Polish, Polish, Polish... it ain't easy being it. And doing it is even harder.
Brought my economist neighbour to trash the game today and boy did he ever. He completely went for it, smashing every corner and flying off every ledge while I ran behind him - toolbox in hand - ironing out any kinks and straightening out anything unclear.
The AI likely won't make the cut since submission time is like 4pm, so tomorrow (later today) will be completely focused on the small glitches and bugs, as well as adding beautiful audio.
...is pretty much impossible. There's no entry point.
"So, uh, vectors, right?"
There's nowhere to begin. "Okay, like, light bounces off of everything, yeah?" Um. Particles are just metadata in a 2D-projected faux 3D space. But they're pretty useful. cough, also quaternions.
This might be why it took 15 years for my family to accept my career choice - it doesn't make sense to anyone who doesn't LOVE math and punching computers.
Tired of cheesy "3, 2, 1!" countdowns so here's something that doesn't require reading.
So there's a complete damn interface now. From the main menu to pause menus, leaderboards that interact properly, moving back and forth - keyboard, gamepad, the WORKS. And everything animates.It's beautiful.
Not really - BUT! - I'm putting in heaps of Playernames that will be assigned randomly to drivers ahead of each race, and in order not to have duplicates I need heaps more. So please send any words you can think of to my e-mail addy (it's on the contact page) and I'll put it in.
No need for perfomance anxiety, I already put in tasty options such as Monkey, Lady and Meth.
Finishing the level. Basically. Most everything tech is there now - the menu, a leaderboard, AI is being worked on (though we'll see if something intelligent manages to spawn) and you can finish the entire track. But it's not properly dressed yet and some areas have been feeling pretty empty.
So some big ones got popped today - the ocean now fits the style of the game, there's mountains in the distance (I did say big), and islands populate the surrounding waters so it's not as lonely as it's been. sigh, I remember going around the track in complete solitude on a grey backdrop with nothing to keep me company but silly sketches and dad humor. Good times. Two weeks ago.
This is a first for me - a track inspired by the videos I've been putting up suddenly cropped up on my FB wall and I was SO STOKED. I've been meaning to post this for days, and it's finally time ðŸ•¶ ðŸ’„
In case you missed it, procedural foliage company SpeedTree has their SpeedWeed plant on sale right now for the savory price of just $4.20. lol. Try using the discount code #420ayablazeit in checkout (it won't work), and bag nine budding females at bargain price.
The weekend hasn't been used optimally - sleeping too much for once and then going to sleep too early for once screws with your patterns (no matter how unhealthy) so after just a couple hours of shuteye, today has been mostly tweaking knobs and then resetting them after losing track of what I was trying to do. BUT- I did set up the base for a start screen/menu though, as well as refining post processing and color balance in the textures so the image gets less nasty and more elegant. Overall just a nicer experience.
...to everyone who does this for a living. The beauty of doing interactive media is you get to learn tons about tons - from graphic design to coding to painting, music, sculpting, marketing, animation, math, physics. Friendship.
At this point, "damn this is hard" is basically my mantra, and my admiration for those who do each one of these things well solidifes every day. So mad respect to everyone doing their thing and doing it good.
On that note, UI IS HARD.
Not as hard as I.
Not even gonna pretend like I know what I'm doing here - here's what I had maybe 2 hours ago;
There Be Shimmers On The Horizon
..I see something, but I can barely make it out. Heat distortion caused by aroused molecules in the air whose IOR shifts briskly due to heated minerals make it difficult to focus. But something's there. On the horizon. #pray4ayablaze.
Now the biggest loser here is other people's social lives - a dev is a dev and is happy with carbs, a bed, and pixels - but from the outside, having someone in your life that's willingly isolating themselves can be unnerving and make people question both your and by extension their own life choices.
But I digress. So the plan was overhauling the look yesterday, doing menus/UI work today, and putting it all together/panicking tomorrow. The news that the deadline got pushed (???) gave some well needed space to take a step back and see what's actually there. But before it was certain the deadline got pushed, I spent good hours on finding that mermaid.
Especially when you have a brilliant but vague concept in your brain that caters to your mood and only shows you bloomed out, rose-tinted, 1024*768, top down selfies that make you feel like a preteen boy discovering the internet (or cable).
"I know exactly what to do now!"
Turns out capturing this fleeting glance of creative nirvana is much like chasing a mermaid, minus the subaquatic adventuring and teenage girls in clam bras.
So after learning that there is in fact such a condition as material editor brain strain and taking a long walk to rest my eyeballs, a breakthrough may or may not have happened.
The sharp witted will have noticed that I'm not posting pictures lately - true - this is because ugly graphics are funny but mediocre graphics are mediocre, and inspire not laughs and pats on backs; but indifference, and luke warm comments on font selection.
Finally solved a long standing issue with this demo - shitty collisions. Since the game is phys based, anything that interacts physically needs to have collision meshes - low poly "hulls" that simplify the shapes of objects to make it easier for the engine to calculate impacts, and the resulting changes in speeds and rotations.
Now the problem with having a three meter long piece of angular metal going at 500km/h - just nudging the edge of a railing, a tree, or even other ships - is that since they don't obliterate upon impact the way they would in real life, they bounce. They flip out and spin away - hard.
So after applying insane amounts of damping for a split second in an attempt to soothe the rabid gyrations, the stabler solution was using math based spherical collision hulls. Since PhysX handles them as perfect spheres no matter the impact angle, you'll always get a consistent reverse of that angle - meaning if I hit the rail going forward and slightly to the right, I'll just bounce slightly to the left but keep going forward. This is definitely a step up from the Cab 720 thousand we got from the sharper collision object, where the reverse angle could be off by a few degrees and the ship would spaz out.
Problem with that is spheres are spheres and the ships aren't. You were basically pushing a huge ball around, so while you'll bounce off of the fences on the sides, you'll hit your ass on the ground going up a ramp. Luckily, the magical world of computers lets you dictate what collides with what - and voÃla - perfectly smooth collisions in a perfectly smooth simulation. Aw yiss.
The game's pretty much stable now, finally. There's room for going off-road or even falling off the stage completely, and you can still save it. Now, content and touch ups.