Archive for the ‘Mop of Destiny’ Category

2008.02.11 - One Year Later

It’s done! Finally, after over a year since its completion, Mop of Destiny gets its own webpage!

I had a really difficult time trying to figure out what the webpage should even look like, so I just kept putting it off, until last night when I was almost asleep, I had that “eureka!” moment immediately before dozing off. Luckily, I remembered my idea in the morning!

Also DrilNES 1.10 is released. I fixed up a few very minor emulation issues, added support for all of the 6502’s “undocumented” opcodes (i.e. the opcodes that just happen to work even though they’re really not supposed to), and modified the display a bit.

Now you can even make it look like a crappy old TV, if you choose! For, uh..nostalgia’s sake.


2007.01.17 - Woo!


2007.01.04 - Historeez

For those who missed it:

Mop of Destiny Soundtrack MP3s!

On Power Outages (And Other Weird Things)

They suck. Our power was out for 9 days. For someone as hopelessly addicted to the Internet as I, it was like not having legs. Legs that could span the globe in an instant. Or at least under a few seconds.

The power came back on, predictably, about 2 hours after we had left for the airport to go home to Indianapolis for the holidays.

Thus, the tally of weird things that have happened in the 6 months since I’ve moved to Seattle area and started work at Microsoft is:

  • My car (Which already had $3800 in hail damage) has been involved in 3 accidents, 2 of which were definitely not my fault and the third of which I can make a pretty good case for
  • Approached by a guy with a knife near Pike Place Market. He didn’t threaten me with it, he just wanted to sell it to me for $5.
  • Almost punched by an angry chauffeur in a stupid-looking suit at the Sea-Tac airport because I had the absolute audacity to try to help him out and tell him that the name on his little sign wasn’t visible.
  • There have been floods and even a (mild, for Indiana) snow storm
  • 9-day power outage

Life: Always entertaining.

Mop of Destiny: Last Words on Code Development

For the three (at most) of you that’s actually been waiting for the remainder of the info on Mop’s development history:

After getting the gameplay test done, I got around to actually loading level data. I ended up using TinyXML to load level data from an XML file.

Side note: Initially, each level was going to have a separate XML file, but that kinda got scrapped somewhere along the line. That’s why there’s 1 xml file named level1.xml in the game directory.

After that, I added fonts. I used a 3D modeler to make a 2D poly set of font characters, and then wrote a font loader to load them in and separate them out.

Essentially, the font interface allows you to request a string, where it then builds a vertex/index buffer set (a mesh) and hands that back. Simple and easy. And still no textures.

After that, it was adding animation code (simple: just different meshes for different frames of animation), the life meter (using a custom vertex shader to bend the meter partially around a circle), enemies, the knockback from getting hit, mesh-based instead of bounding-box-based collision, post process effects, ogg streaming, and spawners and enemy types.

At this point, I made a decision that would drastically alter my timetable, though I didn’t know it at the time:

I decided to make the enemy artwork while making the enemies.

The trick to this is that, in my initial plan, enemies were going to be coded as just boxes and the art would be added later. Not long into this process, I realized that having boxes was a terrible representation of the enemy, so I started doing the art, as well.

The enemy art was the second-hardest art-making process in the game (first being creating the main character). I had chosen shadow creatures partly to hide my own general inability to draw very well…with shadows I could simply draw an outline and some red eyes. However, it quickly became apparent that it was hard to create any INTERESTING shapes out of just outlines and red eyes.

Thankfully, I was able to do so. While I tried to keep to my inital development timeline, I didn’t really notice that I had moved alot of the art process into the “coding” block of schedule. Which meant that the schedule once I hit the “Art” portion was considerably lighter. Though I didn’t know it at the time.

Extra, Extra! Gameplay Complete! Game Still Ugly!

At last, I finished coding the bosses (which were the last enemies to be coded) and had the levels laid out (using solid blocks as backgrounds). The enemies looked cool, but the game looked ugly. A before-and-after, if you will:


Click to enlarge

So I sent it out to a bunch of playtesters, none of which were particularly enthused about the game because of its inherent blockiness. Oh well. One person (thank you, PfhorSlayer!) played through the entire game, as punishing as it was at the time (you think it’s hard NOW? You should have seen it then).

Anyway, I did a bunch of tweaks, and started on the background art. That pretty much catches up to the journal-at-present.

From that point on, it was art, scripting, music, sound effects, voice, credits, the manual, some bug fixes, the installer, and a last-minute save state feature addition. All in the span of 14 days. It was, as they say, a whirlwind.

I’m really happy with the music. Excluding the first 2 pieces (Piano of Destiny and Theme of Destiny), which I spent a few days on (Because I had the melody in my head for so long, and I wanted to do it justice), the remaining music was done in two day’s time.

I used FL Studio as my editor of choice, using a bunch of sample libraries, notably Vienna Instruments.

Anyway, I plan on doing a full-on post-mortem as my next journal post.

In the meantime, TO THE XBOX 360!


So I’ve been wanting to post more details about Mop of Destiny‘s development, as well as a full-on postmortem of the game. However, I took a long break from it (I needed it), and when I was getting back into it, I lost power last Thursday in the Great Pacific Northwest Windstorm and Subsequent Ginormous Blackout Of 2006 and have had no power at home since (almost a full week now), so it’s been tricky to do this. I’m typing this on my computer at work.

I still plan on posting that information, but in the mean time, I have a really crappy page set up with soundtrack MP3s from the game, ordered as I would have them if they were on a true soundtrack CD. You can nab them at:

Also, there’s an updated EXE of Mop of destiny at that fixes an issue with Intel integrated cards that support hardware pixel shaders but not vertex shaders.

Enjoy! I shall return with light, triumphantly. Eventually.

PS – I’m in the planning stages of porting the game to XNA, so that it will eventually be playable on the Xbox 360. Woo!

2006.11.29 - It’s Aliiive! ALLIIIIIVVEEE!

It’s there! or here! Whatever!

Four months of effort, finally out the door!

Click here for Mop of Destiny!

2006.11.28 - Finishing Touches

Alrighty. The gameplay, graphics, art, music, and sound are all complete. I have a few finishing touches to put on it:

  1. Some of the background music has a different average level than the others, so I’m normalizing that all out
  2. I want to add the credits
  3. I need to provide a manual, so I’ve got to write that. Shouldn’t take long


But effectively, Mop of Destiny is complete, and should be showing up sometime tomorrow evening (Tuesday, PST).

Until then, here is the final boss music:

Final Boss!

2006.11.24 - Scripting

Scripting’s done. And I use the term “Scripting” lightly.

All “scripts” are hard-coded into the game. For instance, a sample short script would look like the following:

    Add(new StopMusicPoint(m_audio));
    // Whistler fades in.
    Add(new CreateEntityPoint(this, m_audio, m_renderer, m_world, "Whistler", "Whistler", Vec2(14,1)));
    Add(new LerpEntityVarPoint(this, "Whistler", "alpha", 0, 0.5f, 50));

    Add(new DialogPoint(m_audio, m_renderer, 0xFF7FFF7F, 20, "Sound\\3-1.ogg",  "<WHISTLER> 'Nuther seal down, Jack?  Good for you!  Man, you're sweatin' like a look like you could use a towel."));
    Add(new DialogPoint(m_audio, m_renderer, 0xFF7F7FFF, 20, "Sound\\3-2.ogg",  "<JACK> Silly me for leaving home without it.  Arthur Dent would be so disappointed."));
    Add(new DialogPoint(m_audio, m_renderer, 0xFF7FFF7F, 20, "Sound\\3-3.ogg",  "<WHISTLER> Who?"));
    Add(new DialogPoint(m_audio, m_renderer, 0xFF7F7FFF, 20, "Sound\\3-4.ogg",  "<JACK> Just a...nevermind."));

Basically, that creates an entity named “Whistler” given the entity type “Whistler”, lerps its alpha value from 0 to 0.5, plays a bunch of dialog (the dialog point both plays the ogg dialog sound file and displays the text), then ends.

The SkipTo lets the script know that this is the point that it skips to when the user skips a cutscene. I’m not using it to make unskippable sections, it’s just a quick hack because I’m also using scripts to set up the background music at the beginning of each music zone, so I don’t want the player to be able to skip THAT.

Anyway, a couple of screenshots to tide you over. The first shows a script that’s running (along with the shopkeeper, Whistler P. Higgins), and the second shows the game running in wireframe (That’s right, I’m not using textures! For anything!)

Click to enlarge

Anyway, I hope to finish up the history details in an entry soon…I haven’t had much time to do so!

2006.11.22 - Most Important Line of Dialog in the Game

I did all of the voice acting today, including the most important line in the game.

…my voice is still hoarse from doing that voice.

2006.11.20 - The Clocktower

The art for Mop of Destiny is now 100%.

Here are some shots from the final level of the game. Yes, you can jump on the gears, and yes, tracing the clock face took a very long time.

Click to enlarge

Today, I will start the cutscene work.

2006.11.19 - Lava Is Not My Favorite


That is the goal of the fifth level. I have one screenshot that’s fairly representative of what the level looks like (there is no boss of this level).

Click to enlarge

Only one more level to go.