– Figured out how to drawn lines using sprites, Thank you to XNA wiki
– Rail links between cities drawn
– Added a bunch of cities: Springfield, Memphis, Little Rock, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans
– Cleaned up the map some, including better lakes around New Orleans: Lake Maurepus, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne
While working on Iron Roads today, I tried to use the custom font Radius (a free font from Urban Fonts.) I like how the letters look like curving tracks you might see on a draftsman’s drawing or surveying map. It has potential for the Iron Roads logo. Anyway, I ran into a tricky problem that stumped me for a long while.
Right-click your Content project in Solution Explorer, click Add, and then click New Item.
In the Add New Item dialog box, click Sprite Font. You may find it convenient at this point to change the name of the new file from “SpriteFont1” to the friendly name of the font you intend to load (keeping the .spritefont file extension). The friendly name identifies the font once it is installed on your computer, for example, “Courier New” or “Times New Roman.” When you reference the font in your code, you must use the friendly name you have assigned it. XNA Game Studio creates a new .spritefont file for your font and opens it.
At this point I had what I needed, but alas, it wouldn’t compile, complaining:
The font family “Radius” could not be found. Please ensure the requested font is installed, and is a TrueType or OpenType font.
Took me a long while to figure it out, but it’s actually quite simple. Install new fonts before starting up Visual Studio! So, all I had to do was shut VS2010 down and start her up again, an Voila! New beautiful font displaying in my game!!!
Please note, this is a concept piece, not art assets are my original and I don’t claim copyright to them.
The big news today is that Silverlight 3.0 has been released. This is means a change for Iron Roads. I’ve been working with Silverlight 2.0 and could probably finish it just fine without upgrading to 3.0. There is, however, one feature in particular that compels me to retarget to Silverlight 3.0: Out of Browser Support. This allows users to install Iron Roads as a typical desktop or downloadable game. The real killer part? It doesn’t require any extra downloading. Once they install the Silverlight 3.0 plug-in for the browser nothing new is required to run the desktop version. So if someone plays Iron Roads in the browsers, they can install the desktop version without needing some prerequisites aka long boring downloads. I’m very exited about this feature, and I will probably put together a prototype demonstrating it this weekend. You might have noticed I didn’t post anything more about the Mini Ludum Dare weekend. That’s because I ended up throwing the towel in. The theme was just too hard for me to make fun. It was an interesting challenge. The lesson I learned is not to take things in such a serious light. Even the most important or serious topic has a lighter side, and that is where games are meant to live.
It has been a while since I’m made any posts because I’ve been so busy with the move. On April 1st (no fooling) I drove a U-Haul with all my possessions to my new home in Northern Virignia (that’s part of the Washington, DC Metro Area.) The hardest part is now over and I’m about halfway through the unpacking the boxes. Soon my computer will be back in action and I’ll be able to continue work on Iron Roads.
PS Notice the new blog tool? You can comment now!
The top image is an older screen shot so you can better see my progress and the second one I took today. You have to look hard to see the progress I’ve made lately but it is there! I’ve been working on the map editor so I can more easily add cities and adjust thier position. If you look closely you can see a lot more city dots on the map than before. I also updated the map so the coast lines and borders are more detailed and therefore more wiggly.
Sorry, this post is such a mess. I’m planning to move to a better platform soon.
The holidays have kept me so busy I haven’t talked any about my new project. Another Ludum Dare 48 Hour game development contest occurred the weekend of December 5th. It was my fourth time to play and the 13th contest to date. This time the theme was “Roads.” Roads turned out to be a very difficult theme. I brainstormed all night Friday before bed (the contests started at 11 pm my time) and then again in the morning for a total of two to three hours. I couldn’t come up with anything I liked and also seemed simple enough to finish in the 48 hour time limit. So I went with the idea I liked the most, a Railroad Tycoon type business simulator. I confidently and correctly judge I would not finish it in time, but I’ve got a wonderful start on a game I’m really excited about. I call it Iron Roads. You can read the few and short posts I made during the contest on the Ludum Dare website: MrPhil’s Iron Roads.