Side Tracked

I have a new addiction which has put all my other projects on hold. Nintendo DS Homebrew. A couple years ago I took a look at the homebrew development tools and libraries available for the DS and Wii, but didn't get much further than building and tweaking the example programs. Recently I took another look at the Nintendo DS homebrew devkit, devkitPRO. After a few hours I had myself a nice PONG clone, complete with touchpad control. Well, it was so easy to put together that I started working on something bigger.

That was all two weeks ago, and my bigger project is coming along nicely (5000 lines strong). At the core my "game" is an ant simulator, complete with randomly generated underground tunnels, a surface world with food spawns and multiple possible underground <-> surface links and a queen that lays eggs and soon breeders to move the eggs away from the queen, soldiers to fight spiders, spiders, etc. I'm nearing the point where I can stop with the ant simulation portion of the project and start with the game portion. The Nintendo DS can currently handle simple AI movement for thousands of ants without a hitch, but drawing more than 50-100 on the same screen becomes problematic.

I have several ideas kicking around including things like create a colony of 1,000 ants, ants-vs-humans and ant colony vs. ant colony. But those are still being designed.

I made a high level checklist for things I'd like the projects to have at a high level, and am making good progress on it. The asterisk indicates that the bullet has been completed:

*1. Create the 2D underground world.
* - 2d
* - destructable, player
* - basic types:
* -Dirt
* -Empty
* -Surface
* -Barrier

2. Create basics
* - Player
* - Ants
* - Basic AI
* - Camera following
- Player control
* - D-Pad
* - Touch, simple (broke this after I made the surface.
- Touch, dijkstra

*3. Create surface world
* - Link to underground
* - Objects (Rocks, Food), carryable by Player / Ants
* - Object spawns (food on surface).

4. Basic ant functions
* - hp / death
- extended statistics (not sure what these are)
* - Food / Eating
* - Pickup / Drop logic (i.e. stacks of food)
* - Queen / Egg production
- Egg / Hatch (i.e. Game loop that checks underground for growing eggs.)
- Collision detection
- Grid, patch knows when ant is on it
- Two ants per patch, if friendly + enemy ants, fight.

5. A.I.
- Ant action AI's:
* -Wander
* -Queen, egg production
- Base design
* -simple/random
-more interesting?

6. Gameplay,
- Enemies (Pincer pit, spider, foot, lawnmower)
- Workers / Breeders / Soldiers
- Scores
- Ant combat.
- Win conditions
- levels

7. Polish
- Terrain themes (outdoors, patio, kitchen, leg, etc)
- Object models:
- Sound Effects
- Background Music


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