Sunday, November 28, 2004

[Ant Attack] Progress and Screen Shots


Ok, I've gotten round to doing what I should have done ages ago, sorting out some of the deep internal code. There's a point at which things can suffer massive slowdown and I've been trying to pick apart where that happens. I've not fixed those code, as really there's nothing to fix, it just slows down. But I have added code that tries to detect when it's slowing down, so it can just ignore controlling the Ants until the speed picks up again. These does mean they wonder off for a short while but does solve the issue.

Here's a new splash screen...

800x600 58kb gif

I've also recoded the menu system, mainly so I can expand it and use it in other project (ssshhh, secret!). At the same time I've been having a think about the interface while playing, here's a first person perspective shot...

800x600 71kb gif

I was quite pleased when I first moved to the "wide-screen" look, with the black strips at the top and bottom. Then without thinking about it I went and put things in that space like the score and so on. Now those nice spaces are all filled up again. I think I'm going to move the scores and such like into the game play area, thus freeing up the black borders again. I really like the though of having un-used screen space.

Games went through this point where they got quite complex. 'cause of course initially there's so little memory to write a game that by it's nature the game has to be fairly simple. As computers got bigger and better you could have more in a game and so there was more information to display, screens got cluttered. In the last few years people have been trying to remove the clutter, giving feedback about health etc. in different ways, using mini icons and so on.

Myself, I have nothing against showing numbers, it's old skool and yet I still don't want to fill the screen with clutter. So I'm going to move the feedback into the game area. I've been keeping the score/time/health layout the same as the original game, now though that's going to change. I'll post the screen once I've done, and explain why I've done what I've done.

Couple more isometric shots, one standard the other zoomed out...

800x600 36kb gif

800x600 64kb gif

You may notice I'm still using the old ant and player graphics, I've had a little bit of time to mess round with these, but I'm going to hold that back until another post.


At 30 November 2004 at 09:51, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Modesty,

It's looking great! It's really nice to see AA being redone in such a symapethic way with regards to the original, and yet at the same time providing new ideas and functionality, eg the first person view - Doom AA anyone? :)

I know what you mean about delving into the internals. There comes a point when you can't put it off any longer, I did it myself on Midnight/MU a few months back and replaced about 5 database calls with a single one! In theory it should make that part of the code more maintainable, although I've noticed clutter-creep coming back already. Ah well.

Midnight/MU is now live by the way (at last). The site has moved to a faster server with more bandwidth - I won't advertise the URL here on your site, but you can get to it via a redirection from the old site. If you get the chance (time!), do pop over and have a go :)

At 1 December 2004 at 01:18, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi there. AA is looking great. Keep up the cool work, and keep us updated ! I'll add you in the news shortly.

hitm4n (RR News guy)

At 1 December 2004 at 16:17, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see you're making progress.I used to play Ant-Attack a lot in my Spectrum days and i'm really looking forward to panicking and running my wee man into walls again.Your version is looking fantastic, it's recognizably Ant Attack but with zoom! and widescreen! and FP perspective! Keep coding, or typing or tapping or whatever it is you programmers do.

At 6 December 2004 at 17:25, Blogger Iain said...

Hi Modesty, just thought I'd check up on how you were doing - glad to see that you're still updating. It's looking really good. I can't wait to try a new beta when you have one ready!

At 8 December 2004 at 00:08, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there Modesty.
A fellow Brit here, who came to view the screenshots for Ant Attack, but they dont appear to be loading for some reason. I was really looking forward to seeing those too! I'll check back later. Anyway I'm sure you are doing a great job and I can't wait to play this remake!

I see you like Astrology too. I've just launched my own comedy-astrology site last week, at Check it out if you like (but dont expect anything sensible! :) )

- Goblin Prince

At 21 October 2005 at 04:11, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a Chinese Astrology(紫微斗數) site . It pretty much covers Chinese Astrology(紫微斗數) related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


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