The Day After Dev Report #2

A little bit of actual progress this fortnight!

After some helpful advice from Jamie Fristrom about creating a game versus creating an engine, I looked into Unity. It’s mighty tempting, but I don’t really want to learn C# and Unity seems to be geared towards types of games that mine is not. I’m still keeping an eye on it and intend to give it a whirl sometime.

More importantly, I got Ogre3d v1.9 compiled and linked to my game and it could replicate what I was doing before I made the change from the MinGW compiler to the Visual Studio 2010 one. I compiled the CEGUI libraries (a minor effort but fairly painless) and linked them into my game. They work, which is great.

Here’s my first non-trivial screenshot of the game, from unit tests (when I say non-trivial, I’ve got the bar set pretty low 😉 ):

The very first non-trivial (?) screenshot of The Day After.
The very first non-trivial (?) screenshot of The Day After.

That displays at about 2500 frames per second (in theory). Woot! Although, of course, performance can only go south from here 🙂

With the new Feminist Frequency out, I’ve been thinking a little bit about the balance of characters in The Day After and how they fit into tropes. I have an even 50-50 split in terms of gender, and 50-50 split in Caucasian/non-Caucasian characters. I’m torn about the latter – I like that I’ve captured a bit of the variety of people from a metropolitan center, but I occasionally worry if it’s over- or under-representing certain groups. I have faith that they are interesting characters with a bit more depth than their trope. I just need to make that a reality.

The Worker
The Worker
On the character front, I’ve been listening and analyzing a lot of stand-up comedy. The Worker is somewhat lame as a character, so I thought augmenting his general “good guy schmuck” persona with aspirations to become a stand-up comic. Unfortunately he’s too green at it, and not really talented. Ironically I think this aspect helps emphasise his Worker-ness – he’s an office drone, wanting to be special and observe special, unique things but hasn’t got it in him (maybe yet) to break out of his mould. It reflects the theme of hope that’ll crop up in a city ravaged by violence.

The Serial Killer
The Serial Killer
It also is an almost literal mirror to his brother’s – The Serial Killer’s – issue with escaping one’s nature. This comes back full circle to the fundamental reason behind the outbreak of violence which has a lot to do with the nature of humans. So I’ve managed to make a character quirk into something neat. It also gives him a schtick with the other characters. Having ways for the characters to bounce off each other is vital, and this problem has been rattling around my head.

The Short and Sweet

I’m currently working on:

  • Cleaning up the GUI initialization code.
  • Injecting user input into the GUI. OIS is ready and integrated into the game, but needs to hook up with the rest of the systems.
  • Basic GUI sketchups.
  • Cleaning up DLLs and making running the program a little more robust (currently I have to run current/theDayAfter-1.0.0-test.exe from the right directory).
  • Character narrative design.

Recent completed tasks:

  • Compiled and linked Ogre3D and CEGUI with the game.
  • Wrote and tested various unit tests.
  • Some character backstory work.

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