Monday, November 18, 2013

Always One More Thing. Or Two.

Last weeks daily updates were not exactly daily (and therefore, I suppose, not updates either).  Let's see if this week goes better.  :) 

At least you got to miss all of the updates that can be roughly summarized as: "I don't feel well today, YouTube, brain fog, Twitter, I can't figure this out, Facebook, what was I doing again?, this is never going to work, oh I got something working when did that happen?"

I got most of the major overhaul of the scripting system done, so I can basically map any C object directly into the scripting system.  I'm sure that's giving some security expert somewhere palpitations or convulsions, but since it's all bound to specifically named objects and data members, it should be fine.

Overall, this is actually kind of handy, although I'm still not "feeling the love" for a good way to define level scripts.  Somehow, writing out every enemy spawn, by hand, at specific locations, just feels a bit meh.  A quick perusal around the web of methods other people have used pretty much comes down to exactly that, though.

So, I suppose it's time to actually do some real scripting.  But first, I need to... make a couple more tweaks to the scripting system (you didn't see that coming, did you? :-p )

No, really, they're good ones.

First off, I'm kind of trying to sync the levels to music, so I'm going to add something to natively convert measure/beat time codes to seconds.  Easy enough.

Second, one of the main suggestions I have run across regarding scripting enemy spawns is that hard-coding the numbers is bad because if you want to shift sections around, you have to change a lot of numbers.  So I'm going to build in the concept of time regions.  Basically, there is a global time based on how long the level has been running, and you can recursively open a new local time scope relative to the parent time.  I've used this before, it's pretty slick for sequencing or animating things.  It should make it fairly easy to move around sections anyway.

With those things and a Spawn() function, hopefully I'm off and running.

Why it took so long to get to this point is one of the great mysteries of the universe.  I suspect it has something to do with the universal programming equation:

t = t * 2
t is how long you estimate something is going to take and
2 is some constant, possibly larger than -INF and smaller and +INF, but quite possibly NAN.

Being recursive, it causes some consternation amongst project managers and people trying to get things done.

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