četvrtak, 1. kolovoza 2013.

Progress report July 2013

As usual there was a lot of under the hood work and some visible changes last three months. As you can see on image above galaxy map looks like something: textured stars, wormholes, star names, selection indicator.
Some new functionality is there too, double clicking the star opens the star system. View is still stub though. A lot of stuff is stub right now but as I'm running out of stuff that can be stubbed real implementation is under way. I'm experimenting with my tool for procedural image generation in order to make better star images (different for explored and unexplored) and to make fair map. Currently I'm tackling the fair distribution of vacant star positions. It may sound weird to use image generation tool for prototyping galaxy generation algorithm but I must say is good visualization tool.
This is how the tool looks like. Parameters on the right and generated image on the left. When I have to change the algorithm, I have to go back to source code yes but when I want to try out the algorithm with various parameter values I can do that on tool's GUI. Images above visualize output of star positioning algorithm. Left image is star map with hidden vacant positions while on the left those are shown as dark grey. Light gray/yellow dots are positions for players' homeworlds.
Also finally, I've found a comfortable way for keeping "to do" notes. With graphs! GraphViz is amazing tool, if only there was good GUI for it. Maybe I'll make one in the future. To do graph is simple, everything starts from special "Features to do" node and branches out from it. In order to complete the game I have to implement this, this and that feature, OK, but feature "Fleets" is too vague and considers a lot of tasks so I'll split it to this, this and that subfeature and so on. Leaves (nodes without following nodes or "children") are either tasks that I can immediately start and finish within few hours or concepts that have to be more elaborated and split into smaller tasks.
I've tried something similar before, called it "Spec tree" but it didn't feel fluid. I almost started in-depth analysis of why but I'll just say that standard Windows tree view feels cluncky (even with drag and drop) and looks noisy. On the other hand editing textual file in Notepad++, running a command in Command Prompt and seeing a result in Photo Viewer on the other screen is somehow easier and more satisfying.