Interview with Jonathan Winkler, Tech Lead on Chronosaur.

Moai interview: Hi Jon, what’s new in Chronosaur since last week?


Jonathan: Not that much visually. Some people running away from the T-Rex like before, except now they catch fire. The game is still in a rough, early stage. Making games can be slow when you’re starting out and there’s not much to see visually, but then you can do a lot more a lot faster once you have all the basics in place.

Moai interview: Can we see the gameplay again?

Jonathan: Sure. [Jonathan runs the game on screen]

Moai interview: Well the splash screen and start button are new, right?

Jonathan: Yeah, that’s true.

Moai interview: Last time we talked, all the people were colliding with each other and being pushed ahead by the moving dinosaur. Is that fixed?

Jonathan: Yes. I guess I was one of the test lab rats when Box 2D physics was added as an alternative to Chipmunk. I was still learning some of the basics of Box 2D. It’s working a lot better now.

Moai interview: Oh, there are cars in the game now. Lots of little red and blue Smart Cars. Everything’s also more colored in now and showing more frames of animation, like when the buildings break and fall down.

Jonathan: There’s still a lot of work to do on the animation. See how when the dinosaur bites upward or downward, his legs stop moving? I have something in the backlog right now to move to separate animations for the head and the rest of the body to solve that.

Moai interview: The dinosaur can bite upward and downward now? Cool.

Jonathan: Yes – that was in the design doc from the beginning.

Moai interview: But the biting just plays the animation, it doesn’t do anything in the game?

Jonathan: No, it interacts with the objects. If you bite a car, it flips it up in the air. If you bite a person it disappears… here it will be easier to see with the debug graphics turned on… [Jonathan shows the game again with bounding rectangles, force vectors, and collision areas of effect visible]

Moai interview: Hey, when the dinosaur jumps up and then lands, is that a shockwave it creates?

Jonathan: Yes – the shockwave can damage or flip people and cars.

Moai interview: Well, Jon, I know you said there wasn’t much new in the game since last week, but it seems to me like there’s a whole bunch of new art and gameplay since the last version I saw. I’d say there’s something new showing up pretty much every day. For this dev diary article, I want to include a video clip of the gameplay before and after the last week of work. Time lapse videography for video game development!

Jonathan: OK, sure. Moai interview: Thanks so much for the time today, Jon!

[embed width="640" height="480"]http://vimeo.com/22724127[/embed]  <p class="blogPhotoCaption">Chronosaur gameplay video from last week

[embed width="640" height="480"]http://vimeo.com/22724437[/embed]  <p class="blogPhotoCaption">Gameplay video from 4 days later

[embed width="640" height="480"]http://vimeo.com/22724559[/embed]  <p class="blogPhotoCaption">Gameplay video from time of this interview (second week)

...Coming up next in the Chronosaur Developer Diary: “Animation”