Friday, 18 October 2013

Friday Guns N Ammo

Triggers Resumed

After a fun time yesterday with sliders, it was back on the main highway towards completing the main modules of the IDE and engine. The last IDE element was the trigger zones which had been mostly completed in the editor side but did very little in the engine side.

You will be pleased to hear that the trigger zones are now being monitored and as soon as the player enters one of them, they are triggered. At the moment, with no scripting in the engine, they don't trigger very much, so I have simply deactivated them when you enter one. It's a job of five minutes to connect this to something practical when the time comes.  I have also made sure everything resets properly so you can do it all over again during the many test games the software will go through.

Guns N Ammo

After a few editor tweaks requested by the powers that be (well, Rick) I was full steam ahead on my next mission which was to get weapons and ammo collectible within the game and have those collections properly trigger the gun to appear and arm accordingly. This allowed me to reduce the test game loading time as only weapons actually dropped into the level should be loaded.

I then spent a few fun hours adding guns and ammo entities, and of course guessing what ammo I had.  This of course led to the need for a status panel so I could see what weapon I had and the ammo and clip count for my selection. It was then I had a brain wave. What if I re-used the slider panel system for my ammo readout. It was all ready and waiting for as many panels as I wanted, so why not.  So I did.

Weapons Panel Is Born

Obviously I need to provide some new graphics for the status HUD, but the upshot of this code re-use is that I had my ammo readout with the name of the weapon above, but I could also TAB to the slider screen and 'MOVE' the panel as it was in edit mode. When I returned to the game view, the ammo panel was in it's new place of course.

I occurred to me quite quickly that this ability to shuffle about the ammo panel, and eventually health panel, lives panel, radar panel, local map panel and whatever else panel we add in the future is a superb way to keep your games customizable.  Gone are the days of recognizing an FPSC game because it uses the same health and lives status graphic in the top left corner of the screen.  Any user will be able to shift the positions of these panels within minutes of their first exploration of the tab views!  How cool is that.  

We would of course have to add some more panel controls so you can change the panel box skin, fonts, gadget positions, e.t.c. but building this into the panel system as an editable function means you can not only customize your status HUDs but the debug panels used to edit your game as well. I won't go as far as to say you can edit the editor, but we're heading in that general direction.

New Reloaded Website and Newsletter Launched Today

As some of you may know, we had the official launch of our new website today and we hope you will like your new home. It is crammed with the latest web technologies, and it is geared up to provide a flow of fresh information as it happens.  It's all centered around Reloaded and just like the software, we will be adding to the site as new content, features and requests come in.  For those who missed the launch here is the link:

You can also first the first ever Reloaded newsletter in there as well, which will be used to reveal juicy insights into the deepest corners of the engine each month.  For the first few months however we will simply be covering the gran unveiling of all these amazingly new features of the engine, and providing an overview of where it fits into the whole.

For the moment my blog will remain 'above ground' and the concept so far is that Rick and friends will mine my blog for newsworthy items and post them on the site and newsletter.  This means those users who are short on time can skim through the main site and those who want ever juicy detail can return here and read about it from the horses blog.

Early Third Party Art

"It had already worked out the existence of income tax and nice pudding before anyone managed to turn it off". That's right, even before the beta got released do we see the first radical customization of Reloaded from our sound guy, who not satisfied with desert and lush terrain went away and created himself 'Iceworld'.

The more I see how a few terrain textures can completely transform the whole scene, the more I think we will be releasing terrain packs as well as model packs down the road.  I also think there is much more to do with our beloved terrain system, and I am looking forward to seeing how far we can take the system in the months and years to come.

Signing Off

It's now the weekend, which means I can have the option of resting my tired eyes for two days, but we both know that is not going to happen. If the weather is nice I might dig a few holes, but rest assured I will be returning to the warmth of this project and cracking on with the next urgent thing.

As I survey my lists the next urgent thing is hacking in the trigger zone functionality for win, sound and story (basically, exit the game, play a sound and play a video).  As I don't have a script engine yet, I will hack in the code and choose the behavior based on the hard filename of the script. I have already done this to great effect with weapon.fpi and ammo.fpi. This allows the engine to be completed to a functional level without having a script system, and then the script system can be introduced in stages and tested to ensure behavior is not affected (whether it be FPI or LUA).

Once those basic functionality items are in place, I return to character AI and to see if I can make them less 'silly'.  Right now they silently fire six bullets then walk backwards before reloading, all very silly.  I will begin with the basics and adding obstacle avoidance, physics for the player and infinite ammo for the enemies to get some decent combat happening.  Should be even more fun!!


  1. The new website looks awesome. So does that Iceworld.

  2. Reloaded very professional done.
    I am totally happy about customize status HUDs.

  3. Wow, loving the new website! If I had never seen FPSCR before, it would make me excited to buy it!

    And that iceworld screenshot is brilliant! Go unnamed sound guy!

    HOWEVER. I will not shutup about the look of stretched-ness until you prove to me that the game is being rendered at the correct width. Just put something round in the middle of the screen and show me. Please.

    Also, in the new IDE, I do not like the rocket for the launch button. It looks, simply put, childish. FPSCR is supposed to be professional, not silly. I would much prefer a triangular play button. But it's really a nit-picky thing and if you insist on a rocket I won't complain further :)

  4. Nice surprise to hear about the weapons sliders. Will weapons for the player be able to be customized so that they no longer have unlimited ammo like Classic if we wish. Also speaking of weapons is dual wielding weapons a plan for Reloaded?

  5. Website looks great, even more of a reason why I think i should move to wordpress and leave the old world of web programming from scratch behind. Its clean, great to look at and very inviting.

    I'm so bloody glad to hear about the improvements your making on the HUD systems. It kind of bothered me that during test levels we could not use custom HUD. Only when you built the game. Also, we couldn't just move things around we had to use the X and Y coordinates typed indirectly in code to move things around.

    In fact there are a lot of things we couldn't do for our games in test builds and only in finished builds. Like changing the skybox with ease. Couldn't do it unless we built the game rather than previewed... it always just showed as being that gas backdrop. This always bothered me.. as well as the default music. Be nice if we could set the default music for each level IN the editor rather than only when applying a trigger for it.

  6. For once I have little to say. I'm impressed.

    I do however agree with Clonkex. Re:

    Not sure why Clonkex keeps asking as he does not look like hes going to get an answer so I will try and help him as best I am able.

    Screen display, distortion of objects.

    As far as I know there is an issue that needs addressing I can see as it seems to me is the case Yes. Perhaps its my eyesight or perception of reality? Thus you will have to live with it if that's not going to be changed or seen as one by others as such and something done about it at some time or in your game it may be WYSIWYG.

    Editor Interface. For sure it can be improved somewhat and I am sure its not a priority and not critical and is for functional purposes currently and that's the main thing.

    I agree it is a little in the sphere of primitive visually but that's not a bad thing but a good one.

    Pro look is OK but not over the top so as we don't want it looking like a designers ego trip fro the sake of it. Functional, simple and user friendly is the order of the day for efficiency and pleasant working environment. I am sure can and will be updated a little as more things have yet to go in.

    No worries there. Looking good.

  7. That iceworld looks so much more interesting than the boring-as-anything desert. Imagine if there were huge mountains painted in the distance with a distance blur applied (an effect I hope we will eventually see!)

    I really wish you'd change themes for your screenshots lee. That desert is just so uninspired!

    Nice work on the HUD. I hope you eventually, (and soon!) give us the ability to design our own GUI's from the groundup, allowing us to display them when we want, and why we want and let us do with them what we want to do. For example, making a button on a custom GUI that when clicked, can interface with some variables. This will be the truely groundbreaking feature, not really the ability to move around the default HUD. That is to be expected anyway, it's a surprise it wasn't in FPSC anyhow.

    Hopefully we can discard these HUDs though, and that means not using them at all, because no doubt many games will not want them.

  8. I know, when I first saw the picture it immediately reminded me of one the Ages in Myst 5:

    1. I'd love to be able to make a Myst game with Reloaded, of course with full, three dimensional manoeuvrability. Puzzles are far more exciting than guns.

    2. I too intent to make more than just shooters with this engine. I made a Myst like game in the past with FPSC. I'll release it soon to the forums.

    3. I agree with both of you, only mine won't be so much puzzle as story-guided adventure.

  9. @Lee
    can we get support for (truetype) fonts?
    unlike using images - let the user decide what type of font he wants
    for the various things
    and then save it in a format reloaded can read

    This way the whole user made menus/ ingame menus - text sequences and so on
    would be even more customizeable

    and regardding the last work - awesome, love it!

    1. Yes, this NEEDS to be in reloaded. It just has to. We can't rely on images any-more, we need proper font capabilities!

    2. I would also agree! This should be a feature in Reloaded!

    3. thanks for supporting the idea,
      i have just posted it on the fpscreator website aswell,

      i do hope that TGC understands the importance of a feature like this.

    4. Fantastic request!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (insert more exclamation points here)

      Noticed a LOT of games today use special fonts included in their build folders and the whole concept of image as type is something of the past.

  10. Modern, up to date engine?

    I agree.

    I also suggest moving away from the long an way outdated, archaic media file formats for audio and video use and integration. AVI video and WAV - how large or alternatively compressed to what quality? that's just ridiculous in my opinion though I am sure such a suggestion wont go down to well.


    1. Yeah I personally like the .OGG format better for compressed audio.

  11. Other suggestion: Be able to create your own textures and or upload your own textures for the world editor.

    1. You can create your own textures. Reloaded would be pretty limited if you couldn't.

    2. I'm pretty sure you can do that.

  12. Your garden must look like the Somme.

  13. Just to say Sliders are top notch and just the ticket.