Entries Tagged 'Work' ↓

… oral sex should be an olympic sport because it’s more difficult than curling and if you’re any good at it, you deserve a medal!

Check this crazy shit out – in the past day I’ve gotten alpha’d PNG’s loaded and displaying along with stylus input and doodling abilities, sure, it’s not quite curling yet, but it’s a damn sight closer than I thought I’d be by now!

My aim is to get the main game code nearly finished by thursday afternoon, so I don’t have to worry about doing work while visiting my dad over the weekend. (Woot, more xmas presents!)

Developing for a PDA isn’t all that tough – at least not so far, it’ll be interesting to see just how far I can push the maths side of the curling simulation before bogging down the 400mhz processor of the PDA.

The final thing should have a bit of parallax mapping for the background, some reasonable-ish physics simulations and stylus input as the main control scheme (controlling the “brush”) – the main thing is to actually finish this one, I’ve got a code base to work from, the toughest job is going to be implementing the multiplayer aspect (as required by the assignment brief).

Enjoy your date with data, don’t forget to use a conduit.

From what I can tell – I’m 25% done on my list of things needed before our next release – which means I’ve done 50% of my main implementation tasks; I need to finish off the weapons and sort out the new class stuff.

FN2000 world w/ beam

After that, it comes down to fixing up the spectator system some more (with help from valve). At least the fixed cameras are working more reliably, things don’t seem to vanish anymore! Also need to tweak the LAM units, as they’re currently only working properly on the P90 and FN2000 (at least, world model wise) since they share the same basic code I’m not entirely surprised – need to figure out what’s different between them and the other weapons though!

FNP90 world w/beam

Some other tweaks are in the pipeline – a larger delay for starting the first round and a general re-jig of the round system (it’s currently a bit spacky, what a surprise!) Which may also lead to fixing up the hidden round limit too (though I’m not sure why that’s gone wrong in the first place, it’s a fairly simple bit of code!)

FN303 world (beam behind player)

The scoreboard is working properly, showing a full 9 players which is a first – I won’t mention just how easy the fix for this actually was, just take it as given that it was in fact easy (just not very obvious).

870 revised world (beam bottom of pic)

The pretty pictures show off the new world models (the p90 just to show the fancy beam effect) – all of these weapons had their beams active, but some of them don’t work quite right (as I said earlier), in fact, you can see the shotgun beam at the bottom of the image… Oops!
In other news, I’ve started a new unit at uni, which has led to me working with a PocketPC based PDA – gotta make a fun little multiplayer game over the next 3 1/2 weeks… I’m thinking of converting my curling game from a unit I did during my undergrad course.

Is this going to be a standup fight, sir, or another bughunt?

Thing’s I’ve done this weekend :

  • Confirmed a bunch of them
  • Fixed a couple (noted others as resolved where we can’t do anything)
  • Implemented the sonic trip alarms, couple of issues left but they shouldn’t be too bad
  • Finished implementation of FN2000, nearly finished FN303
  • Talked to guys at Valve about the spectator issues, gotten the fixed camera issue resolved. Marine Cams are next on the list (woot)

Thing’s still to do this weekend

  • Fix more issues from the bug tracker
  • Figure out what’s “essential” for the first mini-release
  • Create a timeline (estimated, of course) of future mini-releases
  • Set out what each mini-release should feature

To help me do this, I’m looking into php|Overlord – which is a project organisation tool created by a guy over at GarageGames.

Figured I’d throw in some pretty pictures from my current version of the codebase – please excuse the purple and blackness, I only need the models, not the materials! (thankfully, all new weapons have working world models, so it’s not quite as hideous as it was)

Sonic Trip Alarm Flaming Hidden!

The first image show’s the sonic laser alarms in game, the nicest thing is that the beam isn’t rendered for 617 so if you can get it in a dark enough spot the only thing to give it away is the blue gleam from the lens.

The second image shows the current effect of the FN303 (which is to trigger the Ignite() function) – obviously, this isn’t what we want it to do, but it’s a good temporary position (in that it does damage over time) to stop at while I work on some other bits and pieces.

Creasey’s art is death. He’s about to paint his masterpiece.

Give away quote, but I like it too much not to use it… So there!

I’m now a year older, having celebrated the day of my birth last week – I’m not entirely sure what that actually means, other than the fact that I woke up with very, very creaky knees!

A progress report; I’ve decided that renderware is fucking annoying, the models I’ve exported are just screwed up, their axes point all over the shop so any movement I try and do with them goes completely wrong… What’s worse, any rotation I perform around a single axis causes rotation in at least one other axis as well… GAH!

What does this mean? Well, I’m having to use a provided .dff file of a dull, grey cube rather than one of the fancy ships that the art team has provided me with. Frustration! Of course, even with the non-fancy cube things aren’t going as planned, my movement code is seemingly fucked up, I can rotate, but I can’t go in the direction I want to… gah, it’s all a bit fucking annoying!

In other news, Revolution is barely even spinning fast enough to keep a top from toppling – though I am making slow, but generally steady progress towards emptying the little list of things I need to do over xmas.

We won’t even discuss GingTorrent – I need to find time to actually get it off the ground properly, let alone anywhere near finished!

Well, that’s – that’s difficult to – it’s all math…

Ok, so the maths unit is done with, thank god… While it wasn’t actually as bad as I feared it might be, I’d be quite, quite happy to never happen to see the words “differentiation” or “integration” again in regards to maths for a very, very long time!

We’ve made some more (slight) progrees in regards to Revolution, nothing amazing but the art team are a bit happier with the tools at hand. Now it’s down to actual gameplay coding, which is going to be an entertaining journey – the style of the game is now more towards prince of persia than marble madness, partly due to technical limitations that we don’t much want to overcome on our first game in torque and partly down to laziness (or are they in fact the same reason with slightly different ways of saying it?)

Anyhow, take a look at Boxyweb for a shot of test level that he’s putting together for it. I’ll keep shots of that one coming as and when new stuff drops in. It should ultimately be a fun little platformer, with distinct kiddy appeal… Here’s hoping we pull it off and we sell at least 2 copies! (We should get that from parent sales alone!)

GingTorrent has been pushed to the back burner somewhat, I’ve got to the point where I can read torrent files, I just need to parse them out and store their information, which is the job for over the xmas holidays (ok, I know I said it’d take a week but I’ve never been good at time tabling!)

I’ve updated my portfolio section (the real reason behind this site) – a link can be found up at the top of this page, it currently shows up Hidden Source and a Rubik’s Cube simulator (exciting, I know). But I’ll get more stuff up there as and when I get it done. I may have to finish off the prototype I made for the first unit and get that up there, as it showed promise.

Current Work : Small bits of Hidden, Revolution, GingTorrent and a Wipeout Clone using Renderware Graphics.

Now, we must all fear evil men.

Ok, couple of new games I’m gonna talk about over the next few days; Quake 4, Call of Duty 2 and F.E.A.R – today’s discussion shall be Monolith’s F.E.A.R – with a bit of extra crud thrown at the end!

First impressions are mixed – the level design is fairly basic, without much world detail and fairly standard concrete textures all over the shop but the models are highly detailed and quite lovely to look at. The atmosphere is however amazing, they’ve done a really good job of using the technical aspects of the engine to best effect (real time lighting / shadowing for instance), firefights leave clouds of dust and smoke billowing through rooms and corridors, often completely obscuring your view, leading to wild firing from both yourself and the AI.

I won’t talk too much about the storyline, it’ll just lead to silly spoilers – it is however interesting enough to keep you generally engaged and playing through to the end. The combination of movie style action sequences with japanese style horror elements is nearly perfect in it’s execution – though the horror sequences can be wasted if the player isn’t locked into the experience. I know one of my housemates didn’t feel the full impact because he was charging through, paying little attention to the world around him.

The technical aspects are interesting, at least to a coder such as myself – there’s a developers commentary included on the dvd that talks about some of the limitations that the designers faced such as 6 AI’s, no water and a limited number of lights. It’s also quite obvious that it went through some fairly heavy optimisation, both in engineering and design.

A worthwhile purchase – if only for the pleasantly fresh and relatively different singleplayer, the multiplayer being some truly tasty hardcore deathmatch fun, it’s fast, furious and completely mentalist when you get a full 16 player server going on!

On a side note; the Hidden’s Beta 2 release went reasonably well, we suffered some horrific server crashes but got the majority of them under control within 24 hours – however, it has left us with the dirty secret nasty ones to track down and fix up over the next few weeks.

Ultimately, I need to keep B3 on the back burner while working on revolution, which is slowly but surely being ramped up across the team. Though it does look like at the very least, a B2b is required within the next month or so. I’m probably going to talk some more about B2b / B3 over the next few weeks as we decide what we’re going to do with it.

The peer mentoring system has finally started rolling at uni, I’m hoping I’ll have my group of 10 freshers to play with, erm, help, in the next few weeks – my ultimate intention is to try and make it even vaguely interesting, perhaps even set them a couple of challenges; game design within a set domain (physics, swarming, growth etc), possibly a mod of some form – I’d quite like to see a decent single player mod started off (I have a year to work with them on it in the role of “advisor” – it should be doable depending on starting skill levels).

There’s also the possibility of a demonstrator position working with 2nd years for their 3D Studio Max work and related projects – it’s caused dismay amongst the art team, the idea of a coder helping to teach Max has them in fits… But I have pointed out that it’s basic Max skills that I actually do have!

Finally, my mini-project for the next week or two is to try and write a basic BitTorrent client, a couple of reasons – learning more about networking, developing my win32 API skills and just writing something tool based rather than game based! I’ll try and keep this place updated with my progress while also talking about some other bits and pieces that may or may not be more interesting!

You spin me right round, baby

While the coding team work on fixing up the last few niggles in Beta 2 of the Hidden, the art team have moved on and are producing work for our first actual real game title. There’s not a lot of organisation as far as I can tell, with different people just grabbing objects or themes and running with them…

Then again, the art team is a beast unto itself and regularly has discussions without bringing the coders in – leading to many a smashed dream when the coders do finally find out what they’ve been thinking of! So it’s quite possible that there is some sense in their madness!

So far I’ve seen a pissed off stompy robot, a flying wasp-ish robot and some persian architecture style pillar things… I might one day get them to write down what they’re doing, I’m a firm believer in lists and order when it comes down to doing work!

In my brief moments of down time I’ve been looking over torque and having a play around with the built in scripting language… I’m avoiding doing any actual coding until I’m well away from the Source SDK – I just fear I’ll get terribly confused! I even got to put together an awesome bit of coder art for the main menu background, it’s a lovely 10 minute job in photoshop!

Who said coders couldn’t make sexeh art? :D The basic plan is that I’m hoping it’ll piss off the artists enough that they’ll make a prettier one fairly quickly, mainly because staring at the synapse lighting pack background was doing my nut in!

Think that’s more than enough from me, must be time to get me some food or something…

Out here in the fields, I fight for my meals…

Ok, so I should be doing work right now, but I figured I wanted to get on this “blog” bandwagon – not only does it save me the hassle of creating a portfolio site to fill the empty void of nothingness that was here previously, but it lets me record the progress I make on the various projects that I’m working on, either personally, as part of the Hidden development team or with Calibre Studios.

As it stands, my main focus right now is the Beta 2 release of the Hidden, which is rapidly coming to a close, with the majority of issues just being visual or non “game breakers”. However, it also means the most interesting work is done, with the final bits and pieces being more chorelike than they really need to be! (This is, sadly, a feeling that is shared across the coding team)

But then I know that the quantum leap we’ve made between 1A and 2 in terms of features and content is just amazing, the art team have pulled some stunning work out of the bag – as, if I do say so myself, has the coding team. I want to get it out and sorted so the players can appreciate the work we’ve put in.

While the art team have finished up on B2, they’ve not stopped working, instead shifting across to doing work as part of Calibre Studios, producing artwork for a content pack that we plan to try and sell through Garage Games. It’s a number of urban style meshes, with multiple LODs and skins. Ideal for coders with little to no artistic talent who want artwork that they can just drop into a Torque mission, perfect for prototyping a new game idea!

There’s also initial design work going on for Revolutions, our planned puzzle game using TGE. It’s still in the concept stages right now, with not a line of code or a piece of finalised artwork, but it should be a fun little game with an intriguing concept – but more on that at a later date!