Sunday, December 18, 2011

Loading Zones

Let me try to elaborate on where I am in the games development right now, as I feel I have not discussed that in a while on this blog.

I have just completed the zoning system for the default world.  There is only 1 world in the game right now, but it would be easy to add more.  The games first world is split up into blocks, and the players view follows the character around, keeping the character centered on the screen unless he is up against the sides of that zone.  When you reach the edge of the zone and push up against the side, the game pauses for 1 second as it swipes over to the next zone.  I tried to make this effect as much like Zelda 3 as possible from SNES.  

There will not be loading screens between zones, thanks to preloading of the 4 surrounding zones.  I have found however that there is sometimes a short period of time when when you first enter a zone that you cannot enter a new zone.  This is because the surrounding zones have not finished preloading yet.  I think this is still vastly superior to a system like that of my last big online game, CND.  The sliding into the new zone also creates a unique effect that few games have used since Zelda.

Here is an overview of my progress so far.  I tried to put it in order of when I did what:

I know this is a boring post so here is a comic.
  1. Map making client
  2. Game client loads in map
  3. Game client loads in player
  4. Player basic movement
  5. Player collision with map/walkable areas
  6. Screen centers on player
  7. NPCs in game
  8. NPCs wander around
  9. allows for actions such as swinging a sword
  10. Added fireball action
  11. Moved data for actions to webserver
  12. Moved data for NPCs to webserver
  13. NPC Perma-death / replaced by new NPC
  14. Worked heavily on Mario World Builder
    1. Tons of bug fixes
    2. Tile System totally overhauled
    3. Multi-select groups of tiles at a time
  15. Decided to use Mario World Builder for both WORG2 and Mario2
  16. Adjusted World Builder to work with WORG
  17. Adjusted WORG to work with World Builder maps (still no collision with world tiles)
  18. Overhaul of classes and re-organization of code
  19. Major bug fixes
  20. Reprogrammed classes entirely... Now based on spritesheets
  21. Wrote 5~ pages of lore for world and class backgrounds
  22. Decided on a combat system and drew out classes/combat structure
  23. Put classes and other data into webserver database
  24. Re-zoning in game
  25. Re-zoning with zelda-like sweeping effect
So whats coming next?  Here are 4 things I have in mind right now, in order of how I plan to execute them:
  1. Assign classes to NPCs so they use different skills
  2. Empty zones self-populate with trees and NPCs
  3. NPCs at further zones are higher level
  4. Bug Fixes (Esp. collision detection with map / Improvements to World Builder FLA)
Sadly I do not think I will be able to get through all these things this quarter because I only have a couple weeks off to think about this and then I am back to grad school.  However, I do hope to have these 4 things done by Spring and to start working on Multiplayer.  Oh, and I have like 20 topics for blog posts written down somewhere... Haha.


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