Sunday, October 28, 2012

Game Update 2: Heaven And Earth

Mappy Tile Map
What a world!

Another update on the programming my game. I've achieved my milestone of implementing a map using the Mappy map maker and the associated files. As a result I've had to change my development environment because I was having problems linking the mappy files to my project. Apparently with the gcc compiler on windows I needed to compile it to an "object file" and link it to my project as such. The problem is mapping the %PATH% variables properly so I had access to the Allegro header files. On Windows it's a pain in the ass. Seems like it's much easier to do from Linux.

So, from the image you can see my little program has a map (with my hasty, thus crappy artwork) that can be scrolled using the keyboard arrow keys. I feel good getting to this point however, I've been this far along in other programming projects and lost interest. So, the next hurdle will be to implement a sprite that is controllable by the mouse and that can react to collision tiles on the map (as well as eventual collision sprites that represent mobs.  Eventually.  We'll see if I can cross that line.

Down the road...
After I have the sprites up and going then I'm going to need to encapsulate everything that goes on the screen in it's own class. The overworld will have it's own class. Each dungeon will it's own class. Every town will be wrapped in it's own class. I think you get the idea. Also, I'll have to start working with a Graphical User Interface (GUI). I pretty much want it all mouse driven with appropriate keyboard equivalent  Also I still need to implement LUA so I can add NPCs, Quests and such while the "engine" keeps running. These last two elements may be the hardest along with writing a proper save/load game system.

The Story
I've been working on the story to make a functional game out of it but I'm hesitant to give too much away lest it spoil the experience for anybody who wants to play. It has been interesting implementing the technological side of this thing as well as putting the creative elements of the story in the same program. I'm pretty curious to see how it all turns out.

Programmer's Art
Crappy Programmer's Art
The original Ultima Games (at least the first six) had tiled artwork against the color black. This is the style I'm hoping to emulate. Of course my stand in graphics don't look like that at all but what do you expect with stand in graphics, eh? I think when I get to the point of encapsulating each part of the game in their own class will I start making artwork in that retro style. The sprites, even though they will look fairly primitive  will have certain animations. For example a walking animation, a melee animation and a casting animation. With several different classes, several different NPCs and Enemies this will be a bit of work. Even if there is only 3 or 4 frames of animation each.
Ultima V
Eventually It'll look this good!

I've technically achieved a high-water mark on this project in the fact that I've gotten this far before and lost interest in the project. Implementing the sprite class and showing one interacting with the environment will be new ground for me and I'll be super excited when I hit that point. It seems like stuff has gone by pretty easy and I don't have a lot left to do but I know better. It's the last 10% of the game that will take up 90% of my time.

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