Oregon Trail: Hot Pursuit

merrak

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O r e g o n   T r a i l  :  H o t   P u r s u i t



Oregon Trail: Hot Pursuit takes you back to a time when pioneers strapped rockets to their oxen and jet across the open frontier. Youngsters will learn all about “American history” in this new take on the under-appreciated edutainment/racing genres! Seven glorious colors and Apple ][ 280 x 200 resolution. Oregon Trail: Hot Pursuit is a learning experience your children will be sure to never forget.

This is my entry for Ludum Dare 41 (Compo). Of all my entries, this was probably the most fun to make... mainly for all of the opportunities to just be silly. I tried to stick close to the version I remember best--the Apple ][ version. So I used the Apple color palette and resolution. I didn't go as far as to create the color artifacts--so it's not quite right. But it's close enough for me.



mdotedot

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Congratulations on the entry.

Good humor.
Your root as an educator grows deep :D

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merrak

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Thanks! Unfortunately, I seem to now have a case of the "now what?"s. I completed one of my major development goals (the layer system for Vallas) and also completed an entire game for LD. So where to now...

mdotedot

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You can always make your engine public and write some documentation for it :D
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merrak

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You can always make your engine public and write some documentation for it :D

I wouldn't know where to begin documenting all of it :D A general purpose game engine is a long-term goal, but as it is now, "engine" is probably a misnomer. A lot of what makes my game unique is built right into the general purpose rendering code.

But--I was making blocks for a while. I have about 100 of them--and could easily add 100 more. I also do have some documentation started, so that was certainly the original intent. At the moment I think the algorithms are more useful than the actual code, even though it'd take a lot of work to implement them from scratch.

On a similar note, I thought writing some kind of "essential math and algorithms for game developers" book could be an interesting pursuit. There's a lot already out there, but most of these kinds of books are really best used in a classroom. A book for self-teaching is harder to write... especially math. But basing a title, and examples, off of Stencyl might give it a shot at working, since it's so easy to program examples.

mdotedot

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It really depends on what you like to do the most.

If you like to program : write a program to dynamically generate levels saved with your editor
If you like to teach : write a book / tutorial / documentation

My personal take on it is that I like to reuse what I previously made.
So I'm trying to create little examples / demos so that I can copy-paste from it.

I'm afraid that your engine is so dependent of other engine-calculations that you can't easily isolate one type of solution to a problem?!?

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merrak

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I'm afraid that your engine is so dependent of other engine-calculations that you can't easily isolate one type of solution to a problem?!?

I'm slowly identifying common solutions and moving them to a more accessible area. For example, all the orthogonal projection routines are part of the Wall class, where I originally used them only to calculate shadows against walls. I found a lot of uses for that routine elsewhere, so it really should be in a general-purpose 'LinearAlgebraTools' class.

mdotedot

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Are you extening your artificial  extension with LinearAlgebraTools ?
There are other things you might make general-purpose:
Your nice (almost procedural generated-game-like) :  the rectangle filler where you put rectangles on a plane were there is one or more rectangles and you need to calculate the least number of squares to fill the area.
And these: "There are plenty of other algorithms out there, but Sutherland-Hodgman seemed to have a good balance of simplicity, efficiency, and generality, and also handles all the cases I'm imagining I'll throw at it. I looked at Greiner-Hormann clipping algorithm, too."
I believe you had a kind of growing squares / walking squares algorithm? I've made one for my extrusion and could be usefull for 2D as well?!?
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Proud member of the League of Idiotic Stencylers! Doing things in Stencyl that probably shouldn't be done.

merrak

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AI Tools is a graph-based toolset, but I thought about making a separate Linear Algebra tools. For instance, it'd be nice to have that Bresenham algorithm available as an extension... since it's useful for tile-based games that don't have Box2D available.

The "Growing Squares" algorithm is one of my favorites, but I'm not sure how useful it'd be for anything other than the application I used it for. Not that that's a good reason to set it aside :) Unfortunately, it doesn't compute the minimum number of rectangles. I'd like it to, but rather, it just finds "a" solution.

I do need to update the AI Tools extension. Some of the graph algorithms (like Kahn's) would be really useful for AI... or even just solving a variety of other problems.

While I'm at it, I've been thinking about moving all my extensions over to GitHub. I'd like people to be able to fork them if they want to modify them to serve their own particular needs. The AI tools, for instance, is probably misnamed. It really was intended to be a general graphs toolset, but AI was the first application I thought of.

merrak

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Post Mortem and Results are in.

I was surprised it did as well as it did. Scores--


I wrote a quick post-mortem. I almost didn't participate in this one. I jumped in at the last minute Friday night.

mdotedot

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CONGRATULATIONS!

Well done on the 1st place Humor!

The overall score is very good.  There are a whole bunch of other cool games made in this Ludum Dare so you should be proud!

Hanging out in the Chat:  http://www.stencyl.com/chat/

Proud member of the League of Idiotic Stencylers! Doing things in Stencyl that probably shouldn't be done.

merrak

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CONGRATULATIONS!

Well done on the 1st place Humor!

The overall score is very good.  There are a whole bunch of other cool games made in this Ludum Dare so you should be proud!

Thanks!