Yeah Arrghh***Just about had it with this damn blog.

Seems like everytime I try to reconstruct this thing something goes haywire and the result is I lose all my links, files dissapear, posts morph into zany fonts, so and and so on with the result being I end up with a head-ache. Ah bollocks to it, my old man would say. I will get round to getting the old demos back up there sooner or later but please bear with me, there are hot young Japanese girls that take up my precious time being taught English most of my daily life, and a few hours a night is about all I ever get for the personal stuff.

Saying that, at least the SplatterHouse tutes are up, those are the ones people ask for..and hey, on the subject of tutorials, let's talk for a bit..
Once I'm done with BH2 (or get sick to the back teeth of it) I will write a few Dumbies Guide To- style sections on AS3 game programming. I have noticed, as some of you have, that there really aren't enough decent ones out there on the web as of yet. A couple of good ones by 8bitJeff and not much else.

People get all baffled by talk of Object Orientated coding, Classes, encapsulation, polymorphism etc. and give up since there are no easy to understand tutorials out there for them to get to grips with. And it seems that those members of the Flash fraternity out there that can actually show noobs how to code in OO feel that it's too complicated and that they should really get their heads around AS2 first. In a sense I agree but what most peeps don't realise is that it's very feasible to code AS3 in a manner similar to AS2 without delving too deep into all that and still get everything AS3 has to give. Why bother learning AS2 only to have to relearn AS3? To my mind that's like taking driving lessons to charter a yacht. I'm not saying you shouldn't get round to learning OO one day- as naturally OO is the best way to code- BUT I'm thinking there are a lot of guys/girls out there who just want to make GAMES, have the hardcore perseverance to get over that barrier, but would rather dip their feet in the water before diving it first.

Once you understand all the AS3 programming methods for say, whipping up a physics engine, it's far easier from there to approach OO and converting that code piece-by-piece, figure out the necessary OO relative to their own projects- that's my theory anyway. Kind of a hands-on-approach, learn by doing type of education. Exactly how I teach English as a matter of fact.

So, when I have the time I'm going to endevour to rewrite one of our favourite classics of 80's-90's. Right now it's a coin-toss between Green Beret or Vigilante. They're both simple games to code (in theory), and yet feature some elements that most coders would want to study ; 4/8 way scrolling tile-engines, climbing ladders, fighting bosses, spawning multiple enemies with assorted health/energy, sfx coding, so on.
I could see how a tutorial could highlight all the aspects of games programming I want to share, and hopefully signify the end of AS2 games that crash my browser and meltdown my hard-drive.

Watch this space!

p.s.The BH2 demo has been updated, hit up the link on the post below to see it. Not so much done, ships now form a fleet and move towards a target. The leader can be destroyed and automatically another ship in the group will be designated as the new one. When clans meet they don't do much, just find themselves an enemy and circle around each-other. Decent AI has not been written yet, and shoot too many of the ships and you'll get them wondering off in weird directions as the code for them to auto-assign to another target from the now non-existing one has also not been done yet.
Some minor changes made to the Bounty Hunter demo.
Doesn't look like much on the surface but there's been quite a lot thrown in there behind the scenes.

CHECK IT OUT HERE

DON'T SHOOT THE LEADER though! There's no code to take care of what happens code-wise for the other NPC's after the main NPC clip has been removed. You might crash your browser due to null references.

Enemies can now be spawned as a clan/team. The properties of all the sprites are stored in objects and can all be referenced to each-other like a linked-list. When a new clan is generated a random member is designated as the 'leader' (and given a Glow filter) and the others will follow their boss at a set distance as if they were parts of an IK chain. If a leader is eliminated another will crop up to take his place (not implemented yet). Leaders of clans will go towards a set battleground co-ordinate in space and when they're within a desired distance the AI will switch over to battle mode and they'll be able to scrap it out until all that's left is space debris. From a coding viewpoint battle mode means an NPC will randomly select an enemy from the opposing clan and war it out until somebody is dead. From then on the dice are rolled once more and another is chosen, and this goes on until the entire clan is wiped out. Theoretically you could have all the enemies gang up on one poor guy, though I met set the odds more in favour of you being the target. Obviously you can eject once you feel your health is about gone, but this will carry some vulnerablility being that your gravity suit can only go so fast, you'll require a host ship to takeover, and it'll be a one-shot-you're-dead situation.. Later on I'll likely make it so the astronaut can fire some manner of feeble lazer to give him a small fighting chance to weaken ships and make them boardable.

Your job will be to protect your soldiers from getting wasted- at the same time you'll have to net other more powerful ships just to keep yourself alive, or maybe to add to make your team stronger for the later stages.
Technically the game is not at the forefront of AS3 wizardry but so far everything has worked out the way I saw it in my head. Still got some funny bugs cropping up- such as when you try to board ships (-related to swapping depths I'll bet) but it's playable.

Starships have nice jet-fumes now. The more fume clips I add the better the effect, but unfortunately it was slowing down the action heavily and I had to forsake beauty for muscle in this case. Although the results of running some tests using BitmapData instead of mc's proved to give more speed I couldn't quite work out a couple of nasty untraceable errors I was getting at compile time, so for the time being clips will do...

Hey when you think about it, we're not a million miles away from a game here. It'd be nice to get this one wrapped up as I'm itching to get back to my fighters. That SORF demo is just begging to be made into a full game.

As for all the rest, I'm thinking to rewrap Trivia Casino with some more functions and send it out with my blessing amongst some more portals. It's not a bad quiz game after all, though it's not bringing me in a penny right now-in fact I've a theory the MochiAds code isn't working- my stats say 0 visitors in the past month..
So about the latest demo.
It was written in AS3. Particles were done using Flint Particle System by Richard Lord. For anybody who's never heard of it, I'd suggest you check it out- it's one of the most advanced particle system libraries out there, and it's free. Literally anything you'd ever want to do with particles is possible with Flint and Richard is always lurking around the forums willing to solve problems. The ingame explosions on bullet impact are Flint particle Blasts that are given an initial velocity by the bullet. Henceforth when you destory a ship the explosion is affected by the speed and trajectory of the bullet. Works nicely- wouldn't you agree?

I haven't worked through exactly how to formulate the game from here- whether it will grow to fully-fledged objective based game or else a short+simple melee space battle where you have two defeat a rival clan+boss and you can 'capture' better equiped NPC's to build your teams for later stages. We'll see.

Concerning other matters, recently I've been playing the PS3 non-stop. Seems like I can't get off the bastard what with all the multiplayer games. So addictive these days. I thought I'd review a couple of new ones I bought.


Ryu Ga Gotoku:Kenzan
Ryu Ga Gotoku/Yakuza, Shenmue- the comparisons are unavoidable, but for me Yakuza has always stood in the shadows of the revered Shenmue family. Shenmue 2 is a game I would easily put into my top 10 favourite all-time- it has all the workings of genius. Evolving fighting system, absorbing character development, cinematic battles, intriguing characters. Just goddamn everything, OK? In Shenmue most of the exploration was well-rewarded. It was really exciting when you'd walk into some place to reveal a cutscene involving a character you've already met. Learned a hell of a lot of Japanese from it too "Koitsu yachimae!"-"Get that bastard!"- wow, one one of the best journey of spiritual enlightenment games ever devised.

Yakuza 3 on the other hand. Well, storyline and dialogue aside for me it's a dead duck. There's not a lot to keep you glued to this game once you've clocked it, and I think a lot of reviewers have given it an epic rank largely due to being swallowed up by the hype and grandiosity of the game.

Not enough going on in thea world to make you feel like you just want to roam around pointlessly carrying out submissions unrelated to the main storyline.

Let's talk about the battle system. It's dull.
Despite being PS3 you still have a lengthy pause before each battle, which is irritating, and the action itself is mild. Battles just aren't fun, you sometimes groan as you see an unavoidable thug running towards you down an alleyway. Sure you have special moves where you can smash people's heads into taiko drums but it's more of a chore than anything else, constantly dodging around the screen and doing the same effortless combos. The extra weapons don't add anything but a little variety in my opinion. It's just a crap fighting engine, and each fight - same as Yakuza 1- is completely unchallenging. Let's face it, if it wasn't for the rpg element the game wouldn't sell. It's hard to believe this is the same Sega that came out with Daytona USA and Shinobi back in the day.

What about the rest? OK, it's all fine having gambling joints to go to and hostess club sections to give you some extra value but all-in-all it is kind of pointless when they aren't a relative component to the game's completion. In Shenmue was necessary evil to buy better special moves, uncover information, and in some cases to progress through the game- same in Ryu Ga Gotoku but hmmm money was more fun to come by in Shenmue- you had to do odd jobs and the betting was more of a laugh.
Throwing a lot of distractions in there doesn't entail that it will automatically be a classic, and it seems to me that the design team should have spent more time on the fundamentals of the fight engine than overkill the game with a lot of gratuitous stuff that isn't fun to do. Simply never quite scratches the surface of the magic of Shenmue but hey it's still a lot better than many games available on the market today.
Now the good stuff. The story is above average and keeps you banging on through the game to see what's going to happen next. The dialogue is also scripted well, the main character, appealing. Graphics- 9/10. Another cool point is the use of real actors voices and face models for the ingame characters. I'd welcome seeing that more in Western titles.
My verdict:It's like being told a great story that forces you to play an average game to get to the next part.

Resistance 2: Fall of Man
Me and some Aussie guy - a fellow 'gaijin' in Japan (who doesn't believe me when I tell him I code games)- spent a couple of drunken evenings whizzing through the first one on split screen and had a thoroughly enjoyable time doing so. It wasn't quite HALO but either way it had me and him convinced we'd buy the sequel when it came out, which it did last week. And what a game!
.
It's been said a few times in reviews already, but one takes the prize for game with the most cinematic excellence ever seen on a 3rd gen system. Makes you want to put the pad down and stare at times. Draw distance is seriously impressive, most scenes span out as far as the eye can see.
Personally I haven't seen a game achieve yet the kind of monolithic enemies that take up the entire screen as found in R2. Its an incredible testamount to the power of the PS3 that it can even handle all that. And not a slowdown of FPS in sight even with zillions of baddies onscreen.

As for the game itself, the campaign mode gets nothing but praise from me. It is kind of short but great fun throughout, being no walk in the park, you will get your ass handed to you a lot in the later stages. Best FPS I've ever played, hands down.

The multiplayer is a lot of fun too, I like playing the co-op with only 3-4 players so it's more challenging (hey EVIL_KRIS_JAPAN if anybody fancies a game).
Skirmish is also a good laugh, BUTTTT- Metal Gear 4 is still my top choice for online play (level 6 sniper now)

One thing that worth noticing I thought is that the 'Grims' in the game bear quite the passing resemblance to my character Lucifer in the 3rd level of 'The Damned'. I guess great minds think alike, or else the team behind R2 watched the same inspirational movies I did as a kid, namely anything by Dario Argento or Lucio Fulci.

Dead Space

It's so cool because I was thinking "Damn I've sold my PS2 how am I gonna get my Res Evil 4 fix whenever I feel like whacking that on" then !BOOM! Dead Space arrives and my days of worry long-gone.

One question, did someone from Electronic Arts break into Capcom HQ and steal Resident Evil 4's entire game files? The reason I ask is because Dead Space is downright identical to it. To say it's similar would be unjust- it's like..identical... bar a few extra features thrown in that is, mimicking Res Evil 4 right down to the perspective and the way the models are lit, the framerate, orchestral effects, weapon reloading. It's uncanny- did the Capcom staff migrate to EA or something?

Either way who gives a shit because this IS one of the best games I've ever played. Certainly the best survival horror game on the market at present, and it really sets the bar for how scary a game can get.



My only tiny little niggle is sometimes it's like your body splits apart almost too easily when killed. But there's some real gruesome death scenes that impressed the hell out of me, Isaac (the hero) doesn't like to just get ripped apart like some rag doll, he fights his arse off even when getting a leg torn off, yowch it just gets you to thinking how you'd be in the same situation.


The game is frickin' outstanding. I can't praise it enough. One of those games that is more like living through an experience rather than playing some game and it is seriously worth buying. Anyone who even remotely enjoyed Resident Evil 4 has to buy this game, because it IS Resident Evil 4.5: In Space. Slick controls, cool weapons and jaw-dropping graphics. The Zero Gravity sections are fun and well-planned. Some of the puzzles take some thinking and make for a nice challenge and the boss's (when you do encounter them) are also visually impressive and a good challenge to tackle. The final boss in particular looks superb.
For atmosphere this game gets a straight-out 10. It will scare the living shit out of you-more than any other game of this genre. I love the way that the game pushes the fear factor so much further than any Japanese game would ever dare to go. The way it explores psychological horror also works tremendously well, it's not just what comes out of the shadows that is scary, the story is also very dark and the characters, suspicious. The emptiness of space, being all alone out there with limited ammo and screams echoing from who-knows-where, there's never a moment when you don't feel anxious and sweaty-palmed. EA should really fork out for a good director and crew and turn this game into a movie because it's would be a blockbuster.

For example I found it particularly disturbing (in a good way) when ---SPOILER--- Isaac realises his girlfriend killed herself ages ago and all the time she was around it was only in his head. Kind of predictable, yet so well done- a really sad, emphatic memorable moment. And then the final scene, fucking bravo, I jumped out of my seat. There's something really creepy about the way characters kind of talk to you from a distance through windows, I dunno why but it works, you keep expecting things to happen to them- and they do.
Though it's meaningless fun I love the way you can dismember just about any living or dead tissue, and the comedic element of picking up bodies of dead civilians with your Kinetic gun to sling at your opponents or into gravity vents which suck them into giant fans. There's some rarely-seen-before physics in Dead Space that you will enjoy partaking in. It's just crazy walking into a room and seeing a guy with his rib-cage showing headbutting the wall before dying. What's even more crazy is the way you can then satisfy your sadistic tendecies by then blowing his head off. You'd never get away with that in a Japanese game.

So yeah, the game copies a degree of everything, but it's done so well you wont give a toss.
The game blatantly borrows from just about every horror movie: Aliens, The Thing. Event Horizon- and every game:BioShock, Doom 3, Half-Life 2, Resident Evil 4 that has ever inspired the genre. You name it- but I think they may be onto something because it's fun seeing all your favourite elements squashed into one entity. And EA have done it to such a standard that you can't help but forgive. It's not going to win awards for originality and I feel sorry for them if one of those games decides to sue EA for breach of creative ownership as they'd be guilty as charged, but it's hard to criticize when you see the results.

In contrast to what some reviewers have said, the story is decent I believe- I was inclined to continue playing simply to uncover some of the mysteries of the storyline and to find out what happens to the remaining crew members and their loved ones. It has all the elements of a good novel, suspense, treachery, tragic love. So what they're on about I don't know, the story is great.
After finishing the game I was left with the same kind of chill as when I first time I saw movies like Aliens or The Descent.

This is a really exceptional game in many ways, for me it's the best horror survival game in existence at this time, any self-respecting fan of the genre should definitely check it out. They've taken everything cool that you loved from your favourite horror movies and put it into a game and whats more is that they goodamn nailed it. Same atmosphere.
Check the side-panel it's on there. Will write more about it tomorrow, shattered right now!As usual, few bugs. At this point in time all you can do is shoot, steal weakened craft and eject your astronaut. I'll update the game and post it regularly.
Indeed I do seem to have dropped off the face of the planet.
Truth is I've just lost interest in coding games for a while. It's great fun to develop games but it's hard work, especially when you're not just working in Flash but other apps such as Photoshop and 3DS Max, which each have their own steep learning curves.
So, for the time being, I've gone back to my other hobby, writing. You know, novels, short-stories, scripts for movies etc...that was what I did before getting into Flash. And when the motivation to do that fades (it will) I'll be back with avengeance. I'm a bit of a butterfly like that, jumping from hobby to hobby but I always come back around eventually.

Another thing is I've been getting into gaming pretty heavily recently- playing - that is ^-^
You can catch me on PS3 Network EVIL_KRIS_JAPAN. At the moment I'm only into Metal Gear Online and GTA4, occasionally WarHawk. Tekken 6 is coming out in Japan in December so I'll be on that like a fly to shit if anybody out there wants a challenge.

Have patience folks- the dude will return,
Kris
ydjapan.com
Ya nothing major, just popping in to let you all know I'm alive. Actually have been entirely immersed in something other than coding for most of the past year so please forgive me. I know a bunch of you have written to me mostly in regards to the SplatterHouse tutorials but I've been bombarded with so many mails about them that I if I can't get round to you all, once again, I apologise.

I'm so limited for time these days that I've had no chance to sit down and have a pint with my old mate Flash. Actually started a prototype of a Last Ninja remake the other day, got my little ninja leaping around in isometric up already. Definitely getting more comfortable with AS3 these days too.

Just a wee update to the fighting engine I posted before. There's tons of bugs in there I know, but it's getting there, wouldn't you agree? I figure I'll design the whole game first using known sprites as placeholder, then swap them for custom graphics when it's all done. Feel free to decompile this little demo, but be warned the code is dirty, so much so it almost makes me cringe to look at it. I treat me code like my woman folks, beat it around and get it to do what you want whether it wants to or not.

Ok back to the real world. またね
To my Nexus/Sirius demo.
Check it out on the Sidebar link.
Few more levels (to to Floor 5 now!). Better character graphics. Rudimentary enemy AI. Character can now perform some tasty karate moves. That's it. Too busy on Monster Hunter 2 and studying AS3 these days for much else. Hey any sponsors wanna buy Trivia Casino?
Hello guys, been awhile.

----
Xmas season and whatnot. Been busy and Jesus CHRIST have I been addicted to Tekken 6!
I don't even want to talk about how much of my salary goes into this frickin game.
You guys outside of Japan won't have played it yet but let me tell you it's a hell of a game. I pretty much gave up on Tekken after about 3. Far far better than the previous versions. Better, faster, more competitive, longer combos. To make it more interesting the game centers have a monitor unit that shows battles between Japans greatest fighters, very entertaining. You can also customise your own player on your mobile phone using a stats card buyable from a nearby machine. Unfortunately, I live in Fukuoka where some of the best players in Japan reside, that equals getting my ass handed to me on a regular basis. It's just frightening the reflexes of these guys- it makes me wonder how they'd handle themselves in a real scrap. Probably kick the crap out of anyone.

As for coding updates;-


It's tough trying to find inspiration to teach people how to make games in an almost obselete environment in AS2. People keep sending me mails about the beat-em up tutes and such but what you've got to understand is that sure, people are still making AS2 games for now but give it a while and watch while the next-gen of AS3 stuff comes out, utilising Papervision 3D and the extra grunt of AS3. In other words, continuing with the tutorials at this stage would be a waste of time. My aim is to gain enough knowledge of AS3 that I can convert most of the tutorials over, but it's extremely time-consuming. People forget that I can't program worth a shit. I'm very much an ideas guy, not so much into cutting-edge programming techniques but rather the whatever-works approach. I've got an artist guy just dying for me to finish him a tile-engine in AS3 and I'm finding it impossible right now. If anybody has some great links to making a flexible tile-engine in AS3, get me in the know OK?

I decided I want to finish off my current projects before I abandon AS2 completely. I've been getting on with the Nexus/Sirius demo. Currently developing a series of combat moves for the main character and found a great mocap resource at http://www.mocapdata.com/
Should be an update soon.
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