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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dungeon Colony - Engine Update - new path finder nearly implemented

The new Engine Upgrades are coming along well. However, it is taking longer than expected since I am making some other much needed engine upgrades concurrently. But on the bright side, every change and every re-factoring will benefit in the end and it gets me more excited by the line. 

I continued with the implementation of the new pathfinder. It caused a lot of bad bugs or design patterns to emerge, and the bugs originate from some unfinished old code that needed to be refactored and completed anyhow.

Units are following paths again, but now much more precisely and with totally arbitrary sizes. That will allow me to make amazingly large creatures. Every creature's size becomes a clearance value used in the pathfinder to determine if a creature can walk a narrow space or not. That precision will become apparent in the next round of engine upgrades that I am currently working on, but I will explain those details when its finished. For now, I need to focus on fixing all the bugs and logic in all corners of the code where path planning is used. 

I spend the last hour or so adding social media buttons to this blog. So please share if you'd like =). 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dungeon Colony - Engine Upgrade

This is another development update about the new Engine Upgrade I am currently working on.

Parts of the engine are very old, in fact, the original pathfinder was one of the first algorithms I programmed for the game. But it lacked a lot of features and had some issues. 

Over the weekend I began implementation of the HAA* Pathfinding algorithm. Unfortunately, the path results were sub-optimal given my requirements and that made some paths look unnatural in rare situations. Even smoothing of a calculated path didn't result in the expected path. The algorithm is amazing when it comes to speed. So I will keep the code for future reference, especially since there will be an instance in an upcoming game feature which will require an abstract graph of the map (see paper for more info about that).

Instead I started working on an algorithm somewhat similar to Lifelong Planning A* algorithm. I'm not quite done yet, but the results are already great. I always try to make sure that such algorithms run fast on my crappy hardware under extreme conditions and I was surprised to see it work quite fast on a netbook (1024x600 res, 1.2GHz and 1GB Ram, Windows XP). I had to turn off some features that weren't supported on my netbook, (shaders to name one), but in the end the algorithm performed as expected.

Next, I will implement the new pathfinder into the engine. This will require a lot of cleanup and refactoring, which I am mostly excited about - who doesn't love clean code!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dungeon Colony - Interim Development Update

Hi. I have started development on a larger engine upgrade to expand the foundation of the tile map, path finding, unit AI (enemy and friendly) as well as Object management. This engine upgrade affects countless game elements and will take a bit longer to complete. I will periodically update you  to give you an idea if this upgrade is going in the right direction. There are still some unknown obstacles I have to prototype and test before determining if this upgrade will actually be released for alpha testing. I am very excited because the list of new features this upgrade will allow is big and the level of depth to build your dungeon will increase. I won't comment on details until at least some prototypes show success. 


During that time, Dungeon Colony can still be played. The latest most stable version is v


Friday, April 5, 2013

Update 54 - Dungeon Colony Version

Hi. This update (v fixes more bugs. Summary: - Fixes typo. - Restores previously discovered items for crafting after loading saved game. - Fixes a nullpointer exception that was caused when picking up items.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Update 53 - Dungeon Colony Version

Hi. This update (v fixes some more bugs. Mostly caused by the new objects added recently. One of the main issues you may have noticed was with potions. They caused problems loading saved games.

Update Summary:
- Minions can now place a red gem directly from their bag into a shrine.
- Fixes Bug that crashes saved games due to brewed potions. 
- Fixes Bug that crashed saved games due to dead spiders.