<< May 2024 >>





Letzte Einträge:

28.06.21 ( 02:59:30 )
The Finish Line!

03.11.20 ( 20:38:58 )
Rest in Peace, Flash!

11.10.20 ( 16:55:23 )
Onslaught update

28.06.21 ( 02:59:30 ) - The Finish Line! #coding

Much has happened for those that only look in this very place here. Not sure if that is anyone really, but in case there is someone lurking here... Subscribble to my youtube. There has been a ton of development, and I sort of forgot this here over all the other places I have been pushing updates.

#4 - Maps, FirePoint Positioning, Stress Test - December 2020

A big part of the code has been ported to libGDX, fully functional are the map generation and the basic turrets have been roughly tested, including their projectiles.

#5 - Break, Map Selection, Modding GUI, - April 2021

A bit of progress with the map selection, but then everything sort of got stuck in the mud that was the pandemic, I guess. In April 2021 I regained my mojo and pushed through all road bumps and implemented the Modding Interface.

#6 - Positioning Updates, Weapon Rack, Upgrade Panel, Keyboard Control - May 2021

Presumably all about the GUI frame down below is done, keyboard shortcuts work, the only thing missing for actual gameplay now are the ingame menus and Combos.

#7 - All Combos, All Ingame Menus, Challenges, Saving and Loading - June 2021

I can not stress enough how big this month was:

  • all shooting turrets [except for Targeter]

  • all modifier turrets

  • all challenges

  • savegame saving and loading [except for saved maps]

  • all Combos

  • all ingame windows

Now that we are closing in on July I am actually already creating another video, to be released to Patrons tomorrow.

I think I deserve a month of real life break, maybe vacation. How so? These are the things completed end of this month:

  • firing animations for all Turrets

  • various image drawing / scaling and positioning fixes

  • BFG projectile animates properly now

  • Show turret link status LED

  • Targeter Turret

  • Recode SparkEngine to properly visually hit target

  • Custom Map loading, saving, editing, testing

Yep, that last one is a pretty big one. Also, not sure why I have to justify taking time off.

Anyway, sorry for dumping this all on you. It is late, I will get ready for work. :)

Have a safe summer, stay awesome!

Yours Chris / SLiPCoR

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03.11.20 ( 20:38:58 ) - Rest in Peace, Flash! #coding

Adobe themselves push to uninstall Flash, which would prevent anyone from continuing to play the game that is Onslaught, as we know it.

During the next month, I will try to set up Patreon and together to have central places to manage eventual proceeds and to inform people who want to stay updated, together with receiving the actual game.

There will be a quick and dirty version in the very near future, it is basically a lazy export of what used to be the game, some things did not make the transition to the latest Flash software I could legally download and test.

Anyway, the video has the information what happened in the meantime and what needs to be done to make this an actual game again.

Stay awesome!

Chris / SLiPCoR

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11.10.20 ( 16:55:23 ) - Onslaught update #coding

So I'd say I've come a long way during this week. Finally there is almost everything that the intro screen needs. Still missing is the UI, even though it is implemented in the back and it might just be hidden behind the road / background.

Also the rockets act weirdly. They spawn at 0/0 and the rocket trails move, but the rockets do not.

Please ignore the small black holes at the end of the turrets' guns, they are placeholders to visualize the firing point which needs to rotate with the gun, and it does!

So yeah, I have a good feeling about crunching the remaining bugs maybe this year. A christmas release would be very nice, but it depends on the next weeks.

Have a great rest of the year, everyone!

Yours Chris/SLiPCoR

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27.08.20 ( 19:16:34 ) - I broke the RSS - again #coding #music

I think it is time to set up a mail subscription or something. I just noticed that none of the latest updates showed up in my own feed ... yeah.. sorry about that. If anyone is still reading this.

Short update, I have been active in the background but mostly taking a breather from all that is going on around the world. It is depressing if you let it get to you.

I am fine, everyone I care about is fine.

I will continue next week with active development, focusing on finishing this bad boy called Onslaught - I read somewhere that Adobe now actively encourages people to uninstall Flash --- if that is not burying a whole generation of video games, I do not know what is.

When that is done I will focus on getting a music release out, but I will focus on Onslaught first. I should be close to release. Should be. Still many errors because of instantiation issues, but I will get there. I am not letting these technicalities mess with me. The base code is done and tested... it should work soon :D

Have a good one and stay awesome!

Yours Chris/SLiPCoR

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23.07.20 ( 09:22:42 ) - The home stretch #coding

Alright, this is where it really comes down to focusing properly. Which is what I totally have not done.

I have been chilling for some time due to some health things popping up. Everything is fine, but I still had to rest.

The porting is done! All code is moved over to Java and technically should work. But that is where the problem is. Some things do not seem to work as I hoped they would. This is probably just an artifact of Flash initializing differently than Java.

I have been looking through the original Flash files again, and I think this will help me in understanding how and when classes are built and initiated and instantiated. If this step does not prove successful, I will have to make my first release the first rewrite, too, for Java's sake. I really hoped to release the first version as vanilla as possible. But I do have to make it work properly first :)

What is the problem? We have no bullet visuals. The Turrets aim at the Creeps, fire, the Creeps die, but there is no visible bullets. It is a weird bug and I really hate to skip this little thing and just move on to other things, so I have to fix this here and now. Classes seem to be used appropriately, on their own they work, but when used BY a turret, they seem not to be.

I am sure this will be easy to fix once I come back from this small summer break.

Everything seems to be going much better this round anyway. If everything fails, I at least was able to export an EXE file for Windows - I will link this if Flash stops working - the only caveat is that buttons have no text. And this might be too hard for me to fix. The buttons are supposed to be internal Flash classes, and I can not edit their settings. Messing with them too much breaks other buttons derived from them, e.g. the map selection has no more maps, all buttons are plain white.

Very complicated... But I am very confident that this game will be released. I am motivated by some people in my friend circle remembering the game as fondly as I do. We will get this done!

Stay safe and healthy out there!

Yours Chris / SLiPCoR

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31.05.20 ( 12:57:38 ) - Onslaught Milestone 2 #coding

Hey :)

Last time I wrote how happy I am with the progress - but what am I now, seeing that I made the progress of 2 years of Unreal Engine development just in about one MONTH in Java? - I am beyond happy, sometimes I think this is a dream :D

Here is the latest DevLog update which shows the current progress, basically I am beyond the point I was when I abandoned Unreal Engine and I started implementing the GUI which was not possible for me to begin to tackle in Unreal, but in Java it works just fine... Mouse events, Keyboard events, animation, rotation, fading in and out, I got it all...

Last time I mentioned that the last big hurdle to take is the relative positioning of MovieClips inside each other. This has been a week worth of hacking but it works 100% - the things you see in the bottom are inside a container that is set to be at the bottom, and the turret parts are all positioned relatively to the turret position, not absolutely.

Some things are being drawn absolutely which is why I had to (I needed this anyway) implement functions to get a MovieClips relative position to absolute position and vice versa. This is handy for many reasons, and makes what you see possible.

Somehow I hate my old self for being so proud of the achievements I had in Unreal and being fed up with Java so that I would not give it a good enough shot... but now more than ever I am determined to finish this port, and I believe it will be done. Here is a progress page that I am updating every time I am porting a class [at the end of the day] - Onslaught Porting Progress, it really came a long way in just about a month.

Hope that you stay safe and healthy!

Stay awesome!

Chris / SLiPCoR

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16.05.20 ( 17:58:59 ) - Animation - JAVA #coding

Oh boy, I am pretty happy about the progress... Practically of what you see in this video I thought was not possible and... I did it :)

Here is a link to the animation update from way back in 2017 - click - and here is a preview of what it looks like in Java atm:

I am jumping through some hoops to make this possible and it is far from perfect, but does it not look much better already? Note that the road is already generated with a given Point array which I thought was IMPOSSIBLE. But I am actually drawing the road into its own mask MovieClip and I can move, scale, draw, and do everything I need.

THE ONLY THING that is missing before I can really, really relax and easily copy paste the rest of the code and be almost done (famous last words, I know) is the relational way that MovieClips had their positioning work. I am not even sure how this worked with the animation tweening you send things to coordinates and they get turned into global coordinates on the fly??

So to explain.. Think about the BlackHole instance there, it is sitting at x = 20, y = 20. If I now create BlackHoleDebris, and set it to be at coordinates (0, 0) - in flash, this puts it at 20, 20 automatically... and so... I wonder how this works because when moving, the engine-VisualEffect tells it to go to the Black Hole coordinates, (20, 20) - would this not result in 40, 40 ??? I have to do some magic for this to work, but I will make it happen :)

Hope that you are safe and healthy, and don't hug strangers, especially in these times.

Much love

Chris / SLiPCoR

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07.05.20 ( 14:49:18 ) - Blog update and - JAVA #coding

I added some things and changed some things about the blog... It looks less empty now, especially if I did not post in a while, it shows the last entries on the left side. Who knows when I can show something again, and until then people can still see the latest updates in case they missed it :P

Speaking of which, I decided to give up on Unreal Engine. The GUI restrictions really killed my motivation and I ground to a standstill every time I tried to fix it.

And in the meantime I remembered that Java showed some promising results when I was fiddling around with it. Basically all my former problems have been solved in the meantime, I created proof of concepts for all the former issues. Image scaling, rotating, transparency and collision detection.

So the only thing that I see breaking this motivation is the backbone implementation of:

1) Visual Effects - smooth transitions that change positioning, alpha levels based on possible FPS - but I am confident that I can emulate this by actually using the Engine that Gaby put in place which did not rely on stable FPS but accounted for lower framerates and by mathematical design even faster framerates :D

2) Actors - now Objects - receiving tick rate updates as often as possible. This is just a matter of hooking up all Objects, on Creation, to a tick manager which should not be a problem. As we are talking about trivial calculations mostly, todays CPUs should handle even clumsy implementations like mine with no problems.

So all in all I am very convinced that it paid off that Gaby created a sturdy Engine system, using great coding standards that were voluntary in AS2, and are required in most current languages, most of which help me big time coding this to Java.

The progress so far is that 25% of lines are ported. It actually is possible to take many lines as they are, which is why I am literally copying the existing classes and creating new ones where needed. Oh boy, ActionScript really was happy with you creating Objects and assigning values to them that then you could just shove over other defined objects, overriding the values no matter what they are... this does not work like this in most of current languages...

But I will get this done. I am hopeful that I can create a working game demo this month, but it depends on the next weeks. As many people complain that they have so much time when they have to stay at home, for me work continues as if nothing had changed, I just work from home.

Anyway... Have a good one and stay healthy.

Yours Chris / SLiPCoR

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11.01.20 ( 02:06:48 ) - Happy New Year! #coding #music

I hope that 2020 will be come the best year that you ever had :) here is my attempts at making this possible for myself:

1) Onslaught - the code base is completely transitioned to blueprints now [excluding modding, but that will be dealt with when everything is in place] - it is time to make things work now. Up next: the turret menu click -> build functionality [pressing keys might work already]

2) Music - I need to get back to practicing and getting shit done

3) The Rest - I have started a next level workout routine. It is tough but it feels like progress. No pain, no gain. This year will feature some great meetups, so relaxing is on the schedule :)

What else? Who knows... we will see :)

Take care and stay awesome!

Chris / SLiPCoR

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29.10.19 ( 23:18:52 ) - I broke the RSS??!! #coding

Well this explains the dip in viewers to what feels like 0 xD

I had some weird bug in my RSS system that - I assume strongly - prevented RSS from working properly.

Good that I just started working on the backend and I debugged everything including the RSS -- showing a fat WARNING before the <rss> stuff - I think I know how to fix this, it will probably not happen again but maybe this is the time to start thinking about an actual newsletter system? RSS is going boom in many places and email seems to be accepted so... what do I have to lose? Not much.

Anyways, short little cherry on top: I am working on a YouTube video explaining what I did this and last week, basically the demo screen is fully operational, this includes blue, green, yellow and red turrets.


- make turrets placeable
- make turrets selectable

Then I can actually kickstart the actual game, progressing through the turrets etc etc. But I am again fairly sure that the vast majority of work is just past me. The laser / shockwave implementation really was something I dreaded and it works like a charm :)

Stay awesome!

Yours Chris

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22.10.19 ( 09:18:01 ) - Taking a breather - done #coding

I have been in a ditch, emotionally.

But it seems since this week I am past that. I have briefly dipped into therapy and realized that everything is fine, should be fine. I just needed a break, and I had that. Everything is great.

So much so that I estimate having something resembling an actual working game this week. From literally nothing working for so many reasons, I transitioned to a working road manager and properly spawning mobs that follow the path and align themselves according to it.

This was a big issue so far, no matter what I did, the game just did not want to start when I selected a map.

So what I forgot is that back in the day, the flash system was frame-based. One frame had the map selection, the NEXT FRAME had all the game management assets. This now hast to be done by >spawning< a new GameManager [which SAT on the next frame in the original game, and now obviously did not exist in the beginning].

Also there were some hickups with attacker placement, specifically array initialization. The waypoint array was empty and that caused issues, obviously - so I spent several hours debugging why there "were no attackers" when the reality was, they were spawned and instantly "reached the goal" because the waypoint array was empty and on spawning the creeps were at the goal, mathematically. Great :D

As soon as that was solved I finally saw the creeps run along the demo path, everything fell into place.

I will show a video later this week when the turrets are operational which is so far not the case. It looks bad having a turret sit there and it totally ignoring the creeps running past it. More debugging to do, but I am energized and I can see the progress I have been working on for a year now. It feels great :)

Thanks to my friends and my wife, I could rest and recharge my batteries in these last months :)

Stay awesome!

Yours Chris

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22.08.19 ( 10:17:04 ) - Summer Break #coding #music

Hi there :)

I have been taking several breaks. First, due to getting married, and secondly during the record hot summer, I had a nice restful vacation trip to Sweden.

Recharging batteries is really healthy and I had to.

I am back at it now, but I am easing in slowly while I am supporting a friend in need and also starting over with my workout routine. All of this is technically not directly coding or music related, but it affects everything.

Progress on both fronts is slow anyway, but I am not losing hope in these projects getting finished, and neither should you.

Onslaught will be ported.
Music will be created.

The belly will be gone.

Have a great fall, autumn or however you call it.

I will occasionally think about what I can showcase here, but chances are that the updates stay as infrequent as before. A lot of work is very backend oriented right now. We will see.

Stay awesome!

Yours Chris / SLiPCoR

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26.05.19 ( 02:26:28 ) - Main menu almost done! #coding

Heya ^^

The last months have been very hard to talk about because it was a lot of background stuff and the weapon animations, turning the former smooth lossless vector based movies into a 120 FPS animation that should be good enough for now ^^

Also a big part that I pushed back because of complexity was the menu and a lot of smaller items like the modding classes. A bunch of classes that were very abstract without me knowing what they actually do - and how and where they are used.

After I implemented a lot of things and now know there are only a few places remaining where they are used, I see they were part of the main menu, specifically the display and editing of the modding variables.

I decided smaller steps make sense and started with the main menu in general, simple menu pages that allow navigation back and forth, and the first complicated part of the menu, the challenge setup GUI.

Here is a short video that shows the progress, or rather the first result of an operational challenge GUI:

I am not really sure how exactly it worked before because this nested system was really hard to understand (where to go and get scripts/information from) back when I had access to Flash - and now Adobe wants a lot of (monthly subscription) money so that I can continue using it. I think I am fine experimenting with what I need to figure out from here, as this example video shows :)

So what is there still to do? When the last quirks of this challenge system are killed, I will move to the actual modding GUI which is quite a bit more extensive, but as I now have some experience with transforming the GUI and functionality from the challenge part, I am pretty confident that in either one or two months, I will have the menu done.

Then I will be able to move on to actually testing the gameplay. Everything that I have seen so far looks operational or at least doable with some little tweaks... but... it will require some invested time.

Stay tuned :)

Yours Chris

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04.04.19 ( 20:59:07 ) - Onslaught - back on track! #coding

Hey hey :)

Not much to report, but this is to be expected. I am currently porting the code for the turret which is basically 1/3 of the whole remaining code. This will take time and it will be a long way before I can even show anything functional. Also, on the way I will have to do little things that were implicit by the way of how the flash system works (simply starting a video, where now I have to actually add new classes that add the logic of playing back the videos [Flipbooks]) and these will furthermore slow down the overall progress.

I assume that in about 2-3 months I will have processed the turrets and have something to show, as the attackers are done logic wise, and the turrets basically then should be able to attack them. projectiles very much are done too so... what could possibly go wrong?

Fingers crossed xD

Yours Chris

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04.03.19 ( 16:27:28 ) - Bye bye, Java #coding

I am giving up on Java. I invested two weeks trying to get things to work and the best I have is just not good enough, and this is the first essential feature - rotating and scaling pieces - who knows which essential things might not work down the line...

I will move back to blueprint development.

Stay awesome ^^


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31.01.19 ( 16:01:04 ) - Resume - Resuming? #coding #music

Ello ^^

I tried applying the change of pace, change of language, change of approach, for two weeks each:

- Coding - Onslaught -

Here are the conclusions I drew from messing around with multiple ideas of future languages - each of them have had several days of trying to get things done:

C++ via Unreal Engine

This does not look like a viable option at the time. There is no reflection in C++ which I would like to rely on heavily in order to implement the arrays with String keys that map directly to variables. I tried replacing these by mapping String to String, but still I run into issues simply defining classes with other self defined classes as variables. The editor just crashes without any implementation and error message, I think what I am trying to do is just not in my reach currently, or probably not even what the Unreal Engine is made for. Extending existing classes seems to work fine, but I need to implement (2D!) classes that have the ability to call functions based on names, and just adding another class as a variable into the base class (that is not even used) causes the engine to not open the project any more.

I am emotionally done with Unreal Engine - C++ - as a BASE at least. For helper functions in the Blueprint logic it will be helpful still.


I have spent the better part of a day trying to implement core features into a java implementation. I already got stuck at trying to implement a sprite that scales and rotates. Individually, that is okay, but putting them together becomes something that apparently nobody ever has tried to do, and all the answers I can find are either for transparency, or for scaling, or for rotating.

In case someone with extensive knowledge about this reads this --- it is pretty tough to get the rotation center point right and I often run into the fact that edges are cut off of the sprite... very discouraging ^^

There does not seem to be an extensive library to mess with transparent PNGs and scale, rotate them and fade them out, which is what I need.

So what does that mean? It means that I will continue trying to make either of the mentioned systems work. If neither allow me to continue actually producing positive results next week, then I will fall back to what has worked well so far (albeit without visible results) - even though I have considered moving to JavaScript and HTML5 - JS lacks the ability to debug properly, but offers String-Arrays and just as Java will probably not go anywhere BUT has some disadvantages, performance wise...

- Music - Undertale -

For the music, this has been a very beneficial change. I feel that I have a nice idea of how to actually go about messing around with some songs. The first song I am focusing on will be Spider Dance - heavily relying on a stage piano that will do the leg work for me pretty much, because everything is too fast to be able to learn this in a time frame that makes sense for me.

Stay awesome!

Yours Chris

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02.01.19 ( 20:00:48 ) - Scary Changes (Yes Clickbait) #coding #music

Happy New Year!

For both my biggest coding and music projects I will follow a very good friend's advice and do the following for a month or two, or three (my schedule shifts the concepts of time, a lot):

- Coding - Onslaught -

I will step back from the blueprint-only approach which started in me priding myself in the ability of using blueprints and hating literally copying the code into C++ which is a technical possibility.
Still I designed literally everything to be absolutely identical to the code, out of respect, and it will stay this way for at least the first release(s) - I might develop a version that has things I deem valuable as feature or maybe even big fixes, but for the first version I want it to be as close as possible to the original, because that is what it was. Close to perfect, and a gem of its time.

I will start fresh with this project [not throwing anything away, I will take use of some important blueprints later down the line for the implementation], I will implement the core code in C++ and by doing so basically literally copy the code and do small adjustments if needed for the code aspect of it, but I assume I will really be able to use 95% of what Gaby wrote. And I will have to design the GUIs (but I need to do that anyway).

If these three months get me further into the implementation, I might go through with going there full force. As I want to make it as true to its roots as possible, recoding everything into a new system does not really do what I intended to do, I just make more work for myself and I delay the process of keeping the ball running because I have to recreate everything manually (and not just GUIs and some actors).

TL;DR: I will pause development on what is the current blueprint game in progress and start fresh with a C++ based version (still allowing blueprints, but the main code will be in C++) which will allow me to re-use most of the original code, more or less. I expect much more and faster results, especially to show off things that and how they work. However this means that there will be a kickstarting time of no updates. We will see :)

- Music - Undertale -

I will step back - you could say leap back. My initial plan was to go through each and every song and remake / play it in some way as "my own". The more I tried imagining myself doing this with the first song, I realized that this would not really actually be what I thought it would do - do justice to what is the epic soundtrack of Undertale - but it would be (if I succeed at recreating the soundtrack) not really much better than all the people who re-upload the MP3 with some hastily crapped together gameplay footage [well I have that already but that is besides the point].

I think it would be more true to myself as an artist and more respectful to the original art pieces to actually choose my battles here. I will invest a lot of time into finding pieces that click with me, either musically or rhythmically. This will most certainly not result in what I hoped myself to achieve - replaying / redoing the whole soundtrack - which would be an endeavour of investing a YEAR - given that I release ONE VIDEO PER WEEK - which coincidentally does not allow for much creative spirits to thrive.

I think it will result into something that satisfies my pride more than my completionist desires to "do the whole thing" - I have no idea where that idea came from, not even the most talented and featured artists do the whole thing [except for the one shot things like the drum-along by 8bitdrummer ;) ].

TL;DR: I got lost in wanting to bite off more than I can chew and will step back to focus on things that will be fewer in numbers but greater in enjoyment, both for me and the ones listening to the results. This also means, like the coding topic, that the first month(s) will be planning and attempting with close to zero results, unless I get really lucky and inspired.

Thanks for your support. And if it is only you two people reading, that still is worth it to me :)

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08.12.18 ( 19:14:17 ) - Modding & Saving #coding

Hey there :)

This week has been devoured by the modding manager, specifically the modding defaults. There is all sorts of things that you can change in the game, and this backend has defaults, about 70 variables that can be changed in the modding system. The backend for this is now complete and I can get into the actual implementation next time around :)

Also I implemented the savegame mechanism, it is pretty straightforward in UE and I believe the original savegame was pretty basic, integers and strings. The biggest thing about the savegames, calculation [MD5 for low tech cheating prevention], is already done :)

For the crazy people like me being into statistics, this week marks about 1500 lines finished, as all the moddable values and their defaults had to be in the file(s), literally speaking, next to what will follow, their actual usage and implementation.

Happy holidays, enjoy the last weeks of this year, hug your loved ones.

Yours Chris

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10.11.18 ( 00:59:16 ) - ActionScript 2.0 #coding

Hey there ^^

This week I tried something new... actually old... I tried opening up and actually fixing up the original flash project to maybe get something that works for the time being, as I found out that there is a relatively easy support for a standalone flash player executable for Windows and Mac - however the latest Adobe Animate version only supports ActionScript 3.0 and many things have changed, it is crazy.

After spending two days of fixing compiler issues - those that I could solve - I hit a wall where it suddenly just points me to references that are unknown even though I clearly see them as defined, and public, and in packages, and what else AS3 throws at me. I think I can safely say I would have to recreate this project from the ground up, in flash, too, and I just do not know enough about AS3 and my flash is approximately 15 years too rusty :D

As most sources on the internet have been telling everyone to "recreate it from scratch" - I really do not see this project - heavily relying on many internal Adobe Flash based specifics - really working on any Flash based third party system. I will probably never give it up entirely until the game is done, but for the time being I have not found a working solution. I rather invested the trial period of Adobe Animate to look for code that I missed, and thankfully I think I found all the scripts hidden in the depths of the animations themselves which I previously not did see.

The progress indicator page has been updated to reflect this, my overall progress dropped now, which does not even actually accurately show the work ahead of me, but it is something rather than nothing.

What I can do in the final remaining 2-3 days, depending on Adobe counts this, is try to get some animation parts out of the system so I do not have to recreate these things or leave them out, in the first version. It should be relatively easy to expand the animations from the current 20 or 30 FPS - I should know this :P - to maybe 160 FPS and then let the engine handle / skip it at its own will. Having more data for smoother animations will not cause much of an issue as the general data is pretty easy to handle and not remotely comparable with the complex polygon things floating around normally in this engine. We are talking flat 2D surfaces ;)

We will get this done. I will. :)

So long, stay awesome :)

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12.10.18 ( 01:28:35 ) - Progress! #coding

Finally I can show some more progress. Most of the latest Onslaught code has been very tough to display.

But the last days have been quite eventful. I tackled one of the bigger classes, the Turret Manager. It should be fully ported, even these fancy things here:

I created an overlay class that I can freely orient to a degree angle and I can set its spread angle. This will be needed for the directional targetting and I will probably also use it for the regular range indicators :)

Stay awesome!

Chris / SLiPCoR

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25.07.18 ( 14:52:06 ) - Heat #coding #music

The summer has struck hard this year, and it is really hard to stay focused with 30°C in the evening after work.

Progress will continue to be slow, especially in the music department, it is too exhausting to invest the literal energy needed.

Coding does still progress, but I think I will look into gaming more, streaming something here and there...

Stay awesome :)


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19.06.18 ( 01:02:22 ) - The Road to a Road #coding

This might be a very small update - and a cryptic one - but this image represents the victory over a long struggle:

dynamic spline generating the visual road for attackers to pass on, with round angles

A spline is all I needed, that is what I figured out after watching some tutorials about level design by Victor Popa, a.k.a. LevelsAndMaps. Luckily he covered the dynamic creation of a fence based on a spline. So the spline fills itself with meshes to look like and act like a fence.

Before, I had skipped the road implementation as in Flash it was done with drawing a thick line. This is not a thing we can do in Unreal Engine, and as I had no clear idea on how to solve this, I am very happy that I now found this tutorial which will pave the way, literally for the attackers, and figuratively for me, so I can stay away from pregenerated map images and keep doing things like the map editor, export, import, and so on.

The last week I had nothing to show, I was just hacking away at the code, Rockets, Shockwave, Smoke, Sound... Now that I solved this riddle, I think I will spend the rest of the week actually implementing the road manager, so that we can maybe some day see some attackers running around the map.

Even if deadly, it would feel more lively ;)

Not sure when the next update will be, as I will be gone for vacation in two weeks. If I have a breakthrough with the road manager, you bet I will share it all over the place :D

Have a great week :)

Yours Chris

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14.05.18 ( 17:28:40 ) - Short Hiatus Update #coding #music

Hey there :)

It's my first week after the 4-week-hiatus I had - starting with YouTube stuff, and coding will be next week :)

As I touched on in the last blog post, the main work-after-work topics are alternating, and the only constant will be music, due to the band rehearsals being weekly anyway ^^

So, this will will probably not get any public coding updates, but next week will. I am looking forward to working on Onslaught consistently again :)

See you then!

Chris / SLiPCoR

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28.04.18 ( 20:38:51 ) - Hiatus Half-Time? #coding #music

So far this month has been a success, I feel that I have been stuck in some negative feedback loops that kept me stuck internet things, distracting me from what I really want to do, a very big part of my daily time.

So as I kicked this out, even though I focused a lot on my RL, I was able to edit a youtube video which, by the definition of the way I do it, takes longer time than daily upload people do it - the rest has been slow as predicted, but I came up with a change of schedule. The way I work on things will be changed from a by-day-basis to a by-week-basis.

So far, I basically focused on things for [parts of] a day and next day I changed the subject from Golf to Onslaught or to My Little Blacksmith Shop.

I think this change with 7 day gaps [more if stuff in RL happens...] has been detrimental to my progress, as I had to get back to things like "where did I stop last, where am I going right now", I am very certain I will produce better and more consistent results when I focus, literally, by not changing things around too much, and still, taking breaks every day.

So updates will happen less frequently but then I should have more things to show. Is that good? I believe it is :)

Take it slow and be cautious around crazy countries like Germany who "celebrate" the first of May by rioting in the streets ^^


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11.04.18 ( 00:23:09 ) - No fooling around in April #coding #music

This month, progress has been very slow, as I am preparing for a hiatus of some sort.

I will focus on some RL things starting this saturday, basically I'll stop actively checking/participating in social media, reflect on some things, and refocus my priorities.

The end goal is a more balanced way of living which will result in more stable health and focus on the tasks at hand - so hopefully overall better results through concentration on the things that really matter and benefit me and the things that are important to me.

Things that are still happening (as doable offline):

* Onslaught coding - I really am motivated to get back to that without self-distraction
* Soccer Physics Theme - this really is tickling my fancy at the moment, even though it might have been a bit too ambitious, so I will be focusing on drum practice
* Dune II [midi->somethingelse] music recording

Even though I just recently discovered that what I used a base for my GP files is considered inferior to the Dune 2000 soundtrack, by Frank Klepacki himself - I was considering taking this soundtrack as reference, which would then basically push me back --- but part of me does not like all aspects of the new soundtrack - and the things I like, I feel like I would not have to add to it or I would not be able to actually do this justice then.

Dune 2000 is actually using a synthetic orchestra in WAV audio, where Dune II used the midi channels which had enormous restrictions and thus I felt I would be able to add to it. To the orchestra version, I am not so sure about.

Maybe this will turn into something wholely different, like an original album inspired by the dune vibe / melodies.

I have felt the need to get back into creative things, like writing songs, or other artsy things... but this requires some focus I do not have at the moment because I have too many things on my plate I am checking on a literal time schedule so I am able to get everything done - which I fail regularly right now because work has been getting to me in a way that I was tired after work for two weeks, every day.

So far, everyone has been understanding and supportive of what I do and of my hiatus. Thanks for that, and hang in there, I am not gone, and I do not plan on abandoning anything I started, yet. Yes, the MiniGolf game is also still in progress :D

Have a nice spring start and see you soon!


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22.03.18 ( 22:42:01 ) - Upgrade bars <3 #coding

Another POC because I am pretty happy with the result :)

This will be displaying the current state of the corresponding value (damage / range / rate) - and it will work like it did "back in the day" - so there are 5 divisions indicated by their max value in numerics and with linear scaling on the way - per division.

I added some screenshots of the original flash game to show that I am doing my best to keep the functionality and style as close to the original as I can. At some point later I will go through all the assets and make them even more similar/better, e.g. replace the plain color with a gradient like in the original :)

After only seeing blueprints and nothing happening on screen I am very happy to finally be able to see and present something, so this is why there are a lot of POCs lately.

This might be the last one as the GUIs are almost done and there is not much to show left, I guess. Maybe when I am implementing the turrets? That will be some work :D

Have a nice rest of the month!


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13.03.18 ( 16:15:29 ) - GUIs are in progress #coding

This week has been pretty fruitful, behind the scenes. I have been adding GUIs to the game, so at the moment I am dealing with the small menu window, which brought to my attention that I had to re-create the circular upgrade gauges.
They were realized with fancy MovieClips before, and I have to work on animations, but for now they will be static images that are calculated on the fly.

Here is a little proof of concept, I added some sliders to the general tab so I can debug the values, filling and coloring. It is fine for now, more detailed UV maps will be added later so it will be a seamless ring of color when updated fully.

Soon I will be done and continue implementing the existing functions, many of which need this menu window to write their values - especially the turrets ---- looking forward to that :D

Stay safe


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05.03.18 ( 21:20:01 ) - Credit where credit is due #coding

So while I am committing the files being done, here is a little something to keep the hype going.

I added the little credit animation that only was shown when you played on the very home page, or on the static page now.

Sadly the default linked version is in debug mode so these credits are skipped. They will not be for the version I am creating :)

Ignore the main menu for now, this is intense WIP, but so far I am happy with how it is reacting.

Have a wonderful month of march :)


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14.02.18 ( 02:33:13 ) - 2 Months later... #coding

...I am back in action. I really feel like I needed this break to recharge my batteries.

So, today was both fruitful and not, because when trying to get some bigger files done, I noticed again that I will have some big rewrites incoming, basically replacing the implicit MovieClip base with an explicit class that more resembles a GUI?

I will have to think about how I can pull out the good things that I still can use even though the Unreal Engine is not really as much movie-based, in the sense of how Flash allowed of nesting of movies. Basically you could always LOAD a movie that contains sub-movies that are all inherited from one thing, and all contain methods that can be used staticly / globally / relatively. This system does not really work in UE - so I will have to think about a way to make this work.

It will probably be doable, but at some point later this year, the progress display will make no sense, as I will no longer be dealing with the remaining code, but rather be writing things from scratch or rearranging things so they make more sense in the Unreal way - basically getting no code progress done - this is where video updates will come in handy where I can explain the issues and possible solutions.

Have a nice rest of the week, and HAPPY VALENTINES!

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25.01.18 ( 01:16:52 ) - Last week of rest #coding #music

Updates will resume in February, I just had to take some time off to recharge my batteries :)


Chris / SLiPCoR

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26.12.17 ( 22:26:34 ) - Back to work? Not quite yet ^^ #coding

I hope you all had a fine round of holidays.

I am still recovering from a cold, and I will be on vacation over new year's, so I am not sure there will be much progress until then. Well I do not expect anyone to sit here and hold their breath anyway.

If you are one of those people, it is time to stop. Now.

Have a great start into the new year, I will be back with updates in the second or third week of 2018 :)

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10.12.17 ( 13:51:09 ) - Progress of one month #coding

Alright, so it seems that one month has passed since I started porting Onslaught to the Unreal Engine.

Just today, I updated the file counts to properly reflect the actual code base that I am dealing with, by removing third party classes that I can not or will not use. From around 16% progress before, we jumped to a solid 20%. So given that, we can expect the game to be fully ported in 4 months ---

However, there still exist things that need to be done after the fact, if I do not do them on the way there:

* testing (modular?)
* implementation of savegame features [replacing the SharedObject implementation] - estimated time - approx 24 hours

Some things that might go into a separate branch maybe

* removing redundant declarations that just hand forward accessible methods [GameManager, which I just finished, has tons of those]
* check for unused methods and remove them
* apply best practices methods I know from java - too many things to list here, maybe too hard to find, we will see

So, it is unclear how much time I will spend when I am done with the pure code.

But I see the big class "Turret" still waiting in line - oh and I will have to do the GUIs and the actual turret actors. This will need designing and/or a way of getting the sprites I have now into this system. And I fear a decent number of things will not work out of the box - and I am not a designer :O

Anyway, I will get this done, I am pretty pumped still, and dedicated to get this done. Maybe I will do motivational streams where some ppl might watch and get hyped on the way? Who knows ^^

Sub to the channel that owns the video linked on the 3rd of December for updates on that. Or check my twitter :)

That's it for today, talk to you later. Have a Christmas-y Chrismas!

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03.12.17 ( 00:23:13 ) - Animation #coding

Hey there ^^

Today I want to present to you a little demo of what I have been working on the whole day:

Next to adding some blast implementations, this is what I have been finally able to make work!

The movement of the black hole debris uses a framework that will replace the former Flash-MovieClip-move-to-point "VisualEffect" object, and the Combonly rings work in the very same way, they just rotate and do not change position.

The new VisualEffect class will be used to do everything that the former MovieClip system was able to provide:

* Moving
* Rotation
* Alpha / Color tint changes
* Function calls "on Completion"
* Width
* Height
* Scale

Particularly the width and height will pose some issues because the Unreal Engine works with scale rather with actual pixel sizes. I touched on that subject in the last post, there is a solution to that, and it should work :)

Back to work ;)

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20.11.17 ( 02:58:04 ) - *poof* #coding

Wow, this week went by fast. We had some struggles at work, and I had some other things that kept me busy.

Nonetheless, this week was absolutely productive. Not so much on the public line count side, but in the backend!

I have imported all images that I was able to extract from the original files. Sadly, by design, flash works and saves things very scalable, and in a movie-compatible format, not really suited for image exports.

What is a great plus for flash as-is poses to be very hard to port over to anything else, because I can only export static images.

In flash you can zoom in like crazy and you get crystal clear turrets/projectiles, you have smooth animations that look awesome still if you go down to 10% speed.

Getting this done in the 20 FPS exports I have now does never work smoothly. Oh, and I will always have some sort of quality loss, so the best way for now was exporting the images at 16 times the original size, and scaling them down in the editor. This looks good so far :)

In the long run, I will have to redo the animations, for now static images or slightly misaligned parts might be happening. But for what I am creating, this should be enough.
I am not aiming at a 100% working exact clone. For now, I am still in the POC-phase, so far I have not encountered anything impossible, even though I really see the practicality of flash eveywhere.

One thing that really will break my brain one day is the ability to set a clip's width and height. This is not how size works in UE - you can only SCALE things - but what if I do not know what the initial size of the shape/sprite is? Well, seems for the affected sprites/classes I have to literally save it on load, for now.

Again, everything is possible somehow. Motivation: 95%

Let me take a nap to fill it to 100% again ^^

Have a great week!

Chris / SLiPCoR

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13.11.17 ( 09:19:51 ) - The first week #coding

The first week of Onslaught coding has been quite a rollercoaster ride.

I have first created all classes that existed in the former ActionScript project, including inheritance (yet empty), and I have added some functional classes on the way. Before, they were not necessary, based on the "lazy implementation" that ActionScript allows, Objects that later get parsed into actual values, string keyed arrays, etc. Something I cannot really do, I solved most of this through Enumerations :)

Phase 1 will be grabbing all the original Source Code that I have received - and making this into BluePrint based Unreal Engine classes. Especially things like Flash Effects [for moving, for growing and fading] will be interesting to do, but I am fairly sure I have found ways of doing it.

Not sure whether I should do unit testing of the things I have at hand. I feel with the 200 classes I have to deal with, this will get out of hand real quick...

I am a grunt work guy, so what I have to do so far is not really challenging, most of the time I am copypasting variable/function names and comments - oh boy I love Gaby's humor - and the actual time on implementing functions is rather small, as the classes are overall well organized and very modular. This keeps me from getting lost, for sure.

On the way I already had to create some assets and/or import assets that I have been provided. Thanks again to Chris, I owe you!

Phase 2 will be more on the asset side, actually making sure we can have a look at things. Adding assets, textures, models?

Based on the calculations on the Onslaught page, I estimate to be busy for 2-4 months, with Phase 1 only - so, don't hold your breath! But glancing over the modding capabilities and the challenge modes, I really feel that this game will still be fun to a lot of people. And it will allow for a community to form, sharing maps, sharing challenges, sharing scores. "It's gonna be huge"

One day :)

Have an awesome week!

Chris / SLiPCoR

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09.11.17 ( 19:00:46 ) - A new coding blog! #coding

Hey there :) This is a new attempt at a blog :O

Given the fact that I will be investing a lot of time into this and this process will take a long time, a blog will be the best solution until actual results are presentable.

Does anyone remember Onslaught 2? Because I do. And I recently got the consent of the important persons around the late developer Gaby Vanhegan after I learned about his death in 2011, several weeks ago.

To this day, I feel that this game excels through its simplicity and sturdyness. I feel strongly that this game should stay alive, and because the doom of Adobe Flash being imminent, I volunteered to help with this.

So this is the big news about coding, there will be little bits and bytes here and there, progress information will be on the Onslaught Page, and there might be occasional updates about my other game, a MiniGolf implementation - but as this is presentable already, I assume I might actually keep the updates about this on my YouTube channel

Have any feedback, any questions, just hit the "comment" button, and if it is about the website design - give me until the end of the year to make it sturdy and maybe even good looking :P

Have a nice winter season!

Yours Chris / SLiPCoR

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