Posts Tagged Fantasy Frontier
Good news tonight. I managed to get some simple entity classes up and import, along with a definition. My art is terrible, but fortunately I haven’t written the code for tiles to display entities yet, so no need to see it! The code correctly creates and spawns entities at the edge of the map, with an inefficient but effective anti-collision algorithm. For the first time in quite a while I feel close to something releasable.
I haven’t posted in this category for a while because I haven’t made too much progress. I’ve had to step back from coding due to running into an efficiency problem in handling the Entity classes, and I’ve been working on ways around it. I think I have a workable, if not ideal solution, so I’ll probably tinker with the code this weekend some more. I doubt it will get finished this weekend, though.
Well that was a pain.
If you’re wondering why it took so long to do terrain generation, it’s because I had to rewrite the entire section about four times. A lot of algorithms look fine on paper, but in practice they don’t do so well for making a good landscape. I’m still not 100% happy with the way it does things, but it’s close enough that I can use what I have and move on, to tweak it later. This is especially true once I change some of the constants to config parameters so I won’t need to recompile. Since I don’t have overworld or biome generation done(and might not this release at all), I’ll probably use a specification text file for the first alpha release.
Next week’s tasks will be minor things like rearranging the UI and adding various progress bars, maybe time progression. Fairly simple tasks. After that comes the entity stuff, and that will be more difficult.
Thanks to a number of distractions(including another project which I, suprisingly, have finished now), I set Fantasy Frontier aside for a while. Guess I’d started to get burnt out, considering I code for my day job as well. 12 hours a day of coding, 6 days a week, isn’t very healthy.
Now I’ve picked it up again, and last night went over the code I’d already done to refamiliarize myself. I then threw myself into working on the map terrain generation code, and got it… somewhat working. The framework is there, but the actual algorithm is still being tweaked. Plus, I don’t have a lot of terrains in my data file yet. It was a good chance to test the object editor as well, and it passed acceptably. It’s not quite as stable as I’d like, but for now it works.
Once I have a few different terrains working and tiling, I think I’ll dress up the UI a tiny bit and post a few screenshots, so you all know I’m working.
Yeah, not as much progress as I’d like this past week… but when is there? At least I got something done. It will probably be pretty boring for a while, concerning Fantasy Frontier at least. The part of the code I’m working on is interesting from an algorithmic perspective, but not so interesting to people who’d actually play the game. I can say I’d like to get farming working as soon as possible, but it’s still a long way out. Development might also be slow because I’m going to be having a pretty rough week or two at work, so I might not feel too good about going home to code after a full day of code at work.
In the meantime, I’m considering writing some more posts in the RPG sections, specifically a more in-depth critique of D&D 4e. It’s been out a year now, I think I can write something without being swarmed too badly by people reflexively hating the new edition.
This week I had to back off from development to handle some financial matters and housework that needed done. I’ve done some paper outlines of some of the things I want to do with future versions, but nothing solid on the dev front. Work will resume sometime this upcoming week, starting with some terrain generation.
After a few missteps and a lot of delays, I’m marking the object editor as complete. It isn’t actually finished entirely… there are a lot of UI tweaks I could be doing, and a few minor bugs, but it does edit the files and objects correctly. So it’s functioning and I can move on to other things, and just tweak it as needed. That’s one major step out of the way, since the file processing routines in the toolkit are the exact same as the ones I’ll be using in the actual game.
As it turns out, I did work a lot on this today. More than I’d thought. The UI for the modding toolkit is mostly done, I just have to link up a few more signals, add some exception handling in here and there, and then refine the actual subclass for the only editable object. This involves writing a small OpenGL widget for the preview pane, but I don’t expect any trouble from that one. So, a few more days on that, and then I can move on to more interesting things like terrain generation and AI modules. I’ll post a screenshot as soon as I have something that looks decent, I promise!
I haven’t updated this page in a few days, so for all those wondering how progress is going… I am still working on Fantasy Frontier. I’ve run into a bit of a stumbling block with some of the UI issues, but on the upside I also stumbled into a simpler way to do a future planned feature that I really wanted. I’m still working on the object toolkit right now, but I got most of the file handling routines in that one taken care of. The trickier part is still to come, in how to handle older versions, but it isn’t needed quite yet. This puts me a bit behind where I wanted to be, but I’ve done some tinkering with the other stuff, so hopefully not too far. I’m putting it aside for tonight, but might work on it more tomorrow.
Now that I’m nearing the point I can at least start releasing screen shots, I’ve decided to start adding updates to the status and dev log here. This whole project is being done on my free time(what little there is), so updates won’t come every day. I will try to post something at least once a week… and at my current development rate, it’s likely to be much more often than that.
Last night’s developments were the creation of the texture management class(harder than it looks) and the addition of color modulation for the textures. If I didn’t do modulation, I’d need tons of textures with different colors just for different kinds of stone or earth… even though right now there aren’t different types. Looking forward, and all. This also lets me alter the color information on some layers by season or temperature, later on. So autumn can look like autumn.
Up on the plate for this weekend is:
- Clean up and put in better error checking for the texture manager.
- Minimap creation and updating. Doing this is easy… doing it /efficiently/ so that it doesn’t impact framerate might be more tricky.
- Adjust the tile class for varying numbers of detail textures. These won’t be used much at first, but the eventual idea is that it will change the clothing colors of various entities dependent upon occupation… or later, by what clothing/armor they’re wearing. This also allows me to have, say, trees with brown trunks and green leaves. I don’t want to overdo it though… every detail layer is another layer to draw, so a lot of them would really impact framerate.
- All of the above might sound complex, but most of the supporting code is already in place, so it won’t take too long. For the rest of the time I’m going to attempt to create some better textures and get the color modulation on them correct. After that maybe I can start designing the object definition files, though I doubt that will be completely finished this weekend.