Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Weekly Update 05/29/2013

M.I.N.T (Mecha, Infantry, and Tactics):

So last week's goal of moving forward with movement maps and pathfinding? That so didn't happen. :)

After a close evaluation of the current progress, I decided things needed to be redone. More specifically, with M.I.N.T to feature online MP support there was a problem with the client's design. It wasn't designed at all for MP, and was just growing as new features got added.

This sort of made sense, as we're very much in an early prototyping stage, yet in reality we really want MP to be there in the prototype as well given that I and Kawe are separated by thousands of miles. Its the only decent means to really iterate on the design, and mechanics. I'm also a pretty firm believer in not trying to write a SP AI until the AI designer actually is ideally an expert in the game :)

With all that said, client side feature development has halted, and work to enable MP has begun. I'm hopeful the bulk of that will be completed this week, and we will resume feature development. Just this time, features will be implemented on both the client and the server.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Weekly Update 05/22/2013

M.I.N.T (Mecha, Infantry, and Tactics):

The much needed and tricky aspect of building transparency support is done!
The animated gif doesn't quite capture the full quality of this in-game, but its certainly of better quality than you tube.

After transparency support the engine went through a major cleanup, streamlining it for additional development features. Which bore fruit to an initial implementation of movement maps.

The goal for this week is to refine the movement system, add in mouse based unit selection and finally figure out a good pathfinding solution. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Weekly Update 05/15/2013

M.I.N.T (Mecha, Infantry, and Tactics):

Kawe has been working on the design more, while utilizing some state of the art design techniques. :)

While I've been focusing my energies at banging out the rest of the basic engine. Which now supports fully layered map loading, and proper unit depth sorting.

 The next major engine development step will being building transparency support.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Weekly Update 05/08/2013

M.I.N.T (Mecha, Tactics, and Infantry):

Its been a busy week of development.

First there was a serious Mac based bug with the SFML framework that we use for cross platform window setup, input, and sound. Unfortunately this wasn't able to be resolved, but we we're able to cut out SFML and hook up a new cross platform windowing and input framework back into our core engine.

This means things like an external mouse or trackball on a Macbook Pro will actually work correctly, vs crashing the game, or doing nothing. :)

With those issues sorted, I ended up switching M.I.N.T from the previous Staggered map layout to the Diamond style map that is often seen in RTS games.

The main benefit of this change, being smooth perfect edges on the map, which are quite nice if your doing walls, or buildings along map edges. Something we are now heavily experimenting with.

Finally development on the M.I.N.T map editor has been frozen for now, as we focus on getting a core prototype up and running, to really work on the game mechanics design space. So instead we're now using a third party map editor, and have the basics of map loading working.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Weekly Update 05/02/2013

M.I.N.T (Mecha, Infantry, and Tactics):

Some possible design changes are in the work, which touch upon map building specifically.

Instead of going with a more free form painting and placement style system, we're looking at instead simply making various template style pieces that snap together. Similar to say the spacehulk board game, yet being city based. This should allow for super easy layout of maps, while also allowing us to enforce certain aspects to make sure the game feel and any technical limits are always addressed regardless of map design. 

Also this likely allows us play with some other interesting aspects like the pieces being very much just layout based, and the game procedurally placing graphics as needed upon map load. In this fashion, every time you went to play a given map, it would have the same layout, but the roads, building types, and other bits of decor would be randomly chosen. This means we could also patch in new graphics for additional variety and maps would automatically be able to take advantage of them. 

The possibility of an actual full fledged random map generator opens up as well with this change.

At any rate this change probably also means less time spent on map editor development and more game development happening. Still its early days for the project, and nothing is set in stone yet. (Well other than awesome mechs, multiplayer, action points and some other stuff.) :)