Let there be light! (And fun with game testing.)

This is another progress update for my work on Sludge.

Lighting works. It was easier to add than I expected. (multitexturing with OpenGL is quite straightforward!) This is an area where the 32 bit graphics (instead of the 16 bit used by Sludge v 1) make things look better. Out of Order in particular looks quite impressive. Tim Furnish did some cool things with the lighting that looks great now that it’s a bit more subtle.

I have also discovered and fixed some bugs.

Now that most systems are functional, I’ve started testing a bit more. I’m now testing all Sludge games I have access to: (I want to make sure that I don’t break anything.)

Besides these, there are two more Sludge games that I know of that have been released: The Otto Experiment demo and Kats. Both of those have disappeared from the web. If you know where I can find them (Otto in particular) or another game that I have forgot about, please let me know.

Mandy managed to crash the engine when I started it. It turned out that the reason for that was that it’s in Slovak. (Translations are available, but I ran it with the defaults first.) Slovak uses a lot of accents, and those letters are encoded in the Windows text format in the game file, so when the game tried to set the title of the Window, it failed spectacularly. I now convert the title to Unicode, so it works. (Internally, Sludge uses its own text format, so that was never a problem.)

Remaining things to do include:

  • Thumbnails for saved games.
  • Pixel perfect (or at least close to it) collision detection. (Neither Frasse nor TGTTPOACS can be finished without it.)
  • File renaming/deletion (useful for dealing with saved games).
  • Pasting parallax layers when freezing.
  • getPixelColour
  • Some special effects.
  • Improve placement of images. Since OpenGL doesn’t care about pixels, images sometimes get placed a pixel or two off. I improved the situation a bit yesterday (by adding 0.325 here and there), but small visual artefacts still turns up in a few places.
  • Startup window, for selecting language, window resolution, full screen or not…

There is also launch, launchWith, registryGetString and the functions for movie playing. These are low priority for me. I suppose I won’t get away with removing the launch functions (people have used these, and I guess they might be useful), but I think registry reading should go. (There’s no registry on Mac and what’s the use for the function anyway? there is no function for writing to the registry. Has it been used?) Movie playing, if done at all, should change. I’ve never used those functions, but I recall people having codec problems. “Whatever AVIs Windows can play” is asking for trouble. It needs a defined set of formats.  I’m thinking Ogg Theora, or letting this mostly unused (has it been used at all?) function go.

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