I couldn't face going back into the polygon clipping code again so I've decided to deal with other areas of the game for now. Since I theoretically would like to start adding gameplay elements, such as enemies and loot, I started out by with some trepidation firing up InkScape to see how much of a pain it'd be to create brand new artwork. To my surprise it wasn't bad at all. Turning this crude sketch into the representation seen above took all of maybe five minutes or so. It's far from final artwork, of course, but I'll admit, I'm impressed by how efficient the process was.
That was the main change, except I got particle systems in as well. From a standing start, the engine now supports a very basic type of particle system that accepts a variety of input parameters and can adjust the particle lifetime, color, direction, and all the usual stuff you'd expect. So that's not bad.
One thing I haven't thought about at all is animation. It would be nice if the game graphics were more dynamic -- for example, your ship's wings folded in and out as you adjusted your speed. In principle I could do that right now by stacking up the child objects I already support, but that would be very crude and require a ton of coding to make each individual animation work. It would be nice to have a better solution to that before I get too much into the art stage, but what that answer might be to this problem I have absolutely no idea.
Speaking of awkward segues, I have also been continuing to make my way through the old Key to Time episodes of Doctor Who.
The Stones of Blood was... phew. It's weak, at best. The idea of an invisible spaceship floating above a stone circle is fundamentally cool, as is the concept of an intergalactic criminal disguising herself as a Celtic goddess and the Galactic Police pursuing her for millennia, and things are genuinely spooky right at the start... but it's all downhill from there. The writing is second-rate and the story lurches gracelessly from one meaningless plot point to the next, discarding each as soon as possible along with any traces of viewer interest they inspired, until it eventually just runs out of gas and the show ends. The only things I really liked about this story were the super-cool set design for the police ship interior, and K-9's frantically contradictory reaction when the Doctor insists he always wanted to be a bloodhound.
The Androids of Tara is a lot better. There's some nice location shooting, with British castles standing in for the medieval society of the planet Tara; there's some pretty sharp writing and surprising depth to the minor characters, and I have to admit that Count Grendel is a seriously badass villain. I mean, really, coming in with a flag of truce and then assassinating the King with the flagpole before making a daring escape? Dang. My only complaint would have to be that, just like in The Stones of Blood, poor Romana's primary function in the story is to get randomly captured by the bad guys. I never noticed back when I was watching the show as a little kid, but yeah... it seems like the writers frequently didn't have any idea what to do with her. At least she handles her inevitable kidnapping with grace and poise, though, have to give her that.
Next up is... oh, geez. The Power of Kroll. Searching my memory for this episode dredges up cheesy-looking and unfortunately-named aliens, and anvilicious anti-imperialist political hectoring that was obsolete in 1978, never mind today. Maybe I can just skip this one.