Not much to report tonight, I've been busy at work making working demo for you guys, and unfortunately that entails an assload of boring bug fixes, so not much new stuff has been added to the game, although there are a few items I'd like to talk about.....
The Tree Plopper
This is a pretty simple tool I added to the level editor, but it makes a huge difference when creating a level with the editor. Before this tool, you would manually select which tree type you wanted to place, and then you had to manually place each tree at the right point so that it looked like it was sprouting from the ground. It was also a pain in the ass to make a "forest" look realistic, as you had to manually switch tree types to add diversity. Anyways, the "tree plopper" just places a random type of foliage on the terrain when you click the mouse button. It doesn't sound like much until you try and create a lush tropical island without it. In the screeny below you can see the result of about 30 seconds of work, where it would have taken me way longer to do it manually.
I was looking back on my journal entries and I saw that mldaalder had asked about how the scripting works and if I could post a snippet. Well as it turns out, scripting has been my prime focus as of late, and I have quite a few new features I'd like to inform you guys about.
The scripting language in Angels 22 is a homebrewed one that I wrote because I didn't feel like learning another language such as Lua or Python, so thinking that it would be easier to make my own, and that it would be a good learning experience, I rolled my own. It's a very simple system, where the scripts themselves reside in text files, and the game engine parses them in and converts them to "events". Each "event" has a trigger and a reaction (with a few other components I'll get to).
The trigger is essentially what criteria must be met to execute the script. These range from simple ones like "ONSTART" which executes as soon as the level loads, to more complicated ones such as "PLAYERPASTX", which executes if the player has flown past the xposition given in the triggers parameters.
The reactions are what the script actually does, so you can think of triggers and reactions like causes and effects. Like triggers, reactions range from simple, such as "SETLIGHTLEVEL", whihc *gasp* changes the how bright the level is, to the more complex, such as the "PARATROOPDROP" command which consists of 4 parameters for x and y-positions, number of aircraft, drop zones, etc.
There are at this time 2 modifiers that can be applied to any script, the "persistent flag", and the "phase identifier"
The persistent flag is simple a '-' that is placed at the beginning of a script. Essentially it makes the script never go away (unless internally told to do so). This is handy for constant behavior, such as damaging the player if their plane flys past a certain point.
The "phase identifier" is a number in brackets (ie. )at the beginning of a script that denotes what "phase" the level must be in before the trigger criteria will even be tested for truth. The "phase" of the level is simply an integer that can be used by the scripter for a multitude of purposes from branching the scripts to preventing actions from occuring too early. The "phase" of a level always starts out at 1, and any script without a bracket in front of it will be tested no matter what the current "phase" of the level. A script with  in front of it will only be tested when the phase of the level is equal to 2. The phase of the level can be changed using the "SETPHASE" reaction in a script to set it to whatever value the scripter wants. It may seem like an odd system, but it works well, and gives tons of flexibility to the scripting system without too much added code.
So now that I've gone through the components that makes up a script, here are some sample scripts I grabbed from a test file, along with explanations of their functions:
This script is a persistent one that will damage the player by 2 every time the plane's xposition is greater than 5500. Since the script starts with a '-' it will always do its job, instead of being thrown away after one execution.
This script is a bit more complicated, in that it includes a phase modifier and a string parameter for the reaction. When the phase of the level is equal to 3, the script will jump straigh to the reaction (INSTANT automatically executes), and the script will play the sound of an air raid siren.
This script is odd in that it requires a persistence modifier even though the reaction only last for a determined amount of time. This is a case in which the reaction is required to be executed over and over again until it determines its time is up and it sets its persistence flag to false, and the script is discarded. As you may have guessed, this script simply focuses the camera at (5500,0) for 300 milliseconds.
As you can see, the scripting system is far from a full fledged language, but it is becoming more powerful every day as I add more triggers and reactions to the interpreter. And hopefully it will be user friendly enough to be released with Angels 22 for people to script their own levels in (The level editor will be released as well).
As I said before, Mark and I are working diligently to try and get you guys a demo as quickly as possible, but we really want this to be an awesome experience for you guys, so we are spending lots of time scripting cool stuff into the levels and fine tuning the gameplay. If it turns out like we are envisioning, then you guys will be in for quite a treat when we are finally content with it. Sorry its taking so long, but we feel its going to be important to have a demo with the polish people will be able to expect from the finished version.
Well, thats all for now, if you guys have any more questions about how something in A22 works, I'd be glad to answer them, I had lots-o-fun explaining the scripting system, and theres tons of other stuff I could talk about, so if you have a thought, drop us a comment and we'll get back to you. Peace Out!