Edit June 10 4:40PM:
I have come up with a basic plot and a title for my game. The title is FreedomBound. Think the plot theme may be taken by someone else but with the limitations I am working with I am fairly certain mine will be different. When the coding phase begins I have some things I already know I will need to add. Among which is scene exiting which is only partially implemented(currently only exits program), and conditional images. Main design work left to do is making up dialog content and figuring out some maps. One trouble area I foresee is character images. My skill in making these is very limited(a bit better at backgrounds), still have to look a little deeper at the freebies.
Edit June 11 10:30 AM
Not much work done since my last update. Been reading the blogs there were a few cases where I was thinking that my idea might be taken. Especially since there are multiple people planning on using the same verse. Since so many have shared their plans I figured I would share some of mine. I am planning to make mine a timed quiz maze game based on Galatians 2:4. The game will be more focused on the quiz aspect more than the maze.
Edit June 11 11:30 PM
Decided to see how feasible my main map design idea would work so I made image illustrating the basics of the layout(using dots and lines). This definitely is not an image I would use for the final game. While drawing it I thought about what I wanted the player to experience and found my thoughts did have some flaws and ended up going through a couple of revisions before I finally got what seemed to be a usable design(though it requires a little extra work on the engine to support). Here is the map design image(in a spoiler in case someone thinks it may taint their work)
Edit June 13 7:30 PM
Finally made the first image to be used in the final game(couldn't do it earlier because of sleep and work). It is an outdoors image that I originally did not plan for but after thinking about it, it is kinda necessary for completeness. Did get some critique from my mom on this,but I did all the drawing myself in Paint. A link to the image is in the following spoiler.
Edit June 14 12:40 AM
I have completed another image and half of another. I have two more background images to do after these which will probably be more complex than the previous ones. After that mostly have to deal with character images for art. so far no work or testing on the engine since the speedgame began. Would do more work but have to wake up for church in the morning.
Edit June 15 12:20 AM
I have completed all but one of the background images for the game. The last is about half way done. I have also restarted work on my engine and determined that it had issues when dealing with background images smaller than the viewing area. Currently this is fixed to the point that it doesn't look bad, but the movement code still needs to be revamped to take into account smaller images. May also want to look into centering the image rather than it just showing up in the upper left hand corner. Still haven't determined the priority of fixing these bugs due to speedgame time limits.
Edit June 16 5:30 PM
Fixed the small background movement bug I mentioned in my last update. didn't take long to fix once I got to it(image still in upper left hand corner ). Now I have to decide if I should work on more art or start getting the various game boundaries defined to actually have a working game area or last option work on creating more of the questions I had hoped to get done during the design phase but didn't get to.
Edit June 17 1:45AM
Fixed most of the major bugs involved with working with smaller background images. I also added some image scaling support so I can just include the much smaller original artwork when I bundle everything up(though not really necessary since I am no where near the file size limit since I don't have to include the .net framework in that figure), though this also means I don't have to edit the images to center them on the screen. I also made it so that it is unnecessary to take the borders into account when figuring out all the boundaries(though when the image is scaled these are based on the final size and not the original size before scaling).
Edit June 18 2:50 AM
Did a little work making it more practical to scene changes based on global engine flags. I also made some functions to help handle creating a bunch of boundaries that only differ by their offset. haven't tested these functions yet because I am about to go to bed and I haven't calculated the all the points I need to load into the functions yet. Expect to get more done the next day or two since I am off from work.
Edit June 18 2:00PM
I just finished getting the sponsor image loading figured out. took me a while because at first I was thinking about using my engine to display it but realized that it just wasn't up to that task without a bunch of workarounds that would have made it take even longer than I had already spent on it plus the time to do it without the engine. This was followed by various threading issues figuring out which of .Net's 3 timers to use(since sleeping during a form load does not work since that form doesn't display til that event completes). I also fixed some problems I had created without knowing it(like character portraits disappearing after the window was re-sized).
Edit June 18 8:30PM
Started trying to code in some boundaries for the first scene. I ran into some problems when attempting this. First of which(that was extremely annoying and necessary to fix) was there was a drawing alignment issue when using non-rectangular boundaries for covering areas. I also was using the wrong array to calculate a bounding box. And lastly there was an issue with the boundaries(only the ones for preventing movement) where they could be side stepped. still have to figure out this last one.
Edit June 18 8:40PM
Discovered the cause of the boundary sidestepping issue. The direction reversal setup I had was only checking if a direction was set and that direction only rather than allowing for the fact that other directions could be set at the same time. This issue should soon be fixed and I can see about setting up the rest of the boundaries for my first scene.
Edit June 19 12:40 AM
Finished about 1/3 of the boundaries for the first scene. The ones completed could be called the easy ones thanks to the June 18 2:50AM update though it took a lot of work to make them that easy and get them working right(though there is still a offset required for a reason I haven't determined yet). I also discovered a performance bug with the boundaries that do covering which I hope to take care of tomorrow(think it is from working with a larger section of an image than necessary). The performance bug was bad enough that if two such boundaries where activated at the same time the performance would drop by about 33%.
Edit June 19 10:20 AM
Fixed the performance bug from my last update(the problem was using too much of an image as expected). Also completed all the easy boundaries for the first scene(still a number of more difficult ones remain). Also noticed that my test character image was too big for the scene even to the degree I enlarged it so I will have to switch that out(very easy since I already have a smaller image).
Edit June 19 1:10 PM
Finished all the boundaries for my first scene except those for linking to other scenes. I will be implementing functionality for those links in the engine next. I also fixed a bug where some boundary culling code was not functioning properly. One side benefit to the fix is the code for this shrunk by around a third(mostly unneeded conditionals, not the main work section of the code)
Edit June 22 4:30 PM
Fixed up all the code having to deal with scene switching. This fortunately went very well. the only issue was exiting the scene with the appropriate info(global flags and weather or not to exit the whole program) and giving the boundaries that just modify flags and do scene exits higher priority than those that prevent a character from going somewhere. The last thing allows for characters to travel along the edge of the building without entering without having to setup an additional set of boundaries.
Edit June 22 7:15PM
Added another boundary type to my engine(with many initial bugs because I was not checking a variable correctly,thankfully these bugs are fixed as far as I can tell). I also figured out the scope of my game is too big for the time I have remaining so I am going to have to trim out a major area. I will try to make up for this if I have time with various "Easter Eggs".
The area to be trimmed will be the one in this image
Description of the design had it been implemented.
Edit June 23 11:00 PM
Excluding the scene mentioned in the last update I now have practically all the boundaries(that prevent character movement and perform scene transitions) defined for all the scenes in my game. At this point I only have a single character image(which I had before the speedgame though I made some minor edits to it so it wouldn't disappear into the background). I will of course need some more before I am done to make it semi-complete. Next thing up for the testing block is my engines text display capabilities. These have only undergone very minor tests before and I am almost certain I will run into a number of bugs. Hopefully I won't end up spending all my remaining time fixing them. There is also a known bug in the engine where occasionally(mostly when the screen losses focus) the character will continue moving in the direction it was moving before the focus was lost until you move(with the keyboard) in that direction again(allowing the direction flag for that direction to be reset). I still haven't figured out how to fix this yet.
Edit June 24 1:45 AM
Decided to create an Priest NPC. I ran into a number of problems when I did this because while my code did test boundaries for my current character it was not set up to do this for NPCs. Once I fixed that I had problems with my drawing code drawing things in the wrong order. I managed to fix the drawing issues by using a boolean in each boundary to see if the player should be drawn over or not and passing info to the boundary function about which character boundaries are being processed for(before the it didn't care as long as it was a boundary). Before all these problems the main other issue was figuring out how to hide the NPC in the scenes that it didn't belong. Initially I went the wrong route trying to use my flag system(which come to find out does not work well with default off setups). I fixed it by using a pre-existing IsHidden variable I had set up before for just this type of thing. Also still no tests for text yet.
Edit June 24 10:10 PM
I was doing a quick go through my speedgame to make sure everything was in good shape when I found a bug in the code I talked about in my last update. for a while it seemed no matter what I did nothing would make everything overlap properly. I finally fixed the issue with a major drawing section reorganization and some extensive testing of every minor change until I got the overlap order I wanted in all cases(it was so much simpler before NPC's). The main downside to the rewrite was that it is a bit less efficient due to it running through various loops multiple times. This work took about 5 hours I think for this single bug.For the time being I am not even going to think about NPC and NPC overlaps, I just don't have the time for it before the speedgame is over.
Edit June 26 1:10 AM
Fixed a number of bugs in the dialog system that would cause the engine to crash or create messed up displays(partially due to changing how the graphics where done back when I was taking into account smaller background images). There was also some code that wasn't managing strings properly(part of this was due to a lack of support in .net for some types of regex work,this was replaced by something much simpler). Now simple dialogs(one box of text) are working at about 95%(minor issue with text splitting on last line of text). Still have to test other types of dialogs. As far as content goes I am not counting on too much due to time constraints and I am not sure how many more bugs will pop up. If I get nothing else out of this contest I will have a decent demo game for my now much more stable engine.
Edit June 27 1:50 Am
Fixed a bunch of issues with dialog where the user makes a selection. Fixed some of the flag set up, added more places I could exit the scene from in the engine. Lots of content additions. This is the last update for this as I have to work most of the remaining time tomorrow. Game is currently uploaded on ftp.