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"Bomb Berry"

Posted: 13 November, 2021

Monday 08.11.2021

You can now break rocks with the shovel! Er, if you have it.

This is one of the primary ways I’m locking the player out of certain areas of the map, early doors, so it’s good to finally have it in the game. It’s been on my TODO list since the start of time…

I also added in a variable rate tick to the Utility AI. There’s basically zero need for any of the AI to tick at 60fps – this isn’t a From or Platinum game – now, each NPC will be able to have a bespoke tick rate set in the UtilAI.

I’m sure there’s a lot of stuff in the world that can run at 10fps or less, but I’ll need to test it… What I’ve not done is add jitter to the start frame. I’ll come back to that…

Tuesday 09.11.2021

Today, I made Bomb Berries!

Hedge End, er, I mean Henge End, was famous for its Strawberries… and everyone knows that fruits and games go together. So, my first fruit is of the explosive kind. And it’ll only spawn at night…

I made a plant to spawn them, the pick-up and throw actors, the explosive actor, the VFX, and wired up the breakable props to respond to the damage-type correctly. While I was in there, I made sure the fishing lure did the same. Everything feels nice and consistent now.

There’s a bit of cruft, under the hood; I made pickup/throw actors before destructible actors and they largely do the same thing. I should have refactored them both into one class, but… nah. Ship it. No one will know but me…

Wednesday 10.11.2021

Now the Bomb Berry is in, I can shatter Rock Doors! This means I need to start adding some caves to the build.

Are caves interiors? Or Dungeons?

Probably the latter; my dungeons have dynamic follow-cams, where (so far) interior cameras are static. Dungeons can have multiple rooms, my interiors can't. Spinning out from a Dungeon probably makes more sense. Except, for some reason, my Dungeons can only have one entrance. Er, dumb-ass!

Was a little fiddly to add... My Dungeon game mode overrides the Engines’ ChoosePlayerStart functions during start-up, checks which room is designated as the start room (or in PIE, the first room it sees with a debug “gareth’s working in here” flag set) and gets the PlayerStart whose tag matches that of the “start” room.

My overworld stuff is a bit simpler. It warps the player to the correct respawn point in the persistent level, which automatically triggers the level streaming… I kinda prefer the latter, now that I’ve looked at both, so I did a merge in the Dungeon stuff. PIE looks for player start points, so I can still place the character anywhere I want while I’m working, and normal builds use the “warp to respawn points”, which gives me multiple entrances in the dungeon.

I have no idea why I didn’t do that in the first place…

Also added three maps for the "hidden" caves around Henge End. Just need to make them pretty…

Friday 12.11.2021

Between my other half being ill, and our cat being a twat, I ended up getting next to no sleep last night, so today was a day of “hangover work”. You know, boring stuff, that takes no brain cycles.

So, I hunted for bugs, and had a good hard think about how the game should flow after the initial experience…

I think, on reflection, that the player’s house is on the wrong side of Henge End. It’s too late to fix it now, but it means there’s no easy way to direct the player to the easiest, “next location”, so what I was planning to do isn’t going to work. But, maybe that’s no bad thing? I was leaning toward a little more direction, but the initial idea was to have an open world for people to explore… and this forces the issue.

I rearranged a couple of the paths away from Ytene -- that location needs specific equipment -- and removed a couple of blockers from around the Henge. My guess is that players are going to end up in Sul or Glesting pretty quickly, and not East Ley, but I don’t think that matters.

Whatever, it’s not a problem I need to solve today.

I re-did the pull/straining animation, from last week, to make it look a bit less cartoonish. I seriously need to figure out how to lock controls into a fixed position (when there’s no IK) in Blender. I’m sure there’s a trick to it, and I just don’t know it. Would drastically improve the quality…

The rest of the day was spent looking into the crash I was seeing when packaging builds in 4.27. The good news is – after many hours of faff – that the crash is still there in 4.27.1, and it happens on my laptop and my devrig… This means there’s definitely something crufty in the data, somewhere, which means I can fix it. Or delete it…

What’s really annoying is that this only happens when cooking, it’s crashing in a DLL, and there’s no debug output. I’ve still not got a sniff as to what the offending file is.

Next step is to see if I can get Windows Error Reporting to give me a mini crash dump, otherwise, I guess I’m recompiling the entire engine from source…

But not today.