Unfortunately, as the primary design phase of the project comes to a close and I enter the engine programming phase, I worry that the devblog will become commensurately less enjoyable for the general populace to read. While I forge away from fables and rhymes into somewhat dry technical discourse, I worry that the sudden precipitation might just be the tears that I am now boring everyone to.
So be it.
Once I get the project a bit further along I can see about recording some footage. I suspect seeing the engine in action will be a great deal more entertaining than reading about the details of its creation– unless, perhaps, you’re a programmer, but probably even then.
So: What specifically have I been working on, you might be asking? After I sketched out a technical specification for the project– one which I’m sure will require a tremendous amount of reworking and updating as I find mistakes and notice omissions– I picked one task out of the many left to be done to focus on next. The task I chose was particle effects. I chose these for a few reasons: I enjoy graphics programming, it’s closely related to the last major section of the code-base I worked on (the level details), it will look awesome once I get it up and running, and, most importantly, this is probably the single most likely component to murder the game’s performance on slower machines. Getting it done early means more time for optimization and workarounds if there’s a problem with the effects I have planned.
I spent the last 5 days or so working on this (the first couple of days were for working on the technical specification): As of today, I have it kind of sort of running. But not really. But kind of sort of.
What I mean to say by this is, it’s completely unintegrated into the game-engine at large and a whole lot of the features are not yet operational (scaling, rotating, coloration changes, blending between graphics, non-bitmap particle types, z axis, parallax scrolling behavior, etcetera), but I can test it out and it works more or less like it’s supposed to and no longer gives me compiler or run-time errors.
On to week thirty-two. First order of business is obviously to get all of that stuff that I just mentioned as being non-functional functioning, then fully integrate these particle effects into the engine. After that, at some point here, I’m going to need to integrate them into the editor as well, but I’m probably going to be saving developing the editor for a bit further down the road, when I have the fundamental components of the engine further along.
Let’s see. My shoulder’s been hurting less since I started drawing on a different surface with a better angle, so I may get back to animation at some point. Breaking down a list of the music I’ll need for the game and the basic sound I want for each section would also likely be a good use of my time. I may see about pursuing one or both of those over the course of the week, as well. And, of course, there’s still a few design tasks left to be done… I should definitely put some time into actually figuring out what those are, as well, since I never think of them when I have the kind of free time that is useful for that kind of work.
So many possibilities! So overwhelming! So magnificent!