Archive for January, 2011

What’s left to do

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Some of you may be wondering “If so much of the updated game is working already, why don’t you just release it already?” Well, below is a list of the big items I have left to do before I can release the Universal Binary update to Midnight Mansion. Some of these will be fairly easy, taking just a few hours, but a good number of them will take a day to several days each. But, the fact that the list only has 17 items is significant! I might post updates to this list as I get items checked off. Today’s update no longer has “In-game map screen”. That was one of the biggest items, taking over a week to do, but it was sure worth it — it’s a big improvement over the old mapping system!

- Reading signs

- Story screen text

- Faster rendering of High Scores screen

- Stereo sound effects (like snake/zapper beam)

- Fullscreen

- Collisions working properly for hi-res artwork

- Pulsing “light saber floor” tile animation.

- Ability for a mansion to replace tile/sprite graphics (this makes Blackheart Keep’s background messed up for now)

- Handling of app suspend / resume events.

- Custom mouse cursor on title screen

- Anything requiring a dialog box (high score name entry, player profile, saved/suspend game)

- Registration codes / license files

- Mansion file checksum verification (so game knows mansion wasn’t modified)

- Menu bar

- Movies

- Ability to load mansions from a ZIP

- Online high score submission

Cool new features

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Added a couple of cool new features to the new and improved Midnight Mansion today. First, mouse scrolling of the map screen. Just click and drag to scroll, and use the scroll wheel on your mouse (if it has one) to zoom in and out. This is a really nice way to move around, and allows far quicker navigation than the keyboard does (which you can still use if you prefer).

Secondly, I added gamepad support. One nice advantage of SDL (the programmer’s utility library I am using for the new Midnight Mansion) is that it made adding gamepad support a snap! This likely would’ve taken days or weeks if I had added it directly using Apple sample code.

Yesterday, I added a super-cool zooming effect to the map screen. When you push M to show the map, the screen “zooms out” from the current screen to the map in a seamless and smooth-as-glass effect. When you’re done using the map, it quickly flies back to your current room which zooms back to full-size. It’s a really cool effect that makes Midnight Mansion feel like a first-class citizen in MacOS X.

New in-game mapping system

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Earlier I hinted that Midnight Mansion might be able to have an all-new, high-resolution mapping system, thanks to using OpenGL for the graphics. Well, today I got something up and running that is looking pretty fantastic indeed. You can scale in real-time using the – and + keys, and scaling is super smooth. Scrolling is also smooth and pretty fast.

There’s still more work to be done, but it’s been a fun day of coding! Here is a screenshot, which, while it doesn’t given you any idea how smooth/fast everything now is, it does show how much higher resolution it is. (click thumbnail to view fullsize)