Wednesday, October 24, 2007

System of Game Development Tools

In addition the terrain and units files created by the Terrain File Builder and the Units File Builder, I have written a Scenario File Builder that generates a scenario file for each scenario of a new game.

All three files (terrain, units, and scenario) are input to the Game Engine. The Game Engine provides the user interface for the Player and handles game mechanics like movement along paths (when the artificial intelligence is chosen for a side), conducts combat, and keeps track of turn and phase changes. The Game Engine also maintains statistics for each unit such as strength, morale, and combat level.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Units File Builder

This week I am working on another game development tool. This one is called a Units File Builder. It generates a file of data related to a unit, a unit being defined as representing a force of some kind (regiment, brigade, battery, etc.).

Data collected by the Units File Builder includes such items as X/Y location, strength, side and type (infantry, cavaltry, etc.) but also any path assignment the unit may have.

A path is a route of five nodes that a unit will follow at a certain turn in the game or under certain conditions.

The file generated by the UFB, like the Terrain File, will be read into a game processor program.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Terrain File Builder

After posting the finished Agincourt, 1415 game, a game development tool project was undertaken. This effort created a program that facilitates assigning terrain values the hex cells on a game map.

This new tool is called the Terrain File Builder.

The idea is that the Terrain File Builder will generate a file of terrain values for each map hex, which will then be input to future game engines. The TFB assigns a current terrain value to a map hex clicked by the mouse.

Graphic maps files (33 x 22 hexes) for a new game are created in Paint Shop Pro 6, reduced by half, then exported as a JPG file. This JPG file is input to the TFB and, being reduced by half, fits fully on the screen.