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Spinning plates!

March 18th, 2018 by Holey Moley at

So, I realized recently a bug was introduced into the level design tool — not long ago, but not so recently either — that is so sinister that I stopped everything to prepare a new release in order to minimize the possibility of spoiling anyone’s fun.

Truth is, I was looking for an out anyway, since the latest work has spun off into multiple different directions, some completely unpredictable. The genesis of this release sprung from an inspired moment, that I couldn’t have predicted at all, at the time. And ended with only the basics of that idea realized. Instead, the focus of this release became a small side project to find a way for the tool’s two number tables to be able to set a column to the same value for more than one row at a time — in any combination. I wanted to do this since two or three releases ago, because this will be important in the future, in order to fully take advantage of a new way to adjust the order items are displayed in game menus. The basic problem being that the items need to be in the game before they can be so adjusted, and until now there was no easy way to do that than to manually select every one individually and input a quantity figure into these tables.

The reason this mushroomed, is the tables themselves are unique among the element’s of Sword of Moonlight’s tools. And since they are only in two relatively insignificant places, I had not personally spent a lot of time with them, and now that I was doing so, I saw their evidently substandard state, and felt it was high time to bring them up to code, whatever it took.

The other standout highlight of this milestone release (1.2.2) is I was finally able to get to the bottom of why Sword of Moonlight’s button elements appeared different from the bitmaps embedded in the program data, and so all of the button bitmaps have been replaced with composites of the originals and their degraded versions — or how they’ve actually appeared to the end-user up until now. For the gray buttons, it wasn’t simply possible to use the actual image, because its hue is much more red, and so does not appear designed to blend naturally into the background images that the buttons are displayed over.

Up to now, new buttons appeared with this red coloring, and so could be distinguished from old buttons. Now everything is even.

Other highlights to look out for tie back into the most recent few releases: For one, the level design tool can now generate all-or-any-combination-of 3D “maps” at the same time, and can test any one without opening it up into the tool. The idea to do this did not occur to me at the time, but it is a very natural outgrowth of the next-to-last release. The tables work builds on three releases ago. And what I’d originally endeavored to work on builds onto the previous release. I did as much work as necessary in the last day so to not leave anything unfinished to do with it. But it is still not practical, and is only available with the English language package in this release. It is only the beginning of a richer feature set for “items” in games; most address swordplay.

This final item is an ongoing effort, since it touches on many aspects, of which only the first is enabled by this release.

– - – - –

Unrelated, in the interim, I also seem to have done a job restoring the WebGL and SOM database features inside this website, including some enhancements. The work was spurred by the server here having been migrated to a new operating system, which broke some programs at the binary level. I’ve also taken down numerous blog postings from the past, which I would categorize as being of low or dubious information, primarily having existed to signal the “lights are on” on a month-to-month basis.

One last piece of news, which I’d considered making the focus of this month’s blogging, is that a new Sword of Moonlight forum has been created at in the hopes of A.) attracting outsider participation with a low barrier to entry and casual atmosphere, and B.) establishing a neutral ground zero that can receive a sudden blast of interest in Sword of Moonlight without going down, especially because I have to keep the spam countermeasures here as locked down as can be to not manually deal with the stuff on a regular basis. The forum is not active right now, and will probably remain so, but I intend to add links to it around here before long.

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