For reasons as performance and saving video ram memory during runtime packaging images is advised. Libgdx’s comes with a TexturePacker that does exactly that. It even has a wonderful GUI.
Our project has a lot of images that change all the time as we continue making the game. It would be a waste of time to do it by hand each time something changes. That is why months ago, or even a year, I devised an automatic way of running the TexturePacker. I hooked the task into our build process so that every time the projects runs it packages and uses the newest resources.
The TexturePacker might take a long time to run, especially when you have hundreds of images. That’s why I took advantage of SBT’s built in cache system. It’s possible to associate a task with a bunch of input files and cache the modification date. Same applies to the output files. That way the task only runs if something changed, otherwise it just does a no-op.
Having this and not sharing is not nice at all. I just finished extracting it into a plugin and publishing the first iteration of the texture-packer-plugin. If you are making games with Scala and SBT you can now use it too! Read instructions carefully and in case of doubt just ask here on the comments or send us an e-mail.
It is possible to call the sbt task from the command-line so ant or maven builds could take advantage of it even if not using Scala. Some work might be necessary and won’t be as fast as having SBT always open but it might be not so bad. Let me know if you need a hand with something like this too.
For the Java users out there please remember that I like my bread with peanut butter and jelly
We are starting to write a series of technical blog entries. We are using Libgdx to develop our game so it works on desktops as well as Android devices (and hopefully iOS too!) . That implies OpenGL, LWJGL and Java but we are using the Scala language on top of it. We are using Netbeans and Eclipse (Scala IDE) to write our code. There is progress on using Netbeans RCP to create a game editor also. As a version control system the obvious choice is Git and of course GitHub to host it. To streamline processes a Continuous Integration tool was needed so Jenkins hosted on Cloudbees it is. Bear in mind that it means we have SBT working on Jenkins pulling from GitHub on each push and preparing the most up-to-date build of the game. We are also using JIRA to track our progress. Finally the OSs being used to develop are Linux (Ubuntu) and Windows.
If any of these techonoliges catches your attention please subscribe so you hear from our adventures!
Art by Ismael Bergara.
View of the bridge near Gare Saint-Lazare in which a small group of Tactical Armors of the Prussian invasion force can be seen. In 1839, a Prussian invasion force briefly entered Paris as part of the Ninth Coalition war. This scene is represented in the picture, as a lone footman carefully leads the way for a group of third generation Braunschweig Tactical Armors.
The occupation would not be enforced for long, as a combined task force from Marshalls Saint-Denis and Petit would crush the Prussians in what would be later known as “The March Riposte”. The Gare Saint-Lazare bridge remained largely unscathed through the conflict.
It is with great pleasure that we at Belfry Games announce our first project: The Iris Brigade.
The Iris Brigade is an old-school turn-based, tactical role playing game in similar style to some great 16 bit, 32 bit and portable console games. You control a limited party of characters on a grid and have to tactically maneuver on the terrain to get an advantage over your enemies and defeat them.
There is a twist, however. Instead of having a classical fantasy setting, it has an alternate history setting. Play in a 19th century Europe ravaged by the Napoleonic Wars, a conflict fought with steam-powered mobile mechs. These mechs were known as Tactical Armors, or Tacs, for short. Behold European nations fight for glory with sabers and handcannons wielded by robots that can easily overpower a standard 18th century 120 men company. Take command in battles like Austerlitz and Waterloo, but see them with this unique perspective.
You can also customize your squad members as they level up and purchase unique abilities that suit your style. Equip your Tacs with different equipment, or even choose a different Tac for a squad member depending on your needs.
As battles occur, a deep storyline is unfolded in the background. It follows a special operations group, the Iris Brigade, through a span of 30 years that covers the Napoleonic Wars and beyond. As you make friends and enemies, you’ll notice that it will not be easy to take sides in this dark, morally-grey story, in which everyone can die by the flash of a sword or the impact of a cannonball.
The Iris Brigade is scheduled to be released on early 2013 for PC, Android and iOS.
Plan your strategy. Outsmart your enemies. Europe will be won by steel and steam.
Art by Ismael Bergara.
Seascape of the coast of Boulogne-sur-mer, 1804. In this place Napoleon was training nearly 200 Tactical Armor divisons in preparation for a planned invasion of England, which never took place. This task force was called the Armée des côtes de l’Océan.
Since the training program took more than two years and troops never saw any real action, boredom and discontent was not uncommon among TAC pilots. Pilots often took their TACs and used them to impress local population.
In the scene, a Malbourgh-class Tactical Armor belonging to the Armée is standing next to a fisherman. Frigates belonging to the never-deployed invasion force can be seen close by. Further away English ships enforcing a blockade are noticeable.
Art by Ismael Bergara.
Oil painting. Three peasant women are shown, gleaning a field of wheat, while in the background a group of Connaught-class Training Type Tactical Armors are engaged in combat maneuvers.
This painting is famous for presenting an absurd situation in which a foot soldier tries to reassure the women that the nearby fighting won’t affect them. The women are forced to work, as if nothing is happening.
It quickly became a metaphor to describe the detachment of the ruling classes with the lowest ranks of society, and it was heavily criticized because of this message.
The Connaught in front is equipped with twin Klingenthal Mark 3 Dragoon Muskets, not necessarily consistent with equipment of the period depicted.
Art by Ismael Bergara.
Depiction of the survivors of the shipwreck of the Medusa, as they struggle to call the attention of a nearby Féraud-class Mark II French Tactical Armor.
This frigate, which served in the Napoleonic Wars, became stuck in a bank on July 2, 1816, off the coast of Mauritania. Survivors were forced to build a raft and leave the ship. The raft carried 147 survivors which under tremendous pressure ended up fighting and killing each other.
On the eighth day of their ordeal they accidentally met a Féraud-class Tactical Armor, which was participating in secret maneuvers near the cost of Senegal. The Féraud was piloted by Chef de bataillon Jean-Marie Heudelet. Heudelet towed them back to Saint-Louis. Only fifteen men were alive at the time.