Day Two complete
Today seemed to be a much slower day. It's probably because instead of writing code from scratch I was tinkering with existing code. That's always tougher for me to do.
I redesigned my pipe sections and in the process I switched from GIMP to KolorPaint which is a much simpler editor and more suited to my task. I've now drawn all the pipes I think I'll need for the final game. In my first post I mentioned I couldn't see how people could work in a team on a short challenge such as this, but I have to admit that having an artist would really help. My programmer art sucks and no matter how good my game is it'll look terrible :-(
Moving on from the looks, I made a few alterations to the game mechanics today. I decided to move away from the traditional Pipe Dreams method of forcing the user's hand when placing pipes by giving them only one pipe type at a time to choose from. I've decided that the user will have access to the whole range of options but each pipe will have a cost that will be deducted from their score if they use it.
Currently the user has the following pipe types to choose from:
- Straight pipes: This is just a simple, straight pipe.
- Corner pipes: These pipes let the steam turn a corner!
- Thin pipes: This pipe is like the straight pipes, only they're thinner so the pressure in the pipe is increased. This forces the steam to move quicker but also the pressure changes are more extreme.
- Reservoirs: These are fat sections of pipes that store a lot of steam. This reduces the pressure and evens out any pressure changes.
- Pressure release valve: This section of pipe will start venting excess steam if the pressure gets too high. This value will become variable but is currently fixed.
- One-way pipe: This pipe prevents steam from 'flowing' in the wrong direction if the pressure gradient changes.
I can already see how some of the pipes can be used in combination. For example a one-way pipe just before a reservoir means that the steam will keep flowing in the right direction even if the boiler gets shut off. Well, for a while longer at least :-) Also a pressure release valve placed just before the goal is handy in keeping pressure below the maximum as going above this will be heavily penalised. The pressure release valves will have to be expensive as this makes things a bit too easy, and running the boiler will cost you as well so running it too much and just venting the excess steam will lower your score.
There are still some other pipes types that need adding, such as an on/off value and crossing pipes. I also need to work on some splitter so the user can send steam in different directions. I'll need to start work tomorrow on the additives that the player will be required to pass the steam through before they'll score any points.
I still have a lot to do, and not much time left to do it in. I get the feeling that I'll be getting up early and spending the whole of Saturday working on bringing my game up to scratch. It's a shame that the competition didn't start 24 hours later - I wouldn't change my weekend away with my girlfriend for the world, but dang, having the whole of Sunday to work on the game would have been useful!