Fear not, my title was not reference to weather effects, simply the noise Thursday made as it thundered past me. I set off with the best of intentions to add some sliders so I did not have to waste to tinkering with various color values to get the perfect night time color balance. In the end I wrote the complete slider-menu module, which is now capable of producing multiple control panels across several pages, employing such gadgets as sliders and glass tube readouts, plus the cool feature of being able to drag them around the screen to suit your own custom edit layout.
Here is a shot of the current 'slider' panel system. I need the smaller fonts to be redone and perhaps give the panel edges a modern blue tint twist if there is time, and perhaps blue/grey sliders to match the Reloaded theme, but they are fully functional.
In the above shot I was attempting to create the night time color factors by drawing in some dark blue fog, set the ambiance to blue and the surface specular to blue. I also added a yellow dynamic light for fun. I am still not 100% satisfied my shaders are where they need to be though for effective night time color play, but it's a small thing to tweak and I wanted the slider panels working to make the remaining process a little more pleasurable.
It's 3AM In The Morning
Literally so, and I WAS gong to add a few editor features for Ricky baby but time beat me. The good news is that I can delete the 'ambient night effects' email which has been in my inbox for over a week, and I can soldier on with editor and IDE functionality work come Friday.
Proofing The Website
Also had the pleasure of reading through the new Reloaded website this evening, which Rick and friends have been slaving over for weeks. It's really come together nicely and uses the newest and latest web technologies to give the whole site experience a modern and relevant feel to it. The real meat of the site however will come over the next few months when we start adding some seriously nice content and news feeds to it. Our plan is to make the site a hub of information, so that each time you visit you will get the latest and greatest state of play from the land of Reloaded.
I know I did not make it much past sliders, but the panel system is pretty versatile now, allowing me to conjure up as many panels as I want, putting any values of readouts inside them, and spreading them across multiple TAB view pages. The ability to arrange the layout to suit your needs, and eventually have the editor save those preferences for all time will make it a very useful addition to your game making toolbox.
A Community Question - LUA or FPI
An interesting comment was posted as to whether the FPI language would be improved, and from previous feature requests the idea of using LUA as a substitute was aired. My question in yesterdays blog, and continues here. Do we throw away the FPI language (and subsequently all scripts ever created for it) in favor the language LUA which is a more mature language offering faster processing, but means we have to start our script mountain from scratch. I have no problem continuing to support and grow FPI, but just like we did with the 'segment system', before we launch into another five years of glorious FPI scripting, should we be thinking bigger? I've only had the briefest exposure to LUA (I stopped learning new languages as it tends to push out old ones I still use) but by all accounts it has a range of debugging tools available for it, and there is a good chance I can compile and run the LUA script internally instead of through DBP code. The upshot is that you can not only have it running 'significantly' faster than current entity logic processes, but it can be made to run on multi-core systems for even greater speeds with thousands of entities. You must also consider adding LUA is a substantial piece of work, so saying yes will also mean scripting capability will be delayed, or that the feature will delay other needed components such as the 'Room Blob' system. Something to think about though!