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G2DF November 23, 2010

Posted by Jesse in : Game Development,Hero In Training , add a comment

Updated January 7, 2011: Changed the link below to link to a new version of G2DF (1.4).

Planning continues on Hero In Training. While I can’t dive headfirst into the game just yet, I’ve been spending some time working on fixing the problems I had with my tools.

First up is my level editor. I’ve written before about using Gleed2D. Since writing that, the creator reappeared and uploaded the source code as an open source project on codeplex. I think this was partly because someone had used reflector to convert his original program back to C# code and had released it. (I did the same thing to make a few changes, though I would never have released the source without permission.)

While I’m still not thrilled some of the design decisions, I know from experience that I absolutely hate working on tools. I could spend the next two months working on an awesome level editor, or I could just grab the source code and make whatever tweaks I need. While it might not be perfect, it should get the job done, and I won’t be miserable working on something I don’t enjoy.

He released it under the Microsoft Public License, so I’m allowed to release builds from my fork of the code. I’m referring to it as G2DF. (Short for Gleed2D Fork.)


  1. Remove the concept of ContentRoot path.
  2. Now the file paths are relative to the level file. This makes it much easier to work on multiple computers through version control.

  3. A level can be loaded by passing the filename as a program argument.
  4. This doesn’t seem to work quite right when double clicking a file in windows explorer, but it works great to open a file from the solution explorer in Visual Studio, which was what I wanted in the first place. (Right click on a *.gleed file in the solution explorer and choose “Open With” to select the gleed2d executable.)

  5. Changed the default file extension from “xml” to “gleed”.
  6. This makes it possible to associate the file type with the executable. This also makes it easier to write a content importer that will automatically recognize the extension.

  7. The selected item in the objects list is now easier to see when working in a different window.
  8. This is a problem with the built in TreeView control. When you give focus to a different control, it’s really hard to see what you have selected in the TreeView.

  9. You can extend line paths.
  10. Select a path and choose “Add Points To Path” in the Edit menu.

If you haven’t used Gleed2D before now, you might want to check out the introductory tutorial videos, and check out the QuickGuide located in the Help menu.

You’ll need the XNA 3.1 runtime. (I looked at updating to XNA 4, but that seems like it will be alot of work. I might tackle that another day.) You can download it here:
Gleed2D TPN Fork v1.4

If you’d prefer the source code, you can check out my subversion repository for the fork here: http://svn2.xp-dev.com/svn/G2DF/ Visual C# Express 2008 and the XNA 3.1 Game Studio are required to build the source.

What’s next? November 9, 2010

Posted by Jesse in : Being,Bluebones' Curse,Game Development,Hero In Training , 1 comment so far

Bluebones’ Curse has been out for a few weeks now. While reviews have been really positive (I’ll include some links below), sales have not been quite what we’d hoped for. In fact, they’ve been pretty poor. This left us wondering what to do next. Do we put in the six months (or perhaps up to a year) of work required to turn Hero In Training into the game we want it to be? Do we try our hands at another smaller title, better suited to the Xbox Live Indie Games marketplace? Should we move away from Xbox development altogether, and try out Unity or Flixel?

Well, I think now I know the answer. Today on the developer forums, a Microsoft employee posted that the 2011 Dream Build Play competition will be focused on the Xbox 360. Many of us had worried that it would target Windows Phone devices instead. This makes me totally excited again, and I want to focus on the game that I love to work on.

Going forward, it’s Hero in Training all the way. I’m going to start with a new game design document, and then rebuild my animation and level editing tools to closer match our needs. (They were getting a bit clunky to use, but we had no way of knowing what we’d need when we started.) Once we get to a point where there’s something interesting to show, I intend to record (roughly) weekly development update videos, and I’ll be posting lots of screenshots.

I’m really, really excited, and nothing is going to stop us! Hero in Training is going to win Dream Build Play 2011!

Reviews and media for Bluebones’ Curse:

CrushFragDestroy – XBLIG round up review
Dealspwn – XBLIG round up review
DIY – XBLIG round up review
GameMarx – Bluebones’ Curse review
GameMarx Podcast (1:30 – 9:00) – Indie game discussion
GayGamer – XBLIG round up review
IndieAsylum – Being and Bluebones’ Curse reviews
IndieAsylum Podcast (43:00 – 44:50) – Indie game discussion
Suburban Journals – Article about our work on Bluebones’ Curse
TeamKobun – Bluebones’ Curse review
VVGTV Video Review – Bluebones’ Curse review

Player animation changes August 13, 2010

Posted by Jesse in : Hero In Training , add a comment

After posting the last video, I also sent the link out on twitter. Within seconds, I had a great deal of excellent feedback from other indie developers. Some of it was stuff that would never have occurred to me.

For example, the player’s walk animation has been the same for months. I was happy with it, and had moved on to other things. As soon as I linked the video, many developers reported that they didn’t care for the animation, and pointed out ways I could make it better.

We took the suggestions to heart, and made a bunch of changes. He’s now taller, and has smaller shoes, which doesn’t force him to shuffle so much. Also his shoes now bend when they should, so it looks more natural.

I think the results are a pretty drastic improvement, and I’m really happy with the changes. Have a look, and let me know what you think.

It looks like youtube has fixed the slowdown bug, and they’re reprocessing the videos. So if you see anything funny on my older embedded videos, please try back in a little bit.

Moving slowly forward August 6, 2010

Posted by Jesse in : Hero In Training , add a comment

We started work on a new test level. When it’s finished, I’ll be uploading to playtest on the Xbox Live Indie Games, so that we can get lots of feedback. I’ve got a new video showing off some of that level.

We’re having some technical difficulties with the videos we posted on Youtube. The video is running at half speed with distorted audio. Youtube says they have engineers working on the problem. So for the time being, I’ll post my update videos on Vimeo, instead. (I don’t have a paid Vimeo account, so I can’t embed high def, but you can see the high def version over on Vimeo.)

Hero In Training – Progress Update August 5, 2010 from Jesse Chounard on Vimeo.