Nevertheless, very little progress since my last post. I think I'm starting to feel compassion for the news media when they have to resort to talking about Hollywood gossip to fill up their time slots. I really don't have all that much to report. So if you made it this far, thanks for reading, and prepare to be bored.
The monkey mind is hard at work. Sometimes, it feels like I'm climbing Mt. Everest and the only thing I can think about is when I'll finally be able to sign up for snorkeling lessons.
My Blackjack game works perfectly -- you can do pretty much everything you'd be able to do at a casino table -- but there's so much polishing to do... First, I keep running out of screen space. In Blackjack, you can split hands if you get dealt two cards of the same value; for instance, if you get two aces, you can divide that hand into two hands consisting of one ace each, and then additional cards are dealt on top of those. And if you get more pairs (in some variants, including mine), you can split those indefinitely as well... If you're lucky, you can turn your 5 initial hands into a whole lot more. So none of what I coded is adequate -- no matter what happens, you can never have enough screen space to accommodate all possible plays, which means a complete rehaul of the UI.
Speaking of UI, I keep running into stupid "didn't think things through" mistakes. For instance, when betting, I made it so you have to first click the hand (area on the table) that you want to bet on, and then, you have to click chips in your chip box at the bottom to deal them to the selected hand. That really isn't convenient -- what makes more sense is to select the chip denomination, and then click the hand you want to bet on, or even drag and drop chips to the appropriate location. And that pretty much changes the way the entire betting phase UI works.
I also can't decide where to put my buttons for different actions. Putting the buttons near the currently active hand makes it easy to see which hand you're making decisions for, but then there's still the screen space issue, and buttons have to be shifted away from the edge of the window in case they're out of bounds. So naturally, I'm whining to myself about how I don't want to hardcode this and would have preferred to create a grid/layout container that comes with this feature built-in.
I spent a lot of time working on a large pixel "arcade font," but it doesn't fit the theme at all, and it's actually too big. I have to make a new font.
And I still haven't touched sound or music. I don't even have speakers on this computer... Which is silly, because if you recall, I'm kind of loaded.
As if all this stalling wasn't enough, I'm "thinking of snorkeling," in my own way. I've been scribbling lots of stuff in my notebook lately about a game that I'm only supposed to start coding about 2-3 finished games from now, according to the plan.
You know that game idea that's driving you to learn, so you can hopefully pull it off sometime in your lifetime? Well, that's the one. Mine is a game that's heavily inspired from Starflight. If you don't know Starflight, it's basically this: you have a spaceship, you upgrade it, you venture out into the open-ended universe and discover planets, you mine for resources and capture lifeforms, and you communicate with other intelligent life, all while trying to gather clues that will ultimately lead you to save the universe from massive destruction. If you must try it, try the Sega Genesis version; the PC one is in 16 colors and plays horrid, loud music from the PC speakers.
I've got this interesting idea for the mining aspect, which would involve worms/lemmings-like destructible terrain, along with "sand physics." I think a 2D representation would be particularly fitting; you could mine down and see the different layers of the ground as you dig down. Buying more equipment means more fuel to venture deeper towards the core. You'll have to balance the equipment you take with you, sacrificing armor and weapons for more storage space, or more effective mining and scanning tools. And of course, make sure you have enough fuel to come back, remembering that more cargo means higher fuel consumption, just like what made the original Starflight so freaking engaging.
Am I rambling? No. Couldn't possibly be.
Either way... I need to figure out this whole Blackjack situation. It helps to write about it, because now I see I'm just stalling on something very simple. Time to pick up those tools and do something about it.