Trajectory Zone continues it’s march to IGC showoff…

TZ is pretty cool – the levels look AWSOME. Almost all of the options I’ve wanted are in there – the anti-Lobby, mutator system, etc. I don’t have randomized terrain enabled intentionally 1) because I’d like to hear feedback mostly on the pre-gened levels 2) the mutator system is designed to allow complete flexibility, and to transform an existing level into a new gameplay experience, and 3) It’s still not as efficent as I want.
The third problem is actually already solved, I believe. I created a new system of doin’ it, and it looks like it’s gonna work great. However, it’s not been tested under enough conditions. This also applies to general terrain deformation too – the two systems are tied together. I MIGHT enable the old terrain deformation system again, just for the hell of it (or set up a mutator that handles enabling / disabling it.) It’s got a certain ‘wow’ factor to it.
The mutator system works just fine, but, I don’t have any REALLY impressive mutators written yet (and I need to put more stubs in there for the mutator system to work with), except for potentially the Billiards mutator. This totally changes how you play the game. All weapons in the game become non-Ballistic – they travel in a straight line. Big deal, right? WELL… there’s a 3.5 second arming delay on the weapons, which is just enough that you normally can’t hit a target dead. Now you have to play ‘pool’ in a 3D environment, finding the best angles to bounce stuff offa’ to hit your opponents. Plus you can do things like enable the aliens during a multi-player game – more targets to play with 😉 I’ll probably work a few more of ’em up tonight, and see what cool stuff I can think of real quick (and maybe put in some more stubs for the mutators. Heck, if I get ambitious, I might write up a quick HowTo on writing mutators, and let people at IGC write thier own if they are ambitious enough. For weapon stuff changes, it’s dead simple to do.)
While all the stuff is in there, I’ve still got cleanup tasks to do. There’s parts of the UI that are ugly that need to be cleaned up. Multi-player has tested out, and single player works (I still need to do more work on AI though – they don’t wonder intelligently enough).
There’s some stuff that went REALLY wrong and REALLY right over the last week. I merged with HEAD a while back, and that burned about a week of effort trying to fix things that it broke. (HEAD isn’t broken, as far as I know – it’s that my version is was soooo old already. Oh well.) I recreated a week’s work in 3 hours. Seriously. Then I was frustrated, trying to figure out how to take the game ‘over the top’ from bein’ something I wasn’t completely happy with to something that innovated and extended.
11:45 PM on Sunday, I had a moment of clarity or something. The Muse struck. I ripped out my lobby code that I had been struggling with. Took out the model selector, etc. In three more hours time, I had written an entirely new anti-Lobby (I’ve never seen a system like this in a game before, BUT – that might be because I haven’t played enough of ’em ;-), model selector system, etc. It’s probably the most intense session of coding in my life – everything went perfect, very little debuging, etc. despite the fact there was a heck of a lot to all the stuff that I put together there. Some sort of coding zen state – now if I could only draw upon that state upon demand, I’d be shipping a game a month easy 😉
But overall – I’m happy. Really happy. Whip-up-on-Justin’s-butt-an-win-Player’s-Choice happy 😉 (A joke – Justin started it. He mentioned in a ICQ that he was doin’ more work on GR to defend against TZ for the Players Choice award. I don’t think either one of us is making it a particular goal or competition to win the award or anything, just one o’ those things to raz each other with ;-) 
Tonight, I’ll finish the last bit o’ cleanup, and make the distribution package (I don’t think I’ll even bother with the installer – wait till after I get back from IGC for that. Does mean I have to manually add an icon on all the desktops at IGC.) Then tomarrow morning, I’ll get on a plane with my wife, and head to Oregon for a couple o’ days of R&R before IGC starts up.
Things I’m looking forward to at IGC:
Meeting up with the people I met Face 2 Face last year. A couple of them I talk to at least once a week, some more often than that (David Michael and Justin Mette are two I bug the most often).
Swillin’ beer and singin’ tunes at IndieJam. Everyone else might not look forward to it after the first song I sing though 😉
Speaking about Indie Survival. 
Listening to the sounds of TZ. No, not the game it’s self. I want to hear the noises people make in multi-player mode. That will tell me if the game is crap, so-so, good, or great. 
And I’m lookin’ forward to fraggin’ (and getting fraged) in TZ 🙂
Also lookin’ forward to playing with 21-6’s GR. There’s a couple o’ things that sounds pretty interesting, and the game sounds fun 🙂
Justin Mette   (Oct 07, 2003 at 19:31)
Bring it on Davis! See you in a couple of days man … you deserve the break.

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