Game Development Personal Development

Thousander Club Update: February 18th

For this week’s Thousander Club update:

Game Hours: 409.25(previous two years) + 8.25 (current year) = 417.5 / 1000
Game Ideas: 710 (previous two years) + 0 (current year) = 710 / 1000

It’s not that I haven’t been coming up with ideas. I just haven’t transferred them from my notebook to my computer, and until they are in the master list, I don’t count them.

I finished working on fixing my build scripts. In less than 10 minutes, I can now go from a freshly pulled-down-from-Subversion project directory to a distributable tar.gz file that lets the player untar and play in any directory.

My next step was to fix the menu system. When I last worked on this project, I wanted to replace the menu elements with a library of existing code, such as Guichan, but since I would like to hit v1.0 sooner rather than later, I decided to work with what I have for now. It’s better to get something out there now and improve it later. Frankly, the only really bad thing is the volume control slider in the options menu. I tried to write a general purpose slider, but I do not have enough experience in writing GUI code to do it well. Since it has been months since I last looked at this code, I am not sure if I should be impressed or disgusted with what I managed to hack together.

Ignoring how badly I want to replace all of it, my main concern was that each time the player brought up the options menu, it would assume that the volume was set to the highest level. On startup, this is true, but if the player lowers the level, exits the options menu, and then returns to it, the slider will be reset to the highest position even though the audio level itself hasn’t changed. This is partly because the slider’s position is not coupled to the volume, and partly because my code to load the options menu was hardcoded to use the highest volume setting as the value to associate with the slider upon startup. It was a simple fix to get the options menu to load and pass in the current volume setting to the menu slider control when it is created.

Ok, great. That problem is solved, but while I’m messing with the volume slider, I should fix another problem. What if the player wants to mute the sound? Well, you could move the slider all the way to the left. You could, but up until now, because it was so decoupled, you wouldn’t get the volume muted. It would just be very low, which means you could still hear the sound effects. Another small change in the code fixed that problem, too.

What’s next? I would like to ad a credits page to my menu system, specifically to thank people who have helped me as well as give credit to font creators as per their license. I would also need to make a final decision on how the content of the game is going to be licensed. Once those two tasks are completed, I will have a v1.0 to distribute.

For part of this week the day job is sending me to Las Vegas for a prototype. If I get some time during the weekend, I should be able to squeeze some of my own development in, but otherwise I don’t expect to accomplish much. Then again, I could doodle on the plane and during downtime. I can mock up some screens for an improved Killer Kittens after v1.0 or for some future project.

[tags]game design, productivity, personal development, video game development, indie[/tags]