I just wanted to post a quick update since it’s been a little while without any news. Real life work is crazier then ever at the moment, and I’ve been away alot so I haven’t had the time I would have liked to spend on coding. However that’s not to say I haven’t done any. I’ve been mostly concentrating on the movement AI, and so far its coming along nicely. Im just tearing out my hair trying the get the craft to bank properly, but I think Im amost there. I just need to sort out some tricky maths and then I think it will look fine. Will report back when I have something a bit nicer than cubes flying around.
Happy new year all I’m typing this with a slightly dulled head after a good nights celebration. I didn’t post a screen shot today on twitter because I didn’t have much in the way of interesting to show. However this doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on ROTJ. Last week I got a book on Game AI which I have been getting my head around. It’s got some great examples, but they are all written in C++, plus they are all 2D based. I’ve managed though to convert some of it over to BMax and 3D.
I’m finding it a lot of fun and an interesting challenge to write decent AI for the first level. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun playing against semi smart Tie Fighter etc. It also means it will be quite dynamic as I can drop in fighters all over the place and they will just do their own thing, which means each battle should be different. Hopefully will post a video in the coming weeks once the AI is up and running fully.
Jerky recently asked for a new video so here it is…
It shows the free flight mode I’ve been working on. You will notice you can roll left and right and dive up and down. This makes sure everything is pointing the right way up and stops the player becoming disoriented. The height / depth is also limited so you can’t just fly out of the arena.
I’ve also started work on the explosion, but there more to do on them. As you can also see the engine is much smoother that the original engine I wrote last year.
For those of you who are on twitter I plan to most Saturdays put up a screen shot of what I’m working, alternatively you can see my tweets here on the right hand side —>
Next to do is finish the explosions, and then start adding some AI for the enemy.
If you are interested in retro computers, retro games, arcade machines etc then the upcoming R3PLAY event will be just up your street (literally if you live in Blackpool). It’s on in November and looks like its going to be packed to the gunnel’s with lots of lovely people and shiny things.
I will be attending with the guys from Ovine by Design who have a table at the event. Stu will be hopefully showing some of remakes he has in the pipeline including The Last Ninja, as well as some of the back catalogue him and Andy and others have made. I hope to show something of ROTJ though its probably not going to be anything playable. Perhaps just a tech demo showing the engine working? If you’re about and will be at the show then please don’t be a stranger (I’ll accept a pint of anyone).
As promised, here’s a preview of the X and Y Wing models. I’m still not sure if the X Wing has too many lines? These are rendered using the hidden line routine. It’s quite handy for the Y wing as I can make certain parts see through like cockpits, and the Y Wing engines. The hidden line routine makes it easier to recognise the objects and to judge its orientation. The original games didn’t have this, in fact they faked it. The towers for example in the first arcade game are really 2D. You never see the back sides of the towers.
Back in the day I think these must have looked pretty smart. I’m not sure if the game was ever playable though.
I’ve been thinking more about the game programming now, and will start on the first level – The space Battle of Endor. Looking for inspiration, I’ve been watching a lot of Star Wars Trilogy Arcade machine and I think they have it just about perfect. After studying the game play I need to develop a simple level editor which will allow me to place object in 3D space and have them fly along predetermined paths. I will use this technique for all the large craft.
I will then add a path for the player to follow. There will multiple routes the player will take an these will be created dynamically every go so there will be a lot of variation. The aim is to have the player zooming in between the large craft picking off Tie Fighters, and supporting other X-Wings etc.
Anyway just so you get the idea, here is a video of the original arcade machine…
Will post again once the level editor is nearly done and I have something interesting to see
Finally I think I have broken the back of the Engine. The 2D engine is working well, and all the editors (2D Shapes Designer and Font Editor). The 3D engine is pretty much there as well. Hidden line mode is working better than the old system and the speed is much better, so I think it was worth the effort.
Now I can finally get back to fun parts which is coding the game
Well it’s been too long between posts. Work is insanely busy at the moment with two projects going live in April. Looks like no Easter break for me. Roll on May when we start the whole process again but in another country and another language :s
Anyway I was determined to get the first part of the engine / editor working, and finally that bit is done. I now have a lovely editor for creating and editing 2D shapes. These can be loaded into the engine and mixed with 3d. The 2D shapes will be treated like conventional sprites, in that you can rotate, scale, colour, move them etc. You can also assign different handle points, so you can rotate around it around any point (eg centre, or top right etc). I will add some collision detection to these as well so it the 2D part can stand on its own and can be used to make 2D vector games.
All in all the speed is really nice, and is faster than the old method I was using so Im convinced it worth the effort of rewriting it from scratch. With the extra speed and the fact that I know the all the code I will be able to much nicer things
Here’s a silly video showing a 2D shape overlaid with about 500 tie fighters. On my machine I’m getting around 500 – 600 fps, but video capturing software limits it to 60.
So what’s next? Well besides the 2D collision functions, and some special FX functions I will start work on the Font Designer but I guess that won’t be until May
Been busy with the boring side of game development – making editors. Since I’m writing the engine from scratch I needed to rework the editors to take into account the new optimised way of rendering. Im also planning on releasing the whole engine as a framework for other people who may be interested in writing similar games. With this in mind I taking a little more time over developing the editors as it has to be robust enough for public use. Right now I have nearly finished the 2D shape editor. Next will be font editor, and then the 2D screen layout editor. Once this is done I will work on the 2D part of the engine and knock up a quick demo and release the source.
Still on the topic of programming, there was an interesting article over at … http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2010/jan/26/casual-gaming-indiegames Its worth a read, and has been contributed to by Robert Fearon and Charlie Knight who have both released some great games in the past year.
Also whilst hunting around on the internet for all things vector related I noticed a very nice update to the Vectrex emulator ParaJVE Its still in beta stage at the moment, but those vector glows look fantastic. I hope to replicate something similar myself