Well I just spent a week getting something I had working before working again. I’m sure this is a common programmer experience but still: Goddammit.
The good news is, I guess, that the code is more elegant and straightforward, rescalable and debuggable. In fact just in the process of testing my changes to make sure they took I found a couple of little bugs I’d missed before. So that’s good! It’s all good, really: Sometimes you just gotta go back and fix some shit, even if it’s tedious.
Anyway. Now that that’s taken care of, finally, I can start doing some level building and I can go back to working on AnxEdit. This is going to be the first real test of my idea of working on parallel projects, and we’ll see how it goes. I’ve been working on being more consistently productive (a white board is involved) and I’m feeling the simultaneous stress and reward of doing so.
Something I’d like to look into more is getting the game starting faster. Right now it takes about 30 seconds to load up on start, which is a lot considering how bare bones it is. I think the main reason for that is that I’m currently loading up separate images for each frame of animation: Even though the amount of data being loaded isn’t massive – less than 30 megs, in fact – I think the fact it’s all individual files is incurring a lot of overhead. I’ll be testing to see what takes up the most resources in terms of load time, but it would really speed up my testing loop if I could get the game starting faster.
It’s a happy coincidence, then, that one of the things that AnxEdit is going to handle is recompiling animations from separate frames into sprite sheets! However, somewhat less happily, as I just realize, I haven’t been planning on any tools for sharing one sprite sheet among multiple animation files. I think this is something I can just take not of when it comes time to create the actual image recompiling tool for AnxEdit, and allow for group recompilation of animations to and from sprite sheets.
Over the next week, then, it’s back to AnxEdit and into level creation. I’d like to build out the terrain for the first area and create a list of image assets for placement in the foreground and background. And, realistically, I’m probably going to end up doing lots of little programming tasks on the main game as well, as I discover little bugs in need of fixing and maybe spend a bit of time figuring out the aforementioned startup woes. Sounds fun, anyway. At least it’s not getting something I programmed a year ago running again.