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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackPlaytestingK2. XNA haters required! See if XNA 3 beta sorts out your woes?
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Author Topic: K2. XNA haters required! See if XNA 3 beta sorts out your woes?  (Read 8463 times)
Bezzy
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« on: June 05, 2008, 01:26:12 pm »

Okay, so, I'm done with the Procedural Generation Contest. I'm not completely happy with how it ended up, but still, 22 days for a non-l33t coder like me... I shouldn't be too down on myself.

I wanted to keep K2 moving, albeit at a much slower pace than for the competition, so this is my thread to do that in.

I was looking back through some old files recently, and found a bunch of screenshots from the original K. I keep linking to

, but that is really blitzed by youtube's compression. I found an old, half-developed backup build of it, from before the time I introduced some really nasty bug which never got fixed, and I was sort of struck at how well the visual style holds up. I figured you might like to see some clearer screenshots from around 2001.

A Trip down Memory Brane

This was one of the original concept drawings I did. as you can see, I wanted more of a free camera, top down, remote-control style 3D game. Ultimately, it changed itself, though.

A ship concept from buddy JP, inspired by the flight-of-the-navigator ship. I wanted to go for some very abstract ships, although, as you'll see, there may have been some *ahem* Lucasian inspiration which distracted me from this goal...

Close up of the Tie Interceptor model. I actually made this in under half an hour, to explain to my friend how to model in milkshape. I'm not a modeller, obviously, but I was kind of proud of doing that in such a short time.
To get the line drawing effect, I simply loaded in models, figured out where the ends of polygon groups were, and drew gl lines around them. It was a cheap tricky to avoid making tools to individually craft the detail lines.

Experimenting with the landscape shading. This was using an environment map in a sorta bizzarre way. The same sort of idea is used for rim-lighting a lot in cartooney games, nowadays, like Mario Galaxy.



I gave cel shading a go, but because of some bug in the normal calculation, it didn't really look that great. Remember, this was in the days before shaders dominated everything. There's a lot of old-school hacks using the nuances of opengl which were clever at the time, but are now a bit redundant.

The original landscape engine was by David Hillier, and was meant for more realistic terrains. I dabbled a bit, and decided that my texture art skills would not be up to scratch, hence the totally abstract look.

Starting to get ships into the game.


Contours and shading, here, are generated by two passes (using oldschool texture combination). One is an environment map, and the other is a transparent texture, except for the stripe.

O look, that's not a tie fighter rite?

This was a slightly newer version of the engine, donated by David Hillier again.
Contours/shading turned into a clever trick. They used one texture, which had a stripe on the Y-Axis, and the shading blended along the X axis. A flat-on texture co-ord generator was used for the V component of the texture (to generate the contour), and the U component used the environment map method, generating the shading. Or something like that. I forget.

Starting to get game play in. The key idea to K is that the free-roaming cross hair fixes problems of parallax error. Most games really lock your camera behind the ship, because the shots don't line up properly with targets, but when you project the cross hair out to the same distance as the target, you reduce parallax error immeasurably. This allows for a freer camera. Unfortunately, all kinds of other problems meant that I had to have my camera a bit closer.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 09:45:37 am by Bezzy » Logged

JP
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2008, 07:33:53 pm »

Yaay!  Cool to see this, really takes one back.

Pretty embarrassed at that "concept art" of the Navigator ship.  I did the classic lame thing of inverting a crummy pencil-on-white-paper drawing to make it look slightly cooler.
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Bezzy
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2008, 12:25:06 am »

But it IS slightly cooler!
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Ed
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2008, 01:57:39 pm »

Looks hot!! (esp the contours + shading images)

I love the thought of an slightly abstract exploring/trading/shooting game. Reminds me a bit of Captain Blood on the Spectrum (and other 8 and 16 bit machines).

And David Hillier made a terrain engine... yeah right....
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2008, 02:52:44 pm »

And David Hillier made a terrain engine... yeah right....
WTF? Who are you shrimp?

Thanks for the credit bezzy!
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Ed
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2008, 06:46:38 am »

And David Hillier made a terrain engine... yeah right....
WTF? Who are you shrimp?

Thanks for the credit bezzy!

Hillier is a great name for the author of a terrain engine, that's all! Sorry  Embarrassed

It looks like it gives really nice results too, the valleys in particular. Is it open source and/or is there a demo app available?
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Alex May
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2008, 10:17:06 am »

I think the Key to this puzzle May be a missed pun somewhere!
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Bezzy
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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2008, 10:51:01 am »

Did a blog update.

Gravious got me to make a mental map of K2 - what I wanted it to be. Really helped me get excited about this again.

http://bezzy.net/Docs/K2/K2mindmap.html

Haven't worked on it of late, but now I'm pumped, and I have a desk in my room, so I'm ready to spend some spare time on it.

I already have a basic framework for C# Tao/OpenGL going. Hooray for that. Still very much at the bottom of the mountain, planning the ascent carefully.
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Terry
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2008, 09:17:15 am »

Cool, really glad to see that this is still being worked on Smiley
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Bezzy
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2008, 01:33:16 am »

At a snail's pace, but intentionally so. I want time to savor this one.

It may mean that I do other, quick games as I go, which just re-use stuff I've build for K2.

Maybe.
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Bezzy
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2008, 09:44:48 am »

I have a little favour to ask to anyone who couldn't get the first prototype to work.

I've just tried upgrading to the XNA 3 beta, hoping that it may magically resolve some issues you have been having. If it has, I think I may move back to XNA since filling in the gaps by making my own engine is holding me back from getting anything good done.

If not, I just guess I admit I'm pretty lazy, and it's going to take a while getting anything good out there. Oh well.

Here is the new XNA build: http://www.bezzy.net/Downloads/K2XNA3Testbuild.rar

This Readme has some notes about what redistributables you also need to run it. Check section 1.5 onwards. Most likely, you need this:

Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable

It's not very different to the competition release 4 months ago (made a couple of tweaks to rockets and bullet damage, just for the hell of it). Also, when moving from XNA 2 to 3 I had to re-create all my RCPs, and the compressed music, so I think it's a bigger file as a result.
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2008, 10:49:00 am »

This looks really neat--I like the visual style. Smiley
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Renton
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2008, 11:51:10 am »

Yaay!  Cool to see this, really takes one back.

Pretty embarrassed at that "concept art" of the Navigator ship.  I did the classic lame thing of inverting a crummy pencil-on-white-paper drawing to make it look slightly cooler.
But it IS slightly cooler!
To make it even cooler, you gotta replace the black with blue and make it look like actual blueprints.
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Bezzy
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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2008, 06:21:24 am »

Ahrgh. Doesn't even work on my work computer  Cry. I have a feeling I managed to put some specific pathing stuff in there, at some point. XACT can be weird like that.
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Zaknafein
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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2008, 10:28:34 am »

BTW, you don't have to use XACT for sound and music in XNA3. There's the new Song and SoundEffect APIs that are so much simpler to use, if you feel like making the switch.
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Bezzy
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« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2008, 01:17:50 pm »

I actually really like XACT, when I can get it to work Grin. Seems sorted now.

Just uploading a new version which hopefully doesn't request data from a stupid place.

I'd be much obliged if as many people as possible can test it.

It's in the same location as in my previous post:

http://www.bezzy.net/Downloads/K2XNA3Testbuild.rar
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warpy
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« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2008, 02:38:43 pm »

I'm trying my best to get this to work, and it's just not happening!
I've installed the xna redistributable, directx, the Visual C++ redist, and it said Vista doesn't need the .net thing.
I've got sucky intel laptop graphics though, so that might be it.
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Bezzy
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« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2008, 02:56:09 pm »

Possibly... I'm guessing it's more to do with XNA 3 being in beta, but I can't be sure. Thanks very kindly, warpy! Thanks haowan also (equally no joy).

Any particular error message come up?

I'm getting a new laptop soon, so I'll be able to try it on a fresh system, and see what I have to install (all the way up to VSC#2008) to get it to work.

I sort of really hope that XNA 3 doesn't make it harder for people to get things working on their PC, though.

Maybe it's something to do with upgrading the project as opposed to starting fresh, and re-adding each file? Time will have to tell.
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