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Verge v0.0.2

verge

I’ve just released an icon pack for android, it’s still in alpha while I try to increased the quantity of icons. It’s just a simple flat theme icon pack which currently consists of 140 icons.

I’m starting on v0.0.2 as I’ve just created an additional 83 icons in the last couple of weeks. The app itself can scan your installed apps and send me the IDs so I can see the apps people are using and create any missing icons.

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Map outline completion

The map outline has now been completed so I can finally start concentrating on the actual layout and finer details of the map itself.

I've also finished the import from Pyxel Edit into the game and the video shows a quick device recording so apologies for the jerky movements. You’ll also have to excuse the black right border, it’ll be covered by UI so it didn’t need to go to the edge of the screen

One minor issue which is going to annoy me is there's a small line between each tile. This is a pixel or so from the Java bitmap selection functionality I'm using to get part of the tileset onto a Sprite. Not a huge issue, it's just going to bug me til it's sorted.

Runners Map Implementation

Up til now I’ve just been developing on a testbed 20×20 tile grid. This has been fine for testing but I wasn’t sure how well it’d run with the real map size of 254×212.

Method #1 – one big canvas

The original method was using one big canvas and drawing each tile to it which was fine for the small number of tiles used for testing. For the final number of tiles however resulted in instant failure due to bitmap size restrictions. I had considered using multiple smaller bitmaps but went on to trying the next method

Method #2 – individual tiles

The second method was using a separate sprite for each individual tile instead of one giant one. This had marginal success as in it didn’t fall over instantly. Instead it was just horrifically slow and made the game unusable. I spent quite a bit of time diagnosing bottlenecks and trying to speed things up. The main idea was to stop rendering all the tiles which were off screen but there was still the overhead of the tiles existing in the first place. This led me to come up with the final method

Method #3 – reusable tiles

The final method came from the idea: what if I didn’t need all the tiles created at once, all I need is enough tiles to cover the screen then reuse them when they’re out of sight. So now if a tile moves too far to the left and off the screen, it redraws and repositions itself to be the next tile on the right.

map-2017-11-22

In this example, there’s only ever 80 tiles (8×10) yet I’m able to create a map of all 53,848 tiles with minimal overhead.

Runners 2017-11-17

Over the last few weeks I’ve made a little more progress on the map but most of the time has been spent on the code base. Map-wise I’ve continued working around the map to get the edges in place and started the rough placing for a mountainous path (the swirly bit).
map-big

Code wise I’ve been reworking the tasks to allow building up a task queue so you can set your runner to do multiple tasks without interruption. They still need the option to view active tasks as well as remove or edit them.

I’ve also added in basic Quests. They’re randomly assigned at the moment but I’ll add in some structure later on. They’re automatically assigned upon reaching a location and they have a requirement of delivering one or more of a specific item. You can then assign the task to a runner to deliver an item if the runner have it in their inventory.

It’s all pretty rough but at least progress is being made.

Pixel map

I'd started working on an idea for a game a while back and it faded into the background but now I'm back to working on it. The main concept is a supply / demand style game where you have to obtain specific items and deliver them.

It's going to take place on an island which I had originally intended to be generated but on reflection it wouldn't add anything so I'm rethinking it to be a static map. For this I started out with looking for an island map I liked the look of for a starting point and I went with Lombok in Indonesia.

lombok-island-map

I've been using Pyxel Edit to create a tile map and tile over the original image.

runners-map-2017-10-19

I've created about thirty tiles to handle the majority of angles of the edges but I'll probably create a few more for variety. Once the outline is done I can start adding some additional features.

Projectily

Not much game development has occurred over the last month or two, this is mainly down to trying to get an ongoing site live.

Introducing Projectily, a project management site which has been in development (on & off) for the last year.  It’s still nowhere near finished but has been made live as an alpha release. This means you can create an account but there’s a whole load of features yet  to be added and quite possibly some bugs left to squish.

You may be wondering why a site would be made live in such an early stage, it’s because this way there’s reason to prioritize development on it as it’s publically accessible. It also allows people to help shape the future of the site, if  there’s any features you’d like to see on the site you can send a suggestion and it will be considered.

Pixelnaut – We’ve got movement!

It’s typical that as soon as I commit to start doing device captured videos, my phone breaks preventing me from doing them. It’s been replaced but unfortunately the update to lollipop hasn’t been pushed to it yet so the screen recorder doesn’t work.

The device shadow issue on the previous video is due to the shadows overlapping. This is because each shadow is being ray-casted from each shadow object and the semi transparency is building up on the overlapping shadows. Ideally the shadows should build up one mesh to keep all the shadow elements on the same layer.

No more work has been done on the space side of things, mainly planning and coming up with ideas. A few changes have been made to the level parts. Player movement has been added along with direction swapping and the wall tiles have been corrected. There’s are few odd tiles in place but they’re just placeholders for elements still in development.

I thought the game needed a name so came up with ‘Pixelnaut’ (pixel as it’s using 16bit sprites and naut as in astronaut), not completely sold on it but it’ll do for now.

Navigation mesh

Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying my hand at rigging up a basic navigation mesh for path finding. Using a navigation mesh should allow a more natural feel and responsiveness to character movement while moving through the map.

The general theory is quite straight forward, polygons are created on the walkable areas of the map and are linked together if they’re direct neighbors. The pathfinder then uses the edges of each polygon to navigate through the mesh.

The initial implementation of this is quite basic and only uses the centre points of each edge so the paths used still look like they’re on rails but I plan to update it so the whole area of the polygon is used.

The red lines in the examples below are the paths generated from the start to the end points, not elegant but a good start

Basic Navigation Mesh

Shadow Bug

Well it turns out that there was a major issue with the new shadows where they didn’t maintain the correct positions if the parent was moved. It was visible in the previous video as the parent was situated at 0,0.

A little annoying but glad it reared it’s ugly head sooner rather than later.

Onwards with pathfinding, currently working on a navigation mesh for path finding.

ZRPG September 2014

Its been a few months since any sort of update, mainly due to other commitments but I was also struggling with getting my head around how to tackle randomised building generation. At this point my plan of action is…. I don’t. I can get away with having a few different variations of each building which will do for now. In the future I could always  create an algorithm to make it completely random but that’ll be saved for another day.

A couple of days ago I began writing a separate prototype for the buildings which includes a new method for handling shadows. The new shadows can now work with any polygon which should work nicely with the effect I’ve got in mind for the game’s atmosphere.

Below shows the prototype in action, it achieves the effect I was after and only uses 162 triangles but this will likely multiply five fold once the textures are sorted out and extra elements like furniture are added.

I know the textures are ropey but it’s just a quick prototype to demo the progress. It’s also a good testbed for building related feature development.