Hey dudes! I think things are coming together in a new way in this game. The past couple weeks have been all about ironing out all kinds of really dumb 'in-dev' type issues, like how I was ignoring a major issue with the repair truck (it would constantly freeze in mid-repair, making towers take three times as long to repair), because I had other things to do. So I cleaned up all manner of little bugs and missing elements. I didn't do a lot of actual new content, but here is one (half-finished) such piece.
It's the Cryolaser Tower! Classic, straight out of the original Moon Invaders, though there are some subtle changes. The tower is no longer a tank, for one. But also - not that I've coded this yet - it fires a continuous beam rather than pulsing individual shots. The beam gradually freezes the targets more and more (up to a point - it can't stop them completely).
While Blaster towers have ammo magazines of a certain size that have to reload, Laser towers work differently. They heat up with use, and when overheated, they have to cool completely before firing again. It's not *that* different, but it does mean that if no enemies are in sight, the laser can partially cool off and get more use rather than having a fixed number of shots between reloads.
Since the models are so tiny in-game, I thought I'd show the full-size Blender model today, to give you an idea of how that is. The materials are just very rough approximations, since I have to make the materials separately in the actual game anyway, so I don't bother to make anything fancy in Blender. I even changed my mind and made those yellow side bits blue (it's a CRYO tower!), although I'm not super liking that either, I should change it. The coolant tank's color isn't for looks, it's indicating how overheated the laser is.
I still haven't figured out what a "reasonable" number of polygons is, and I suspect I'm massively undercutting it by orders of magnitude. But I'm very old-school and I can't help but minimize it as much as possible. This model is 1,786 triangles. A quick google indicates that a Playstation 2 could output 20 million polygons a second, so I might be a little on the low side. I could probably add a detail or two. But you wouldn't be able to see it on that tiny tower anyway!
I'm taking my ugly mug off this video because you don't need to see that. But you do need to see the excitement and adventure contained in MI2! It's going places at last. Feels like there is a light somewhere at the end of this tunnel, or at least rumors of one.