Antiscape Development #1

Antiscape Development #1
One of the debug screens when trying to get it to work.

A while ago, we started work on a game which we're calling Antiscape. Originally it was codenamed 'sillyness' and you might see that occasional screenshots. Going for full indy mode, part of the experiment is less in a fully playable profitable game, but more in the architecture and design decisions you have to go through to make such a game. It is in the journey, not necessarily the output.

There are several discrete components that make up the game; the most obvious to players is the rendering function, but less obvious to the casual gamer is the logic under the hood, as well (especially for multiplayer), the server components, and any logic that goes into supporting or disabling cheating.

The first version of this allowed players to walk around a 16x16 world (called a grid), and potentially portal to other worlds. It used various techniques to allow a server to synchronise - multiple players could be seen, a rudimentary chat system, as well as the ability to place or destroy blocks.

The first thing that proved to be incredibly hard was pathing - making the player click to micro move, stopping them when they hit a block, or allowing auto full auto pathing - the initial development of this was an interesting issue. From the screenshots above, you can see the development of style, as well as conceptually

Because of work, and other commitments, development slowed, but our discussions, and in our head, what we wanted continued to evolve. In Feb 2022, I started to rewrite it, separating the modules of rendering, game mechanics, and networking out and decided to push for the fully open, endlessly scrolling world. instead of your character moving around, the world would now scroll with you, and whilst there were some false starts, we're now able to do smooth rendering (with debug coordinates turned on):

All in all, this makes a very satisfactory state to be in. Now to add back in the character animations. In this rewrite, I still now need to work on the character animations and then bring back networking to bring us back to where we were in 2020.