Thursday, 30 June 2011

The start of a series of shorter updates.

Up until now I've tended to try and get out one decent-length blog post a week during development, but I think I may change that pattern to trying to post something short today to give a quick snapshot of what I'm working on at any given point.

The main thing I'm up to at the moment is working on the world scripting - my primary goal is to create an animated door that can open/close based on interaction with a world object. I've already gotten the main scripting up and running, such that interacting with a destroyed ship will update the amount of resources you have, give you a new ship component or start a given bit of narrative, but this push towards having a properly dynamic environment will make a lot of difference.

The custom scripting language and the asset management system are tightly integrated. Here's an example of the current scripting that is implemented and working:
"$Timer #3.0 $ZoneResource1 #OFF"

The $ prefix is used to reference an asset that exists in the global asset management framework, and the # is used to indicate a constant value. In this case, there is a special asset called 'Timer' that allows scripts to be called with a specific delay; the #3.0 indicates that the delay should be 3 seconds, and the rest of the parameters '$ZoneResource1 #OFF' are the script to execute once the timer period has completed. ZoneResource1 is another interaction zone, and the #OFF value indicates that it should be rendered inactive after the call. If the last two parameters were replaced by 'script:ExampleScript', the asset management system would check to see if the ExampleScript asset were already in memory and, if not, load it in from a specific default directory.

[Foreseeing potential questions on this issue]
Why didn't I use Python? Because BOLLOCKS, that's why.

Of course, any time you try to do X in development, you tend to find yourself doing Y, Z and occasionally α to support getting X to work, as well as tidying up other bits that you come across while doing Y and Z. As a result, the damage callback system has been given a bit of an overhaul in the last day or so.

Right now, I'm working on an object factory so that a wide variety of different object types may be simply loaded, allowing enemy spawners, physics objects, debris, animated objects etc. to be loaded by the same framework. This will then mean that dynamic components (such as the opening/closing door) will be automatically created and assigned to the right list, and then may be scripted (after a wee bit of work on animation).

[Edit: OK, so that didn't turn out to be so short].