Thursday, April 24, 2008

A little too quiet

So it's been a few months since I last posted. I got busy with school and living in a house with 4 other people. Let's just say that there was a lot of Halo that happened. Unfortunately, that experience has come to a close. I wrote my last exam today and will be moving out on Sunday. I'll be in my new place with my fiance on Monday/Tuesday which will be our own place where we will stay for a few years. Eventually we're looking at getting a house. I also start my job again (game programmer) in a week and a half.

What this all means is that once the move is done, I will finally be able to work consistently on my projects again. The editor will start getting some much needed love and I am hoping to add a few things into the RTS game.

The main thing that I've been toying around with lately has been a visual scripting system. There are examples of this all over the place lately. The two that I first saw were the editor for the Crytek engine as well as the editor for the Unreal engine. Crytek calls their version FlowGraph with an example below.

I have tried both of the systems in a limited capacity and I just find that the Crytek version is easier to work with and a much nicer interface than Unreal's version. That being said, I haven't actually compared the capabilities of each but I haven't run into anything that I'd want to do that I couldn't in FlowGraph.

I've been experimenting with my own system and I seem to have come up with a reasonable solution. It's heavily based on the Crysis SDK but since I don't have actual source code for it all, I've had to do parts from scratch. I'm hoping that I will be able to implement this system into the RTS so that scripted sequences as well as some basic AI logic could be laid out with this tool.

There are a lot of possibilities that I have in my head for how this system could be used which I will explain in a future post. Needless to say, I will try to make this as powerful as possible so that I don't have to resort to the code-compile-wait-test-debug-wait-redo cycle that a lot of development gets stuck in. If I can chop out the compile part, that should save me a lot of time and at the same time will open up creation to many more people than just coders.

I'm also looking into toLua to expose a lot of the game to Lua so that I can write modules and some AI in lua without having to constantly recompile. At some point, I'd like to be able to define nodes in my visual logic system in Lua so that new functionality could be added on the fly without recompiling all the time.

There are a few other things on the burner right now but I am going to try and finish fixing the transform tools now that I've merged the 'tool' and 'gizmo' system into one system. This will make it a lot more consistent when a new piece of functionality is required.

And now. If you'll excuse me, I am going to get myself back into some coding.