Back from Hell

by Kyzrati on 20111113 , under

DLL Hell, that is.

Spent some time wading through boring non-X@COM-related code, working out various annoying library dependencies. Finally got all the correct compatible versions playing nice with each other, then tested the new engine--seems to work fine. Then ported the game code over to the new engine, and X@COM looks... suspiciously unchanged:

That's because it's still using the same old DejaVu font (little coincidental pun there). The point is what it's now got under the hood: The foundation is in place for much more interesting design possibilities now that it's a completely different engine ready with sound support, archived resource access, parent-child console interaction, command processing (as opposed to kb/mouse processing) and more.

Now back to work on the game proper. The latest addition is a second particle engine, this one 2D, for animated interface effects. We'll see in the next post how it manages to draw windows!

I've also been playing with new fonts. Eventually there will be multiple fonts to choose from while playing, but I'll need to decide on an official default appearance. The problem is that square monospace fonts aren't all that easy to read, and the ones that are don't look all that great. On the other hand, square cells are somewhat essential for tactical strategy to avoid distortion of space.

Another issue is the font's readability in words vs. single characters. With more stylish fonts, identifying a character/letter by itself (i.e., on the map) may be more difficult when it doesn't appear in a word. Perhaps this could be solved by using a separate font for the each the map and interface text, but then that's not very console-like.

Anyway, here's the alternate test font I made recently:

Doesn't look all that great yet, but it's passable.

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