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New and improved bouncy things

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I have now managed to get the Newton Physics SDK working in my Airhockey clone. It has taken quite a lot of hacking around to get the puck and shufflers to act correctly, but now they do, and having integrated Newton, I now have approximately double the framerate, so I'm looking at having framerates of 150-200fps now, which is a nice improvement. It seems documentation is somewhat lacking for Newton... thankfully the documentation is rather complete, but in trying to figure out certain aspects of the engine, I've been left guessing where in the documentation to look... it lacks organisation rather than content. The engine however is working nicely, collisions look and feel better than with my existing code, although there are still slight problems with fast moving objects missing collision, I think I may need to investigate how I'm approaching timesteps.

I'm integrating Newton into my Airhockey game mainly in preparation for my Orbs game. I also figure that it would look good in a portfolio to demonsrate that I can work with code written by other people. I will finish and polish up my Airhockey clone, then as soon as it is complete, jump straight onto working on the Orbs project so I can start building up a portfolio that consists of more than a single project!!

I've had a few changes of heart over the Orbs design though. I'm going to remove a couple of powerups that will be hard to implement in terms of opponent AI. Take the laser grapple for instance, it might sound fun, but coding the AI for it would probably be a project in itself... so I may remove it and save it aside for a later revision of the game, along with several other powerups. On the flip-side, I have a couple of new ideas too which I may reveal in due course ;)

I'm thinking of changing the objective of the game too. The objective will now be to collect Nanobots, falling from the arena or getting damaged will cause you to drop nanobots which can be collected by your opponent. Nanobots will effectively visually and physically represent your score. Perhaps for a campaign mode, you could exchange nanobots like currency for special permanent powerups.

Anyhoo, that's all for this update. I'll see if I can post some pics of my Airhockey clone shortly so you have something to look at, though having said that, my placeholder art really needs replacing as it lacks a consistent style at the moment (i.e. it sucks!!).


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