Weekly Roundup #54(ish)

Alas I’ve missed the past month of weekly roundups – though have dropped some posts to keep things ticking along, so a no score draw there!

I’m having a bit of a rant in this post – as I’m entirely fed up with this country’s (the UK) cowcrap about supporting the games industry.

Of late, I’ve been quietly sniffing about two of the ‘wonderful’ schemes the UK Government have set up to ‘help’. Particularly to ‘help’ small dev’s / game startups.

Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR)

With this, a games company can claim tax relief on all their expenditure toward a game projects development. It has to be on a per-project basis. It has some interesting ‘criteria’ to fulfil… most of the key one’s are that the game, it’s subject matter, and/or characters have to be ‘British’… now, don’t get me wrong – I’m happy to ‘be British’ (usually), but how does this help me with a space game set 20,000 years in the future in another galaxy?

UK Video Games Funding.

With this, I could get £25,000 GBP to help develop Dominium. Great! But, wait… I need to have £100k stashed in an account already, I need £25k to match the £25k, and the game must be ‘innovative’… now again, don’t get me wrong. I can see the value of these criteria, of course, and it’s quite common for ‘£1 for £1’ matched funding, but it’s the fact that this (and the VGTR) are sold as ‘helping to grow small/startups’ that grates on my nerve because they clearly don’t help me. All I can see are two ‘schemes’ which help the big boys get bigger. As usual in this country, the little guy is left out in the cold.

Anyway – bitterness left behind 🙂 Getting funding is never easy, for anything. Especially when you’ve got nothing but your own time to invest!

After the advances made on the Polylux Lighting, I’ve finally knuckled down to sorting out the scene management system once (and hopefully) for all. And yes, I’m refactoring yet again. All the scene management is maintained within (IMHO) well designed classes, and the ‘master observer’ (being the object viewing the scene) can be any game object. Not just your vessel, but you can view from a waypoint, weapon turret, station, or even a star.

That said, the slow – shall we say acretion – of code to do with moving that ‘master observer’ has become tightly embedded with the Vessel and Autopilot objects. As such, the code for flying around the galaxy is a little fragmented and it’s now starting to crack apart at the seams. I’ve now restructured the code to properly page scene objects in/out around the master observers position, and finally entire star systems will now happily destroy themselves (and everything within them) when I use a wormhole to jump to another one. Figuratively speaking, of course! All the game objects used to portray them are cleaned up and given back to their various factories for reuse by the next star system.

But, there’s a but 🙂 As ever.

Using ‘linear’ drive systems is as big a challenge as ever. Accelerating away from a station should have it recede into the distance and vanish realistically. You can then stop, turn around and then fly back to it, seeing it reappear in the far distance. You should only start seeing movement relative to the planet you are orbiting as you gain an incredible amount of speed compared to that station, and then movement relative to the star system at even higher speeds, and so on. But what if I’m in a ring system? I want to fly through it, see ‘rocks’ fly past me, but also eventually see myself moving around the planet/rings themselves (perhaps from the night side into the day side). What if I’m near an orbital planetary ring station? I want to fly along it, and make my way around the planet, so what if it will take hours of real time play?

All of the fundamentals for this are already in Dom. And theoretically all I have to do is wire them all up in the right way. I have this strong requirement for ‘seamless’ transitions, and now it’s time to crack this nut once and for all…

Let’s hope – anyway 🙂


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Author: Mak View all posts by

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