And no game. Figures. I’m a failure.
I’ve just been busy, but, to be honest the game is pretty much done (Alpha that was suppose to be released at least). Two problems holding me back.. First, I don’t have high scores set up yet. And really, whats the point of playing a game if you can’t submit your high score at the end and see where you rank along with everyone else? Thats a bit harder than I thought it would be to put together. However, I really want it in this release so you guys are going to have to just deal with it. The second thing that is not yet done is replacing the current bullets with less CPU intensive ones. Right now they’re cubes, and thats fine and all, but I’d much rather turn them into sprites so that they render much faster and shooting a ton of them won’t be as big of a deal. Those are the only things that are really holding me back at this point, so, I hope to get this out to you peoples much faster than before. At least you get a kitten! Lets move on to other fun things of interest.
Moon Base Command – I’ve been thinking…
And, really, in the end, using a Minecraft style engine is going to be the way to go until a CERTAIN engine is released. I put certain in caps not because I think the person in charge of that engine will read this, but because I will link to the engine I speak of in the links section at the end of this post. Anyway, back on track. Moonbase command. Ideas. Minecraft! Yes. Here is the deal, Minecraft is awesome. The engine it uses is awesome. It is awesome because it allows very cool landscapes to be made, and because it is infinitely adjustable by the creation and deletion of the cubes. And, for MoonBase Command, it makes perfect sense. I mean, really, the whole idea is to dig moon tunnels and build moon bases. So, cubes are great. However, Minecraft cubes are too big for what I want to do, to be honest. I know Minecraft is 1st person and therefore the cubes are about 1/2 human size. Even if I scaled that back to an RTS format, with little guys running around doing your bidding, and made the cubes 1/2 their size, they are still pretty big. Not that there is anything WRONG with having large cubes, its just… Well, it looks weird, ok? Its just strange. And I don’t like it for my concept. However, then I got to thinking of how Minecraft works. It loads the world in chunks, and each chunk is a set amount of blocks in size (usually something like 64 x 64 x 128) and each block is stored as a simple bit, a 1 or 0. If its a 1, the block exists. A 0? The block does not exist. This works wonderful for Minecraft, and it will work fine in my game too. Then, I got to thinking. Minecraft is storing information of 8 blocks per byte, give or take. If I were to take that number down by 2, I could store 50% less information in the same amount of space. HOWEVER! I could very easily add a second bit for each block, something I want to call an Expand-A-Bit. This extra bit will let the code know whether or not that block is “Expanded.” The expanded blocks will have their own chunk, that is much smaller, 8 x 8 x 8. Basically, in the end, each cube that the world is made up of (like Minecraft), will have 64 little cubes within it. No more levels than that, cause that could get messy VERY quickly. However, having those extra cubes in there will allow the landscape to look a lot smoother and cooler looking, and it will look a lot nicer with little guys running around. The plan is to keep most of the cubes large still, because in the end there is really no reason to have EVERY cube be split up into little guys. If that was the case, I’d just make the scale different and make every cube just be much smaller. No; this way, a cube will stay large until for some reason it gets split up (digging, building, gunfire, whatever) at which point little cubes will appear. I hope that makes sense to everyone.
Just one link this week. My inspiration for really making MoonBase Command a reality, and the engine I would love to use if it was available – Atomontage. It is pretty sweet. Check out the videos and the screenshots, its got lots of cool stuff going on. And if you have money, donate it to that guy (or me?) to get that thing off the ground. It is spectacular.