Terminal System Seven is a tactical strategy game inspired by a combination of 80's cyber-themes and programming. Taking place inside a virtual world, the game will feature customizable units and city-like levels.

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This weeks update contains A* pathfinding, cursors, isometric rendering and more!

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Weekly Update #1

Design

There really hasn't been that much done in design this week. In all honesty, until we've got the basic structure of the game running, there won't really be that much to do. Not only because all of the basic elements have already been designed and are waiting for implementation, but also because we can't really make any proper decisions before we can try them out in game. As soon as we've got a basic version of the game running though, there'll be a lot of adding features and balancing.

One thing that has been done in design this we is a new level. Or well, it's pretty much the same level as the first one, but it's around 5 times bigger. We'll keep on making some maps in different sizes in the future, as we'll have to try them out later to see what map size works best with this game.

Here'ss how the new level looks:


We told you there were going to be city-like levels!

Programming

Oh boy, the programming part! A lot has happened in the programming department this week. We pretty much finished the rendering part of the engine. I don't dare say that we've finished it completely as fixes here and there will probably be applied later on. Still, for what we've got now, it's basically finished. Support for animated tiles was added for the map loader, and we made it run better by making a few memory optimizations. An animated mouse cursor for selecting entities in the map has been implemented (read more about it in the graphics section). Last but absolutely not least we've implemented A* pathfinding for the programs and avatar. Some tweaking is still to be done before we're fully satisfied with it.

Graphics

This week we've finalized some of the animation related stuff and gotten them up and running in the game engine. One of the most important things of these are the animated tiles (As mentioned in the programing section). Not only do they give life to the otherwise static levels, but it also makes the environment feel more like a digital world rather than just a blue tinted city.

We've also gotten a range of cursors done. We've made one "basic" cursor, which will pretty much be a regular cursor for menus and alike. We've also made a grid-based cursor, which will be used out on the playing field. The reason why we used a grid-based cursor (which will snap accordingly to the grid of the level) is because we've realized that it'll make selecting a tile or unit much easier. Otherwise, if we had a regular cursor that allowed us to just click the unit in question, it would become very difficult to click on tiles that were behind the units. At the same time, if we made it a regular cursor and made it so that the player has to click on the tile (not the unit itself) to select something, it would become strange as you'd think that just clicking on a unit would select it. To make things more clear with the grid-based cursor, we've added a little wall of light around it, to empower what's on the selected tile.

Here's how it looks now:


The grid-based cursor

We have also added sprites for tiles that have been selected and for tiles that have been targeted. In this case a "selected tile" is the tile of the unit or object that the player currently has selected, and a "targeted tile" is a tile which the player has chosen to preform an action upon (such as "move here" or "attack this").

They currently look like this:


Selected tile to the left, target tile to the right

Sound/Music
There hasn't really been done much in the sound/music department this week. A little tinkering has been done here and there, but not really anything worth mentioning.

That's all for today folks! We'll be putting up more updates in the following week, so stay tuned and we'll see you later!.

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Terminal System Seven
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Double Zero One Zero
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