Monday, December 12, 2011

Update on Project Helium

Project Helium is even better since the switch to open source. Although no one else is currently working on the project, I have managed to put some more work into making it a great game. I have updated all the graphics, and all sprites are SVGs. The hope is that eventually I will add SVG manipulation to the game, allowing a simple SVG to do some interesting effects.

Other things that have been worked on are as follows:

  • New level engine. Basically, the code is cleaned up, and making a new level is quite easy now. Still needs some improvements, but its a step in the right direction.
  • New level attribute: colors. That's right, no more plain green on black for each and every level. The colors change to help signify what level you are on. I'll be tweaking the patterns and colors as time goes on, but again, a step in the right direction.
  • Code cleanup. This one is huge now that Project Helium is open sourced. Documentation is still lacking, but at least now the functions and their organization feels a bit more clean. There are still several more cycles of cleanup left, but its starting to look good.
  • Source tree cleanup. Another area I've been working on is making the tree more organized. This means changing some directory names, removing some useless directories, and adding some new ones. The tools have been updated as well and now exist in their own Tools directory.
  • New logo and promotional image. In line with the new graphics, I've decided to work on the logo and the Chrome App images. The new logo is simple, yet awesome. I'll be writing another post about why the logo looks the way it does. Next up for images is new screenshots to show off the latest changes.
  • New hit test functions. I found a bug in the hit test functions that would cause the player to lose a life for no apparent reason. The good news is I have much better hit test functions in place. The bad news is, I probably won't have them published until after the weekend, due to a new bug that causes crashes when hit by enemy fire, and occassionally when you fire at an enemy. Once I finish debugging the new functions, you can expect better accuracy and no more "ghost kills".
I've done a number of other small bug fixes and tweaks here and there, but this list pretty much sums up the main things I've been working on. There's still a lot to do, but if anyone would like to help out, just let me know and I'll add you to the commiters list.

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