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Elaztek Updates #6 - Awards, Fixes, Moods, and more


Hey, everyone!


We've been doing some updates, upgrades, and general improvements to the Elaztek website! We've introduced new features as well as enhanced and improved old ones. Overall, the general theme is bringing more parity with CU's forums - with the eventual end goal being that the two forums move in lockstep when it comes to general community features.




These have been on Chaotic United's forums for quite some time, but we figured it was high time that they made their way over here. All the moods that are available on CU are available here. Along with that, we've fixed a few minor display issues with several moods (on both Elaztek and CU forums). Nothing too spectacular or out of the ordinary. Hit the smiley face in the top-left of the navbar to set your mood!




We've actually had a handful of awards set up for a while. Many of them were unused (and still are), and virtually none of the awards from CU's forums made their way over. Well, since part of CU's relaunch was its new awards setup, we've brought many of those awards over to Elaztek - excluding ones that don't really fit Elaztek.


However, we've also disabled many of the (small selection of) old awards - primarily, the category named "Blamite Expertise" and the Contest award "Project: Infinity Mapmaking Contest". These were both disabled because, well, it's gonna be a long time before those awards are going to even be relevant. Blamite is years from being of quality (and likely still at least a couple away from actual, proper gameplay), and Project: Infinity is also quite a ways out as a result. They'll be refined and reimplemented when Project: Infinity and Blamite are complete.


Several awards, new and old, are currently pending some new icons. Keep an eye out for those. We won't make an announcement, but you'll see it in a changelog at some point in our Update Notes blog.



Profile Changes

These are the most minor of the changes (besides the minor fixes and edits in the changelog), but still worth mentioning. The old 'PC Specs' field has been disabled and, in its place, a full category called 'System Information' for you to put all your different PC information. CPU, GPU, Operating System, RAM, and so on - each one has its own respective field. And if we've missed one, we've added another field for other system info. If your PC has some special quirks about it, you can share those details in the 'Other PC Info' field. We've also added a new Profile Step for you to quickly and easily put it all in.


Additionally, we've added a few other minor fields for Interests, Discord username, Skype username, and Location. We've also made it where several major fields (Steam, Discord, etc.) show up alongside your forum posts - much like how they do on CU.



Wrapping Up

We've made a few other smaller changes here and there, but they don't really warrant much mention here. If you want to know all the details, check out the full changelog in the latest Update Notes blog entry linked below.


Lastly, if you (or anyone you know) is interested in game design, development, or engine programming, send them our way! We're always looking for new people to introduce to the team - Blamite isn't gonna build itself, y'know.


If you wish to join our team, slam the "Join the Team" button below. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about Blamite, click the 'Blamite' link in the navigation bar.


We'll bid you farewell for now with a few screenshots from me working on text rendering:



Our font system effectively draws text as a series of bitmaps strung together. (we needed a way to draw text independently of dear imgui)



After creating a tool called FontExtractor to export our favorite Fixedsys font into these glyph images, it started to come together. The spacing was due to how FontExtractor exported images, leaving lots of blank space in the resulting image files.



And then this happened. Uncompressed fonts utilize a fontinfo.xml file to determine how glyph images are drawn (including sizes and such) - here, the glyphs were cropped by FontExtractor but the actual size in the XML file wasn't yet updated to reflect that change.



After that was sorted out, we added a WIP font editor dialog to play around with the font properties to get optimal displays. In the future we'd ideally have FontExtractor handle this automatically, but hey - this works for now.


The charspacing property determines how much space is left between characters when drawing. Setting it to negative can be used to draw text backwards. Good to know.



You can alternatively just make it really high and have some   w   i   d   e   l   y     s   p   a   c   e   d     t   e   x   t   .



But, setting everything properly, the end result is nearly identical to the standard text (as seen in the windows in the screenshots). The text in those windows is handled through an entirely different system, and it cannot be (elegantly) used to just draw text at a point on the screen. The font display with our custom setup isn't perfect, but it's very, very close.


Upcoming work includes implementing a proper game tick, doing some reorganizing of the codebase, and then adding the ability to tint/color our text. Following that, we'll start on properly implementing the console. And after that? Who knows? Stay tuned to find out!

Also, if you want more stuff like this, let us know - we'd be happy to do development updates (when there's meaningful progress to share).



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