So what's been going on? In short, nothing
The last post spoke about procedurally generating a world map. I was going to use this for a game I had planned on making years ago, Virtual Evil. However, I soon realised I wanted to make a game that as best as possible made itself. So no fantastic story, no scripting, no plot, just a (hopefully large) set of rules that let's the game make its own random entertaining scenarios.
As mentioned before, I really enjoy making components of a game (for example a certain type of enemy), however I really struggle actually implementing them in a reasonable way (I still have no real idea why). So the plan is to randomly generate as much as possible automatically. An example might be an enemy that is scared of water so avoids rivers/lakes and when set on fire it targets similar enemies and runs at them. It's up to the level generating function to decide which enemies and tasks happen in each level.
Instead of having levels 1,2,3...100. The player will select levels by name, either by very specifically writing a name in themselves letter for letter (it could be a word, phrase, or random jumble of letters!) or by using the included level name generator that spits out such gems as "Unsightly Bumpy Minister" or "big screeching fight".
My previous attempts at level generation relied on drawing everything, so to summarise "draw some trees, draw a river and then draw a town", it seemed almost child like and while I think it had its charm, it was crap. I knew that Perlin Noise existed but because I didn't entirely understand it, I ignored it. Having found a PHP implementation of Perlin Noise, I decided to have a closer look and found out it wasn't quite as scary as I first thought (that's not to say it isn't brilliant still!). Being more comfortable with PHP than any other language, I was able to actually understand what was going on (or at least understand what the code was doing on a per line basis) and I decided to rewrite it in Monkey which allowed me to generate levels from within the game.
"So you should be just about done now right?"
Hah, not even close. I've been really lazy for the past month or so and would say I am barely started. I still don't know exactly what I want to add, so I have no idea of scope yet either! I bought a new computer with the notion "A faster computer means I will be able to develop and compile things quicker", unfortunately and if I am honest not unexpectedly it has been "Now I have a computer capable of playing all the games I've been buying from Humble and Steam bundles that I was previously unable to. Oh and Minecraft, I can now play Minecraft". You know what though? It's been fun!
I installed Monkey, Visual Studio C# and Jungle IDE on my new PC earlier this week and am now ready to carry on when and if I see fit. I'm not too fussed about setting myself targets at this stage, but it would be nice to be at least doing some work.
For anyone interested (hi Shereen!) Ninjah is still plodding along making sales on Xbox Live Indie Games and recently hit the 5,000 sales mark Originally I had said I would be really chuffed with 2,000 sales (a number I plucked out of the air), so to see the number going up a bit each day still is fantastic. There's still a niggling feeling that there is plenty I could make better, I guess I should just use this as inspiration to make a better version. I would love to make it available for the PC, but am a bit concerned about protecting assets I've licensed, notably the music which currently would just be included as a WMA file with no encryption. If it were my own music I wouldn't mind, but I am weary of hurting those who made the music.
There we go. Thanks for reading (all 3 of you)