New material tool, and a new year!

Hey all, hope everyone has had a good holiday break.  I thought I’d give a quick update on what I’ve been working on over the past few weeks.

Toolbox code refactoring

Up until now, the code for the various tools (builder, linker, painter, etc.) was pretty much all in one (very large) source file.  This was driving me crazy as made it a real pain to to fix bugs, or add new features.  So I finally took some time to do something I’d been wanting to do for ages, which was to refactor this monolithic beast into separate source files for each tool.

There are still things I’d like to improve and clean up (further code decoupling, mainly), but it’s much better than it was, and makes it easier to add new tools, on which subject…

Material swapper tool

After the refactoring, I started work on a new tool that allows you to swap the material on certain parts (such as beams and plates) after they’ve been spawned, and even after they’re already part of a construction.

The first step was to add a material definition that encapsulates all the various part material properties (i.e. the rendering & physics materials, density, strength, and “is it paintable”).  Next I had to refactor the part descriptor code to allow parts to use this new material definition (seems like I’ve been doing a lot of code refactoring lately!)


Then on to the material tool itself, which I’m still in the middle of building.  Right now I have a first pass implementation working, with the basic UI done, and the ability to change material on the highlighted part.  There’s still more to do however; for example, save / load (including converting old save files to the new material swappable parts), and probably more refactoring as I’m not quite happy with how the part descriptor code is structured just yet.

Anyway, it shouldn’t take too much longer to finish up, once it’s done I’ll reveal more about how it works.  After that I’ll probably get back to finishing up the linker tool, as that’s been on the back burner for way too long now.

In the meantime, I’d like to say a big thank you for following my progress, particularly to those of you that have been following for a long time, and who continue to play the demo and give me feedback.  I know development of the game is frustratingly slow, but I will get it done eventually, I hope!

Happy New Year, and all the best for 2019.