Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Time to control things

Wow, has it only been a week? I'm actually rather impressed with myself! I managed to get all of the bugs fixed (that I know of, anyways) and added in everything that I wanted to for March to the Moon. I also revamped the controller so I could also use the keyboard. I'm pretty happy with what I ended up with. I should be able to just drop it in my future games and not have to worry about controls anymore. The really nice thing about it is that I can now just ask it if the player has input Accept rather than checking which buttons are pressed and also checking which keyboard keys have been pressed.

There is one important thing that I've learned about controllers though. Hopefully this won't bore anyone who isn't a programmer. PC controllers basically come in two types, XInput and DirectInput. XInput is what XNA and the XBox uses. All of the newer PC controllers use XInput. I was under the impression that XNA only supported XBox360 controllers, but when I plugged in my new Logitech controller this morning I was surprised to find that it worked without me needing to add in support for DirectInput. I was sorely tempted to just leave it at that, since all the new controllers should support it. However, a wise friend warned me that people would be unhappy about a game with controller support that didn't work with their controller. So I decided to take the plunge and support the older controllers as well.

Supporting the controllers will take a few days of development at the least. First to get it all set up and updating correctly, then to get it so it plays nicely with my control scheme. On the bright side, after getting the controls done I only have a few things more to do. Audio is a big one. I'm going to put in some basic music to be replaced and start getting some sound effects. I'm going to try and get all the sound effects in before I hand it off to Dave Matney (who will be doing the audio) so I can pick out which sound effects I just can't do correctly on my own. After the audio is in I'm going to play it all the way through, cleaning up problems that I find and basically getting the balance smoothed out. Lastly, I'm going to beta test.

So why not just beta test now? I've had that asked by a few people who want to play the game. The reason is that I know of a number of things that are wrong. If I sent the game out for people to play and it's too hard to get past level 4 I know what a ton of the feedback is going to be. It's not useful. But hey, it's not going to be too darn long from now that I start beta testing.

And I haven't forgotten Siphon Spirit either! Peter's been having a blast getting the rest of Miranda's animations done. I've seen the run cycle and it looks nice. It'll be a lot of fun seeing her running around the bottom of the screen.

Up to 162 hours now for March to the Moon. Keeping track because people have asked me how long I've been working on previous games and I really had no idea. Also, I am curious about what my 'hourly pay' will be when I finish.

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