VBA4Play: Making a Maze (Part 1: Your First Maze)

This post has been written by guest author Jordan Goldmeier of Option Explicit VBA

Disclaimer: The following tutorial requires Conditional Formatting which is a feature of Excel 2010 and greater. If you are using an older version of Excel, please note that formatting will not work correctly for you.

This article is part of a series called “VBA4Play”, written in conjunction with Excel game developer, Cary Walkin, for his blog. Many thanks to Cary for inviting me to write a few tutorials for his series.

This post is a continuation of my first post for Cary Walkin’s VBA4Play series, Development Principles for Excel Games and Applications, and Cary’s first post, VBA4Play Part 1: Movement and Collision Detection. If you have not read either of these posts, I strongly suggest you read them before moving forward.

Today, we’ll be focusing on how you can turn regions of your spreadsheet into a map for a game. This will be similar to the illuminated pathway featured in the bottom-right of the spreadsheet maze shown below.

Maze

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VBA4Play: Making a Maze (Prologue: Development Principles for Excel Games and Applications)

This post has been written by guest author Jordan Goldmeier of Option Explicit VBA

This is part of a series called “VBA4Play,” written in conjunction with Excel game developer, Cary Walkin, for his blog. Many thanks to Cary for inviting me to write a few tutorials for his series.

My development approach is different from Cary’s. To be sure, there are many different development styles when in comes to Excel and, for that matter, in the software development world. However, my principles are ones I hold fast to. You may disagree with them, and I welcome you to challenge me in the comments should you feel inclined. But it’s far more important that you understand these principles and why I believe in them. Think of it as an Elements of Style for Excel development. (For the unfamiliar, The Elements of Style is English style guide with a list of rules and principles to English writing style.)

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Molyjam 2013: Observations From a First-Timer

Last weekend I attended Molyjam, a game jam event hosted by Uken Games in Toronto. A game jam is an event where people volunteer to work on a game for a weekend and see what they can make by the end of the weekend. For me, the end result was Lost Dog, a 4-player marco-polo experience where you are trying to find your lost dog before a coyote finds it first (Play in Browser). The game was made over the weekend with contributions from myself, Aaron Bernstein, Katherine Mackay, Edith Chow, and Ryan Roth. This was my first game jam event and this post details my observations about it.

Lost Dog – Molyjam

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VBA4Play Part 2: Animation in Excel

This is the second part of the VBA4Play tutorial series. This tutorial is going to leverage off some of the code in VBA4Play Part 1: Movement and Collision Detection so be sure to view that prior to starting.

By the end of this tutorial, you’ll be able to make your own customized animations within Microsoft Excel. This tutorial is going to cover three different types of animation techniques: Uncontrolled, Wait, and Real-Time. Each type of animation has its own benefits and drawbacks so I’ll be going through the implementation of each of them step-by-step so that you will have the skills to use them in your own projects. Animation appears in every type of game so it’s important that we understand how to make effective animations so that we can make bigger and better games!

Okay, now let’s get started!

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Arena.Xlsm is now on Steam Greenlight!

Arena.Xlsm on Steam Greenlight

If you want to see Arena.Xlsm on Steam vote here: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=149050793

Open Call for Localization Volunteers!

Currently Arena.Xlsm is in a state that I am happy with, the game mechanics are all in and they seem to be working well together. Now that there will be few game changes, I can now proceed with localization of the game into various languages. Arena.Xlsm was designed in Microsoft Excel for free to be accessible to the largest number of people as possible. By localizing the game into various languages, more people will be able to enjoy the experience!

The most commonly requested languages are:

  • Russian
  • French
  • Portuguese
  • Italian
  • Dutch
  • Chinese

If you can speak any of these languages and English fluently and would like to help translate Arena.Xlsm, please contact me via e-mail or comment below. If you want to translate the game into a language not listed above, please contact me and we can discuss the viability of getting another localized version out.

If you’re interested in helping make the game accessible to more people in another language, this is your opportunity to make it happen!

Thank you so much for your continued support!

Arena.Xlsm Version 1.3 Released!

The-Obstacle-Course

Arena.Xlsm Version 1.3 is now available here: Download Arena.Xlsm

This update contains a number of new features and content. Here are the highlights:

  • New Feature: Keyboard Controls. Access the controls through the new control button. You can now customize hot-keys for your most frequently used spells!
  • New Feature: Hard Mode! Unlockable after completing a play-through on Normal. Blood harvested from enemies is decreased by 1. Fame required to level up is increased by a factor of 2. The player does not start with any heals. Enemy health and damage is increased by 25%. Exhausted enemies do not lose their immunities.
  • New Feature: Statistics. The statistics will track your actions across multiple games.
  • New Feature: “Boss Key” – The Statistics spreadsheet is unlocked and can be quickly accessed by pressing the F key from within the game. You can add corporate logos and work to this spreadsheet to mask the fact that you are playing a game at work. NOTE: If you feel the need to use a “boss key” you probably should not be playing this at work. I will not be held liable if you get yourself fired for playing a video game at work.
  • New Feature: Title Screen. There is now a title screen when opening the game and after the player dies. The logo is dynamic and will change based on the player’s progress throughout the game.
  • 3 New Terrain Types: Movable Walls, Pressure Switches and Switch Walls. Move the Movable Walls on to the Pressure Switches to trigger an explosion on Switch Walls connected to the Pressure Switch. This can allow the player to access new parts of the arena and provides an additional challenge while you’re battling enemies simultaneously.
  • 3 New Arenas: The Box, The Obstacle Course, and The Great Barrier.
  • New Collection: Arena Tourist.
  • 61 New Achievements!

For the full patch notes, see the Arena.Xlsm Wiki.