Developer Diary #3 – I’ve Got to Stop Dipping into Me Own Ale…

Time for another development diary.

New Features:

  • Candles and candle lighting for all the tables.
  • The light cast by candles and the fireplace now flicker.
  • If a lit fireplace goes out, the flame will turn into a glowing coal version for a while.
  • The ability to send guests to any table, and have them sit at random in an empty position.
  • Zooming in and out with the mouse wheel.
  • A cursor.
  • Shadows cast on the ground by your own character and by guests.
  • Movement now also possible by holding down the left mouse button.
  • Character no longer tries to walk towards objects clicked on for selection purposes.
  • Guests now have uniquely generated names.
  • Selecting guests will show their names, but also their mood and their gold (with unique sprites for each).
  • Selecting barrels will also show what kind of drink is in them, as well as the drink quality.
  • Selling a drink to a guest will now make the purse in the GUI flash, and play a sound effect of some coins dropping (sounds much worse with the recording software than it actually sounds!).
  • Characters are scaled according to how deep they are in the room, in order to strengthen the sense of perspective.
  • At day end there is now a fade-out fade-in transition effect.
  • Adjustments/improvements to masking/selection code. – ARG!
  • General code improvement/bug fixing – More ARG!
  • New character sprites

The changes made this week have mostly been about functionality of the interface rather than content. It is now easier to control your character and easier to interact with the world in general. There is also more information and feedback for the player to let them know what is going on. The result is that it now feels much more solid and believable to play around with. What exists behaves more like would expect it in a proper game, and that’s pretty exciting to see. Along the way I have been learning a lot about how GML (Game Maker Language) works, making more use of scripts and other techniques in order to streamline my code and achieve the effects I’ve wanted.

The next couple of weeks development will hopefully be spent getting people at tables to talk to each other, and allow the player to interact with / speak with guests. I would also like to add several new guest types, and remove any remaining odd behavior from the guest selection code before getting ahead of myself. Making the code more solid and modular is not as rewarding in terms of having something concrete at the end of it to show people, but it will save a lot of work down the track hunting down bugs and re-writing things that aren’t flexible enough. I’ve got some of that done these last two weeks, but there remains some more to do on that front.

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