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Ethereal Darkness Interactive Update

Well, this morning after I climbed into bed and got nice in cozy (read: leaped over the side of my couch onto something hard ON the couch; also couch == my bed) I didn't quite feel like sleeping. So, I got back up and added some stuff to Port Placid. Not ROFL material at the moment though =/. So, I'm thinking tomorrow I'll go back over what I added and change some of it.

So far Larry is my favorite character since the dialog for him is really good (IMO anyway, but I came up with it so that doesn't count.) I think Raymond liked it too, from the ammount of ROFLs I got.

DragonForge Technology

Skip ahead for long-story-short.

Got halfway through my article's engine (I'm doing the coding before each article) and a nice little feature popped up. Its always been present of course, but I only had 4 animated tiles so I didn't notice it (because 1000/4 = 250, which is makes for a nice animated water.) But, after setting all of my grass tiles to animate and having them animate like every 1ms instead of the 1000 I had it set to, I got concerned. So, learning from past mistakes I double checked to make sure that my delay values were being loaded correctly and they were. So I moved onto my timing and guess what? Not only was I using static variables in my timer class to track the time elapsed, I was updating my tile 20*15 times. So I fix the static variables problem (totally removing elapsed time tracking) and fixed the updating my animation 300 times per frame.

Next problem - my whole fucking system sucks. The way I have it set up is I have an array of tiles (called a tileset) that represents my tilesets and then my terrain class stores indices into this. Works great, until you start adding and removing animated tiles from the tileset, which causes the map indices to be off =/. So, each time I want to add/remove an animated tile I have to change the tilenumbers in the tileset file (easily fixed by coding this into the loading code, since thats where it should be anyway) and then I have to change the indices in the terrain (no easy fix.)


So, long story shory, I'm restarting the engine. I've got a better design worked up (I think) and I'm going to give it a go one more time. If it doesn't work out this time I don't know if I'm going to try again.

Here's a list of features for the engine:

Multiple character party
Random foliage
Animated tiles
4 direction movement w/ 4 frames
Side-view turn based combat

The dialogue MIGHT (thats a very big might) be scripted. I'd rather not go into scripting since I haven't covered this much myself (other than a few failed attempts in the past to write a very simple scripting system). If its not scripted it'll just be a simple speech system (controlled by events.)

Random foliage will be random flowers placed around the map.

Heres the list of articles planned (mini-articles actually):

Basic map and entity system
enhancing the map system
enhancing the entity system
Adding movement and collision detection
Adding events
Adding buildings
Adding items
Adding new maps and a world map
Extras - Adding combat
Extras - Adding auto-fringing
Extras - Adding a character creator
Extras - Adding skills and magic
Extras - Adding an ingame item creation system

The Extras will only be added if I have time.


Other news

Obviously I didn't get nearly as much done as I wanted to. I was expecting to be at my brothers house for an hour or so and we didn't get home until around 8. Not a problem though, I got to see my bro and sis as well as their new home. I also got to set up a computer for him. We gave him our really old one until he can buy his own.

At first it wouldn't start (of course), but after some fiddling with the jumpers on the hard drive it started up. Then I couldn't get it to connect to the intarweb, but eventually got that working. Then I spent about an hour and half cleaning off all of the crap that my dad had on there (about 30 photo programs and the devil itself Fix It Utilities.)

Now, I get to have the fun of building him a new computer [evil].

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