We're now officially into week two of our current game challenge. Just thought I would throw up a thread outside of our normal game ones to toss in a few comments about what's going on, what we've gotten done, what was too complicated, and what we're planning to do in the week ahead.
I managed to get some decent looking graphics done for my galactic map including allowing the user to select which sector within the galaxy they want to play in. I also completed a teletype styled display, which takes a string and types it slowly on the display… in homage to the games of the early years. To test out the sector selector state I also needed to create some behind the scenes code to generate random stars and planets. I was able to complete these tasks this week, and a little game design time in there as well.
This week was good for graphic interfaces, something that doesn't always manifest itself early. Now that I was able to work out a few more details from getting this under control I'll probably be spending at least a couple days this week doing more non visible class development. One of the more challenging things about the random star generator that I was able to get worked out involved the stars overlapping. It seems like it would be a simple matter to do collision detection, and simply move the offending sprite to a new random location so it's no longer interfering. While this is true, it's also not so true. For instance, if you are performing a nested loop to scan an object array, it is simple to move one of the objects so it isn't colliding with the first one. The problem arises because when you move the offending sprite to a new location, you can land on top of another star. That was pretty confusing at first you see, because the code itself was correct… but things would still overlap. Damn computers for doing what they're told! Anywho's I had been trying to avoid recursion because the last time I dealt with it, it gave me nightmares. File and Folder enumeration can be a headache I suppose. In the end I got so frustrated I gave in and went to recursion. Afterall, that's the only way to know if the position of the new random location intersects with any other stars that might already be in play. I did hit one infinite loop in the dev process for the recursion, but it was pretty easy to nail down and within 10 minutes, I had that issue resolved. So that was my over complication for this week. I wanted to avoid doing something I thought was going to be really hard, and in doing so I spend waaaaaay too much time working in failed nests. 10 minutes of approaching the problem from the correct way, and it was done.
Going into the coming week (I'm going Monday to Monday, which conveniently ends on the 9th) I already mentioned I was concentrating on doing some behind the scenes work. There were a couple things I needed to nail down before doing some leveling and technology maps. So, I'll be on working out some of the finer details this week with powerups, levels, experience, health, etc. I'll also be working on textures for my random planets, resource lists, and a menu system.
The menu system is the big display item for this week. A lot of the code will be invisible, but if things work out well, by the end of the week I should have a good framework for user input and information display.
Well, that's all I have for now. I hope you all can drop a line and talk about your situation and where you're headed going into the second week. If there's any lurkers out there (you guys randomly browsing) feel free to drop some comments as well, it would be interesting to hear outside opinions/ideas.
"May the mercy of His Divine Shadow fall upon you." - Stanley H. Tweedle, Security Guard class IV, The League of 20,000 planets