Thursday, January 26, 2006

Tech Demo #4: Basic Engine

Finally, FINALLY, my Firefighter game contains the ability to fight fires.
Extinguish Tech Demo #4: Basic Engine

I'm actually really happy with how the water effects turned out... the fire, water, and steam are all drawn using the same method, and it all flows together smoothly.
New thing to keep an eye on is the blue bar underneath health - that's water pressure. If it's getting too low, just stop spraying water for a second or two. I think it works pretty well, but I might end up making it more strict.
The building isn't randomly generated anymore, but is instead pulled from the file "map.dat" in the data folder. Feel free to tinker with it for alternate maps (just open it using notepad, it should be obvious from there).

I'm surprised with how well the late stages of the month have been going. There's only one real big hurdle left to overcome - civilians. They need to be computer-controlled and smart enough not to leap into fires and burn to death. Harder than it sounds. After that, I just need to take my engine and wrap a GAME around it!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Tech Demo #3: Firefighter

As the deadline draws horrifyingly near, I finally start to get my ass in gear. Extinguish gets a big fat update, now including an actual firefighter. He can't fight fires yet, but he can scurry around and get burned.
Extinguish Tech Demo #3: Firefighter
I'm anticipating a question from some of you: "Is that really what the firefighter is going to look like in the final game?" The answer is: pretty much. I may add a bit of detail to it, but that's the general look he's going to have. I'm not planning on making him any more humanlike unless someone else wants to do the modeling, and even then I'd wait until after the one-month release.

Currently, I am not at all satisfied with how the hero takes damage from fire. The problem: There's no heat. You only take damage when sitting directly in a fire... sometimes not even then. The next release will fix this, and add water with which to fight the flames. At that point I may stop calling these Tech Demos.

I'm starting to wonder whether or not I'm going to make my target. Release day is only 8 days away, and I still have to juggle all the other parts of my life. If I don't, then I don't think it's a flaw in the feasibility of NaViGaWriMo... I definitely could have been working MUCH harder. No one said this would be easy.

That's all for now. STAY TUNED!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Another Tech Demo release already

Progress continues... now the fire actually somewhat resembles fire!
Extinguish Tech Demo #2: Rendered Fire
As you'll probably notice, there are still some problems... like being able to see the fire through walls. I am working on correcting this, but I'm not sure how.
By the next demo you should be able to WALK AROUND!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Extinguish Demo #001: Fire Algorithm

Fire has come to the world of Extinguish! More importantly... Extinguish has come to you!
Extinguish Demo #001: Fire Algorithm
Basic explanation:
Arrow keys move the camera around.
Red tiles are on fire. Brighter red means hotter flames.
Dark grey tiles are burnt tiles, and cannot catch fire.

That's all, so far. In the final version I'll obviously have prettier (read: existent) fire effects, and the fires will probably spread more slowly (as it is, a whole building could be down in flames within 2 minutes). But for now, this is what you get. Feedback appreciated!

NEXT: Either Particles or a Player!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The healing has begun

The bumpy ride towards success has once again begun in earnest. I abandoned what code I had and started working from the ground up, stealing liberally from my other projects whenever it seemed helpful. So far, I've gotten it to the point where it displays some walls. Hey, it's a step up from where I WAS.

I've actually found an interesting dilemma in my visual scheme: How to draw stairs. It seems simple enough, until you realize:
-Everything has to be built on the grid, and the grid spaces are pretty big.
-The walls are really low.
I can't make the walls taller without impairing the player's vision. I can't make things narrower than one tile without complicating the code. I'm sure I'll think of some workaround, but it's a bit puzzling at the moment.

Still no fire demo. Not for a while yet, I'd imagine. I may have to trim this project down for the end-of-month release even more. We shall see.

Lots of homework to do. Bed looks inviting. Ah, the life of a college student.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A rough start

So this crash-before-it-starts bug. I have looked into it intensively, used every potentially helpful feature of the debugger, and determined it to be
The problem can't be in my code. The program self-destructs before it even reaches my code. My compiler must be doing something... or something. Whatever it is, I can't fix it. So, I'm starting over. From scratch. day 4, zero progress has been made.

On top of this, it turns out I have a hell of a workload this quarter. I don't know how I'm gonna balance this and schoolwork... I may not be able to get done by the deadline. If there's no avoiding this, then I WILL continue to work on the game until either it's released, or I declare it a lost cause. I can only hope that the month gets better from here.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

It's gonna be a long month

Well, today marked the first day of work on Extinguish, and presumedly the second day of work for my comrades. The project is off to a rough start. In its current state, when someone tries to run the program, it produces a fatal error and crashes before the program even starts. Tomorrow I shall set about fixing this travesty. But hey, if I wanted a relaxing pastime, I'd play solitare.

My next post, whenever it is, will almost certainly contain a Spreading Fire demo. STAY TUNED!