Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Wednesday Win8 Win

Half Plus Half

My half day for Win8 became a full day for Win8, but the good news is that I finally managed to track it down. Seemed to take ages to trace down, and I never would have guessed the cause.  It seems on my Win8 Ultrabook, the DirectInput mouse device call to set the data format failed when I used the default mouse profile. Must have something to do with the newer touch pads on modern devices?  I plugged in a corded mouse in the USB and the data format could be set as normal.  Amazingly, the bug can be fixed by inserting a mouse, weirdest solution ever!  Anyhoo, I have added code to trap this so it at least does not crash and burn any more. Still no clue why the call fails, and there is no information on Google (not surprisingly) on conflicts between DirectInput8 and new Windows 8 devices :)

A byproduct of this hunt is that everything is now running under a single set of redistributables so there is no longer any guesswork what you need to pre-install before running the software. Phew!

And now hopefully onto the fun stuff, which basically means more graphics and features for the engine and editor.  As you have come to expect in the last few days, here is one I prepared for the occasion.  Late late last night I received a new terrain texture for creating paths through the terrain, so I made a small scene to experiment:

As you can see, I got carried away with edging the path with some nature, but don't be too critical of the shot as I only spent a few seconds on it.  I am starting to get that feeling from the editor now that I could easily spend hours carving out terrain features and interesting landscapes.  Further, I suspect the mileage you get from editing an outdoor scene greatly exceeds what you could get from a grid based interior scene.  We will see soon enough on that score when more users get there hands on the software at the end of the month.

A Flood Of Art

It seemed the universe intended the Win8 work to take half a day because this afternoon I received a flood of new art to integrate into the latest version. As a cruel trick of fate, an hour before finishing the Win8 fix, my one and only pair of glasses (£230 a pair) broke clean in two. My backup glasses are not my latest prescription so everything seems a little smaller and blurry right now :)  I can carry on, but certain forces are conspiring against me today it seems, dangling fruits just out of reach.

Signing Off

Still, it's just gone midnight now and I think I can get another hour in before my eyeballs call it a night.  Some easy asset additions and build a new internal version for the core team and that should be a day done. With the crash out the way, I can focus back on the good stuff so Thursday should be one of those fun days :)


  1. Well it's nice to see that it now runs under Win8 and that the whole terrain thing is working as wanted.

    But what is laking for me is a way to add normal indoor scenes. I know there are plans, but I haven't seen any news about this in a while. Without something like that, there is little chance to see some "standard" First Person Games.
    Don't get me wrong, I like the whole Terrain stuff of Reloaded, but please don't get taken away by it and forget other important stuff.

    Just my 2 cents.

  2. Hi Lee,

    Good news all round there. The screen shot looks great to me. African flavour today.:-)

    I would continue on with your strategy and not worry about anyone trying to make an actual game complete with the Beta when it comes out. I doubt that's going to happen at such an early stage in development or that anyone would expect that it would do so.

    Time there will be for all things indoors.

    I hope you have a good day Thursday and get some of that lovely art or whatever else you fancy working on in if your eyesight will allow :-)


  3. Very cool scene you made in that screenshot. I do however think the shadows from the trees should be much stronger, I can't even notice if they are there or not :o

  4. I agree that the shadows need to be made stronger, they aren't obvious to me at all. They don't necessarily have to be harsh shadows, but soft shadows are still noticeable. Even still, extremely good work Lee.

    Also, in my opinion not everything has to be in the coming beta. If indoor lighting, for example was not in the first beta it is not a big deal. If the first beta only focused on terrain, outdoor lighting, AI and physics that would be:

    A) More than enough
    B) Awesome
    C) More than enough
    D) Awesome

    I would rather have a polished and much closer to finished terrain system, outdoor lighting than indoor lighting squeezed in there, only if fitting indoor lighting in provided any sort of detriment to the other aspects. Indoor lighting is only an example, this applies to others, but I'm just using it because its in the discussion.


  5. Wow, I scroll back through the last three blog posts and every one of them has an awesome screenshot! And every one of them looks different (well, except for the grass), which is a good thing.

    However I agree with everyone else. I can see no shadows at all in this latest screenshot. If they are in fact there, they're ridiculously weak and invisible to my eyes.

    Can't wait to see the new art :D

  6. Also, sorry about your glasses. I don't know whether it's possible to have lenses transferred from one frame to another, but maybe that's an option to save you some cash. I mean transfer the lenses from the broken pair to the frame of the old pair. Although, that would leave you without a spare pair, so...

  7. So I want to know how Lee has managed to smash his glasses in two. Not sure how that's possible using a keyboard? Is it the intense Reloaded pressure? Did he flip out when trying to solve the Win 8 bug? We need more details!

    Don't worry about shadows, I'm sure Lee just turned them off momentarily.

    1. That is so true. Windows 8 is just a big frustration, rage inducing machine.

  8. Yes outdoors needs to be finalised and sorted water physics a fantastic time and day and night cycle so we can work on time syreet lights turn on etc. Shadows and the new idea for entity grouping. Weather system for the release after after or after that. :)

  9. I think that's probably the best screenshot so far, although obviously it will be improved when some proper shadowing is turned on and some HDR lighting would have it looking beautiful.

    Could I make two suggestions I was thinking about making yesterday?

    Firstly, could you implement a system I've seen in many of the game engines I have used which is to be able to position, scale and rotate an entity in three dimensions. For instance, it's particularly useful for extruding walls, or making trees taller or fatter. And it'd certainly be a lot easier than using the current Pg Up/Pg Down system for positioning and the 1/2, 3/4, 5/6 system for rotating, and having to edit the fpe (or the mesh itself if you only want to scale in one or two dimensions) to get the scaling you want.

    Like how unity for instance does it:

    Secondly, it would be great to have certain fullscreen shaders implemented from the off, and tweakable from the UI and from trigger zones. Obviously having things like brightness and contrast, but also a saturation filter and a photo filter to add colour gradients to image (like to warmify or coolify it), and a HDR filter as I've already mentioned. These types of things can change the feel of a scene in a big way that you would struggle to achieve by changing hundreds of entities, and even throughout a level if they're changed by trigger zones, or as you already said a few posts back, by the arrival of night.

    Obviously neither of those are pressing, but I think they'd be good value in the long run, particularly the shaders part as it would mean that by tweaking a few values in the editor, one developer's game could look instantly different from someone else's, even if they're using the exact same assets.

  10. Well I'm really glad that the bug didn't take any more than a day to get rid of. I can't wait to see what you work on next (hopefully it's something that could truely change FPSC forever, for the better.).

  11. Lee,
    Any Idea of timeframe on the early shipped versions to us supporters, maybe a chance to help crash test it in addition to the ones your finding... I just know you put October is when we are supposed to get the copies, but that is kind of vague, like end of October or what? Just wondering, as you haven't really talked much about this except stating a release into the hands of many at the end of October, but if everyone is grabbing it then, shouldn't we early adopters get a copy... ;') Just wondering ;')

    Thanks for all your awesome work, it is appreciated.

    Ken Cornett

  12. Pledgers (or very very very early adopters) get a beta on the 31st October. We have no date for the final V1 except to keep going until it's done.