Big Drop

This is normally where I say something pithy, confused, or occasionally random to get into the meat of the post. Or, in a case like this post an explanation if not outright explication of the pause. So let’s do the latter, since it seems like apropos and I don’t have another option really.

The last month has been, well, have you seen it? Like I get a weird impression that years from now we, the collective collection of humanity, will look back at this particular time with thoughts of exhaustion. I mean, triple fuck 2020 right? Being here, now, I have either the option of reading everything I can find to stay informed about a thing that is being as damaging to the fabric of society as 9/11 was almost 20 years ago. Or, I can go ignore all of everything and do the other work that I aught to do. But what I can’t really do is both. I find that in spite of everything else, I simply lack the mental bandwidth.

Now that’s not to say that I haven’t been moving happily along on Dungeon Quest : Adventure. In fact, I’ve been spending quality time getting the thing ported over to Tabletopia (soon), and creating cards to fill out the design skeleton. I’m also happy with the core ruleset. Happy enough with the modification that I’ve made that I’m leaning towards those core rules being finalized. The core rules of course being the way that the cards interact with each other and the board state. Additional tweaks or whatever we can handle on a card by card basis, but in terms of how the game actually works – DQ is more or less locked unless I discover something truly game breaking during playtesting.

I’m am finding that while I’m designing cards that it is pretty easy to design cards that cost 2 or 3. Things that cost 1 are tricky because finding something that i useful against Tier 1 encounters and still useful against Tier 5 is difficult. Also, 1 drops can be used by any player from turn 1. 5 is also hard, because there are only so many ways of saying “Kill e’rything,” or, “The next thing you do is gonna kill e’rything.” Since at 5 you’re playing with some power. That means that instead I find that I keep building 2 and 3 drops and either increasing the effect so they look like 4 or 5 drops, or tweaking them so that they can function as 1 drops. Having said all of that, the card file that I’ve been developing is looking spicy. I keep finding all kinds of sweet Design Space. Why is “Design Space” capitalized? Because it’s a technical game design term – and there’s probably an upcoming post about it.

In spite of all of that, I’ve also been chugging along on Paper Zeppelin, and have the Dive Bomber enemy back online. Well, more or less. The collision detection for the player and bullets are not online yet, but for some reason the executable runs with all of the alacrity or frozen molasses. The frame rate is somewhere between 30 frames per second and 1 frame when it fuggin feels like it.

I think it has to do with the total amount of things on the screen all at the same time. I ran up a debug print value to tell me how many of each list object was on the screen at the same time, and due to the higher resolution of 2020, there are a lot more ground objects on the screen. So, at some point I had 340 ground objects on the screen (somehow – I think that there is some kind of weirdness going on with ground Spawn that may be doubling). That means that at the silky smooth 60 frames per second, the system is going to do a collision check…let’s do some quick math here and….it’s going to check a shitload of times per second. That is, well, bad.

But thinking about it, I don’t think that 340 number is right. At the time the measurement was taken (by measurement I mean the total count of the groundList), the screen was not even a little full. There was ground on the screen, but certainly not 340 of the little jerks. I’ll figure out what’s causing that, and like the other minor issues that have popped up along the way, I’ll squash it.

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