Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Disturbing Development

Here I was all proud of myself for doing a thing or two . . and I'm going to try to get through this update without a bulleted list, so here are the things I did: 'shopped up a doors.png with some doors and got the game to display them, created a placeholder title screen and at least the concept of a game over screen - it's currently blank but it happens in the right place! Still having a problem where SW will lose two lives at a time, haven't bothered to go looking for it yet but boy the kids would riot over a bug like that in my day, all those quarters lost . . gotta solve that one quickly.

SW also has a new jump animation, which is just two frames dependent on facing, and a four-frame falling animation that I actually feel kind of cool about. I set the animation to start when the player's falling speed was over a certain limit, and clamped the animation into two sets of two frames that the game flips between dependent on player facing. So in most cases when the player is falling he shows just a single posture, arms straight out, but if he falls far enough to where his speed breaks that limit, the animation kicks in and he starts waving his arms in panic. In the future I want to dial in the values around this to where you only start waving your arms around the fall height where you're starting to get injured . . . maybe. . . still not entirely sure I want to implement fall injury, but if I do I certainly want to use animations in this way to telegraph potentially bad falls to the player with a margin of error wide enough where the player can adjust, maybe be able to take a single bad fall so the controls aren't unforgiving . .

That's all great, but why does the Skulled One  have octopus arms? I'm not 100% sure, and it's late enough to where I'm in no shape to deal with the problem tonight, so I'm just going to be Armchair Developer and spin some theories here with my pipe and slippers, which is of course way more fun that actually getting in there with a mental machete and hacking your way through the code.

The Load Content function grabs a bunch of textures of the player, which get turned into animated sprites, and then in the Player.Draw function I go through a bunch of ifs and elses to figure out which way the player is facing, if the player is jumping or falling, etc, and then based on that the game grabs whichever animated sprite corresponds to that behavior and throws it on the screen.

My water cooler quarterback guess is that I put two if statements in a row when I should have put an if and an else statement. So the game says "Oh, you're facing right? here, have this sprite. Oh, you're jumping? Here, have this sprite too." I haven't properly separated these questions to produce the correct results.

I hope to the Gods of Programming it's something that easy.

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