I'm not having much luck with Manta-X today. It seems as if my GUI events just aren't being scanned properly; in other words, the children of the element aren't being fully scanned for say, a mouse over event. This is almost certainly to do with the hacky way it was implemented, I suppose I should sit down and reimplement the mouse code.
The static text labels were acting all funny too, turns out I had a double parseChildren() call somewhere obfuscated by the recursion in the GUI drawing methods. I hate recursive programming at the best of times, simply because it can be a nightmare to track any problems out.
I've fixed a small bug I was having with the VFS I'm using, I can now use nice 'normal' paths instead of the horrible double slash I'm forced to use while coding under Windows. An interesting fact is that under PhysicsFS, it will happily pase a "somedir\\somefile.txt" path when it's a real directory, but when you give it a zip file of the very same dir, it breaks. The solution is to use "somedir/somefile.txt" paths, like I had on the Amiga (and the web I guess :P).
I was thinking about portability today; namely "How portable do I want this game?". I don't have a Linux box or anything like that (although I could gut this old sleepy Celeron 633 next to me) so it's a little hard to test this sort of thing on Linux. I was looking at the various libraries, SDL and GLFW (thanks once again VertexNormal) and it looks fairly easy at this stage to port my game over. I'm not using any fancy windows functions except in the RenderWindow class, so I could very easy jam in something like GLFW without a problem. Perhaps it's a good idea to do it now, or at least decide now ;)
Here's a TODO list for Manta-X the next couple of days. I don't care if it doesn't make sense to you, it's my journal and I'll cry if I want to!
- Rework stupid GUI isPointIn() code to fix selection of nested GUI elements
- Add transparency and colour to the Bitmap font for the GUI
- Add ability to scale font (and indeed the GUI) for different resolutions
- Assess the work in porting Windows specific code to SDL or GLFW
- Add ability to toggle rendering of collision boxes on/off
- Take Mission/MissionObjective ideas and implement a basic mission framework
Missions & Gameplay
I haven't talked about Manta-X missions much. I've decided that rather than be the generic shooter, the player will have a Wing-Commander like story to follow, which can branch off down various mission paths on success/failure of objectives. Objectives can be as simple as getting to the end of the stage, killing a certain bad guy or fighting off bad guys from an ally Cruiser.
Manta-X is exclusively top-down and scrolls in 8 directions (slightly expanded over Uridium). The idea won't really be to fly from bottom to top, more like repeatedly fly over a given area (space, enemy carrier/warship/planet surface/etc) and complete the missions. I have a pretty cool story worked out, it just needs expanding further into missions and objectives, but I'm keen to get the basic game mechanics out of the way before I do this and go full steam on content. The art is exclusively programmer art for now as graphics aren't my strength (are they anyone's?).
In the forums, I've been largely amused by all the Gmail hype that's bouncing around. It's an email service with a lot of space, that is all, right? I guess there's the obvious rush for all the cool names before you end up with stuff like email@example.com, forever stamped with the gmail goldmine rush of the 04's.
I've been fascinated by the work of Ysaneya lately. Anyone who's not checked out his journal should do so, realistic planetary environments and space-related stuff has long been an interest of mine. It's amazing to see that some people are really cranking up the realism levels in real time. I can't wait to see some form of interactive demo being released.