Progress is steady now. I am working pretty much every evening on Plu, and managing to tick off boxes every day. Feels good! We will soon have all the parts required to make a working, fun level, which is a very important step to take, obviously. We are simultaneously slimming down un-needed parts of the game to speed up progress, and overall the feeling of progress is wonderful!
Visited Julian’s house today, and got to work on our stationary stone idol enemy. It spits magma-veined eggs at you, which explode on impact. Figuring out how to make objects fly in parabolic arcs within our pretty 2-dimensional system was fun.
This was surprisingly difficult to keep from clashing with our line-break-insertion system, because item names can contain spaces. But now, like in so many classic games, we can insert item icons into our boxes, inline with the text! This will work for any Interface object, whether it’s a menu, a dialog box, or a speech bubble.
My work was canceled this afternoon so that people could go outside and enjoy the first really nice day in Seattle this year, but I only got as far as the lobby. I made an iced soy latte and got to work on improving the main character’s movement in Paraplu. The protagonist (or “Ship”, as it’s still called in the code because of Soft Landing) had a pretty naÃ¯ve way of moving, such that you can run diagonally âˆš2 times as fast as you can run orthogonally. Also, all of the inertia code from SL was ripped out for the time being.
I set about improving the movement algorithms to yield consistent speeds in all directions, and incorporating an inertia system. I tried several complicated methods which failed in colorful ways, before settling on a cleanly simplified but almost precisely correct method. Now, it takes a moment to get up to speed, change direction, or stop, and it takes twice as long to turn around.
Had really good crack at getting some illustrations done last night and something isn’t right. I’m not sure if it’s just normal “hiatus sickness” or my own sensitivity to the environment I am working in (different computer, different application, different hardware, different location). I am having a hard time feeling comfortable drawing, and the machine I have isn’t really powerful enough to properly run Photoshop, which in turn isn’t as nice as OpenCanvas. Despite all that I am a pretty firm believer in the philosophy that you shouldn’t blame the tools for your own shortcomings. Maybe I am just rusty. Regardless, it’s difficult and depressing to spend hours trying to do something you know you can do, only to ultimately have nothing to show at the end of it.
Ugh, here’s hoping I can get through this rough patch quickly and get something back into it. The mind is willing.
On that note, anyone have a powerful laptop they aren’t using? :D
Oh well, worth a shot.
Well, today I did some serious drawing engine improvement.
We now have a new type of Guy called Scenery, which has a strictly limited functionality consisting of sitting there and doing nothing at all. At the moment they can’t even animate, be transparent, or have a tint. We could add those functions in later if we find that we need them.
We now only redraw the map layer guys when a moving guy passes over them. This means we save a ton of cost that we were expending to redraw every single map tile every single frame. I made an awesome effect to test this; it causes the color of the scenery to fluctuate wildly each time it’s redrawn. (Jules, you can see it by uncommenting line 217 in guys.py.)
I started an experimental algorithmic shadow rendering that I think is kinda neat.
Working on character artwork. I haven’t been drawing for a long time so just trying to work out the kinks right now. Ordered a new, smaller tablet (Wacom Bamboo Small), I’ve always found the GIGANTOR one that I’m stealing/borrowing from hachi to be a little cumbersome, and usually just corral a tiny area in the middle for use anyway. I hope this will present me with more opportunity to do artwork in the later hours of nightwee hours of the morning more frequently.
Seeing Fet’s beautiful work recently and playing the almost unbearably excellent Persona 4 has been immensely inspiring, and I’m feeling pretty gung-ho about making games right now.
Let’s see how that goes!
Goodness, has it really been 8 months since I posted? We have been very busy with real-life stuff, but the Momo Pax spirit continues. For a while I was working on implementing a 2-dimensional inventory grid like in Diablo, but it turned out to be pretty prohibitively complex. In the *getting something done* spirit that started Paraplu in the first place, I scrapped the 2D inventory and whipped up this 1D one in about half an hour.