Thursday, 8 August 2013

Thursday Tea Party

And Then They Came

For today's progress report I invite a few friends to the development tea party in the form of some new assets from the department of Mark.  I added them to ensure they comply with my physics universe, but aside from some physics object centering, all went well.

As you can see, they live happily in the scene and represent the dynamic and static entities of our little drama.  They will require some unique shader to oblige them with pixel perfection, but they sit nicely on the floor and the player responds to them properly by pushing the dynamic ones and stopping at the static ones, and climbing over the small static and dynamic ones thanks to the kinematic character controller.

I knew some of you might not like this one, so I brought in a few visual friends, and added a bush too. This one might be more to your liking:

You may notice the blue barrel in the water, in the distance, bobbing about having accidently rolled down the hill when I started the prototype :) Such is the nature of live experiments, and the source of great fun when it's your turn!

Also, this scene is being rendered without any sort of shadow or shader cleverness which would bring out the materials available to me. This shot is from the physics prototype which attempts to assess object sizes, physical behavior and to some degree game speed.

Signing Off

Unfortunately, I went for a walk today to get some fitness back in my frame and came across a hedgehog caught in some fish netting. So entangled the little creature was that I lacerated myself attempting to pull apart the plastic cord that constituted the material of the offending object. Eventually, a pair of scissors materialized that made the whole rescue much simpler, but not before I was bleeding all over the place.  Hedgehog 1 Lee's Hands 0.

The Hedgehog Made A Full Recovery - Lee's Hands Didn't!

Still have the dilemma of ragdoll to think about, but thanks for the comments so far!  Understand I will always be adding ragdoll, it's just a question of when. I believe a complete game engine that runs fast precedes the ragdoll feature, but that probably goes without saying and expected. The issue is whether I should get the 'game engine' but running first, or the 'ragdoll' bit first :)  As you can imagine, I am anxious to see what the in-game play-ability looks like before I fiddle with the specific details of each module.

I had hoped to get the weapon system incorporated to the physics in-game proto, which I am warming to the idea will become the main in-game loop for everything, but my pre-occupation with importing the various entity objects and 'playing with the physics world' side tracked my ceaseless march forward.  
Hopefully I can make up some ground on Friday now I am pretty certain any entity, whether static or dynamic can sit happily in the universe without misbehaving.  Whether that can be said for the player controller or ragdoll enemies remains to be seen :)


  1. You saved a hedgehog? Amazing! Lee deserves an award for this.

  2. Nice work with the hedgehog saving and I hope your coding fingers recover quickly!

    I think there may have been a little misunderstanding with the rag dolls when you described them as "non essential". This sounded tragically wrong but I now take it to mean "non essential at the moment but still essential a little further on in the project". This being the case, it sounds a much more sensible call.

  3. Indeed spot on with the rescue. Hope disposed of netting properly. As it seems a death trap. Poor thing glad it was ok. As to the tweaks and rag dolls and things can you incorporate both anim death and ragdoll via a choice like x10 health bar. As to weapons etc will you be making it possible for spell casting as in able to mess to get fireballs etc? As in projectiles with particles and stuff. Sort of the weapons effect with no weapon. Will it be quite easy to get them efx?

    1. @science man:

      I think you're hoping for more than you're going to get, what with requests for flowing water and spell-casting. Maybe in future updates, but I doubt either of those things will be available in V1. Well, maybe spell-casting will be possible, but it probably won't be built-in.

    2. @ klonkex. I don't expect a spell system built in was wondering if he could maybe make it flexible to tinker with. As to flowing it is merely a set of under the shader values to force movement in a direction and with a value of force. That is surely a task that aint too big for the super math genius aka lee. But you maybe right. But then sun and ragdoll should fall into that cat as well. You never know and worth a shot

    3. @Clonkex & @science man:

      I too am very interested in this sort of stuff and actually that is something I would want to put into my "dream-game".

      It wouldn't have to be complicated at first. Here are a few examples:

      1. Straight projectile. Similar to a rocket launcher. The ability to set the speed of "rocket", ability to set how large the projectile is in terms of how accurately you have to hit it into the opponent. Ability to set whether the projectile "explodes" at impact and if it does - the ability to set the AOE of that explosion. Also whether the projectile and/or explosion has a force knock-back effect.

      2. Same but instead of a straight projectile it would travel in a curve going first up and down. Same configurations as number 1. but extra ability to set the curve.

      3. Cross-hair tracking projectile similar to the rocket launcher in Half-Life (or was it just in Half-Life deathmatch?). You shoot a projectile in a direction of your choice (not a pre-configured direction) but let's say you shoot in an upwards angle, then the projectile seeks the point at which your crosshair points even if you move the crosshair while the projectile is in mid-flight. Ability to configure the turn-speed of the projectile. Ability to configure if it has a set velocity and possibly even some acceleration maybe? Also same configure abilities as with number 1.

      One thing I didn't mention yet is the ability set which kind of particles such as water/ice/fiber/metal/smoke would trail the projectile and the ability to set the fade-time of the particles. In addition, an ability to somehow customize the projectile itself, possibly with a 3d model or a sprite or something?

      I have a lot more ideas but even with these basic 3 types of projectiles as a start one could go a long way with making some incredibly diverse range of "spells".

    4. Well, that sort of flexible spell system is actually a fairly (very) big job to implement due to the way the weapon system works in FPSC. Then again, maybe it would be possible to hack the rocket launching system to make a magic-missile style "ball of magic". But it would only fly straight, no turning or tracking.

      @Arnar Barri Símonarson:

      Half-Life 2, actually :) My favourite game OF ALL TIME.

  4. Completely unrelated to this current blog post, but just had an interesting idea for a new AI command. It be cool if entities could detect if they are under light/sun. Same with a command to see if the player is under light/sun.

    I could think of so many uses for this :p

    1. Yeah, I'd never thought of that before! That could be a really useful command ;)

  5. I have to admit I'm not enormously enamoured with animals generally, but if I'd seen that poor little hedgehog there's no way I could have ignored it. I'm glad you took the time and effort (even at the expense of some of your blood and skin) to save the poor little thing.

    Also, loving those screenshots! :D Very funny texts too; I find myself looking forward to the disclaimers almost as much as the pictures themselves! :P

    Every time I see the pictures and the improvements over x9, I get a bit more excited for the release of Reloaded!

  6. When I saw the picture of that hedgehog I was thinking this story wasn't going to end well. I am so glad that you saved it. Not only do I have great respect for you as a programmer, I now have even greater respect for you as a person.

  7. nice you saved a hedgehog(pigsvin) as it called in Norway. they are cute :)
    i whud saved it too. :D

  8. Pigsvin?? HAHAHA that's highly amusing! :D I'm going to call them pigsvins forever after :D

  9. Lee's karma just went up 800 points.