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Whew, so It’s been a while since I released alpha 2… Soo much has changed and been improved. Here’s a brief changelog of stuff I can remember off the top of my head.
New main menu and faster startup times.
Lots more assets to load at startup so it’s actually doing stuff while you have to look at the pictures.
New map. A huge dungeon assembled off arenas from the web map generator.
Rooms seal upon entry and then depending on how deep you are get harder and harder.
Sounds! ok just some basic sounds but man does it make a difference.
New look for gameplay areas and tiles.
Lots of hooks are ready for easy insertion of new enemies, powerups, and the special items that will be included in the store you can visit between levels (soon).
Overall I’m incredibly pleased with the amount of progress. I’m mostly excited about having reached a point where I can do so many thing (new graphics, monsters, quests… the mind boggles!!!)
For now, I’m just gonna play a bit.
As always you can download it here(~12mb), and as always use it at your own risk, I make no claims that it won’t terrorize your cat, melt your eyeballs, or do any other unpredictable things.. But it seems to be working just fine for me.
 changed out some sounds for better samples of what I intend for the end product. [/edit]
Just ran across a pretty good article on Game AI and how it’s all smoke and mirrors as opposed to real AI and a brief introduction to some of the basic concepts, such as finite state machines etc etc.
Pretty good introduction to the topic. The full article can be found here: http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/2009/03/05/how-ai-in-games-works/1
Its been a bit of a slog to make much progress. Tons of little ‘try this.. er.. hmm well how about that.. ooh that broke it… humm well then how about ….’
BUT the upside.
The player now triggers doors when he/she walks across em. (yes the collision polygons need some tweaking but basically it works). This causes a recusive floodfill to determine all the tiles that are available inside the room. There was an issue where it caused the game to stutter while the fill ran but with the use of some scheduling calls I actually wound up with a smooth and more even area determination.
So.. why does that make me happy?
Well, glad I asked.
So now I have a nice and easy way to get all the available tiles in a room, with just some minor tweaks the monster spawner (in the inital Alpha) will be able to find an open spot and start spawning critters.
Esentially I’m just a few minor tweaks from having a playable core base to work off of.
Then I can start going crazy with different monsters, powerups etc etc.
The in-game map now reflects a proper mow branching randomly generated maze based on Prim’s Algorithm, the trickiest bit was adapting it to do without proper arrays Toquescript is a bit funny about that. After that, I created a basic start for a tileset etc etc and got it rendering properly in the engine.
Tonight I got the tilesets to properly interpret the door and trigger tiles and render the proper animated tiles for them (after creating said animations of course). Spent a little time trying to figure out why shooting seems to crash the game on the tile based level but didn’t get much beyond making it not crash.. but not showing the shots either..
So that’s the next step, and after that activating the triggers and shutting the doors to indicate the start of a wave of enemies.
On the webby front, some minor tweaks galore to the theme with some more changes planned. Over the weekend I put up the site www.wenderflonia.com for GFW and she’s putting it to great use already.
Got some good progress done. The online Map editor is coming along nicely with some new additions such as, saving to a database, generating exportable content files for integration into Torque. Still I need to do a couple things to it, mainly bulletproofing the submitted maps to make sure I don’t forget to add doors, things are sealed properly etc etc.
So after a nice little hiatus with the game programmy project its back to work on the behemoth that’s been hogging up the kirchen for going on a month now.
I really didn’t want to do this, which is why it probably took so long. You see, I didn’t finish the background first… and you always start in the background and make your way closer to the viewer. That way.. you don’t wind up having to paint over large swatches of the stuff you’ve already painted.
Which I did. Which sucks and isn’t a lot of fun knowing you’ve got to do something you were happy with all over again.
I actually fudged over the planet area fairly well so there’s just a couple small things that are going to need reworking.. so in all reality it could have been much worse.
So After that I started re-refining all the shade transitions on the gearwork and after I slopped a little shading on the planet guide beam thing I made up my mind to actually render out the gear works instead of the flat blue shapes.
The base color for 2 of them done and some simple shading on the smaller one and a little detail and it’s a good stopping point.
Hmm so I’m grandually getting comfortable wiht the whole MCV arhictecture of dev elopment. I’ve decided to more or less just give a pass to Ruby on Rails for now and see about getting cakephp up and implemented to my workflow.
Having a hard time with the initial mental gymnastics to fully embrace it but it’s gradually starting to make sense.
For now, though, It may be time to just take a break and take a look at some bigger picture items and play around with my paints while things gel.
So, It’s been a good year. Overall… Though I’d say the first 7 months or so really…er.. sucked.. The last 5 have been absolutely spectacular.
The holiday’s are just about gone. My christmas tree is still up and glorious and the presents are scattered around the house. The remnants of nerf battles past lie scattered around in the corners.
The amazon wish list was a success Including an awesome score of a copy of Descent: journeys into the dark, Feersum Endjinn, a nice iPod alarm clock and other goodies!
But, it’s about time to start a pet project… and no time like the beginning of a fresh year to do so. Soo… I’ve cracked open some Ruby on Rails tutorials and am gearing up for the start of an actual development. I need to crank out some milestones and a basic design guideline and then go from there.
But on the other hand… I did get some cool canvas boards that are just itching to get slathered with paint, not to mention my copy of painter has been doing good things.. so maybe that will distract me..
Been playing with some basic python and pygame stuff. Seems like a pretty easy to learn language and api, just havent gotten myself convinced for the need to learn yet another language… oh well Im sure I’ll think of something to use for an excuse.
But it probably wont be until Xmas. Letting the brain relax and just enjoying some neglected games and movies and such. blah blah blah blah..
Bought a book about Joomla a lil bit ago and just reading over it makes it seem like a wonderful platform for doing a whole bunch of really really neat things. It kinda makes me want to redo the custom CMS i’ve been making at work for the last 3 months for fuddruckers. Well ok there’s some pretty significant things that aren’t in there for that particular job. Nonetheless it looks like a very robust foundation to know and be able to expand upon. So I’m goind to get started on the Drakkheim.com lan planning / management site just to get more comfortable with the ins and outs of the system.
Hopefully once I knock it out I’ll have the knowledge to use Joomla as a base platform for many many other things that I’ve got planned both at home and at work.
In completely unrelated news Robert Asprin and Lody Lynn Nye have released another book in the wonderful MYTH series called Myth-Chief.. Jeez come to think of it I’ve been following those for close to 15 years now.. Well here’s to another 15.
Lots and lots of musing about game dev type stuff not sure if anything will actually come of it, whatever.. no biggies.
ArmA, specifically the player made ‘Evolution Blue’ level, may well be the best co-op fps game ever. Spent most of satuday clearing out the first two and a half towns gaining some ranks, driving & flying some bigger and more well armed vehicles. The only thing it needs are some better tutorials on how to manage your squaddies. It’s one heck of a learning curve but when you get the hang of it rolling into a hostile town with your squad is well worth it. Heck, I’d buy a game just based off this one level (if they fixed a couple little bugs too).
Elsewhere.. Spore releases today. (download currently at 42%), totally promises a fun and addictive toy to play with for a loong time. The creature creator (free trial here) shows off the versatility of the game.
Well things are now settling down here on our new server.
Got a handful of old and new domains consolidated across the board and some nre goodies lined up.
Most notably would be the start of development on the dream wars. Got a good start on the dsesign spec and some of the data modeling up and running. It’s an ooold idea I had a long time ago but with the new png support that’s universal plus a bunch of new nifty ajaxy2.0buzzwordladen tools at my disposal it actually might be doable now. The biggest concern is how browsers support 3-400 pngs with 8bit transparency. I hope pereformance doesnt just suck.
anyway.. more layout changes and general tweaking still needs to be done all over the place. But it’s a beginning.