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“Weapons on Wheels 2” – Weekly Update 5


No video this week.  I was planning on it, but I have all of the required software all configured on my desktop, and due to the power flickering on and off, I’m not going to risk turning it on.  (Hurricane Sandy and all, pretty cool stuff.)

Nevertheless, here is the weekly update.  This week consists of good news and bad news.

First, the good news.

This week I was able to get a lot of minor things accomplished.  Weapons (both projectiles and “drops”) accurately collide with the cars in the level.  I also programmed in functionality to have the affected car undergo some torque when, for example, colliding with a mine or being hit with a grenade.  It efficiently spins the car and sends it out of control for a moment, really giving some fun realism to the gameplay.  Machine guns, grenade launchers, and mines also all produce explosions, shake the camera, etc.

I also finally fixed the issue with the camera leading the car (so you, as the player, can see ahead where you’re driving).  Before it was very shaky for some reason, but that’s been nicely fixed.

Weapons on Wheels 2 HUD

The final big change this week was the design and implementation of the HUD (heads-up display).  It was a lot easier than I thought it would be thanks to all of the great Starling capabilities (bitmap fonts, for example).  The game sure has come a long way from where it was just two months ago.

Okay, bad news…

I’ve finally come to the conclusion that the way I’m currently building the levels is not going to work.  A release build of the game is 2.5MB.  This is just one level with no sounds or any other big graphical assets.  To put this in perspective, the absolute maximum size I would allow for this game would be 10MB, any bigger and I’d be limiting potential sponsors.

The problem lies in how I visually build the levels, numerous 1024 x 1024 textures are just too massive.

The only solution is to use tiles. (Or significantly reduce the size of the levels, which I really don’t want to do.  If the race tracks are too small they’re just not as fun.)

How is this going to work out?  I don’t know.  I have to admit, I really liked my current system of designing levels, I felt like it was going to make things very easy while still being very dynamic.  Changing the code in the game to allow for a background built from tiles isn’t going to be a big deal.  The thing I’m worried about is how to design big levels that look good.

Either tomorrow or the next day I suspect I’ll be playing in Photoshop seeing what I can come up with, so I’ll have a better idea by then.


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