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2014 - 3 - 11 / 5:03 pm / general

Dev Log: Slow and Steady

Dev Log: Slow and Steady

I've been tinkering with a lot of systems over the past couple of days. Mostly stuff involving enemies, and some other things involving building islands and structures on the islands.

At some point last week I sat down and tried to figure out path finding with moderate success. I have something working, but it's pretty dang laggy when it has to figure out a path. As far as I know I'm just doing straight up A* path finding and I copied the psuedocode from Wikipedia right into the game. I started looking into using different data structures for storing things to hopefully speed it up, but honestly I still have no idea what I'm doing and I don't know how to use some of these fancy things that people suggest (priority heaps, or something?)

I took a break from that to tinker with placing structures on islands, and trying to figure out how I want to animate the building process for building a structure on an island. This is also a tough one to solve, and I'm not sure if frame by frame stuff in Flash would be good, or if structures should be animated with skeletons similar to the enemies using Spine.

Image

Back in the world of enemies I've started experimenting with behavior trees for how they should interact with the world. It seems like a good way to do things, but part of me feels like it's over-engineering. Setting up a whole series of classes for the system to run the behaviors, and then every simple little task then has to be a behavior command... I kind of like systems like this, but I wonder if it will be worth it in the end working on a system that takes a lot of up-front work to get running.

It's definitely a very different way of doing things outside of the game jam environment. I've made a lot of cool stuff in game jams, but it's all been on top of really odd code that doesn't leave a lot of room for expansion. I'm trying not to design or code myself into a corner when it comes to working on this new game, so things are going a little slower than they did for Offspring Fling, but it's also probably due to the fact that I'm in pretty unfamiliar territory. Working on something that's not a platformer can be pretty tough!

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2014 - 3 - 11 11:18 PM

A333

Maybe this could be useful for you
http://theory.stanford.edu/~amitp/GameProgramming/index.html
I haven't had a thorough reading of this yet, but it seems solid.

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2014 - 3 - 12 12:54 AM

Kyle

Ah yeah! This has been a great resource for me so far, but it takes me awhile to really digest most of the stuff he talks about. It's really hard for me to understand a concept of programming and then write code that applies the concept without seeing like a concrete example. The hardest part of the A* stuff is that I had no idea what was going on with the heuristic and the g h and f values.

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2014 - 3 - 13 11:11 PM

A333

I have an exact same feeling about shaders (glances at the next post). Can't really stomach the fact that such complex effects could be achieved with a few code lines. As you say, it takes awhile to grasp a concept.

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Hi there, my name is Kyle, and I'm a kid disguised as a grown up. I'm making video games and living the indie game developer life in Tempe, Arizona. Here you will find my thoughts, games, websites, doodles, and other stuff like that. I worked on Snapshot, Offspring Fling, and a whole bunch of other games. I also created and maintain Otter, a 2d game making framework. If you want to get a hold of me use the form on the bottom of the page, leave a comment, or just tweet at me. I try to post three times a week. Thanks for stoppin' by! You're the coolest.

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