The XNA Continues into 2012

Posted: February 15, 2012 in Wargaming

So wow it’s been a little bit.  I have had a crazy 2011.  Started working out quite a bit to shed some (a lot of) weight.  But here I am picking up the game again.

When last I left off I was able to draw a unit on the table and highlight it.  Hooray!  Well there were a couple of obstacles in my path that I had to refine.

Issue 1 – I didn’t want to highlight each model in a unit, rather when I clicked on the model I wanted to highlight its unit.  To accommodate this, I had to calculate the entire unit width and height.  I went ahead and added width and height as properties, which I use to draw a rectangle around the entire unit.

This worked out well.  However, I realized that there are two other possible formations in my head for a unit:  skirmishers and wedges!  Skirmishers would require the old way of boxing each model.  Wedges are triangles.

I added a new enum and property to the unit to denote what type of formation it was in.  This will be used later when I am coding the logic engine behind it.  For now, it is just used to draw the appropriate bounding box outlines when I select.


Hooray I can select multiple units now and have it highlight correctly.  This leads to:

Issue 2 – The above worked great when I was in my default zoom.  Try to zoom in and out though and click on a unit and I was having all kinds of problems.  Clicking a unit didn’t do anything, and clicking the area around a unit would select them.  The only real reliable way I had of selecting units was to use my grouping box and sweep it across the screen.  This wouldn’t do.

The Problem?  Math lol.  I was correctly translating my world coordinates, so in normal zoom a point that was, say, at 100,100 was being set at 50,50 when zoomed out.  HOWEVER… I forgot to do that with the textures.  So the textures, while sizing correctly on screen, were being treated as if they were still 32×32 pixels.  This meant the software thought that the blank space I was clicking on was actually inhabited by a model.  Or when I clicked on a model, it thought that was open space.  Ugh.  Problem was quick enough to fix.  The end result was that I can zoom in and out and select units and all is well with the world.

Next Step?  Sound!

So I wanted to start adding some sound effects.  I started simple… a little clicking noise I found online.  Actually the clicking noise is quite irritating and I plan on going into my own sound studio and producing some effects with Reason 5.0 but for now this works.  I imported the wav file into my project and went about creating a new object in my util namespace called SoundLibrary.  A sound library is simply a collection of SoundEffect objects that hold various wav files that I will use on various screens, where I can pass them to the various objects and have them play them as needed.

I madeSoundLibrary accessible via an indexer that passes a string in, which is the name of the file I want access to.

So it is called like this:

SoundLibrary myLibrary = new SoundLibrary();
…{code to add various soundEffect objects}…

Fairly simple.

Now I can click units and it maeks an (annoying) clicking sound.  This will change in the future when I pop in a better click.wav but for now it serves its purpose.

What’s on the Horizon?

The next step in my evil plans are to be able to select a unit and then right click on the screen and have the unit transported there.

Step 2 – Incorporate a rotate button which will allow the unit to rotate clockwise or counterclockwise.

Step 3 – Incorporate a new sound that plays when a unit is moved in this manner

Step 4 – Incorporate a way to allow you to move each model in a skirmish unit individually as you would in a real table top game.

Things to Think About

I will need to add a movement limiter based on a unit’s move score so that users can’t just move units across the table if they want.  (I will need to enable a debug god mode to allow this)

I will need to start thinking about expanding my playing surface and being able to move across a larger table.  Right now the screen is the entire table which is representative of about 10% of an entire table at most.

Some exciting stuff in my coding nirvana.  I’m off to put together a Ghost Ark for my necron force.  See you soon.


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