Adarakion Developer Diary: Issue 12

I’m having a rather exciting & fun time with Project Blast! at the moment. The main “ball ache” coding work is completed (yes, that IS a technical development term) and now I’m moving on to what I consider to be the fun stuff, the nice graphical touches and weapon systems. I’m a very shallow person, and nice flashes, sound effects etc. please me more than coding a complex collision detection system!

It’s really great to see how the game is developing; balancing the weapons speed, power etc. is surprisingly good fun, and why I love programming so much. The systems that I’m coding aren’t overly complex which probably adds to the amount of satisfaction I get when something works well. I have a long way to go with the weapons in terms of the sheer number that need to be in the game, but I am hoping that I can keep the actual coding of them simple, and reuse a lot of code for each weapon (so stuff like collision detection, vapour trails and the like). I also ditched my original idea about coding separate functions for each of the weapons, preferring to code them all under one, and then pass the weapon being shot by argument. By using this method I can re-use the code I need to, and it will ultimately save time in the long run.

Once the weapons are coded, the next step I think is going to be refactoring the code. There’s a hell of a lot going on in the game at the moment and I am STARTING to experience a bit of slowdown when it gets hectic. I’m hoping that I can remove/redo some of the code to speed things up a bit. I still have some “speed” in reserve that I am not using at the minute in form of a delay command which stops the game running too quickly – so I can reduce that gradually to keep the speed up to where I would like it to be!

Once the refactoring is completed, I can move on to the statistic and profile stuff which I’m hoping will be relatively straight forward, then its on to the leagues and tournament coding and then (bar a bit of polishing) we will be pretty much there and ready for testing (and yes, Ill be taking applications to test when we are at that stage, watch our forums for further information).

The other thing I am playing with at the moment is a “Street Fighter” inspired pre-fight screen. Fairly simple to achieve in essence, but a bit trickier to make it look cool. I tend to get these grand ideas all the time whilst working on something else and get easily distracted! Oddly enough all my best ideas come to me either immediately after I wake up, or bizarrely of all whilst I’m on the toilet during the day! It’s strange how and when inspiration comes to me!

As you have probably seen, we released our first screenshot last week – this is from the pre-Alpha build so expect much more in the full release. I think it gives a good feel for how the game will look, and also illustrates our art style quite nicely. We aren’t a big team (read, 3!) and for us to be this far down the line in 11/12 weeks (bearing in mind the time we are able to allocate to the project) is something I personally am very proud of.

I think it’s fair to say that the whole team feels reinvigorated with Blast! and I’m really looking forward to showing off our wares with you, the demanding public! There is a light at the end of the tunnel now and I don’t think it’s the 10.15 to London St Pancreas! What is constantly in the back of my mind is that if this is as successful as we hope (or even partially as successful) it may well enable us to fulfil our dream of doing this as a full time occupation. It feels closer than it ever has done at the moment, I can almost touch it!

On a slightly sourer and totally unrelated note my launch 60 GB PS3 died last week. Sigh. Was sad to see the ol’ lady finally flash her yellow panties at me… luckily, she died the day before the Sainsburys offer ended, so the next morning I picked up her slimmer cousin and I’m back on track. Had to take the old girl to pieces to get a stuck disc out, and I am struggling to put her back together again, so that should while away the hours this weekend!

As Phil said last week, our website is currently changing to reflect all the latest news from us (via Twitter at the moment), and we also started a Facebook group – it would be good to see some of you over there! If you want to join, click the link on our site, or if you are Twitterers