Time for another update. In recent weeks a lot of focus has been placed on testing and fine tuning the first zone of the game (roughly 20 to 30 minutes of game play). A lot of this has been cosmetic, but there has also been a lot of work linked to player movement ... making sure collision boxes are set up correctly, ensuring that the player can get out of any place they can get into (for instance if the player falls off a bridge ... can he/she get back onto the bridge) and so on. Linked to this has been a number of code changes aimed at making everything a bit more robust. For instance, I have been working on the player respawning code (as it was very fragile up until now), switch handling (the player can now activate switches by moving across them, activating them manually and through the use of keys) and creature AI (for instance one type of creature had a habit of jumping off tall buildings ... without Superman's ability to fly ... while others would try very hard to drown themselves on occasion).
Beyond this I've added a dialogue system so characters in the game can share information and story details with the player. It's a simple system (as shown in the screenshot above), but effective. Finally, as hinted at in the last blog post, it is now possible to fly thanks to the introduction of the gyrobot. After a bit of trial and error the movement feels right and most of the existing collision detection code seems to be working well (the exception is that for the moment it is possible to fly up through buildings - a few simple changes should sort that out). Linked to this is the need to control when and how far players can fly (so there can be 'walking' zones and 'flying' zones with puzzles and creatures to match. This has resulted in the introduction of fuel pumps at various points in the game which give varying amounts of fuel (normally about 30 seconds worth of fuel). Will see how this works out once I have a properly dedicated flying zone mapped out ... the biggest question is how to handle fuel availability at each pump (only reset the pumps if the player respawns, gradually refill over time, rapid refill but the player can only take so much fuel at any time - need to see which feels best when playing).
Hopefully with a bit more work the game will be in a good enough state to allow for the creation of a new video showing off a bit more of the world.