It's been just about ten years since I created the Ravuya account on GDNet. There's been so many things that have happened since then, and so many friends I've made that it's actually kind of hard to sum it all up in one journal post. I'll keep it brief, but I wanted just to say thank you to everyone, past and present, for making this site great.
Also, I'd like to invite people to come and reminisce in the comments about the old Lounge and, of course, the Bus and Trash Monster.
I'm testing out the new journal software by doing a small update: I've implemented the NPC editor in the Afterglow editor, so you can now place enemies on the map and have them get angry and try to murder you. It's shaping up into a real game.
I'll be doing more work later, but in the meantime you may be interested in checking out this incredible (and probably not that safe for work) Photoshop rap.
I'm trying to end a lot of my inactivity by taking Afterglow improvements a little at a time. Last night, I improved the game by changing how it draws levels to try and make it look like levels are "cut out" of a solid block (I will be adding some textures or something later to improve this look) and make the walls not look cheap and paperlike like in this old screenshot:
I'm looking forward to making some improvements on the editor so it's fun to make levels in it.
I'm also trying to figure out how to make the game prettier since it looks, uh, a little dated. Having textures that are similar colours might also help.
I also got a Nexus One. I like writing code for Android but I really hate working in Java, especially since my day job is primarily C#. I'll get over it, probably just in time to do a port to iOS.
So I sat down tonight and decided to finish off the view for the Afterglow conversation layer, and here's how I started prototyping:
Just starting out. Not a lot of stuff here that you could call useful.
A little more information but it's missing some visual pop.
Now we're talking. Using the text alignment as a visual clue will hopefully prevent people from being confused about who is talking. I might also experiment with growing/shrinking the avatar boxes as they are talking. Also check out how sweet my new right aligned word wrap code in my font class is. It's sweet.
So I'd say that stuff is still getting done - just rather slowly.
I'm starting my new job tomorrow - I'm a bit anxious. Even though I've worked at this company on my internship, I don't know much about what project I'm doing and I'm still wary of the secret intentions of employers after my disastrous job this past summer - once bitten, twice shy.
In Afterglow news, I've finally gotten around to fixing the dirt-stupid zombie AI into something that is a bit more dangerous, and tonight I'm also going to fiddle around with the controls until I get something that feels better - it has always felt really limp and mechanical to me compared to how Glow felt. This large period of downtime from Afterglow is really bad for the project (in that it's bad for my motivation) so my New Years' resolution (how cliché) is to work on the game more frequently in 2010.
In car news, today I bought a Hot Wheels Delorean DMC-12 to put on my desk at work (increases my "80s Cred"). My WRX wagon still eludes me, as all but the destroyed rice rockets on Craigslist have been pulled from listing now that the snow has hit. [crying]
Afterglow now has support for corpses, and as a side effect of hooking into the existing Afterglow sprite setup you can have animated corpses. This means, effectively, that I will have death animations and need to find someone to make them.
That's pretty cool, I think. Haven't tried it out yet.
I'm surprisingly deluged with a combination of schoolwork and vidjagames so I've been quite lazy on doing new stuff.
New stuff (according to my bug tracker):
Afterglow: AI disables when it gets far enough away from you properly now, randomly shuffling zombies appear more natural, actor stereotypes can be instantiated which allows me to load an entire gamestate from disk - this means save games work for the first time. Once I get these papers done, I'll probably work on entity placement/editing in the editor.
iPhone: Fiddling around with parallax layers and event handling. I think I might have something cool coming up, but I haven't had much of a chance to work on it.
Getting slightly closer to being able to package up a Mono/OpenTK application so I can finally make the transition to writing my cross-platform games in C#/F#.
You might also have seen me running around in the Lounge editing vague thread titles to more accurately reflect the thread, and arbitrarily closing threads on a whim. I'll talk more about Lounge moderation soon as well - I want to try and cut down on the number of megathreads relating to religion or politics, because they're rather boring and make everyone quite upset.
I'm not really dead, but I might as well be for all the progress I've been making over the last few weeks. I started my last semester, and although it's not terribly hard, I'm not feeling the motivation. Hopefully that will return soon, since all I've done recently is make the test map for Afterglow longer to test NPC deactivation.
I've been working a bit on the entity functionality of the Afterglow editor; my dream objective is to spend a lot less time in TextMate tweaking text files and keying off coordinates by hand like I've done in previous games.
I've budgeted only a few weeks for these changes, though, as it's really important that I actually get back to implementing real gameplay so my motivation doesn't falter.
More in a bit - I also just got my iPhone developer cert so I'm going to be playing around with trying to get something running on the iPhone that's not the default OpenGL ES application.