Time Keeps on Slipping

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Had a team meeting on Friday, and two things became quickly and readily apparent. The first is that the art in the game is going to be bloody brilliant. I had mentioned at one point it would be cool to have some of the art look as if it’s in an old book, but gave the final say to The Background Artist (link to his blog hither => be sure to send love). In any event he took that basic idea and ran with it, the art as it is now is better than anything I’d hoped for and more importantly, it’s fuggin’ distinctive. The art looks like it’s actually coming forth from the pages themselves, with 4th wall shattering concepts like page notations, margin drawings, and in the case of the Cliff levels, page destruction. I say you put the level art in TTT against any platformer and ours will be prettier. I seriously could not be happier.
Which brings me to the second thing that has become apparent, a month is not a lot of time at all to get it done. My previous good cheer about the prospects of the project were based soley on my own progress, my hill. I can see the top of my hill, but that accounts for less than dick if the collective team can’t finish. The saying is correct, there is no “I” in team, but you can rearrange the letters and get meat, as in dead meat. Methinks that my own photoshop skills are going to be summoned again.
The issue is that everything will take forever to do. Modeling characters, even tiny ones like the game needs, is 20 hours. Game art, even with a streamlined pipeline, is 30-40 hours per stage. That big assed list over yonder => is going to take a lot of hours to do. Hours that we, as a team, are in short supply of once again. Part of me begins to think that we lack the required hours, that it can’t be done. The other part of me laughs darkly. After 2 years, this is it. This is, as they say, for all the marbles. It’s going to be tough, but then again, it was always going to be.

– In dev news The Castle is pretty much finished. I just need to install the traps that I’ve coded (and made animations for) and we’re good to go. Next I have to get the Tower drawn up and into the Engine. I should have both by the end of the week.

– In programming I fixed a shit stain of a bug. My stairs, my wonderful stairs, had an issue wherein if you jumped on them it would trigger a climbing animation inside the stairs, which looked really stupid and amateur (yes I know we technically are amateurs, but that doesn’t mean the game should look that way). The issue had to do with ground detection. The engine runs a loop and runs through it in order, starting with rectangle number 1. The issue is that depending on how the level is constructed the character may interact with a rectangle in the wrong order, which cuts out the rest (a previous solution to a bug that killed the player – a marked improvement by the way). Since I couldn’t rewrite the loop to do the collision in a different order, I had to do something else. So, I built a different loop that only detects the floor and passes a variable to the rest of the collision loop. So now if the player grabs a ledge and they’re touching the floor, it ignores the ledge grab and keeps the player firmly on Terra firma.