Week 05

[disclaimer: last week school started up again, and I discovered that trying to do school on top of a schedule with zero wiggle room in it already doesn’t pan out so well; no programming happened on Week 04, so I went ahead and did two systems for Week 05]

This week:

  • did some tweaking to the macro-level game code that tracks player characters
  • prototyped the sentence line
  • incorporated sentence line into main game
  • put in camera controls

As tends to be the case, all these systems are integrated in the most dirt-stupid way imaginable. Sentence line: when you get close to an object you can interact with, its name appears above it in big block letters. Camera: the camera tracks along, Mario-style, with whatever character you’ve selected. I know how I want both to work in the future, and even coded them with an eye for how they will function later, but for the purposes of getting the vertical slice functional, we’re going fast and dirty. I’m on track to get all the core systems in place by early November, which will give me about 6 weeks before my self-imposed deadline to polish things.

The character tracking code is one of the things I was leaving to polish later, but doing it up right now was helpful to make both of this week’s systems work. I had trouble with the old prototype in displaying sentence line text when the player was nearby, because it was looking for the player class of objects and got confused when there were more than one of such class in the room. Now I have a global variable that tracks which character is active at a given moment, and the object pays attention to that. A character’s grabbing state is actually a separate object from its walking state, so I added code that makes the global variable recognize which of these two versions of a character is in the room at a given moment (will do similar for other states, like climbing, as they get integrated).

I’m constantly baffled by the fact that every system I try to make is more or less working right off the bat. I did two systems today, and it took an aggregate of about an hour. I’m used to code involving hours of banging my head against the wall, but so far I’ve only been stumped by the smart character switching. I don’t know how much of this is me being a better programmer and how much is me letting a system be imperfect for now, so long as it works. Part of me still worries that the polishing phase is actually going to be a nightmare, as I try to make this stuff not just function, but feel good. I hope by the time I get there my brain starts associating coding with speed instead of stress.

Checklist:

  • Basic Movement
  • Character Switching
  • Pushing/Pulling
  • Dialogue
  • Sentence Line
  • Camera
  • Entering/Exiting Rooms
  • Collecting Inventory
  • Using Inventory
  • Climbing
  • Carrying
  • Crawling
  • Throwing
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