Looking Down From the Top

I had an entire day to myself yesterday. Shortly after I decided that playing Gears of War 2 on their Hardcore mode campaign is a lot more difficult by yourself, I willed myself back into the project. After throwing on some headphones (and finding an odd appreciation of They Might be Giants – thanks Pandora!) I got to work. The hours of the day passed by, the twilight overtook the daylight and then, when I looked up from my labours, sore from sitting in one place for hours and sporting sweaty headphone ears, I found that the Cliff Saga, had come to and end.
Oh, right, the Cliff Saga, do an experiment and type “Cliff” into the little search bar up there ^. You’ll get, oh 30 or so hits on it.
Right then. They’re done. They’re laid out and waiting patiently to get their scripting stuck in as if by a rude medical student. That analogy seems uncomfortable somehow. In any event, they’re done and, you know, I finally, finally like the way that they came out. It just took 3 tries and a paradigm shift in what the level is supposed to fundamentally be. I quickly got a compile done and FTPed and now The Tester has it. Now for the orangification on the list and…done.

While fiddling with the code I discovered the root cause of the stupid stair bug in the Weevils post below. It turned out it was the main collision ordering. Now what I got it to do is to skip to the end of the main collision if you’re climbing up anything. It should speed up the loop (like only doing it if it had a greater than 0 height) and it also removes the stair problem. It can no longer hurt you, and that’s a good thing.

-Speaking of those rotten stairs, I think I had figured out a scripted way to make lots of them. Basically, as the Cliffs have shown me, I can modify the terrain and geometries dynamically if I want to. Stairs eat up almost all of my rectangles, since they can only have a height of 10 pixels in the engine and still work. So without doing something cute, I can’t get them to be in anything that requires those rectangles to work. The idea is to set up large scripted “Zones,” say, in quarters. When the player enters one of those Zones, then the scripting will trigger and change the level parameters. Basically that part of the screen will only exist if you’re touching it. In this way, I can put steps and diagonal surfaces and all over the place, and due to how the engine renders the backgrounds, nobody will ever know. The trick being getting a complete version to the Background artist, but I’ll figure out something.

-Got a response back from CSU, it basically went like this:
“Hey guys! I know you were all looking forward to going to our fine University and all that, and you’ll be glad to know that we’re done jerking your chain. We’ve decided that nobody gets in! At all! Isn’t that special?
As you know, California is broke and so are we by association. We care little for the fact that we also change you out the ass for classes. Due to that, we’ve had to curtail enrollment further. In case your Plan B was to apply again for spring, well, guess what, we’re not taking any applicants for spring. Yes, we fully know that several people may graduate in that time, but we’ve already rented out the space to a clown college, so that’s just too bad.
Since we’re not leaving you totally in the cold though, oh no! You (and the untold Legions who’ve also received this email in the last 2 minutes) can still sign up for our Open University thing. You can go to class and pay for class without hope of actually graduating, since you have to be formally accepted to formally exit! Applicants are all looked at based on space available. Oh we forgot, all the spaces are already taken up, which is why you got this email in the first place!
Hope to see you soon!
Timmy the Tukwut (or whatever the fuck our mascot is)”
I sometimes feel like I live in an episode of Punk’d.

-So as not to end on a total downer, you’ll notice (assuming that somebody reads this, which they don’t) that the demo downloads are gone now. The reason? I don’t actually have my demo file anymore so I can’t upload it again. The downloads however, ran out. That means that the kill quota had been reached and the downloads simply stopped. So, 20 times. The game has been downloaded 20 times. I wonder if any of those people read any this first?
Probably not.

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