Urban Interactive – Project Development Blog

A little break through…

Posted in ROTJ by urbaninteractive on January 28, 2009

Hello,

I haven’t posted much this week for a number of reasons, however I am still busy working away on this.  The main reason for not posting was because I have been frustrated in resolving an issue with the vector engine, which I discovered after loading my Star Destroyer model into it.  The issue was to do with “clipping”.  It’s difficult to describe, but basically somewhere along the line a 3D engine needs to convert all the 3d (x,y,z) coordinates to 2d (x,y) to display them on the screen.  My vector engine then simply draws a line between these x and y positions.  Clipping is when the engine decides which of the 3d coordinates it should convert to and x and y and which it should ignore.  It does this based on if the coordinate is visible to the camera.  This is where the problems lays.  I need to know the 2d coordinate even if the coordinate is not in view, otherwise I cannot draw the lines correctly.  This normally wouldn’t be an issue as I could limit the players movements to ensure that everything is visible.  However I want to allow the player to have full control of the craft in the game, so if they want to go skimming along the surface of a Star Destroyer they can.

Anyway I’ve been pluging away at this problem for a good 4 or 5 days now, and I finally had a small break through today.  It’s by no means implemented yet, but its a light at the end of the tunnel (let’s just hope its not the lights of an on coming train).

Bye for now.

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Imperial Star Destroyer…

Posted in ROTJ by urbaninteractive on January 24, 2009

Hello,

I’ve been busy with some of the behind the scene stuff on the vector engine and have a few little things I want to get straight before ploughing too much into the game play, therefore you probably won’t see too many screen shots in the coming days (unless you like screen shots of source code).  Anyway in between this screwdriver work I did create a quick model for the space scene elements of the games.

ids

In the game there will also be two flashing deflector shields which the player will need to shot to destroy the ship 🙂

Right thats it for this weekend… more shopping for the incoming baby ensues…

Animation Routine Completed…

Posted in ROTJ by urbaninteractive on January 20, 2009

Hello All,

Just a quick update to say I’ve managed to bag the animated vector routine 🙂  Took a little doing but its done.  Here a little video show my animation test.

http://www.vimeo.com/2895285

My AT-ST has a little limp at the moment, as this is my first attempt at any animation.  As I say this is just a test and I will rework both the model and animation for the final game.

Today I have discovered the blog stats button, and was surprised to see how many people visited this page already, and how much interest there is in the little idea.  It seems like I wasn’t the only one disappointed with Ataris decision to make a raster version of this game.  I just hope I can make something now that lives up to peoples expectations.  I’m also starting to really think about how authentic this game should be to the original series.  Do I stick exactly to the specification of the original arcade machine or do I perhaps enhance it a bit?  I’m also seriously considering doing something a little bit special.  I’m thinking there will be two versions but more of that later…

Animation continued…

Posted in ROTJ by urbaninteractive on January 19, 2009

I only had limited time this weekend to work on ROTJ.  I managed to grab a couple of hours between getting the house ready for the arrival of Baby Nixon in early March and hunting for a new car which we can actually fit a pram in.  Seems strange that we have to buy a car to suit a pram and not the other way around, but I guess it would be over ambitious of us to expect to get everything we need in a 3 door Toyota Yaris.

Anyway back to the topic…  I made a example model for testing purposes and read up on animation software. I finally plumped for Fragmotion as it seems to the most advance for its price.  I made a test animation and put it through my vector engine and discovered a small problem.  It appears MiniB3D did not return the vertex position for animated meshes.  Instead it always returned the vertex position of the default pose of a model.  In laymans terms this meant the model didn’t animate on the screen.  After a few hours I managed to come up with a hack to fix this.  I will need to formalise this hack over the coming days to implement it neatly into the vector engine, but at least now I know its possible to have animated models in the game.  After this I will start on coming up with the final animation for the AT-ST.

In the meantime this project seems to have built some interest.  I had a great email from Steve with a load of gaming ideas (Steve I will send you a mail about these later today).  Cheers for your mails and comments everyone as it spurs me along.

Something for the weekend…

Posted in ROTJ by urbaninteractive on January 17, 2009

This weekend I’m planning on making a model of the below…

atst2

I will then attempt to animate it.  I have never done this before so it could be  fun.  I think I will use Silo to model it, and perhaps Milkshape or Character FX to animate it.  Hopefully I can post my results early next week.

Some good news, Retro Remakes forum is back up and running.  None of the previous posts have be restored up but that far from important, and we thank Bob for his efforts.  Hopefully my sites will be up and running again in the next couple of weeks.  The only issue I can see for me is recreating the database for online hi-scores as I don’t think I every backed up that directory.  Oh well shouldn’t be too hard to fix.

A Forest

Posted in ROTJ by urbaninteractive on January 13, 2009

Well it seems our hacker friend defaced all the websites hosted on the Retro Remakes server which includes a couple of mine www.urbaninteractive.net and www.starstrike.urbaninteractive.net.  Whilst I have the back ups to restore http://www.urbaninteractive.net, I’ve decided since its been a long time between updates that I would just but a simple page in place.  The Retro Remakes site is not fairing well, with poor old Bob working stupid hours to get things up an running, and all for what?  It seems our hacker has been very busy with over 2500 websites defaced in the past 4 months, and from what I see this guy doesn’t care who he attacks.

Anyway, I managed to find half an hour today to test out an idea I had for one of the levels.  Below is quick piccy.

speederbike-2009-01-13

The idea was to test the speeder bike level and to see if I could draw a lot of trees without any major slow down.  I’m pleased to say that yes I can.  Heres a small video showing it in action.  Don’t take too much notice of the controls or the actual graphics as this will change.  This was just a test.  In the final version I will look at how to place the trees in a better manner, and the player controls definitely need work.

Retro Remakes Hacked?

Posted in ROTJ by urbaninteractive on January 12, 2009

HHhhmmm… I don’t like the message I just saw over at what was the retro remakes site (www.remakes.org).    The site now simply says “by ahmadbady”.  This pisses me off no end.  What is the point in hacking and disabling a website like Retro Remakes?  I mean what possible reason can there be except if you are a mindless morron with nothing else to do.  RR is full of good people making free software for other peoples enjoyment.  No one there makes any money out of what they do.  If fact its the opposite.  Its cost money for most of the good folk there.

I guess the idiot responsible did it for some sort of kudos.  Well big deal hacking a word press blogging site… wow Mitnick would be soooooo impressed, and I bet the pentagon are quaking in thier boots about this mans hacking skills.

I’ve just been looking into this monkeys past, and it seems the guy likes defacing people sites using some excuse like he is highlighting security issues.  Security Issues???? Why would a site like RR need state of the art security in the first place???  Its not storing any “secret information”.  The only reason it would need security it is because brainless script kiddies like ahmadbady.

I feel for Bob and co, as they don’t need this kind of crap.  Here’s wishing them all the luck and energy to get things back up and running again.

Two steps forward, one step back…

Posted in ROTJ by urbaninteractive on January 12, 2009

Where did last week go?  I was Brussels last week and managed to do a bit of coding, however Im not sure if any of that coding will make it into the game.  I spent some time developing a hidden line drawing routine and it worked quite well on the model I was using.  However it was too slow it multiple models were used.   I may re-visit it later to see if I can speed it up.  In the meantime I have started work on the speederbike sequence.  There not much to show at the moment, but the basics are there to build upon.  Once its looking a little nicer I will pop up a small video.

Quaterions and Eulers…

Posted in ROTJ by urbaninteractive on January 4, 2009

Hhhmmm all is not as rosey in the MiniB3D garden as I thought.  Little did I realise but the commands to turn an object are different than the command I previously used.  This lead to some odd behaviour when turning objects (which will happen a lot in the game).  It took a little while to figure out exactly what was playing up and then even longer to come up with a solution.  I think I have it sorted now, but more testing is needed to ensure the dreaded Gimbal lock doesnt occur.

In the meantime Max3D has been released sort of.  We have waited a long time for this, and I think I will still wait a little longer before using it.  It seems from reports I have read its not complete and it looks like it will turn into an open source project.  Personally I perfer a tried and test solution, peferably maintained by a small focused group.  I think open source is fine if managed well, but it soon can turn ugly and loose vision when lots of people add it the source code.  Also Max3D seems to have mixed results on different machines.  Therefore I think I will wait abit.  In the meantime  I am keeping my eye on Flow3D which looks very promising.

Tie Interceptor…

Posted in ROTJ by urbaninteractive on January 3, 2009

Made another model last night… “The Tie Interceptor”.  As they say a picture says a thousand words…

interceptor

so a movie should say a whole lot more…

http://www.vimeo.com/2705861

The video shows all the working parts to-date.