Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Lost Summer

    Wow.  Finally another blog post.  Today is the first day of school for our children in Washington and also the time to get back to a normal work schedule.  Our very busy Summer left little uninterrupted time for programming.  Most of the last 8 weeks have had some form of interruption involving the kids, family or camping.  Not a bad problem to have, but not much work has been accomplished.  I found myself doing more small bug fixes and experimenting with designs for the current puzzle game and other future projects.  This meant more white board and less actual code time.
   Today the whole family got back to work/school and hopefully the current project will start showing more progress and less inertia on my part.  This blog post is meant to be one of the steps that will help be accomplish this goal.  If you write it, it will come.  Or something like that.
    Our latest project, the Flow War / Puzzle game has had a few setbacks lately.  I did not like the single touch system used for moving flows from one 'square' to another.  I changed this system into more of a drag arrows to indicate flow instead of touching a lot of squares in sequential order.  In order to do this, I had to build the new flow arrows to work with the drag behavior and also disable the old system of single touches.  So now I have a game board that accepts arrows being drawn on the board, but have not implemented the replacement for the 'touch flows'.  This means the board shows the computer opponent filling it's squares just fine, but the human can only draw pretty arrows with no flows.  I would say that the user will expect more from a game.
    I did also put together a nice screen for selecting the level to play.  It uses the swipes to pull the desired level to the forefront like turning pages.  To get that working consistently, I had to add in some rudimentary file saves to allow the user to keep the level selected.  It looks nice and helps me in trying out the various A.I. opponent programs that I have come up with for testing.  
   I also still have to add in the Player components to the game.  This is the part of the game that keeps track of the various players, their levels and achievements completed, and other progress items.  Since this is pretty common for most games, I am trying to design this as one 'drop-in' module so that future games can just plug and play to get this functionality.  I am hoping to get this all wrapped up in the coming week, but we will see.
   It was a great summer, but it is good to be back coding.

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