Mythruna
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Author Topic: The Backlog Jumpstart  (Read 4189 times)
pspeed
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« on: April 11, 2012, 12:55:11 PM »

As many of you are aware, my distractions have been numerous lately.  Because of trips and surgeries, etc., development was pretty much on hold for two+ weeks except reading and designing.  Settling back in and building up momentum again is always challenging.

Putting together the waterwall effect prototype was a nice way to get my feet wet but ultimately that effect will take a lot of work before it makes it into the engine... and anyway it requires flowing water which in my design is still a bunch of work.  But it was fun to get the creative juices flowing again and ultimately that's what fuels one through the drudgery... and drudgery there is a-plenty.

Since I got back from my trip, I've been working on an API for scripting the block shapes.  You see them as boxes, wedges, cylinders, etc. but in most cases there is custom code for each of those shapes.  It was quicker and easier but at times creating these is kind of tedious.  Furthermore, I needed the block types to understand what their rotations and mirrorings were.  For example, a north-rising ramp is a 90 degree rotation of a west rising ramp.  Writing the scripting API let me convert some of the more problematic block types over to the new scripting API and all of this makes it a bit easier to determine these sorts of block transformations which will be a critical part of automatic town generation.

(The nice thing is that this will also lead to custom "block packs" at some point but the ID-collision problems won't be properly worked out until another release.)  It also means that I will be able to add new block types much faster in some cases.

I got enough of the current block types converted to scripts to start building the automatic building generation that is the cornerstone of generated towns.  Some of you heard my mad ramblings on the public server the other night as I played with different ideas.  I settled on a design and started prototyping some block configurations that will the basic starting templates for some random buildings.  The blueprint editor is really nice for this since I can build some objects in there and then lay them out in game.  If I can work out all of the issues then this is going to be a pretty sweet picture.

It was starting to get clear that this feature would not be done soon... certainly not soon enough for a near-term release and we are way overdue for a release.  I get into a kind of gloomy funk when there hasn't been a release in a while so I try to push really hard to not go too long over a month without a new one.

...also, the whiteboard was getting jam-packed with to-do list items... some big and some small.  This is what I call my "backlog" and it needed some serious dealing-with.

Consequently, I've begun knocking off as many simple and relatively simple things as I can in order to clear items off the list.  And in general it just makes me feel better.  It does mean that this next release (hopefully Monday) will be a bit random on what it includes.

On the plus side, there should be about a dozen new block types coming in this release.
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Moonkey
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2012, 01:06:52 PM »

Ah so that's why you said there were going to be new block types on the server. Can't wait! Do your best Paul and we'll make something great out of it. Infact I might make another video. Smiley
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Danutron
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2012, 01:56:45 PM »

new block types is always nice, its like christmas
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BenKenobiWan
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2012, 01:57:50 PM »

It's always interesting to read about what you're doing, and it makes up for less releases, just to know that something is going on. I'm on a forum or two that's gone completely dead because the dev doesn't have anything to put on it.
Keep up the good work!
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pspeed
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 02:27:18 PM »

It's always interesting to read about what you're doing, and it makes up for less releases, just to know that something is going on. I'm on a forum or two that's gone completely dead because the dev doesn't have anything to put on it.
Keep up the good work!

Thanks.  That's why I like to share stuff about what's happening even if it's just a random picture of something that might be months away.

Plus, these kinds of posts are cathartic in a way.
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Moonkey
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 06:46:32 PM »

I get bored of a game that doesn't post any significant data of what's happening o/ in development. So... Good to know things are going through.
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