Only got a teensy bit of time to work on this today. I didn’t think I was going to get much done, but somehow that always results in more actually getting done. Weird.
Debug message queue
I realized that it’s going to be very helpful to have on-screen cues for debug-related stuff in the near future, especially with events and event flag stuff starting to get underway. So I set up a message queue that displays debug messages. It was surprisingly easy to set up and hook in to the various game systems.
During a work break today I browsed some RPG Maker tilesheet tutorials, trying to gain some insight into making nice tiles. I still have a long way to go until my tiles look decent, but using what I learned yesterday and some new insight gained today, I made a new indoor tileset. It was much easier to make this time now that I know the sorts of requirements tile maps have.
So I made a screen for the inside of the donut shop. Then I made a quick, six-room mini test dungeon. I had to update the XML and the XML loading routines for various reasons.
Then I visited those screens in-game and it was just wow. The game feels completely different than it did just a few days ago!
I then needed to finally implement doors. This wasn’t too bad since I had doors and such in mind when I implemented the normal screen-to-screen connections a while back. I still had to do a bit of fiddling around to assign doors to rooms via XML, while also making sure that screen-scrolling transitions don’t occur when going through doors.
The whole door system right now needs some serious refining – right now there’s a slight chance (maybe via a stagger or something else) that you might miss the door hitbox while inside a building and then trigger the hitbox to scroll to the next screen over instead. That and a few other issues exist.
In fact, there are lots of little bugs here and there like that – but my philosophy for the past few weeks has been to just make steady progress and not worry about the little details that I know won’t be a pain if I leave them for now. I think this is what has given me the drive to keep adding to the engine so quickly, otherwise I’d be bogged down in little minutia and not be seeing the entire scope of the game.
I made the test dungeon very quickly, but when I first entered it I think that was the moment I realized, “This is it, I’m on the right track.”
My main concern about dungeons is that they’re going to be way too easy, unless I stick tons of really hard enemies everywhere. I dunno how Zelda 1 managed to get it just right. I think dungeon creation’s going to be a new artform I have to pick up as I go along too, just like this sprite art/tile creation stuff I’m doing right now. Oh well, just another skill to learn and add to the toolbox!