Click, click, bang.
Did you ever play that game as a kid - or maybe in college? I think I played it when I was 13, and again when I was maybe 20. Click, click, bang, click, bang. Who am I thinking of? Played in a circle, and you point at people, kind of like duck, duck, goose, but without any real physical activity.
That's not relevant right now, it's just something that came to mind as I considered what I accomplished today: hardly anything. I did get some work done on Switch - I now have working list boxes, which is the last bit of reinventing the GUI wheel that I need to do before finishing off the functionality of the "campaign play".
For those of you who have been following the development of Switch 2000, but need a reminder of the structure of the game, the game has sliding tile puzzles like those old plastic puzzles with the 15 tiles, and you tried to reassemble an image, or the numbers 1-15, or something like that. In this game, the tiles slide in different ways, and if you want to be masochistic, you can try to discover how the tiles slide. Most people, I imagine, will prefer to use the helpful arrow icons that indicate that this button slides its row to the right if you click on it, while this one will rotate the tiles around it 90 degrees.
So, each little puzzle may last from a minute to maybe 10 minutes. More, I suppose, if you've got a big puzzle.
Stringing these puzzles together into a larger whole is what I've been calling "campaign mode", out of lack of imagination. 100 puzzles form a "campaign", or maybe I should call it a "puzzle pack". That's slightly better, but still not quite right. Free copy to anybody who can give me a really compelling name for a artistically coherent group of puzzles.
If you looked at "Infection Wars", the game that I wrote for the 48 hour game development contest, you'll remember some pretty simple UI work. It turns out the UI code that I had written for Switch is just about as crude, in large part because I was developing the game a half hour at a time at that point, so there was no design - just quickly slapped together code to get something playable and borderline marketable.
In the past week or so, I've decided to build some GUI Widgets of my own (after talking with a friend about a week ago, I considered using PyUI for my game, and I looked into it, and convinced myself that it was just as well that I wasn't using it).
So, I made a button that does something when you click on it. Whee.
I made a checkbox that checks and unchecks. A big green X to go along with the checkbox, too.
Between these two widgets, I got an options menu working.
Oh, I also made an "Image Canvas" widget and a "Runtime Text" widget. Exciting, they're not.
Yesterday, I made an edit box so that you can name your savegames. I still need to make it smart enough to keep you from writing off the edge of the box.
Today, I made a scrollable container, which is separate from a scrollbar, but in practice will probably be most often hooked to a scrollbar. I might put credits or dialog(!) into the container, and scroll it from the control of the game, instead of the user's control.
Like I said, these last bits were some of the last pieces of technology needed to get the functionality of the game nailed down. After this, it's aesthetic changes (the puzzle completed screen needs to be completely redone, as it looks bad, and I want it to look, um, good. I think). And when I hit that stage, I'll also shift over to polishing the puzzles themselves. Right now, they're proof-of-concept, and a little bit better beyond that, but they're really not 100% yet.
Oh, while I'm rambling, let me also mention that I've done something crazy: I reached the end of my TiVo queue. I watched the movies that it had on hold for me, I archived the last episode of Friends (and actually got the last 5 minutes this time). I watched "Breakfast at Tiffany's". What an interesting nugget of the past. And how interesting to see a young George "Hannibal" Peppard and Buddy "Jed" Ebsen. The Mickey Rooney role was baffling to a modern viewer, but I guess they hadn't yet invented acting in other countries back in 1961.
A different time capsule that I let wash over me recently was "Desperately Seeking Susan". Steven Wright was in that movie, and now look at him.
Also, for the past couple of days, I've been doing "research" by playing Diablo II again. I feel ashamed when I lead one of my mercenary buddies into the dungeon and don't bring them back.