Gaming Your Way

May contain nuts.

Progress. Slow, but still progress

The huge refactoring due to updating Nape is still on-going, but it's reaping benefits. I think it's fair to say that level 1 is a 100% complete now. Seeing how level 1 is just about a 3rd of the first level in Outpost:Haven that's not really that big a deal I know.

Continuing on from the previous post about the Nape update I'm going through all the objects a level at a time updating them. So for instance the desks with the PC's on now have a proper screen glow ( That was in the original, but far too subtle to notice ). This had the down side of meaning that if you shoot the desk so it burst into flames ( As desks do in real life ) the monitor screen was too bright, even with the glow effect turned off, so that meant creating an alternative image.

The attention to detail is reaching OCD levels now. I'm only being so self indulgent because I've had client gigs coming in to pay for this.

Most of today has been spent improving the NPC AI, as who knows, there may be some survivors in the game which have to be smarter than the usual aliens. It's collision detection is a lot more robust, no more half in / out of walls.
Also I was using a tile based line of sight algorithm so the NPC could find the player, but it wasn't really accurate. You can see it in Swarm when he sometimes gets confused and shoots at a wall thinking he's got a direct shot to a baddie. That's been replaced with raycasting now, and is much better for it. It's a lot harder to get him trapped behind walls now.

The default weapons have had some collision love too. Before I was having to move them a couple of pixels, test for a collision, move them some more etc. You could see where it broke in the original two games when you'd be shooting a baddie and the impact explosions would sometimes appear at the back of it rather than the front. Those have been fixed now, much more accurate and the code actually runs quicker.

Next up today is making the player collisions more robust. Kong has featured O:H in their Aliens game promotion which has meant I've been getting about 3-4 bug reports every day about the player getting stuck. I've never been able to replicate it, but it's obviously a major issue, so I'm going to tighten that up so I never have to read another "I'm stuck" bug report again. Ever.
It's going to mean quite a bit of moving code around to make it work like the NPC does, but it's so worth it as all these changes can go into making the baddies better when I update those too.

And that's it. Level 1 is done and we're aiming to have this whole game finished before GDC at the end of March and in beta with you guys well before then. Hmmm.


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