Easier If Everyone Flies

Posted On: 2021-07-12

By Mark

Today's post will be a bit short, as I've got something I'm very excited to share, but it's not quite in a place where that's possible. Thus, it will be a teaser of sorts: an introduction to what I've most recently started working on, and a promise to follow up on it in more detail.

Struggle Yields Opportunity

Last week, I was struggling to implement a required feature - one that, for various reasons, kept eluding me at the last moment. Exhausted and frustrated, I had a sudden realization: my task would be much simpler if everyone flew.

I'd previously entertained the idea of allowing the player character some limited flight (there were a few ill-fated prototypes of that), but this was the first time I'd considered it for all the creatures in the game. Thematically, it felt like it fit, and as I brainstormed ideas, I found myself increasingly eager to try it out.

Thus, last Friday, I took a break from my Sisyphean feature to instead prototype a flight system. Unlike my prior attempts, I decided to start from scratch (rather than build it on top of my existing agent implementation), and in the span of one day I managed to make a buggy, but promising, prototype.

As the prototype is divorced from my existing code, there's a significant risk of encountering complications integrating it. Nonetheless, I am eager to try: as I played with it, testing out various implementations, it felt far more satisfying than any of my early attempts. I am even optimistic that, if I can clean up some of the lingering issues, it might even be more satisfying than the existing movement system*.

To Be Continued

Next week I'll (hopefully) be able to share more details - if it's come together nicely, I'll be able to talk about what makes it unique and satisfying (hopefully with screenshots/gifs). If it doesn't work out for some reason - at least I'll have a story to share. Either way, I hope you'll join me then!