January 23rd, 2007

Try and stop us

About time to set up some version control

Some things to show off here:

  • they're just as good as name brand zombies - The backs of the characters (including monsters) all have their names printed on them. I thought this was going to be a good idea, but it looks quite a bit dorkier than I expected. Zombie zombie zombie.

    I'm not sure what to do about this at this point - I'm clearly (CLEARLY) not going for polished graphics at this point, but this is distracting me. I could draw backs for all of my stick figure guys, but that doesn't seem right.

  • What's up, Ray? - I've got the beginnings of a UI showing up there. It looks like it's Ray's turn to move, with 10 hit points, and 4 action points. Movement points. Initiative units. I don't think I've got anywhere near a consistent name for these things in my code, so this is probably something else I need to let stew a while until I decide what to do with them.

  • Some sort of weapons at the zombie's feet - my overlay system (inspired by, as I've said, the overlays we used in Lord of the Rings: Tactics) is working adequately so far - I've got "you can't move there", "you can move there", "you can attack there (melee)", and "you can attack there (ranged)". Someday soon, there'll be "you can attack there (magic)". More or less soon.

  • The dog that does not bark - what's the Holmes quote? The bit about the important information conveyed by the silence of a dog? What you do not see are the zombies I've already dispatched. The archer chick is (too) deadly with her bow, and the brute force guys have made short work out of some of the zombies. Zombies also attack the Player Characters (PCs), but that's not exactly working correctly.

  • Wimoweh/Mbube - I retired the lion that had been in the game up until now. Somewhat. At some point, I'll bring him back, because lions are fierce, and would make a nice complement to the zombie horde.

  • Weapon Graphics - these aren't onscreen yet, but I've got a bunch of weapons - each character has a signature weapon, and the zombies and ghost zombies have species-appropriate attacks. The bow is unique now in that it has range. There is no "to hit" calculation, so the archer chick can hit any enemy on the board, if I can point the camera in the appropriate direction.

  • It's not plus two, it's plus one plus one - I'm storing the weapon descriptions in an INI file, which is all data-driven and good. The damage that each weapon deals is described in an almost-human readable string, like 2d10+3, which means "roll two ten-sided-dice, and add three to the result". It's a small amount of code, and roughly as impressive as a first-semester programming assignment, but it pleases me. Heck, I had a boss once who was excited about some code that would convert Arabic numbers into Roman. Meh.

  • But now it's breaking on me - I got up to find out how the Union is doing (I'll spoil it for you, it's strong), but I didn't feel like coming back and fixing stuff afterwards. Turns out, when you kill a monster, the game doesn't completely clean up all monster information, which can lead to you sort-of-killing it a second time, which the game really doesn't like.

So, I should really set up a Subversion repository for the game, so that I can check in my work when it DOES work, so I won't be demoralized that I've broken a working game. Actually, the stuff that I'm ripping out now is stuff that needs to be cleaned out anyway, so it's not that I'm losing good code, I'm just in an unfortunate gap between implementations.

I've been generating a fair amount of assets (sure, they're scratchy little stick figures, but they add up), and it'd be unpleasant if I accidentally deleted the art directory. I could recover pretty quickly, since most of the art starts out being hand drawn, so I still have the originals kicking around (and I even know where the originals are), but just the same, better set up version control.

For as placeholder and silly as it looks, I'm actually very close to having an actual game to play. And I'm getting to the point where I want to go back and reconsider certain decisions. As I mentioned before, the character/monster names on the back of the "counter" isn't working for me. The camera control is cumbersome. If the camera's looking dead-on at the side of a counter, you can't see it. The shorter characters barely see over the bottom of the screen.

It'd be kind of keen to have a working game, like one you could win or lose, by the end of the week.