I think it’s been pretty obvious that I’ve been very busy lately. I haven’t done anything on the text adventure tutorial series in a while and a lot of my posts have been done on the run. I’m ok with that. Life is busy and that’s no bad thing. I’m still getting to post here on a weekly basis and while I’d love for the quality to be better, I’m happy with were it is considering my situation.
That doesn’t mean I’m not gonna try and make things better as I go and I will definitely get back to the text adventure tutorials as well. I also have another small project on the go but I’ll talk about that another time.
That said here we are. I realise I haven’t spoken about my current game in some time so lets have a little catch up on that! If you weren’t already aware work on the main current game has semi-stopped. That is I’m doing work that will impact it directly but I’m not working on the game itself directly. Clear as muddy water right? I’ve decided to spin off the procedurally generated space station to it’s own game. Well, it’s more a tool.
The plan is for it to be a map generator for space themed table top games. There will be lots of options for the type of station you’ll be able to generate, and then save to your hard drive so you can print it out and use it if you want to! (A pre-alpha version of the game has been successfully used in a star wars campaign). Eventually I’d like to be able to generate a PDF with more than just the graphic of the space station on it but that’s getting a little ahead of myself.
Of course the better I can make the space station generator here, the better the generated stations will be in the main game. The code will port almost directly back into the main game which is great. So kinda like getting two projects for one. It also stops me from feeling a bit guilty for not working on the main game in a meaningful way in quite a while.
so the big news today is that this weekend the station generator went alpha. All the main features are in. You can generate stations of varying sizes with a wealth of options to choose from, and when you find a station you like you can save it as a .png file to disk and use it yourself. The game still contains a version of the flight mode belonging to the main game if people want to poke around in that, but I think I’ll be removing that with the next build release, or at the latest when it goes beta.
I’ve done a lot of work on the game over the last few days, not only on the new features but also optimising. Before I started working on optimisation it took 100 seconds to generate the biggest available station (25 wide, 25 high with an area of 625 rooms) and a further 50 seconds to save the .png to disk. I think you can agree that those are some pretty unacceptable wait times. So after a lot of hard work and a lot of help from some good friends I’m not happy that the biggest station not generates in less than 15 seconds and saves as a .png in less than 5 seconds. I’m happy enough with that, 15 seconds is still a long time but there’s not much more I can do at the moment to improve on that, so I think I’ll put a progress bar on it so the user doesn’t think the generator has crashed.
I’ve still a ton of ideas and features to put into the generator, so it’ll be a long road to beta but I’m confident that some of the biggest hurdles have been overcome for this project. I’m looking forward to making more visible progress on it soon.