Saturday, July 18, 2009

Football, football, football.

About two years ago I posted about my frustrations with creating a good match engine. I got severely pissed off about it all and went off to do other parts of the game. Those done, I recently went back to the match and am feeling no different, unfortunately.

I spent a short while mucking about with 3D engines and in the end decided that it would probably be too much effort right now fretting about that. I created a 2D engine based on the same principles as Blitz3D's system (a world full of entities, basically) as a kind of stepping stone, and also so it's easy enough to update and draw each frame. That's working brilliantly, so as you can guess, it isn't the problem.

Getting the perspective right is the issue. I'm wondering if it's worth pushing on until I've got it sorted. Now, the right attitude should be to press on - I'm using placeholder art anyway - and then correct things when the basic game is up and running and tweaks can be made. The match engine's inner workings are separate from the graphics, so it should be pretty simple to do so. I'll just have to ignore some graphical quirks - currently the actual pitch is being viewed from directly overhead, whilst the players are from an angle, lending the whole thing a rather odd feel.

Still, pushing ahead I did manage to create a control abstraction system. This lets me poll what I call a virtual joypad for input. The actual input could come from key, joypad or even the mouse, but as far as the game's concerned it all comes from this one joypad. It works quite well, though it still needs a few things tidied up.

I'm going to make a big push over the next few weeks to get somewhere with the match engine and see if I can have it play an utterly terrible, but thankfully complete game of football. From there, I can start tweaking the perspective, improving the AI and expanding the controls and options.

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