Thursday, February 27, 2014

Back in RPG Combat


I've been plugging away at my next book, How To Write an RPG, and I'm currently writing the first part of the combat section; Stats. It's similar to my article on Stats published on this blog, but slimmed down and every step of the way there's accompanying example code.

Since the last update I've checked all the previous examples in the book work on Mac and everything seems good.

Previously the sound code wasn't working on Mac, this was because I was using some Wave loading code I'd found somewhere and it wasn't 64-bit compatible. It was relying on the bit-size of some types when reading .wav code. Changing the types sorted that out. Also it wasn't using using my packaging system so I fixed that too. I won't be making anymore engine changes for a while, instead I'm now 100% back to writing.

I expect to have the Stats section and code examples finished very soon, then I'll be on to the levelling section and examples, then how to present that information using the existing menu code.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

General Update

I thought a general update might be in order. I'm living in Hong Kong now and settled enough to continue working on the RPG book regularly. It's freezing here at the moment!

There are currently 1.1k signups to the mailing list, which definitely shows some interest. I'm holding off doing any more explicit promotion until nearer the release (still somewhat hazy at the moment!)

You can learn more about the "How to Make a JRPG" book by visiting the site here.

I've not taken a good picture of Hong Kong yet :D

My writing time hasn't been great recently. I've lived in four different places in the year and in that time I've had two laptops die. One an old laptop that was near it's end, the other a brand new high spec Sony Vaio (I'm glad they're selling the division) which died after a few weeks and took about three months of calling to get a refund. All in all a terrible experience, I wouldn't use a Vaio if I wasn't given one for free. In the end I bought a Macbook Pro because of the reputation for being reliable.

The RPG book uses an engine written in C++, OpenGL (and a few other libraries) all made for Windows machines. It also compiles to Android but not the Mac. This last week I've been porting the engine to Mac (where port is more a case of getting the build script working). Yesterday, I built the first Mac version. I'm totally new to the Mac ecosystem, so I don't know how distributable the program I have is, but working is a good enough benchmark for now!

JRPG game on the Mac
The sound currently isn't working but everything else seems ok.

So what's next?
I'm currently on the combat section of the book and I've been sharing some of my ideas via the blog here:
  1. JRPG - Stats
  2. JRPG - Levels
My net immediate tasks for the combat section are roughly as follows:
  1. Check all the examples run on Mac
  2. Fix up the problem with the Mac not playing sound
  3. Write the stats and levels section of the book with code examples
  4. Cover the UI for the levels and stats and write the example code
  5. Write an article on simulating the combat (it will be similar to how I presented it in my article How to Build a JRPG, over on tutsplus.)
  6. Various other steps (defining enemies, weapons etc)
  7. End the chapter with an arena style game
 That's what I'll be doing in the coming weeks and I'll be sharing my progress here.