Well, I was feeling pretty burned out the last time I updated, and I took a short break to recover from the joys of programming. I’ve come back to it with a vengeance. The transitions are coming along nicely. I’ve got transitions working for visibility and passability going across a transition from a South face to a north face, observe: this transition is a South face to a North face.Here’s a player standing at the edge of the transition. See how you can see through it?Then I step through it into the next section. It loads well, and as quickly as any step would, but as you can see, I don’t have the visibility or passability working for the way back. I’ll be done with that soon now that I have the format down. I’ll have sense making transitions working in the next couple days and the weird ones not long after that. I’ll make a video soon.
Well, I’ve fallen still further behind in my schedule. This is largely because coding up the map parser on the player side that needs to sew connections in dynamically based on the character’s location is a real mother bear. It’s worth it, though, to make the map maker as flexible as possible in connecting things in fun and strange ways. I got he player side parsing maps and preparing the transition area, but I’m still coding the stuff to sew the other piece of map in (pictures later, my computer with the ideal sized screen for the current prototype code is at work busily running antenna simulations).
The other reason is LTUE. I spend a lot of my usual coding time there, looking for inspiration. I got a fair amount, but the most important lesson I learned was from Howard Taylor. To make a long story short, I need more time. My plans were pretty aggressive and I planned announcing a hard release date before I’d even coded the outdoor/travel mode of the game. I’ve smarted up and my announcement of a release date has been moved back 8 months to give me time to code up the whole game, test thoroughly, and produce more content before even mentioning a date for release. It’s a bit of a bummer, but best to come crashing to reality on this soft turf than on the spikes up ahead.
This week I built the User Interface for adding “transitions” to the map. A transition is used to connect sections or to create physically impossible structures in one or more sections. Essentially, a transition says that this part is connected to this other part. This connection can be either physical or visible or both, and it’s type can be different from one direction to the other.
The User Interface for the transition manager was a piece of work. Those context windows for the two transition ranges adjust dynamically to the selected area and there are all kinds of other little considerations. These transitions also save nicely to the map file and load perfectly into the map maker.
Now it’s time to shift gears back to the player page and get started on the master page, where the map file will be loaded and sections will be stitched together based on the defined transitions. When that’s done, I’ll do a video to demonstrate how transitions work with a character or two on these maps.
A little map I drew as a logo for a G+ Community I was asked to help start: Gamer’s Club. Still not sure what I want to do with the map, any ideas?
My computer’s back, and I’ve made a lot of progress on the map maker. All of the underlying structure is now in place to save map files, and then loading map files shouldn’t be a problem. Tonight I hope to code up the remaining control systems for the map maker and then I’ll get to the saving and loading during the week. Sometimes this week I’ll post a video of the full map maker functionality and then get working on reading the full map files into the player page. By the end of the month, I hope to have multiple players moving on the same map. Things are really moving!
So, I figured with graduation out of the way and lots of open time in the early mornings, evenings, and weekends, I’d get a lot of coding done going forward, and I still hope that will be the case, but over the holidays my computer died, which was a major setback. I got some good coding done before it died, and everything is safe on the amazon server, but until I get it back from repairs, I don’t think I’ll be set up to showcase any of the new functionality. That should come soon nonetheless. Diagonals and smart pits are both working in the map maker and I’m super stoked about that. There’s still a long way to go and I’ll have some catching up to do to hit my aggressive schedule once I get my computer back.
In the meantime, I’ve been working on a setting that I think will be the first setting I implement in Mind Weave. It’s an island the size of maybe Cuba, but more in latitudes of Great Britain. It’s shaping up to be a pretty good place to set campaigns and now that I’ve mapped the island pretty well, I’m working on the first few Mind Weave online campaigns. I plan to be test running them later this year. In the nearer future, expect tidbits about the setting and updates on the code.
Well, I very grudgingly let the blog schedule slip for three weeks while I defended my Master’s Thesis and wrapped up everything else I needed to do to graduate, all the while working full time. Now that’s all done, and I’m only working full time, so it’s time to get back to coding the game and making blog posts. During the long hiatus, my momentum was broken and I got a chance to think about that trajectory. I decided I was spending way to much time doing drawings, math, and maps for the blog, and it was distracting from the point of all this: to make me accountable for my progress on the game itself of Mind Weave.
So, this return is going to be a sporadic affair until I figure out how I’m going to structure blog posts going forward. Whatever I do, it will include ensuring that all of the time I put into the blog is work that will also advance the game development: spells for starter spell books, for example. I will probably stop posting abilities and characters, with the exception of posts exploring and feeling out new abilities (it helps me think). Test battles will become more common, especially when the combat mechanics are all coded and we can test them for real. Map posts will be limited to content for the starter campaign, once I figure out what I want that to be. Anyway, big changes, but hopefully for the better.
In the meantime, a progress update: I’ve migrated the game as coded so far to an amazon server where I will do all of the work going forward. This means I will be able to work anywhere pretty easily and I can start the move toward player interactions. I can also start making style files for larger screen sizes than that of my old laptop. The server runs nicely, but not all of the tables have been rebuilt yet, so some of the pages are broken. Near future, I’m going to finish rebuilding the tables and get most of the details in the map maker worked out, so stay tuned. Once I have something pretty, I’ll post a video.
This is a minor ability learnable by psions, which allows the possessor to speak into the mind of another person. The target can purposefully project thoughts in response once contacted. Additional levels increase range and clarity.
Would you get Telepathy? How would you use it? Let us know in the comments below.