July Job Jostling and Fiery Fun-times

July Job Jostling and Fiery Fun-times

Another month gone! Where does the time go? No really, where does the time go? I looked under the sofa, but all I found was existential dread… I left it where it was. Ah well I’m sure time will turn up sooner or later. Want to find out how the #EgoOffice spent the last month?

The day-to-day here at the office has flipped upside down this month, and will continue to be chaotic for a while yet. The reason? Well someone, somewhere, made the foolhardy assumption that I’d be capable of educating people! And I, equally foolishly, said yes! What I’m trying to say is that, while keeping #EgoProblems running, I’m also now a Senior Lecturer on a Games Programming course! It’s something that has been ongoing for a little while now, but is just as hard to believe now as it was in April, when the opportunity first reared it’s head.

I’ve not had the pleasure of actually teaching yet, probably the main reason it still feels hard to believe, but as a result, I’ve spent the last month brushing up on the course materials, and putting together presentations and the like, ready for September, when I begin teaching.

But what does this mean for #EgoProblems? I hear you cry! Well have no fear dear reader, I have no intention of shutting up shop. Far from it, in fact. I’m seeing this as a great opportunity to brush up my skill, reinvigorate my passion for coding, and maybe an opportunity to get new contacts and further the #EgoEmpire. Maybe I won’t call it an #EgoEmpire again… The point is, we aren’t going anywhere, and development will continue as normal!

With that in mind, between the university prep work, just what have we been doing? Well, my principle task this month has been FIRE! I wanted to take a stab at getting an elemental system into the game, so we can start switching up the ways in which we interact with the world. The first thing I had to do was set up the groundwork. This involved the creation of some new events for the Event System, a Reaction interface (IFireResponse), so that we can make things react in different ways, but share the common functionality, and finally, a control script for our game objects, called FlammableObject.

I had a burning passion for this one! I was all fired up, and ready to burn the midnight oil! My thoughts were ablaze with the desire to ignite! I’ll stop now. Promise. Anyway! With the framework set up, I next had to consider what functionality was required in game. It boiled down to two reactions, Remain Alight, and Burnable. The former will, once alight, stay lit, never burn out or be destroyed, and functions as our metaphorical matchstick. Most of them can be extinguished with water though, so be careful! The latter is the bread and butter of chaos-causing. You set something on fire, it burns, then is destroyed. At which point you get a nice little chaos reward, and one less item in the world. I’m thinking of maybe adding explosive objects (bottle of whiskey perhaps) that will explode when it has burned for a while, igniting every compatible thing in a radius, but we shall see! Here is me, repeating the what I just said:

The functionality is all there, but it needs more “pop” for sure. I want to get a timer on ignition, so you hold the flame on the object for a while, maybe get some particles indicating the fire is starting, followed by a more dramatic ignition. I also want to object to turn into charcoal as it is burned up, and ideally it would become a fully charred version of itself that disperses into nothing if you touch it. But that’s all to come! Of course there’s also the matter of applying it to objects that aren’t just boxes, but that’s easy enough! I intend to make the process a simple matter of adding a IFireResponse to the item, and the rest mostly hooking itself up.

John meanwhile has been making a start on getting the level flow into the game. This is the process of counting down the level start, getting the timer for the Dog Catcher’s arrival (which initially will probably just cause immediate loss until we get around to AI), and having a level exit that triggers the Level Complete screen. Once in, the game should officially be demo-able, however rough it may be. It’s ongoing currently, but I’m excited to see a fully playable level!

Next month, if I can get my lectures in order, will be dedicated to reassessing movement. I’m still not happy with it, and as it’s the most used thing in the game, I want it to be right. Following on from that will be the Bite and Jump second passes, if we can get that core moveset down, we’ll be in a fantastic position! Until then,

Matt out.

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