Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Where There's A Map

Here's a quick pic of the second between-missions screen for Solar Trucker, the route map. It doesn't have much logic hooked up to it yet so I haven't uploaded a build with it in place. This is one of those little humps where the basic idea is simple, but in order to implement it I have to do a ton of grunt coding. That is, I'll need gameplay art for each planet, plus calculation of distances, variable asteroid dangers, and of course the police and salvage features I haven't even begun on yet . . but once the basics of this are in you'll be able to travel to a planet, pick another destination, travel to that one, and on and on, which is dangerously close to what a real game might look like.

Every day of progress is still kind of agonizing because I'm still floating around unemployed, entirely unsure of which of a dozen possible skills is going to put me over the top during my next good interview. For instance, if I was spending this time on Python or ActionScript instead, I might be looking at a slightly broader swath of opportunities, but things are so fast and unpredictable right now that this is just speculation. At least I'm free from wondering whether I should be building Unreal or Source maps: my laptop won't run that stuff and I'm in no position to go buy a new dev rig.

I just keep reminding myself that the most impressive thing I could possibly have to show is a finished product, regardless of the specifics of that project. This game surely isn't going to be all that, but it is going to be done at some point, and the next one is going to be better, and the one after that is going to be better still . . .

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