Thursday, March 26, 2009

Blender fun and a quick update

I have recently been using Blender. Here is my image that I created this afternoon. I was trying out a few things (transparency, multiple light sources and actually finishing an image). No, it isn't a hint as to any future project, it's just a ray gun of some sort.

Also, I found out how to make really quick games in Blender. I had always thought you needed to use Python and so didn't bother, I have enough to learn as it is!

However, what you can do is use the very simple "Behaviour Editor". While I haven't produced anything meaningful, indeed anything even resembling a game, it does some very cool stuff out of the box. Namely, it has a physics engine complete with rotation, bouncing and friction. Hooking up keyboard input is easy and you can quickly get to grips with the basics.

In the way of Frozen Kangaroo, the real time strategy game that Botworks is currently making (read the articles linked on the right under Frozen Kangaroo Concepts for an overview), progress has been made, but not huge progress. My exams are coming up, and so a lot of my time is devoted to revision etc. However, my laptop should be turning up within the next 2-5 working days. When that happens, I will hopefully be able to spend much more time working on it.

Probably the most signifcant improvement I have made is the terrain engine. Before, each province had an asocitated image file which had all the terrain features in it. However, I have now moved the actual features off the image and in to a seperate file. When I want to place down a clump of trees, I now create a new TerrainFeature, giving it width, height and type of terrain. The engine takes that, tiles the correct image the set number of times, adding some random spacing to give it that natural feeling. It also can be queried to see whether a unit is within it. This will allow for easy checking to allow for speed modification.

It also means it will be easier to update map designs without having to
a) go in to the image file and edit that and
b) recode it to hit test different areas of the map for movement modification (in the original, if I wanted units to slow down when travesering a ceartain type of terrain, I would have to manually set where the terrain was going to be and enter how much I wanted the unit to slow down by).

Finally, there may be a hiatus of posts during my exam period. Hopefully I will get one or two more posts in before, but if I don't, posting will resume on the 11th of June.

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