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Monday, February 05, 2007

Dev Diary: Blue Skies

I'm going to talk theoretically here - so it's probably best ignored. This is actually the exact kind of thing I try to avoid - I feel it hexes me and often unfairly raises expectations on projects I'm more likely to half-finish than not.

So, seriously, you should probably ignore everything I'm about to write. I'm only here because it's a convenient place to jot my thoughts.

Currently, I'm travelling down option #2 for revamping the Dreadnought render code. This is one easy thing about working on a strict web concept - everything is so lightweight it's actually not too painful to toss it out and start over. And boy, this is turning into starting over. "Abandoning discrete tiles" turns out to be pretty fundamentally. As in going from a tile-based system to ... well, not. This means that while the test code I have working right now fundamentally behaves in a "tile" way - it's really just grids. If I have a room that is 100x100 with a player, monster and obstacle - that's four "objects" (very loosely defined). In a tile based system, it would be something for each square foot of real estate. Here if the room goes to 500x500 - it's still just four objects. You've just changed the info, not actually the size.

Perfomance wise - if that doesn't solve the problem ... nothing will. I'll know more when I have a properly sized map.

Fundamentally, this means that objects have to do things like check the info to avoid say ... walking through walls. One nice thing about a tile system is that you know where everything is at. Check that tile? Door? Ok... do that. And so on.

I think the complications are pretty minor. But it has me thinking. If a map is defined by sections and not grids - what does that mean? Well, for one thing it is a lot easier to think about graphic backgrounds ... including backgrounds which might have nothing to do with the grid itself (since the grid is just a handy way of dividing a room and not a real obstacle).

You could also, for instance, have real sections which exist above or below other sections. Pain to think how the editor would deal with it, but it would be interesting to be able to "jump" from a ledge and actually land on the floor below and then run under that ledge.

Does that mean I'd have to factor in falling damage?


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