<< | Next Archive>>

First Gameplay Video

I just created a small gameplay video of Business Magnate, I think it shows a bit better how the game will play like:

Any feedback is welcome.

Also, there is now a steam page for the game. So you can put it on your Steam wishlist, if you like:

Also, if you want to help, you can upvote the tags of the game on the steam page.

Changed the name of the game

Some friendly people let me know that the planned name for my next game, which was "Business Builder" probably wasn't a very good choice: There is a mobile game which has a similar name, although not the same one. That's also why I overlooked this. Still, unfortunate. I could go on using "Business Builder", since it is not the same, but to avoid confusion and because the game is still in development, a change of name is a good idea.

So I changed the name, and "Business Builder" will now be named "Business Magnate".

Website and logos are already converted, and I think although that new name is a bit more complicated, it better tells you what the game will be exactly about.

Mac Mini 2018

I just received a new Mac Mini from Apple. The new one is black. Looks interesting, compared to the three older generations:

Starting it up, it is surprisingly fast (especially compared to the older versions), only that default "natural" mouse wheel scrolling (which is inverted) was annoying. It only has two 'normal' USB ports, the remaining other 4 ports are USB-C, so I guess I need to invest in a few adapters. Another change: The power adapter is now internal, as it seems. It only has a simple cable connecting to the mac. All my older macs have external ones.

So yay, going to write better macOS versions of my Software in the future.

Creating a Tycoon Game Part 2 - Hit Tests and Streets

I am developing a game named Business Magnate. This post is part 2 of its development blog (part 1 is here).

For making the isometric engine more useful, we need to be able to click onto buildings, in order to open dialogs and similar. Detecting if a user clicked on a building isn't actually that difficult: Just check if the mouse coordinates are within the rectangle of the drawn sprite, and if the hit pixel is solid. We also need to check if another building is drawn in front of the current one, and then take that one, of course. For business magnate, I also added a hit-test cache:

The red overlay is the hit cache image, it won't be visible in the final game

What it does is basically speeding up the hit-testing: Every frame, I need to lookup which building is under the mouse cursor, and do a image lookup to do pixel perfect hit-testing. For big images, and a lot of them, this could mean that a lot of data needs to be kept in memory for this, increasing cache misses, or even worse: transferred between GPU and main memory. To prevent this, a size reduced and only 1-bit-per-pixel version of the image is created and held in memory, to do very fast hit-testing.

If for example we have 10 building types with a size of 512x512 pixels, we would need about 10 MB for this, which would have needed to be transferred and unlocked. The hit-testing images only need 0.3 MB instead, which is a very nice improvement for this.

The fact that the image isn't exactly matching at the borders is negligible, the error is too insignificant for users to notice. I tried it out, and it feels very nice. Also, the game runs quite fast that way on slower systems.

Additionally, I implemented a quick way to easily create streets:

A simple algorithm quickly scans for neighbouring tiles after the user placed a new street tile, and adjusts the tiles to connect in order to form streets. No magic there.

I'm not yet sure if it will be necessary in the game to have an efficiently planned street layout, but the company and building setup you can create in the game will definately look a lot nicer with proper streets.

If you like the game, you can subscribe to the newsletter on the game's website, or follow me on twitter.

CopperCube Roadmap

When I started developing the Irrlicht 3D engine nearly 20 years ago, I always had a public roadmap on the website. Not sure why I didn't make one for the CopperCube 3D game engine as well. So time to change that.

The official CopperCube roadmap is now available, too. It's still a bit empty, but I guess it will fill more and more during the next months. It only contains the big items (not bug fixes and similar), but if I forgot something very important, please let me know!