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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

I'm Back with Avengeance

Many apologies to my dear readers for my long absence. I've been away for my blog for nearly three weeks, but I am ready to start again. My time has been severely limited because I am just settling in to my new job and I have spent a ton of time working on Space Avenger.

My little experiment in Flash has expanded way beyond its original scope in a number of ways. Graphically, the newest version (beta 2.1) is lightyears beyond the first attempt. I decided to learn how to draw 3D models, which is an entire skillset unto itself. It took me a good two or three weeks to produce models that were worth bringing into the game. To do this I am using two pieces of software: AC3D and Swift 3D.

AC3D is a dream to work with; once I understood the interface, I found that I was far more productive than with other software. When the 14-day trial expired, I happily plunked down the seventy-odd bucks for it. Swift 3D is software that reads 3D models and produces 2D vector or raster representations of them so that they can be brought into Flash. It's the only software of its kind that I know of, but I am very unhappy with it. First, I could not download a trial version at all due to some weird error with their website. I desperately wanted to bring my models into the game, and unfortunately, it seems like Swift is the product that does it, so I decided to buy it outright for the semi-outrageous price of about $250. Its interface is poor, its animation tools are constraining, it hangs and crashes regularly, and has even produced corrupted export files. Right now I don't have another good way of bringing my graphics into Flash, so I'm stuck, but I am searching for a solution so that I can write Electric Rain a harsh letter demanding my money back.

The second major way Space Avenger has changed is in gameplay. I have implemented a stat-based system, much like an RPG, in preparation for allowing the player to customize their ship, but this is not yet implemented. The game starts with a minimal set of stats that the player can slowly improve by collecting bonuses dropped by the enemies. Also, unlike version 1, where there were basically two types of enemies which looked different but acted very similarly, there are now 5 different enmies, each with unique abilities.

I would encourage everyone to try out the latest version of Space Avenger and then join the Space Avenger Announcements group so that you can post your feedback and receive email updates when a new version of the game is released.

Or, if you prefer, leave me comments here on the blog. Don't be shy. I want all of your suggestions, feedback and criticisms.

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Comments on I'm Back with Avengeance
  Comment from Anonymous Anonymous at Tuesday, October 03, 2006 11:44:00 AM
Ahhh... good to have you back. Enjoyed Malta?
  Comment from Blogger Red Bull at Sunday, October 22, 2006 2:23:00 PM
Yes, I did enjoy the trip. Check out my pictures from the trip.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.