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Sir Sapo

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EDIT: Changed the journal title to get Ravuya off my back[wink]

Hey everyone!

Sorry, not that big of an update tonight, its pretty late, and I've got an early start tomorrow.

I've been working pretty regularly on FoT, and I'm making some good progress in terms of putting items and weapons in the game. One of the limits Mark and I put on ourselves at the beginning of the project was that we were only going to have a few weapons, basically your standard FPS set:

PISTOL/SMG
SHOTGUN
ASSAULT RIFLE
MAGNUM
ROCKET LAUNCHER

Having such a small amount of weapons allows us to balance them much easier, and make the game a lot more fun to play. Anyways, Mark recently sent me a bunch of neat new textures to help fill out the inventory display. As you may remember, the inventory had a huge black rectangle that was curiously empty, well no more!


In the screeny above you may have noticed that now the player has a health readout, which actually works, although Mark has yet to give me a dying player texture, so until then, there's no actual "dying".

Secondary Fire
This is a cool feature that I really enjoy in the games I play, alternate fire modes for weapons. Almost every weapon in the game will have a unique secondary fire that can be used by clicking the right mouse button. For example, with the assault rifle, your primary fire is a 3-round burst of bullets, but the alternate fire launches a grenade out of the gun that detonates where you had the cursor when you fired it. Hopefully cool little things like that will help differentiate the weapons and make things more fun.

Sounds
A genius idea I had at the beginning of the project was to get an annoying boat horn sound effect, and put it in as a placeholder anywhere that needed sound, but didn't have the right one yet. This is a good thing because it annoys me into going to the internets and finding the right sounds to replace that annoying horn. This helps prevent the problem of getting to the end of the project and having to pay really close attention to see if things are actually making noise or not.

Well, thats all I feel like writing for now, theres a few more technical things that I've done, but I lack the energy to type them out right now, so all you guys who enjoy peeks at how FoT works will have to wait until next update[wink] Peace Out!
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So if you've only got 5 weapons, why so many slots in the inventory thingy?

When do you plan on starting the FoT netcode?

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There's gonna be some more easter-egg type weapons, but the main reason for the inventory is that there's going to be some powerups and other items that are going to be accessible through it.

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What he said.

As for the netcode, I already coded the server and client interfaces, now its just a matter of hooking everything up.

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I had a question about your implementation of A* (not pertaining to this entry specifically, but anyhow... )

Assuming a large horde of enemies on the screen, is it feasible to run the A* algorithm for each entity (perhaps as once as often as one every cycle, depending on if the target is moving)? The reason I ask is because I'm trying to implement A* for a game I'm currently working on, but am worried about the time it will take to run the algorithm so often.

How has it worked so far for you?

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For FoT its not that computationally intense because each room is consists of a 25x18 array of tiles, so the search can never get that big. There are also tons of way to reduce the amount of searching you have to do. For example, in FoT, before the pathfinding routine is run, the entity checks to see if it has a clear line of sight to the destination, if so, why run the routine if it can walk in a straight line? Little optimizations like that will really make the difference when you have lots of stuff going on at one time.

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