Development plan – 2022.01.31

Planning and Development

I have implemented the most very basic features of a game.  Namely, you can walk around a flat map with a camera that follows the camera and which you can clumsily control.  I think the next best thing to begin working on is the terrain.  The problem with this is that it opens a huge can of worms.  Said can is opened due to the fact that I am not using a game engine to develop this, only THREE.js, and so I need a tool to create a terrain.  I could always just use an image editor to create a monochrome heightmap then alter the base plane to fit that heightmap but that’s not really a full solution.  Well, I guess I mean it’s just very difficult to maintain.  I would have to guess about the y-location of every asset I ever added to a scene because it would be nearly impossible to tell the height of the terrain at any given point in the world.

So what does this all mean?  It means I need a world editor.  I need a tool where I can create, load, and save chunks of the game world.  I’ve actually done a good bit of this work on previous incomplete projects so it’s not a completely overwhelming thought.  That being said, if I’m working on a world editor then I’m obviously not working on visible features in the game.  Still, it’s a necessary tool that I absolutely won’t be able to move forward without.  I will probably spend the month of February working on the world editor and hopefully I will have a mostly-functional tool by March 1.  In between coding I will be working on story lines, lore, and creating some proof-of-concept art assets to use once the editor is available.

So, the schedule for the month of February is as follows:

  • Blog some kind of art asset February 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th.
  • Work on the world editor and get a usable scene in place for a new release on March 1st.

I think that’s a reasonable schedule and I’m going to try very hard to stick with it.

v0.00.002 Release

Release Announcement

Today I finished most of the features I said would be in v0.00.002 so I went ahead and released it.  I found a slightly better process to obfuscate all the code and pack it into a release, so hopefully that will make future releases a little easier.  Check out the game page to see the newest release and the notes.  I’m going to spend a day or so thinking about what I want to put into the next release then I’ll post about it.  And then I guess I’ll start actually working on it.

Camera Controls

Planning and Development

Tonight I implemented some glitchy but improved camera controls.  You can now spin the camera around the player and move the pitch of the camera up and down, as well as zoom in and out.  Right now there are no limits on any of these controls so you can spin around like crazy, move the camera past vertical up and down, zoom in past the character model or out infinitely, etc.  But those limits can be put in place pretty easily.

I’ve implemented these same controls numerous times in other projects and every time I go back to a YouTube channel called ThinMatrix for reference.  He has lots of nice tutorials on game development and the video that I always reference is here, so check it out if you are interested in that type of thing.

First Release

Release Announcement

Today I released v0.00.001 of Chronicles of Tright: Isles of Arden.  It’s a stretch to call this anything like a game at this point.  It’s really just boilerplate code and a starting point for future development.  It was also a chance for me to test out some procedures for packing the code base up into a release and publishing it.  But it is a starting point and I’m weirdly excited to put out something so terrible.  You can move the character around with WASD.  Collision detection works and I’m using my own custom collision detection and response system.  The collision box around the one house on the map is intentionally oversized and the art assets are intentionally bad as they are just placeholders.  That’s really about it.

My idea here is to make numerous incremental releases on a quick schedule.  I’ve tried this before and had some success with it so I’m going this route again.  Once I get to the server side coding it may be more difficult to make such rapid changes but that’s a world I’m going to need so much work on that I’ll just cross that bridge when I get to it.  I obviously have many, many, MANY things to do before this is even close to a playable game, but I’m going to try and keep the additions for each release small and attainable.  So, for v0.00.002 I need to implement:

  • Mouse controls that allow you to zoom, rotate, and change the pitch of the camera
  • Keyboard controls for strafing
  • Fix the collision box on the current house and add one more object to the world

That’s a small list that I can hopefully get done in a few days.  I’ll then do another release and evaluate what features to add from there.

New Project

Planning and Development

It’s MLK day in the US.  I have a couple of things I’m starting today but a big one is a new project here.  I’ve never made it far with games I’ve tried to make here in the past.  Well, that’s not fair.  I’ve actually made quite a bit of progress on past projects it’s just never translated into much that end users can actually see.  My goal with this project is to get something that is playable published ASAP and make incremental improvements over time.  So, with all that being said here’s the new project.

It’s a multiplayer 3d browser game.  I’m very short on details right now but I want the art style to be bright and low-polygon, and I want the game to be funny.  I will probably start with brand new lore.  So no humans, elves and dwarves.  Well, no elves and dwarves anyway.  I guess there will be humans.  I’m actually not exactly sure yet.  I’ll spend the rest of February designing gameplay and the world.  I have what I think is a really interesting idea to do turn-based combat in a multiplayer environment, so hopefully that will turn out.

My deadline is MLK day 2023.  That’s January 16th, 2023.  I want to have a basic, playable game published on or before that date.  That’s an optimistic goal but the best time for optimism is the start of a new year and the start of a new project, right?