SkullDorado – Video Review

The Game Hunter has reviewed SkullDorado! Aside from a little hiccup in the beginning due to not having the instructions for the controls (because I couldn’t bundle it with an apk meant for running on phones) this is a really good review. He does discover a minor bug that I didn’t know about and doesn’t figure out how to close doors until near the end, but I think overall he had a proper first-time run and gives the game a fair review.

I suppose if he didn’t, I wouldn’t be sharing his video everywhere. I have to give him props for figuring out a good way of running the game on a computer and now I’m considering adding controls so that if a keyboard is present, that the user can use them instead of having to swipe.

SkullDorado – Day 7


12:00 noon on Sunday and I’m calling it complete on Day 7 for SkullDorado.

Yes, it’s 8 hours early, but I’ve been spinning my wheels for a little bit because tragedy struck and I was unable to get the inventory working in a satisfactory state. So, instead of running myself into the ground today and getting frustrated on top of the fatigue of programming for a week straight (+2 extra days for the NASA-Ames programming jam) I decided to crunch in the last missing pieces of the game and make sure that everything works. And it does. (Send me bug reports if you come across any!)

device-2013-03-17-110806While researching jungle ruins you’ve come across mention of a glorious empire, the capitol of which was a massive city of gold. And the only clues to this wondrous place is inscribed into idols shaped as skulls of solid gold, left littered around the ancient temples constructed by this empire. Making camp, you set off to discover and bring back these golden idols hoping that each one will bring you closer to finding the fabled city and wealth unimaginable.

Controls are simple, just swipe a direction to move. Tap to wait or to use an item you’ve picked up. You can carry three items, plus the idol if you’ve found it. Return to the camp with an idol to move on to the next set of ruins. Doors can be closed by tapping/waiting while standing next to them. Helpful if you’ve just opened into a room populated by fast and dangerous jaguars.

device-2013-03-17-114016Even though I may have not gotten everything I had planned into the game, I feel really proud of having a full and complete game. And I did leaps and bounds over my entry from last year. Two enemies and ranged combat in general had to be removed due to the Inventory system not working out in time, and the new map generation code ended up being too risky of an addition at this stage for the amount of testing it would’ve taken. I think those are my biggest regrets.

One conscious removal after playing around with the game is that the memory map feature (not being able to see any space you hadn’t already seen) turned out to be too much of a hindrance when guessing where to go. SkullDorado is dangerous enough that being able to plan  where you might want to go seemed like a better play experience then having to explore out the whole thing. Though, it also makes it a little harder in that you have to remember where your camp is after you find the idol!

Next year, I’ll have to try and finish all the systems even earlier. I have a habit of trying to make a game look good before the core systems are finished and while doing that certainly hurt me last year, this year I was better prepared for it, but I still ended up not fully completing what I needed to. I certainly had more time than last year, as I planned my team and project specs out much better, so that’s a positive!

I hope that everyone who tries SkullDorado out enjoys it, and please send me any feedback, positive or negative. A helpful critique last year really pushed me to better design my control scheme for this year, for instance.


SkullDorado – Day 6

device-2013-03-16-1944168:00pm on Saturday and now there’s only 24 hours left for SkullDorado!

I did a lot of the UI changes and fixed the map errors from yesterday. Also, items now work! Those odd squares at the bottom of the screen are item boxes. The left ones are your inventory, with the one off to the side on the right is whatever item is on the ground in the space you’re standing. Tapping the buttons highlights them in yellow and tapping a different button swaps the items in the two spaces. And tapping the same item twice uses the item. It’s pretty slick. Hopefully I have some time to return to the code so it’ll auto-detect when you’re grabbing an item off the ground and if you have any empty inventory spaces it’ll automatically fill one of those spaces.

Honestly I feel like I’ve just about this wrapped up. I’ll certainly have some time for polish and bug fixing. I’ve seen the game running on a tablet in person and there’s an issue on new devices without hardware buttons where the back/menu/home keys will overlap the item boxes a little. It doesn’t detriment gameplay, it’s just a little annoying and I’ll have to come up with a solution, since players will need access to those buttons in some way.

( Cross-posted from: )

SkullDorado – Day 5

device-2013-03-15-1923278:00pm on Friday and Happy Birthday to me, it’s the end of SkullDorado Day 5!

As might be evident from the screenshot, things are not looking good right now. I probably should’ve took a screenshot earlier when things were still looking good, but oops! Needless to say, I’ve been working on map generation and in doing so, I decided to rewrite some of the map code itself and now everything is in shambles! Not to worry, I’m working on it, I just couldn’t get it working by the 8pm deadline. It makes me sort of wonder if choosing 8pm as my start/end time was a good idea.

In any case, all that’s left after this gets working is to finish the items stuff, come up with a title screen, change the UI around a little, and with two weekend days to go, I’m still confident that this’ll get done and be good and fun. Right now I’m still in the phase of the 7DRL where I’m thinking “you know, I could do a lot of work on this after the 7DRL is done,” but I also know that I hardly touched 2419RL from last year, so all I can really tell myself is “we’ll see.”

( Cross-posted from: )

SkullDorado – Day 4

device-2013-03-14-1827468:00pm on Thursday and Day 4 of SkullDorado is done.

This screenshot doesn’t do a whole lot to show the vast amount of changes behind the scenes as I did a whole lot of work on enemy AI today, creating different creatures and giving them little package scripts to follow various behaviors and it’s really super cool I promise! At the very least you can see one of the new enemies, the Monkey! (mainly because I disabled Line of Sight code for enemies so I could see them running around )

The Monkey specifically I used because he gave me a variety of problems; being invisible after I rewrote some of the color filter code, running wild when I accidentally forgot to break out of a switch statement in the behavior code, and generally being a nuisance. One thing that I’ve realized is that enemy facing direction is actually kind of important and without it, makes it kind of hard to predict enemy behavior. This means that likely I’ll be putting in custom sprites for enemies, since single ascii characters are quickly becoming obsolete. However, I’ll keep them as long as possible, as I’ve a debug function that turns all enemies into colored arrows for testing purposes.

Another thing that happened was that I gave a build to a friend with a tablet to see how the game looked on a large screen device and found out that while the layout was perfect– the images being sampled from my spritesheet were all wrong! It turns out that the function I was using to load the image resource was “helping” by resizing it as soon as it was loaded, and not when it was being drawn, so my pixel-perfect calculations were then incorrect. Luckily with some help I got the problem debugged and discovered that I had to explicitly tell the system that I didn’t want help with resizing at different screen densities, and that sussed it all out.

So, now after some more testing, SkullDorado will definitely run on any screen size! (At least I hope there’s no corner cases I’m forgetting.)

With Enemy AI almost completely finished (just a couple more hours, promise!) I’ve still got Items and Map Generation to do, and three days to do it. If two of those days were not weekend days, I’d certainly be sunk.

Cross-posted from:

SkullDorado – Day 3

device-2013-03-13-1930568:00 pm Wednesday brings about the close of Day 3 on SkullDorado.

This is the first day where development seems to have really slowed down. I was able to expand the map and implement a map camera and field of view / line of sight between objects and/or points. This means that I still have smarter enemy AI, random maps, and items to work on in the next four days.

After some discussion and finalizing the design earlier today, I need to re-work the UI a little. There’s just too much un-needed space to the right of the map and the HP and Gold/Score value would be better served up under the title bar, allowing the map to be displayed bigger and hopefully not pushing the item buttons down too low.

Besides bringing the map to the forefront of the action/the player’s attention, it’ll also allow for larger tiles, so if/when I switch away from mono-colored ascii characters, the resulting graphics will be easier to see and nicer to look at. In any case, I feel like I’m still on track for completing this in time. There’s a significant amount of work left, still, especially with Friday and the weekend coming up, I’m still optimistic!

( Cross-posted from: )

SkullDorado – Day 2

device-2013-03-12-1748438:00 pm Tuesday marks the end of Day 2 for SkullDorado!

Things are progressing nicely. I have enemies which run around and attack the player, a HP meter that actually works, Log output to the screen console, Waiting by tapping the screen rather than swiping, blocks that alternate up and down after a certain number of turns– and some behind the scenes stuff fixed like the game not re-initializing when using the back button to return to the title menu.

At the end of 48 hours I like to think how much I would’ve accomplished for a 48-hour jam, and while I would’ve had more time on a weekend, I think I still got a respectable amount accomplished. With that time I could have finished the player attacking logic and would be done. However as there’s still five days left I can do that plus get the camera scrolling for a larger map and get random map generation, game saving, and items all working. Hopefully with a little time left for polish.

Because my ascii character set is just a loaded image, I can do things like replace characters (see the skull in the title bar? That’s actually the É character. Also, with a different graphic and a changed value I could use tiles that are bigger than 8×8. One of my stretch goals for this project is to actually do a little bit with that and make a custom character set to use instead of the ascii set.

One thing I have to think about as well is implementing some sort of settings menu, for things like changing the sensitivity of what constitutes a swipe vs. a tap. And turning off vibration, too. I suppose some people will want that.

Since there’s now 5 days left and two of them are weekend days, I have a whole lot of confidence that I’ll blow last years project out of the water! Wish me luck!

( Cross-posted from: )

SkullDorado – Day 1



8:00 pm Monday, which means the end of Day 1 for SkullDorado. (Incorrectly parsed as “Skull Dorado” in the screenshot.)

I’m pretty happy with my progress so far. I wrote a class to handle ascii output to the screen, which includes a color filter so I can blit the characters to the screen in any color, and wrote a text parser to write a log output to the screen using those same ascii characters. Which also gets used to write text to the screen just about anywhere I’d like.

Also I made sure that everything gets scaled correctly to the size of the screen, however I’m sure it might look squished/stretched on screens that use different ratios. It’s not really a priority right now to figure out support on that, though. I am gonna see about borrowing a tablet later to make sure it doesn’t look too bad up-scaled on a large device.

Next up in the plan is to get enemies running around and combat working. This is something I slacked on last year and didn’t get finished in time, so I want to work on it earlier. Even if my map stuff sucks, it’ll be more of a game if at least you can run around and fight dudes.

( Cross-posted from: )