Cove Alpha 1.0 Update
This may be only the 3rd download but Cove is steaming into beta.
In this update Cove has an all new feel, with not only new textures, but new model place-holders and new functions and abilities. The main reason this update took so long is due to the fact that I have lost some interest with the cove code, and unfortunately, got addicted to Minecraft modding. Although the past few weeks were spent coding Minecraft, I have learnt a lot of principles that can be applied to cove, like double arrays, and how their code is structured. I also made a very basic falling sand water simulation in Game Maker 8 (the shame :C) the other day, and if cove ever gets CPU cheap, it will be implemented.
Yes, it's true, Cove is no longer just black and white, and we now have textures!
I am still deciding whether to use plain colours or to use actual textures. At the moment it is actual textures. Only some blocks have textures too at the moment.
Cove now has a brand new mode, Build Mode!
Build mode (also known has orthographic mode in A0.1 and A0.2), will disable all physics applied to the block until the player exits the mode. This is incredible useful for making large structures.
The mode works by disabling any collisions and gravity only to the blocks you place in that mode. Once out of the mode all physics will return, including gravity, handy for making traps to the future AI.
NEW WAY TO BUILD
Cove now has fixed the issue with placing blocks.
In the previous versions, Cove relied on ray-cast methods to get where the user is pointing. This unfortunately yielded unwanted side effects. One effect it causes was to place block nowhere near your mouse, or not being able to place blocks on top or along the side of already placed blocks, creating frustration during a build.
This system has been mostly removed (ray-cast prove best in removing blocks) and replaced by a marking block, a semitransparent block with no physics what-so-ever. This block is controlled directly by the player's mouse using a newly found mouse to world method. Any blocks the player spawns, it will be placed inside the marking block. The marking block also snaps to locations to avoid annoying misaligned blocks.
While this is still in the early stages and quite glitch, it is nowhere as bad as the old version, and hopefully during the big rewrite this December, it will be perfected.
No More Annoying Sludge
The Sludge is no more!
The sludge was included in the previous version to observe and trail gameplay with a destructive AI. Unfortunately, it wasn't that destructive, and proved to be a real pain when building precise designs, which by the way, I have never successfully achieved. The sludge however, is not gone forever, as it will be improved in coming versions, making it smarter and a way of destroying it will be created.
This is the final build for 2012, then a break during Christmas. Don't worry though; I will be working hard during this break, recreating the whole building code. It has gotten really messy and I am starting to get pissed by it, so expect a whole new system next year :D
In the next update, I will also be experimenting with a block tracking system. Block tracking would mean I could include water! I will also be able to create KAG like physics, hopefully decreasing the CPU power required to simulate mass rigid body and allowing a better fixing and placing systems.
Also, there will be a improved door system. The designs on paper have been finalised and the sounds are already being imitated in our free time :D The doors will be sliding doors and make a big whoosh noise when opened. They will also only take up 1 square each, allowing in custom door sizes and port hole for any future weapons that may be included.
A ton of new things will be coming in the new version, although most would be code and you wouldn't be able to see it, there is change. One thing that you wouldn't see is block ID! Most blocks currently have a name and I manually go through checking each name in the code, this will be completely changed, in fact, I'm kind of shocked I did it like that. What will this mean for you? A TON of blocks, from stone to wood. Better platforms and new doors. So have a great Christmas and a new year, I'll try to post during the break, but otherwise, talk to you in the future of 2013!