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Author Topic: TMC's Space Ranger Dev Diary  (Read 133828 times)
T_M_C
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« on: October 06, 2007, 09:57:16 AM »

Demo and screenshots available here .

http://www.binaryzoo.com/forum/index.php?topic=1255.msg18628#msg18628


TMC





I thought i'd start a dev diary for my new game after being inspired after reading Fog's Smiley

Should be interesting to see how things progress and to get feedback too.

Here are some initial screenies.











So, whats the game all about then ?

Well, at present, i dunno. lol

What i do know, is that it's going to be a free form, platformer, lots of places to explore, go where you like, lots of things to do and shoot type of game.  Basically a platform adventure, old school, with up to date graphics.

For the past 3 or so months over the summer i've been writing the basic platformer engine and level editors.

I have a background image level editor, sprite based and not tile based, as in most games of this type.  This editor allows me to scroll around the level, placing the background sprites where i like, with individual rotation, x,y scaling, color, alpha ( transparency ) ect, makes creating a level really easy.  Within this editor i have an image library, this is a library of all the images that will be used in the game, and each image can be flagged usable or non usable in the current level.  Thus only a few background images need to be loaded for each level, instead of the whole library. 
This editor also has an aimation editor built in too.  This allows me to define background animations by selecting a series of sprites to be used as frames of animation, with animation speeds ect.

The other editor currently written, is the platform collision editor.  This editor allows me to scroll around the level, as created with the above editor, and place the platfoms that will be used for the collision detection.  Again the platforms are rotated and scaled to fit.

The game at present is at the" just run around the level" stage and this morning i've been implementing ladders to climb up and down.

The background system allows for gorgeous 10 layered parallax scrolling, and looks really cool in action.

I might upload an initial demo at some point for some feedback, system stability ect.

Stay tuned.

TMC

Oh, by the way, the windmill viens turn too. Smiley
« Last Edit: July 04, 2009, 10:10:55 AM by The_Masked_Coder » Logged
donny
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2007, 10:25:19 AM »

it's a robot on the countryside??
all looks very nice and special, exept for that
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TheKhakinator
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2007, 10:43:21 AM »

Looks totally hot. Can't wait to see where it goes.
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fog
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2007, 12:10:45 PM »

God that looks nice.  Give me your graphics designers email address lol Smiley

I thought i'd start a dev diary for my new game after being inspired after reading Fog's Smiley
I love reading dev diaries.  Just ask SiN how many times I've mentioned the old ones in Zzapp64 Smiley

For the past 3 or so months over the summer i've been writing the basic platformer engine and level editors.

I have a background image level editor, sprite based and not tile based, as in most games of this type.  This editor allows me to scroll around the level, placing the background sprites where i like, with individual rotation, x,y scaling, color, alpha ( transparency ) ect, makes creating a level really easy.  Within this editor i have an image library, this is a library of all the images that will be used in the game, and each image can be flagged usable or non usable in the current level.  Thus only a few background images need to be loaded for each level, instead of the whole library. 
This editor also has an aimation editor built in too.  This allows me to define background animations by selecting a series of sprites to be used as frames of animation, with animation speeds ect.

The other editor currently written, is the platform collision editor.  This editor allows me to scroll around the level, as created with the above editor, and place the platfoms that will be used for the collision detection.  Again the platforms are rotated and scaled to fit.
Agh I hate people who are organised. Wink  I really really need a level editor for Tension but I'm putting it off as long as I can.

Just a thought.  Have you thought of linking the collision platforms with the image library?  That way positioning something in the background editor would automatically place a platform in the collision layer.  you could of course still edit these if necessary.

The background system allows for gorgeous 10 layered parallax scrolling, and looks really cool in action.
Old school parallax FTW Smiley  Is it just me or does parallax scrolling actually look better than a proper 3D background?


it's a robot on the countryside??
all looks very nice and special, exept for that
I know what you mean but I would have to disagree.  There's one particular level in Halo3 where a huge battle between all manner of futuristic beings, weapons and vehicles takes place surrounded by countryside, open grasslands, streams, trees etc.  It's the most graphically striking and beautiful section of the game.

This is me in action Smiley
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TheKhakinator
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2007, 12:34:33 PM »

How are you screenshotting Halo 3? Is there an inbuilt thing?
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2007, 01:14:16 PM »

How are you screenshotting Halo 3? Is there an inbuilt thing?
Yeah it's from the rather superb Theater mode Smiley


The screenie I posted is scaled down.  The original is in HD (1920 x 1080)
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2007, 02:10:14 PM »

Quote
There's one particular level in Halo3 where a huge battle between all manner of futuristic beings
but thats in a proper context, he says he doesnt even has a story at all

Quote
Is it just me or does parallax scrolling actually look better than a proper 3D background?
no, you're right

Quote
Theater mode
is that in halo 3?
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2007, 04:54:25 PM »

Quote
Theater mode
is that in halo 3?
Yes Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2007, 09:45:27 PM »

as far as the graphical design goes, why not try emulate some kind of DoF by making the scenery closest and furthest to the camera kinda blurry while keeping the actual game level sharp? It could help a ton with "composition" and generally make the game more pleasing to look at. also the ground is kinda funky. Tongue

One thing I wonder about a game that uses this much pre-rendered artwork is that at what resolution are you rendering them at. Cos at the moment some of the object seem a bit "soft" and I'm not sure if that's because of the lack of resolution or intentional. And I can't really tell from the screenies because I assume those are scaled down from the original screengrabs.
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2007, 10:57:49 AM »

Thanks for the comments.

I've been busy all weekend coding the ladder routines.  I thought they would be quite easy, but as it turned out, it threw up all sorts of problems. 
Knowing when you're on top of a ladder, and being allowed to go dow through the ground, and vise versa ,knowing when your at the bottom and not being alowed to go down was tricky, and syncing the animations too all took much longer than expected.  But, they are done know and look quite cool.

The main character shown in the screenies, is a temporary one and over the weekend i've been rendering a new one.

Last year i bought a Poser barbarian model from Daz3d, and spent shed loads of time setting it up in poser ready for animating.
Well, over the weekend, i dug him out again and started to do some renders.
Poser is so cool, because it saves images with an alpha layer, which makes the final image look really smooth in game.
Anyway, so now i've got a really impressive barbarian character running about, lots of slick animation.  He can use various weapons, punching, kicking, sword, huge axe, knife and a spear.
Well, he will have, at present i've just got the sword animations in there.

I expect the story for the game to evolve along with the coding.  All depends whats feasable, technically and graphically.



Quote
Just a thought.  Have you thought of linking the collision platforms with the image library?  That way positioning something in the background editor would automatically place a platform in the collision layer.  you could of course still edit these if necessary.

Yeh, not  a bad idea, but i don't really think it's necessary.
It's quite nice to load up a back ground level in the platform editor and the scroll around placing platforms.  It's quite an easy process.  Also the platforms i use, are fairly small, and some images may take 5-6 platforms to cover.

What i do need to do however is to have the game code running in the platform editor to make testing far more easier.  At present, it's a case of running the game seperately quitting and restarting the platform editor to make changes.  Not very clever  Roll Eyes



Quote
as far as the graphical design goes, why not try emulate some kind of DoF by making the scenery closest and furthest to the camera kinda blurry while keeping the actual game level sharp? It could help a ton with "composition" and generally make the game more pleasing to look at. also the ground is kinda funky.

Yeh, you're thinking along the same lines as me.
I did try having foreground graphics transparent, as well as darker and blurred to see how the effect looked and it's on my todo list at a later date.  Just experimenting to see which looks better.

Quote
One thing I wonder about a game that uses this much pre-rendered artwork is that at what resolution are you rendering them at. Cos at the moment some of the object seem a bit "soft" and I'm not sure if that's because of the lack of resolution or intentional. And I can't really tell from the screenies because I assume those are scaled down from the original screengrabs.

The game is running at 1024 x 768 at the moment, and will remain fixed at that resolution for full screen mode.  Windowed modes should be available though.

The images shown are jpg's at 640 res so lose resolution as well as quality.
I'll post some higher res png's at later date, so you can get a proper look.  I'd appreciate your feedback then Smiley


TMC

« Last Edit: October 08, 2007, 10:59:48 AM by The_Masked_Coder » Logged
TheKhakinator
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2007, 12:03:27 PM »

Thanks for the comments.

I've been busy all weekend coding the ladder routines.  I thought they would be quite easy, but as it turned out, it threw up all sorts of problems. 
Knowing when you're on top of a ladder, and being allowed to go dow through the ground, and vise versa ,knowing when your at the bottom and not being alowed to go down was tricky, and syncing the animations too all took much longer than expected.  But, they are done know and look quite cool.
I've played so many FPSs with bad ladder code, usually concerning being at the top going down, missing the ladder, falling and losing health. So frustrating lol.
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fog
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2007, 12:05:13 PM »

as far as the graphical design goes, why not try emulate some kind of DoF by making the scenery closest and furthest to the camera kinda blurry while keeping the actual game level sharp? It could help a ton with "composition" and generally make the game more pleasing to look at. also the ground is kinda funky. Tongue
Yeah I love the way Little Big Planet does it.  The background is blurred to the point where it's almost unrecognisable but it looks gorgeous IMO
http://ps3media.ign.com/ps3/image/article/770/770984/littlebigplanet-20070307004358690.jpg
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2007, 12:07:33 PM »

...that is how cameras and our eyes do it. Wink

actually, this reminds me - I did a project in DBP where I simulated DoF on a 2.5D game world. But I kinda cheated by having multiple images and just crossfaded the plain to the image containing the desired "blurriness" level. Worked very well, though.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2007, 12:12:13 PM by las6 » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2007, 08:01:01 PM »

A cheap (and effective) way to do a DoF effect is to render the background to a low resolution texture, and draw a quad with that texture on the screen. If you want to have some sort of layered effect, draw each background layer to a texture of increasing resolution. So the far background would be rendered to a 256x256 texture, the near background to a 512x512 texture, etc.

I'm not sure if BlitzMax does RenderToTexture though ...


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T_M_C
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2007, 11:04:42 AM »

Hi Sin. Don't think we've spoken on here yet. Smiley

And yes, i agree, the blurred effect does look really cool.  I'll probably have a go at doing that for the forground images, maybe the back ground too, and see how it turns out.  I agree i need to highlight the playing layer, so i was thinking of darkening the background layers as well.

Really a case of experimenting.

Well, i've been umming and arrhing about this barbarian model.  He does look really cool, slick animation ect, but i'm not really keen on a hack and slash type of game.  Would limit the game style also. 

I'm more inclined to go for a halo style marine type of character that can shoot.

The current scenario i'm thinking of, is that the player crash lands his spaceship on an alien world, and has to travel about, exploring, collecting stuff to enable repair of his ship, or to find another way to leave the planet.

This opens up the game to all sorts of possibilities.  Graphics wise, it means i can use sci fi and fantasy stylle graphics, whereas the barbarian really is only suited to a fantasy type enviroment.

Anyways, i really love shooting stuff.

I'd also like to implement rpg npc interation at some point too, with quests and the like.

Anyway, today see's me yawning a bit, as i didn't get to bed until 2.30 am.  Was recoding the editor, it's turned into a bit of a frankenstiens monster know, and ive included the other editors into 1 now.  The platform editor plus a gameplay test mode.  Thats basically 5 editors in one.  Now theres no more need to load one editor, save and quit and restart another.  It's all done via the one ed. Smiley  Makes dev much quicker.

Managed to spot a couple of bugs in the process and duley squished them with a good cut and thrust of the delete key.   Grin

At the mo, i'm hunting around for some sci fi marine type characters i can render.  3drt has some cool ones, about 50 ish though, so i'm still looking around.
I've also got hold of some unreal and quake motion capture 3d max bip files.  Really handy if you have character studio.  Smiley

I'll upload them if anyone wants em.

TMC


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