Saturday, 28 August 2010

TileWars Update: October 28th

Well, the goal for TileWars was to have a basic, more or less playable version ready by the end of this month. What we have got is an intro, menu screen, basic level in which stuff moves and a basic avatar. This week I spent on making mockups for the menu, configuration and credits screens in Photoshop CS5. It's the first time I have really used CS5 and I must say that I like it a heck of a lot more than CS4 and Paintshop Pro 9 and 10. Yes, it's a huge application, and no, not everything is exactly intuitive (the help is usable), but it's got some really cool and awesome stuff to help with doing cut-outs (removing a single object from a picture) and making things from scratch, like the render filters.

Anyway, what is finished is the Nyanko splash screen video. The menu will be assembled completely within a few weeks time, once the game itself is somewhat more complete. We got a basic level which will be decked out with textures, fully finished avatars and very shiny effects. We got the background music ready to go thanks to the wonders of Creative Commons. My thanks to Kevin MacLeod from for making some very nice tracks. Depending on sales, some donations will be headed his way :)

I have been working out the Artificial Intelligence for TileWars. Once the API has been settled on I can finish its routines and plug it into the framework. Similarly for the network code. Both are basically modules which make use of the avatar control mechanisms, so aside from the question of what is controlling the avatar (AI or human), they're identical :) Heck, you could even have an AI on the remote system controlling the avatar via the netcode module. The possibilities are endless :P

Are we going to make the deadline of having a finished build by the end of next month? As with any project it's hard to say. If nothing goes wrong then most definitely. To put it in house-building terms: we got the foundation and basic framework including the roof all in place, it just lacks windows, doors, roof covering and many other essentials. We got 4 weeks, or at least 20 days to work on it, with Trevor especially making huge leaps every day. He implemented a better spatial divider within one day, for example. This spatial divider is responsible for chopping the level into smaller pieces, making it much easier and faster to search the level for collisions and such. The octree he was using initially simply used too much memory and was totally static. We're now using a new system which basically involves a lot of boxes. I guess it's one example of thinking outside the box by staying inside the box. Or something.

So in summary, still a lot more work to be done, but it's all within our capabilities and it'll only get easier and more fun once the game starts taking shape. Just seeing the first screenshot of that basic level a few days ago was amazing in its own way, as up till that point all you've seen was loose bits of resources.

Keeping my fingers crossed...


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