KREEP, still alive.

Hello there!

Me getting sick again == release delayed by three weeks :(. But I’m sort-of okay by now and the game is finished πŸ™‚ !!!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present you: Operation KREEP

You can pick it up onΒ for 2.99$, or if you are kind of interested, but don’t really know if it is for you, there is a demo version showcasing most of the features with limited content (local co-op is included πŸ˜‰ !).

Super happy πŸ™‚ KREEP is released (ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED). I hope you try it out and it will be to your liking!

A little about the last three weeks, what happened, why the delay, anything else made it to the final build since?

As mention, I got sick, had no energy and time for doing a full test, fixing bugs and shipping a non-rushed final version, so instead of a week, the “release” took three weeks :(. Still not okay yet, docs. don’t know the exact ~root-cause, but feeling much better currently, so I decided, that this weekend will be THE weekend πŸ™‚ !

I added a few new maps since the last update:

KREEP screenshot #16
The KREEP goes round and round the asteroid ring miner station.

KREEP screenshot #17
The most famous eight-legged deep space dock, now welcoming an uninvited guest…

KREEP screenshot #18
Science cruiser on an important mission; examine the KREEP life form.

KREEP screenshot #19
Run-down space station, built on an asteroid field. Out of staff full of aliens.

Also poured some time into fine-tuning, to add an extra level of polish. Here are the ones with the most impact:

  • Implemented some tricks in the AI. Now it is much more fun and interesting playing with and against them. They possess a “strategy” now and they act more like a human player would (still pretty dumb though πŸ˜€ ). Just to give you a better idea, some words, that describe the various long and short term goals are: survival, sneaky, money, revenge.
  • Better tutorial: Now the game has a rich interactive tutorial which is not just a wall of text. Through instructions, game play events, and playing with/against an AI agent the tutorial actually explain the core components of the game :).
  • Huge amount of bug fixes and fine-tuning, from correct settings saving with %APPDATA% fallback, to alt-tabing and pausing the game-play on loosing window-focus, a lot of minor but not so interesting features were added to the game…

As always, I’m open for suggestions and critique, especially regarding the final product. If you try it out and have something to say about it, anything actually, or you encounter a problem, I’m all ears πŸ˜‰ !

I would like to thank everyone who helped me achieve this goal, and all of you following me on this journey! It means a lot to me, thx again.
I plan to take some time off (but not too much :D, only one or two week(s)) from work and game making alike, just to fully recover and to get back with a refreshed mind :), but I plan to write a little postmortem-ish like thingy about KREEP afterwards, especially if there is interest!

See ya, take care!

KREEP, radioactive.

Hi everyone!

Long time no see. It is, that time of the year, everyone gets sick, first my fiancΓ©e, than me, and shortly after my cat followed :(. Still had some time to work on KREEP, but had no energy to prepare and post updates lately, sry. But, HUGE update this time πŸ™‚ !

It looks like I can keep the middle of October release. Last two weeks were mostly about extra content, polish and “would love to have it, if time allows” features, upcoming two will be similar as I’m preparing for launch πŸ™‚ ! Biggest addition this time is a so called “graphics revamp”. After I’ve finalized the menu, I looked over the remaining tasks, plans and parts where I wanted to beef up the atmosphere and looks of the game. I’ve introduced some new audio-visual effects where I felt it was necessary to have more cues about certain events (e.g.: re-spawn, teleport etc…), and tried to enhance the overall visual looks of the game with a glow and scan-line effect.

I know, that people are divided regarding pixel art + programmed effects, like: glow, scan-lines and shaders, so the effects, as seen in the video, can be fully disabled, but I really like the end result, and I think it fits and enhances the style of the game, so they will be on by default.

Little technical details: I know, adding effects like these to a game is no biggie from a technical standpoint (just a few line of HLSL or GLSL from the net and you are done πŸ˜€ ), but I thought I throw in a fun-fact about my solution. I used the fixed pipeline only, no shaders. No I’m not out of my mind :D, also I know how to apply a simple blur in a shader :P. Simply I found it refreshing/interesting to do it this way, and since it was a relatively simple thing (XNA/MonoGame due to it’s DX9 roots allows it without any hustle), it wasn’t more complicated doing it in an old-fashioned way.

Here is a little technical overview of my rendering steps:
KREEP graphic effect renderer pipeline.

Little cheat: the actual glow part (steps #1 to steps #5) is repeated multiple times, due to groups of sprites covering each other and hence the “glowing” pixels too, like one for the map and one for the UI elements on top of it…
The core logic is essentially down-sampling than up-sampling using an off-screen buffer and LINEAR clamping (blur) and overlaying the result using ADDITIVE blending (glow).

Added some new sprite effects, for more “readability” of what is happening. They work like a charm!

Teleporter effects:
GIF from KREEP, teleporter sprite effect.

Re-spawn effects:
GIF from KREEP, re-spawn sprite effect.

Score counter:
GIF from KREEP, kill counter sprite effect.

Latest addition to the UI was the “KREEPometer”, showing the progress of the KREEP occupying the level:
GIF from KREEP, the "KREEPOmeter" ui widget.

Also, I think the glow and scan-line effects add a great deal of extra life to the UI:
KREEP screenshot #14

Been active adding new maps to the game. Next time I’ll post some more screen-shots, but here is a pic about the “Gargantuan”:
KREEP screenshot #15
The pest alarm signaled the crew into the engine room of the largest ship in the fleet.

By the end of next week, the game will be in a quasi finished state. I think only minor patching will be needed here and there. I will try to come up with an exact date (probably somewhere around 16th of October) and other details about the release, plus will put together some cohesive writing about the project.