Thursday, September 29, 2011

In Profundis Progress 9/29

Ah, been slow going for a couple of weeks I'm sorry to say.  I keep getting caught up by stupid bugs.  This time, it was an out-of-bounds error that turned out to be caused by some debug code I had put in and forgotten about.

In positive news, a change to the way the game decides which cells to calculate has increased the range it looks at while simultaneously bringing a framerate improvement.  The change was actually suggested by someone in the comments to Gamasutra article I wrote about cellular automation; specifically, not to calculate every cell around the focus, but just those in a checkerboard pattern around it.  Reverse polarity of the checkerboard every turn.  Calculating fewer cells means I can calculate a further range, but the result isn't a noticeable decrease in fluid flow speed because I was already ignoring cells after they flowed one space until the next frame anyway, so as to prevent moving objects from teleporting.  I think even now fluids might be flowing a bit too quickly, so I might ease up on spending so many cycles on calculating.  Having a better frame rate means I can put in more gameplay features and/or graphic effects, so it's a very good thing.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

In Profundis Progress 9/17


There is a bug in the game, an infuriating one that has got me, at the moment, stumped.  It has to do with the system the game is using to keep track of cells that potentially need updating.  In one specific circumstance, that being when fluids hit the edge of a platform and flow down off the side, some of it is often refusing to remain mark active long enough for all the fluid to flow off the ledge; it just pools up there, unsupported.  If something happens next to it it causes it to "wake up" long enough for some more of it to flow away, but only for one frame.

I'll figure it out eventually.  Just wanted to expose you all to my current personal hell.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

In Profundis Progress 9/15

The last time I posted a picture of a game map the region styling code wasn't working properly. Have a look at a random game map now:

Looking at this, I feel excitement for the project building again.  For randomly generated platforming terrain, I think this is very good.  Keep in mind that fluids aren't even generated in the random maps at the moment, and there will be gasses in the final version too.

Here are some in-game images:

1. This is just outside the "base" area.  When done, the player's rocketship will be in this area, which serves as base camp.  Notice the character design has changed a bit: her head is more realistically proportioned, and there's now a spaceman's bubble around her head.  Also notice the faint colored backgrounds; these are colored from leftover data from terrain generation, so they tend to suggest the platforms are extending from background features.  (Well, that's how I describe it.  Maybe there's a better way to explain it, but I haven't thought of it yet.)

2. The colors of the walls will be important; they represent different types of stone.  Unfortunately they're fairly blocky at the moment.  I've thought a lot about how to remedy that without spending extra rendering time for edge effects, haven't come up with a good solution yet though.

3. A tunnel.  Currently the background being drawn for out-of-sight areas so long as the player has seen them before; this is a bug.

4. I put some liquid into this image.  Note that the blue substance here looks and flows like water but it isn't; it can be stood upon!  This is a property of this liquid, generated randomly.  I'm not sure what the gameplay consequences of this will be however; what if the player falls into an underground sea, but floating atop that is a layer of "solid" liquid?  Should "solid" liquids always be heavier than swimable types?  I'm currently thinking that, in most cases, it should.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In Profundis Progress 9/13

More news!  I've put in some background graphics now.  They're faint, indistinct and essentially huge pixels, but I think it kind of fits in with the art style.

It takes me a fairly extensive amount of work to create a demo video, since I have to record it, encode it, upload it to YouTube, get links to it, etc., but I hope to have something new for you guys to see soon.  Current work is focused on fleshing out the region terrain templates and getting fluids generating again.  Slowly, bit by bit, it's coming together.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

In Profundis Progress: 9/11

Not a lot of progress the past week unfortunately, DragonCon got in the way of things and morale is kind of low right now. Have managed to pull myself out of my funk enough to start work on inventories and object simulation though, and done some of the art for those objects. Just generic stuff so far though, haven't gotten any of the backer-sponsored items started yet, but those are in sight. It'll be nice to get some of those things off the list.