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Scott Miller Appsguild - Software craftsmanship, project management, and the biz of software May 2006 Entries
New screen shot
After playing Magic : The Gathering Online this afternoon, I noticed one cool design feature: while you are duelling, you get to choose your background that goes behind your cards. The pics are cool. So, I am going to put that feature in my game. I will have Mindy make some anime backgrounds. Here is an example of a screen shot with the card hand filled and the first card in detail. She would probably kill me for publishing an old drawing, but here goes. The background is one of Mindy's old anime ......

Posted On Monday, May 29, 2006 3:04 PM

Code, code, and more code
My wife thinks I'm crazy. I've spent most of the Memorial Day weekend, and most of the last four days I've had off before starting my new job, in programming my game. See my game screen shot below. Keep in mind that I'm using graphic placeholders while I wait for Mindy's anime card graphics. (It looks kind of funny with me playing against a kitty cat). To refresh your memory, I am creating a battle card game, similar to Magic : The Gathering or Pokemon. It has character cards with a post-apocalyptic ......

Posted On Monday, May 29, 2006 1:12 PM

Gridlines in C# Form Designer
Okay, I need some community help. I am tweaking my main game form in the Windows form designer screen. I am moving components, like PictureBoxes around, but I don't have the fine detail. There is usually a setting for the gridlines or snap in most form designer or graphic tools; in other words, when you are dragging screen elements, how far do they move each time. I can't find this in C#.Net Express. Any ideas.

Posted On Friday, May 26, 2006 7:36 AM

Insights from Magic the Gathering
I have been playing Magic the Gathering Online to get ideas on game mechanics for RPG card games. I have played Pokemon cards several years ago with my kids. My game design is more similar to Pokemon - you only play one character card at a time. One thing that I find interesting in MTG is that you are doing damage directly to the opposing wizard. Any damage from attack points that are not blocked by your character cards is applied directly to you, the player. This is different from Pokemon, where ......

Posted On Thursday, May 25, 2006 7:46 PM

Random die rolls
Good progress on the game tonight. Added more detail to my XML files. Created classes (diagrams to be posted soon). I found functions online for generating random die rolls. Here are functions to roll 20 sided die and 6 sided die: public static int Roll20SidedDie() { Random rNum = new Random(); int newDie = rNum.Next(20) + 1; return newDie; } public static int Roll6SidedDie() { Random rNum = new Random(); int newDie = rNum.Next(6) + 1; return newDie; } ......

Posted On Thursday, May 25, 2006 7:41 PM

Ideas from Magic the Gathering Online
I have had some difficult design decisions for how I will handle cards and graphics in The Bloodletting. I loaded Magic the Gathering online and got some interesting ideas on how to handle cards. They keep the cards that are in your hand and in play in a low detail mode. When you hover the mouse over them they show detail of the card. Pretty cool. They also have drag and drop of cards, which I am not sure that I can do without using DirectX or WPF. So maybe drag and drop will be out ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 24, 2006 7:14 PM

Despair.com
OMG, I just found the funniest web site. Despair.com makes a parody of the overbearing motivational Success and Teamwork posters from Successories that are prevalent in the halls of corporate America. They are called "Demotivators". My favorites are Inspiration, and Discovery. Click the links at the top of each page for more. They will have you rolling with laughter. And Despair.com has trademarked the term "Dissatisfied customer". When you order, you become one of these illustrious people ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 24, 2006 12:33 PM

Progress
I made some progress on the game last night. Worked some more on screen design. My XML files are essentially done. Next comes the class creation for deck, player, opponent, etc. I usually do class UML diagrams in Visio at work (Pro version doesn't come with UML tools). No Visio at home, so that hampers me a little. I would draw it on paper but I have a bad track record of not being able to read my handwriting later. Coding this week will be a challenge with the Lost season finale Weds night. I am ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 23, 2006 8:28 AM

Now the art can begin
My aspiring anime artist daughter, who will be doing the art for my character cards, now has her blog set up. She will be blogging her progress with the creation of the art. I have given her a list of the characters, with descriptions, and a rough idea of how I want them to look. It will be interesting to see what she comes up with. She also makes a surprising point here. Apparently she had given up on blogging after getting out of High School, thinking that blogging was just for kids to talk about ......

Posted On Monday, May 22, 2006 4:06 AM

XML - the Bloodletting
No, that is not the name of my game, just The Bloodletting. I started creating my XML data files for character cards, etc. One of the design features of the game is to allow complete customization of the cards by changing the XML file. This will allow me to add cards later (can you say "expansion deck"), and also allow others to do so. After all, no game stays in scope for long; it gets bigger and bigger. Because the XML files can be customized, assuring that they are in the correct format and well ......

Posted On Monday, May 22, 2006 3:57 AM

Character cards
I started working on the character cards for the game. Because I will have limited artwork, I am limiting the number of character cards to 15. There will be 7 common cards, 6 rare cards, and 2 ultra rare cards. The rare and ultra rare cards will be named cards - heroes if you will. The common cards will actually be multipled in the deck based on a multiplier that I am creating in the app.config of the game. That way I won't run out of cannon fodder during battles. Here are my characters so far. Some ......

Posted On Saturday, May 20, 2006 10:09 PM

Basic screen layout done
I love the Windows Forms designer in C#.Net. It is so easy to layout forms. I created my basic forms and did a rough layout of the main Arena form. The character picture portion of my cards will be 110 x 110. The player can see the more extensive card details by either clicking on the card or by using hover text (I can't decide which one yet). The detailed card info will have a character picture, name, overall stats, and character story (similar to the blurb on Magic cards). Some of my gameplay design ......

Posted On Saturday, May 20, 2006 5:22 PM

C#.Net Express Edition - First Impressions
I downloaded and installed C#.Net Express Edition. Easy enough. On first opening the app, I see the Start page has several links for things that the average hobbyist user might want to do. There are links for games, Absolute Beginners links, and links for integrating your Baby Cam. I clicked on the games link and it took me to coding4fun on MSDN. Note that this is not coding4fun.com. I also went to the game links on upgradeyourgame.com. It pointed to a video game development page on MSDN. This has ......

Posted On Saturday, May 20, 2006 3:26 PM

Game Design Decisions
I will be using the Express version of C#.Net. (I just downloaded it and installed it). I've used C# for three years at work so this shouldn't be any problem, right?...uh, right? Well, it could be a challenge. This is game development, not database app development. I'm not really even sure how to generate a random roll of the dice for "saving" rolls. After all, you don't use randomize functions with a database, unless you want some crazy results :). Other design features, while I am brainstorming: ......

Posted On Saturday, May 20, 2006 2:50 PM

The Bloodletting
I am probably crazy, but I am entering the GWB Game Design Contest The rest of you guys are doing sprite games. And you are talking trash to each other. My game will be an RPG card game. I will probably use another blog here on GWB just for the game, but this is good enough to start off. The game is called The Bloodletting. It will be similar to a Magic or Pokemon card game, but with different rules and sequences because I technically don't play Magic and also so that I don't get in trouble. There ......

Posted On Saturday, May 20, 2006 2:30 PM

Long time, no blog, or the Joys of Outsourcing
I haven't blogged since March. Busy with school. Busy with work. Busy having a mini midlife crisis. For the last six months I have worked as a Senior Developer for a large company in Wichita. Although I've been doing some development and R&D, my main job responsibility has been to oversee a group of Indian outsourcers. Analysis of a problem, assigning code, and then doing code reviews. Plus meetings (mostly on why the outsourcers are behind schedule). There was an excellent article in CIO magazine ......

Posted On Saturday, May 20, 2006 10:47 AM

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