I started work on the resolution-switching for the main game today. After a few days of work getting the main menu running in different modes, it was finally time to start applying those techniques to the in-game GUI.
The first order of business was the log window at the bottom of the screen, mainly because that's the first UI item instantiated in code when the game starts up. And as it turns out, it's not an easy one to switch resolutions.
Hope everyone had a good weekend! Mine was pretty eventful. Rochelle's birthday was Saturday, so we went out and saw people on Friday night. Actual human contact! We also got a chance to catch up with some distant friends and family over Skype on Saturday. And now, we're back to being hermits. (Ok, maybe I'm the only hermit.)
Since I discovered yesterday that I wouldn't be able to simply resize the stage in Flash, I've been looking into other ways to switch between the 800x450 and 1360x768 layouts I mocked-up. Without the ability to resize the stage, that means I need to use a single stage size to fit all possible resolutions.
I had to run some errands in town this morning, so the early part of the day was done in a coffee shop. I didn't want to carry a laptop around, so I decided to do some plot work in a Moleskine while I waited for the stores to open. There have been some overall plot arc issues I've been struggling with, and I found a few ideas this morning that I'd like to explore more.
Once I got back and had lunch, it was back into the resolution and layout work.
Continuing with yesterday's theme of new layouts for larger resolutions, I tried a few ideas for a layout that fits 1360x768 (one of the more common resolutions these days).
Unfortunately, making all graphics 2x normal size won't work. As we saw yesterday, the most compact size I've been able to fit everything into is 800x450, so 2x that would be 1600x900. So I started fooling around with making some parts 2x, and others 1x zoom.
Today's post is going to be a bit image-heavy, as I think many topics are hard to discuss without illustration.
Pixel Art and Scaling
Part of the reason I'm struggling so much with resolution is because I want to avoid as much scaling as possible. Scaling happens when the original art is zoomed in or out to fit the user's screen, and this can introduce imperfections.
Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was pretty good. I finally managed to beat FTL on "easy" mode. I foolishly started in "normal" mode, thinking that I was an advanced user. Silly me. So many crews dead.
I think it may be a good time to switch to feature development for a bit. The last content batch took two months to complete, so I'll probably take a break from content design to tackle an item from the feature voting page.
I've just finished uploading new beta build 0.960b and demo build 0.960d. The new beta build unlocks the DMC, adds some new encounters and other content, and changes the economy of scavenging when near the DMC. Both the demo and beta builds include more informative skill descriptions, an updated body heat algorithm for (hopefully) more stable temperature, and a raft of bug fixes.
Today felt pretty productive. I spent some time playing a new character to see how the new temperature code felt. I emerged from the cryo facility, and scavenged what I could in the area nearby, until I was able to attain a mostly self-sufficient lifestyle. My days consisted of ferrying water from a nearby marsh to my camp in the woods, using down time to boil water and make supplies, and occasionally strike out into nearby towns for items I couldn't make.
I managed to fix the issues I discovered yesterday with the medical clinic. There was a bug in the way money was deducted in encounters, and I was able to get it working correctly this afternoon. I also fixed a problem that prevented the diagnosis screen from showing up until after leaving the clinic. And as I discovered during testing, the diagnosis screen bugged out if the player was perfectly healthy, so I fixed that as well.
I think the clinic is just about ready. I just need to verify that the trait/skill upgrades in the augmentation options are working, then I can move on.
Hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was pretty good. I decided to celebrate the cold front that came in yesterday by changing the oil in our car. Nothing says "Canadian" more than donning a flannel shirt and crawling around under a car in -5C weather. Except maybe using the barbecue in sub-zero weather. Fortunately, we had some porkchops this weekend, too. Sub-zero-grilling ftw!
I got a hot tip about a junk market exploit from RxJunkie this weekend, so I managed to track that down this evening. I think it should be squared away in the next build. Thanks RxJunkie!
Today involved a lot of eye stuff. I finally decided to just "get on with it," and made the special case code necessary to add and remove skills and traits via encounters/conditions. Yes, it's a bit hacky. But I'm long overdue for a new build, so I found a solution that was "good enough" so I could get back to making the DMC encounters, like I'm supposed to be doing :)
After yesterday's bionics/augmentation brainstorming, an obstacle occurred to me: the game currently has no way of knowing whether the player has room for new traits and skills, nor a way to add new ones to the player via encounters. I could write some "special case" code to do this, but I've already written many "special cases" already. They're becoming less "special" and more "the norm."