Sunday, July 24, 2011

In Profundis Progress 7/24

Been a few days since the last report.

The big thing I've been working on has been random substance support. Part of this means retrofitting the fluid physics code to generalize a number of prior assumptions. At the moment there are five fluids: water, sand, oil, "fire" (which doesn't burn anything yet, and burns out almost immediately) and "sediment" (a kludge to create smoothed rock floors). Under the new system, water and fire, and maybe sediment, will be the only hard-coded substances. (And I'm considering towards removing water's privileged position.) The others would be possible options that could be randomly included in a world, or could be "mutated" so that it works with different physics, or there could even be entirely random fluid types, made of different properties like density, flow mode and interaction types. Gas and stone would be similarly scrambled, although their workings would be less complex than fluids.

A second thing I've broken ground on has been the world generation. At the moment the "Terrain" world generation has been surprisingly interesting, but it's time to construct some actual play territory now, bringing in a semblance of game design to what up until now has looked more like a tech demo.

I've started on building the world "pieces" that the game will piece together to make worlds. The terrain generator is a further elaboration of the stuff I did for Mayflight, which is in place unfettered as the current generator. So, the "world pieces" I'm talking about are more accurate described as influence templates.

One problem that lies in this direction is that while the Mayflight terrain generator is awesome at producing nicely corrugated terrain, it's not so great at producing solid, pre-set puzzle areas. I like of like that though. I want the game to be more about making terrain which might sometimes be too easy or too hard that taking a strong design hand and making a bunch of pre-made situations, situations that might be interesting in themselves but by their very nature are still finite in number.

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