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Cloudburst Status Report -- Weekend #4

First, a warning to all beta testers -- it looks like next weekend, I'll have the first build ready to try.

Assuming I can fix a pretty major problem in the programming logic.

First, the bright side.  End of round animations and game over animations are incorporated.  Clouds will knock down other clouds on the way down.  In short, the first level is finished.

And now, the problem begins.

Part of the design was that, if two regular rising clouds collide, they combine into one bigger cloud that takes two shots to bring down.  I set up the actors and started testing.  Also, I reset the display counter in the upper left to show me what the Cloud Counter is seeing.

The plan was simple -- a cloud collides with another, it creates the new double on top of it and wipes out the two colliding clouds.  But the game would malfunction.  When I checked the Cloud Counter, the display was off.  There was some math logic error that was making it subtract too much from the Cloud Counter, throwing off the comparisons.

It took me a while to figure out what was wrong, and it's a doozy.  Remember, computers do what you TELL them to, not what you WANT them to.  The first part was working fine, but I noticed the count was off by...the same value as the large cloud....

FACEPALM!

The computer compares any clouds colliding.  Which means that the first cloud was getting substituted as I planned.  But it was also treating the other cloud it collided with the same way.  Result:  it was actually making TWO double clouds, one superimposed over the other, because I have no way to distinguish which one of the original clouds is the one I want to be the generating actor.  So, when the cloud gets out of range, it is deducting the value twice and throwing off the count.

Fuck!

I don't know what to do at this point.  I basically need to outsmart the scripting engine.  How?  I don't know yet.  There has to be some way to trick it into doing what I want.  I can't send it instructions based on the labels "Collide Actor" and "Event Actor", those produce compile errors.  I need to radically rethink this, and fast.  The ChicagoCon is approximately 40 days away at this point, and I can't gut the whole program and start over at this point.

I have a couple of ideas.  I'll be testing them during the week.  So I'm going to assume this can be beta tested by the coming weekend.  But I will implement the design if it kills me.  I just have to figure out how.....

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