The age old idea that no programming job is as easy as it seems comes back to haunt me once more! Let’s see exactly how…

Finishing Placements and Layering Maintenance

After some cross-referencing and some polishing, I got all the necessary sprites in the necessary positions, thereby completing the basement’s reorganization. After having chunks of the crowd vanish with enemy defeats, altering NPC sprites to fit the plans, and even a slight bit of alteration to the floor plans to maintain the game progression, all that was left to do was test it.

Mechanically, the tests went rather smoothly. The player was blocked off in the right positions, and could progress by defeating enemies, just as expected. But while doing my tests, something kept bugging me. At first, I couldn’t place the issue, but that all changed when I saw this mess:

Despite looking fine in the editor, the sprite layering was getting jumbled during actual gameplay. After inquiring the nature of the game’s rendering systems, I learned that the player actually has a bit of code that alters the layering order depending on relative positioning of sprites, allowing sprites to appear “in front” of objects when below them and “behind” them when above them. For my purposes, it means that all drinks were hidden behind tables in awkward ways.

It wasn’t just drinks, either: crates, machinery, and even NPCs all seemed to be afflicted with this awkward layering curse. Seeing that the basement is my current responsibility, I took it upon myself to deal with the issue. Admittedly, however, I’m not quite sure how to tackle this one at the moment. For now, I’m trying to familiarize myself with the code associated with the bug, which is a bit of a doozy.

The Third Hotel

The next hotel design isn’t really one of my favorites, but I think that it’s a solid enough design. It’s a somewhat barebones sketch, but I think I like the shape of the building well enough, which was based on an oddly shaped building I saw outside in the city. Even though it’s not my personal favorite, it’s important to get a plethora of solid design concepts ready in the realm of concept art. After all, who knows which one will fit the game’s needs best in the end?

Next Week

More hotel sketches are on the way, but more pressingly there’s the layering issue. If I can’t find a good coding fix, I may just have to rough out a solution in the editor. Not the most elegant dance, but one I’m certain I can handle.

This Week’s Media: Elden Ring

I think of myself as a fairly casual gamer, so I’ll be honest: I have no clue what these hardcore kills-you-dead games are really all about. I’ve never touched a Dark Scrolls or seen much of Elder Souls, and frankly, it’s unlikely I ever will. But even so, I’ve been hearing about this new series entry from both the net and my friends. With so much hype, it’s hard not to get drawn in the conversation. As a player, I may not understand the joy of getting slaughtered by eldritch abominations for 6 hours straight, but as a game designer, I’m keen to find out more.

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