I know I don't often do two posts in one day, but I need something to lift my spirits after the crushingly depressing last one I made. But more than that, I've been thinking, and I believe I do owe my most frequent visitors a periodic (maybe weekly, or bi-weekly) progress report, so you're not sitting for months, waiting and wondering if I'm even still working on the project or not. Pacman makes for a good analogy, here. I'm doing this so that you have dots all along the way to the tech demo I plan on releasing, so you're not just waiting without evidence that there will be one. (Fun fact: The classic "wakka" noise Pacman makes is the sound of him eating the dots. If you run back over empty space, he's completely silent.)
Here's the rundown before I get to it:
They'll probably be short, vague, and mostly stick to highlights. There's no way I can guarantee I'll have anything interesting every week. Sometimes the work week of a game dev is as dull as Josh McIntosh's choice in clothing. Being a dev sounds fun and exciting, and it is, when it's not a boring slog. Ask any game dev, the honest ones will tell you there can be weeks of nothing but the boring crap.
On with the report.
Since my last report, seen here if you were gone for the last couple days, I've mostly made adjustments to what exists: fixed the broken reload I mentioned, changed the game's font, because the one I selected was a little on the ugly side, and made some minor script adjustments. (Told ya it can get dull...)
Trying to find a retro-game looking font took more time than you might imagine it would. Took nearly an hour to find one that wasn't too iconic, too ugly, too retro, or an all-caps font.
For all you devs who follow me, a gift: A link directly to where I find all of my retro game fonts. DaFont They've got everything from Pokemon to the classic "Press Start" font. Almost 50 pages worth of fonts that are perfect for any type of retro-style game. I look there first, when I need a font, and I'm gaining not a single thing for telling you that. It's just a gift I've decided to share with you.
Moving right along. Not all of my time was wasted on trivial things like minor modifications. I managed to get a lot of the way done with the character screen, and did a little optimization by having the game throw out transparencies. (Tip for beginners: Some game development software still draws the transparent pixels, even if you can't see them. You may be able to improve your project by having it discard the transparent pixels entirely.)
I'm actually starting to run out of easy stuff to do, which I'm not thrilled about. Enemy AI was one of the big obstacles of my last project. And it was a headache. The AI in this one is quite a bit more complex than my last one, to make matters worse. Other than that, there's animation to be done, and that's one of my least favorite parts. I like drawing, hate animating, especially walk cycles. I did a portion of the main character's walk animations today, but quit and went back to the character screen. Maybe if I just do a little of the animation work every day, it won't seem as bad.
Anyway, that's all I can share for now, without getting into the painfully uninteresting stuff. Aligning graphics isn't something worth going into detail about. It's about as entertaining as watching paint dry. I've seen enough videos of other devs setting up HUD graphics to know It's not worth wasting your time on.
Again, I'm sorry I don't have more visual stuff to show. Short of some menus or a gun-stat screen, there's not much else I have, right now. What you've seen is all that I've got. Maybe next week I'll have something else worth looking at. I don't know. My 'as-needed' method also utilizes an impromptu approach to tackling my checklist of things to work on. It appears to be working, keeping me interested in working on the project by keeping things from getting humdrum, but sacrifices report-worthy progress. So it's kind of a trade off. You can either get more to look at right now, but I won't be able to finish it. Or you can wait a little in the dark, and hopefully actually see something out of me for once in my miserable life.
Trust me, though, I'm just as eager to show the game off as some of you are to see more about it. It's hard to not jump into Photoshop to whip up some assets to put together a scene to show you, but I think invisible progress and a little waiting is a fair trade for a project I can actually finish, considering the very last game I managed to finish was a simple game back in 2010. I've been struggling for 6 years, technically 8, to find a solution that didn't involve popping some kind of personality-modifying drug (prescription, of course. I don't do narcotics.) every morning. The 'as-needed' method may suck, on the waiting-game side of things, but it's the only one I've found that even works in over half a decade. So I have to work with what I have.