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Block 1

December 21, 2008

13:00 As I am starting out a whole new season of my Dozen Days Pentalogy, my first task has got to be to work out the rules for the season. These, as well as a history of the Dozen Days Pentalogy were added to the readme file that will be used for the second season of this series.

13:50 I am now ready to start planning my game that will be the very first game in the second season. I want to do another word scramble game. I state that it is another one, because in the Ultimate Retro Project there was a word scramble game as part of its Perplexing Puzzles volume. This will be different from that game in that instead of unscrambling a single word, you will instead have to unscramble a group of four related words. To make matters more difficult, the letters will be mixed throughout all four words. However, as the words are part of a group, the player will be given a clue to aid them.

At this point, the first real coding task, and yes I have spent a whole hour without getting any code done, but the bulk of this time was spent on the read-me file which goes into every episode and every build and will probably be used to update the Dozen Day Pentalogy description.

14:00 Now that we are ready to start coding, the first task is to start by moving the code and get a rough skeleton of the game up.

14:20 The generic title screen is designed behind the idea that the game would support multiple players at the same machine and computer controlled players for when there is not enough players. Also, the title is a bit too big for the generic screen so I am going to have to go a bit old school and create a custom title screen class for this episode.

15:40 It took a bit longer than it should have to get the new title working, though the bulk of the time was me on the phone so about half an hour should probably not count towards my working time. Still, I ran into a bit of an issue with the title not word-wrapping properly. I finally realized that the problem was that even though I doubled the size of the text field that contained the title, it may still be too small to hold two lines of text. Especially since the Linux version of the flash player (yes, I am coding this game on my old machine which is now running Ubuntu 8.4 Linux) seems to take more space when writing text. That is one thing when dealing with short time-frames for completing tasks is that occasionally stupid mistakes can eat up too much of your time and the added stress of the deadline can make it harder to stop and think critically about the problem you have encountered. In fact, I was seconds away from breaking the word-wrapped title into two separate text fields to bypass the problem.

16:20 A quick tile class for holding text tiles. In the future I may go with a generic bitmap tile system but for the initial build of the playable game (in build 2/3) this will do and since I made sure that the size of the tile was flexible, it will be used for other games such as the eventual crossword puzzle game.

16:50 The final step to finish off this block of work was to do a test screen to make sure that the tiles would handle different sized tiles properly. I also, for an extra bit of fun, implemented some random color changes so that the tiles will randomly change colors during the test. Next block I will try to get a layout of the game and the xml data format that the game will use ready. I hope to complete the next block of work on December 26th .

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