dcfedor's blog

Microplot Cleanup, Ship Docking

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Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Ours was made more exciting by regular B-17 Flying Fortress passes overhead, and (I think) maybe a German Stuka. We're not far from the Boeing Museum of Flight, and I suspect this is the season for air shows and historic aircraft tours.

Back at the office, there was a flurry of email and forum catch-up across various sites, and then it was back to the prototype.

Microplot Handling

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Hey Folks! Finished-up the first draft of the social contact list UI and returned to plots for more testing today.

The social contacts UI now has a more legible format, with each contact listing their current relationship, and past events that led to this. The event list used to be really wordy with lots of redundant info, but not it's more like "Met during: Hulk salvage." I also needed to add this data to save files for loading later.

Social Contacts, Data Fixes

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Hey Folks! Continuing work on the game's social/plot system again today, and fixing things along the way.

Performance, Orbit Labels, and Social Contacts

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Hey Folks! More work on performance optimizations today, along with some orbital plotter and social contact work.

Code Cleanup and Performance

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Hey Folks! I decided to do a bit of code cleanup and performance optimizations today.

I started out fixing a few bugs, and managed to fix a pathfinding issue I introduced fixing another path bug. So far so good, but as I transitioned into testing the plot system again, I realized I was dreading loading the full game. It takes close to 13 seconds to go from the main menu to a fresh game world, and several seconds to just load a flyable ship. Furthermore, whenever AI is moving around the ship, there is a ton of hitching and stuttering.

Main Menu Video!

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Hey Folks! I finally had a chance to record some footage of the main menu in action. It's an otherwise slow news day, so perhaps this makes up for it :)

Thanks, Rovlad, for reminding me!

Back to the Plot

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Hey Folks! After wrapping-up a decent ATC chatter and audio for the main menu, it's time to return to the plot system.

My first task today was to finish getting the encounter screen hooked-up to data. I could spawn it based on a context menu click, but all the UI fields were placeholder text. Getting the current encounter description was pretty easy, so that was first. The choices were a bit trickier, though.

Splash and ATC Running

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Hey Folks! The ATC is sounding much better today after some additional code and content work. Plus, a splash screen!

I decided to record an additional 4 lines to increase variety, since the original 2 lines get old fast. And Rochelle agreed to read a version of them too, so now there are both male and female speakers.

Audio Break

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Hey Folks! Switched gears today to to some audio work, as Michael's ATC script is making progress. Once he has that ready and we record the voiceover (VO), it'll be nice to be able to just drop that into the working system to get ambiance for the main menu.

Having done some audio tinkering before when Josh and I tried procedural theme music, it wasn't too hard to get things up and running. And fortunately, that meant a lot more time spent on creative work to make the audio sound better.

Encounter Triggering

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Hey Folks! I managed to get two pretty significant features roughed-in today: starting an encounter via context menu, and encounter screens loading text and choices from data. Both were a bit nebulous to figure out, but I think now that they're in place, I should be able to build around them more safely.