The title has nothing to do with this post other than that it's probably going to be my last one on this blog. I've got a personal blog that I'm going to be trying to use more often than I do now to show off projects that I have going on.
Before I go off on a tangent about my current projects/set of projects, I have my own personal set of mini-rants about the site updates and some things that have stemmed from it.
The first mini-rant is about this 'cash shop' idea people keep trying to throw out there. Cash shops are a good idea, but it's not something that should be integrated into the BYOND site and software.
From a design perspective, it doesn't make much sense to have a cash shop for your game created by the people that wrote the software you made your game in. From a player's perspective, it's also confusing to have to use this third party system for a cash shop. From Tom/Lummox/BYOND's standpoint, it's an implementation nightmare. It's easy to tell them that they would do well with adding a cash shop for micro-transactions, but when it comes to actually implementing that and integrating it with the software it sort of blows. There's so many different scenarios that you have to consider such as items with one use, items with multiple use, lifetime items. Then you also have to consider how it actually behaves, if it should be broadcasted to all servers, one server, a polling method.
The only realistic way to implement it would really be just offering the items and then making the developer poll for that information, keeping track of real uses, and also making them responsible for 'clearing' the purchase in that the item is no longer available to the user. Even then, that's sort of ugly and you're better off just implementing it yourself.
My second mini-rant is about the update itself. It's awesome. As someone that's had to deal with problem users on the front page and as someone that tries to keep up with recent going ons, it provides a much more organized method of doing so. Instead of traveling back and forth between the members page and the forum, I can instead stick to one place. That's all on that topic.
The rest of this post is dedicated to my recent project. I'm working on a 2D renderer so that I can participate in the next Ludum Dare. It's actually a three-part project, the renderer, the scene (map) editor, and the sprite editor. I had done quite a bit on the renderer to the point where I'm pretty happy with it.
This is the renderer itself. Basically, it has three categories of renderable objects: Scene objects, dynamics, and overlays. The scene objects are managed by the Scene class itself. Dynamics are drawn next and include what would typically be implemented as a /mob or an /obj in DM- anything that can move. The third category is overlays, which would be things like the command console and any sort of HUD. The picture is about how far I've gotten on it so far.
The second part of the project is the sprite editor, SpritED. It's not a sprite editor in the sense that it edits images, it's a sprite editor in the sense that it takes 24-bit bitmap spritesheets and makes sprite definition files out of the information I give it, including state names, bounding boxes, and animation information. It is complete, as of now (except when I started writing the next section I realized I forgot to add in a density toggle :\):
(Clicking does not open thumbnail viewer)
The final part is the scene editor, ScenED. It loads sprite definition files and allows them to be placed on the map. There's not much more to it than that.
(Still no thumbnail viewer)
Oh, and a picture showing off the command console:
That wraps that up. Happy 2012, y'all, and I'll see ya around. Maybe.
To clarify or shorten up my point about the new layout, it's basically lurker's paradise and it makes me happy.