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davidc's blog

Snaxe on a breadboard!

September 21, 2011 by davidc

Since I just got my lovely (and cheap) DOGS102 LCD module and an PS2-style thumb joystick, I thought it might be a good first exercise to get Snaxe running on my Teensy.

Snaxe: Hours 15-16

September 16, 2011 by davidc

I've added one more powerup, 'speed', which doubles your movement rate (effectively letting you get extra moves in between everyone else's moves) for 15 moves. Also finally implemented a smart algorithm to determine how many rabbits to spawn and how often to spawn them and the other powerups. Minimum and maximum rabbit numbers are determined by the number of players in the current game.

Added a new skull and crossbones icon besides dead players, keeping their colour (but faded out) so you can quickly see who is dead.

Snaxe: Hours 13-14

September 16, 2011 by davidc

Lots of tidying up done today, making the game look a bit better. Katia has started working on new snake images to fit the new board size, but they're not done yet.

I've added a new invulnerability powerup, which lets you slither through yourself, other snakes, or bones - but if you're still crossing them when you leave invulnerability, you die. You can still eat friendly powerups in the meantime. You flash faster and faster as your time runs out.

Snaxe: Hours 10-12

September 15, 2011 by davidc

The client/server protocol is now fully implemented my end. It now sends "prepare" messages with the countdown if they're in the next game, and "play" and "gameover" messages to complete the set.

The game no longer starts immediately on state transition; there's now a six-second countdown with big flashing numbers to give people a few seconds to find their snake. And there's a few seconds to see the scoreboard at the end of the game, before it transitions back to the 'insert coin' state. So now the game can run fully standalone in a loop.

Snaxe: Hours 8-9

September 15, 2011 by davidc

More of the client-server communication is now implemented. The client is now put into the queue (and sent a message) after they enter their name. The server now broadcasts a 'gameover' to all clients on startup, in case any clients are stuck in the game from a server crash.

The 'insert coin' state now lists players in the order that they joined the queue, and the 'play' state now adds players to the game in that same order.

Snaxe: Hours 5-7

September 14, 2011 by davidc

Edward came over to the atelier and we've been working on adding networking support for the mobile phone clients. We're using his Python software that sits between the clients and the game servers (which are known as "screens"). The clients talk to the "swarm server" natively using WebSockets, falling back to Flash-emulated sockets if the browser doesn't support them, and to AJAX if it doesn't support either. The game server talks to the swarm server using a simple TCP connection.

Snaxe: Hour 4

September 14, 2011 by davidc

Okay kid, this is where it gets complicated. Since this is just a throwaway prototype, I'm going to bend a lot of rules from now on to speed things up. For example, the game logic was originally completely encapsulated (in fact I had the full game simulated 'in memory' before writing a single line of graphical code). But now to save some time, I'm going to mix a lot of the presentation logic into those same classes, and do the nasty with member variable visibility.

Snaxe: Hour 3

September 12, 2011 by davidc

OK, so I got bored after dinner and decided to plunge on tonight regardless. Mostly graphical changes this hour: now using the Nokia font; made the images larger and redrew them; gave the snakes a different head depending on which way they're facing; added screen glare (to be redrawn later); ensure a certain number of rabbits are available "most" of the time (depending on number of players); and a few minor technical changes.

Snaxe: Hour 2

September 12, 2011 by davidc

Hour 2 went well, after a minor technical glitch. The game is now "fully playable", though I've slowed it down to test. Each snake is independently controlled, and has its own colour, name and score. Snakes no longer grow infinitely, they now only grow when they eat a rabbit (which also increases their score). Powerups and skulls decay after a while. When a snake dies, it turns into skulls for a while too. Rabbits are randomly placed every so often. Maybe skulls should be too.

Snaxe: Hour 1

September 12, 2011 by davidc

So, apparently you can write Snake in about an hour. I wonder if I've set myself enough of a challenge. Here it is, playing fine. Done so far: snake movement, snakes hitting snakes, snakes hitting themselves, snakes hitting walls, snakes hitting powerups, snakes hitting obstacles, snakes headbutting each other. Next up: scoring and control of multiple snakes.