Oracle’s Eye Development: Having a Ball

While I didn’t work on Oracle’s Eye as much as I would have liked these past two weeks, I did make some progress. I created a Ball class, drew up a Ball sprite with eight frames of animation, and got it into the game.

I had to change some of the design and the code. I found that the Player couldn’t walk around the small Room with the Ball in the way, and it is partly because of the way I did collision detection.

To make the Player respect the Wall boundaries, I coded a simple test: if the Player’s movement would cause it to collide with something on the same level as it, then don’t move. It worked great when I only had Floor tiles on a lower level and Wall tiles at the same level as the Player. Now that there is a new object to interact with the Player, I needed to change the code. I don’t feel discouraged at all since the purpose of my original code was to have something and anything working. I’m supposed to change it as the project evolves. Months ago, my much more novice self would probably have been discouraged to think about the need to change code that I already wrote. That’s experience for you. B-)

For the time being, I simply put the Ball on a different, third level. It simply spins in place, but the Player can walk past it now. Well, actually, it walks over it. It’s not an ideal “solution” but it will do for now.

But the point of this last session was to get a Ball into the game. I’ve accomplished it, although it isn’t too functional. What it did do is bring a number of issues to light:

  • The Ball spins nicely, but only in one direction. I’ll need it to move in four directions when I finally get it to move around. I can step backwards through the animation to account for rolling right and left, but I just realized that I’ll also have to make it move up and down. I’ll need more sprite images.
  • I’ll need to think about how I am going to let the game know that the Player has touched the Ball or that the Ball hit a Wall. I am thinking that I will need to add a significant chunk of code to handle Game Events. Not trivial at all.
  • I need to also think about how to load levels. I now have three of the four significant objects ready. The last one is the Goal Tile. I will need to be able to load levels that specify not only the Floor and Wall tile layouts but also the locations of the Ball and Player objects.

On another note entirely, I also need to start thinking about sound. I might not have any significant music, but I should probably have some sound effects. Besides using the PC speaker back in the QBasic days, I haven’t done much with audio programming. What an ideal project to learn about it. B-)

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