More polish

This was a very good weekend in game development terms, I made up for the low productive week. Saturday I worked on polishing the transition between ship mode and tactical mode – I re-wrote the transition so that the previous hud, mouse and camera settings are preserved. Before this info was tossed away as it wasn’t needed since there was only one hud and switching back to cockpit made the most sense after exiting tactical mode, but now with command mode I wanted to add this polish in.

While I was working on the transition I also added some command mode commands – they are very basic but I think very useful – the first one is to “rotate to neutral” meaning that the ship will pitch and roll itself to be aligned with an imaginary “up” plane. I say imaginary because in space there is no “up” or “down.” The other command I added is an – cancel current command. Easy stuff, but again I hope very handy.

Having mostly did the transition polish and command mode polish I wanted to add some sounds that recently were designed for the project. I started with the afterburner sounds and wanted to consolidate sound creation and paramater specification via creating an xml readable in sound paramater file. Then I worked on re-working “main engine” sounds – although players never heard them, they were in game, but disabled because there would be stutters and other glitches. The sounds were tied to visual particle effects, and not every ship had a particle effect for every “maneuvering thruster.” The sounds also triggered badly and started and stopped in awckward ways. I re-wrote them and even polished up some engine particle effects glitches (overfirings on very minor thrust corrections) that have been lingering ever since I added in engine particle effects. Very happy with this.

I then moved on to weapon sounds – which are a bit more complex. Some guns will cycle sounds in a random sequence, some guns will repeat the same sound, but need to re-create it, some sounds loop and have a tail sound when the firing stops. This leads for the creation of a sound handler object that will handle this in a unified way (eg: for both fire sounds, engine sounds, and explosion sounds). Making sound maintenance easier and cleaner due to having it all in one place in code.

Other than that the weekend was good non-game development wise. We (the wife and I) went out for breakfast on Saturday, saw a movie on Sunday and took a walk around the neighborhood with the sun shining.