Friday, October 31, 2014

Latchkey #61 - Recoding the Take Command, Parser

Figured out the crash with commands that are nothing but verbs.  At an early point in parsing, I splice out the verb, which means the rest of the input might be null, but I don't check for that.  I just removed the splices for now.  Thought it would be more efficient, I guess, but not really a big deal for now.

So in other news, it appears that the move and look commands work in a vaguely alpha way, if not a grammatically correct way.  So that's good.

Taking items works again now, too.  Some weird little bugs, but I've fixed the crashes that came up.  But now, although you can take the item, the item still stays in the room too, and I can't remove the duplicate. Eek.  It's basically because during the initial parsing, I don't differentiate between items in the player's hand and items in the room.

So now I'm in the middle of fixing that mess.  Which also means I'm rewriting the code for figuring out which item the player is talking about when they use adjectives.  I'm perhaps halfway through that, but it gets tricky.  The old code for it was quite sloppy, and wasn't perfect by any means, so I've got to get it a bit better before going further.

Tasks within tasks.

Friday, October 24, 2014

DOOM: The Mine #1

To get back into the swing of things with DOOM (and hopefully getting back into Sacrifice), I'm making a quick one-off level to warm me up.

The purpose of this level isn't so much to be great design, or intricate, or anything, but mostly to work on my decorating skills.  I often find that my levels tend to look bland, either by being big open spaces or tight little corridors, with the same texture often repeated.  So for this level, I'll be trying to split things up into sections, and adding as much fine detail as I can.  We'll see if I go overboard.

But level design-wise, the idea for "The Mine" is to work in concentric circles.  The inner most circle will be the end, but since measuring things all out perfectly beforehand is impossible, and I probably wouldn't give myself enough room in the middle if I started from the outside, I'm instead starting at the end, and working my way out to the beginning.

Visually, the start of the level will be outdoors, with a cylindrical building in the middle.  The building will start with a sci-fi (or at least building-ish) theme, then go into a more natural rock formation, since the building was created over a mine.  Going deep enough into the mine, in turns itself into the green marble motif, and finally into a red hellish motif, ending with one final hole to jump into. The whole level will drop in elevation as you go.

This is the first try at some detail.  It's very, very red.  Probably far too red, which is why I tried to provide some variety with the candelabras.  But more importantly, I'm trying some things with the ceiling, which is something I often forget about.  I'll be trying a lot of funky things with the ceiling as I go.

I wanted the level to be a lot darker, at least this portion of it, but things seem to go gray over distance when the lights are low.  Perhaps I'll lower the brightness later, but for now, it's at the default.  There is a smidge of brightness-changing here, with the center hole being brighter than the rest to draw you in, but it may be too subtle, so lowering the ambient light will help.

Perhaps I'll also figure out how to break up the floor, so it doesn't seem so bland.

But that's what this level is all about, so I'll continue with lots of little tweaks and details as I go.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Latchkey #60 - Recoding Examine and Move Commands

The good thing about pausing on programming and coming back to it is that problems are easier than you feared.  The bad thing is that you forget how much you already coded and write lots of extra code before seeing that you've already written it once.

I fixed up the Examine command a bunch so it's a bit cleaner and appropriately displays barriers when you ask.  Though, at the moment, it basically reiterates what you already know in the directional box, because adjectives haven't been properly implemented.

Next I started to work on movement, to get that fixed.  Since the common way to move would be to say "move [direction]", I had to go back into the parsing function to peel out directions separately from anything else (I thought I'd have to, but forgot about it).  This gave the added bonus with the examine code, so now the player, when examining a barrier, they don't have to say "look at door", but can just say "look north" and get a description of the barrier in that direction.  Oddly, you can't say "look up" or "look down", but must say "look above" or "look below" instead.  Right now if you say "look up" it lists all the items in the room, which is more or less the error message saying "I know you're looking at something, I just don't know what."  I'll add that to my bug list.  Too annoying just now to fix.

Bigger bug that needs fixing: just typing the work "look" without anything you want to look at causes a crash.  Oops.

In any case, movement now works again (except for the same error with the examine command: you must say "above" and "below" instead of "up" and "down")... and the crash.  Seems to be if you just type a verb and nothing else, you get a crash.  Don't know why yet.  So that'll be fun.

The code is getting big and ugly.

Friday, October 10, 2014

What's New, Pussycat?

This week has been tiring.  Mostly I think it's flu season coming on, so I expect this is the beginning of something worse next week.  If I can't post something real next week, I'll at least post a little status update like this.  But I've put a little work into Latchkey, just not enough to post about this week.  So perhaps next week there will be something there.

What I've really been itching to do recently is make a some Doom levels.  I've been considering picking "Sacrifice" back up and reworking the first level, or finishing the second, but to get back into gear for it I may want to make an unrelated one-shot level.  Though I'd take my time on it, rather than push full-steam ahead like I did with the Monthathon.

While I'm working on Latchkey and Doom, FissureVerse will be put on the backburner, so I can catch up on getting permission for the art, or finding new art altogether.  Some artists I've contacted have given me permission, and I've put links to their pages on the side menu.  Though if that gets too unwieldy, I'll move it into the main FissureVerse page.  Other artists have requested I remove their work, others haven't yet responded, and still others I haven't yet found their contact info.  So it's a bit of a clustermug right now.  Once all that's cleared up, things should go smoother.

Friday, October 3, 2014

FissureVerse #39.1: Note on Placeholder Art

I got into contact with Jose Arias about his artwork, and unfortunately I have to remove it, because the work is all previous commissions and such.  So I'll be back-correcting the last few FissureVerse posts within the next couple of days.  I'll post new artwork from new artists on those cards in later posts.

Even though I can't use his work, he still does great art, so I recommend taking a look at his stuff.

(Note to self: always ask first.  Saves a ton of work!)

So what I'll be doing after that is trying to contact each artist I've borrowed from.  But unlike Frenzies and Crusaders, all the Rogations and Locations are by a huge collection of artists.  So if I can find where I got the art from, and the artist's contact info, I'll contact them and see if they'll let me use them, and replace as necessary.  If I can't find the artist again, I'll probably re-look for new placeholder art.  It will certainly add a lot of time, but I'd rather be safe than sorry before posting another .pdf of printable cards.