Wow, so many updates to cover. I've been without internet for awhile, so... deal with it. :)
Let's start with a list of new improvements:
- Networked gameplay is now fully functional. Weapons, grenades, springboards that propel players around the map, it's all there. I'll make a bigger post one of these days that describes the whole system in more detail. It was quite educational for me, and I'll still be modifying it for awhile.
- The main arena level has received an upgrade in the form of a massive tower thing in the middle, with bridges going out to springboards on either side. Which makes it now completely incompatible with my primitive AI system. Oh darn.
- I'm using a nifty particle effect when the player spawns and to highlight the springboards. Kinda slow without the Panda3D MeshDrawer class though.
- The generic physics object, known as "Block" has received a visual overhaul. This was my first experiment with dirty textures, and it turned out not too bad. Textures were done in Inkscape and Gimp (with a normal map filter plugin).
- There is now a functional main menu! Well, more like 50% functional. Still on the to-do list: allowing the user to specify what server to connect to (possibly with a server auto-detect function), and allowing the host to choose which map to load. Also farther out on the roadmap is usernames and logins. And can anyone tell me how to deal with Blender's ridiculous smooth/solid mesh setting!? I can't get the continents to be smooth-shaded without screwing up the normals on the edges. It's passable for now though.
Next I will probably modify the level editor so I can designate areas of the map as "cover", which would entail the usual bonuses of less ranged damage, harder to detect, etc.