Like a Candle in the Dark

The beginnings of the new menu are beginning to form. Like some kind of digital fetus on its way to growing into a fully functional bit of code. Now you can press the Alt key and click to select which object of the 30 ThiefEd can handle. Now it needs to:
Highlight the selected Object in the workspace screen
Let you pick the object you want from a mouse driven menu.

Then, the system needs to save it. No problem. Right? Well almost, mostly because I’m not a terribly good programmer. The idea was to reuse the code from my Map Menu, a system that allows me to create a giant menu with the minimum amount of code and effort. The problem first came about because I could not remember for the life of me, how the thing worked. I mean, I built the code, so clearly I can do it. But that system was set up differently than what I wanted for the menu. So yesterday I went ahead and rebuilt a new menu using the Map Menu like I posted in ( as a guide. So now it works, and the next bit should be a little better.

An issue I encountered is a new Array I built. The thinking went that I could load images into an Array and still reference them. Load ’em up with a loop since I designed the file structures to be purely numeric. Problem I encountered was that I couldn’t load stuff that doesn’t exist, and I can’t hard code the values for the loops until the art is all finished. So that’s a big fat waste.
In the meantime as a proof of concept all of the art bits has distinct variables assigned. It’s really messy, but it works right now, which brings me to the titles. I built an Animated Candle, and it works. Now I can select and object, press my hotkey to make it a type 1 object and click the screen, a little animated candle appears. I can do this 30 times! I can make the screen look like the Temple of Doom. It’s sweet. The whole thing doesn’t work yet, but I can see that it works very much like it is supposed to.
When I get a little more time, I’m going to reinstall the loop loading and fill out the objects folder with tiny little pictures of puppies or something. Then the load will just work and art can just be stuffed in.
Today though, I’m going to finish the menu, make the key system work and save the stuff. Tomorrow is a meeting and I want to show the artists how easy it is to play with ThiefEd. I think the best art and the best designed levels will require the use of PhotoShop and ThiefEd. mmmm…animated backgrounds.

-Ah right. Microtexturing works. The candle’s light is transparent and it looks much better over a background than it does in PhotoShop. It is a little more opaque than I was expecting. But then again, the transparent bits are 50% mask color, so that means a 50% transparency. I can probably do better then that and devise methods to get different percentages. Hmm, tests for another day.

– By the way, Candle in the Dark is a Carl Sagan book. It’s short, go read it. Afterwards you’ll thank yourself.

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