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Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle
Claustrophobia Development Log #6
February 14, 2014 - The Indie Forge
Hello everybody, and welcome to Development Log #6! As you may have noticed, there was no Dev Log last week due to the amount of work I had at the time, so this week’s will include everything I was working on last week too. From this point on, these will probably become more bi-weekly rather than weekly, since I also have coursework for Uni that I need to work on. That doesn’t mean that I will be working less on Claustrophobia per say, just that I will write about it a little less. These things tend to be quite time consuming to put together!
Anyhow. Firstly I’d like to say thank you to everyone for the feedback on the new graphic style. I’d say that it has been received very positively by the vast majority. For those of you asking whether the new style will be optional, I’m afraid it will not be on launch. The game’s engine has been redesigned as much as the new graphics have been, and the old graphics would not fit back in very easily without a fair bit of editing. That’s not to say that it will never happen: the new engine will happily support lower resolution textures, but some time would be needed to convert the old graphics over, and that’s time I’m afraid I just don’t have at the moment.
Right, progress! The last couple of weeks have been spent on two main areas: saving game data, and building the user interface. Neither of these two areas are anywhere near done, but the first few building blocks are down. For those of you interested, the save files this time around will be saved in a binary format, rather than the XML implementation that I used for V1, and will be split into individual files for the player, and each level, which means there will no longer be a single massive file containing lines and lines of editable XML script. You will also be able to have multiple save files, which was a frequently requested feature last time.
Now on to the more interesting stuff! As many of you probably experienced, V1’s user interface was a bit of a mess, to say the least. Window’s priorities on screen were all over the place, there was no continuous window style, and the code for them was so messy that it took me hours to just change the layout of their contents. This time around I have spent a considerable amount of time building a fully functioning interface system from the ground up, and it looks something like this:
Windows are drawn based on their active priorities, and are resizable and repositionable. They also have a header with the window’s name and a close button. The close key (by default Escape) will close the currently active window, until no active windows remain, at which point it will bring up the pause menu.
The inventory as it currently stands has much the same functionality as before. Item rarity is also displayed by a coloured outline.
A very early version of the text log, which now has scrolling functionality, and saves up to 100 lines of text events. Text lines fade out after a while so they do not become too obtrusive.
I’ve also worked on a couple of other windows, but they’re not complete enough to show just yet. Hopefully I will have the main functionality of the UI nailed down within the next few weeks, and I can begin to work on content and gameplay. The engine is already much more stable than V1 ever was, and working on new features is now much easier. So everything’s still on track! Any suggestions or additions you would like to see to the user interface over V1, let me know, and I can begin building it in!
As ever, feedback is much appreciated, and thank you for reading. Next Dev Log in 1-2 weeks’ time!