SpaceShooter Theme

It’s been a week or so since I submitted the theme and it is still in review. I’m not sure how long they usually take to approve but it looks like I can share the link anyway. So check out the Space Shooter Theme

I’ve tried to make the theme as easy as possible to customise. You can pretty much replace anything in the game from the text, sprites, background and keyboard control characters. You also don’t have to go near any html, css or javascript. Just use the customise screen to make all your changes. The sprites are only 16x16 so are pretty limited but the idea was to make the game really simple, sort of like a game and watch. Well, I’m pretty sure the idea came from a slide in a lecture that had a game and watch in it.

The rest of the theme has parallax scrolling backgrounds (2 layers and it looks good when you use scroll to top), tag clouds, social links, auto pager and scroll to top. It does have a conflict between the social icons and auto pager so don’t use them at the same time. Otherwise they all seem to work pretty well. If it doesn’t you get your money back :) but drop me a comment and I’ll get it fixed.

If you end up grabbing a copy and creating your own little shooter game send me a link. I’d love to see what you can do since, as you can tell, graphics aren’t my strongest gift.

multiplayer considerations

I found a few good articles while working out how to program multiplayer games. 

  • Greg Fielder has a nice simple summary here
  • Valve has some good resources such as Client/Server Game Protocol Design. It’s an older article but provides some good background to design considerations. Also Source Multiplayer Networking has some good information about lag compensation.
  • Mark Terrano and Paul Bettner have an interesting article @Gamesutra about Age of Empires and networking considerations when you have 1500 Archers.

These are mostly older articles and I’m sure things have moved on since 2001. I can’t remember the last time I saw a 28.8k modem. However, latency and the unpredictable nature of the Internet will still be an issue. If anybody has any newer article links drop a line in the comments.

I’ve also been looking into match making. It wouldn’t be much good if people can’t get together and play. Interestingly, it seems that match making for HTML games seem pretty non-existent. It could be that everybody is just using Facebook or Google. Steam and a few others have match making services but they are targeted at PC and/or mobile apps not pure play HTML. I’ll keep looking at the options. Again if you have a good suggestion shout out in the comments.


Modern Web Development Part 1 – The Webkit Inspector

A very in-depth look at the webkit inspector, a must read.

Nice article on the inspector built into Safari and Chrome…wish I’d seen this earlier :)

Travian was successful using static web pages and Farmville ploughed an entirely new furrow using Flash. But there is now a growing acceptance that HTML5 will be a major platform for games in the future
James Austin (CEO Turbulenz)

Theme update

Well it has been a while…

I’ve spent the past few days stripping bits out the theme and adding bits back in. It is mostly back together again, after been pretty busted today..but it is still missing some nice social media buttons and the following people list is not quite how I want it.

I’ve spent quite a bit of the time adding in customisations. I’ve decided to try and put the theme up on tumblr for others to use. Mostly to give the game away and the parallax scrolling. So i’ve added a bunch of switches to turn bits on and off, like the game for example. I’ve also added the game images, fonts and colours to the list of customisations so you don’t have to go to the code to modify the game. You can also modify the keys that control the player.

As for the game it’s easy to customise. Player, aliens and bullet are all 16x16 pixel boxes. So you can make up your own graphics. The rocket ship is also easily replaceable and needs to be at least as wide as the game which 192px but no wider than 250px since this is the width of the left sidebar. The game is about 206px high. At the moment I just use a green background for the game play area but I’ve made it possible to add a background image through the customisations as well. I’ll try and get around to making a second version using different graphics to see how easy it is.

Infinite scrolling is now an option and I’ve exposed the parallax images so you can replace the stars with something different. Colours of course can be changed for most things and the metal background images in the central column can be turned on, off or replaced with your own.

I’ll work on the other media icons tomorrow and should have it ready for tumblr in a day or so. Actually, I’m not really sure how that process works yet so it might take a while. Something else to post later :)