Adarakion Developer Diary: Issue 10

Morning All! Issue 10 already – somewhat of a milestone for us, it’s good to know we are still on track with Project Blast! and all systems are still very much go. It’s quite amazing really to look at where we are now with Blast! compared to where we were 10 weeks ago. No website, no forums, a very basic map builder tool and a “tech demo” for the fight engine. Zoom forward 10 weeks and we are now at a stage where we have a website & forums, a working front end (fnar! fnar!), a much better looking fight engine, ship selection screen and various control methods. That’s 10 weeks worth of work, with an average of maybe 1 or 2 hours a day spent actually coding.

Whilst I am proud of where we are now, the lack of time available to me to code still grates. I really want to devote more and more time to development (especially as the actual code is getting rather hefty now), but real life is still getting in the way! Hey ho, you have to make the most of what you got don’t ya! I guess if I could choose, Id have an Adarakion Development Studio somewhere with the gang busy working away on Blast! and future projects. That’s my ultimate goal, but we are a way off that yet. Let’s get Blast! out there, get some feedback, and see where we go.

In terms of release, I am aiming for Q1 2010, the MAIN thing missing at the moment is the weapons implementation which is priority number one. Having to compile a significant list of weaponry is proving perhaps a bit more difficult that I first thought it would. I am hoping that the coding of each individual weapon and nano system will be straightforward (famous last words), but relatively time consuming. I am aiming initially for 50 special weapons, and 10 nano-tech augmentations. On my list at the moment I’m up to 15 weapons (but have all 10 nano-techs planned!), so I have a long way to go, and any input from you guys would be appreciated, promise to give full credit to those involved!

Once the weapons are all in there, and the damage modelling works as intended, we will be a lot closer to release and should have a pretty much working game. My main techy headache with the weapons is accurately modelling the direction of travel so that the other player will react appropriately. Let me give you an example:

One of the special weapons is an energy bolt which basically does no damage but smashes the opponent in a certain direction. So whilst I can figure out the initial starting direction of the bolt by checking which direction the player is facing the tricky part is then, once the collision occurs, knowing which way to move the other player! Would the player simply shoot off in the same direction that the bolt was travelling? Would they only move on one axis? It’s a physics and vector maths question I guess and I think it depends particularly on the direction the opposing player is travelling at the point of impact. Do I simply add in the direction of the bolt to the players direction, so if the player is travelling at 10 to the right (x velocity) and 10 down (y velocity), and the bolt is speeding along at 40 to the right, the players y velocity will remain unchanged but their x velocity will now be 50 minus a bit of velocity lost in the impact.. Ill have to do some coding to test how this works, but I think it will work like that.

Following on from the success of my top 10 bugs last week, here are my top 10 “Doh!” moments from the last week (cue cheesy 70s Top of the Pops music again).

10. Writing this very Dev Diary and somehow it didn’t save properly towards the end, so had to start again! So much for auto save!

9. Installed Windows 7 and lost all my custom fonts for the game. ARRRRRRRG!

8. When essentially copying a lot of player 1 code to player 2 function I accidentally left in a reference to player 1, and spent a precious hour trying to figure out why player 1 wouldn’t move anymore! Grr Ugh.

7. When reinstalling the compiler, I thought it would be a GREAT idea to change the name of the folder containing Blast! and its assets to “Project Blast!” from its previous working title. Then none of my headers or other code worked as they all thought they were still sitting in the previous directory name. I had to re-save them all in the new folder.

6. At one point seriously considering just saying sod it and renting an office to develop – then realised without any starting capital this would be slightly tricky!

5. Introduced mini-me to Mario Bros 64. I want my telly back.

4. Realised that due to the art style the game has taken on, many of the ship sprites may actually need re-working to look nicer… not had the guts to tell the artist that yet LOL – though once he has read this I’m sure I’ll get an email!

3. Realising that my lovely explosion effect that I have had stored for a long time probably wont fit the art style of the game either, and may need a rethink by said artist. Ok, so now I will DEFINITELY get an email!

2. Re-wrote the code for the collision detection as I thought I was onto something. Realised I wasn’t. Reverted back to original code.

… and at number one this week:

1. Intimated to “The Mrs” that I might want to do some coding in an evening. (Anyone who is married / cohabiting will understand this Doh! moment without further explanation!)

And on that note, I better skedaddle before I lose any more vital bodily functions! Screenshots are really close now – so keep an eye on our site Ill post something here if they appear, so keep checking back!