We have been busy coding and creating for the past month or so. John B. has begun laying the framework for in game widgets and the user interface. Gary S. has some new art bits for Catch! levels. While Joe T. has revised the build system to work using a more platform independent design. A bunch of new changes, most of it is framework rather than direct progress on Catch!. This is useful, because is gives us tools and features to use with games we build, but it isn’t direct progress on any game we are building, so the final product is still far off.
Joe’s work on the build system doesn’t have to work with the game player at all, but anyone who wants to use the physgame library will have to use it. He chose to use cmake an open and popular choice that many people are familiar with. This means there is plenty of information available about how to use it. There is an expectation that the person using it has a high degree of technical aptitude, most likely being a software developer themselves. So rather than making things strictly intuitive, he has to document and provide a robust set of options that work under a wide variety of circumstances. This is going to be a work in progress for as long as we continue developing physgame so he has to account for how people years down the road might revise his work and try to make it as easy as possible.
John has been working on user interface widgets that can be used in games, like Catch!, by game programmers. These are things like scrollbars and buttons. These have to interact with the user and game developer so John currently has all the expectations of making a system for experts and providing ease of use to game players. They have to be easily theme-able to match a games look and feel, and be easy to use from a players perspective. Currently we all think John is succeeding, but this is one of the harder tasks that could be asked of someone on a video game project, so there will be extra testing to prove he did well.
We are still alive and working even if we don’t always write about it here. We are laying large swaths of the user interface framework, and we are trying to plan for the future the best we can.