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Getting closer...

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Finished the rough draft for the first installment of the random level generation tutorials, dealing with the basics of the Tile Engine platform (I know, really creative name; loads of brainpower went into coining that one), the script interface, and the most basic rules and techniques. It touches on some simple maze generation as well, and hits (very briefly) the handling of prop object placement. The Tile Engine is complete enough for this stage of the tutorials, I just need to do the Windows port and do a little testing on the Windows platform, then I'll put up the first draft version for some folks to take a look at. I'll probably do the port tomorrow, so look for it tomorrow night or maybe the next day, time allowing. A couple early screenshots of the almighty Tile Engine generating a maze--

The tileset is pretty awful, since it amounts to about 3 hours or so of work and I took absolutely no pains to clean up the image maps and have yet to plug a few holes and alpha out a few boogers, so don't make fun of it please. [grin] The player character is an old recycled Golem animation (idle and walk cycles only), but I'm going to redo him (he needs shadows and some anti-aliasing) and there may be an Easter Egg character in the works as well... [looksaround]

Either in the next version of this tutorial, or in another one altogether, I want to go more deeply into the details of map translation, the phase that calculates all of the little tile transitions and puts the proper tile graphics in the proper places. It gets a little hairy, so I don't know if I want to clutter up this tutorial with it. We'll have to see.

I'll be glad to finish this first tutorial so I can get back to main work on Golem again.

In other news, I took a couple of days this weekend and headed up north with my boss/cousin and a few of his brothers-in-law. His father and a few others drew elk tags for hunting this year, and were up in the mountains north of Payson just beneath the Mogollon Rim. I decided to go up and spend a couple days camping and hiking around helping them scout for elk. Bunch of city boys they were, nonstop whining about how cold it was and how uncooperative the elk were being, blah blah blah. They blew a couple of easy shots (about 150 yards, slightly uphill and quartering slightly away; I could have made them in my sleep), and spent the rest of the time driving around on dirt roads rather than beating the brush and actually for Pete's sake hunting. I was a little frustrated because we were in beautiful elk country, and were seeing plenty of sign, but they kept whining about their 'bad luck', as if the elk were supposed to come and plop down right in their laps. I don't care how many people say rifle hunting is unfair, the hunter has all the advantages, yada yada yada. Those elk are faster, have better hearing, sight and smell, far better instincts, and far better knowledge of the terrain. If the hunters don't put in their time and do their work, those animals are going to flat run circles around them. As they, in fact, ended up doing; all four of the hunters who drew came home skunked.

Oh, well. At least I got to get out of the damned city and get up into the mountains for awhile. Can't complain.
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