Here is today’s update on Arcana Manor, in the form of a post I made to the ArcaneFX section of the Garagegames forum. The only addendum I have is that after this post I managed to fix most of the object selection problems, thanks to the help of the user named Gibby. They were in the playgui.gui file. Next up is the more challenging problem of selecting objects in first-person shooter mode.
In the process of making many script and code changes to implement several different features, I seem to have interfered with the game’s ability to select objects with the mouse rollover raycast. I can select the orc AI player, but only from certain angles (specifically from a slight angle while he is running toward the player, and sometimes from behind if the player is standing close to him). I can’t select the orc corpse at all, even though “corpsehiddenfromraycast” is set to “0″ and “$TypeMasks::CorpseObjectType” is enabled in “AFX::targetSelectionMask.” If I run the AFXDemo from a fresh install of AFX 1.7.1, it is much easier to select the orc and the orc corpse from almost any angle and distance, which suggests to me that I’ve done something to mess up the rolloverraycast function or another piece of code or script related to object selection.
I’ve used WinDiff to check afxtsctrl.cp against the same file in the fresh install of AFXDemo, but restoring this file to its original state doesn’t solve the problem. Could anybody suggest where else I might look for changes to try to fix this problem? I also checked in GameConnection.cpp because I think some of the object selection code is in that file, but I’m wondering where else the problem might be coming from.
To provide a little context, I am working on a game in which the player can cast spells from first-person mode, like in Oblivion. So, one of the ultimate goals here is to be able to select objects in first-person shooter mode by toggling the cursor or using the crosshairs. Gibby’s AFXFps mod and tutorial has been extremely helpful with this, though his solution is to cast spells from a 3rd person “psionics” mode. For some reason, I can select objects in Gibby’s 3rd-person mode but not in his first-person mode, even when I toggle the cursor on. I’ve studied the commands.cs script that Gibby uses to switch modes (which involve showing the reticle and the shapenamehud in first-person mode), but I’m not sure which part of this script would be causing the conflict between first-person mode and object selection.
So, a second question once I fix the raycast problem would be: how can I select objects while staying in first-person mode?
It’s been a few days since I’ve updated progress on Arcana Manor because I’ve been intently involved in implementing an important feature: moving platforms. These are moving planes or scaled cubes that players can stand on top of, moving along with the platforms as on an elevator. These moving platforms are important, by definition, to a game in which platforming a key part of gameplay.
Torque Game Engine Advanced doesn’t have out-of-the box support for moving platforms, which means that they have to be added as C++ code, preferably by the addition of one of the downloadable resources on Garagegames.com. To integrate such a resource with a codebase that I’ve already heavily modified, I had to use WinDiff, a program for comparing files and isolating their differences. Once I isolated these conflicting code fragments, I had to choose how to merge them by incorporating relevant new lines of code from the resource and discarding irrelevant lines of code. This process was complicated by the porting of the resource from TGE 1.5.2 to TGEA 1.7.1, especially since the resource itself was actually for TGEA 1.8.1 but had been compiled from multiple TGE versions. In practical terms, these multiple versions and resources meant that I had to spend several days reading through C++ source code, puzzling out its logic and structure until I could figure out which lines of code were needed and which were not. I re-compiled the engine dozens of time, de-bugging code changes to preserve the resource’s functionality while updating it and slotting it in with ArcaneFX, melee, and other code changes I’ve already implemented.
I now have moving platforms. The key is making the player object a child of the platform, which is a pathshape moving along the nodes of a path.
Unfortunately, I have to use a rectangular dts shape that came packaged with an early version of the resource, because the player falls through any dts that I make myself in Softimage. I think this has to do with the way that collision meshes are set up in the process of exporting the model from Softimage to dts format, but after spending a day on collision meshes I haven’t been able to isolate the problem.
I’m now trying to trigger the moving platforms with a spell so that I can incorporate telekinesis into my magic system. Since the magic system is the focus of the game and the surreal mansion is the secondary focus, it would be best if these two aspects of gameplay could be tied together. I have a telekinesis spell that can move an interior instance with the settransform() function, but the interior leaps all at once rather than animating smoothly and carrying the player with it. If I can trigger a pathshape with a spell, the player could raise and lower bridges with the alterative school of magic, corresponding to the wands.