četvrtak, 8. studenoga 2012.

New game screen

So, GUI time. To be honest, I didn't do much coding. I've spent some time writing about technologies in design document. For now research and development are covered by the document but those topics also opened some new questions and made me aware of one more topic related to technologies. The new topic is  point spending focus. So far I thought about it as a little detail but it turned out it's bigger than that, big enough to have a chapter for it self. The questions I mentioned are should research scale with the number of players and should researched theories be easy share (traded during diplomatic agreement or stolen through espionage). Problem of scaling is that if theories are easy to share, having an ally could drastically speed up the research. I'm not talking about 10%-20%, I'm talking about 100%-200%. By writing this, I recalled a certain feature of Civilization EVO game. Trading technologies there didn't simply counted as acquiring fully researched tech, instead cost of researching traded tech was halved. I like that approach and maybe I'll do something along that line.

Oh, that picture on the top? It's a concept for a "new game" screen/window/form/dialog. It's much like old one except "Map" and "Starting population" drop down menus are replaced with buttons that will open respective dialogs. Reason for those changes are support for multiple map generation methods and more options for starting population. The concept is by no means final and there are some stuff I'd like to change. For instance, there is no way to select player's color and I'd like to add some way for choosing "faction" and color for the opponents.

Also I'd like to mention that I was a little distracted by making tools for creating graphical content. One such tool is for toying with procedurally generated images (picture above). Old images for stars on the galaxy map were in GIF format and don't contain information about transparency in the so called alpha channel and this tool is designed to produce such images. Also the tool is a framework for implementing different image generators.

Other tool is for making "vector graphics", images defined by shapes rather than by limited number of pixels. As you can guess from the picture, the tool will be used for drawing ships for the Stareater. The thing with this tool is that shapes' vertices are always on the grid. Somehow I find it that my drawing skill work best with that restriction.

And last but not least distraction is the IKON library. I was writing unit test for IKSTON to do the "test app" right, to test the nifty TDD features of Visaul Studio and to easily check whole library when I change something. I'll continue with these distractions, I have to write some more unit test for IKSTON and there is still a lot to do on the Grid Canvas (that air plane on the image above). I hope I'll soon find enough motivation to finish the new game screen for the Stareater and to finally start with the interesting stuff.