Nine Day Game, Day 5 - Hump Day

Day 5 marks the midpoint of our development cycle, coincidentally falling on a Wednesday. I think we've come a long way in just the first half of the project - the trick will be continuing that pace of development over the second half. Day 5's goals were a bit more modest compared to previous days. On the OpenGL side, I'm getting to a point where most of the development I'm doing is the kind of work I've never done before with this tech, so progress feels like it's slowing down.

Ryan had a head start on developing the AI system from Day 4, meaning it was mostly tuning and bug-fixes that needed attention. The enemies use an A* search algorithm to find a path around the dungeon. Enemies that can "see" the player will move towards and attack him. Enemies that can't see the player instead move around the map and explore (internally, the enemies can only "see" as much of the terrain as a human player can). The AIs also occasionally attack each other, but that's a bug, not a feature!

On the OpenGL side, I managed to get a text console showing up. This was a bit more involved than I had anticipated; I needed to learn how to load and interpret a font from a bitmap, then I needed to figure out how to display a static, flat UI element over top of the 3D parts. Lesson 17 of the NeHe Tutorials proved to be invaluable for that. Jumping off of the work for the text console, I did some initial work towards creating the character sheet and inventory windows, but there's nothing demoable yet.

Ryan put together a demo video of our progress at the end of Day 5. Check out how the AIs chase the player around the map. The text console that is now visible in the lower left corner of the screen was added today. This is also the first movie we've posted that shows the enhanced lighting system developed on Day 4.

While we're on the downhill slope towards the end, it doesn't feel like that to me. There's a lot of work ahead of us in order to meet our deadline, and the 12 to 14 hour days are exhausting. I feel like Day 6 will be a good day to take a break and remind ourselves why we're doing this, but I'm not sure how to do that... We're a block away from the EA Games office in Kitchener - anyone know if they give tours?