Prototype #2 has made significant progress this month. The completion of the basic template for the first tutorial mission, the creation of a trigger manager and the start of a database system tool to more easily create and track mission data are big steps. Now, it is time to plan out the next few major steps for the project.
First, I need to complete the database management system. This is instrumental to future progress. It just takes too long to hard code each mission into the game. A secondary tool to generate the game database makes it much easier. In addition, future distribution will not need a secondary program to load the database. The database will have to be distributed with the application. In addition, this will allow for me to look at a centralized internet location for the database. This will allow for a web-based player in future builds.
Second, I need to start on transitions. The basic game flow is: start up screen, character creation screen, tutorial #1 briefing screen, tutorial #1 mission screen and tutorial #1 debriefing screen. Prototype #2 is not intended to incorporate character creation; it will be skipped for now. However, I need a starting splash screen that transitions into the first briefing. Another tranisition is necessary to get into the actual mission. Consequently, the next priority after finishing the database system is to create a briefing scene followed by transitioning between screens.
Third, I need to finish the first tutorial mission. While this is officially step three, this will actually occur concurrently with step two. At this point, I'll concentrate on fleshing out the asteroids in the mission and tweak the execution of audio files. As step two winds down, I'll need to add some new trigger types to the trigger manager. I'll need a delete trigger to remove triggers from the mission. This will be used to create an if-else situation. Other triggers are still on drawing board at this point.
Fourth, I need to start detailing the role and mechanics of capital ships in the game. This includes an AI routine to control capital ships and turrets. These AI routines will probably be two separate but interconnected scripts with the primary AI routine driving the turret AI routine. With the capital ship's AI routine out of the way, I can start integrating capital ships into the database and trigger manager.
Finally, I need to look at damage in the game. Currently, the system is haphazardly put together. I need to get the system to work for both fighters and capital ships. As it stands right now, it is almost impossible to destroy capital ships in the game. I need to figure out the damage role for capital ships.
These steps should keep me occupied for awhile and should last through the beginning of next month.