Before it was pretty much a test system, but now I'm working on implementing a system that has variously defined particle Types which can be called by ID. So you say to the particleEngine, add ParticleType 3 at (10,10),( with various possible overrides and additional parameters like velocity, decay, .. color?).
Rendering time is also quite improved; It is indeed faster to not have the thing apparently create a texture for every blit of several hundred particles. Next I'll be implementing dcosborn's suggestions to my last post. That and loading particle definitions from text files.
Did I mention how open to modding this will surely be? Well, it will.
Camera & Viewport
I suppose I mentioned the camera in my last post, didn't I. Did a bit more work on that, and boy it can be finicky. The problem is that my graphics are basically pixel-art with the hard edges that entails, while the OpenGL viewport can wander through coordinates which are stored as floats at it's leisure which makes weird blurring and flickering at edges that are supposed to be pixel-hard.
Perhaps this has to do with my rendering as well, which could use some work I'm sure.
So: I was considering doing everything in vector art rather than pixel art using Inkscape, which I've been playing around with recently. Problem is: I'm not used to vector art because I haven't done it before. On the other hand, pixel art and painting is dead simple and I'm good at it, but ... vector art would be good to learn, and the style might work better. It feels weird though, a little like 3d modeling but rather less a pain.
Well, graphics are far from final anyway, so we'll see how I feel between now and... and infinity!
Working on implementing a very generic yet extendable Sprite State that can somehow be accessed correctly by other things. I mean, it has to be able to handle everything from a simple rock graphic to a spaceship with possibly multiple components and effects.
I'd show a screenshot of what's going on now, but it's basically the same ship as before -- just the rendering isn't a total hack this time, so it does its business semi-properly through the component system. Additionally, the camera flies around, stuff that isn't in the viewport gets ignored, and ... I'm liking it. This could be good.
Backstory and Writing
I've been thinking of the setting and plot of Oort, and I think I have a direction, but I don't particularly want to talk about it. Anyone read anything by Ken Macleod? I'm thinking something like his space opera, with some Charles Stross in there as well. They both don't do the ponderous WW1-navy wanks transposed into space, I'll tell you that much.
And the themes of the story should fit somewhat in with the gameplay, which basically revolves around mining asteroids in deep space. But not really, such a setting probably suggests a Western at its heart, but I want to subvert the tropes one usually gets from such things.
This'll be fun.
God, it's a lot of work to get to Milestone #1 in a responsible way. I find myself building many of the huge systems that the game will run on before even starting down the list! It's to be expected, I suppose.
Though if I were working with a larger team, more like a real studio, it'd be necessary to build as much of the game all at the same time as possible. But of course this is only really possible when one has the skeleton, at least, of an engine as well as the experience to plan out the schedule for developing resources.
I seriously am still avoiding the trig., but maybe I'll have to come to face it this weekend and rip off the proper equations from some other programs I've seen -- you can't copyright math! (Unless you can; That'd be depressing.)