Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Laser Hockey DS Speaks

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Finally, we have sound in Laser Hockey! After three months of doing other stuff and one month of working we have uploaded the latest build. The game still needs tremendous polish but with sound in, it's finally starting to feel like a real game. All music and sound effects were created by a member of Moose-At-Play.

Build 0.6.0 Enhancements and Fixes

  • Original streaming music and sound effects for the title screen
  • Original streaming music and sound effects during game play
  • Hooking into Box2D's collision system to play sound effects during game play
  • Randomizing which neon sound gets played on each contact
  • [BUG] Cancel button on Host/Join screens never pops up
  • Removed paddle-neon collision from Box2D using ContactFilter, doing it manually with bounding box to avoid bouncing paddles
  • Moving your paddle into the goal area is no longer allowed by design, graphics to convey this will be added next month
  • Randomizing which wall sound gets played on each contact

You can download it by clicking this link: LHDS_2008_12_31.zip

The ZIP includes an emulator but it doesn't play the streamed music very well. You should play on real DS hardware. The ZIP no longer includes the DS.GBA version because, with the music, the game is now over 5 megs and I don't want to include two copies in the same package. If you really want a DS.GBA version, download the dsbuild tool.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

On the Twelfth Day of Homebrew

Moose-At-Play gave to me:

12 sound effects
11 missing pucks
10 megs to download
9 practice games
8 bug fixes
7 にほんごのもじ
6 days of notice
5 filler syllables
4 months of nothing
3 background musics
2 re-hashed screen shots
And a new game audio team member

Yes, there is some junk in that jingle but there are some hints and information too.

From the beginning of September through the end of November, I've mostly been working on a big project for work in my spare time. That and finishing Etrian Odyssey and Castlevania. This month, we will finally get a build out. The goal was background music and sound effects and we've already succeeded in getting a lot of it to work. Also, as the horrible song says, we do have a new team member creating the game audio and that's a great deal for you because the rest of us wouldn't have any clue.

The release is scheduled for December 31st. We the addition of audio, Laser Hockey DS finally has all the necessary components to be considered a real game. It needs loads of polish and features but in my mind it has made it to a very important milestone.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Laser Hockey DS adds color, fades

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Like my DS Fanboy-style title?

I have put the latest build of Laser Hockey DS up. We're not quite as far as we wanted to be at this point but it's still a big improvement.

Build 0.5.0

  • Using 24-bit color backgrounds for game board
  • Score is finally drawing under other sprites
  • The ball is much smaller
  • The paddles are much smaller
  • Added glow as a separate translucent sprite behind ball
  • Added glow as separate translucent sprites that draw behind paddles
  • Added splash screen that fades in and out

You can download it by clicking this link: LHDS_2008_09_05.zip

Here's a nifty new screenshot of the higher color background and smaller ball and paddles:


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Please enjoy the music while your Moose is reached

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Development has been on hold for about the last month and a half. Here are some reasons why:

  • Lead programmer is working on an important work project at home, also he is hooked on Etrian Odyssey
  • Technical artist is hooked on Final Fantasy Tactics A2
  • Art director is pregnant

This by no means implies development has been stopped. The next update will be graphical in nature but will not likely be released before the end of August.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Laser Hockey DS - May 2008

I have put the latest build of Laser Hockey DS online tonight. This version finally has a real physics engine courtesy of Box2D. Again, it looks identical to the last two builds but this one finally plays like a real game. Next month is all about the looks...gotta shrink those paddles.

Build 0.4.0

  • Using Box2D for physics, still needs a lot of tweaking and bug fixing; it took almost two months but it's a huge improvement
  • Re-initializing memory between screen changes to avoid a memory leak
  • Remove remnants of old placeholder engine
  • Using Box2D's body rotation for the sprite rotation
  • Player two takes control of physics updates when ball is in his or her court, a vast improvement in responsiveness of game play for player two
  • Select button now exits practice and multiplayer games

You can download it by clicking this link: LHDS_2008_05_31.zip

I am not going to provide any new screenshots as they are exactly the same.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Laser Hockey DS thumbnail appears on Joystiq

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DS Fanboy interviewed me during their Week of Homebrew and like all good Fanboy features, a recap was posted to Joystiq!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Forward to the Past

After re-re-re-thinking how we are going to replace the physics engine, we have finally settled with Box2D. We have an early preview version of the integration effort working and will release it at the end of the month. However, the release will likely be buggy (e.g., game freezing and strange collision behavior) while we iron out the bugs.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

No Box2D

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We've been looking into using Box2D as our physics engine for the last half of the month but at this point it seems like overkill. This means two things:

  1. We will be implementing our own simple physics engine to replace the placeholder one that's in there now
  2. We will not have a release this month

We may integrate Box2D by the end of the project but for now it's time to start putting our own one together.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Laser Hockey DS - March 2008

We are a little early with this build but I don't think much will change in the next week so we are releasing version 0.3.4 today. This one looks almost identical to the last one. The only difference is that wireless multiplayer actually works! Here are all of the changes since the last public release.

Internal build: 0.3.4

  • First DS-DS WiFi communication
  • Moved paddle visibility flag into sprite for WiFi transfer
  • Paddles can send their position
  • Host must press Start to begin multiplayer game
  • Ball position is now sent over from host
  • Host will do all the game play processing
  • Fixed paddle and ball positioning across wireless
  • Pressing start will exit Practice...correctly
  • Any player pressing start will exit multiplayer
  • Cleaning up after each screen
  • Sending score over
  • Added "Press Start" message for Host, "Waiting" message for Player 2

You can download it by clicking this link: LHDS_2008_03_31.zip

Starting a second multiplayer game can be a little tricky but overall, the build works pretty well.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More multiplayer

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You may have guessed already that we think DS-DS multiplayer is very important to the homebrew scene. Well, we are not the only ones promoting it. Since the beginning of last month, you can download liblobby directly off of the PAlib website: http://palib.info/forum/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=3&lid=39 (when it comes back up :P). We don't use PAlib but the spread a multiplayer library is always good news.

Also, the game Tetattds claims multiplayer support with liblobby. We haven't checked it out ourselves but go have a look: http://code.google.com/p/tetattds/.

Things are moving along faster than expected here. We will most certainly make our March deadline.

Friday, March 14, 2008

In the works

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We took a month off to play with other projects. However, we now have two CycloDS Evolutions and one M3 DS Real between us. The plan is to get Wi-Fi multiplayer working and tested by the end of the month.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One CycloDS Evolution, please

Ok, we finally got our CycloDS Evolution. We ordered two but something went wrong in processing I guess. I am sure that will be fixed in the near future. We can finally clean up wireless multiplayer.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Laser Hockey DS - January 31 2008

We have added DS-DS wireless connecting. We can't say multiplayer yet because you can't actually play the game against a friend. One player can host, another can join. Once a connection is established, both players should drop into the usual practice mode. Your mileage may vary. Let us know if anyone gets that far.

Internal build: 0.3.1

  • Added multiplayer buttons Join and Host
  • Added DS-DS initialization
  • Extra update when performing screen switches
  • Now drawing right before the V-Blank
  • Added status text on connection error
  • Wireless no longer turns on before it is supposed to

You can download it by clicking on this link: LHDS_2008_01_31.zip.

Finally, some links for liblobby as info is hard to come by:


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Laser Hockey DS - January 5

We have put up a build with a couple more updates.

Internal build: 0.2.0

  • We have a nice looking title screen with a single button for Practice which just launches the same old game with no way out.
  • Added a real player two paddle, it's blue.

You can download it by clicking this link: LHDS_2008_01_05.zip.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Laser Hockey DS - December

We have put up a December 2007 release of Laser Hockey DS. Due to the holidays, game development took a back seat to game playing so there are only two minor changes from the November release.

The new internal build number is 0.1.7.

  • The scores display on each screen
  • The game goes into sleep mode when you close the lid

You can download it by clicking this link: LHDS_2007_12_31.zip.

To add a spot of good news, there is a homebrew DS-DS wireless multiplayer library named liblobby from MightyMax. We will look into using that for multiplayer in the next build.

Laser Hockey DS - Dec 2007