Working on this project during the pandemic didn’t really change my schedule(at least as far as the project was concerned) or work plan all that much. The deadlines were all the same beside cancelling one playtest so I still needed to get everything done within the original timeframe. I can easily imagine that anyone who’s project included hardware and probably anyone working in a group would have things impacted at least a bit, especially with the hardware if it required tools only available at the school, but as my project only needed my computer having everything move online and having to come home didn’t change my access to any tools. The only real change from coming home would have been meeting with my professor. It didn’t change at all how often we met for progress updates but did mean I had to do it through a zoom call rather than going to his office in person. That didn’t really affect what we talked about or anything but it’s the main change I can think of. I really feel for the people whose work did involve hardware. I hope the school has some system in place to let them turn something in rather than having to add an extra semester on to redo the project because of something they can’t control.
There were a few things on my original work plan that I didn’t manage to get done, mainly just implementing the level trading, right now the game does keep track of your total levels gained but I wasn’t able to add anything you can trade for them in time, but I wouldn’t be quick to blame the virus for that. I can’t say for sure but I think that would have happened if we stayed at school regardless, I just budgeted for time wrong and things took longer than I planned. As a whole there wasn’t a huge change in my work output as a result of the pandemic. I managed to get the project done in light of the pandemic the same way I would have without it, by the nature of my project location wasn’t an important factor to getting things done.
Ok so I really need to get back on the schedule of doing these regularly instead of getting wrapped up in other stuff and forgetting that explaining what I’m actually doing might be important. Last update was all about getting stuff set up for the playtest but after that we needed to focus more on larger scale updates.
For the last month(wow its been almost a month) I’ve been working on getting procedural generation up and running. Surprising absolutely no one there are quite a few ways to do this and a decent chunk of time was spent learning up on them and finding what would work both conceptually and in practice for what I wanted to do. The end result we’re at now generates a dungeon maze out of a set of objects, names each room according to the location of its doors, and then loads prefabs of tilesets matching the same name. With this format it makes a maze that can be traversed to reach a goal and new room shapes can be added in the future by creating corresponding tilesets. At the moment the rooms are all bare upon creation and all that can be really done is walk around but the next planned step is expand the generation program to also spawn enemies, platforms, and potential hazards around the room as well. Currently the code does create a room to act as the goal of the maze but I also still need to set it up to actually end things or move on to a new maze upon reaching the goal.
The current method holds quite a few problems that will need to be tweaked either by altering the room prefabs or adding in additional conditions when the code is expanded to spawn things. At present it is impossible to reach the doors at the top of the rooms(unless your jumping is really really high) so the rooms will either be shrunken, platforms will be set to always spawn in such rooms with a top door, or the tilesets will be edited to add different platforms without editing the code. This is especially important given that the first room you spawn in in dungeon creation can sometimes only have one door and that door is on the ceiling, making the game unplayable. The other main problem goes in the exact opposite direction but will be a lot quicker to fix. At the moment the doors in the bottom of the room are in the dead center, right where the player spawns which can cause you to either fall the second the game starts, or go through the bottom door of one room and then immediately fall out the bottom door the next room if nothing is in your way. This problem though was just an oversight on my part when I was making the tilemap prefabs, either I’ll move the bottom doors to not line up with your spawn or I’ll make a platform you can choose to fall through and put that over the top of each bottom door.
Next up will be fixing those issues with the blank room generation and implementing spawning of enemies and some kind of obstacles. There’s a lot more I want to add to this.