Hello, and welcome to the latest Sol Trader update!
Lots of new things to talk about this time around. I've recently added a brand new Entity System to the game, which has dramatically increased the speed in which I can try out new ideas. I've also added some new bloom code, which works even on older machines and looks fantastic.
Read on to learn more about what I've been up to!
The huge difference a good Entity System can make
Most games have multiple things in them that work in similar but varying ways, such as players, bullets, walls, trees, weapons, and so on. The Entity abstraction is a useful one to encode this – all things in the game share basic properties (such as position), but have special behaviour in certain circumstances.
The cost of development is a huge barrier to quickly prototype new ideas for our games. Anything we can do to bring this down allows us to try more ideas and get to 'fun' as quickly as we can. The longer it takes to build a new type of entity, the slower the prototyping of new ideas.
How to quickly add bloom to your game engine
I originally added bloom to Sol Trader over three years ago, and it was time to take a fresh look at it.
The last time that I added bloom to the engine, I had complex and clever code all over the place in order to make bloom optional. This time I've simplified it by turning bloom on for everyone. It makes the game look so much better, and these days the chances are small that people cannot run with it turned on.
Read the full article for how I did it, along with some example screenshots and some OpenGL sample code.
Development update: space mode revamp continues
The space mode revamp continues apace, although I've been taking some much needed time off with the family, so there's not much to show yet. There will be more gameplay videos and screenshots released towards the end of August.
That's it for now. Until next time!