Friday, November 14, 2008

Calling all artists: Friendly Competition 1 11/14-11/30

I am a programmer by trade, and a pretty decent programmer at that, but I am no artist and I would rather have a great looking game, than a good one with mediocre art. This is why I am throwing out a little friendly competition for anyone who wants to do a little tile art.

I am looking for the best looking map tile art with the following criteria:

- All Tiles must be 48px x 48px PNG files
- They must fit with theme of a typical map on Earth (no Mars map tiles)
- Each tile must correspond with the game's terrain type (Will be explained below)
- There should be at least 3 variations of each terrain type. Bonus points on geographical variations (Winter forests vs Tropical rain forests)

The following Terrain type is present for all maps:

- Grass
- Forest
- Tundra
- Water
- Swamp
- Marsh
- Desert
- Mountains

I ask that everyone use their imagination and see what they come up with. The best tile set will be used as the default map tile set in Phalanx, as well as given recognition in the game as well as on this website. The top other 4 tile sets will be included in game as given as alternative tile sets for people to use as well as the usual credit.

Here is what you need to get started.

My Default Tile Set: This file is the baseline on the file structure on the tile set file. The tileset.xml is straight forward for anyone to follow when referencing their images. Assume everyone is case sensitive as this game will be cross platform.

Send all submissions to by November 30th.

There will be at least 2 more contests on here as soon as the map editor is done for who can produce the best map.

All your contributions will make Phalanx a better game and I will be more than happy to have anyone of talent help me in this area.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Map Component is Done

The map displaying component is functionally done. We have tested a sample map made by hand (very tedious without a working editor at this point) and we have something that displays, and navigates. It's really good to finally have this piece out of the way as I was sure that it was one of the hardest pieces to accomplish, especally since I haven't done very much in the realm of graphics programming. With only a few tiles i've made in the default tileset it isn't much to see right now but when the artwork starts coming in, as well as having a complete editor to work with things will definitely look more interesting in the coming weeks and months.

Here is a sample screenshot I rendered up from a testmap I made.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Maps Tilesets and Main Menus

Well I haven't been much for blogging pretty much this whole year, probably because my development on Phalanx was very sparse at best but I come bearing screenshots, information, and progress. In the past month I have really been working up the code for Phalanx. There is now a client that can connect to the XMPP network, the server can do some basic things like login, and the graphics engine is in the process of being done.

A lot of the development work that has been going into Phalanx has been a good deal of code clean up, code redesign, and framework implementations. There is a message framework that will make sending and receiving messages as clean as ever. Before I go any further let me show you the main menu of the client with its aesthetically pleasing very large icons.

Here you can see the layout is very simple and to the point. Users will be able to log into the XMPP network with 1 simple click as well as, once on, be able to access the server nodes and begin playing. On the left you can see the Preferences and also a map editor. That is one of the big things to get done as well. Phalanx will need good maps to make the game as enjoyable as possible and anyone is welcome to send them in. The map editor will be done early and packaged as a standalone program so that map making can happen as early as possible.

This screenshot while less impressive is a debut of the graphics engine component that is very actively being worked on. Right now it is just being displayed as part of a development test but it is displaying tiles in a very lovely fashion and pretty soon it will be able to load up maps.

All the code and materal is constantly being updated and is on our development site of