State of the Game #72 : Still trucking on the garage

Welcome to another week of M.A.V. development!

As you may remember from the last week, I have been hard at work polishing up the garage experience. This week is a continuation of that polish.

My focus for this week was to continue with the attachment system, to make it feel more natural. In the current incarnation there is a nasty bug that causes the attaching part to behave unpredictably as you attach it to another part. This has been my primary focus this week.

While the current unpredictable nature of the attachment system is not game breaking, it is very annoying and breaks the experience pretty bad. Unfortunately, this has been a bit of a tricky bug for me to track down. I had hoped to have this fixed and ready to release as a snapshot build for today, but I am still getting some unpredictable behavior.

[Incoming tech talk!] With the way the free form attachment works, coupled with the ability to rotate parts before you attach them, means there are currently ~600 possible ‘attachment’ matches that need to be tested.

While that sounds like a lot, it is a worst case amount. Using some fancy matrix math, we can treat the static attachment the same in every case, meaning I only have to account for 24 different attachments. That is not so bad. 

The trick though, is determining which of the 24 possible attachments the user is trying to accomplish, and then what the expected result of that attachment should be. There are 4 possible outcomes, Normal, Rotated 90 degrees, Rotated 180 degrees, and Rotated -90 degrees. Right now I would say the solution I have gets the result right ~80% of the time. It’s the edge cases that seem to be tripping me up and making the math more complex.
[End Technical Talk]

Once I get this issue solved, I want to focus on adding a bit more life to that garage. There is a great new interior model, but it doesn’t feel ‘lively’ quite yet. So I will do a small art and animation pass over the whole garage.

After the Art pass, I will overhaul the whole Garage UI. This is a long over do task, and one I have had a hard time getting just right (I will be the 3rd or 4th UI overhaul). I do think I have a lot more feedback from users and a better spec of what I need to support in the future. Plus, since I have done it some much, I have learned quite a bit about the UI system in general. I think all this will combine to make this the best UI so far, and the final one 🙂

Well, until next week!


Leave a Reply