Last Saturday I realised this was not going to work. I could either continue screaming internally trying to make the thing I’d worked out fit into something I didn’t yet understand OR I could go from the ground up and make something simple that’s missing a bunch of stuff but could work and responded to the brief.
Time for an overhaul!
I started with the creatures which are, by now, familiar territory.
By the next day I had planned out a very basic version of the game brief and had most of it working but hacked together. I have no idea how well it could rate in terms of efficiency or creativity… probably not well.
The point on what I did next is important and only highlights my continual conundrum.
Each ability button that functions is connected to the sprite change, sound effect, particle effect player, attack script, etc. But I knew wholeheartedly that all of this should be able to be implemented in the scripts. The nature of scripting screams “modular design”.
Working from the ground up, I had to start linearly by trying to only program one thing to do one thing at a time. I still cannot wrap my head around the weird and horrible way scripting means one has to think laterally across multiple scripts at once. I understand WHY but I cannot for the life of me actually do it. It’s the most infuriating thing I’ve ever encountered except for that boss fight in Darksiders, you know the one I mean.
I know and have known, at every stage of this assessment, exactly what each thing needs to do and what the basic intent is behind each interaction and how it should generally go about it, But I can’t get it down in code and less so in working code. The answers feel like they’re right on the tips of my fingers but they evaporate the moment I think too hard about them.
I respect code, I think it’s a truly cool thing that humans have done and I am consistently amazed at how clever it can be. But it is so un-intuitive to me. It’s where you’re writing another culture’s language but you make up the words as you go and it just have to make sense to their alien ears. I have all of the intent and implication I need for any given point I’m trying to make but don’t know what the listener is listening for so that it makes sense to them.
I was, again, sitting within the realm of “Just maximize your grade” which I get but still, I could have done so much more if only I could do more. As it stands the “game” is a couple of buttons that do things but doesn’t tell you about what it does yet.
Dungeonators and Dungeonisers has been a failure of human achievement and I feel bad about it, but it has room to grow and, as always, I learned a lot more than I would have if I hadn’t tried.