State of the Bug (March 28)

I felt a bit burned out this past week, and so here is the mediocre update I could push. I’m feeling better and more inspired overall now, so next week promises to be much stronger content-wise. Thank you for sticking with me!

Component Data Structure – This is now well in the solved category. Thanks to some input from Ben, I decided to go with a dictionary that holds component data and uses the parent Thing‘s ID as it’s key value. As he so wisely pointed out, if I run into performance trouble I can instead store the actual data elsewhere and use the dictionary as a go-between reference table.

Entity Data Structure – Now that the component data is handled I can leave the (extremely simple) entity data alone. The only thing I’m likely to add is an internal reference to the occupied screen, to prevent having to crunch the data for every look-up an entity might need to do.

Plant Modeling – Entities with a certain collection of components are now treated as plants, and use an underground communication method to draw nutrients and spread. I still need to incorporate light values. They can be animated by wind, but I still need to implement the patented Nambug grass-moves-when-stepped-on effect.

Screen Scrolling – Still technically on hold, but I addressed the wrapper that allows something entering the screen to request a graphical element. It’s a simple paring and provides a method for recycling the elements when anything leaves the screen.

Stimulus Summing – I know I said I would talk about this in an article this week, but I’m going to push that back by a few days. I have honed in on a compact-ish format I might use. The idea is to take all the locations within the various sense rings of a given entity and use the lower part of the brain function to only draw on the most stimulating information from each possible category. This can then be processed further (summed) before being presented to the higher brain functions. A sort of necessary evil for performance reasons.

Brain Structure – This is on hold until I get some more GAME FUNCTIONALITY in there so I have some amount of stimulus to sum and present to a brain structure. Still the bit weighing most heavily on my mind.

Brain/Data Debugger – As I mentioned this was a slow week -> I felt pretty uninspired, but I will get this up and running by next weekend to show off some of the functionality. What I really want is a multipurpose visual debugger for information display. Something like a generalized heatmap. This will be useful for everything from underground communication, to pheromone trails, to light levels and flow physics.

Thank you for reading! Please stay tuned.