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  Meet A Cool Dude 09:55 AM -- Fri July 30, 2021  

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!

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