing, but it works, and that’s the main thing at the moment.

The next step is getting some proper animation going, and then maybe some menus and things to investigate.

January 29th, 2010 17:15 Development Diary

Project Update – January 29th, 2010

Let’s get straight to the fun stuff, shall we?

Picture Time!

Below is a very early screen grab of the latest tileset. It’s nothing particularly fancy, but hopefully fits with the Shining Force 2 style.

There are still a lot more transition tiles to do, as well as animating the water and adding little touches to make it more interesting, but it’s getting there.

Overworld Tiles

There are two other maps in the works, but this one is the most colourful and complete at the moment.

Boring Developer Stuff

Yeah, now it’s time for more boring screenshots, but this time of some development tools and engine features.

Directory Listener

First up we have a really simple directory listener. It runs in the background and watches a directory for changes. When there’s a change, it broadcasts it to any listening client. Why is this useful?

With a little bit of tweaking, the engine can listen for these messages and then reload resources that have changed on the fly. This makes it much easier to see how tilesets, maps and animations look without having to restart the game.

Console Test

Next, we have the built in console. If you’ve played Doom, Quake or similar, you’ll know what this is for. Again, it’s about making it easier to see changes without having to restart or recompile.

So far the console is only really useful for listening for debug messages, but in the future there will be commands for checking what objects are currently active, what’s in the database and more.

As with most things, there’s some effort up front, but in the long run it should pay off.

September 11th, 2009 16:40 Development Diary

Shining Online Update – September 11th, 2009

It’s just a quick update today, but seeing as there’s a small amount of momentum I want to keep it going.

Old Graphics, New Graphics

I’m sure you remember the wonderful graphics from the original demo’s. If not, let’s have a little refresh…

 

Old Items

In order: Wooden Sword, Wooden Spear, Wooden Rod, Short Sword and Medical Herb. I doubled the size for visibility’s sake.

Here’s what they currently look like.

 

New Items

 

It’s the first bit of pixel art I’ve done for long time, but I think it’s an improvement on the originals.

I’ve always liked the style of Shining Force 3, so that’s what I was aiming for here, whilst trying to keep the old Shining Online style.

Any comments or criticisms are welcome :)

September 4th, 2009 20:59 Development Diary

Tales from the Good Old Days

Shining Online has been going for a very long time.

Actually, that’s not really true. It was started a long time ago, and is sporadically worked on. Maybe one day it will be finished. Maybe.

After reading an old review of the Atari ST demo of Shining Online, I looked through my old emails to revive some fond memories. Here’s some old feedback from when things were just starting to get interesting.

The hardest part is getting started

how can i play this game (shining online),i mean what should i do after i download it

…wrong game

Dude! Any chance of getting some tips on designing character sets for rpg 2k? They dont seem to work for some strange reason!

At least they apologised

I DONT MEAN TO BOTHER YOU OR ANY THINg (IN FACT I DONT KNOW IF YOU EVEN UP DATE THIS SITE AND MORE) BUT IDED LIKE TO KNOW WHAT U USE TO MAKE THIS GAME I DONT KNOW HOW TO PROGRAM SO I AM LOOKING FOR AN EDITOR IF YOU WANNA KEEP IT SECRET THATS OK TO

Short and sweet

I hate you

 

And finally…

When we were starting out, it seemed like a good idea to ask people what they wanted. Here’s my favourite survey result:

Name : Obright and Bowie

Age :87

Website : www.thiswebsiteisajoke.com

System:
1] PC

Specs:
ITs big an hairy much like the shining online game. But unlike the shining online game my computer is Good

Do you think a fan made SF game is a good Idea?
Yes

Do you think online options are important?
Very Important

Which Shining Sites do you visit regularly?
This one because its SOOOOO dam good

Comments
I would like to see the makers of the game as the easy bosses so we can kill them and they will never make any more games

You can’t buy fans like that 😉