Thursday, February 4, 2010

Making Games is Fun

So I've been using Torque X for about a week. If you aren't familiar with the product I suggest you familiarize yourself with it immediately. It's a game engine that's fully integrated into XNA and features a drag and drop type game editor that is easily hooked into your C# code. I believe TorqueX is used in a lot of those "create a game in two days or die trying" competitions which can occasionally produce something worth playing but most of the time seem to produce games that look like they were created in two days. Having said that, here is a clip of what I have been working on this week.

Don't mind the music, just what I was listening to at the time.

At the moment I am still in the tutorial phase of my TorqueX education. In fact, what you see above is a mixing of numerous tutorials with slight modifications. Besides the tutorials included with the TorqueX download, I got some sample code from this website, Envy Games TorqueX. The code is from The Complete Guide to Torque X, a book written by John Kanalakis, who has also taken over development of the TorqueX engine and has written a roadmap of where he wants to take TorqueX. RoadMap.

I am probably going to purchase the book, but I am having fun looking at his tutorials and ripping out his components for use in my game.

Components are pieces of code that can be easily shared between different games. For instance, the clip above makes use of an AIChase component and an AnimatedCharacterComponent among others. I combined these into one and got my AI to chase my player and display different animations. It would probably be better for me to keep these two components separate and I will modify my code later to do this.

You probably noticed in the clip that the animations weren't quite correct. I'm basing which animation to display based on rotation and its a bit off so I would like to display this rotation variable on the screen at runtime. I am about to do some research about how to display things onto the screen in TorqueX. Maybe someone wrote a debugging component I can use, or perhaps I will create one?

Figuring out how to display text on the screen using pure XNA is pretty easy, there are a lot of tutorials around concerning XNA, but not so much for TorqueX. I am glad that better documentation is high on the engine's roadmap priorities. Displaying text is a pretty basic problem though so I am sure I will find something I can use.


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