Today wasn't very productive programming wise, although Mark and I talked about what we both really wanted in the game for about 4 hours. Mark also revealed his concept art for the final boss, which I'm not sure we're going to reveal just yet, as it is pretty cool, and we want the first time everyone sees it to be when it emerges and they have to battle it out, but fear not, we've got plenty of screens of..... buildings.....
The Goddamn Buildings
Here's a good story for you guys, with a (relatively) good moral at the end. Ahem... So there I was, adding the "new" buildings that Mark had recently provided into the "BuildingDatabase". I had also added the building animations to the animation database, so I figured, "Hell, buildings are handled the same as trees and rocks, so adding new ones shouldn't mess anything up".... yeah. Anyways, I apply the changes to the databases, and fire up the editor to build me a city. I select the building placement tool, and *BAM*, the editor crashes. At this point I'm thinking, " I must have made a typo in the building database", so I go in and check.... nothing. The trees and rocks worked fine still, but the damn buildings kept crashing the editor. I must have spent 3 hours stepping through code trying to narrow down what was happening, and finally I narrowed it down to the creation of the building's animation object. *SLAP*, said the hand as I bitch-slapped myself. Turns out I had forgotten to update the number of animations the editor needed to look for, so when it got to the building animations, it stopped loading them, because it had already loaded all the animations as far as it was concerned. When the buildings were created, the engine couldn't find the animation specified in the building information, resulting in a crash..... damn. Anyways, the moral of the story is: Look for the simple mistakes first, as they are much easier to rule out, which narrows down the problem code much quicker. Hmmm.... thats not a very catchy moral is it[grin]
Here are just some of the buildings Mark recycled from Angels 20. I wasn't able to fit all of them on the screen, but you get the idea. Once I implement Pavement, we'll be able to make some pretty detailed cities from all the buildings at our disposal.
The Next Additions
I think the next type of object I'm going to implement is going to be the level particle emitters. These will allow us to make cool little effects like waterfalls, campfires, and chimney smoke. The cool thing about these effects is that since the engine is running in the background, you can see the effect as it will look in game as soon as you place it in the editor.
Hopefully, I'll be done with this editor soon and I can start focusing on gameplay stuff, although most of the basic stuff is already there from my progress on Dogfight Online. Once I get the player flying through the levels with no technical problems, I'll start implementing Flak, SAMS, enemy planes, etc.
Well, thats all for now, I'll talk to you guys later, and I promise I'll stop with the editor screens soon[grin]