Building an XNA Game Studio XBox360 Indie Game.

[page 0003] ~ Setbacks and the Long-Run:

Simplistic perfection first, we’re all in time but never the same time.

Once again theory and substance collide and it looks like I’m running straight back into the chicken and the egg dilemma. Having a question of how extensible do I need these classes to be, and at what point does it slow down the progression of concept realization and then integration, leads me to one conclusion. I think there was a motto or some such that went, “It Works”, and for some odd reason, I think it had something to do with UNIX, so I might as well just run with it. Its like what my Dad told me once upon a time, “Build it first, then worry about it.”

And what does this have to do with the game pad and the HUD?

I’ve changed the configuration of what was GameOn in the new version HUDOn. There are now four equally sized viewports along the bottom edge of the game screen and one large viewport across the top. The height of the four smaller viewports take up about one fourth to one third of the Title-Safe-Area along the bottom edge of the screen . I’m thinking that this should provide enough screen real-estate for each of the four players and the space assigned for their game pad controller interfaces, as this seems to be turning into a one console one thru four player game.

Me, and my, shaaa doe…, no not shadow, faulty logic.

I’ve taken the SplitScreen sample and have built the above mentioned game screen to match the dimensions of the slicing and dicing design. Now I remember. Each of the smaller screens is where any one of the four players will end up contouring their version of the game play as the game evolves through its progression. Previously, I’ve made some GameComponents that acknowledge that a game pad has been connected and also allows the connection of the controller after a disconnect, to be reinstantiated for continued game play. Admittedly, I can just walk away from the game, only to return later on and find the state of the game looking for any of my connected controllers. Ee-yah, life happens. But, I need some way of reintegrating disconnected controllers back into the game, either from a paused game state or possibly a hot connect as the running game would take the stance of, ‘You snooze you loose’, or ‘I’ll run your player in AI mode until you reconnect’. In any case, a game pad needs to be connected to a player in the game and also have the capability to acknowledge that it has become inactive and reactivated through-out the life cycle of the game. And so I have a class which I had previously written in Game Studio 3.1. Dropping that PadJoin v3.1 class into HUDOn v4.0 game should work, but as for the egg and the chicken, who owns whom? The player plays the game. The player has a game pad. The player looks at the screen and would like to know which of the four bottom rectangles are linked to the pad that the player is holding. Through the game on the screen, each of the four rectangular pad interfaces are the connection ports for the players of the game. So each game pad needs to reveal the actions performed on the pad in a specific rectangle owned by the player. Wow, more things to build and reconfigure.

“And so It begins … “

Naming conventions aren’t always snap decisions. In the past, while working with MS Visual Basic 6.0, I had become accustomed to Hungarian notation to name variables and the like in the small applications and games I had written. With the new Game Studio 4.0, (with windows phone stuff included with the app), the need for that has become prehistoric in that, when the mouse cursor is hovered over the code in GS 4.0, a popup window will appear explaining what type, its usage, any overloads to the function, and a comment or so, to minimize the need to fully investigate its purpose. Given this extended simplicity, the names can be declared as what a variable, function, object or class is in respect to the game itself, rather than for what it does systemically or how it does it programmatically.

The Scenario.

All games on the XBox 360 start from the consoles game library. The game is loaded, then waits for a player to accept by pressing the ‘start’ button on the game pad. That player becomes the host of the game…

OK, party’s over. Über segue.

I just found an example called PerformanceMeasuring and if I don’t try to muck-up my HUDOn code with this example it just wouldn’t be like me. Yes, setbacks and the long-run. What makes me think that this is a good idea is that the landscape in this example is the same landscape in the ChaseCamera sample. And I kinda feel like seeing if I can add any physics to those spheres as they collide with one another. I gota play too, ya know.

July 8, 2011 - Posted by | 2011 [0000] to [0005], The Process

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