Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Autumn Arrives And Airship Dragoonette Gets A Makeover

 Autumn arrived with a final heatwave and I sat outside to soak up the sun with a bottle of plonk. Three days later and I had the heating on and was hunting through cupboards for a hot water bottle at 1.30am.

I spent quite a bit of time writing a new movement system which didn't work and it took me about a week of debugging before I realized that  I was calling the depreciated names for the input and not the new, unified xy axis system. 

┻━┻ ︵ヽ(`Д´)ノ︵ ┻━┻

Remember this?

Well it's now this.

Airship Dragoonette gets a makeover ...

And as Valve had once again put out a new Steamworks update, I took the opportunity to use this new artwork and a derivative to refresh the artwork in Airship Dragoon. I made a little system were it counts how many startups the game has had and then swaps the main menu image between this and the original painting in rotation. Which ever one is used as the main menu background, the other is used as the loading screen.

Whilst back to looking through the spaghetti code of Airship Dragoon, I altered how panic works. Previously troopers suffering panic would either flee, go beserk or freeze in place with an RNG, but now they are much more aggressive and chose to spray bullets at enemies if available, flee if not, or freeze if their pathfinding fails.

I also tested a couple of new things which Valve had released. The first was a time limited change in store artwork capsules, which will revert to the original artwork after next January.


The second was to use the Major Update Announcement feature and all the new artwork headers which that requires. More info on that here.

There has been other things ... things I can't remember in the panic of nearly forgetting to write this September blog one hour before September ends, so we are a bit light weight on substantial content this month ... and possibly every month ...

I did buy a slow cooker which has turned out great and will no doubt get hefty use over winter.

Monday, 31 August 2020

Character Selection Screen

So I've knocked up a character selection screen that, currently is rather devoid of any art work. It's failry simple, uses an array which the player can flick through, each character (currently a whole 2) then display an image of the character (which is currently a placeholder) and more importantly a series of statistics relating to the character at the side. These include the basics such as speed of movement, health and energy replenishment and strength for pushing enemies aside. This is followed by the 3 types of attack and evade, and their relevant statistics, so the player can move through character selection and view the differing statistics for comparison.

I have since changed the buttons to something less awful using a bitmap array and text.

Having finally dispensed with DirectX 9.0c in favour of DX11 and OpenGL, I set about converting some of my custom shaders with ... not particular success.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that isn't supposed to look like that ... This appears to have something to do with hardware skinning being controlled by the GPU when previously it was the CPU. As this only affects a few things I have come up with some workarounds for the fancy custom materials and will come back to this at a later date.

I've also had more of a play around with my XP-Pen display tablet and started to become familiar with the artist app Krita. I am planning on using this for the 2D art in game, and especially the selection screen for character portraits.

Drawing of an old oil painting I did some time years ago.


I also thought about reworking the artwork for Airship Dragoon, and knocked up a colour sketch idea for composition. Might not actually replace the original artwork but could use a new one for Steam's new capsule formats for updates - then again I could go the whole hog and use it for complete new rebranding.
 

I also did a whole load more stuff this month but can't actually remember what it was ...
 
Anyhow, onwards and upwards ...

Friday, 31 July 2020

My Feet Hurt, New Character And Goodbye DX9

So, apparently the new Blogger interface has been eating my images for the past 2 months ...
So expect to see a blank image leading to a 403 page soon™.

It's been the hottest day of the year here, so naturally I went out for a half marathon route march ... and now my feet hurt.

I finally finished off another playable character model, a shotgun wielding, propeller-powered catgirl, currently named "Southern Hospitality", complete with Daisy Duke hotpants. She has a short range playstyle with slow attack rate but high damage and medium manouverability. After each shot a new shell is loaded with a single handed pump-action for the obligatory "rule of cool".


And here's some video of gameplay.



Apart from finally completing a second playable character I have been porting over my project to the new and shininess which is Dx11 and OpenGl 3.2 (might be 4.0 I can't remember). This meant a final farewell to the much loved DirectX9.0c which I could just about write a shader with. No such luck on Dx11/OGL with such things as of yet.

This has required me to finally defeat the spaghetti code which I had previously wrote, slimming things down in C++ and removing bloat for the porting. I have only ported to the pre-PBR branch of the engine - so really 2019 code - as a stepping stone to entering the latest shiny stuff once I know what the hell is going on. So far so good. Everything seems to run fine - except for my broken Dx9 shaders but that was to be expected.

I've also stuck my hand in my pocket and made a new, capital purchase. Only had it out of the box once for a quick test. If Google hasn't yet fubared my images, here's a quick pic below.


It's been an awfully long time since I've done any drawing.

 
I also used a 14 year old camera to get some pics of Comet Neowise.



It was my parents Golden Wedding Anniversary. 50 years! Albert Speer only got 20 years in Spandau Prison!