Tea ‘n’ Cake

Talking Ship


I may go off the rails a little this week, because I’m struggling emotionally to do some things. I’m not having a problem working hard at all, just having a problem bringing myself to stop working on Space Time to do a few other things that need done such as dev diaries/ social media, and continuing the slow work getting the Living Dungeon fixed again. Doesn’t help that each new version of Unity makes additional minor bugs it seems. I’m kind of at a point where I’m seriously considering throwing in the towel on the old Living Dungeon, partly because of the dated code, and partly because my deal with another developer to do the PS4 version was delayed for ages and then fell through. A significant part of the reason being that I helped them get a much more lucrative project to work on so they then didn’t have time.

Shooting my self in the foot by helping people is not a new business strategy/experience for me. I’ve never claimed to be good at the actual business side of things after all. My career generally has been, I solve problems, and sometimes I even get paid for it… sometimes.

So Let’s go back to talking about the picture at the top. It’s a diagram of the generic ship structure in Space Time. Might not actually be the final one either. Just this week I moved the State manager into the Entity Controller to simplify the hierarchy a little. It also means I have a little more control.

The Entity Controller

This is effectively the where the player input, and interruptions to the player input go, before being sent to into functions. As you would expect, everything lower in the hierarchy doesn’t really know much about the things above it. They get commands, and also a few pieces of information passed down such as which team and ship the component belongs to. So the movement etc get told to do one of the things that the movement can do, and does it, unless of course the Entity Controller Ship State blocks that from happening, such as in the case of ionization, which prevents user signals getting to the movement system. This means if you get ionized, you are floating through space for a few seconds. This can happen through weapons or environmental effects such as this test ion pulse I created.



This section as you might expect controls the ships engines. It’s all physics based which is why you see ship firing rotation thrusters on and off as it calculates how to get to the chosen orientation vector. You can also use the manoeuvring thrusters to make fine course adjustments, but we evilly designed it so you can’t control orientation and manoeuvre at the same time. You can however, quickly choose orientation, then switch to manoeuvring and while the ship adjusts it’s self to face in the desired direction. Alternatively, you can have a co-pilot, because multiple players can control a single ship far more effectively than one.


Health in this context  is the term I just misused to refer to the fairly complex ShipHealth, which is a child of the generic generic Health class. The Ship Health handles standard hull health, but it also handles shielding, and Ionization shielding/damage. It just does it’s  job, sparkles, and then explodes, what more could you possibly want?


This is another simple tool that any ship may or may not have. It requests the list of possible targets from the Area Data Manager(A singleton that stores data about the area… and manages it), then does a finite number of checks against ranges and angles to pick a target that is the closest but in another team. It does this periodically, or whenever it loses a target for any reason such as range or the targets death.


These are objects that can be rotated by the player, within a certain angle, and at a certain speed. That’s it.


I’ve talked about weapons for the last couple of weeks. They shoot all kinds of things in all kinds of ways. They can be attached to the ship, stuck on a turret, or even fired as projectiles to then fire more stuff. If you want to know more, simply go and look at the previous couple of dev diary entries on Projectiles, and Beam weapons.. It won’t show you everything, but you’ll see the foundations.

Moving On

The Dev diary is still a couple of weeks behind, and me being slow to update won’t help. Even so, I really do appreciate anyone taking the time to read what I write. Maybe it’s interesting, or maybe even useful in some way. Perhaps it’s just a good little bit of procrastination. Next week hopefully I’ll be able to face the demons of the past and get things working again on the Living Dungeon. At least up to a state where Josh can strike the final blow. After that though I have a little bit more tidying up to do on Space Time, and then I can finally move on to the next stage of the project which only a few people know about as I told them after they played the prototype. Specifically  the the incredibly talented, and all round good bloke, Tom Elliott, and the Head of the Games Creation society, Giovanna Mateus.  Hopefully all will be revealed if I am successful in the next few weeks and not to busy burning everything to the ground. Next week, depending on what I’m talking about I might even make a video. who knows, but social media might? TwitterFacebook, and Youtube. Bye for now.


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Beaming with Pride


Ok. So that one might… and I stress might, be over the top. The point is it’s possible. This, among a few other things is what I did on my last week in China. Pretty much because I love beam weapons.

As I mentioned last week. This is a seperate class entirely from the other projectile class, because they don’t share a lot in common. I may still end up making an abstract projectile class and have both the beam and the standard projectile derive from it, even if the only reason for that is to save on a few if statements when parameter passing.  Still, while experimentation is still ongoing, we’ll keep them distinct.

It didn’t all happen at once and the earliest stages were not overly exciting.


Then it got a little bit more laser Gatling gun..


And before I knew it I had the classic charge beam working…


After that it was time to push things which is where the gif at the top comes from. surprisingly there is more to a beam weapon than simply number of beams… No, really there is, and not just the size of the beam either. I decided that maybe a beam that scans and then shoots when it finds something might be cool. Turns out it was…


Then I decided to bend the rules a little bit more and do a rail gun as a beam weapon, just so i could play at manipulating particles dynamically along a beam, as you do…



Turrets can also have beams, because turrets can hold any type of equipment, or even nothing on them if you just want a thingy that you can point at people…


Progress continues on expanding what is weaponly possible (That is a real word, honest). Just today I made a launch-able doomsday device that fires plasma beams in all directions, and might even miss you…


Ok. I fully admit that the doomsday orb is over the top, even if only because survival is a mostly a matter of luck. Still, it’s proof positive that fun continues and so does development. Next week I’m going to talk a little bit about the ships. In what capacity remains a closely guarded secret, because I haven’t quite decided yet. Until then, do get in touch on the social media, because many of you hang around on the social media like it was the street corner of a million cool kids. TwitterFacebook, and Youtube. Bye for now.






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Projectiles For Days


Well here I am, back in the UK. I love it in Shang Hai, but I’m also glad to be back. The downside of being in China is that there is no access to Facebook or twitter, but the upside of this is that there is no access to Facebook or twitter.

I was continuing to code while away, but the blog has fallen two weeks behind what I’m actually working on. We’ll start an effort to do a little catch up now.

As you should all know by now, the first weapon we created was the not so humble plasma torpedo as seen at the start of this blog. It has undergone a few changes but remains functionally the same despite all the work on the code that supports it. This is because the code that supports the plasma torpedo became more abstract projectile code.

I don’t mean an abstract class. The weapons themselves are derived classes based on a WeaponGeneric class, but the projectiles are just one class with lots of options, and I do mean lots. These options are often eliminated on instantiation simply to make the code more performant, although I suspect many of the projectiles might remain a tiny bit memory chubby as they hold a number of pointless references. It’s unlikely to be significant though, and the options are left there to play with so that you can create interesting projectiles. The next most basic being the spinning Photon torpedo. It’s kinda like a space shotgun.


After that things start to go off the rails pretty quickly. We had Magnetic mines as you saw last week (If you actually found the blog as I couldn’t tell anyone about it).


Then there was the singularity mine which is currently almost as deadly to the ship that drops t as anyone else.


Then came the early, less sophisticated tracking missiles. 


The pretty but can’t hit the broad side of a barn, Wonky missiles


And just yesterday, whatever this nonsense is…


Of course, this isn’t some final weapon list for the game, and not even anywhere near an exhaustive list of the daft creations we’ve made so far. Nor is it any kind of sensible indication of what visuals can me expected since most effects are placeholder. It is however, a decent demonstration of what the projectile and weapon code can be configured to do. If you have daft ideas we’d love to hear, and possibly make them. You can contact use the usual way over social media: TwitterFacebook, and Youtube

Next week I’ll go over the other type of projectile code I was working on. BEAM WEAPONS!

bye for now.

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Away From it all.

Since I’m in the orient for now, Ben was supposed to be doing a blog post on artistic changes, or at least supplying the appropriate images or gifs. That didn’t happen as he was otherwise occupied, so the only fancy particle effects you are getting this week are the ones made by Apple while she […]

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Coding. It’s pretty much all I’ve been doing for the last week. The blog is lagging behind what I’m doing and I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about it. Not least of all because I won’t be doing anything for the next 2-3 weeks as I’ll be on holiday, far far away in Shang […]

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I needed to get this blog out here before I really get down to talking about new things. So I’m wanting to make you all aware of my baggage, or at least a small amount off it. My first confession is that there has been no progress on fixing that Xbox One Living Dungeon bug […]

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Happy New Abstract Time Period!

I hope you have all had a good Christmas and a Happy New Year, whatever you got up to. I spent the time with my family mostly, eating too much, playing games, and generally just having fun. Part of that fun was accepting that I was away from the office and simply couldn’t keep wrestling […]

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A Painful Archaeological Adventure

For the last couple of weeks I’ve spent  most of my time scrutinizing the ancient scrolls. By that I mean editing really really old code from The Living Dungeon. I’m absolutely determined to get it updated on the Xbox but it’s a huge task.  The code was not the best to begin with as Chantelle […]

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Making Knots, and Gravity Wells

  This week I finally managed to get the proper release build working for The Living Dungeon. That’s one step closer to an update. The next problem is fixing an unusual issue with the dialog in the cutscenes being off to the side, and the in game HUD not scaling with the fit to window […]

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Pulling at Threads

Been messing around with a few things this week. I’d love to say that it has all gone very smoothly but that is far from the truth. The first piece of good news is that we finally got The Living Dungeon working with Unity 5.6. The bad news on that front, is that we haven’t […]

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