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Yuckfu Dev Diary #4 – Gameplay

It’s been a while… I finished the basic gameplay mechanics of my iPhone version of YuckFu just a day after my last post, but hadn’t yet found the time to write about it. So here’s just a short update.

YuckFu iPhone

As you can see in the screenshot, the game still looks like crap. But that’s intentional (no really, it is). The main focus of YuckFu was always on the gameplay, so thats the first thing I wanted to finish. Just to make sure it works on the iPhone – and it does! A game with good graphics that is no fun to play isn’t worth anything. A game, however, that doesn’t look nice and shiny but is fun to play, is still a good game. Just to clarify: I’m aiming for both, but I’ll still need to tweak some values and let some friends test it before I move on to the graphics side.

And of course there’s on thing still missing: the score. Displaying text in OpenGL applications has always been somewhat tedious. I haven’t yet really looked if OSX provides some different solutions, but as far as I know there are only two viable options: Using a single texture with all glyphs in it (built in Photoshop or whatever), or loading a TrueType font and rendering each glyph into a texture. With both methods you’ll face the same problems: Each glyph has to be stored in memory – this is fine for ASCII characters, but can get challenging with UTF8 characters. So a scoreboard with names consisting of characters outside of ASCII is probably not going to happen for YuckFu. The other problem is the lack of support for “features” like kerning. Even displaying proportional fonts can be a pain. So, maybe I’ll just settle with a retro looking bitmap font – but not before I’ve checked if OSX does indeed have some magic way for solving these problems! Although they are not exactly on the OS side…

Friday, August 8th 2008
— Dominic Szablewski, @phoboslab