Hey guys!! Sincerest apologies for the long wait on this log -- I hope no one was getting any misguided thoughts about 'Josh is kill' this time Between me being hammered with a cold for the past week and the entire team being hammered by 'minor' annoyances standing between us and our current goal of a 'minimal working LT,' it's been rough trying to stay on top of things. Especially. With. Dayquilbrain. Please excuse me if I'm not as coherent as usual (HA!!!!!)
Big-picture-wise, we're pushing hard to get a 'mini' LT -- or, as Adam ingeniously dubbed it -- "Lil'T" built and running. Lil'T is kind of what I was gunning for a while back when I thought I had a good ECS, and wanted to implement everything in terms of the 'real systems' for the most recent public showing of LT. Our goal is to take all the foundational work we've done up to this point -- Adam with physics, me with ECS impl, Sean with AI -- and build a small LT out of it. The critical idea here being that we're doing everything the way we would do it for release, which means, theoretically, no throw-away code (yes, I'm well aware that LT has a long and rich history of non-throw-away code being thrown away....ahem...but...we are more practical now!!)
So yes, we're pretty busy! As for the past two weeks, however, they honestly haven't been my favorite. Adam and I have had to spend a lot more time than we wanted to getting our Windows build system to play nice as we continue to grow the codebase and factor out pieces into different libraries and such. I won't even get started down the path of this rant....I could rant for years and years about how incredibly broken, braindead, absolutely neuron-singingely stupid modern build processes are. It's like we're still cavemen when it comes to turning code into machine code :V But I can't let myself digress...the good news is that we're through it. Things work. And if they ever stop working because of one more flippedy-flopping bad decision that someone made a decade ago, I'm going to burn down the entirety of the known universe. So that's that
On the other hand, Sean over there has been having what I would say is his most productive week(s) yet! After I was able to build a little visualization sandbox for him, in which he could hook up his Lua sim code to drawing functions, he immediately started to explore some territory that he's been itching to get to: low-level AI maneuvering. We talked about 'flow fields' (aka gradient descent on a scalar potential field) and how they can be used to create very natural motion in the face of many conflicting goals (avoid obstacles, avoid hostiles that are stronger than you, stay in formation with fleet if applicable, move towards destination, align to firing trajectory, etc.)
A week later he's got a fleet of ships following a leader, in formation, through a dense, heterogeneous asteroid field, and it's looking pretty awesome as they break formation to avoid collisions, then form back up when the field allows it. Very cool stuff to see. Once more, I envy Sean for the work he's getting to do! I can't wait to see this maneuvering code in 3D with real ships (right now it's quite graphically-limited by the sandbox).
Other than that, honestly, loads and loads and loads of technical gibberish. Surprisingly, I'm not going to subject you guys to it I think it's probably because I am, frankly, not excited about it. Yes, technical gibberish is what makes games work and is what we have to push through to get to Lil'T (don't you just love the name??), but I haven't seen a procedural system in a week or so now and it's starting to hurt. Hopefully by the end of the day we'll have stuff running, because I'm really starting to miss the spacy vibes
In summary: All hail Lil'T!! \o/ Send your assorted pagan offerings now, because Lil'T is comin at you FAST! (Yes, please do keep in mind that I'm still a bit...wonky...from the cold medicine.. )
See you in