The mis-adventures of a new Game Developer.
Mudflap's Articles In GalCiv Journals
July 15, 2005 by Mudflap
Rome wasn't built in a day.
I could have built rome in a day with a 'for' loop.
Probably could have done it in half a day with an stl::vector.
But, somebody may have to debug it later on and it would take them at least a week to read the the stl gunk.
So goes the argument.

Why would you use the STL in a game? I don't know. I'm just used to it so it doesn't bother me. Besides, where can you get a fully debugged, fast, and robust hash map of variable length arrays in a couple lines of re...
July 8, 2005 by Mudflap
Weekly 07/08/05

Short week this week. Got some extra time around the 4th. I did manage to get some stuff done though. Check out the new research screen. It's not done yet, but we're about 70% there. It even includes its own tree.
July 1, 2005 by Mudflap
Weekly 07/01/05

A short week for me. I spent most of the week teaching a the AT&T Camp Infinity. It's a summer camp that exposes girls to technology. I was teaching the 6th & 7th grade robotics class.

I did manage to get a lot of stuff done though. First off, I got the quarterly report in. It replaces the yearly dialog in GC1. This is also the first dialog that includes a little check box so that you don't have to be bothered by it unless you want.

I also managed to get most of ...
June 23, 2005 by Mudflap
Weekly 06/23/05

Hey again, another week gone by and more bug fixes to be had. I hope you are enjoying beta 2 as much as I love fixing bugs in it. Thanks to all of you that are submitting bugs. We really appreciate the time and effort you put into bug-finding. It gives us something to do before we go full bore into the next phase of development

Someone told me that my journal reports were boring. That I needed to spice them up. That they should be multi-page affairs that keep you, the read...
June 14, 2005 by Mudflap
It's been a while since I last reported back. Just coming up for air after setting up for Beta 2. We had to do a lot of work to get stuff in before E3 and then a lot of stuff to get in after E3. You guys will love what we've done.

Make sure to check out the new custom race stuff and all of the new screens.

Also, if you haven't tried it yet, you should check out GEOM. It'll be on TotalGaming soon. This game is soooo good it's been taking all my freetime trying to get past arcade mode.
May 6, 2005 by Mudflap
Wow, it's been a couple of months since you've heard from me. So, hi again. Even though I worked real hard the last couple of months, there isn't really much to show for it. I can say that I've been diligently fixing a lot of the bugs that came out of the first beta cycle and have been hard at work gutting, cleaning, and working a lot of the GC2 innards. We've also spent a lot of time getting the new Custom Race functionality in for the next Beta. I hope you enjoy it when you get it.
March 4, 2005 by Mudflap
Information icons and dxpacks.

I got two big things done this week. First, the information icon system. This system will be used to notify the user of events that require their attention. Eventually, we'll probably have some filtering options so that you don't get bombarded with event info. That's all in the future now. Here's a screen of the system working...

The icons drop from the top and fade in as they come down. You can activate it by left clicking on it, or dismiss it by right click...
February 25, 2005 by Mudflap
Who's got the look? What is the look? Where can I get one?

This entire week can be summed up in those 3 questions. I spent most of the week trying to get the proper look for the GalCiv2 ships. The problem with the current implementation is that they didn't stand out enough. They blended into the background too much. Too much simulation. Not enough game. We're not doing a game like Homeworld, or Nexus. We're doing a space base strategy game. The cool looking ships don't add to the game mechani...
February 18, 2005 by Mudflap

This week was the week before the week before the week we really have to polish stuff. This means that this week and next week were and will be spent trying to cram as much functionality in the game as we can before the beta.

Coincidentally, this week was the week that I listened to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy again so all of my speech has been long winded gibberish. Don't panic though. I've managed to get some pretty cool stuff done, yeah?

First off, I've reworked a lot of t...
February 4, 2005 by Mudflap
It's been a while, but I'm back. I've been heads down for the last month or so trying to tweak performance and graphics for the media tours.

Here are a couple of shots of the stuff I've been working on.

The map is looking nice The nebula and star patterns you see are all randomly generated. We've also tweaked some of the planet, ring and moon code to make them look better.

Here's the ship design screen much more fleshed out. You can't see dragging and dropping all over the place. I...
January 7, 2005 by Mudflap
First off, Happy New Year!

First week back from the long break and a bout of flu. Isn't life grand.
I've been deep down in the guts of the ship design screen trying to hook things up. I'm sorry I don't have a screen today. I'm too far into this to come up for air right now. I promise I'll have a cool shot next week.
December 16, 2004 by Mudflap
Mad polishing... my elbow is sore.

The last couple of weeks have been taken up by polishing what we have so that Brad could show it to some people. We weren't too happy about that. The code was fragile and it looked like poop. But, we managed to pull together something halfway decent. Here's a shot for you...

Things to look for: The planets now have colored halos to make them stand out more. We've got more text on the main screen. Check out the ship context area. The minimap ...
November 24, 2004 by Mudflap
Another week another shot.

Actually, this shot isn't from new stuff that I did this week. Spent the entire (short) week running BoundsChecker. We had some massive leaks. Now we're less sieve like.

I also revamped the SceneNode architecture. We used to have a problem with vtable scissoring. No longer.

Anyways, here's the shot. It's just a living mockup of the ship design screen. I filled this hull with Stinger Mark IV missiles. Just hope you have adequate point defenses when you come ac...
November 19, 2004 by Mudflap
Another week another entry...

Things have been picking up quite a bit around here. We have an internal deadline we're trying hard to meet.

I've been working on a lot of under the covers stuff. Stuff that doesn't directly show up on the screen, but makes the stuff that shows up on the screen better. I did manage to work on a couple of things that users see. The first is stars. Check out the shot. That purple star is procedurally calculated. Also check out the PlanetContextWindow. This comes...
November 12, 2004 by Mudflap
After a long hiatus (off developing Political Machine), I'm back.

It's been a busy week here at SD. Halo2 was released on Tuesday and I haven't played any other game since. I highly recommend multiplayer and looking up your stats on If you frag "Spartan 071", that's me.

Anyways, on to GalCiv2 stuff. Since I haven't reported in a long time, I'm just going to show you a screen shot. Maybe next week I'll start posting incremental updates.