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Covers and crouching

June 4th, 2012 by Christian Knudsen

This past week I successfully expanded the line-of-sight code to support covers. Objects in the game now have height, meaning that you can hide behind high enough objects – but so can NPCs, so your line-of-sight to a target can be partially obscured when aiming.

Click to enlarge

It’s of course a lot easier to hide behind cover if you can crouch, so that’s now in as well. Kind of. I haven’t made the animations and sprites for the crouching player character yet, so it’s just a stand-in sprite for now. Look at that creepy naked guy hiding behind a wall (he actually kinda looks like a Terminator that’s just arrived from the future!):

Click to enlarge

I won’t be making the proper sprites for crouching until after the pre-alpha v0.1 release, meaning that this is also what your crouching guy will look like when you actually get to try it out. Hopefully suddenly being in your underwear won’t be all too immersive breaking…

The reason for this is that the crouching animation is a special animation that only the player character will do. The randomly generated NPCs won’t have this animation. For these kind of special player animations (as well as NPCs with unique looks), I’ll be using a spriting system that’s a bit different from the one used for the randomly generated NPCs. As those are randomly generated by combining various clothing sprites, all the various body and clothing parts have to be in separate sprites. But when I’m making the sprites for a character with a fixed look, I don’t have to separate them quite as much as they don’t have to be combined randomly. Whereas each frame of a randomly generated character currently requires about 40 separate sprites, I only need about 5 for the unique characters. However, as I haven’t decided on the final look of the player character, I won’t be making his special sprites quite yet. That’ll probably be in the second pre-alpha release.

I’ve also been adding tooltips, shortcut keys, finishing the female hit and die animations, and working a bit more on the map editor in the past week. But I’ve definitely been most excited about covers and crouching, as that immediately added some fun gameplay elements – even as bare bones as the actual game part of the game is as the moment. It feels like it’s really starting to become a game now, as I’m able to crouch behind a wall to avoid being seen by a guard, and the second I stand up, he spots me. The AI still needs a bunch of work, though, as he can’t yet shoot at me or otherwise react except for “SPOTTED!” appearing above his head.

I’ll have a new development video up next Monday showing all the stuff that’s been added since the last video.

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