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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Dev Day Diary: Collisions

I've been harassed by a couple of old Unrealers about the PC still being down. There's two facts about this case. 1) It's been an expensive couple of months and I can't really rationalize spending a few extra hundred right now. 2) The Mini has been completely sufficient for development and without the distraction that SWAT 4, Guild Wars and all that Unreal modding I left undone - I'm actually getting a lot done. 3) There are new CPUs coming out, which should push down prices overall.

What have I gotten done one might ask? Well, shoving an XMLRPC server into an iTunes visualizer isn't easy as it sounds actually. Oddly, iTunes visualizers aren't designed to be servers. Nor are servers designed to be visualizers. However, this provides me with a powerful, flexible and potentially easily cross-platform method of having Torque-powered games get live iTunes audio feeds.

The two things in my path right now include the Early Adopter status of the Torque 2D engine and myself. T2D has the potential for some advanced collision methods, but most of them just aren't in place right now. Now, I've got like five designs for music-orientated games in my head. I've started two, but the second one I've completely redone as I've coded it. It was originally supposed to be a very, very simply design that I could finish in about a week. But as I sat staring at the convulsing spectrograph, it seemed too simple. And by simple I mean ... boring. So I just started to goof around with placing objects and seeing what happens.

It's now extended into something an audio platformer. You'll have a little dancing guy which you can control, jumping around on plaftforms which respond to the spectrograph. Your goal is to knock out the "interference" (also the working title) which is descending from above before it takes out the spectrogram itself.

Yeah, I know ... I hate plaftformers. But this is more in design with say, Jumpman than say Jak and Daxter. The design won't assume you have pixel perfect reflexes ... in fact it will assume that you'll just keep jumping around to the music.

Platforms are bit of a hangup in T2D right now, but I think I'll be able to rope something together. I just hope I don't have to rewrite it when the next major release hits. Again, perhaps I should just use idea #3 and table this one. See what I mean about being one's worst problem?

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