Contract Work Consumes, Whilst Climbing Resumes

What’s up everyone? It has been too long. I mean literally too long. I skipped a post didn’t I? Sorry about that. I decided that I’d actually have an Easter break this year, but completely forgot to post out that there wouldn’t be a blog! By the time I remembered, it was too late, so I thought I’d just pretend like it never happened. And then I decided to open this blog by acknowledging it, so I suppose I didn’t really get away with that did I? Ah well, shall we have a bit of a catch up?

Now, when we last spoke, the next task on my agenda was to convert the level loading system I wrote to use prefabs instead of scene files (check the last post and containing links for what any of that means if you’re confused yet curious). What this basically amounts to is a lot of under the hood coding, with very little in visual change. Not a great feature for blog eye-candy, but very necessary. It took a little bit of chopping around, but everything actually went pretty smoothly! I can now send a string to my game manager, and it can look up and load the associated level, and fail gracefully if it doesn’t get a match! Pretty cool.

Background for non-techies: Hey, I just had a thought. Do y’all know what I mean when I say a string? or an int? For those with zero programming knowledge, these are variable types. Basically they are containers shaped like something that you can fill. For example, an int is shaped like an integer, a number with no fraction. So 1, 78, and -65437 are all integers. A string is shaped like a list of characters, so you can fill it with words “like this” or gibberish like “dkjhgsf” and although you can add numbers “l1k3 th1s”, it treats them as characters, and doesn’t know what they actually mean.

Other common variables include the float – a number that can have a fraction (2.45, 7.0, 63218.8732), or a char – a single character (‘a’, or ‘#’). There’s a lot of overlap here – chars can be single digit numbers, floats can look like ints, and strings can contain anything you like really. The difference is in what you want the computer to do with them. But that’s for another time. For now just know by a string, I mean some text.

After this victory I went on to add a couple of new obstacles to the game, an arrow trap, that uses the projectile system I wrote during Recovery Week, and a funnel, a way of changing up how the zombie can move so you can approach levels in different ways. It’s all very rough and ready, but after a bit of polish and, as always, animation treatment, I think they will be cool new additions to the arsenal!

Funnel funnels funnily enough, then the arrow trap finds it’s mark

I’m using the barricade as a temporary “arrow trap” object, and the funnels are huge white blocks, but you get the idea. I need to look into smoothing the funnels, particularly if the zombie hits it head on, but as a proof of concept, you can see how it can create channels to add complexity to levels.

I would like to say I’ve more Horde update, but a lot of my time has currently been taken up by a secondary contract! They’ve had a big deadline upcoming so it’s been all hands on deck. This has cut more into my time than I would like, but we’re seeing it all come together, so that’s nice! When I’m allowed to, I’m looking forward to talking about what this project is; it’s a really unique and different project to what I’ve worked on previously, there are a lot of new considerations and ways of thinking!

And finally, with the world opening up again, Suzie and I are taking advantage of the multitude of climbing walls in Sheffield! We frequented the Depot and the Climbing Works, and I can confirm, I am very achy now. Turns out being sedentary for near to a year doesn’t improve your muscle strength. However, we had a great time, and it was good to be back on the walls!

And that’s about all I have for you! It won’t be a month between posts next time hopefully, I look forward to chatting to you then. Until then…

Matt out.

5 thoughts on “Contract Work Consumes, Whilst Climbing Resumes

  1. Can you be more specific about the content of your article? After reading it, I still have some doubts. Hope you can help me.

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