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v0.2 "Switchboard"

v0.3 "Zombie"
[due ~September 2004]


[#61] Friday, February 27, 2004 - Some Small Progress and Discussion

Since i've been ill this week, not much has happened. I did manage to make the minimaps clickable though. Now when you click on it, it whisks you across the map with a single button press. I put the rest of the visibilty code in place so that you cannot see or click on what you have not explored. I also locked the point of view into place by not letting you see details on enemy pods. Of course, this all comes with the very first debug switch / easter egg: "Omniscient Mode", which over rides all of that visibility and point of view nonsense!

More importantly, i need to know from those who follow the site even semi-regularly whether or not i should make the game single player with AI first or if it should install multiplayer support with no AI players first. Either way, you get a playable game, but both operations are very large and time consuming and it all depends on how you want to play first. Discussion can be found here.

[#60] Monday, February 23, 2004 - Vision Test

The basic visibilty engine is now in place. This includes the map's ability to record a fogged/visible/undetected state for each tile for each axis and also the ability for scouts to remove the initial fog of war. The system needs much fine tuning, but at least it works. The scouting mission is also half working. It presents a lot of rule-exceptions that need to be dealt with however. A new screenshot is available.

[#59] Saturday, February 21, 2004 - Mission Work

The current programming thrust is to get all mission assignments and logic completed, at least in a basic form. So far, i've completed the four special missions: Build Base, Destroy Base, Barricade, and Demolish (aka "Destroy Barricade"). All that is left is Scout (which cannot be done until the visibility code is in place), Defend (difficult, but do-able), Berserk (easy), and Merge (hard to say). Not including the header, the missions code file now includes 1500+ lines of code.

As i've worked on the missions, i've learned that there are often smart and stupid ways to do the mission. So, i'm going to activate mission experience once they are all programmed. Pods can now train in a particular mission skill. The longer they work on a particular mission, the smarter an algorithm they will use to accomplish the it.

[#58] Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - Go, Build Ye A Fort!

Barricade and Build Base missions have been programmed in at least rudimentary form now. I staged a mock-campaign to show off the game's new abilities so far into version 0.3. There is a 4-screenshot document of the campaign on the screenshots page. Go take a look! I'm really starting to get a feel for the "game" in all this design and code now.

[#57] Monday, February 16, 2004 - Starting On v0.3

Really, there is no solid distinction between version 0.2 and 0.3 besides some self-imposed features and deadlines. So, now that i've checked off all the items on the list for 0.2, i'm moving on. Today i completed and integrated a bonus system for various game elements that works well for all of them. I also added random placement of randomized wells on the map. Also, pods now have their stats set based on what shapes they contain, including the Homogenization Bonus. The effects can be felt immediately on the map with pod weight and speed.

Most of the items on the list for v0.3 are mechanical and pretty straight forward. The only one that might give some trouble is the combat engine which requires a lot of behind the scenes work. It will probably be the last item to get coded on this version.

[#56] Saturday, February 14, 2004 - Where To Go From Here

While i wait and hope that at least someone tries to compile the v0.2 source code, i am mapping out the rest of the project up to and beyond version 1.0. The next version called "Zombie" will be the last of the alpha versions and will leave AXIS more or less feature complete and mechanically finished. It will not be a playable game however. v0.4 "Bridge" will include most of if not all the work necessary to play a game of AXIS between human players. the next version is 1.0 "Solitaire" and will be almost intirely dedicated to implementing the axis-level AI. After the 1.0 release, the game will be "done" and more than playable and i plan to add things like scenarios, map editors, and those types of things if i have not not already moved on to another project (As i am prone to do :-)

Here is a list of features that need to get checked off the list for the next version, v0.3 "Zombie" that is just now getting started:

  • +/- bonus system in place (for pods - should also work for shapes)
  • blotchmaker needs to have map specials placement facilities. Turn Manager needs Manna Etabs
  • the rest of the map specials
  • Area of Influence
  • the rest of the missions including special missions BLOCKADE and BASE CONSTRUCTION
  • full combat system in place with very basic AI opponent selection, attack methods and plans, etc.
  • the Visor and visibility - line of site, fog of war, etc. (needs to be enable/disable-able for testing purposes.)
  • Basic capture the flag victory conditions and victory screen.
  • Homogenization Bonus system and specials.

[#55] Wednesday, February 11, 2004 - Animation Testing

I spent some time creating a 29-frame electrical force attack animation. It's beyond cool, but moreso that fact that i can basically drop and load the thing by simply editing the the configuration file for a particular animation. The actual animation system still needs some work as it is not yet transparent or optimized. Unfortunately animation widgets eat up a lot of CPU time, but for AXIS i do not plan to have very many going simultaneously anyway.

[#54] Tuesday, February 10, 2004 - Interesting Development

While i wait for some Windows folks to compile and bug report the current v0.2 release (*taps fingers on desk*), i've been testing a little side project of mine.

Technically speaking, animations are not on the AXIS Roadmap until version 0.4 (two version or one year away), but i would like to involve other people in the project in some meaningfull way. So, i spent a few hours coming up with an animation widget class system which can be installed into the existing interface with ease. I just finished testing it. While it has a few things to work out, it actually works! Not only that, but it's user-configurable via config.txt files for each animation class. An unlimited number of animations can be added, and each animation can have an unlimited number of frames timed to exact intervals (to allow for delays and such). I'll be putting together a simple ParaGUI Animation Studio package sometime soon and post some info on what kind of animations the game will actually need. This way, other people can create cool AXIS animations with absolutely zero programming knowledge. I'd post screenshots, but the test images are nothing pretty and it's hard to show still-frame animations for the obvious reasons.

[#53] Saturday, February 7, 2004 - VERSION 0.2 SOURCE RELEASE

I'm happy to announce the source code release for version 0.2! This is the preliminary bug ironing release so it is source only for bug hunters. Once we get the show stopping bugs squashed, we will move to create windows and linux binaries for anyone who wants to play with it, then make a larger announcement.

You can find the source code .zip file here. The reporting thread with a few more details is located here

[#52] Saturday, February 7, 2004 - Capture The Flag

The "Capture Flag" mission was programmed today. It borrows a lot of code from the Harvest mission in fact. It allows a pod to grab any axis' flag (including your own) and cart it to any place on the map, including home base. Therefore, the game is "win-able" in theory now. although there is no code for actually winning or losing, just the flag collection routine. Flag capturing pods can even intercept another pod if they have the flag.

That completes the 3 missions i wanted programmed for this version. I'll now move on to cleaning up the GUI really good and then i'll release this sucker.

[#51] Friday, February 6, 2004 - Harvesting

I've coded the basic Intercept and Harvest missions in the last few days. Both are very algorithmically stupid at this point, but still very functional. The Harvest mission in particular proved to be very interesting in the way it actually plays in the game. For a full report with screenshots and an AI experiment, visit the v0.2 screenshots page

v0.2 is just inches away at this point. I still have one more mission to program and some general tidying to do. Can't wait to get some feedback.

[#50] Monday, February 2, 2004 - Wrapping Up The GUI

As of today, i'm pretty much done with the user interface for a while. All the necessary features to play the game thus far created are in place and i've even taken the time to implement some not-so-necessary features like the map window integrated free-floating minimap with configurable transparency :-)

The next goal is to create 3 additional missions. Some will be simple, but the Harvest mission might take some thought. Don't expect too many more screenshots from the rest of this version for two reasons: This version is almost complete (yeah!), and what's left is mostly logic related (missions, double yeah!).

I was originally going to create a simple combat screen for this milestone, but i'm getting anxious for feedback, so i've bumped it up to the to-do list for version 0.3 (the one after this). The final version 0.2 will be available within the month.

[#49] Sunday, February 1, 2004 - Gooey GUI

I've spent the day making newer improved versions of some default ParaGUI widgets (that had bugs or shortcomings) and reformating The Panel and it's processes. The GUI is really starting to lock in and feel good right now. I also got rid of the annoying problem with the map updating certain panel modules when responding to map clicks. Now it updates when it should, and doesn't when it doesn't. I rearranged a lot of code and cleaned up what widgets i already have, and added a half a dozen more today. Not too bad. All i have left of The Panel is to finish the half-done pod placement facilities. After that, it probably will change very little for the rest of the entire project.

[#48] Saturday, January 31, 2004 - News Of The General Sort

I've completed the GUI panels for pod details, game options, the map, pod missions, economics, and a good portion of pod assembly. All that's left of the panel is the pod chute facilities for placing and assigning pods to the map and some cleanup here and there. I've also added some minor details around the place including *gasp* not one quit button, but two! Now you can quit the game without a hack of some kind. I also added an "About AXIS" button with accompanying dialog (mostly many credits to my great self :-) and a --help option, besides many other nips and tucks. The panel is due for a potential code makeover next to simplify the internal processes involved. After pod-placement facilities are completed on the front and back ends, i'll start adding new pod missions. Wow, something fun!

[#47] Friday, January 30, 2004 - Pod Assembly Box

This is the pod assembly box. This pops up whenever you want to create a new pod and fill it with shapes. It shows work done on a variety of GUI sub-widgets including shape icons, shape tags, shape lists, pod details box, and combat cards. The pod assembly box was also a widget inter-communication puzzle that took several days to figure out, with trying to get the shape buttons to update the card and similar tasks. This screen also shows a help dialogue which has been in the game code for a long time now. The goal is to give AXIS as much in-game help as possible. All this, and you may also notice some slight changes in the theme, which has been updated to be a little more sleek, colorfull, and expandable.

At this point, i've decided to flesh out the GUI until it's basically all you'll need to play a basic game. I'm doing it now because it's not terribly fun and i'd like to get it over with. It also makes the game feel more complete and is more prone to crash bugs than other systems, so the sooner it's done, the better.

[#46] Monday, January 26, 2004 - Shape Graphics

After spending the weekend wrestling with Blender, i finally got a batch of 40 individual shape graphics and 5 force type icons. You can start to see them in the game in this screenshot.

[#45] Saturday, January 24, 2004 - Widget Work

Lately i've started working on The Panel and many of it's associated GUI widgets and many of their associated backend features. The recent focus has been on AXIS economics. I've added two economic systems to the code in case i every want to go back to the old version, but the new version allows players to purchase shapes for a variable price (different shapes cost different amounts). This seems simpler and more gratifying. Along with the backend, the economic system also has a front end now as you can see in this interesting screenshot which shows off the current energy bank balance, debt, interest rate, 100-turn history graph, purchase bar, list of shapes in reserve, and the first "combat card" prototype.

Lots of other fine-tuning and debugging has been taking place as well. I plan to flesh out the user controls and make it as user-friendly as possible before adding more game features. The Panel layout has now been planned and you can see this new organization by noticing the new navigation bar with 8 temporary button icons. The UI as of late has started to "gel" codewise and is starting to feel very organized and fluid in usage (that's good).

[#44] Monday, January 19, 2004 - Lack Of Progress Due To Flying Monkies

I've spent the last few days cleaning up code across the entire source code directory. Most of the major work is done. There are still some other files that need cleaning, but what i've done should make compilation much smoother. I'm also removing portions of code from some classes and inheriting it rather than hardcoding it, which makes it more flexable and managable. For you non-coders out there, this just means i'm tidying up a bit so i spend more time working on new code instead of rearranging the old.

I also redrafted the map window today so that it loads much faster but it still doesn't scroll really fast. It also uses less resources. I had big plans but got frustrated trying to mathematically track a moving square inside of another moving square inside yet another square. So i bombed out and just made it the easy way. The new map window is still more flexable than the old one and can be upgraded later. Right now, i'm more interested in getting other game elements in.

On the official roadmap, the only things left for v0.2 are a few new missions, flag capturing, and a basic demo combat screen. I'll also be reworking the GUI a bit and adding many widgets. I will not be adding further networking features until version 0.3 when the game mechanics are a little more solidified. For the time being, you can still chat and get to a game's starting point. At this point, i'de say the next milestone is reallistically due about mid to late February.

[#43] Friday, January 16, 2004 - Some Design Changes

No new code work has happened in the last few days, but there have been some design changes and cuts outlined in the third post of this thread. I've concocted the "Homogenization Bonus" scheme as a replacement for shape specials and combat combo systems. It should make the game simpler to play and easier to code.

[#42] Sunday, January 11, 2004 - Map Specials

The basics to map specials are now in place. While they are not all coded, wells and energy tabs, the backbone of AXIS economics, are more or less done. Wells put out energy tabs at controlled rates and energy tabs are collectable and even redeemable at your local Energy Bank (which is also already coded) buy collecting them with a moving pod, then stepping back over a base tile.

The project completion meter has been increased to 24%.

[#41] Friday, January 9, 2004 - Combat Resolution Algorithm

Even more progress today. There is a new screenshot of the combat resolution algorithm in progress which is responsible for determing which pods are involved in combat every turn. At the rate we're going, we'll hit the v0.2 milestone in no time. The new screenshot can be found where all the others are

[#40] Friday, January 9, 2004 - Energy Bank & Shape Generator

Two new features have now been added. The first is the Energy Bank which is like your economic bank acount for your axis. It's in charge of keeping funds, adding interest, and purchasing shapes. Speaking of which, the shape generation engine is also now complete. All the statistical tables from the design doc have now been coded and it produces shapes with semi-random statistics on demand. They even have corny themed names!

[#39] Wednesday, January 7, 2004 - More Good News

I spent pretty much the whole day on AXIS since it snowed like crazy and i got the day off work. I'm happy to announce that the basics of the new movement system are now in place and it works with all current misions. In it's current state it is resource intensive but perhaps could be refined later on in the project. It works plenty good for now.

The other good news is that scorpion got the v0.1.3 code compiled reasonably well with only a few slight bugs which we will work on as soon as we can meet and test the networking code over the internet.

[#38] Tuesday, January 6, 2004 - RELEASE: v0.1.3

This is a sub-release that includes networking support and a near-complete pre-game flowchart. You should be able to start a game in single or multiplayer modes and have everyone start on the same map. This release only includes the source. There are no binaries available at this time. Find it on the downloads page.

[#37] Monday, January 5, 2004 - Wrapping Up Pre-Game Flowchart

The Pre-Game Flowchart is everything you have to do to get from starting the program to playing an actual game. The pre-game flowchart is now basically complete for both multi and single player modes. You can turn on the game and get a start screen, select a single or multiplayer game, negotiate player inclusion and chat in the networking area, select axis colors in real time (you can't both be blue!) as well as other server game options, create a map, and have all players ready to start a game on the same map. From there, the regular play mechanics from Advanced Football still work, but are in no way networked or fine-tuned any from the last release.

At this point, i will create a source codeball and get it posted for people to start debugging. I think i've done some extensive debugging already, but the more eyes the better. The networking code has also never been tested on Windows or across different machines on the internet.

After the current code is overviewed and bug-patched, i will begin work on the entirely new movement system which will mean much of the current code is still useable, but the architecture surrounding it will need to be completely rebuilt. This includes items such as turn processing and the use of Mission classes and how they primarily function.

Even further on, i'll be picking things off the project roadmap one by one. I'd like to get an elementary Shape generating system in place and a combat resolver which decides who is involved in what combat and have those combats delt out to players simultaniously. That system in particular could get hairy, but that's later...

When the next network-enabled code release is posted, i'll post some more news for those that care. I cannot provide Windows binaries until someone build them. Stay tuned.

[#36] Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - Overhauls & Design Doc Revision 2.3

Major portions of the game including combat and the movement system have received massive overhauls. The new design doc revision 2.3 has now been posted in the downloads page under Documentation. Please download and read it if you are interested in the further development of AXIS or want to contribute to the design.

[#35] Friday, December 26, 2003 - Multiplayer Flowchart

With time off work, progress is swift. As of today, the basic multiplayer flowchart is complete. By that i mean the game's setup screens all work correctly with the exception of the map generation screen which is still running in "dummy mode." That is, it makes nice maps but it doesn't know how to place home bases correctly based on how many people are actually in the game. Because of this, good old BlotchMaker will need a tune-up soon.

It is also good to note that the single player flowchart is NOT complete. I've decided that in single player mode the game will not piggyback the networking code (sending packets to itself). This is for efficiency reasons and will make the single player game physically faster. For that reason, all actions in the game will need a kind of fork, where if it's a single players game it just performs actions and if it's a multiplayer game, it sends packets.

There are no radically new screenshots to show but the code is about to a point where it doesn't crash, bugs have been weeded out, and it can now be commited to CVS and/or wrapped up in a distributable codeball. Stay tuned.

In other news, Savannah, our CVS holder, is now back up and running after suffering a Debian-style server hijacking. You can register with Savannah and check out our CVS tree if you'd like.

[#34] Thursday, December 25, 2003 - Moving On

The networking screen is nearly complete and has most of it's actual functionality wired to it now. Servers can be started, clients can log in and chat, players can be accepted and declined. There are still some backend network issues to be worked out, but all seems to be working well now. Currently a Game Settings screen is in the works, as you can see screenshots of it now. Here, players can choose axis colors and configure some basic pre-game setup options.

At present, the goal is to get the game to a point where you can select a multiplayer game, start a server, accept players, configure a game, configure a map, and actually be ready to start playing. Of course, actual game play won't work, but the startup flowchart should be basically complete and we can move on to towards actual gameplay mechanics instead of all this boring networking an GUI business. Blech!

[#33] Sunday, December 14, 2003 - Networking Wrapping Up

I've spent the better part of this Saturday working on networking (more so). I am pleased to announce that we now have a fully functioning networking system, custom data packet architecture, and a working network setup screen that includes not only chat, but client/server starting, and for the server player: accepting and declining of connected players. Along the way i've created GUI widgets for chat and error dialogs. Connections and disconnection are handled (somewhat) cleanly and the user ought to get an error message if someone drops the ball.

Beta testing can begin as soon as a codeball can be packaged for everyone. There are some expected issues that will have to be worked out including operating system compatability and byte-ordering and many other scary "networky" things. An announcement is forthcoming.

[#32] Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - Houston, we have chat!

Finally got a functioning chat box in the game! It only works one-way, has many loose ends to tie up, and the code is a mess, but we do have functioning in-game chat now, along with custom data packets, reusable server/multiclient networking code, and also a new Chatbox GUI widget which can also be re-used in the rest of the game as a floating window.

A new version of AXIS with the networking functionality should be released sometime in a week or two, should there be any demand for it. There are no game play changes. Also, our Savannah CVS repository was hacked recently, so it is down for a while.

[#31] Saturday, November 29, 2003 - Networking

For anyone curious as to what's going on, i'm still working on the networking infrastructure for AXIS. This is all unfamiliar territory. Basically we've picked up SDL_net to handle the dirt work, and am now working on building game classes around it for client and server. I'm also putting together the data packet shipping and receiving structures.

Today, i got a server/multiclient system sending custom data packets in a chat system outside of the main AXIS program in text mode. There are lots of loose ends to tie up, but hopefully i can clean it up and shoehorn it into AXIS in a week or so. A live networking version with chat should be released sometime after that as v0.1.3.

[#30] Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - News For News' Sake

Since it's been two months, here's an update:

Ringleader leiavoia (me) bought a new camera and has been busy shooting, testing, and writing custom perl scripts to make good use of it in linux. Work has also been busy but is now very slow, quite suddenly. So, that is why not much has happened recently.

Tonight is the first night i get back into the AXIS source code. I'm working on getting a good solid packet routing and handling system for networking. So far, it's getting close to being usable and should have an actual networkable test ready soon. The first goal is to get the already mocked-up networking screen wired up for pre-game chat messaging. After that, we'll be re-writing a lot of code to work with the new client/server model

In other news, the AXIS domain name runs out in March and the webspace was just renewed today. There may be a possibilty that this webspace will get converted to "ambientblue.net," which will be a "digital thinktank", or a place to put all of my projects, software, personal material, and art gallery, as well as other game design projects, all together in one classless and indescribable package. It's a shame to get a new website for each and every project I or others start, so Ambient Blue may become a hub for this kind of activity, without really getting a label like "game design website" or "personal page". Feel free to way in on this topic on the forum.

[#29] Saturday, September 13, 2003 - AXIS v0.1.1 & New Design Documentation Revision 2

A bugfix release v0.1.1 has been posted. Windows users will be happy to know that a Windows version has also been posted, our first ever!

We have spent some time revamping and adding to the design docs. It is now in OpenOffice.org format and PDF. The new docs include a lot of new information as we start working towards AXIS v0.2. The old web-based design documentation has now been archived as we move to a better-maintained distributable format.

All of the above items can be found in the downloads section

We'll be having a lot of discussion in the forum (hopefully) on new issues in the design. Feel free to join in. AXIS development is moving along very fast!

[#28] Saturday, September 6, 2003 - What's in the pipe...

There will probably be a lull in AXIS development for a little while as i take a self-imposed break from design and coding. There is a bit of mopping up to do with the code still. There are a few bugs to be coded out and Windows binaries to fine tune. Look for a version 0.1.1 in a week or two.

After that, however, serious design issues will be addressed such as turn processing, combat, multiplayer networking, game flow, and pacing for future development. The Design Doc is currently being edited, added to, and reworked in OpenOffice format which can be instantly processed into PDF or HTML as well. Once we open up the new design doc, we hope to have some good discussion on the boards. Please stay tuned.

[#27] Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - OFFICIAL RELEASE: v0.1 - "ADVANCED FOOTBALL" !!!

It's our first milestone release! The good news is that you can download and install it now and that we've achieved everything on the to-do list for v0.1 on the AXIS Roadmap. The bad news is, this release is for source and linux systems only. If any volunteers will bite the bullet and get the windows version compiled, we'd be very happy.

Linux users and enterprising programmers can get it while it's hot.

[#26] Friday, August 22, 2003 - Off To Press

AXIS v0.1 is right about were it needs to be for a release. The last discernable bug was squashed today and the last features have been added. While it's not extraordinarily fancy, it works well. After windows and linux binary packages are created, they will be posted ASAP for beta testing and review. A newer screenshot has been posted.

[#25] Saturday, August 16, 2003 - Fast Approaching v0.1

Progress thunders forward... A few more things that have been changed or added in the last few days:

  • Working Panel framework. Everything works great so far. We have the framework for The Panel in place, also as many as 8 "panel modules" either completed or in the works.
  • The first version of the Turn Manager has been implemented. You can now click Next Turn and let the good times roll.
  • Maptile click callbacks work now. That means that The Panel can now communicate with the map window for feedback and data.
  • The block obstacle graphics were updated. Small change but makes a big difference for some reason.
  • Pods can now be added or deleted from the map through the UI for testing purposes.
  • Pods now have numbers (for how many shapes they contain).

All that is really left for a v0.1 release is the ability to assign and modify missions to pods (50% complete already) and getting pop-up window messages to work, as well as a few loose ends. After the code is complete, i'll try to get working binaries for both Linux and Windows users. We're almost there!

[#24] Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - Panel Progress

The last three days were spent trying to find and annihilate a nice little "ghost bug", causing the program to crash sometimes but not others for the same operation. Now it's fixed and progress continues.

The map window has already been completely overhauled. Each tile is now it's own independent widget. This slows things down a bit for redrawing the entire screen, but is for more versatile for future expansion.

Even more major work has been on The Panel side bar. It now features switchable sub-screens and an array of Panel modules which can be re-used on several different screens. Current work is going into the Pod/Mission sub-screen and being able to place and assign a new pod a mission on the map. A new screenshot has been released.

[#23] Wednesday, August 6, 2003 - New Pages Added

We've added a project page with links to our code repository, a downloads section (currently empty), and a lengthy chronological screenshots section with lots of content. Links can be found on the left bar. Enjoy.

[#22] Wednesday, August 6, 2003 - BlotchMaker Final Screen

What will probably be the final version of the map generation screen is now in place (screenshot on the right replaced). Not all features are in place yet. Map and configuration saving/loading are yet to be coded, but the buttons are there :-) Also notice the very cool fade-out status bars.

[#21] Sunday, August 3, 2003 - Return of BlotchMaker

Yes, the good ol' BlotchMaker random map generation utility got some attention these last few days. It now has it's own functioning UI screen. Some kinks need to be worked out and brush and obstacle types are not yet implemented, but you get the idea. Screenshot on the right.

[#20] Friday, August 1, 2003 - Bugs Squashed. Progress Goes On

A major segmentation fault causing bug in the graphical architecture has been located and annihiliated after many days of hunting it down. The moral: make sure your inherited/inheritable classes have virtual destructors!

As that was one of two major problems in development, we can now move on inhindered. The other problem has also been solved.

Design work is now focusing on a BlotchMaker map configuration screen. After that, there will be more work on the "panel" and making selectable map tiles. More news when it happens.

[#19] Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - MiniMap and Coding Riddle

A swanky new MiniMap has been implemented (screenshots posted on the right). However, a tough C++ coding riddle has come up and is a roadblock to further progress. See if you can solve it.

[#18] Friday, July 25, 2003 - Graphical Architecture Gelling and AXIS 0.0.6

Getting an entire architecture to work the graphical end of a multi-screen game is difficult. After extensive bug testing, segmentation fault hunting, and memory leak plugging, we now have a usable model. It's not the most elegent solution, but it does work.

AXIS, as it stands, now has functioning buttons and sliders and whatnot, but it also has screen navigation abilities now. The current in-production demo testbed version 0.0.6 now has a lovely start page (pictured on the right). The demo has the ability to flip back and forth between the start page and the demo page.

Now that the architecture for AXIS graphics is more or less in place, production on various basic screens can now begin. The first up is a "lite" version of BlotchMaker, the AXIS map generator, which will be followed by the "heavy duty" version later, to show off all the wonderful map generating features AXIS will have.

Currently, a v0.0.6 AXIS demo is in the works for Windows users.

We are getting very close to a v0.1 release. For those who are curious, the official AXIS roadmap has the following slated for the first usable testbed 0.1 release. much of it has already been implemented.

"version 0.1 is the skeletal framework for testing. It is not meant to be playable. There needs to be enough that pods can be manipulated on the screen and assigned missions. It is also to test the map generation functions and navigation."

  • functional UI. Not all areas need to be fleshed out, but the basics for navigation must be in place
    • splash screen (maybe)
    • main game sidebar
    • pod selection
    • blotchmaker config screen (basic)
  • map generation & display
  • pod classes with stats. pods need to be able to be selected and given orders.
  • move. just the basic move command is good for now. the actual missions will be in later versions
  • design of the shape generating engine based on other statistics. Not necessarily the implementation.
  • combat - can just be a dice roll for now. no actual combat takes place.
  • option to attack adjacent neighbors or not.

[#17] Sunday, July 20, 2003 - OFFICIAL RELEASE: v0.0.5

Here is our first official release: AXIS v0.0.5, aka "Advanced Football". It's a pre-alpha testbed semi-interactive demo. It features map generation and pod movement and exhibits pathfinding algorithms, mild animations, and a functional GUI.

At this time, it's only available for linux as a binary. A Windows release will be made available just as soon as someone can compile it in a windows environment (not me). If you have any windows programming experience, please volunteer!

More information about the demo and installation can be found in the readme file. You can download it here or see screenshots on the front page over on the the right.

[#16] Friday, July 18, 2003 - Callbacks and GUI Wiring

Well, i got my crash course in callback functions today. I spent the afternoon putting the map display inside the GUI window. As it stands, there is now a scrollable map inside the map window, a side panel and a status bar, all of which could still use some work, but the basic wiring works. Scrollbars scroll, buttons activate events, etc.

For the official pre-0.1 demo i would like to release next week, i'll be putting together a nice version of Advanced Football. It will have a scrollable map with a fixed map size (sorry). It will have a "regenerate map" button and a "play football" button to watch the animation. This way, you can watch the map generator at work and also observe pod movement as many times as you want.

While i've succeeded in wrapping the SDL library around AXIS internals, and more recently succeeded in wrapping ParaGUI around it as well, i still need to wrap AXIS around ParaGUI. This way, everything will be nice and organized. However, it will take some time. When it's done, expect a pre-0.1 demo release (in about a week ot two).

[#15] Thursday, July 17, 2003 - GUI Semi-Progress

I've managed to wrap the ParaGUI interface around the map and game. There are some graphics, some buttons, and a rendered map. All that remains now is "wiring it up" so that the buttons and scrollbars and such actually do something. Screenshots should be available within the week as soon as a basic GUI layout is made (i'm picky about graphics and layout). The code is messy, having been coded entirely in QuikHack(tm) C++. It remains to be seriously classified or organized, but we're getting there.

[#14] Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - ParaGUI

Scorpion stumbled upon ParaGUI when trying to get a usable GUI going. I'm thinking about going with it for a complete AXIS GUI. It has quite a bit going for it including many full featured widgets and it is also theme-able which fits the character of AXIS very well. It should save us a lot of development time. The only thing that it may need help with is building a file selector widget which ParaGUI lacks.

At the moment, i am learning the ParaGUI interface and what my options are. After i tinker with it a bit, i will go back to building the actual AXIS GUI framework and wrap that around ParaGUI. Then i will start creating the map drawing features which i already did once for my Advanced Football++ experiment, so it should not be too hard.

On the AXIS Roadmap, the first milestone release (v0.1) requires a usable spartan interface. Many of the other features on the Roadmap for v0.1 are already done. The GUI is one of the last elements to get coded. When it is done (read: "usable"), i'll then switch over to make sure it works okay on Windows and package it all up for a public release.

Here's hoping...

[#13] Wednesday, July 9, 2003 - Advanced Football++

As it stands, I (leiavoia) am just recovering from massive hardware failure including motherboard, processor, and hard drive. Meanwhile, Scorpion has disappered from off the planet. So, i've taken the liberty of learning some graphical goodness and have settled on using the cross-platform SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer) graphics library for AXIS. In just two days and a few short hours of sponging information, i've thrown together a visual frontend for "Advanced Football" (pictured on the right). A download is forthcoming. While simple looking, it demonstrates a lot of underlying pathfinding logic, movement mechanics, mission implementaion, map generation, and more.

[#12] Wednesday, June 4, 2003 - Advanced Football

[leiavoia]: I've been working on pod structures, movement systems, and missions in the last week and a half. I now have the basic movement system, pathfinding, avoidence system, and mission assignments created. So far, there is only one mission: Patrol, but it works quite nicely. I have a little executable example (linux only at this point) for anyone who wants to see it. It's called "Advanced Football" and features a "good guy" running from one corner of a randomly generated 20x20 map to the other, finding a way around obstacles and 3 "bad guys" assigned Patrol missions. Pods on patrol will sit and wait for someone to come into their patrol area and then make an attempt to nab the intruder. If anyone wants the executable, please post something on the message board. We would like to know who is still reading this!

[#11] Monday, May 26, 2003 - Even More Coding

Sounds a lot like the last news post, but code is starting to conjeal. We now have a CVS repository hosted at Savannah. Leiavoia is moving onto Pod structures and basic movement systems. Scorpion is working on more GUI and graphics systems that are linux compatible.

[#10] Sunday, April 20, 2003 - A Bit More Coding

Leiavoia continues work on BlotchMaker and Scorpion has been doing some dabbling in GUI creation. Currently, a working version of a map generation screen has been made which combines the two sources.

[#9] Friday, March 28, 2003 - Programming Progress!

Well, it's no pro game development house, but things are starting to take some remote resemblence of shape on the AXIS project. leiavoia has finished a v3.0 of BlotchMaker that can now be used officially. Meanwhile, Scorpion has taken BlotchMaker and put some graphics and the beginnings of a UI around it. BlotchMaker 3.0 terminal debug screens can be seen here.

[#8] Friday, March 21, 2003 - A Little Bit Of History

Just to show that this project isn't a brand new idea, there's been some photos i took of the original design mockup posted here. I grabbed it out of the closet and took a trip down memory lane this morning and thought i'd post some history of where this whole project is coming from.

[#7] Sunday, March 16, 2003 - Specials & Combos

Lists and descriptions on shape specials are up, as are an explenation of the Combo System and lists of combos.

[#6] Sunday, March 16, 2003 - Movement System

The basic movement system has been posted. That should shed some light on things.

[#5] Friday, March 14, 2003 - Top Level AI Thoughts

The first half of the general outline for "General" - the top-level AI - has been posted. It's pretty deep, even for a vague outline. More will be added later.

[#4] Thursday, March 13, 2003 - Skinability

The UI "skinability" and modding ideas have been posted.

[#3] Thursday, March 13, 2003 - AI Concepts Posted

The very basics for AXIS AI for your quick perusal has now been posted.

[#2] Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - Project Goes Online

The AXIS Project is now officially online and public. Domain name fell through this morning. Board installed and pages are up. No serious problems. A contact page is forthcoming.

[#1] Sunday, March 2, 2003 - The Beginning Of Time

I've decided to resurrect this project from the closet. I've now got this webpage whipped up and running. Initial content is in the works and a domain name is in the pipe.