Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Wednesday's Ground

One Step Back, Two Forward

A strange sort of day, with some progress being made, only to be countered by breaking enough stuff to spend the second part of the day repairing it. That is not to say a wasted day as we now have good terrain loading and saving, all terrain, physics and combat prototypes load and run with the same media set and my personal favorite, our resident TGC Store administrator took charge of the entity library for Reloaded and created placeholders for them all. That meant I could drop the whole library into the main IDE and start browsing.

And That's Not All

After seeing all my new lovely entities, I could not resist continuing the integration work (despite some distractions I shall not mention here) to get entity ground detection and stacking. Now when you select and place an entity, it follows the terrain perfectly as you move it around and places it on the floor as you might expect. Also it has the smarts that when you get for example a crate, and press RETURN to find the new height at that point, the second crate stacks perfectly on the first.

I really don't want to show you the raw screenshot yet, not without shadows, some bloom and a few other nice touches, but the above is a sneak peek and totally blurred up view of my prototype as it is today. As you can see I have been adding pallets, barrels and even palm trees to my terrain scene, and you cannot see it now but I am using a night sky effect.  You might also make out the dumpster from the old Alley Level content which will probably make it's way to the final Reloaded asset collection!


I have a decision now whether to work on Windows 8 compatibility for the IDE and prototype executable partly as we need this anyway for release, but mainly because it allows team members running Win8 to be able to see what is going on. The other direction is to complete the weapon and combat prototypes to include all the weapons we have so far, which will allow us to refine them and ensure all animations are in place and to get the sounds tailor made for each weapon.  Both are critical, though I have yet to decide which path to take for Thursday.

Signing Off

I must say, once I added terrain ground detection to the entity placer, it became a real pleasure carving out terrain shapes and adding things like trees in clumps.  Not a clue what the long term performance hit might be for such a proliferation of per-entity vegetation, but it really opened the floodgates for a more diverse level design from what we used to have with FPSC Classic.

Still, plenty progress being made as we march closer to October, and both the IDE and the slow unification of all the prototype modules are getting stronger every day.  It's also great to know the pledger community (and our beloved investor), and the team in general, are happy for us to continue aiming high, sacrificing a few arbitrary deadlines for a top quality result. I don't want to tease you needlessly, but I should be able to put something playable in the hands of all pledgers within the next 4 weeks if all goes smoothly.  You have shown extraordinary patience, and a sign you really understand the development process by allowing me the time to get it 'just so'.

Now I'm bouncing in and out of the IDE, it's starting to feel like one piece of software rather than 15 separate prototypes.  More to come!


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  2. Hello,
    I have a question, namely, are you planning to add a flashlight effect maybe? It is a quite important thing for me, because I plan to make a horror style game by using Reloaded. For example, You could add the ability to attach a light source to the player or weapon (spot light). It would be very good feature in my humble opinion.
    BTW. Great work so far.

    1. This. I think I brought it up before when Lee was working on lights. Dynamic spotlight, attachable to player (with full axis control on direction) with editable parameters. Happy days for everyone.

  3. Everything seems to be going well,i look forward to testing.Great work Lee & the rest of the team.


  4. Just got a rebuke from Rick for posting today's screen shot. He feels you should not see blurred shots, only finished product shots. Let me know if you agree and I'll mend my ways :)

    1. I have to agree with the blurred shot for the most part. The only time I'd probably enjoy their use if it was to conceal something that would be revealed a following weak after, something huge and game changing and worth the tease!

  5. Flash lights are typically used in indoor scenes and the indoor lighting system for interiors has not been finalized. I do see a need for spot and point lights in the dynamic lighting system, which can be used for flash light effects in the shader. When we get closer I will post some prototype ideas and go from there.

    1. Faith as been restored. \o/

      Cant wait. I dare say that the AI development has been the least exciting part for me as I am not all that interested in that aspect, though of course many other people are.

      Regardless, your work on this has been very good.

  6. Will the Alley Entities be available? The brick walls and all those assets were just too awesome! D:

  7. it appear that the very first alpha & beta version of FPSC:R will be a First Person on Terrain Shooter Creator.. so, what about make FPSC:R be able to import terrain created with L3DT??
    L3DT is a powerful tool to make huge terrains with high level of reality with erosion, lakes, seas, roads and more, i use it to make maps for, it's very easy to use and it be able to make a full map with a few of clicks.. it would be great to import the terrain generated and "fine tune" it with FPSC:R and add entities, enemies, nuts & bolts..

  8. Sounds awesome. can't wait to try this out. Regarding buildings and room blobs though, is a basic system for creating rooms and buildings going to be in the October beta? I know you had said the room blob system was going to be a fair amount of work so that's why I ask. Keep up the great work Lee. :)

  9. "It's also great to know the pledger community (and our beloved investor), and the team in general, are happy for us to continue aiming high, sacrificing a few arbitrary deadlines for a top quality result."
    To be honest, if waiting even a year more if you kept the same development pace, I'm sure most people wouldn't mind waiting. But I realise that that would probably not be realistically possible because of funds, some people demanding deadlines etc.

  10. so no underground on release, when can we expect that after release? Because most of my games include a post-apocalyptic future in which you have to start in an underground base

  11. Alley entities would need to fit the genre we're aiming for at release, but we don't throw anything away and eventually we will restore all art you've seen from the Alley demo.

    L3DT is a new one on me, but once we've released we can look at the various import options. You will understand it's a B priority as 95% of users will be looking for the energy to go into tools they can use in the main software.

    No Room Blobs for October (as it's a big job), but you will have pre-baked buildings that apply the templates and ground rules of a room blob as a starting point.

    I can't predict when underground will happen, probably to some degree it will be based on community feedback after we've launched. The coding is not too extreme, but it means stopping everything else to do a proper job.

  12. Hey there,

    I tried to deblur the screenshot (although I think I should not post it here :P)... Looks good! I hope, the entitybank will grow until the release of V1.