MyI@FarNiche

Building an XNA Game Studio XBox360 Indie Game.

[page 0006] ~ SpaceShooter Conversion:

Job Descriptions and Expectations.

When I was a roofer my best friend and mantra was to just think about what I was doing and not where I was doing it. The same went for my stints with carpentry, landscaping and basement waterproofing. There was danger everywhere, so all I had to do was to keep my mind on my work, be aware of my surroundings, always have an easy-out just in case and all was well. After opening up the archived SpaceShooter game and looking at all of the folders in the project solution I got a little shiver of impending intuition. The chances of things turning out well were there but being wary still didn’t preclude any nor all pitfalls. I’m glad I took that up back then because I can now see that that is a young mans’ game. I’m also very glad I kept up with my continued education so I can use the old adage, “If I knew then what I know now.”, so not all is lost in translation. And with great trepidation, to wit, version conversion.

Stepping through v3.1 SpaceShooter.

Yep, when all else fails, read the instructions, or press ‘Step Into(F11)’ many upon many times until you are in the games’ loops; Update and Draw loops, that is. Doing so will lead you through the initialization of SpaceShooter. Setting the red-spot break points at the end of huge initialization loops, then pressing the ‘Start Debugging(F5)’ arrow button then and again, will run the cursor to that break-point. You then disable that break-point and continue stepping through the code. Doing so should speed the process, unless of course, you’re very interested in watching the variables change hundreds upon hundreds of times. In the end, after stepping into and stepping out and over functions and loops, you end up in the Update and Draw loops. This is where the game acknowledges, accepts and processes the players desires, which are revealed as a flow of requests to contour the current instance of the games scenario.

Stepping through the New and Improved v4.0 SpaceShooter.

Well, that was more like gutting a deer than a graceful and pristine evolution into an integrable conversion template. It didn’t use all too much compiler time though, as the compiler was breaking and barking all the way to the bitter end. After reading the Error List when the compiler could finally stand no more of ‘What Is This Supposto Mean’ verification attempts, the suspect blocks of code were commented out. At times whole code pages would become ‘Excluded From Project’. Gone are the functions, dependant variables, aligning logic flows. But in doing so entire slues of probable errors were created. Needless to say that all that is left are some raw consumables, the vestiges of what was. It looks like the SpaceScape, like the International Space Station, will need to be persued via another route.

Space and Space.

50MB or 150MB, that is the question. And the number one answer is, ding ding ding, 150MB, the maximum size for and Indie game. HUDOn is up to 111MB of space in its slapped together state, according to the .ccgame file size, which leads me to believe that I have only 39MB to play with. GameOn and HUDOn have been great diving board experiences but it looks like I need to put what I’ve created so far into a game format. I don’t think I’ll be incorporating the yet to exist SpaceScape into this game because of .ccgame MB size restrictions. And neither of either of these two project solutions have any sound, so that will also add to the final content size.

What then will my next game project solve?

An appropriate name for the game should come from where I would like to end up. That place needs to be a file size that economizes the GameOn and HUDOn environments in their simplest form. The two subjects I need to extract from GameOn and HUDOn for this new game are the Scapes and the ship that flies about it. HUDOn sum-what fine tuned both the terrain and the ship objects and also added the PerformanceMeasuring sample and my incarnation of a Mini-Map. Taking all these pieces into a new game solution, should give the title of the next game another milestone concept. The topics envolved drive the games’ name, being, BasicGameSize. This is the next increment name for FarNiche as it grows from project solution to project solution.

Tidying up for, One More Vlog Entry.

HUDOn needs to initialize both the 3D terrain map with the 2D mini-map of the 3D terrain so that the two forward facing vectors are aligned, in respect to their X,Z coordinate planes that will be collinear with the ship. A point needs to mark where the ship in the 3D terrain is located in the 2D mini-map. The zoom-in and zoom-out of the mini-map needs to be centered using the ship as the origin when zooming, and the mini-map needs to rotate about the ships origin. Incorporating a portion of a GS v3.1 sample called SkySphere will add the ability to pan around the ship to view the surroundings without changing the direction of the ship. It uses the Quaternion structure and it is my first time to get an understanding of its actions inside a game that I’ve built. The idea of a mini viewport, that is a split-screen view, has also come into play because while the main viewport displays a mode of the current camera settings, the capability to continue a consistent navigation of the ship is lessened when the current view is a focus that does not fully pertain to that of a pilots position in the ship. One case is that of the Seeker mode which incorporates a 360 view camera. This mode moves the camera away from the ship but the focus remains on the ship. The ship can continue moving forward toward its destination as the view about the ship can be seen while turning the camera about the ship so as to see in a cross-view direction to view the ship in its surroundings. Another mode is that of a fourth person camera where it is placed at a position of one of the spheres from the PerformanceMeasuring sample. Watching the ship fly through the Scapes seemingly completely detached from a conventional pilots position proves to be inconvenient as the hills and waters position in consideration to the ships position will still produce a conflict, a crash. Having a picture in picture split-screen should convey to the player that the ship is still being piloted through the controller although it is also seen in the large common viewport as like that of a jet streaking overhead, small, quick to pass over and mostly unnoticeable.

Hello Again.

It’s January 2012, and I started this page sometime around July or August of 2011. I’ve almost completely forgotten how HUDOn works because I hadn’t written any type of help file or graphical view of a controller map page. I can’t even remember if I had gotten it to run on the Xbox 360. So it looks like I need to hook up the console and run the XNA Game Studio Connect game in my Indie folder. Well, HUD-On does have an Xbox 360 Copy() of HUDOn already added to the project solution, so I’ll just go up to the Build/Configuration Manager in my MVS2010EfWP IDE and enable the Build and Deploy check boxes and then click Close and Start Debugging (F5), after I have selected the Xbox 360 Copy () of HUDOn and have set it to Set as StartUp Project. That’s a good sign, it took a while to compile and deploy, and it looks like I have the ship from the ChaseCamera sample hovering over some terrain, now if I can remember what the buttons on the controller do. It works perfectly except for an [eek! I dare not say … gasp], exception in HeightMapInfo. From what I can recall its because at some point in time I was trying to get a fourth person point of view using a sphere from the PerformanceMeasuring sample as the origin of the view frustum and having it over-run the height map data, i.e. It does what TRON did with the motorcycles except for the fact that the debugger halts the logic at a line after the indicies are calculated and some variable is taking some heights, normalizing them and then taking them as a Linearly Interpolated value used in the GetHeight(Vector3) call. When I had just opened the project solution that code page was the viewable page and from what I can recall it was the major bug that produced a game logic crash. Otherwise, except for a couple of on screen variable value pairs cluttering the viewport, I have solved HUDOn and will send a slice of its current state to the VLOG.

How does it fly?

It seems that the ship can fly up to 82300 units before it reaches the SpaceScape, there are two viewports of the same ship with the same person-tense type. OK, another [Additional information: fieldOfView takes a value between 0 and Pi (180 degrees) in radians.] exception, in ChaseCamera UpdateMatrices CreateLookAt. This time it was a green arrow instead of a yellow Step Into(F11).

Wow.
TO BE CONTINUED . . .

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January 22, 2012 Posted by | 2012 [0006] to [0018], The Process | Leave a comment