Februari 2012 blog archive

This page contains all the blog posts from februari 2012. To read the most recent blog posts, click here.

24/02 - Opening hand

The core of the interface renderer is in. All it needs to render a full screen interface is a few numbers. This makes it very easy to change the look of the different in-game screens. Instead of having to redraw the image in a graphics program, export it and then import in the game and fiddle with some values, all i have to do is change some numbers. On top of that, the filesize of the game is a lot smaller since most of the interface graphics are drawn in-game. The only disatvantage is that the graphical complexity of the interface can't be as high as with previous versions of HD.
The full-sized card popup is now also drawn in-game. The complete graphic has been seperated into a number of images who are then rendered on top of each other in-game. In previous versions of HD, i had to include a complete card background for every combination of major and minor races in the game, who all together took up about 1 megabyte of space.
The game is currently up to the point where it can show the player an opening hand. The AI is also already capable of deciding wether it will keep its original hand or draw a new one.

17/02 - User interface

No coding yet, currently the game is still in the preparation phase. This includes breaking the game down to its largest sections and determining what kind of input the game requires in these sections as well as what information needs to be shown to the players (output) and then building an interface around this input/output.
These sections include : menu, quick fight setup screen, deck editor, campaign screen, campaign overview map, pvp lobby, stats screen, etc. Not all of these will be created upfront as things can still change during development.
Since the combat system will be rewritten to fix some bugs from previous versions and to improve performance, i'll start with the menu, a basic version of the quick fight setup screen, then moving to the opening hand and the combat screen. From there onwards i'll expand functionality of the quick fight setup screen, start adding in the AI and start rewriting the handlers for the various card abilities.

10/02 - HD:X features

HD:X is the working title for the next game in the Hidden Dimensions series.

Planned features (subject to change)

  • Campaigns : one storydriven campaign for each race.
  • Quick Fight : single fights against the AI, with approx 20 different game modes
  • Ranked PvP : balanced, competitive PvP
  • Unranked PvP : unrestricted PvP
  • Card upgrades : upgrade your favorite cards for single player (and possibly unranked pvp)
  • Deck builder : create decks or challenges that other players can play against
  • Campaign builder : create mini campaigns for other players (possibly as a seperate file and not part of the game)
  • Improvements in AI and performance

Compared to previous versions, there will be quite some changes behind the scene as well :

  • New graphical engine, no longer using the built-in graphical objects from flash. This will result in better performance, smaller file size, but will increase memory use slightly and requires more code. As previous versions of HD have proven that the game gets large and sometimes doesn't perform as well, the pros outweigh the cons.
  • New AI system. The old AI had a fair bit of problems (but no AI will ever be perfect), but the biggest issue was the lack of flexibility, making it hard to update the AI when new card abilities were added.
  • New combat system. The current combat phases will remain, but some changes are needed to fix certain graphical bugs. The targeting system will be updated as well to disallow targeting ships that are already dying.
  • New ability system. Similar to the AI, the old system lacked the flexibility to be updated for new cards. Instead of having two different ability systems for the player and for the AI, the plan is to combine this into one single system.