Friday, August 30, 2013

Level Editor Update

I've finally got the editor where I can add and edit everything.  I'm currently working on usability issues, such as making sure all the fields fill in with default values, and adding the ability to ctrl+click to set positions instead of typing them in.

At one point I got excited about trimming out all the old stuff that wasn't ever going to be used again.  After trimming out mots of it I realized that I actually do need it so I can do the level converter correctly.  Without the level converter, all of the levels we did before would be completely useless.  So I ended up using two different builds, one for my laptop where I worked on the level editor, and another one on my desktop where I worked on the level converter.  I don't recommend doing something like this because each time I switched I'd have to boot my mind back into the right mindset and remember where I left off.  Yesterday I got both of them finished and merged the code together.  This morning I got ready to get things done and realized that I couldn't compile.  I had forgotten to add a new file I made on the desktop computer.

I ended up playing games instead.  I'm sorry.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What is this creature?

Before I talk about what I've been up to, Peter's got something to show.

What is this creature?  Peter's told me that it definitely has something to do with the Siphon Spirit world.  Is it a friend of the Spirit from the demo?  A trickster demon?  An ancient sage?  Only time, (and maybe Peter) can tell.

I was sick today, so I had a little extra gaming time.  But mostly a lot of lying down time.  While I was playing Recettear (enjoying it so far), I started thinking about the blacksmith shop for one of the game ideas rattling in my head.  Usually I just keep playing, certain that I'll remember.  I rarely do.  Today I actually got up and grabbed the design notebook for the game in question.  I got all the ideas down, which lead me to a few more ideas.  After that, I was in an interesting state of mind, as I really started noticing the little things that make a big difference.  That led me to make more design notes.

While this is great for design, it's not that great for actually playing games.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Serializing levels for the win

I've decided it's high time that I rebuild the triggers in the code.  I've made so many changes to how I think they should work that it now requires a major rewrite, just like what I'm going to have to do for the levels pretty soon here.

So I dig into it.  Since I'm serializing the levels through the editor instead of writing a line in a text file for the level, I can just pull grab the object.  I recreated the code that creates a trigger and took a look at it.  9 lines total.  Curious, I looked at the original code.  105 lines with a helper function that is another 20 lines.  This makes the code much easier to use, and much easier to modify.  In the future, I'm just going to use xml serialization instead of trying to read in the text and determining what goes where and what changes have been made that breaks other things.

Currently the LoadLevel code is 555 lines long.  Excited to see how much smaller I can make that!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Putting it all together

Siphon Spirit was originally a game-in-a-day project.  Since it turned out alright and we didn't like where Darkened Dreams 2 was going, we decided to just continue on with it.  As time went on we would add new things, polish other things, and it slowly turned into the game that we have today.  This is all sorts of problematic on the code side of things.  For instance, Peter wanted to have some images in the background.  Then he wanted to be able to have it vanish if it was connected to an orb.  Then he wanted cutscenes.  Then he wanted to have images that would appear and vanish based on things that were happening in the level.

Now that I'm taking a hard look at how the levels are put together, I noticed that I had several ways to display images, and they were mostly the exact same.  I took about a week to merge them all into a single object in code and make the screen for images in the editor.  I'm pretty happy with it.  Just a few more things before the editor is fully usable!