Monday, 8 July 2013

Damn Research!

Alright so Just when I think I've worked out research it turns out I haven't! Grrrr.

It's been about 4 days and I just realised now that research, which each button was responsible for it's own research and global options, is actually broken and pauses research when the tab is closed. Not only that but it also resets all research options. I think that will be the last time I pull an all nighter, cant believe I didn't see what i did before.

Because to save on memory I actually delete and recreate each button. because the first 18 buttons arn't going to be the only buttons or tabs on screen having around 50+ buttons in 'invisible mode' would just be a waste of memory. So what I need to do is make is so that when something is being researched it needs to remain on screen. Since it's only 1 object at a time for research this shouldn't affect memory at all.

Besides which building hasnt thrown me any curve balls 'yet', however the hotbar system is still a bit glitchy so I'm considering refining that.

So what's new besides the obvious problems?
Mostly bug fixes, in light of all the bugs that have just listed I have nailed down a bunch of old bugs that kept reoccurring. Specifically the major Section Placement bug which caused massive lag spikes when you place too many sections at once or in tight groups.

I've started on the credit system, introducing a price to everything which is going well. Also began implementing the placement of other facilities like power stations etc. I'm still unsure as to how to approach placement; whether or not to make them free to place or aligned to the section system.

What's in planning are 2 things:

-Proper Sprite Art: because to date I've been working with terrible place holder images, the UI looks good because it needed to be a final produce so I could get the measurements right.But I'm reaching that stage where I really wanna make things look good. So once the basics are down Sprites are next on my list.
-Externalise Sprites: To date all my sprites have been internal, that is they are a part of the exe file rather than separate images you find in a directory. I have a few reasons I wanna externalize all sprites, even though it will mean extra coding etc. For one it will allow me to load only the sprites that are needed which will drastically reduce memory usage. If I keep all the images inside the exe then the game will load them all regardless of whether it needs to load them or not.
However the main reason I want to do this is sort of a neat little feature I think you will all love. To make the game customizable. The Images are just standard png images, completely compatible in any image editing software. This means you guys can actually change all the graphics for Starbase and create your own custom texture packs. Imagine being able to change the metal corridors to some crazy carapace for an insectoid race? Neat right?

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