This week had some moments of downtime. Monday had me looking after my kid again. Tuesday I spent the day looking into a macOS issue for Interloper. Not really sure I've solved it, but theres unfortunately no way for me to know as I can't replicate it here.
Wednesday I got a little bit of work done but then I got notified that the parts had come in for my new gaming pc, so the rest of that day was spent putting that all together. It aint much, but it's a step up from using Bootcamp and an eGPU on my 16" macbook pro. It even booted first try?
The rest of my time this week was on Charge, in particular, working on the painting system. I needed to work on something simple and fun to get back into a rhythm this week, so it was that. I'd already blocked out what the background scene would look like and I'd done some work on the graphic design, but none of it felt quite right. paint scene initial blockout with INCREDIBLY PLACEHOLDER paint pots
Quick sidebar: In Charge, I specifically want to keep the painting systems quick and simple. I opted to go against the direct painting method because: A) it's a lot of engineering work to get it feeling right. I've built a paint-on-model app before and it wasn't fun. B) Theres strict filesize limits for sending turns via Game Center, and textures are a no-go. (we're talking bytes here) C) I can't easily filter for profanity. Again, nothing is impossible, but if someone wants to draw a penis or something hateful, then there's limited options within my scope to stop them.
Over the weekend I spent a little time building a quick proof of concept for interpolating colours on a texture, and it seemed to work pretty easily? It's a relatively common system usually used for team-colours in RTS games, but I wanted to extend it a little further. Here you can see it in action. The Red, Green, and Blue sections of the model get swapped out for more appropriate colours. another INCREDIBLY PLACEHOLDER model, showing off the paint system so far
I spent some time prototyping interaction models, starting with directly selecting the parts of the model, but that quickly became a rabbit hole of bad interaction patterns. Where exactly do you press? How can I ensure that the target zones are easy to pick on a small phone? Does this mean I have to create completely custom target zones for each model? How do I highlight those zones easily? etc etc etc. Often in these cases the solution is to do it the simplest way, and that way is buttons! Not terribly exciting, but they do the job, at least for now.
The painting system as it stands today.
This is all still a massive work in progress, nothing is quite finished yet, but it feels as though its on the right track.
I said last week that I'll be working towards an Alpha test build this week, but with all the distractions I didn't feel it was the right thing to do. Fingers crossed that'll be next week.
On that topic I did manage to put in a few things to make the game Alpha Ready™️. I've built out an Alpha feedback form, a bug reporter (including a handy-dandy screenshot system) and a more generic feedback form. I'm hoping to get a lot of feedback throughout the alpha / beta period so, may as well get that stuff started sooner rather than later!