Art and Bug Week


This week was spent working on background graphics for portrait/conversation scenes.  They are all created within in Etoys using polygons and ellipses.

Of course, I couldn't help but experiment while working on it...I mean, if you could program some random feature into photoshop while you were drawing with it just because you had a silly idea, you would. Don't act like you wouldn't make a little command that turns a brush into a foot that stamps a dirty shoe print on your picture or something!  At any rate, I made a slider that basically acts as device that shows objects serialized with numbers higher than it's value and hides the ones lower than it's value...or vice versa?  I forget the details, but it was fun to play with and lead me to memory about old computer games on the Apple II and other classic machines and some of the more graphical text adventures that were made for them.

Basically in most of these games, which were usually written something other than assembly because it was easier and there was no need to worry about quick responses (your main mode of interaction was haphazardly typing sentences that may or may not be understood by the game  into a prompt!) you could see the scenes 'being built' in real-time.  In BASIC, commands like LINE and FILL would be combined after someone would meticulously draw out a scene on graph paper so they could transcribe the image into code. Then when the scene was called for, you would see those commands play out in order as several lines began to take form, and then color to finally display....your dead body.  Damn, should have gone East instead of North!

It's rather interesting to know that the work this week was done essentially in the opposite direction: the objects themselves ARE code...but they're already sorta flapping in the digital breeze waiting for me to finish up what they do and they already have code that lets me drag them by convenient handles and then after that, the system is so fast compared to the old days that you can't seen it being drawn because it's too fast.  Crazy.  That is until I put in a slider that lets me control what is shown...making it even crazier that I had to code it to, in some sense, slow down so one can see the process clearly.

Anyway, I might have stumbled upon some feature creep here, but it's already done. I'm not sure if this will be an option to see the images build slow or if it will be a 'code' or secret of some sort that allows the slider to appear and allow examining the graphics in this way.  One down side to the massive amount of polygons is that...it's a massive amount of polygons. The more separate objects that must be drawn on screen, the more draw time you waste, especially with overlapping objects. However, this part of the game doesn't require any real action to take place and might be okay to leave it as is and make this scene itself a bit of a teaching demo in and of itself.

I'm sure eventually I'll make a decision on that but for now, it's back to more drawing..you'd be surprised at how long it takes to make something like this in illustrator (hint: the exact same amount of time it took in Etoys).  And that's a long time...

Did I mention there was a bug?  Maybe I'll talk about it when I actually get it fixed...lol

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