I realise I haven’t been keeping the blog up to date, but that’s not because I haven’t been working on things. Quite the opposite in fact! Other than the checkpoint system, I now have all of the features of the prototype re-implemented in the new game. And in most cases in a better way. Grids and Grid Blocks can now be of variable size. inner grids now spawn recursively (which means you can see inner-inner grids) and the code is just generally a lot cleaner and hopefully more efficient.
The next thing I’m going to work on is selecting and loading specific levels or parts of levels from a menu. This will form part of the new checkpoint/save system. Then I’d like to fix up the zooming when moving between grids because that’s one thing that’s the same as the prototype and still looks a bit rubbish. And after that I’d like to get some first pass visuals in, but that will be a while away.
I’m going to be away on holiday next week meaning this blog definitely won’t be updated! So the next update will be in a couple of weeks.
Just a quick post to mention that I added a super small prototype game I made well over a year ago to my itch.io page. It’s called Parallel Processor, and it’s a pretty difficult, multi-tasking arcade game. I made it primarily as a way of learning Haxe, which is a cool language that compiles into almost anything else you want it to (including flash which is what this version of the game is exported as). I haven’t really done any Haxe stuff since then as I’ve been mostly focused on unity, but maybe I’ll go back and work on this game a bit more at some point. Anyway have a go and let me know what you think!
There look I told you I’d have something to show you! Yes it just looks like a pallet swapped version of the prototype (which mostly it is) but there are some new things going on. The main difference is that in the prototype, the grid was just one large sprite in the background. In the new version the grid background is now made of separate tiles (which is what those blue and pink ones are showing) which is useful in a few ways. Firstly I can have some more interesting looking grids because I can vary/randomise the background layout and also possibly animate the tiles separately. It also opens up new gameplay opportunities, as floor tiles could have their own properties or do things when players/blocks move onto them.
Another new thing is that the player now has smooth movement! It may not seem like a big thing but the fact that the player just teleported from space to space in the prototype really bugged me.
Anyway, as I was hinting at last week, it’s nice to actually get something working and moving around on screen, as it should help get the productivity up a bit. There’s still loads of the old code left to implement and refactor but it’s good just to have something to show for the work. By next week I want to have blocks and pushing and everything sorted. Then It’ll be moving onto the grid blocks which will require a substantial rework form their prototype version as they were one of the most hacky bits (other than the restart system which just makes me shudder…).
So as those who are following along (which is thankfully no-one at the moment) can see, I failed to stick to my “post a project update a week” thing. My excuse is that it was my weekdays have gotten quite full over the last few weeks, leaving little time in an evening to do project work. Also last weekend was my birthday which kindof took out the whole weekend (playing board games and drinking wine for 12 hours will do that). So this weekend has basically been my first chance to get back to work on stuff.
Progress is going slow. Today was basically more setup, and re-writing/formatting a lot of the original code from the prototype. This means there’s still not anything to show off. Not been feeling very motivated at the moment, mainly because I’m in this early, not very exciting stage of the work. It can end up as quite a vicious cycle, as there’s nothing really to see, which means my efforts don’t feel like they’re amounting to much, and this makes me less inclined to get on with the work, which makes the good stuff take even longer to get to. I find this is often why a lot of my projects get nowhere. If I can get through that first slow stage and get something working which I can iterate on, my productivity normal skyrockets and suddenly All I’m doing is working on the thing. Thankfully this time I do have that prototype as a very visible end goal (well i guess more of a starting goal…) so that’s helping to keep me going, because I know it’s going to be worth it. Just looking forward to the point when I can start messing round with the game again, rather than just writing setup scripts and interfaces.
Will hopefully have done more by next week so should have more to talk about (I promise!).