Programmer’s Log: Stardate 46944.2

A few quick updates letting you know how work is going. It’s been slow with the fleets, as I haven’t had much time with coding. But there are a few ideas I’m in the middle of implementing.

First, I’ve added indicators so that if you’re looking for something specific, say, where all your Droid Factories are, it will show where and how many. I’ve also decided to swap the colors of unowned and independent world. I think it makes it pop more. Fleet Details are also pretty much done except for specific fleet actions. But there aren’t too many of those, and I really don’t anticipate them being to difficult.

I took a screenshot so you can see the progress:

Image

That’s all for now. I’m off of work tomorrow so hopefully I’ll get more done. I’ve been cut way back on hours, so any help with the project would be appreciated.

Arik

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So Fleet coding is going well. I’m still struggling on how to have the player order fleets around, but I’m sure I’ll get it. I would estimate I’m more than half-way through fleet programming.

You know what’s funny? When you’re coding something and think you’re doing a good job, then you test it and it all crashes and burns. Then, you go back and check the code and just think, “whoa…what the hell was I on ten minutes ago?” because there’s a whole bunch of blindingly obvious bugs. Yeah, real funny.

Arik

We All Live In a Coding Submarine…

Still working on fleets. There’s no real hang up, just a LOT of coding. I know how I want everything to work, just doing it takes up time. They move beautifully. Now I’m just working on the player building them, and ordering them around.

In my years of programming, I’ve noticed the following facts:

1) usually whenever there’s some giant question mark about how I’m going to code something, it usually doesn’t take up that many lines of code when I actually do figure it out.

2) By contrast, the easy stuff, where I go, “hey I know just how I want to do it”, usually takes a LOT of coding.

3) when something is not working like I want, it’s usually something small that’s seemingly unrelated. For example, I was testing building ships, when I noticed they wouldn’t actually build. I thought maybe the information the player was getting wasn’t refreshing, or maybe the data wasn’t being stored right. Eventually I found that it was just that the game timer, which is turned off when the “build ship” box comes up so the game is paused, didn’t get turned back on when I was done. Many minutes of frustration, fixed by a single line of code I forgot to put in. Sigh.

Arik

Fleet Update 2

Well, I think I have, rather anticlimactically, figured out all the programming necessary for fleet movements. I still need to program it all, but at least I have a game plan. Fleets will be able to automatically adapt their movements to the ever-shifting wormhole map (since it’s possible to destroy wormholes as well as create them).

I should note that traversing a wormhole is instantaneous. A fleet entering a wormhole in one star system can immediately exit at any other star system, assuming they are connected. My rationale for this is that wormholes are actually clustered close together in the outer reaches of whatever solar system they’re in. So, traveling between them would take very little time, and travelling through them would also take very little time. Thus, given the timescale of the game, it would pretty much be almost instantaneous anyway. It saves me a bunch of programming grief to just to make it happen immediately.

Oh, that reminds me, I added a cheat that makes the player’s ships go 100x faster when activated (basically, giving them functional FTL drives). Did I mention that there were going to be cheats? Cuz there are…

Arik

Fleet Update

I’ve been hard at work programming fleet movements and its a bit harder than I’ve anticipated. Not too hard, I think I’ve got it figured out, it just the various combinations of whether a fleet is in a star system or not, where it’s going, if it’s chasing another fleet or if its just heading towards some planet somewhere. And don’t get me started on wormholes. I want fleets to automatically find the shortest path between two points, but telling them how to do it will take some work.

Still, I’m optimistic.

Arik

Getting Close to Major Milestone

Welp, I’ve been making great progress with the programming. The way I see it in my head, there’s three major areas that have to be done: The ground stuff (planets/structures/research etc.), the flying stuff (fleets), and AI. I am almost completely finished with step 1. I want to really finish each step separately before moving on to the next, and I find myself rapidly running out of stuff that I need to do to get it done.

I am anticipating that the fleet stuff won’t take too much time (it’s basically just displaying and having the game direct their movements), but the third step, AI, is likely going to be the difficult step. I’m already thinking ahead at how I want to implement it, but I’m not too experienced at programming AI so we’ll see how it goes. The big thing is having to have the program analyze the game and strategize accordingly.

Anyway, so far no one has donated, which is a little disappointing, but I’m still pressing on ahead. Hope to update soon,

Arik