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Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:54 pm
Work has resumed in earnest on v0.84c.
I had to spend a lot of coding and testing time getting the new mega artefact enemy ready for level 10.
It has a lot of different firing points and since the ship needs to rotate, those firing points have to be integrated into the animations of the object.
That would normally be straightforward but the enemy also opens and closes smoothly to reveal and hide its weapons.
Getting all those animations to integrate smoothly was a big chore and because the enemy has a large number of firing cycles that were difficult to check while level 10 was running.
In the end, I had them spawn in level 1, which is less hectic and observed them more closely in there.
I will go back and tweak the two smaller artefact enemies; the pyramid defence satellite and the diamond power-up satellite.
To balance out the increased difficulty of adding the mega artefact enemy, I plan on adding another large type, related to the diamond-shaped type which is defended but still easy to destroy and will yield a good number of power-ups.
Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:19 am
It looks to me as though Clickteam have introduced an old bug back into the current version of their development software.
It means that if you create an object and set its animation straight away (like I do with the 'laser sight' object), the first frame of the animation is shown twice and there's not much I can do to correct that.
So I made a new laser sight that looks nicer and uses fewer runtime objects.
Run level 14 in the new version and check the effect out on the later bosses.
v0.84d - Particle Performance
Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:08 pm
I'm working on improving X-Bomber's performance when lots particles, such as missile vapour trail segments, are generated. Until now, the system has made the particles fade out 'on the fly', which means that the Fusion engine has to cycle through every smoke particle, work out its current transparency and add a bit more for every frame that the game displays. The scaling was already baked into each particle's animations; meaning 16 frames in total that already had an alpha channel applied.
I went into my genuine, licensed copy of Photoshop and used the levels function to darken the sprite by the right amount and applying that to the alpha channel to fade the object out without events. This way, the vapour trails can be created and destroyed and the events engine doesn't need to touch the particle objects in the meantime.
Hopefully, this should allow less powerful machines, like tablets to run the game; even on battery power, where the GPU runs at lower voltage.
The next object that needs to have this method applied is the 'dust' object, whose system has gone un-upgraded for quite some time. This should allow the Level 10 final boss to run much faster. That part of the game can get a bit snarly even on a gaming laptop when running on battery.
Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:55 pm
For the first time in ages, I had an afternoon where I could sit down and work on my game.
I was getting tired of building up sad bits of paper on my desk with ideas for the game that were never getting done.
In that time, I managed to fix a few things with:
1. the enemy smart mine weapon
2. the new dust particle system where the particles inherit the properties of the frag/spawner object
3. reduced the size of BrainCom on screen so that it is more to scale with MainBody and LegTrax
4. fixed some glitches with the new enemy rocket smoke trails
5. added floating damage bars to any enemy with >1000 health
6. added some nice glows to bosses 1 and 4
I did a lot of testing of various player ships and the game seems to be holding out well.
Edit: Tested it further and made a few further tweaks.
Seemed good so I uploaded it.
Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:53 pm
The mainboard in my desktop looks to have developed a fault and the temperatures on the board have gone crazy high.
So I haven't been using that box and I ordered a new ASUS full-ATX AM4 board and a Ryzen 7 CPU with a cooler, like I'd been planning on doing for some time.
Without the desktop and all our films, I started using my laptop more and set off working on X-Bomber again.
I'm working on the sprite for the main, transforming boss and I'm gonna hold off on any new features or undertakings until that boss is finally done and it looks finished and the whole thing works.