I programmed in a few variables that the game will keep track of as the player moves through the Antarctic. Namely, the total distance travelled, total Southerly distance travelled, and the constant tracking of the player's X and Y coordinates. The last piece of data will be used for some basic vector mathematics. It's the most simple version of what NASA scientists do when they're trying to figure out where the rockets are going and when they'll get there. But rather than land a rover on mars, I'm figuring out if a couple of guys pulling some sleds will ever make it to the South Pole.
The data collected by the framework can be manipulated to make energy cost deductions and reveal useful information to the player. As I introduce useful tools like the compass, altitude scale, sextant, and distance measuring wheel into the game, the player will be able to retrieve the information stored in the framework in a more human friendly way, but also an early 20th Century way too. Miscalculations will be added.
So, the data is all being carefully calculated and tucked away in the background until the player reaches for it using in-game tools. Meanwhile, the data will also be used to calculate which map to load next, remember the order in which those maps appear, and store unique geographic locations. This way, as a player travels forward from map to map they will almost always encounter a randomly (most likely hand crafted as opposed to procedural) selected map, and yet on the return journey encounter those same maps in the order they appeared. Random away, ordered return. That is the primary work I am doing this week and the following weeks, along with continuous efforts to get The Formula under some sort of earthly control.
Here's an inkling of what the programming looks like "in words:" (it reads right to left.)
- Basic travel information framework to store distance traveled, deduct energy, and keep track of player location.