State of the Game #211: Loading…..

Wow, what a week of game development!

This week started with me finally bending to the will of the masses and putting in an ejection screen to the game. This simple mechanic allows you to ‘eject’ and blow up your MAV in game. Very useful in arena mode when you are stripped. There is a 5 second delay on it right now to prevent you from just ejecting to prevent the enemy from getting the kill. I will likely also implement a system in which the last player to do damage to you actually gets a kill when you eject.

From there, I decided to knock off a long standing bug with the AI, as I slowly work through Fenix’s great list!

The AI will now use Howitzers and Rockets correctly! In this video I gave the AI a fully automatic howitzer for testing reasons only, so don’t worry about them being that crazy!

Once the AI was solved I moved back to tackling a bug we experienced on the dev stream when we tried to make the very first 0.6.0 test build. I ran into a very weird issue with the new game options file, so I fixed those bugs and fixed another issue with how the game options file gets saved out.

After solving that issue, I went back to level loading to try and solve the incredibly long load times we were seeing in the stream. I was able to track the issue down and implemented a better solution which was able to get sub 10 second load times, all while maintaining a solid 30 frames per second, which means the load screens can be fully animated!

I have been working on the load screen manager, so each level can call it’s own load screen, or have a random load screen. Independent of the background objects, I will also have ‘tips’ that show. I started a thread to gather ideas for these tips, as they could be gameplay tips, map tips, map lore, or even game lore! What ever it is, it needs to be readable in 5 seconds or less, as the load times on most maps are at that 5 second mark. I even added a minimum load time so the faster levels would still give you time to read!

That’s it for this week! Oh, one last item. I will NOT be doing a Dev Stream on February 14th, Valentines day. While I personally think it’s a totally commercial holiday [thanks Hallmark!], it does provide a convenient day to show someone that you do care about them, so I will be spending time with my family. I hope you have a happy Valentines, if all else fails, you can go see Deadpool 😉

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