I had one kickass day today. I didn't have to get up early, got a haircut that doesn't suck, didn't have to go into work until 3PM, I got to go home early because of lightning, I had cake because it's my sister and my dad's birthday, and then I actually got a lot of stuff done in A20. In fact, I finished so much of the stuff, you guys can expect the update tomorrow night around this time *applause (thunderous)*.
The coolest thing I did tonight was finish my vapor trail thing. It was a little iffy at times if I would be able to make it work like I wanted it too, but it turns out I didn't have to do half of what I thought to make it look good. Initially, I wanted to use masked dynamically-transparent sprites to form the vapor trail, but that wouldn't work because of conflicts with the masking and transparency settings (5 imaginary dollars to whoever proves me wrong). Despite this, I tried to make the quads textured with this wierd circle texture, which ended up looking like someone was smoking a cigar out the back of the airplane (not what I was going for). After that turned out to be a dead end, I decided to try one more thing before I gave up for the night (and cried[wink]). mi went into paint and used the airbrush tool to make a wierd dotted texture. When I first loaded up the game with this texture, the mask was offset of the texture by one pixel, which resulted in a cool looking glittering effect (useful, but still not what I was looking for[crying]), but when I fixed the offset problem, BAM!! it worked, and looked damn good IMHO, as you can see in the image below. After I got the texturing working, I discovered that as the quad scaled larger, the dots looked like they were dispersing, which meant I didn't need to struggle with the transparency crap. Then I messed with the conditions that the trail can form, now they only will form if you have been turning for more than a second(ish). Without any further ado (NOTE: this is one of those better when seen moving things):
I also fixed an assload of little bugs that, while not big, are pretty damn annoying (like not being able to recover from a stall, can't switch weapons , etc). One problem I have been having with the controls of the game is the proximity of the hover/flight mode button(CTRL), and the switch weapon button(SHIFT). Let me know if you guys like it or not when you play the update tomorrow night(and I expect all of you to[grin]).
My next big project is going to be fixing the enemy plane AI. I initially tried to have a state system where the AI could see if the player was behind it or not, and react accordingly, but that soon fell apart, resulting in crappy AI. I'm going to rip out all of the AI, and rewrite it from scratch. It is going to be state based this time, and I've written up about 5 states already. Here they are:
Fly in a straight line at a certain altitude
Pick random angles, and and change speed randomly
If AI plane is above minimum altitude, turn to face the player
Point towards player, fly at player's speed, fire when lined up
Those are the only ones I have so far, and the AI will be able to switch from routine to routine as the situation dictates. Because I am taking out the AI, there will be no Control Tower(they spawn the planes if you didn't know) in the update, so you'll only have to worry about the ground targets.
Speaking of the update, here are the changes I have made to Angels 20 since the last update:
1. Easier Controls
2. Projectile Flak
3. Crash on Exit bug fixed (I hope)
4. Numerous Small Memory Leaks
5. Added Cool New Effects
6. Afterburner and Airbrake
7. Some New Tiles
8. Demo Level Is Alot Easier Than Before
9. Fixed Little Bugs
Well, nothing new from Mark today, but we did come up with a cool idea today. We are going to have a seperate tileset with ship tiles, so that we can stage big sea battles ( probably near the end of the game).
Anyways, I'm trying to compile a list of stuff I'd like to put into A20 before I declare it finished, and as always, I'm open to suggestions, so let me know, and I'll put it in my next entry as the Angels 20 Feature Wish-List.
Well, It's late here so I'll talk to you guys later.