Thursday, 5 September 2013

Thursday Big Bag O' Progress

Up Again

For the forth day in a row I have woken before 7AM which is something of a record for me, only achieved through going to bed ridiculously early and falling asleep right away.  The bad part about this is that I cannot work past 9PM as I am probably sleeping, but the good news is that the early morning cycle provides one with incredible clarity of purpose, before the confusions of the day begin.

Even a commute to work might upset this wonderful span of hours, where nothing is too ambitious and everything can be conceived and created.  It only lasts a few hours though, and then the marathon of the day begins as the brain floods with mental abstractions.

Progress Notes

Remove Segment Code - finished off removing the last of the segment code from the system, and also removed the blueprint mesh code that was associated with it.  Used this process to learn the entire map editor code again, which took a few hours but was WELL worth it.

Restore Entity Textures - got the map editor to load and place entities with their textures in tact. I hacked out shaders for the time being to achieve this, but shaders is another day and another challenge so I am happy with the solution for today.

Split entity code M and G - figured out which entity source code is required for editing, and which is purely for game running, and separated them from each other so my map editor compiling could be faster.

Center at 25Kx25K - new default starting position for level creation is the dead center of the 50,000 x 50,000 level.  This allows the author to build their levels out in any direction they wish. Thanks to the removal of segment mapping, there is now no real limit to the height of buildings, nor their depth.

Save & Load - added both saving and loading of entities and general map settings back into the IDE, having removed the segment and other data from the process. This clears the way to introduce terrain, AI, physics and other elements without wading through too much legacy code.

IDE Overhaul - as part of the process of getting a single piece of software ready for October, reduced the map editor source code down so that it remained fully functional through the IDE but compiled in a mere 16 seconds. This is an improvement from 90 seconds which is what the engine required a few days ago.  The IDE went through some reductions, replacing segment menu items with terrain items and cutting back anything that was not of immediate importance. I also included some new Reloaded art to give the IDE a newer feel about the place, and apart from some nagging BCG issues the IDE is well underway.   Once terrain module is integrated, I can connect up the menu and toolbar features to allow editing of terrains from the IDE and hopefully the subject of Fridays blog.

Signing Off

A good day, with about 10 hours of graft invested. Also heard that my little driving apps are doing even better these days in the iOS and Android charts, really knocking other educational apps out the park with it's awesomeness, and a real testimony to AGK.  When AGK V2 comes along, it will so even greater things I am sure!  Rather than push past the 'tire barrier', I will eat something then get some sleep and resume Friday where I hope to be able to add the first of the big modules, terrain, to the IDE integration and thus begin the slippery slope to a finished single piece of software which might affectionately be called the makings of a beta.  For all your pledgers out there, the chance to try out all this crazy code moves one significant step closer and I can't wait to share this with you.

Also, a special thank you to everyone who is supporting the shift from segments to room blobs. It's a critical upgrade, and one I feel will put Reloaded on a fast track to great things.  We live and learn, and when we see a limitation, we should actively seek it's elimination.  Constant and Never Ending Improvements is the name of the game, and we're just getting started!


  1. Cool bananas. So curious am I. What will be in the beta if I may ask. Just so we know. :)

  2. Nice blog & thanks for all your hard work (and everybody else of course)


  3. My nephew and I were worried that you were going to get rid of the segment code....:/ But it's alright cause I see where you're coming from and as long as we can make our own "room blobs" like how we were able to import our own segments I think more and more people will begin to dive in and use the new system. Although because it's new and a big change from the previous version a lot of users will be hesitant about making the switch, especially because I doubt you'll be able to load old .FPM map files from the previous fps creator. My nephew and I both tilt our hats off to you and all Team TGC!!! :D Keep up the great work and look forward to reading the next update.

  4. Very excited about the new system now, Lee :D Get a move on and give us more to eat :P

  5. (I know, it's a double-post, there's no edit)

    Also, it occurs to me that since we're no longer using segments, is it actually necessary to have any size limits whatsoever? Why not remove them and leave it up to the user to figure out how big they can make it before it runs too slowly (if ever)?

    Surely the current memory and lod control systems can allow for pseudo-infinite levels (pseudo as in there's a limit to the distance one can walk because there's a limit to the size of ints....but for all intents and purposes it could be considered infinite)?