July is the first time I’ve taken a
vacation family trip, since RPG Architect was started. There’s a little less progress to be seen here because of it, but also because I’ve been working on small bugs related to Avalonia 11. I think we’re finally caught up (and I removed the last of the “patch” code I had written to fill in the bugs Avalonia had).
The first big update has been a physics overhaul. Physics had prior-to run on a variable time-step, which is generally frowned upon in simulations. Now, it is on a fixed time step (which you can configure as a user), and runs much smoother. Part of the update also has been to get the ramps working better with the characters “sticking” to them, rather than flying off. The only issue that is still present is when a character runs off an edge and doesn’t land first. It’s a huge overall improvement and the engine runs more smoothly because of it.
Projections have finally made their way in, as well! This has been a big ticket item for a while now that folks have been requesting. It opens up other workflows a little better — like adventure and action games that have projectiles and weapons.
A new database section has been added specifically for projections. Projections are not limited to just one item — you can potentially have multiple elements, each with their own modifiers. For example, you may want to fire a bullet behind and in front of your character — all easily doable with the current setup.
…speaking of that, there may be something in the works…
This sample should be coming sometime in August! Major kudos to Noobk and Mondune for knocking it out of the park so far and pushing us towards the finish line in regard to this. I’m very excited for folks to start seeing this and playing with it.
A lot of work is still ongoing, as well, to clean up and remove performance hogs (that are otherwise convenient, but require extra code to be written). I think I’ve removed another thirty or so instances of it this month. We’re past the halfway mark with them so far. These performance improvements are very minor — they account for a quick framerate drop every now and then for a slight bit of time (e.g. your system is running a stable 100fps, rendering every 10ms, and an occasional frame takes 23ms because it’s cleaning up). For users, it’s likely imperceptible. For profiling, I see it bounce back and forth.
Another request that just barely slid in under the finish line — pixel fonts! By default, our font rendering anti-aliases things, but I’ve enabled a setting for pixel fonts that will clamp the transparency in or out and then round everything out. This makes crisp, clean pixel fonts.
Next month, you’ll be (hopefully) getting the 2D Action RPG Sample. There will likely be a little clean-up and enhancement needed for Projections involved during the month. I’ll be (hopefully?) finally working on mapping out annotations to objects on the screen, which should be very useful. I’ve mentioned these before, and I think they’ll be a big game changer. After that, I may finally get to the caterpillar system. Vehicles will be up after that. We’re making significant stride in getting to an end-product.
As a note, I’ve also started to look into Android and iOS deployments. It’s mostly experimental at the moment, but you may see some news about this off and on. The engine has been updated to be “more” compatible, but the shader/GPU code is not. There are definitely still issues with streamlining it, but I’m hoping there will be a way to make it easy for end-users, without requiring anything crazy.
That’s it for July!
Thank you so much for your support so far. I’m looking forward to building this community further and giving you the engine you may not have known you always wanted!