Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Job crunch on again...

Very ironic that my last post was Job Crunch Ended, since I've now inflicted another crunch on myself.  The codebase I was thrust into at my current job was somewhat horrendous so I'm writing a new opengl engine for it from scratch (actually bootstrapping off my Magelore engine though pretty much all will be replaced by the end of it).

This means, alas, Magelore progress has slowed to a crawl again.  I hope this doesn't become my Duke Nukem Forever - though amazing that has been released before Magelore. My nephew is in the game, but he'll be all grown up by the time the game is released - I may have to take a second photo of him and he can appear again as an older sibling :)

At the moment I'm deep inside writing a new asset pipeline. I'm really happy with it - all auto-refreshing, super simple, clean and tight code. Maybe I'll bring some of it back to Magelore but there's really no point since Magelore will always be 2d sprites, whereas the engine I am writing is very much targetting 3d models and shader pipelines.

I've taken the adds off this site also.  I think I can afford the 3c per year they are raking in, and it gives people better access to the archives now.

Till later.. catch me on Twitter   @podesta1971

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day Job crunch is over

I think my main day job (read paid job) crunch is mostly over, so hopefully I'll get some more Magelore done. I've still managed to squeeze in a few polish bits and pieces and bug fixes over the last couple of weeks.

I've restructured the starting area so you get access to the shop earlier and before the "please buy the full version" blocker is reached. I've also added 3 secret areas now to the first dungeon. I think the secret areas work quite well (one requires a key found in a crate in the dungeon),  so I'll definitely be putting in lost of secret areas around the place.  One mechanic I really want to use is passworded areas, where you need to gather clues from people and collectables in order to get through to the secret area.  At the moment the reward is generally gold, but I'll probably add some cool enchants that can only be learnt from items hidden in secret areas.

Story wise, I'm stuck again - which means I spend a lot of time polishing instead of getting the content going again. While its great that the game will be so polished, I really need to force myself to continue the story and get the game released.  There's plenty of extra (non-critical) polish I can do after release.

Bugs - had to add more infrustructure in for tracking down some annoying load/save game bugs.  Looks pretty stable in game now but may map editor is still generating bad IDs occasionally and I haven't tracked down what the repro is for that.. Should be easy to fix if I can work out "when" it is happening.

UI - did some more polish to the UI, especially the keyboard entering. The numbers have particle effects behind them now and rise/fall in a more interesting way. Much happier with it.

Grues - finally, after some Twitter talks with my friend MadGarden - author of the latest Sword of Fargoal - I've added some Grues. These are the mystical creatures from Zork which appear and kill you if you try moving in the dark. I think it works quite well in Magelore - you always have a light spell so no reason to go walking about in pitch darkness.   I'll close with some Grue screenshot goodness.

Don't go walking in the dark or the grues will eat you.