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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsLemma: first-person parkour
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Author Topic: Lemma: first-person parkour  (Read 37210 times)
Connor
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« Reply #60 on: October 30, 2012, 11:10:33 AM »

MAKE.A.MAC.DEMO. That is all.  Waaagh! Waaagh! Waaagh! Waaagh! Waaagh! Waaagh! Waaagh! Waaagh! Waaagh! Smiley Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy
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Firearrow games
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blitzkampfer:
https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=52009.msg1280646#msg1280646

too bad eggybooms ents are actually men in paper mache suits and they NEED to be agile
etodd
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« Reply #61 on: November 19, 2012, 03:01:52 PM »

How's everyone doing? I'm doing okay.

Hope you're doing okay too. Surviving Sandy aftermath, school, work, and whatever other forms of oppression you may be under.

I don't have anything pretty to show for the past... wow, it's been three weeks. I've been working on a very lofty addition to Lemma's feature bullet list. And that is Mac and Linux support, via the awesome MonoGame project.

Don't get too excited. There is a ton of work left to do before this becomes a reality. But after a few weeks' work, I do know a few things:

  • It's possible. There's a lot missing, but all the code compiles against MonoGame, and a subset runs correctly.
  • I'll have to implement a lot of necessary features on my own. I'll be pushing (or attempting to push) these features back upstream in to the MonoGame project for everyone else to enjoy. It's not as bad as I thought, though. I already completed one big feature (sampler and render states parsed out of .fx files) and am waiting to merge it.
  • In the meantime, I have a build set up where I can quickly switch back and forth between XNA and MonoGame. I can continue developing game features under XNA while patching MonoGame on the side.
  • My plan is to focus primarily on the game code, and whenever the creative juices run dry, I can switch gears and knock out a couple MonoGame features.

It's pretty exciting contributing to MonoGame, as it's a very active project. I'm still new to the whole GitHub workflow, and it seems a bit wonky, but it's leaps and bounds better than anything else out there. Especially because everything is on GitHub. It's like Facebook. It isn't even that great, but the killer feature is that everyone uses it.

Anyway, this week I'll be getting back to game features. Expect pretty screenshots soon.

In other news, I'm roughly one month away from graduating, moving into my first apartment, and starting a real job. I'm worried that coding all day at work will slow progress on Lemma, so I'm trying to get as much work done as possible before then. Hopefully once I start work I can find a schedule that keeps me from burning out on Lemma, because I've come way too far to quit.
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eigenbom
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« Reply #62 on: November 19, 2012, 07:34:38 PM »

wow, super life change for u!
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melos han-tani
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« Reply #63 on: November 19, 2012, 08:22:17 PM »

oh my, job! scary for me...i'm just going to be doing part time stuff cuz i'm too scared of the aforementioned being tired at the end of the day.

best of luck to you.
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Working on Anodyne 2! https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=65359.0 Made Anodyne, Even the Ocean, All Our Asias
etodd
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« Reply #64 on: November 26, 2012, 01:45:50 PM »

I've started designing out the first few sections of the game. Smiley

Sneak preview:

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etodd
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« Reply #65 on: November 30, 2012, 06:15:07 PM »

Procedural

I had to do some procedural generation work for a school project, so I incorporated that into Lemma as well. No it's not turning into Minecraft. I plan on using it to lay down a foundation for the beginnings of some of the levels, and then manually editing it to suit the needs of the campaign.



Open Source

Lemma is now open source! Just the code, not the actual campaign content. You can check it out on GitHub here.

Please Playtest!

I'll leave this up here a few days:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/2671858/Lemma-a2b.zip (180 Mb)

This download includes a work-in-progress version of the first three levels (all part of the beginning tutorial). The biggest thing missing is really the dialog; there are only a few lines written.

If you find time to play it, I have a few questions for you:

1. Did you finish it?

2. How long did you play?

3. How hard/frustrating did you find it? How was the difficulty progression?

4. How many times did you die, if any?

5. Did you pick up the phone? How was the pacing of the responses? Too fast, so that it kept interrupting you? Too slow, so that you felt like your progress in the game was going faster than the conversation?

Thanks everyone.
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etodd
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« Reply #66 on: December 07, 2012, 10:25:44 PM »

I spent this week working in response to feedback from last week's Feedback Friday. Fixed a lot of bugs, overhauled a lot of movement code. It's not very screenshotable, but now you can run a few steps straight up a wall and jump off it, a la Assassin's Creed. A lot of other things have been simplified and consolidated.

I'm also re-working the level design and scripting of the tutorial. Here's a screenshot:



Thanks for reading.
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etodd
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« Reply #67 on: December 10, 2012, 07:37:22 AM »

Lemma has been radio silent recently, but that does NOT mean things aren't happening! I've been able to do a ton of work almost every day these past few weeks. Here's what's going on:

1. Did some massive surgery on the very first tutorial section after getting some feedback from a limited alpha release. It introduces, jumping, climbing, vertical wall-running, and rolling/crouching.
2. Added a second, underground section that introduces horizontal wall-running, wall-jumping, and some important story elements.
3. Added a THIRD section, which you will see in a moment, that reviews everything and introduces the flying kick move.
4. Wrote a small chunk of dialog for the text-message system. It's harder than I anticipated, making the conversations truly interactive without having the dialog tree explode exponentially in size.
5. Simplified and consolidated the controls. Everything is on Shift, Spacebar, and Control now, should be very intuitive for FPS players.
6. Overhauled some of the animations and added new ones for some new parkour abilities.
7. Made the menu a lot more user-friendly.
8. Committed approximately 15 million bug-fixes and tweaks.

TL;DR: Things are happening. Here's a video that shows one of several ways to get through the third tutorial section in quick fashion.

Alpha Gameplay Speed Run



Thanks for your patience. Hopefully future updates won't be as delayed as this one, but I'm definitely updating less than I used to so I can focus on getting stuff done.

Mirrored on my blog
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etodd
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« Reply #68 on: December 16, 2012, 08:26:27 AM »

A few people, after watching the speed run video, mentioned the player model being exceptionally bad, so I've spent a lot of time the past few days tweaking animations and cutting new textures. It's probably not done yet (a constant process of improvement), but here's what I have so far (before/after):



Lots of other stuff happened this week, but nothing too exciting. I tried to implement SSAO, but none of the approaches I tried came even close. They usually ended up looking something like this:



So that's on the shelf for now, but I haven't quite given up on it for good yet.
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SolarLune
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« Reply #69 on: December 24, 2012, 08:28:21 AM »

Nice improvement. The shirt texture looks a lot more 'thread' like. It's too bad about the SSAO, but it's pretty solid. Hope to see more progress!
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etodd
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« Reply #70 on: January 06, 2013, 05:39:29 AM »

I just got internet back after being without it since before Christmas. It was a tearful reunion, to be sure. Turns out, I was actually more productive than usual without internet. There's a one-word explanation for that, and it rhymes with "edit".

ANYway, here's what got done:

Analytics

When you finish a play session, you'll see something like this:



I haven't figured out the server side of this system yet, but all it really needs to do is accept plain text file uploads. Once I have the files, it's easy to load them into the editor, yielding data like this:



On the right-hand side, you can see how I can view individual play sessions, or select all of them and filter by event type. For example, if I wanted to see where in the map people most often exited in a fit of rage, I could select all the play sessions, then filter on the "Exit" event.

The player's position at the time of each event is visualized as a colored dot. I normalize the first three bytes of the MD5 hash of the event name and use that as the color.

At the bottom you can see I also record graphs of various properties, like the player's health and ammo. I can also just play back the recorded sessions at up to 10x speed. The analytics data also includes crash logs, so now I can see the circumstances leading up to a crash.

TL;DR: The next alpha release should give me a lot more useful information about pacing, difficulty, and bugs.

Headlamp

I'm working on a pitch-black claustrophobic section of the game. Ancient FPS tradition requires that I implement a flashlight.



Complete with shadows and everything!

Laundry List

Here's some other things, because you obviously have nothing better to do!

  • I've done a good bit of research and writing for the story in the past few weeks. I feel lucky to have a lot of source material to work from. But oh is it still difficult.
  • Pistol handling animations have been cleaned up.
  • The camera doesn't clip into the environment anymore (for the most part).
  • I keep improving voxel performance. It's pretty smooth at this point. There's one last stubborn piece of code I need to cajole onto another thread though.
  • I wrote a very simple state-machine AI for the snake enemy. It's so much more fun now, it feels like an actual game.
  • I also applied the AI to a new "floater" NPC which will come into play more later.
  • I think the player movement and special ability code is finally starting to settle down.
  • I've narrowed things down to the right number of abilities that keep things simple but also give the player a lot of power. Hopefully it will just be tweaks and bug fixes from here on.
  • Speaking of bug fixes, I've squashed probably over fifty bugs since Christmas. Feels good man.

Thanks for reading. Hang in there for the next alpha release!
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SolarLune
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« Reply #71 on: January 15, 2013, 08:35:45 AM »

Keep up development - this is an interesting game! Are you planning on smoothing out the voxels at all, or just leaving them like that?
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etodd
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« Reply #72 on: January 15, 2013, 03:06:52 PM »

Keep up development - this is an interesting game! Are you planning on smoothing out the voxels at all, or just leaving them like that?

Thanks. It's tough to keep going while working full-time, so I really appreciate the support!

I don't have any plans to smooth out the voxels, as that would make things look a little odd when they break apart. Now that you mention it though, it might help to do that on some of the indestructible environment pieces, since right now when you step up or down one block you basically instantly teleport there, which is a little jarring. I don't know if it would be a good idea to mix smooth and blocky voxels though.
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etodd
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« Reply #73 on: April 07, 2013, 07:07:50 PM »

Quantity Brings Quality

As I suspected, I have an almost insurmountable case of coder's block after a full day at work. Nevertheless, things are getting done. In fact, this might be the best thing that's happened for Lemma because it's forced me to cut a lot out of the design and focus on core things. It's the only way I'll ever finish.

Screenshot below gives an idea of the new direction. I've dropped any pretense that the game occurs in our world as we know it. It was a restriction that existed only to service the story, and it was limiting the gameplay and visual style a lot. Now I'm free to do a lot more, and I'm not precluded from telling a story just because it's fantasy rather than sci-fi.



In order to get this thing out the door, I am now dead-set on eliminating anything that does not contribute to the core gameplay. You won't be seeing any more nifty graphics features. From here on out, I'm determined to churn out two things: enemies and levels. And I do mean "churn", although that's not something that comes naturally. I tend to set out with the goal of creating the best mechanic/level design/widget/mouse trap and spend months perfecting it, before deciding to cut out the whole thing completely.

No more. From now on, I'm churning out crap. I'll throw out the worst and polish the remaining turds until they sparkle.

One of my art professors told a story about an experiment one teacher performed on his pottery class. He told one of the class that their grade depended on their ability to make five perfect pots for the final. He told the other half that their grade depended on the sheer number of pots they created, with no regard whatsoever for quality.

Some of the kids in the latter half made over 300 pots. By the end, they were so practiced that their pots were of higher quality than the students who were tasked with creating five perfect pots.

This might be a no-brainer to you, but it's changed the way I think. As game designers, we're always trying to pin down that elusive thread of fun that runs through every good game. There's no formula or guaranteed method to create it. The only thing to do is try a lot of things and hope that you've picked up enough along the way to make a perfect pot at the end.

So that's where I'm at. Churning out levels and interesting objects to fill those levels.

One thing that's been missing for a long time is physics joints between voxels. Without them I couldn't create things like sliding doors and rotating platforms. Click the image below to see a GIF showing what I mean.



I'm pretty excited about new possibilities this opens up. I've already implemented a few in one of those churned-out levels I was talking about.

One other minor announcement. The website used to be hosted on NearlyFreeSpeech, which charges based on usage. The huge spike following the release of Alpha 1 cost quite a bit, and the whole experience has just been kind of annoying, so I moved the site to Amazon. The whole site is static despite having a lot of dynamic content pulled from all over the interwebs, so I was able to plop it in an S3 bucket for dirt cheap. So far I've payed 50 cents, plus the domain name. No complaints!

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and being patient with this incredibly slow project. Hopefully some of the ideas in this post will help speed it up.

Mirrored on my blog
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Franklin's Ghost
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« Reply #74 on: April 07, 2013, 08:25:24 PM »

Love that gif Kiss Really like the way this is coming along and can't wait to try the new vesrion when you next release.

I think your new approach will help also and is probably a mentality I should be following.
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SolarLune
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« Reply #75 on: April 07, 2013, 10:56:44 PM »

Love the impact of the explosion - looking really cool! I think you're right about churning out content - you can always go back and improve on things and ideas later if you need to, but spending months on just a few elements of the game isn't going to really improve it any.
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etodd
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« Reply #76 on: April 08, 2013, 03:25:12 AM »

Thanks guys. Yeah I think this strategy is one I should have been following from the beginning. It's tough to resist the urge to polish early on though. You just want to see something pretty, lol.

I think it'll be in a good spot for another release within a few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled. Smiley
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Schrompf
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« Reply #77 on: April 08, 2013, 03:46:38 AM »

This project looks astonishing! Keep up the good work! I especially dig the "Lost fragments" look of the first image. Physics are super cool, too!

From my current experience I can tell you: you'll return to earlier levels anyways. Multiple times even, whenever you introduced a new element in your game, or a new set of graphics. So don't worry about polishing.
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Greg Game Man
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« Reply #78 on: April 08, 2013, 04:25:15 AM »

Looks like a sick game, i don't understand why you would put voxels and ironsights in it though. Maybe i don't see the vision for the game like you do.
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etodd
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« Reply #79 on: April 08, 2013, 02:23:48 PM »

This project looks astonishing! Keep up the good work! I especially dig the "Lost fragments" look of the first image. Physics are super cool, too!

Thanks! I really like the new direction because it prevents me having to build huge landscapes (since everything's just floating in the clouds), but it also doesn't look half-bad. Smiley

From my current experience I can tell you: you'll return to earlier levels anyways. Multiple times even, whenever you introduced a new element in your game, or a new set of graphics. So don't worry about polishing.

That's what I'm finally realizing. I knew from the beginning that the game would probably never be "done" (at least to my satisfaction), but I never really came to grips with it until now.

Looks like a sick game, i don't understand why you would put voxels and ironsights in it though. Maybe i don't see the vision for the game like you do.

Thanks for the feedback. The reason for this game existing is the idea that you can use parkour moves to modify the environment. I came to the conclusion pretty early on that I would need some kind of structured environment to accomplish that. I couldn't make it happen with polygon soup, I needed something I could parse and search through relatively quickly. Voxels were the best solution I could think of.

About the iron sights, those are actually gone in the latest version. Smiley I realized it was just an extra step in a game where the core idea isn't really about shooting.
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