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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsIsolation, a seamless exploration game
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DangerMomentum
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« on: November 27, 2010, 05:38:29 PM »

Isolation
Last update: 1/6/11


Hey all! I've been quietly chugging along on my game, Isolation, and I figured I'd start a devlog to track progress / updates / etc. The game is a long way away from completion but I wanted to have a place to journal what I'm doing, so I figured I'd do that here! Isolation is an atmopsheric 2D Metroidvania game with a large, seamless world and no artificial boundaries. The engine is written from the ground up to stream in neighboring cells, so the player will never see a room transition or loading screen. More info on the game itself will come as it's ready. At the moment, I'm about 60% done with the engine and tools. So, let's see how those are coming along, shall we?

Let's take a look at our map editor, Mr. Cartographer (Please excuse the programmer art):

(You can right click > View Image on any of these to see them full-size. I resized them in the post so that I didn't break the frames)



Environments are made of (currently) two main elements; polygons and doodads. Polygon based shapes can have two layers of material applied to them, Base and Overlay. The polygon shape is also used for collision detection, which I'll get into in a later update. Doodads are simply images that can be placed to add detail, such as grass, water, the hanging lamp in the screen, etc. Doodads don't have to be static; they can have basic movement applied to them to do things like scaling and distorting for water and flying around for the little bugs in front of the lamp. The primary use of doodads is to add non-interactive details to the environment.
The bottom screenshot of the editor is pretty unspectacular, but I'll use it to highlight one of the main design goals I had with my engine- the seamless world. Not only will the player never see a room transition, but there is no "all the way left" on the map. Reaching the edge will seamlessly wrap around. To the player, there will never be a transition. This greatly enhances the sense of scale the world gives and prevents immersion from being broken. Here are some screens of the same area running in-engine, including the same location that appears to be the end of the world in the editor:





As you can see here, what was the edge of the world in the editor is just a normal passage to the player  Grin

Most animation in the game will be handled through a custom 2D skeleton system. It supports inverse kinematics, per-frame scaling of bones / overlays, and lots of other little features. You define keyframes / frame lengths and animations will be automatically tweened between them. Here's what it looks like when you first bring it up:



This is a human skeleton I threw together really quickly:



And here's the same skeleton with a simple skin applied to it. Rock monster!



I'll have real video and more interesting screens coming up soon. I just finished the animation editor, so next up are entities and their integration into the level editor. For reference, here's a video of an older prototype of the game. Fraps made it run at about 60% of its real speed Sad





Thanks for taking the time to check this out! I'll be updating this thread as I make progress.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 09:01:05 PM by AMT » Logged

increpare
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2010, 04:53:39 AM »

The editors look pretty cool.  Judging from the video, there's terrain deformation?
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DangerMomentum
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 09:03:40 AM »

Yup, the prototype had terrain deformation. I'm undecided on whether I'll bring that back or not, but it shouldn't be too difficult to do.
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DangerMomentum
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2010, 12:46:09 PM »

Started working on music a little bit. Excuse the production, I'm away from home and mixing on earbuds, but here's a little concept that's inspired by Metroid Prime's soundtrack

« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 01:23:43 PM by AMT » Logged

DangerMomentum
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2010, 11:03:24 PM »

I've been absolutely slammed with the end of this semester, but I managed to draft out another track:



Thanks for taking the time to check this out!
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Terrorbuns
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2010, 08:39:46 AM »

Ooo this looks pretty boss good sir! I especially dig the tracks you got there! Reminds me of Metroid Prime, which is a pretty good thing. I think I prefer the normal one over the slower one for that first one.

I will be keeping an eye on this  Gentleman
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2010, 09:12:33 AM »

Looks sexcellent!
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DangerMomentum
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2010, 10:27:53 PM »

Finally had a chance to sit down and be productive! I sketched out the map and revised it a few times. I think I have a pretty good idea of where areas will be and how they'll connect, as well as what they are. I'd post it, but I can't spoil the map  Tongue

I also finished programming the basics of my entity system and collisions, which means that I'm really close to implementing actual gameplay. I decided to use a component system and so far it's working fantastically. Components and message passing are working together to create an incredibly easy to use framework, which I'll probably go over in a little more detail later. With any luck, there will be a basic engine test coming soon!
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DangerMomentum
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2010, 12:58:00 PM »

We have life!



It's a pretty unspectacular screenshot at the moment, but this is the first shot of the game in a playable state  Grin The rectangles are all of the different collision masks used by the player to check for the floor, walls, roof, etc. With the exception of some really contrived geometry shapes, collision is working perfectly. I'm going to have a separate layer for drawn geometry and have simpler geometry for the collidable world, so those cases should never be an issue. I also realized there was a pretty large flaw in my material code that made textures re-load if two materials used the same texture, but it's fixed. Map streaming is stupid fast at the moment, let's hope it stays that way when it gets more complex! Next up, I'm going to incorporate the skeleton animation into the actual game, so pretty soon I should have an animated character that can traverse the game world. I'm stoked!
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johnnoz
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2010, 11:11:27 PM »

Looks great so far. Love some of the gameplay ideas shown in the prototype vid (platforming using a black hole gun? Yes please!)

I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this.
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DangerMomentum
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2010, 11:20:34 PM »

Sorry to double post, but I've got a much better screen. Fans of a certain Super Nintendo game should recognize this location:


(Right click > View for full size, as always).

It's running at 60 fps, the counter is lying in the screenshot (I blame Windows Snip Tool). I hid that mess of rectangles from before and replaced it with a simple player box. Controls are approaching usable (they were a mess before) and I recreated a bit of Crateria for testing. Environment collisions are now completely separate from the geometry drawn to screen and I modified the editor to accommodate this. Now I'm going to start working on entities having access to resources, and THEN I can use my animations.

Looks great so far. Love some of the gameplay ideas shown in the prototype vid (platforming using a black hole gun? Yes please!)

I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this.

Thanks! Gravity Bombs are one of the upgrades I'm looking forward to implementing the most. Nothing like launching yourself across a chasm with a black hole Grin I'm hoping to maintain the same level of creativity and general fun-factor for every upgrade. With any luck, every upgrade will be relatively fun and interesting to use. Thanks for all the feedback so far everyone, I really appreciate it! I'll have a playable demo out as soon as I can.
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DangerMomentum
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2010, 11:54:27 AM »



Almost there Shocked...
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DangerMomentum
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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2010, 08:01:48 PM »





We are animated! Here's the first footage of skeleton animation working in-game. All of the resources in here are temporary, but it shows the content going through my whole pipeline. Now I can start on real gameplay  Beer!
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DangerMomentum
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2010, 04:58:49 PM »

Spent a lot of time working on player movement today. The basics of moving and shooting are done. Next I'm going to start implementing each upgrade and then tweaking everything until it controls just right. Once I finish that I can start designing the map around the finalized upgrades. This part might take a bit (or not, who knows) but I'll probably post more video of movement as I get it done, and then finally have a playable demo. I won't give away all of the upgrades, though; where's the fun in that?
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DangerMomentum
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2010, 10:34:41 AM »


(It's hard to tell in this screen, but I'm shooting a moving box.)

Shooting and basic movement are 100% done! I know I said that in a previous update, but it turns out I had a few serious errors in my movement code. As far as I can tell, it is no longer possible to jump out of the map by hurling yourself at a wall at just the right angle. I've also implemented the first upgrade, which means this is actually starting to play like the finished game will. Now I'm going to prototype some different weapons and make some basic enemies to kill over and over test with. ZOOMERS ARE GO!
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Paul Jeffries
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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2010, 10:45:38 AM »

Looks really impressive so far.  I'd like to put a vote in for you re-implementing the terrain deformation; that looked like it could be a really cool feature.
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DangerMomentum
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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2010, 01:00:54 PM »

Both a big and small update today! First, a screen:


(Right click > View to see large version)

Skeletons can now be added as a component to any entity. Now we have flies! But this is the small update. This is the big update:



Yes, that's an Xbox 360 and yes, I got it for $14.99 Shocked. The thrift store couldn't test it because it was missing the power brick. I took it to a friend's house and it works! The only thing that's wrong with it is the disc drive, which is fine because I intend to use it for XNA dev (and maybe the occasional XBLA game). So, now that I have an Xbox, Isolation is going to be both on Windows and XBLIG! I'm excited about this Grin
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DangerMomentum
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« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2010, 12:01:29 PM »



More music Grin I got Komplete Elements for Christmas. This is my first attempt at using it. Probably not going to be in Iso, but I figured I'd share. Thanks for reading the thread, feedback is always appreciated!
« Last Edit: December 27, 2010, 11:02:24 PM by AMT » Logged

floatstarpx
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« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2010, 01:19:59 PM »

hey, wow - nice to see someone doing an interesting, ambitious project. it looks like in several areas you've gone down a similar path to what we have with your world design, tools and animation system (although we don't use a "skeleton" as such, we use 2D key-framed 'parts' for our characters)..

definitely very interested to see this progress!

your skeleton's pose in the last screenshot reminds me of the guards from "Another World" (or 'out of this world' depending on what region you're in!)
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TheSpaceMan
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« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2010, 01:27:56 PM »

Do you have any good links etc about portalsystems that you would like to share.

I do understand the concept, but it would be nice to have some data structure examples.
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http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=24421.0
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