Dev Blog 14: Map Chunks

I've been continuing work on various art as well as map design and layouts.  Some of the work I've been doing is laying out roughly what I want the landscape to look like in the early area, trying to make something that looks good and doesn't require tons of unique assets.  It won't be final, but I've got something that should work for now.  I plan on revisiting it a long time from now after I've fleshed out exactly how I'll be doing the game's introduction.  That is something I'm not worried about at all at this point.

Since the game will have multiple locations to visit, it only makes sense to break these areas up into different files and art assets.  It would take a lot of the system's memory to load everything at once and keep it loaded at all times.   My next goal is to write up something that will keep track of the various chunks of map.  It will open them as needed (like when a player is walking toward them), it'll clean up and remove ones that are no longer nearby, and it will do other various management type things for them.  Things like keeping track of the walk able areas for pathfinding or keeping track of the borders so that we remove things if they 'fall off' the world.  So far I've got the loading part done with additional work needed in just how it should be triggered.  So there is plenty of work to do in this area.  It'll be very handy to have complete, as it will really feel like a large playable world once you can move between large chunks of landscape seamlessly.

The most difficult part that I can foresee is the act of stitching two different map chunks' pathfinding grids together. In other words, making it so that a AI controlled actor can easily navigate between two different chunks of land.  I've got some ideas that will hopefully pan out, but the dynamicness of it all makes me think they'll be some headaches here and there.

I did happen to lose a lot of time this month due to an injury, so that was no fun.  But at least I got in a lot of reading that I had been wanting to get done.