Mark Sachs (ksleet) wrote,
Mark Sachs

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Neon Galaxy update.

Executive summary: improved graphics, fully added the Buzz Bomb although not without exposing some annoying problems in the engine.

First off, the glow effects are back. Isn't that nice? They're not done with a shader, just straight up rendered. I had turned them off because I was under the impression they weren't quite correct. It's true, they're not quite correct, but the hell with it. This is computer graphics; if it looks good, it is good. End of story.

Moving on, a flock of Buzz Bombs are visible onscreen. I used the logic I spelled out in the previous entry's comments to make them smoothly hand off leadership as needed, so one member of the flock flies through the maze and the others obediently follow. Too obediently, actually -- the bombs tend to move in a straight line. I may gimmick it so that followers move faster than the leader and have a more sloppy turning radius, so they'll tend to orbit a bit. Also, I don't have actual sophisticated flocking in there; the bombs will merely follow a leader if they see one. If they at least have a minimum distance they try to keep from other bombs, that might help the situation.

You may ask why there isn't a full-on flocking behavior. The reason is that I do want the flock to move along the navigation graph from room to room instead of just hanging out, and as far as I can tell that would require some outside force to give the flock a desired direction. The idea of something besides an in-game entity providing this instruction just doesn't fit in philosophically with my engine design, which wants everything to live inside the game entities. So, a leader it has to be. True flocking might be good for some other enemy type, though; it would not be too tough to implement.

The other problem I've run into is an issue in the physics sim I was hoping to ignore, namely that I present a maximum speed value objects try to accelerate to, but I forcibly clamp them so they can't exceed that value. But, I want buzz bombs to be thrown away fast after ramming the player... and the desired impulse exceeds the maximum speed, so it gets clamped out of existence. I'm sure there's some relatively simple logic for a physically powered object that won't deliberately accelerate beyond a certain speed, but can still be pushed to above that speed, and will still try to move under its own power once above that speed. I don't know exactly what that logic is yet, but I clearly can't put off figuring it out any longer.
Tags: neon galaxy, programming
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