Hmm today is a weird one to write up. On one had I made some progress on little tasks which are too specific to be worth expanding and on the other I found some rather annoying consequences of the fog of war implementation.
It all basically boils down to the current constraints result in some unintuitive or slightly sub-par experience and fixing them is fiddly. I want to do a big ol’ breakdown on this but I want to leave it until at least tomorrow as @jonnyree and I are going to have a planning meeting on this tomorrow.
This may result in a relatively large change so, given how little time we have left this year, we really need to nail down something that can work for the alpha and then stick with it.
This doesn’t stop us rewriting it during the alpha but that would make mean less user testing of each implementation which means less data and time to work with.
Trade-offs are.. well, a thing.
On that very insubstantial note,
A tiny log today as I’m heading out to see some friends now.
Today I took a little break from engine work to look at server side. The main take has just been tweaking our the DB to store the data we want for campaigns and characters and supporting granular permissions for who can do what. Those controls may not all be exposed but it’s not hurting to have it there.
When the UI for the creating/editting campaigns lands I’ll expose this from the web server and hook it up.
Hi again, today has been a day of churn. We have known for a couple of weeks that the way floors have worked in the prototype was unsatisfactory. For context you used to be able to delete floors and insert floors below others, which sounds great and felt great to.. on small boards. However when you start making a whole village and want to add a floor to a single building then the problems quickly become apparent, you add a floor to the entire village!
So instead of that we will be replacing it with the ability to select a region and:
- delete it
- delete it and drop the tiles from floors above down
- push tiles up to the next floor (which pushes the ones above up etc)
This will give the level of control we had before but without the caveats. Of course this requires a little more work from the user, but it feels like a necessary inconvenience.
Also, in order to be able to support large board in the future we needed to get away from anything that operated on entire floors so chunking up the board has been on the todo list for a while (we already had started this for the fog of war code). This is where the churn came in as, as you can imagine, floors were pretty central in the codebase so changing that out has touched a tonne of code. Getting things to behave again after those changes took most of today but it’s creeping toward feeling solid again.
I’m not 100% sure what I’m working on tomorrow. I still have a lot of tidy-up work to do, I need to look into how to add ‘hill climbing’ to the octree fill (more on that another day) and I need to make some server-side changes very soon.
Guess I’ll see how I feel in the morning.
For now have a wee video showing the fog of war responding to the door opening. I have to switch between DM and player here as attempting to open the door will try sending a message to the DM.. who is on the same machine and the UI code gets a bit confused :)
Almost forgot this evening’s one so it’s gonna have to be quick. Today I worked on the import of the occlusion data from TaleWeaver I’ve got a couple of small issues left where Unity’s behavior mas left me a touch confused but no doubt I’m just being a dummy.
I have noticed a shortening of these dailys over the last few days but fear not, they’ll be getting a bit longer as things get exciting again :)
Good-evening folks! Today was spent getting used to the profile, finding out ‘deep-profile’ is useless, finding out that some parts are pretty fragile and then making a few speedups.
Mainly it has just be reducing the amount of info that needs to be written into the octrees for each zone. This is kind of avoiding the real issues though so we will need to get back to actually reducing the time things take, but that is for another day. The main thing to tackle was rewriting the code that find which parts of a tile are solid and which aren’t. This was previously hacked into TaleSpire itself and happened on load, but this is daft as it never changes so I have moved this to the tile modding tools.
I’m now going through all the existing assets and adding extra info to all of the floors and reexporting the assets with their new collision info. Tomorrow will basically be finishing that off and using this new data in TaleSpire, which should tale performance back to where it was. I will also serialize the octrees for file/load and syncing floors as it could be a pretty quick win.
Today I got a bunch of thing fixed so the new fog of war is starting to behave itself. There is still a bunch to do so my 7 day estimate at the beginning of last week is looking dumber by the day, however it’s still a good day.
I can load boards again, walk my character around and see that the systems are communicating properly. The next things on the todo are (in no particular order):
- Make tile deletion work with the fog of war
- Improve performance of adding tiles (see below)
- Only add occluders (a special kind of tile) to the fog of war zones
- Only update tile visibility info for zones that are on screen or nearby
- serialize the fog of war (maybe)
Right now, when loading boards there is an expected but noticeable lag. I know it’s related to the fog of war system but I need to know which parts are causing the issue. I’m definitely doing that before serializing the fog of war data as that would just mask any issues.
Right, gotta go get ready for a stream
Another short update for today. I got the fog of war logic mostly hooked up but in a very dissatisfying ugly way. The job for tomorrow is to try and wrangle it into a more sensible form and then start testing and tweaking the fill.
The tiles are being revealed now but as we are replacing some parts of the projects others are pretty broken. An example side effect is that right now you can walk through hidden walls. This ends up being rather demoralizing as the harder you work the more broken things get. Of course the logic part of the brain knows we have done this shit plenty of times before and in a few days it’ll be good again, just gotta keep grinding :)
Until next time
Today has been spent replacing the old fog of war with the new code. This code has paths from and through many other systems so it feels like I’ve been pulling on threads to see what moves and then unweaving them.. flashbacks to running network cables in an old job :p
Like yesterday I don’t have solid stuff to show but it feels like it’s getting close. Tomorrow will start with testing followed by hooking the level loading into the fog of war stuff. This either means having each loaded asset write add themselves to the zone’s octree or (much more likely) we just serialize the octrees.
I also need to look into which zones are updated per frame. For a huge map you don’t want some zone a mile away updating things that don’t matter.
Thanks for stopping by, seeya next time
Today I needed to take a little time to be a human so less coding was done.
Before that I did get flood fill working across subsections of the board (zones). The next task is storing the results for the given character and being able to switch between different character’s perception.
Those successes only appear as a couple of messages in the log right now, so instead here is a visualization of the octrees of different zones as the character moves through them
I got less done than I’d hoped today but that’s alright. We had to plan out some finer details of how the fog of war should behave under different conditions and required a few changes in how we are storing places the character has already revealed.
I’ve hacked out the data structure for this and am writing on the worker that will run the flood fills.
Not really much more to say right now,