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Alex's Freedom Fortress

Hero Sandbox


[2012-Jan-27] #6 - By The Numbers

A quick update today (wow, it's been less than a week since the last one!)

In my last diary, I completed my history so far of the project. In today's installment,  I just want to get out some basic information about the game and the effort so far. The game is inspired by Freedom Force, it could not have happened without the brilliant example of Freedom Force, but it is NOT Freedom Force 3.

With FF, it shares the fact that it will be a RPG/RTS hybrid -  a series of tactical squad battles, held together by a scripted storyline. My design goals for the game also include:

  • Easily moddable (make your own characters, objects, and maps; add your own stories)
  • More things to do between missions (dynamically generated side-quests, character training, team history logs and stats)
  •  Quick-Battle skirmish mode

However, it also draws inspiration from other games, both computer and non-computer (traditional RPGs). This will become more apparent as these dev diaries go on. I hope people who liked FF would enjoy this game as well, but it is not intended to be a full-on "clone" of FF.

Some Facts and Figures Updated GUI for Superhero game

As of this writing, I have written about 3,000 lines of code for the game. That's actually not very much yet, but consider how much the game does already:

  • Character Selection Screen and Editor (powers and all GUI elements not implemented)
  • Reading and Writing "hero" files, reading "map" files
  • One simple test Battle Scene (city) with 18 different characters fighting at once.
  • Melee fighting with accurate calculations using strength, agility, and endurance. Characters get KO'd, synchronized animations, flying melees
  • Certain powers implemented: Flying, Growth, Shrinking, Invisibility, Intangibility, Fast Healing, Motion Blurring
  • HUD display shows life/energy status, squad lineup, allows you to select player's character or powers
  • Very basic "AI" - foes chase and attack, rest of your team can fight without you.
  • "Watch"-mode, "Slo-Mo" mode, Pause.

Being a geeky coder, I keep logs of work I do. It's actually quite helpful, when you take months off at a time (as I have done twice already on this project!) Looking at my current log, here's some tidbits:

  1.  Current version is 0.3.2 , which is the 23rd version of the code since I started. I picked this up again in Dec 2011 and completed 3 features , while fixing 2 bugs. An additional 11 features and 7 bugs are on the plan right now for this version.
  2.  I've worked in spurts: from Apr-Jun 2009, I did versions 0.1.0 - 0.2.5, which covered 47 features and fixed 8 bugs. Next burst was from Apr-Sep 2010 , which delivered 69 features and fixed 19 bugs.
  3.  There are currently 388 items total on the plan (335 features and 53 bugs). Of these, 148 are complete (119 features and 29 bugs). The total number on the plan will definitely increase as the project goes on and I add more details, but if you go by what we have now that means I'm 38% done . Of course, that's probably the easy 38% !

So What's Next?

The major features next on the agenda are:

  • Character Editor - needs more user-friendly stuff added. For example, there's a field where you can type the skin you want. I am going to change this to a dropdown list or a button you can use to select (also will do this for meshes and animations)
  • Power Editor - have this designed, though I have recently revisited my design and am considering a big change that makes it less like FF and more like WOW or RPGs, but I think it make sense.
  • Object Editor - basics are coded, but have had trouble getting this to work smoothly. It's boring object-oriented stuff that I need to figure out.
  •  Collisions - Collisions are working (characters can land on roofs and bump into walls), but it is not optimized at all. I'm getting 30-40 fps on my PC, even with 20 characters going at it in a city scene, but this can improve.
  •  Sound - have recently added music capabilities, but it's a bit buggy.
  •  Skins - Fix my placeholder skins for my original characters

I am also working to stabilize what I have right now and considering if releasing a preview is a good idea. The game is going to change a lot as development goes on, so I don't want people to start getting used to something only to change it next version. Plus, while I welcome feedback, I won't be able to support or respond to every person who has an issue. If it works, great, if not , wait for the next one. It is, after all, "pre-pre-pre-alpha".

TO BE CONTINUED ...


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