I am going to try something different for Thursday posts, and tomorrow will be the start of another experiment. What I am going to start doing on Thursdays is releasing segments of my design diaries for upcoming games. The segments will follow the development of a game up to a logical build point. For people who want to see the actual builds of the game they can go to http://blazinggames.com/games/coming/ to see the build (at least for the week that it is there).
The diary is for the game Threes which I finished a few weeks ago.
08:00 This is actually my second attempt at the third day. While I finished my first attempt, I simply didn't think that my original game was fun enough to be released and decided to delegate it to the extras making this series a baker's dozen worth of episodes. I have decided to make sure that this is at least a worthy of playing game by taking an original street game and making a computer version of it. I have never actually played the game myself and are therefore basing the game design on rules that I have heard so my version may be different from what you would encounter on the street so don't take this version as any type of authoritative version. I am going to be doing the diary and challenge a bit different today. First of all, I am going to be using the real world time (rounded to the nearest 15) not the working time for my entries. Second of all, to make sure the challenges are accurate to what I could do if I was working on the dozen days on consecutive days, I am going to limit my time to under 16 hours. Third, I am going to be taking screen shots and keeping copies of older builds which I may bundle together sometime in the future for people who are interested. So lets get started.
08:15 Let us start by getting a skeleton ready. As you should already know, the logo is canned so is just copied over. A simple title screen for now, though I want it clear that this is a pre-alpha build. I am allowed to use assets from prior dozen day of dice games, which really isn't very much except for the big ticket item for this series. That, of course, is the dice.
09:00 With a skeleton in place, it is time that we start building the game. You may notice that the time jumped by 45 minutes even though I only did 15 minutes of work. I had to take a biological break and decided to grab some breakfast while I was on break. While this is obviously a multi-player game, each of the players essentially play their own game and just the scores are compared. For that reason the first step has to be to get the main game working so I will put together a rough version of the main game. If I have released my screen shots, you will notice that the program I am using does not look very much like Flash CS3. In fact, it is not. I really dislike the CS3 editor, so I use jEdit which is a really nice open source editor that has code coloring support for a variety of languages, including ActionScript. The first version of the game movie was created. It takes advantage of an external class file which contains my ThreesGame code. The actual CS3 movie contains 5 copies of the die which I labeled _die1_movie through _die5_movie. Over top of these I add a button that has an empty normal frame and a alpha highlight for the over and down states. These buttons are labeled _hold#_btn and are used for toggling the hold positions of the dice. I also create a simple roll button that the player uses to initiate the rolling. The game activates the roll button. When it is pressed, a roll of all dice that are not held is done. Any held dice are marked as locked and can no longer be unheld. The game then enters the keep state where the roll button is hidden until at least one die is held. While there is a bit of cleanup needed yet, the game does function so my first pre-alpha build is officially done at this point.