Shapes and shots

Screen Shot 2013-02-07 at 9.52.04 PMI’m trying to get back into the habit of posting screenshots more frequently, as there’s been a lot of new stuff going on recently.

Today’s screenshot is of a still-in-progress update to the procedural building construction code.  It’s still extremely simplistic, but I feel like this new approach gives a lot of benefits.  First, it’s no longer reliant on the “nested block” construction which I had originally designed (and which turned out to be a nightmare for authoring shapes).  Second, the new system is now building a little plinth around buildings, which makes some of them much easier to click from high above (most especially things like graveyards).

Obviously there’s still a lot to do in terms of adding details, setting colors, and adding textures.  But I’m much happier with this sort of “tall, narrow” aspect ratio for MMO buildings;  it feels a lot more like a modern MMO shape, than the old “squat, wide” building did.

I also noted today a pretty major problem in the new camera that I’ve switched to;  I have zooming in and out mapped to the mouse wheel, but that’s also still mapped to changing the size of the brush for painting on the terrain, which means that you’re always making uncomfortable zooms in and out when you’re trying to edit the terrain, now.  I’m going to need to move the zooming onto some other control, I guess.  Or make some other way of changing the brush size.  I’m not sure, yet.  Lots of tycoon games put ‘zoom’ on middle-mouse-button-drag.  But I don’t know.. I really liked having it on the scroll wheel.  Felt nice.

So I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

Hopefully I’ll have a plan to work out this control issue before the end of tomorrow!

5 thoughts on “Shapes and shots

  1. Hey, I’m still here.

    What about using ctrl/shift/some modifier key + mousewheel to control the brush size?

    • That’s my fallback position, if I can’t find something better. I’m also planning to try making mousewheel change brush size when you have a tool which uses a brush, or change zoom level otherwise. Which might be intensely confusing (changing what controls do based on a “mode” is usually a very bad idea), but I want to try it anyway, just to confirm for myself. Will also perhaps try middle-click-drag, which seems to be popularly used in 3D Tycoon games (although I find it awkward, mechanically, since most mice use the scroll wheel as the middle-click, and it often doesn’t work too reliably)

    • Forgot to mention: customizable controls are especially desirable for those with laptops (limited keyboards) and who don’t or can’t use a mouse when they want to play.

      • For the record, I do most of my development and testing on a laptop, using the built-in track pad, and a keyboard which doesn’t even have arrow keys. The game will definitely be playable in that configuration.

        With that said though, I agree that customisable controls will be necessary. I’ve been bad about providing an interface to control customisation on my last few games, just due to lack of development time. I need to be much better about that in future!

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