Another horrifically late post. My multi-tasking skills took a hit lately with me simply trying to do too many things at once and planning to do this post ASAP but finding other things to do instead. Nevertheless, here it is for the yearning masses.
So what have I been up to for the past two and a bit weeks? I started my part time work for a small indie games company, assisting with all things production. It's been fun so far and it's been nice to get exposed to a smaller scope of work compared to my last role. Can't say anything about what is being worked on yet but believe me once it's announced I'll be plastering it all over the gaff.
Outside of that my two biggest focuses have been the continued work on the Hooligans prototype and trying to get my first script finished for the BBC Writers Room deadline. For those that don't know, the BBC runs two open script calls twice a year. The scripts have to meet a bunch of requirements (be 30 pages minimum, be formatted correctly, etc) and the deadline is the start of January. I'm about ten pages into the 30 page minimum, and that currently consists of just over 2000 words. I'm hoping to finish a first draft around Christmas/Boxing Day, and that gives me another week or so to go over the script and trim out all the bits that suck.
I believe last year that the BBC received something like 3000+ scripts and less than around 20 people get selected to go into the Writers Room program. So I'm not expecting to make it that far, but a goal/dream of mine for ages has been to submit a complete script for something like this. So hopefully this year I can at least get that far.
In terms of game dev work, Hooligans work has taken up the majority of it. The past week (or longer) has been taken up by bugs in some of the core functionality. Issues to do with fan entities drifting away from their controlling entities, and that then screwing with collisions/interactions/detection etc. I've spent some time on said issue and whilst there have been some improvements, I honestly can't think of a way to solve it at the moment that would be practical. So I'm looking to ignore this issue for now (it only happens in specific cases), and move onto implementing more bits of actual gameplay flow.
I've only just realised that I haven't posted any gifs from the most recent versions of the Hooligans prototype, so please enjoy those below:
In the previews these GIF's look like garbage (in terms of resolution), but they might get better after I post this. If not I'll just describe them. This was the update prototype where we had the group of fans now essentially all being one entity, where as before they were all separate objects with their own pathing/movement logic that would all attempt to move as one. The constant problem was that all of these separate objects would always eventually converge onto the same position and disappear behind each other. I looked for a bunch of ways around this but it became absurd.
Another issue was the fact that having potentially dozens/hundreds of these individual objects all trying to path find to the same point caused plenty of bugs, or just straight up didn't work as you would expect it to. So we opted to go with a single, large entity that would spawn all of the characters, and have them move in sync with the entity it self. It means just one entity now has to do the path finding, and we get rid of a bunch of issues.
Unfortunately there are still plenty of other issues. The aforementioned bug with the enemy characters drifting from the enemy entity (and a similar issue with the player characters/player entity. And the pathfinding still isn't bullet proof and will lead to instances of the player's group taking the longest possible route through what should be a straight line. But we at least now have enemy groups that move, chase the player, attack and stop following if the player gets too far.
And in completely unrelated news I also finally recorded, edited and uploaded my "Thoughts On The Last Of Us Part 2". It's a mess, it's got dodgy audio and I think a few of my points are quite rambly, but I'm OK with it. It also led to me using ye olde Photoshop to make my first thumbnail, so go me. My "Thoughts On Uncharted" video will be next, and I'm already looking to trim down the script on that bad boy, since I really can't be arsed to do 10+ minute videos right now. For your viewing pleasure, here is the vid: