Times, trials, and turbulence.
Yet another step forward.
After working excessively hard on Friday and Saturday in order to clear my schedule up, I managed to fit in a rather large 6-7 hour coding session today, interspersed by breaks for food, of course. 🙂
A ton of work got done today, which is pushing Skirmish another huge step toward the finish line. It’s still a long ways off yet, but every line of code written is one leap closer.
(More) Items and Inventory
The work completed today focused around the weapon/item management system and the player’s HUD. So, the basic-most idea is that the player can bind any given item to a certain key/button, which shouldn’t sound too far-out. Multiple weapons that share the same bound key will become ‘stacked’ on the HUD, and pressing the key repeatedly will effectively scroll through that stack of items sharing that key. This is particularly handy when you have several items that are somewhat similar that you tend to use in order (like a stack of several types of grenades) or that make more sense in a stack rather than strewn through your inventory independently (like 4 different SMGs). It generally just really cleans up the HUD quite nicely.
It may not seem like it at a first glance, but this was quite a behemoth to implement. The order that a ‘stack’ of items appears in is determined by the order that the key-bindings appear in the configuration file, but the overall order of your items (ie. the order they appear in vertically on your screen) also depends on this. Selecting items needed to scroll through the same set of items in a consistent manner as well, but actually draw the stack in reverse order so that the layering looks proper. And blah blah blah many more painful issues along the same vein. The end result is that one can make a vertical “item listing” based on item category — the current images only show the ‘Firearms’ category — and also allow for both left and right alignment on the screen (also yet to be screenshot’ted).
Player Physics Redesign
The previous two iterations of Skirmish worked on the player control scheme of having the player move forward based on what direction the player is rotated in. Movement was relative to the player’s orientation, and was (pretty much) entirely keyboard based. I’ve been following this method so far, although today saw a very significant change.
Movement is now much more “Arcade-like”, insofar that movement is absolute (ie. left arrow key moves the player left regardless of player orientation), and that aiming now functions via the mouse (with instantaneous turning). As a result, the player feels much more responsive, and newer players won’t need to struggle with trying to become adept with somewhat more ‘oldschool’ keyboard configurations. I will also be adopting in some other neat changes to the player control, such as a Soldat-like ability to ‘shift’ the screen to scroll in a direction using the mouse, as well as giving players the ability to jump [on top of objects]. More screenshots and videos to come!