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Announcement : Rewrite of project will start, heads up everyone!


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I'm feeling like fixing one bug, only to discover 2 bugs come back with this. Memory leaks also play parts and its hard to figure out what is causing what.

There are several ideas i have in mind, which i will reveal to you:

- in game mentat. Unlike in DUNE 2, you just start right away, and you're briefed through the mentat in-game. The first objective, to collect money is easy. But you should also select your next conquest through this. You should also be able to experiene events like "Fremen wariors contacted one of our scouts, bla bla". Wild ideas, but it requires major rewrites

- i want 512x512 maps!

- i want more players be able to play with , not 6 players, but sort of like 12 or 16 if possible.

- the in-game sidebar is huge. The game should run at 640x480 and have a decent sidebar. The minimap code should be rewritten. Actually i prefer 800x600 or even 1024x768.

- the code is too sloppy concerning player->house relationship. Discoupling Player #0 with Atreides causes trouble, which i need to prevent in a next rewrite

- I do not use borders 'on maps' (for reinforcements, etc) but i really should, its just nicer! (so , a 512x512 map is actually 510x510)

- The pathfinder is ugly, and its in the unit class, how stupid can i be? It should be somewhere in general stuff not in a class definition.

- The menu should be totally redesigned. I have a nice background picture, but i just want a cooler menu instead of those text thingies

- Should the editor be in-game?????

so:

i am gonna rewrite 80% of the entire engine. Some parts of code will survive. Basicly i will start over, but i expect to have quick progress because i have the experience, and i have code already which i CAN use.

Your help?:

-----------

Ok, i can't do everything alone. I am already grateful about Nema Fakei , Vidiware and Timenn to get a hand on the graphics overhaul, which turns out to be quite nice. Mr Flibble will assist me with graphics design on the sidebar/menu. But , it does not mean you just sit here and wait! If you have nice concept drawings of how a sidebar (be original!) should look like, post it here. Try to give me an impression how it should look like in real-game.

Kazuma was enthousiastic about the music and such, but that is not on my list now. I'll probably have a few days now to code, i will use my time well but i REALLY need your help to get this thing going. I'm intending to get this game beyond my wildest Dune 2 dreams, and all support, ideas, input is welcome!

Don't be shy! ;)

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Good decision! :)

I like the ideas, but I think it is good to have the editor in-game. Allows you to test a map more swiftly.

I would like to help. Whatever you want me to do. I can't do anything, but I can work on graphics, although Nema is doing a fine job right now, or maybe help design menu's, sidebars etc. Or can I help with programming. I have no real experience with graphical programming, or with C++ itself (Java I do have experience with) but maybe I can write some objects, like a set-object? (for unit groups)

About the main menu and the campaigns:

My opinion is that you should have a main menu, but that individual campaigns can have mentats constantly briefing you, like you said. This would probably need some minor programming language designed, which can handle campaign maps, briefings, prompts, etc.

The same goes for map scripting, in DuneII it was basically only the objective of the mission, and reinforcements. But expanding this to a trigger-system would be nice. Then you can really make missions where you need to lead a Fremen taskforce into a Ordos stronghold. 8)

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Currently hard working on the new terrain rendering stuff. Its coming along nicely, the random map generator somehow messes things up.

Anyway, my idea is as follows about the in-game interface:

Credits remain at the top-right

there is a tiny bar at the bottom (very small, 24 pixels), which has several buttons, like "Options" , "Mentat" and so on. The "Mentat" button should flash when a new message comes in.

Thats basicly it. But, when you select a structure, an icon select bar should come into the screen. I am still thinking about where. Like, should it be a horizontal bar above the bar i have already. Or, just as in D2TM, a bar at the right, which will go away when you de-select a structure?

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I'll post a screeny today, how it looks like atm. The idea is that lots of items can be moved away. Ie, the minimap is visible + credits. And thats it. You can call all other stuff back and such, but it will automaticly hide away when not used.

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As promised, here a shot. The buttons are in the interface. I think i know how i want to do the icons too. I will probably do a horizontal bar, just above the buttons. And its only visible when you select a structure.

Basicly the engine now supports 512x512 maps. But the minimap behaves a bit odd. It works fine with 128x128 maps though. But when using larger maps, the 'click on minimap' and 'minimap scrolling' behave not ideally (though it works). Anyway, its not that important right now.

The mentat button can fade in-out (depending on house color). This animation is needed when a new mentat message arrives.

The UPGRADE/REPAIR button and ORDER button should only be visible when you select a structure that allows such buttons.

[attachment archived by Gobalopper]

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Ok, lots of work has been done already again. Phew, rewriting aint easy:

- INI LOADER BACK UP

- all unit/structure types are in memory. Now the real work should begin (drawing, using, etc)

- DUNE 2 like message scrolling (!NEW)

- able to display 64x64 maps on a 128x128 minimap (double sized). I will work from this point of view further. Later on, i will concentrate on bigger maps, as it also supports 512x512 maps now.

- Shroud is in

- money is in

- scrolling works, with mouse AND keyboard

- interface is pretty much finished, in layout perspective. Its functionality is zero.

* scrolling icon bar (see screeny), this should dissapear when you unselect a structure

[attachment archived by Gobalopper]

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So when you select a building, the menu for it will appear at the bottom of the screen, or is that where the menu will always be? (build unit, upgrade etc. on bottom instead of right side)

Is the scrolling icon bar the bar with the line through it left of the credits/money?

Looks great.

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the bar next to the credits will be the spice/power indicators.

You see buttons, those will be always shown, except for the 'repair/upgrade' and 'order' ones, who will only appear when you select a structure.

When you select a constyard, you will also see the iconbar come up. Thats the idea ;)

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I certainly like the new interface. You have to get used to the "sidebar" being at the bottom of the screen, but that is all. Looks more Dune 2-ish, even though the interface looks completely different.

Am I correct that the the bar between the message bar and the credits bar is for amount of spice in storage, and power usage?

Perhaps a drop-down bar beneath it, which will only show if it is in use, can be used for timed missions?

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u're right about the bars, but i do not get it with the 'drop down bar'.

Timed missions should be possible. Ofcourse. I have a timer that is seconds based and 2 other timers. (animation + thinking).

the question is what do i want? Do i want to let it play DUne 2 missions? Or do i want it to be a total new game using DUNE 2 gfx and such? I think i will do like this:

- DUNE 2 game option (retro mode or something)

- D2TM game option (bigger missions, own story line, more stuff to happen)

But for now, i will just try to get the damn engine up and running again. Busy with the structure class now. THere are many things i do differently now, because i find it easier.. ah, thats the great things of rewriting.

If i could only type as fast as i think... the engine should be ready tomorrow then heh ;)

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Update:

- structures are in and drawn

- DUNE 2 scenarios get loaded properly , structures too

- able to hover over structures and select them

- construction yard list is assembled, (very basic, 3 icons)

see screenshot deliverd...

To be done now:

- building stuff

- placing

- units drawing/loading from INI

[attachment archived by Gobalopper]

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Hmm. Either the buttons are to be made smaller or they're to be smoothened up - otherwise the text looks a bit crude - they're obviously double-sized. Well, I'm sure you're planning to do that, so just to mention.

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Yay, building buildings is working now. And i got a nifty C&C like progressing on icons. Also i greyscale the non-building icons + i make them a bit darker with transparency.

All in all, it works quite well. I have sped up some timers. There are no power stuff involved yet ;)

BTW aint it nice to see this game progressing by every screenshot? ;)

[attachment archived by Gobalopper]

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I volunteer to try to make the buttons look more sharp. Just send me the needed graphics.

I can also try to make that drop-down bar thingy, I'll need some graphics for that as well. What I meant with drop-down was, that at first a bar is hidden behind the storage and power bar, and when a timer starts the bar will move down, thus showing itself.

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thanks! I've sent you a mail (as given in your profile, that adress).

Update:

- able to cancel building

- able to scroll through icons now (hover mouse on edges of the 'sides' of the bar, and it will do

  so automaticly)

- buildings remember your scrolling x axis, so you dont have to scroll all over again.

- cool health indicators on top of buildings, shadowed. :)

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When i saw the transparency in the game now, i thought "wait a second, i can do real shadows". So i am now seperating the shadows of the units into special bitmaps, so i can render them as real shadows. w00tage! :)

I think this will be the best graphical update of Dune 2 ever seen in a game :D w00t.

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Ok, this will be my final screenshot for today. Since its 23:51 and i have coded merely from 10AM till now. (ok, i had dinner, and supper in between).

This screenshot, shows the shadows working!!

It only works for a few units, other units still have opaque shadow, but thats no big deal.

Tomorrow i'll continue my work..

Ah, also you see the units get drawn (doh) and loaded from the INI file. And you can see the health bar being drawn.

[attachment archived by Gobalopper]

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Update:

- all units have real shadows (except soldiers and such, since they dont have them in the original d2, and i am bad at gfx).

- units can be selected:

1) use dragbox

2) single select (*NEW -> use SHIFT key to keep units selected, to add it)

3) TYPE select (*NEW -> Hold mouse over a unit type, press T and select all units of that type

  on the screen)

4) draw health over units + the 'selected' gfx like in dune 2 (sort off).

Nothing more yet, the real thing will begin slowly ;)

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Infantry having shadows, why not? :)

May I try to get some shadows for them? (That reminds me, I sent you the modified buttons)

What exactly do you mean with the 4th option?

About type selection, in the end (in Emperor, for example) you could select all same type units on the screen by pressing 't', and select all same types units on the entire field by pressing 't' twice. Can it be done (not right now ;))

Just a small question concerning some ordening of directories for me, what version nr. will the coming version have?

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