I wasn't able to write a new entry last night because my internet was out for most of the night. Well, I have compiled Mark and I's updated Angels 20 Worklist, and you can read it below:
Angels 20 Feature WishList
-An Actual Front-End Menu
-A checklist of enemies on the level
-Ground Vehicles that can shoot at you
-More weapons (ie. Napalm, Cluster Bombs, etc)
-Fully Automatic Gun
-Forward Supply Base(explained later)
-More mission parameters (ie. timelimits , targets , etc)
As you can see, we still have a bit more work to do before we declare the engine finished, but it shouldn't take all that long.
Now you may have noticed that the Good MIG AI item has been striked out. I actually spent about an hour yesterday reworking the AI, and I finally finished it... sort of. While the logic works just fine, the execution still has some bugs. While the MIG knows what it should do , where it has to be, and what it has to do when it gets there, it still can't figure out which way to turn to reach its target in the shortest amount of time. The angles the plane flys at (as illustrated below), start at 0 pointing right, move counterclockwise, and end at 355 facing right.
This presents a problem when telling the AI to turn towards its target because the AI looks to see if the angle to the target is less than or greater than its own angle, and then either adds to its angle , or subtracts from its angle. This works fine in some cases, but not when dogfighting. For example, if the angle to the player's plane is 300 degrees, and the enemy is flying at 10 degrees, the fastest way to turn and point at the player would be to subtract from the MIGS angle until it goes below 0, switches to 355, and then so on until it reaches 300. Unfortunately, with the MIG's current turning AI, it decides: 300 is greater than 10, I'll add to my angle until I reach it. That doesn't look right, and ends up ruining the dogfighting experience. I figure that the way to solve this will be to look if turning left or right will traverse less degrees of movement, and pick the one with less. Here's a code snippet to show what I'm considering:
if(angle < targetangle)
if(targetangle - angle < (360 - targetangle + angle) )
if(angle > targetangle)
if(angle - targetangle < (360 - angle + targetangle) )
Well, enough about that.
I promised I'd explain about the Forward Supply Base thing, so here it goes. You have a weapon in your inventory that acts as a bomb/beacon. First it destroys whatever it lands on, and then it calls in a helicopter, which lands and drops off troops which will then build a little landing pad that acts like the carrier deck (ie. switching weapons, refuel/rearm). We're going to see how this flows with the game, and change it if necessary, but I think it will be pretty cool.
Anyways, Mark the artist was at it again, criticizing stuff and demanding it be changed. This time it was the current weapon wheel at the top of the screen. Apparently, it sucks and needs to be replaced. While I am partial to the wheel (its been there from the start), he did bring up a good point that it limits us to 4 weapons, so that's why we're changing it to a more flexible indicator.
I've finished the code for the destructable tiles, but Mark hasn't converted all of the tiles yet, so it will just have to wait to be included in the next update.
We've settled on the menu for the game, and it sounds like it's going to be pretty cool looking. It's going to be the cockpit of the fighter looking down into the cockpit from the pilots point of view. There will be 3 screens in the cockpit, 1 for Multiplayer, 1 for Campaign , and 1 for Options. If Mark can pull off the look, it's going to be really cool.
I'm going to put additional mission parameters into the level format so that we can have timelimits, and other specific win/lose conditions. This should increase the amount of variety we can put in all of the levels throughout the game.
Well, I'm going to leave you guys with two screens that compare Angels 20 version 0.1.0 to Angels 20 version 0.8.1, the differences may not be all that obvious in a screen, but I tried playing the old version today, and it's incredible how much we've improved on since we started.
Talk to you guys later!