Friday 31 January 2020

Space Year 2020 And CO-OP Mode Works

The first month of Space Year 2020 is over. Which is kind of annoying as I always bemoan a month passing in the face of my meagre endeavours. However January has been rather productive.

I created muzzle flashes for the stock player character's weapons. Apparently there is a way to do this in Max using mesh visibility animations ... but Blender3D doesn't appear to have that so I had to fake it with the good old "make it really small and hide it inside the gun when not in use" approach.

 The gifts that keep on giving ... but not this much ...

I also went back and restructured a lot of the power ups. There is a rare power up which drops other temporary power ups - however I found this to be very overpowered, so I changed it to drop a small gift box which contains a 20 second buff to a single attribute - "buff" apparently being the correct terminology for this sort of thing. I also swapped a common single attack damage multiplier for a temporary damage booster that lasts 60 seconds.

The '80s called to remind everyone that it was the greatest decade in history ...

I also channelled my 1980s childhood for an Aliens themed range finder. This finds the nearest unopened swag parcel or node and informs the player of the distance. Originally I tried to get this information via the GUI itself before common sense prevailed that I should be getting it from the player object on the server and then send the result to the GUI so it was networkable.

 Me, myself and I ... and me again ...

Speaking of networkable, I finally tested 4 player co-op mode and it worked quite nicely ... until it all broke but then I fixed it and now it really does seem to work quite nicely. I created a little leader board so all the players can see how they did at the end of the level relative to each other. I had to rewrite how levels are loaded as my previous level loading was very much based around single player mode, but at least I have had the foresight to make all aspects of individual player progression networkable so has been no hitches in spawning clients in a new level with all their old swag.

I have made various other tweaks and additions too numerous to mention, though refractoring the difficulty curve was one. It now works much better in co-op and endless mode, when the player has finished the game but continues to replay through the original 10 levels.

One thing I finally got around to finishing was the model for the Terror Tower item, which creates a zone of protection that the player can hide in. It's a tower of gibbets with severed heads that scares monsters away.

Too Spooky - even for monsters!

After putting on half a stone over Christmas, all of which seemed to congregate in a band around my waist I went for a good 70 miles worth of hiking this month. I am still the same weight but the middle tyre has gone so I guess it's turned into muscle somewhere and now my leg really hurts. More hiking tomorrow but it's only 5 miles to a pub.

Anyhow, roll on 2020.