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Spectre Gruedorf Challenge Blog

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Wade In Your Own Filth Day [Sep. 15th, 2008|04:29 am]
Spectre Gruedorf Challenge Blog


My TODO list is actually trapped, on a server in Houston, that is without power due to Hurricane Ike.

The battle towards getting something useable for a public release continues. My carefully designed, brilliantly plotted TODO list is trapped on a server in Houston, Texas, that is without power due to Hurricane Ike. I also have no SVN. What a mess.

That said, I decided that the best way to puzzle out what needs to be done in order to get something useable for a public release for people is to actually sit down, and build a very small level of a first person game. Build a level, wander around, maybe interact with things. I have some vague design inspiration as well for what I wanted to build, too, which we will leave as a pleasant surprise.

It turns out that without the CF/Perseus bits - the tactical RPG plugin - we are left to fall back on what is left in the engine. That is to say, not very much. Further more, what IS in the engine that isn't tactical RPG-related has broken, all over the place, due to the switch to a deferred renderer and switching our physics libraries from ODE to Bullet. Ugh.

Anyhow, some unpleasant work later, and we have an engine template going again in my Corvus directory (my "let's test sh*t" project dir), with the lighting working (broken recently due to stupidity), and a first person character controller. (Still needs some work on the mouse side of things; in particular, you can't, uh, mouse look. That's because it's really a third person character controller being used as a first person character controller.) So that's better. I was reasonably pleased by how little work it was to get everything doing what it was supposed to do again, and getting a character controller working in Bullet is a hell of a lot easier than ODE.

I also bit the bullet and added view mode toggles to SLED. Now you get ugly buttons above every viewport that let you toggle your view mode. I hate them and am open to better ideas that do not require things that I do not have, such as right-clicking for tooltips or context menus or whatever. The Spectre interface is made for hard men that grew up in the Great Depression making movies with early versions of SoftImage and the first horrible versions of MapEd - so to hell with your useability. I also added groups to SLED and got half way through layers before I decided my brain had died. Specifically, how these work: groups attach objects into clusters that are then moved as a cluster and selected as a cluster. Layers are just collections of objects that you can turn on and off so you can see what the hell you're doing.

The third way of managing geometry is by sectors, which requires me to finish the hook-up of the portal/sector/occluder system. Probably a good job for later this week.

General TODO for moving ahead. Bare minimum, this needs to be done before Ye Olde Release onto the world:

- Ruby tie-ins that are more suitable for a FPS. If I click somewhere in the world, I want to know what script is associated with the object I just clicked on. And then call it.
- finish FPS character control
- hook up portals
- fix texture access in SLED: it sucked, I rewrote it, it still sucks. We need to have a thread that builds previews, or a way to import materials into the editor so you build the previews when you import materials, or anything other than what we currently have. (In fact, our entire pipeline system just sucks.)
- JIT work for SLED. May as well do this now instead of later because there's no way it'll suck less later.
- FIX: crash when C&P-ing lights

I now have about four people wanting to try this sucker. This is progress. Progress is good.