Well, I’ve written a lot of psuedocode for the new map style for the Master page. I’ll be writing some of it in real code this evening and during the week. In the mean time, I’ve drawn several new avatars. For player avatars I’ve done a Halfling Thief, a Gnome Mage, an Elven Archer, a Human Brawler, a Dwarven Fighter, and for monsters I’ve got an Orc, a Zombie, and a Kobold:
They require quite a bit of clean up, and I’ve only cleaned up the halfling and the gnome. They’re looking pretty good and look good on the map as well. Within the next few weeks I hope to get to a point where I can run multiple players in the same map and then I’ll need more than one avatar. With just a little more work, my playtesters will have plenty of avatars to choose from. Exciting times.
Well, I finished coding up all of the lateral transitions (nonsensical and otherwise) and have been debating how to demonstrate them. It can be hard to tell what a player is doing when you’re just watching, so a movie didn’t seem like it would do it justice. Instead, I decided to make it possible for you to wander my test map: Confusion Land. It has all 16 possible lateral transition types. I’ll add a vertical transition when I’ve coded that. To move, just use WASD with Q and E to pivot. If you run into any bugs, please be so good as to report them in the comments below.
With the transition mostly behind me, I’m moving on to the Master page, where I decided last night I would display the map in a third new way that won’t allow me to reuse hardly any code from the map maker or the player page. It’ll be a little more work, but I think I can get it done. So far I just have the background laid out for the first three tabs and you can switch tabs by clicking on them, so that’s cool:
The mapping for this should be relatively simple to code up. Then it’s time to link the master and player pages with my simultaneous, non-realtime queuing system. That’s going to be a major step and require a lot of play testing to make sure it doesn’t muck up play too much. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before multiplayer videos are a thing.
Also, in preparation for multiplayer videos, I’m starting to draw to new avatars. So far I’ve got a halfling thief and half a gnome mage. I just hope they look as good as the fighter avatar.
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.