Feb 27, 2012

A Vague Dev Journal Entry

The new project is... progressing. Currently, I have pathfinding zombies in a randomly generated forest map with few items laying on the ground. They can be picked up and get auto-equipped when possible. Otherwise the inventory is not functional yet and that's what I'm currently working on.

I've been spending much time on details, not satisfied until everything looks good. It takes time but I like how the game already looks. I've been also trying to use libtcod's features as much as possible; the pathfinding toolkit was something I had not tried before and I got it working fairly easily.

It's funny how a reasonably small noise animation dwarfs 200 creatures pathfinding in terms of CPU usage. I should probably test the game on my netbook at some point, before I go nuts with fancy stuff and make things too heavy to run smoothly on a lower end system. (Like RoV's menu background animation...)

Also, a realtime loop combined with a turn-based game managed to surprise me with the complications it brought but I got the game logic in place finally. So far I've successfully avoided terrible copy-pasting. Generalization and abstraction takes more time but it pays in the end. I hope.

I found couple minor bugs (or maybe features) with libtcod that made me lose precious time searching an error in my own code. Since a new version of 1.5.1 was released last week, they might not be relevant anymore. Anyway, when using a custom font and custom character mappings with a TCOD layout font file (32x8), the last spot in the font file refuses to be mapped with any of the functions. No idea why's that.

The other issue I encountered was with libtcod's parser. parserStruct->addProperty("color", TCOD_TYPE_COLOR, true); compiled just fine but the parser aborted in "identifier expected" error. Evidently, you should not name a property "color" -- once I changed it to "clr" it started working. Someone on IRC guessed the word is probably reserved. It would've been nice if this was told somewhere.

I plan to announce the name of the game in a short teaser video. The first release of the game will follow some time after. I do not want to release too early, though, and I can't give any ETAs at this point.

On a related note, this year's 7 Day Roguelike Challenge is creeping closer (March 10th to March 18th). We shall see how it goes this time.

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