Saturday, 13 June 2009

A Few Extra Plot and Image Points

I envisage a sea cave that the boat can sail into, but only when the portcullis across its entrance has been raised. So the player is at a land entrance to the cave, and can raise the gate from there, but the dock in the cave is only reachable by the boat sailing in.

Also, I started to devise a new spiral staircase function where the steps were not connected at the centre. I realised yesterday I could use an existing spiral stair function, and cut the centre out of it by differencing with a cylinder. I'd still have to add vertical struts on the edges for realism - a staircase can't just hang in the air - but the main job will be done.

Fan animation. I observed how a fan opens. The rearmost blade of the fan stays still, and only the top blade is showing. The top blade flips out, pulling the next and the next and so on.

I suspect the best way to create the images for this in povray would be in reverse. Start with the open fan as an array of blades, coat the array with the image, then for subsequent frames, pull the top blade back over the one underneath it, then pull them both back over the third, and so on, until the fan is closed. I'm not entirely sure this is possible, though.

Friday, 12 June 2009

A Bit of a Brain Dump

I haven't posted very much lately, partly because I was getting out the next issue of Mythaxis, but I have been thinking about it a lot. I have decided to start the game on a boat - a Chinese Junk. The boat can transport the player to various locations around the island as necessary, and I would use a chart table below decks to direct the boat to the destination.

The boat will also contain a number of useful items - including a fan to transport the player back to the junk, or summon it.

I already have a boat in povray. I just have to elaborate it a bit.

In thinking about this, I realised we must have a rocking effect for the scenery when on deck. I considered using an array of g2d rotated images for this, but I think it'll be easier just to pre-rotate the images in Paint Shop Pro and load them as sprites. I can arrange that they not be the whole size of the applet window by placing static sprites of portholes, sails, deckhouses etc to frame the background which will be a lower priority sprite.

I was briefly worried about fan management, because there are several fan functions, which I solved by having a hot spot on the open fan, and by having a special room for open fans.
  • pick up (closed) fan - double click when fan not carried
  • drop (closed) fan - double click when fan carried
  • open fan - single click when in inventory 'room' only and fan is closed
  • close fan - single click (not on fan hot spot) when in inventory 'room' only and fan is open
  • use fan - click on hot spot on open fan
Sounds complex, I know, but I think it'll be natural. I may remove the restriction on opening the fan only in the inventory. Fan animation is going to be fun!

I have come to the conclusion that I have to fill out the game in povray before I do any more gameplay. I just keep realising that the game isn't rich enough without a good deal more articles in it. The game's going to be small enough without looking impoverished. So the next big push is scenery.

I still haven't bitten the bullet of music in mp3, but I'm not too worried about that.