Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tate Marske - Weeks 11-12.5

Summing this three-week span up into one word; long.  I have been absolutely working my tail off trying to get everything working perfectly for further level integration, and we are just about there.  Since my last post, my team and myself have accomplished a lot, and gone to new heights!  So, here is what's going on right now:

 - I've gotten Mike's basic enemy working with some very simplistic artificial intelligence at this point
 - Thanks to this, I've been able to test and rework some aspects of slicing with the sword and throwing shurikens, which will be two main attacks within the game.  All systems are go here!
 - World selection and level selection have both been worked in this week, which is HUGE.
 - The game is now capable of saving and loading progress.  This is a huge step in the right direction, and has been tested on quite a few devices now.

Basic Enemy:  This guy was fun to work with, and now that he's implemented, it makes the game a lot more fun, and gives it a hook.  Although it may seem counter-intuitive to only have basic AI working at this point, that's all we need.  Since the level is flying by you rather quickly as you run, you don't want complex things to have to compute in your mind as you try to avoid 'smart' enemies.  These guys basically sit and wait, and throw a single shuriken at you each, once you come within a range.
Here, you can see that I'm in a rather tight situation, while testing this out!  I've just sliced through one enemy, right next to my character, with the sword.  However, the enemy above has anticipated my arrival and thrown a shuriken my way!  I had better time my jump well!

Slicing and Throwing:  Nothing much visual I can really put here, but I've been working hard on making sure slicing and throwing shurikens work accurately.  Over the course of the next day or two, I plan on getting a new ability integrated, too!

World Selection and Level Selection:  Okay, so...  This should have been something done very early on, right?  Well, I needed more than one testable level to properly integrate this, so I did have to wait a while.  However, this proved to be a huge challenge.  I had to completely rework and restructure certain portions of my code in order to make sure you could smoothly transition through levels in general and then quit the game, reload it, and pick an unlocked level.
The world select screen and level select screens work together flawlessly now.  Variables are passed back and forth and read / written to a file, which I will talk about soon, so that the proper buttons become clickable and readable at the right times.  Pretty nifty, eh?

Saving Progress:  This is another thing that may seem trivial to some.  Well, it was my first time doing anything like this, so it was rather rough and strenuous!  Thanks to the help of my professor and a lot of research and debugging sessions with different devices, I was able to overcome my issues with this.  I had to reconfigure which screens were able to read and/or write from/to this file, and when it was able to happen.  Right now, it saves out a simple text file...  Hopefully in time I am able to change the type so that it is less-easily manipulated.

Plans for the next few days include getting another ability to work, and integrating Kyle's newest level designs.  I must absolutely perfect everything in what I already have before I implement it into new levels, so I'll be excited to see how everything fits together!

Just a bit of recap for you:

In thirteen weeks, we have successfully transitioned from this:

To this:

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