Archive for the ‘Status Update’ Category.

World Screen Screenshot

Well, it’s getting there:

WorldScreen

New Dungeon Editor Screenshot

Some progress:

  • Added 2nd layer for regular and secret doors
  • Triggers (X in screenshot) and traps (square in screenshot) now rendering
  • Load and save working, using sharpSerializer since normalize XmlSerializer doesn’t like arrays, among other things.

 

DungeonEditorScreenshot2

Dungeon Editor, 1st Iteration

Behold my awesome graphical skills! 🙂 It’s got a long way to go, but it’ll do for now:

 

DungeonEditor

The Perils of Coding on the Fly

So I thought I could get the “character” editor for my game (you know, the only one I’m working on like a good developer! See the relevant “squirrel” post previously) up and running quickly. There’s not a lot of options to select from in creating a “character” in the game, so I figured it would be a quick screen to whip up. I should have known better. Sad smile

Usually, if a chunk of code isn’t that complicated I don’t take the time to make it object-oriented. Why do we use OOP methodologies anyway? For me it comes down to a couple of things:

  • Ease of understanding
  • Ease of re-use
  • Ease of maintenance
  • Piecing chunks of code together is usually easier than writing one huge chunk of code (this ties in to the other three somewhat)

For small, uncomplicated screens in a game (which I anticipated this being) usually none of these 4 things are lost if you code the screen in a non-OO manner. Menu screens in most games are a good example. There’s not much going on except detecting the selection of a menu item and moving to the next screen. An option screen isn’t that much harder – you just have to read and write out some data to a file to save the state of the options the player selects.

I wrongly believed the editor screen wouldn’t be much more difficult than a typical options screen. That’s come back to bite me.

The problem is mainly due to handling navigation between all the graphical elements on the screen that the player can select and drawing those elements with the option for each the player has selected. I’ve ended up with a bunch of variables for each object that obviously would be better suited to bundling up in a class and just having a list of each class object. I did this with the in-game level editor and it made it a lot easier. I don’t know why I figured I wouldn’t need it here. Oh, that’s right, I know why – I didn’t plan the screen out before I started coding. Embarrassed smile

Luckily ripping everything out and making it more OO shouldn’t be much more than a good night’s coding. I am thinking a bit beforehand about how I’ll do it though.

Lesson learned. Hopefully others will benefit from my mistake.

Game Update and Other Stuff

Well, I didn’t quite get to where I wanted by the end of the month, but at least I made progress. The level editor is mostly done, although not fully tested. The “character” editor is probably 50% done. The plan is to get it completed for the next Dream Build Play, which I think is quite doable.

The squirrel did attack (see my previous post) and I opened up The Agency project when I realized the tileset I was using wasn’t going to work for all situations. I also took another look at Hero Engine to see how easy it was to work with. There’s a cute little bunny farming world that they set up to show how some things are done (quests, menus, area picking, etc.). I would need to read a lot more of the documentation to find out if it’s a truly viable solution for a spy game like I’ve been fooling around with, especially since it would be just me working on it at the moment.

A huge (to me at least) thing that’s happened since my last post is that I’m waiting for a phone interview to be set up with an actual game studio. I keep an eye out every once in a while for positions at various companies just to see how the industry is going and I happened to see positions for which I’m actually qualified! That’s extremely rare since I don’t do C++ anymore. I sent in my resume for a couple of positions and got a reply back from one. I’m hoping to hear back from the other as well but we’ll see. This would be life changing in that I’d have to move, but given my current job instability I’d have to seriously consider uprooting the family if they make me an offer that’s enough to support us, especially since it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. At least I’d have the hope of some potential for growth there. I’m slowly digging myself into a hole at my current job as we’re nowhere near current with technology.

I was excited to see that the local chapter of the IGDA is starting back up with a meeting Thursday. If you’re in the Baltimore area, come out and join in – 7 p.m. at The Green Turtle in Hunt Valley. There’s a ton of talent in the area and past meetings have been pretty awesome so I’m hoping for good stuff this year.