Just a short and sweet post on the progress of my game. This demo shows off basic character and camera controls, as well as interaction with the world. You can toggle gravity using ‘g’, as well as the forces that cause the particles to flock to various shapes using ‘c’. The player moves using standard wasd keys, with ‘q’ and ‘e’ moving the character forward and backward. Holding the left mouse button will fire small “bullets” while clicking the right mouse button will fire larger “bullets”. The player moves within a bounded plane. The statistics display has also been updated to show relevant graphics and physics information.
You can download the executable here: tech_demo_1.zip
Note that you will need to install the June 2010 DirectX and the Visual C++ 2010 runtimes if this is your first time running the software. These should not need to be installed again to run any of my future demos, unless otherwise noted.
I’ve been conspicuously quiet the last couple of weeks and this is why. I have been evolving my rough particle system into a (very targeted) game engine. From a design standpoint, the particle system was a learning project where I tried to leverage as much as I could from the natural mechanisms of C++ to develop an object model for what I planned on turning into a more general purpose game engine. I decided to try and model my game objects using an inheritance structure. I felt that in the real world, nearly everything falls into some sort of classification, often with distinct parent-child relationships. However, as I began adding game specific objects to my engine, I realized that not only is it prohibitively difficult to try to model the real world (the way I felt it should be modeled) due to the sheer volume and complexity, but game objects are simply an approximation of real world occurrences, and as such they tend to “cheat” to achieve a certain effect. Objects in a game can chose the be invisible, or defy the laws of physics. This basically breaks whatever elegant classification structure I had planned. Luckily, this can be addressed by converting to a “has-a” object model, where objects will contain pointers to optional collections of data and functionality.
This site was down for the last 48 hours as I migrated over from Slicehost to Linode. Slicehost had some unbelievably bad response times, with my pages taking upwards of a minute to respond and load. More than just my webserver, my code repo became completely unresponsive; and when I can’t code, I’ve got a problem. After the Slicehost support having no reasonable explanation as to why my VPS seemed to drop off the face of the earth every few days, I did some research and decided to give Linode a shot. After a bit of fighting with server technologies I got a new server up and running with a LEMP stack (that’s nginx as opposed to the typical apache-based LAMP). The response times are drastically better, and my new VPS is cheaper, has better specs than before, and Linode has some really good documentation for setting up common server stacks.
Another motivation for the switch was a recent post I’ve been trying to write, and the timeouts from my website when it was running on Slicehost was nuking my page udpates. Now, finally, I can post on my object model overhaul!
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