I’ve been taking a look at the game and thinking about pieces which dramatically increase development time and not really essential to the game. The key piece is the 3D side of things which although is a rather nice feature, is somewhat expendable.
Looking at games like Hotline Miami and Teleglitch, we can see that they’re still amazing games even though they’re of a top down 2D perspective.
With this decision in mind I started looking into the Starling 2D framework which integrates the 3D stage to utilise the GPU in 2D rendering.
After getting Starling setup its really quick to start working with as it uses the same variable and function naming convention as core AS3. Unfortunately it became apparent too quickly that my intentions for the framework were more than the intended use. Once the city generator was implemented, the performance went down to half which was seen using the core 3D previously. I’m not saying Starling isn’t good, for most projects its ideal, but unfortunately its not cut out for this project.
This has resulted in me creating my own version of it. It’ll conform to the AS3 functions to behave in a similar manner to using the inbuilt 2D engine but for it to easily extend the standard model to easily create complex sprites.
So at the end of the last year I entered the Oryx Trial with a somewhat poor entry and unsurprisingly didn’t win. I didn’t expect to but the point of entering was to push myself into writing some classes which would be used in my other game. I must say it’s also inspired me to get back into the game development side of things.
Since the new year I’ve made a big push and managed to get the random city pretty much sorted and integrated with the 3D stage. Now although this is pretty much regurgitating previous posts, a lot of work went into rewriting big ol’ chunks of code for it to work more accurately and quicker.
Now the main thing that’s up with this example is that there’s a delay when you hit the edge of the city block, this shouldn’t be a huge issue as I’ve purposely scaled the map down to down to show this. The map is really ten times the size so by the time the player reaches the edge of the map, the neighbouring block would have already loaded (in theory =P) The way the map works is on a 9×9 grid, when the player reaches half way through a block it starts loading in neighbours. The delay is present as threading in AS3 is still in beta so I’m currently daisy-chaining the processing off the main frame rending. When the player moves to a new block, the loaded blocks shift over so only new blocks have to be loaded. This now does mean that you can walk infinitely in one direction and the city will keep generating buildings around you.
There is a minor issue where some buildings don’t get loaded which I shall have to look into but I’m happy with the progress at this point. There are still a few pieces which can be optimised at this stage but I thinking I’ll work on a different piece of the game for now. I’m really hoping to have something fresh for the next post as this is yet another post which contains the same as previous entries but with minor updates.