We got our Backfire grade

Hello everyone,

We finished our game Backfire and since it was a school project we were graded, not only on the final results, but also on the documentation and the things we learned from the project. We are pleased to say we got an 8 out of 10 for our project and with the complements of the supervisor. We are very happy with the grade and can now continue with our other projects, but the next month there will most likely be no progress, since all of us are busy with the completion of our bachelor.

The Gobblers

Music Gobbler: Switching Framework

A while back I announced that I started work on a Last.fm music player, which can fetch information from the site and displays your listening stats; Music Gobbler. I announced that I would be using Windows Forms in C# for this project. However, recently I have come to know a bit more about Windows Presentation Foundation.

WPF is a development framework which combines application UI's, 2D and 3D programming, documents and multimedia. This gives much more freedom on the structure and the appearance of the application. Problems I encountered with Windows Forms were related to these topics. Making an application look good is much harder with Windows Forms, presenting your content in a nice way is a whole different cup of tea. I therefore decided to start learning more about Windows Presentation Foundation by using the website WPF Tutorial. Music Gobbler will therefore most likely be done with WPF in C# using the lastfm-sharp library.I have already begun with some tests on WPF and will continue to do so until I have grasped it a bit more.

I also stumbled on problems with the lastfm-sharp library a while back. The implementation of the Last.fm API is no longer complete due to the fact that it was probably implemented when the API had less features available. I will therefore have to expand the library to my needs during the development. The problem I have stumbled on right now has to do with fetching the dates of recently listened tracks. This is not possible right now.

I will post updates on my progress when I make it, however Music Gobbler hasn't got the biggest priority at the moment due to University related projects and homework. I'll do my best.


Backfire v1.0 Release

About 10 weeks ago we started with the Project Multimedia course, what was once only a few words on paper has now grown to a small game.
We have made the last adjustments to the game and are now ready for you to try it.

Download: Backfire (Windows only)

This page will always have the latest release available.

If you have no idea what Backfire is, check out this page. We also have this manual, containing a list of all features and some screenshots of the game here.

If you have any feedback we encourage you to either comment or mail us at blog@gobblestudios.com.
Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

We hope you enjoy playing Backfire!!

The Gobblers

Backfire, a 2D Platform Game

Backfire is a 2D Platform game. This is a school project for our course “Project Multimedia”. This post is mainly to explain to you what this project is. We will start with a short introduction telling you why we choose to make such a game and continue with explaining more about the game itself.

Making choices

The choices we made can be described in phases, the first one being the task to choose what kind of program you want to make. The subsequent choices will probably depend on this.

Phase I: What do we make

As defined by the assignment this should be a multimedia project and therefore the first things that come to mind are audio, video, images, games. For us this choice wasn’t too hard seeing that we all like games and the idea of creating one. Doing so for our studies seemed like a good combination.

Phase II: The tools to use

The next step was to choose a platform and programming language/environment which best suits our focus. As this focus was games, this turned us right in the direction of XNA or Flash. Seeing that we have some grasp of C# and XNA, and not so much of Flash, we choose to work with that. We also liked the idea to put our experience with XNA to the test. Furthermore this leaves us the room to port our program for other devices later on.

Phase III: The kind of game we want

Choosing to make a game with XNA is of course not enough and still leaves a wide range of possibilities. It was time to choose what game we would want to make, would it be 2D/3D, what genre would it be? Because of our lack of experience with 3D programming and also with only limited experience with less D we choose to make a 2D game (a 1D game, however easier, seemed  kind of boring). The choice of genre was harder, we had ideas about Platform games, simulations, puzzle games and many more but decided on a Platform game in the end. We choose for this genre because we all had experience with this type of game and because we all had some idea what we would want for such a game.

Phase IV: Making it our own

Now it was time to get specific. We thought about the controls, the goals and challenges of the game, and wanted to make them original. We came up with the idea to make a game in which you play a character, holding a heavy gun. This gun is so heavy in fact that the only way to move is to use its recoil to propel yourself through the world. In our opinion this is a fun twist on the usual controls of Platform games. We choose to let the character be controlled by shooting either up, down, left or right. We soon figured that if we ever wanted to port this game for a mobile platform these controls would work quite well. With this we had the basics for the game defined and could think about the implementation.

The first steps

After we had defined the basics of the game we started defining what kind of classes we would need. We did so by thinking what kind of objects we would see on the screen. The first things we came up with were:

- LevelList
- Level
- Player
- Platform
- Collectible
- Gun
- Bullet
- Enemy

We also defined which object would hold which. Soon we were ready to make the first steps of implementation. We created a new XNA game and started out programming these simple classes. We started out simple, making an empty level with a Player (a square block at that time) which made a nice arc in the air and then fell into oblivion. At that point we knew that the current classes were at least a good start. The first steps were made.

Making progress

The next few weeks a lot of progress was made, soon we had the basic controls, platforms and some collision detection. The next steps were adding other game elements like enemies and hazards like spikes to fill up our levels.

Until now we had one level which we had hardcoded to test our basic implementation. Of course this would not be a good idea for multiple levels. To make it easier for us to create multiple levels we needed a way to read in levels from a text file. This created a need for a LevelReader class. This class now reads in a text file containing all the layout for a level.

Between tweaking and adding to the game Martijn made the first few textures which really brought the game alive for us.

The Current State

At the moment we are adding more content to the game and tweaking stuff we already have, we won’t tell you everything but will soon post a video showing some gameplay. Of course we will only do this when we think the game is ready for your eyes. However here is a small screenshot for you from one of the begin levels:


The Gobblers (Steven, Martijn and Marius)

University Project

Hello everyone,

Starting next week we have a new project. This will be a school project for our course Project Multimedia. We are planning to make a 2D game with XNA. We will have about 8 weeks time to work on this project.

Currently we haven’t got any details for you but we will post an update next week as we will begin the project Monday.

The Gobblers