Saturday, February 25, 2006

Update Saturday 25-Feb-2006

We've been trying to get through some of the high priority bugs and various game-play changes in order to do a beta release this weekend in time for the previous beta expiring.

One of the changes was to add the game level and player rank to the saved game selector menu. This is pretty easy since there is a tiny interpreter used to read the save game meta-data for the game selector and an object that represents the game file on disk. A change to both of these plus a change to the save routine did the trick. I also added a "was this data present" flag which means that older files are handled (it just doesn't show the missing meta-data).

One of the more difficult bugs that is outstanding on my list is a problem with the call-signs. They occasionally appear as garbage (although I've made the display routine just display '?' for parts that are rubbish). Because the bug is difficult to replicate it's quite a difficult one to track down. Additionally we've had bullets that certainly shouldn't have a call-sign being shown with call-signs in the game.

I've also been looking at the highlight in the file selector menu - it's a text arrow like this --> which is a pretty naff. The main constraint is time to make the new effect. Good effects and ideas are easy - fast ones are rarely good. Additionally I really wish the menu code had been properly made into objects. Whilst the code is neat enough, it's sort of a procedural object hack that doesn't support inheritance and virtual functions which means altering the original code. This type of change also happened in the dungeon game that this came out of ... which meant we replaced functionality. It would have been cleaner and more extendable with proper OO. I guess won't have time now either. Maybe for the future.

Guess I should carry on with that call-sign bug.


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