Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thunder Moon Box Art

Here's the latest iteration of the box art.

Thunder Moon Alpha #2

XBLIG Alpha testers, build #2 is up. If you would like to check it out, please grab from the same URL.

  • Press start screen instructions are now in title-safe zone.
  • Game pauses while in inventory or crafting mode. Inventory is now a safe thing to use at any time.
  • Player can jump 2 blocks high instead of 1. 
  • Player will automatically step up over single blocks. The world is much more pleasant to explore this way.
  • The artwork for completed mission objectives has been improved.
  • Significant memory savings have been made.
  • Music streaming has been fixed, it no longer keeps data from old streams in memory. This behavior had been overlooked because until recently there wasn't much music, but now there is over an hour of music and there just isn't enough room to keep it all in memory.
Also, please try to run the game through the XNA Remote Performance Monitor so you can take screen shots in case there is an exception. Should one occur, there is an exception handler that will show the call stack and some diagnostic info which will help me resolve it. I'm not aware of any crashes at this time, but that's the thing about having other people play the game, you never know what might happen.

Thanks again for your time checking it out, the feedback has been very helpful!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thunder Moon XBLIG Alpha Build

Late last night I prepared the first alpha build of Thunder Moon for XBLIG. If you are interested in seeing the game for yourself, and you have an active XBLIG account, please contact me directly and I will get you more information including a download link.

I plan to do an open beta very soon, but for this very first build I would like to take it a little more slowly so that any terribly obvious issues I managed to overlook can be taken care of right away.

Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to look at it!


Here are some screenshots that are going up with the XBLIG playtest build. Enjoy! Only after I started this post did I realize they are all night shots - I'll have to make at least one of them a day scene for the final release.

Monday, February 25, 2013

On the topic of inverted camera controls..

Having the game's input system support reversing the behavior of the camera on the Y axis of the controller is important for one reason: The game feels really weird when the setting isn't the one you prefer, and no matter what your preference is, there are a lot of people who prefer the other because your choice feels just as weird to them. Not having a toggle for this is almost like telling a right handed person to write with their left.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Creatures of Thunder Moon

We've been getting into a creature groove lately.Here's a few screenshots of the latest one.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Thunder Moon Menu Scene

Here is a video clip of the scene running behind the main menu. I always like games that try to do something interesting for the main menu, so I tried to do something special here.

Thunder Moon box art?

This might be the one we go with. Or close to it, anyway.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Thunder Moon Screenshot - Flying in the clouds

Here's a screenshot of the Lander in Thunder Moon flying through some clouds at night.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Loading screens

I've been working on the front end of the game for the past few days, wrapping up missing functionality and generally improving the first impression people will have of the game. One of the improvements is the game now shows a loading screen and progress indicator when the game is getting set up. From a development standpoint its a pretty small thing but not having a black screen or completely static screen for several seconds when the game starts up really makes it feel much nicer.

Here's one of the loading screens which is used for the story/mission mode of the game:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thunder Moon Mods

Thunder Moon is designed from the ground up to be a moddable game. What players will recognize as the game itself is in fact an assembly which implements a particular "IMod" interface. These assemblies are generally the output of a C# project. The game engine provides a wrapper that manages the lifespan of Mods and provides a large number of APIs related to making the actual game, such as asset management, animation, audio and so forth.

With the Windows version of Thunder Moon, users can create their own Mods. The Mod assemblies are discovered when the main engine scans the "Mods" folder and reflection is used on each assembly found to look for any valid IMod types. When they are found, they are put in a list which is made available to the player when starting a new game. For the initial release of Thunder Moon, I plan on having at least two different Mods in the list - story mode and exploration mode.

I have taken great effort to document the API, mostly through the use of XML metadata embedded in the source code and extracted by the Sandcastle help file tool. As always seems to be the case, the docs could be improved further but it's at least on the right track with the tools already set up to automate much of the process.
I will also be including sample Mods to demonstrate how to get started. Hopefully people will find this a fun thing to mess around with!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thunder Moon Dev Update

It's been a while since I've reported much about Thunder Moon, but that's mainly because I've been trying to stay focused on making the game. I've lost track of the number of systems built, bugs fixed and so forth. The game is coming along pretty well and I have what I think are realistic plans to actually do a beta soon.

So, in the interest of getting back to work, I'll just post a few links to pics and videos.

Thanks for visiting!