Sunday, March 7, 2010

A weaks worth of effort (spelling error intentional)

After a week of fiddling and finagling my game project, I am not much farther along than I was last time I wrote.

I have a 2D camera system that tracks the players movement, and chases after it to varying degrees depending on its distance from the center (though I still think there is a better way of doing it). I also made it so that the world zooms out the farther away from the center of the screen the player is (that part I am slightly more proud of).
But what I don't have done are the pieces that make building something more fun and playable possible. Namely the world object editor, and complex collision detection (the per pixel thing just didn't work out... but I am not giving up hope). I can place down lots of little squares, and fly the ship through the mazes I create, but until I improve the systems I use to create the mazes, the time it takes to build something is much longer than I am happy with. Also, the inability to put anything in the maze that behaves differently limits the creative potential of the level design... and while flying the ship is fun... it's fun that only lasts a short while.

I have spent some time on some of the less visible aspects of the game. Things like an inventory of items, keeping track of quantity, and in the case of limited cargo space, limits the inventory based on differing factors (simple number, or total weight/volume variables). I also spent some time making existing systems I use more modular... but again, without anything in the world to interact with, right now all of that has no practical use.

So, prioritizing based ease of development, instead of need, seems to be costing me in the types of productivity that give one a sense of accomplishment. Namely the kind that adds to the play test experience.

Something I did do this week that was somewhat thrilling however, was pushing the project to my Xbox 360, and playing what I have right now on my TV screen! I learned that I need to make sure that I keep everything within the safe area (, because a number of things I display (debug text, and the current world editor) use the outer edge of the viewport variable (its a property of the graphics device... basically it tells you the width and height of the screen. Unfortunately, when working with a TV screen, those values aren't entirely accurate).

So, head down, and fingers on keyboard, working away at the things that will make the project move more quickly are still at the top of the list. Putting more on the screen, and adding new things to interact with are key to ensuring that in the end, the game will be fun, and people will buy it.

Wishing me luck, because I don't know that anyone is reading this
- fidget widget

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