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RPG Project - Post 9

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Sorry, I don't have anything "Awesome" to share. Unless you've been following my journal posts anyways in which case I have a video that I think is pretty cool. The video is basically a walk across the island from the northwest corner to the southeast. You can see the slimes lurching around and some fallen trees in places. No dinosaurs though.

For the moment the winter environment has been replaced with one that's more like the ground says it's summer but the trees say it's autumn. That's only really because I've been playing around with world gen a bit and this is where I've left off for now. At some point I'll have a proper plan for stuff like biomes and regions on the island but that's a bit away yet. Oh, and I feel that I should mention that the blue stuff that looks like water isn't really water (not yet anyways).

I should also mention that the map that's displayed for a few seconds at the beginning shows the general island shape and some vegetation features. It's not a part of the game yet but I thought I'd include it in the video as an environment overview sort of thing.

At about 3:38 I triggered a path finding operation on all of the slimes left on the island (about 250 slimes on a 256*256 tile world) and the game lurches for a little bit (I don't think it's so bad if only one or two were to path find at about the same time). The slimes all find a path to the player's current location and I display the path of one of those slimes using the fallen tree graphic. Once the path find is complete, I follow the path back to the originating slime. There's a couple spots that aren't exactly optimal that I'll have to look into. So, still more work to do with improving pathing but it'll do for the time being.

I still need to make a game out of this world that I just keep adding details and things to. I'm leaning towards having the player try and discover potion recipes (and maybe a few other spells) with the ultimate goal being to conjure a portal to escape the island. The idea at the moment being that the player puts a bunch of ingredients together and ends up with a potion but he doesn't know what it does. He has to experiment with it a little bit (somehow) to determine if it's safe to drink or if there's a proper way to apply it towards forming a portal or doing something else. Ideally I would like to make potion recipes random for each world generated but I need some sort of procedural way to generate recipes, provide a fun way to discover and experiment with them, and for that matter determine what the effects are supposed to be.

Sometimes I wonder if I should skip all the magic stuff for the time being, throw together a few more critters, drop in some treasure stuff and an exit portal somewhere and just release the game more as a warriors adventure sort of thing. I have a feeling that I wouldn't be as far off from finishing something like that. Then maybe look into the magic idea more afterwards. Potions, treasure, simple weapons and armor upgrades, maybe some survival element with food or something. Not sure what I'd do with the trees and flowers though.

Also of note, the frame rate isn't very pleasant on the computer that I do the video capture from. I gotta wonder how much of that is due to the the essentially 'brute force' coding techniques I'm using to get all those objects to the screen. At some point I'll probably have to look into doing something that takes more advantage of video hardware or just see about any sort of technique more advanced than the simple DirectX7 Blt() calls that I'm doing. Maybe join everyone in the 21st century.

So, the assorted stuff I've been up to this past month or so:

  • Create a pile of wood when a tree is cut.
  • Slimes leave piles of wood after colliding with trees sufficiently.
  • Spent some time reworking some collision code
  • Fixed bug where actors wouldn't do anything unless they're visible on screen.
  • Fixed up some animation stuff.
  • Worked on path finding code and related changes. Tried to make path code more extensible.
  • Worked on frame rate issue related to terrain edging. Better but not completely resolved.
  • Lamented poor redraw speed.
  • Experimented a bit with adding shadows to sprite bitmaps.
  • Experimented with enlarging the world (and related code changes to make it easier to do so).
  • Turned off seasons and temporarily switching to using elevation to decide biomes.
  • The 2048*2048 world with 32*32 pixel wide tiles took about 6 minutes to traverse from west to east.
  • Added code to output world map to bmp.
  • Turned various arrays for world map into 1D arrays to better support ability to change world size.
  • Worked on placing grass & flowers less randomly and instead try to grow "patches". (needs more work)
  • Removed the dirt mound I was displaying with grass and trying a shading on blade base instead.
  • Output vegetation map to bmp file.
  • Started getting concerned about memory footprint from all the vegetation objects being created.
  • Returned to 256*256 island size. Memory use turns out to be reasonable still but frame rate still lower due to all the additional objects displayed.
  • Added a splotch of different terrain type in island center to go with potential game element idea.

    Hey, if anybody has any interest in maybe seeing this thing finished a little sooner as the warrior's adventure sort of thing I mentioned, please let me know. If there's a little interest then maybe I'll try and get something going parallel to this project going. If there's a lot of interest... well I don't think I get enough readers to have a shot at "a lot" of interest but in general more input will influence my direction more.
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