Hi! It has been a while for sure. I hope you’re doing all ok.

Several things have been worked on the past time. Some on the engine (not much to show), some more graphical stuff. So lets begin with that, its always nice to show things:

Graphical enhancements

I’ve been getting quite some help on the graphical side of things lately from Rozmy. He revisited all structures:

  • sharpened them where applicable and tidied things.
  • provided new flag animations (instead of the 2 frames you have in dune 2).
  • More animation frames for the Outpost, Refinery, Starport, Repair facility, Light-Factory, Heavy-Factory and Hi-Tech

This all required me to redo some drawing logic in the engine so that things can be animated separately. In dune 2 flags were part of the structure frames in Dune 2, but now in D2TM they are not.

Animating the flags independently from the rest of the structure animation gives more flexibility when you have to combine animations. For example: flag animation with “door opens on repair facility” animation.

To give you a “before” and “after” picture, look below. Move the slider to the left to see the new graphics. Move the slider to the right for the current version. Can you spot all the differences?

Move the slider to the left to see the new graphics. Move the slider to the right for the current version.

Options menu, no more ‘instant-quit’

A much wanted feature was to not quit the game when you pressed ESC.

In the next version there is an introduction of something like a “GUI” (Graphical User Interface). I don’t use a framework for this so I had to build some things myself. Along with this I redid the main menu. finally I made a first version of an “options” menu. Which kind of resembles the one in Dune 2.

A comparison of the main menu (slider works the same as above)

The options menu can be accessed by pressing ESC anywhere in the game. (except from main menu, that still means exit game).

Options from Skirmish
Options from in-game
Options from mentat screens
Options during campaign-mission select

Aside from rendering stuff this meant the game had to have some sense of “states“. Currently most code does not really have its own “state” code. I am slowly migrating the code to something more contained. Meaning, new things I write are within their own State class. But for having an options state I had to do some work on the ‘old’ code.;

This way I can have one place point to a “current state”. The other (if any) states are being kept in memory so I can switch between them if required. Ie when you press “back” from “options” you want to continue where you left in the previous state (mission select, playing game, etc).

Sometimes you want to go to a new state (ie main menu). All these things were not built in so that also took some work.

With this there is a first step taken.

Once this has been implemented properly, saving and loading the game becomes easier to build as well.

What’s next?

Looking at the project board: A few bugfixes and a few small improvements are on the todo list. I will re-evaluate what really has to go within 0.6.5. As I still intend to release a new version in December.

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Path finding progress demo... made it so I use a priority_queue, did X4 speedup. Nice! https://dune2themaker.fundynamic.com/video/new_pathfinder_02.mp4 #indiedev #gamedev #d2tm #dune2

Path finding testing is done on a map (64x64) where only 1 possible path exists between two corners of the map. I also found a bug in the heuristic function - it would evaluate too many cells. With that sped up greatly, but still needs to be faster.

Spent more hours on path finding. Still too slow! (100/200ms for 1 unit, finding 1 path is SUPER SLOW (on complex map)). Need to shave off more milliseconds.

It is not so hard to implement a new pathfinding algorithm. The harder part is to make it perform properly. Especially when you send over groups of units. #indiedev #gamedev #dune2 #d2tm #remake

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