It’s new Blast Engine functionality time again; objects can now specify an alpha blending level and movement commands are able to set a destination value and speed, so things can materialise and dematerialise at will. A similar set/destination/speed system is going to be added for object scaling at some point, although this is less for the game and more for attract mode and completion animations – the engine should in theory at least be able to handle these events without much extra work so I might as well let it rather than writing bespoke code!
The layering system has had a bit of a rename and, after I had a bright idea whilst hammering away at a side project earlier in the week, object definitions are going to know which layer they want to default to so there’ll be very little need to set values from the script – there is going to be an option to change layers within a move command though, so a shuttle can launch from underneath a larger object and then pass over it as though it’s height has increased. As these changes go in, the overall number of layers for each level will be bumped up to eight to give forty in total.
I’ve also added Tate rendering yesterday so players will be able to select 3:4 ratio (as has appeared in the screenshots and videos so far) or a 4:3 display where everything is rotated 90 degrees clockwise; in the latter mode, players can rotate their monitor to counter the shift so the game looks a bit more like a coin-op. This feature has been a “must have” since day one, even the engine’s default 480 by 600 resolution was selected so that it works on an 800 by 600 display in 3:4 mode and can call up a rotated 640 by 480 full screen display as well.
(Originally posted to the Bullet Mechanics blog.)