I've been chugging on and off with optimizing AdventureFar's load speeds. This is a very important part of AdventureFar - I must have seamless loading between areas... and now I do!
I had to rewrite the entire map format to get the speeds I do, but now it's incredibly optimized and I'm sure it'll run smoothly even on older PCs and maybe netbooks; I'll have to test it in a day or two. I wanted to get the loading finished and finalized before I continued with anything else, because if I change the map format (which I did), it'll require rewriting the map editor and converting all the old maps. I wanted to make sure the loading was fast enough now, instead of running into loading problems in the future and corrupting all the previous map files.
I wasn't intending to keep records, so pardon me for any inaccuracies in the chart below. I was just keeping records of the log files, to give myself a guidelines of whether an optimization was effective or not.
Like I mentioned, this was holding me back from progressing in other areas. It took me far longer than expected to get it to the speeds I wanted (because I was optimizing everything that I could within the program, and didn't even think about optimizing the map file outside the program). Now that it's working fast enough (I'll do a few more tests to be sure, and maybe one or two final tweaks), I can move on to other areas of more fun and excitement.
My general plans for the rest of June, July, and probably August are:
- Test with a 'worst case scenario' map.
- Test on a laptop.
- Test on an old Windows XP desktop
- Run through my "Todo" list for this milestone of the code.
- Finish of the 200 or so '#warning' messages I left for myself scattered throughout the code.
- Update the editor (a big task in itself).
Then I'll celebrate with a bottle of A&W Cream Soda, and declare 'Milestone 1' (of 5) officially completed.
Once Milestone 1 is completed, creation of the world can go on simultaneously with the programming, and also I'll then be able to move on to much more enjoyable parts of the code like combat or NPC dialog.
Even though this will only be the completion of Milestone 1 of 5, the game will be alot further along than just 1/5th of the way (it'll be more like 30 or 40%); like pouring concrete, the concrete slops down and starts filling up where you'll be in the future, taking care of some of your future work for you. Plus, my milestones are not equal in workload or timecosts.
(The above picture just for illustrative purposes. It doesn't give any real estimation of comparison between the milestones, or completion rate of them)
Art on the marketplace
I've taken the past week off to work on some more tileart. I decided to upload them to the GDNet Marketplace, to help encourage other (more skilled) artists to provide resources here; plus I'll be able to pick up a few bucks that way as well, in the long wait until my game is released. I'll be using the art I made for AdventureFar, which was part of the motivation for making it.
You can see my available art here.
I'll upload more in the near future, but that's good for the moment. If you guys have any requests for art that you need, I'm happy to take a shot at it. I can't do figures, but I can make some decent tileart for modern or fantasy games.