Just thought I’d post a quick update.
I’ve now been working on this project for a tad over 2 months. Mike contacted me tail end of January, and we started work beginning of Feb.
However, I only work midweek evenings on the project, and then only for 4 evenings. Actually sometimes it’s less because some nights I’m just knackered from burning the candle at both ends and in the middle too. I get anywhere between 3 and 6 hours of coding time. Recently I’ve spent less time than I would like due to having a persistent neck problem that is affecting me sitting in front of the computer – and as I do that all day, it gets hard to do it in the evening too.
Anyway, I’ve nearly finished getting the game fully functional. I spent some time doing underlying UI code recently. We decided against using AirplaySDK’s UI stuff, just because it’s too much baggage. But now that my UI stuff is done, knocking stuff together is pretty quick.
Currently everything is still very simple. I have resisted the urge to throw everything that was in winLOM and winDDR into the mix. The objective is to get the game functional and then start the work of turning it into what we actually want – a small piece at a time. We know how the current overall game works. So once it is working, we can then identify what we want to change, write a design document, and then change it once step at a time.
Tonight I will be putting the character select screen in. Currently you can choose the 4 main characters from the main view, and you can recruit everyone else – you just can’t select everyone. After that I just need to put in the night screen and I’m done.
At that stage I will start testing on different devices. I would like to be able to get a number of people across the following formats – iPhone 3Gs, iPhone4, iPad1, iPad2, Windows, Mac, Linux, Android. If you are interested then keep an eye on the blog, I will post a call for help soon.
I know it’s been a while since I posted or did anything on this project, but I finally got round to doing something again today.
Firstly, I wrote a lot of code for DDR back in October 2006, I had a good few programming sessions on it, and then as usual faded away. I coded most of the NPC’s AI; Follow Liege, Follow Foe, Go after Object, Go home, Do Nothing, Approach a Lord, Pickup Objects on their travels, and Move. I coded the moving mist and wild thing regeneration. I also coded most of the battle code… and then I got distracted by shiny objects.
Since then I’ve changed computers and compiler; so loading up the project yesterday I found that it didn’t compile in a big way. So tonight I have mainly spent all the time fixing compiler issues… and there are an awful lot of them.
One of the other problems I have had with the project is that the graphics are getting so complicated that while running in debug mode, the project runs a little slow. I’ve been putting up with it because it isn’t so bad in Release mode but slowly it has been getting me down and distracting me from the issues. It’s hard to test logic if the frontend isn’t working properly.
I’ve wanted to move the graphics subsytem to make use of the hardware. By moving the 2d logic to use 3d cards I would be able to massively speed everything up. However, I’m not a 3d programmer and again the task just keeps distracting me away from things.
I had a word with Jon Alma today who has been working on the Legends Engine and hopefully he is going to knock up a quick wrapper for some OpenGL stuff that will allow me to move the graphics forward and solve the speed issues.
So today I felt that I made a little progress…
I sat down today to do some DDR code, first in a while, and spent 3 hours debugging some crashes!
Don’t you just hate it when you leave your code in a none working state! One was some bad XML, incorrect closing elements, and the other was some memory being trashed. The memory problem was due to my string class doing a shallow copy on assignment… well actually it wasn’t, but the compiler was for some reason not using my string assignment operator and instead doing it itself! Actually I have no idea what the compiler is doing at that point… grr…
I just thought I’d post a progress report, because it probably seems like I’ve been sat on my arse doing nothing – which on the whole, is probably true.
One of the main goals with The Midnight Engine, was its openness… this is part of the holy grail of all game development, the data driven engine (DDE); in this case I actually think it’s particularly important.
I got the mist from Jure today, so here it is in all it’s glory. I’ve tried to get a few variant shots but the location that mist is in at the beginning isn’t great – and I have no night button working at the moment! The first shot is the opening screen, you will notice compared to the same screenshot posted the other day, the old mist has gone from the bottom right of the terrain, and the new improved one is in place. The other shots show off the mist more dramatically. I also managed to do some work on that bottom left panel for nootropic supplements, not to mention fixing a few UI bugs.