The laboratory systems now have an automatic structure design tracking service. During each regular experiment (aka. game session), all your buildings will be analyzed and the forms will be put into the background database with additional metrics collected. After each session, the latest discoveries will be shown in this “Invention Database”, giving a chance for the user to mark down the meaningful ones and browse later easier under the Marked tab.
Our system also checks for duplication caused by facing in the case of ground structures. A same ground tower may face different directions and look different, but they will be treated as the same one here. For air units and isolated structures, no special handling is needed. Any direction will be treated as the same one.
Still, the total number of permutations out of these parts can still be huge. Thanks to a software library called sqlite, all the data will be stored in a database file on the disk where lab system is installed. Well I hope it would not use GBs of space unless playing really really hard.
The full functionality of this part of the game is actually still working in progress. And it is getting done in a piece by piece approach because of its technical difficulty.
- First of all, I made the background system that identifies and generates “fingerprints” as identification for the structures built by player. The fingerprint along with the info about the structure itself will be put in database.
- Second, I then made the “Structure Photo Renderer”. This part is like a camera that produces high quality visualizations of the subjects as you can see in the first screenshot.
- Currently the “Invention Database” is the one working in progress. I need to make sure a smooth experience for browsing potentially huge amount of items.
- Next, you probably never heard of this, but a rating analyzer will be built in to “Research Station 51″, a free testing facility. The rating analyzer gives rating info such as damage, energy use and accuracy distribution for these structures by testing them, kind of like testing a roller coaster in Roller Coaster Tycoon. The ratings will also be recorded, and displayed in the Invention Database. I hope this will help make better decisions.
During the last development month there are some more stuff than I expected. We have got quite a bit of audio work for the game. Thanks to the hardwork from sound designer Alessio Mellina and thanks Zeropage for their awesome electronic music. These audio works are going to push the game to the next level. Well you can imagine the game feature development would slow down a little bit as some time needs to be allocated for audio integration. We want them nicely fit.
Today is also the 4th fourth anniversary of The White Laboratory since the first SVN commit happened on May 30, 2010. It has been 4 years. But think about it in a different way, there are actually some pauses during these years, as you can see in 2011. So it is actually not that long.
You can check the full statistics of the source code history here www.labtd.com/report. The lines of source code is not accurate. The real number at the time of writing is 104725 lines(without comment and blank lines).