Monday, November 7, 2011

Looking good. Looking real good.

Well, that was quite a bit of wait between updates, but lighting is done. Sort of.

It's helpful for me to see what I need to do to flesh the shaders out. Later on I'll need to add textures, and shadows, and multiple sources of light. The nice thing about space shooters, though, is that you generally only have one big source of light to worry about. Certainly, there is plenty of room for lighting effects all over, but what's going to be illuminating the planets, asteroids and ships for the most part is the big star in the middle.

A concern I'm having is that as I add features, the code is getting a more unwieldy. For the most part I've avoided a serious case of spaghetification, but I really should spend some time consolidating certain pieces of code. Before I do that, however, I want to have a better feel for what works and what doesn't in my design.

I've already identified some decisions that weren't the best. For example, my use of inheritance would in many cases be better suited to templates. I wanted to avoid templates, because they are somewhat arcane in their workings, but already my use of the standard and boost libraries has me working with them. I feel more confident now about using them, and it would simplify some things.

This means I'm going to have to do a bit of a rewrite of several big chunks. Rewrites aren't fun, but on the positive side I'm not going to be starting from zero. That seems like a good opportunity to reassess and redesign, so I want to get a bit more experience in before I undertake that particular task. It's a fragile balance I have to manage between having enough features in there that I know how to design it better and having so much that redesigning it is too daunting to do.

It doesn't help that work has picked up and I'm generally too burned out to focus on this when I get home. That's also part of why I've let the update schedule slip, for which I apologize.

In the interest of making things easier for everyone, I've switched back from 7z to zip files to share the program. 7z was a necessity when I was sharing the program through gmail. Mail programs don't like zipped executable files, and having people rename a file from .jpg to .exe to get around it was more trouble than convincing them to use 7zip. But with the files now hosted in Google Docs, I can go use zip files again.

As always, the folder is Framework Releases, and the project itself is Framework-0.0.8.

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