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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSHMUP Creator: build & blast!
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suny
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« Reply #60 on: April 11, 2016, 12:11:31 PM »

As promised, a quick test level with a multi-directionnal scrolling and a Desert Strike kind of environment :


S.
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suny
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« Reply #61 on: April 17, 2016, 01:25:47 AM »

The 15th of April was "Saint Paterne's Day" in France.
Every year it's the perfect occasion for the French Shmup community to celebrate Shmups, thanks for this stupid wordplay Smiley

So, it was my contribution: "Space Saint Paterne".



S.
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Slapdash
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« Reply #62 on: August 29, 2016, 06:24:28 AM »

As promised, a quick test level with a multi-directionnal scrolling and a Desert Strike kind of environment :


S.


Sorry im only posting now but....
Insane!!

Can't wait for this.


Any more info for us on the progress?
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suny
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« Reply #63 on: October 17, 2016, 04:10:49 AM »

=.... OCTOBER UPDATE ....=

Original post : http://bulostudio.com/2016/10/16/october-update/

We’ve been busy these last weeks, but not necessarily on the SHMUP Creator. We worked again for a big company on a cool project. It’s always frustrating because we can’t make progress on the SHMUP CREATOR while we work for someone else, but to be honest our contract was really interesting and we learnt a lot.
Then we took our summer holidays, in September Smiley
Now: back to work!

ASSETS MANAGEMENT
I wasn’t happy with the way users had to import 3D assets in the editor: you had to use an exporter to save a file from your 3D modeler in the Ogre3D format (.mesh).
Now, you can copy an .FBX in the asset directory of your game and it will appears at once in the Gamebox. You can immediately drag and drop it in the level and start to play. It’s quite simple and easy!
You can then modify any textures, meshes or sprites, and when you go back to the editor all the objects are updated!

BUGS, BUGS EVERYWHERE
We are testing every features of the game one by one.
Debugging can be excruciating: sometimes I spend ages on a simple bug. But most of the time, it can feel surprisingly good: I can feel the game and the editor becoming more stable and more polished everyday. I know more bugs are hiding everywhere, though…

WHAT’S NEXT?
There are a lot of features to test and debug : the bullets patterns editor, the start menu editor (which is a mess right now GUI-wise), the scoring system…
Then, there are features which are working well but which are too difficult to grasp for the user. Not because of the way they work, but because of the GUI and the way we are presenting the functionalities. We need to rework them.

We are making progress, the end is near, but there is so much to do….

S.
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suny
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« Reply #64 on: January 10, 2017, 09:38:36 AM »


=.... R-Type Leo ....=

I needed to test the 2D features of the SHMUP Creator but unfortunately didn't have the time to create assets right now. So, I choose to re-create parts of the first level of R-Type leo using sprites I ripped.
Re-creating a small portion of a game was a good exercise for me: I didn't want to focus on any game design because it was not the subject: it allowed me to focus on debug, polish and to better understand what was missing in order to create 2D games.


So, there you are, the beginning of the game:




Inside the SHMUP Creator:




Of course, using a drag-and-drop tool, you can't do everything: the rotating orbs from the original game are absent in my demo. I plan to allow users to use objects for weapons, but not in the upcoming release.
I tried to re-create the laser field with the simple tools of the SHMUP Creator, and I was happy to make it work in 5 minutes:




On this tweet, you can see more of the level, with the intro:
https://twitter.com/bulostudio/status/817735716537061376

Next week, I promise I'll do a small update on the dev progress!
S.
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suny
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« Reply #65 on: March 15, 2017, 09:23:18 AM »

=.... FEBRUARY UPDATE ....=

Original post:
http://bulostudio.com/2017/03/05/february-update/

DEBUG, POLISH:
I corrected the weapons and the gameplay code, as well as a huge amount of small bugs. There was something wrong in the resource management which could cause a lot of problems in the futur between different games sharing their assets in the wrong way (if the assets share the same name). Now, everything is separate and it’s neater.
I also did a lot of small corrections and modifications to the UI until it felt “right” to me. A lot of things no one will remark, but which make the user experience smoother.

LAYER PRIORITY:
I worked for a long time on the priority and display order of the sprites and objects: users can use layers to control the rendering order, and I force the bullets and items order: the enemy bullets are always on top, then the player bullets, then the items. Same thing for the explosions, which should never hide the bullet during gameplay.

PARALLAX:
Speaking of layers, I wrote a small tool which allow to add parallax between layers. It was not trivial, because everything in the SHMUP Creator is 3D. The idea is to move away in depth the layers moving slower and to scale them to keep their apparent screen size. It was not easy to do, but it works Smiley

SNAP 3D:
I’m currently working on the snap 3D: I was proud of my sprite snapping, but I discovered that it was sometimes not working well. Instead of correcting it, I decided to write a new snap working in 2D as well as in 3D. It’s working well now. Still some polish in the next few days and it will be complete.

AND AFTER THAT ?
Next I will work on some in-game tutorials: it will not be full Nintendo-style tutorials, because I don’t have the manpower nor budget to do this in this version of the tool, but at least it will provide some basic explanations and an UI tour. I don’t want the new user to be completely lost at the beginning.After that, there will be on-line tutorials to help and teach people how to use the different features, which we need to write (crap…).
The 3D snap and the in-game tuts are the last two big features.

It’s not the end of the road, but my big to-do list is almost empty !!

S.
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Mr Speaker
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« Reply #66 on: March 15, 2017, 11:19:12 AM »

This whole thread makes me happy... I loved SEUCK as a youngster and sunk so much time into it - this brings back the memories!
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DasBilligeAlien
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« Reply #67 on: August 17, 2017, 11:29:09 AM »

Hey, any news on this project? Or are you still writing tutorials? :D

I am super stoked to test this out.
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suny
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« Reply #68 on: September 02, 2017, 12:16:11 AM »

Quote
Hey, any news on this project? Or are you still writing tutorials? :D
Unfortunately, I'm not :D
I had to work on other projects for a while.
I'm back to work on the SC right now: I plan to start writing the tutorials as soon as possible Smiley
S.
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suny
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« Reply #69 on: October 02, 2017, 06:17:56 AM »

I'm making good progress right now, and the SHMUP Creator is almost alpha Smiley
I'll talk about all this in a new post soon.

For today:
I added Snap 3D, a tool which allow users to snap any 3D objects with other objects. It can speed up the level creation of a game and is easy to use.



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DasBilligeAlien
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« Reply #70 on: October 13, 2017, 02:57:46 PM »

I am already planing my game  Cheesy

I sooooo want to make a silly bulllethell shooter with a absurd story and some funky visuals. I CANT WAIT!  Gomez

 
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suny
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« Reply #71 on: October 15, 2017, 01:29:59 AM »

Quote
I sooooo want to make a silly bulllethell shooter with a absurd story and some funky visuals. I CANT WAIT!  Gomez

I sooooo want to look at other people silly games made with the SHMUP Creator!!!:)
I'm working hard right now to complete the thing as quickly as I can.
S.
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DasBilligeAlien
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« Reply #72 on: October 16, 2017, 03:42:55 AM »

As long as you keep a balance! Don't risk you health for it.

I will be waiting. Hand Fork LeftWho, Me?Hand Money Right
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Pixel Noise
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« Reply #73 on: October 16, 2017, 10:22:05 AM »

OMG this is incredible. Keep up the awesome work!
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suny
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« Reply #74 on: October 30, 2017, 01:08:09 AM »

Hi!
A technical post today. I'm going to give you more information on the state of the project very soon.



BULLET ENGINE OPTIMIZATIONS:


My bullets code was terrible: I wrote it a long time ago without any optimizations and forethought. It worked and it was enough for me.
Then I had second thoughts, some nightmares and bad nights, and I finally decided to write a real bullet manager and optimize the guy.
Keep in mind that I’m not a real coder by trade (I’m a tech artist / coder) so please don’t laugh at my naive way of doing things Smiley

. BULLETS MANAGEMENT
I knew that creating and destructing a lot of objects every frame was bad, so I created a pool of bullet objects at the SHMUP Creator runtime. It worked. What was bad was the way to manage the active and free bullets in an efficient way. I was iterating on all the bullets to find a free one before spawning it and to update the alive bullets and so on. Not too bad with the CPU power of 2017, but not very efficient with 6000 bullets.
So I wrote a bullet manager which keep tabs on all this. I still create a pool of bullet objects but also 2 lists of bullets IDs: one of active bullets and one of free bullets. Those IDs are references of the pool’s bullets.
If I want to spawn a new bullet, I can use the last free bullets ID and set the bullet from the pool sharing this ID to “active”. I then remove this ID from the free bullets list and add it to the active bullets ID list.
This active bullets list allow me to only update the active bullets and also to maintain an ordered bullets list, which I need for rendering (more details in the next section).
When a bullet is dead, I set its state to “DEAD” and I erase his ID from the alive bullets vector (I know it’s not the most efficient thing in the world, but…) and add it to the free bullets vector.

. DRAWING the BULLETS and DRAW CALLS
The most terrible thing I was doing was to draw individually each bullet. It was working on my laptop, so what the heck?
But I really felt bad about it, and with a lot of bullets, I began to see some performance drop. On top of this, ordering the rendering of thousands of objects was not easy with Ogre and was slowing down the game a lot.
So, I wrote my own bullet renderer. For each bullet type I create a polygons list using all the current bullets positions and orientations and draw it with its own material. Thanks to the active bullets list I’m able to draw each bullets in the right order.
At the end, I have only one draw call for each bullet type, instead of 3000 draw calls for 3000 bullets. Much better!

. ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
At the end, the bullet manager is not perfect and could be more optimized but I’m pretty happy with it. Maybe one day I’ll go back to it and make it better.

But for now, yes, it’s much faster Smiley


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DasBilligeAlien
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« Reply #75 on: October 31, 2017, 11:06:34 AM »

Unfortunatly I am an artist and cant help with feedback.

But reducing drawcalls does sound much better.  Cheesy


I doubt i would survive that crazy bullet spam.    Shocked
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suny
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« Reply #76 on: November 14, 2017, 10:09:03 AM »

Original post: blog Smiley

NOVEMBER UPDATE

Last monthly update was in February… Ouch. So many things happened during the last 10 months… Time flies.
But first, the good news:
The SHMUP Creator is feature complete!
It means that every features are there and that we can begin the last part of the journey: completing the SHMUP Creator and at last release it to the public. We are not there yet, but we can see the light Smiley

NEW FEATURES INCLUDE:
. a scroll bar int the bottom of the screen to navigate quickly in a level
. I wrote about the 3D snap in the last update: it is complete and it works. Yeah!
. users can import FBX 3d models directly
. there are in-editor tutorials now. “Prof Bulo” will teach you the basics of using the SHMUP Creator
. the tool is translation ready. We plan to release it in English and French first.



IMPROVED FEATURES:
. the builds of the games are now more compacts
. there are tons of small UI improvements: animated transitions, new keyboard shortcuts, contextual help…
. dozen of bugs are now gone. (dozen of bugs are still lurking, but I’m watching them)
. did some more work on scoring systems and medals
. a new and faster bullets engine (read the last post for more)

WHAT WE ARE DOING RIGHT NOW:
. I’m working on the documentation. It’s taking shape but it takes a long time.
. we are still working on the UI: the menu editor and the HUD editor are still a mess and need a lot of work.
. I’m still unhappy with some parts of the tool: the weapon system is too complex and need some work. We can’t release a beta until we can have time to address that.



WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO but HAVE NO TIME right now:
. we still need to make a 2D level to test the tool and to include in the package
. some assets are still missing: I’d like to include more bullets types, more enemy moves presets…
. we need to do more marketing. Like not posting an update every 10 months (…).
. we need to translate the SHMUP Creator and the documentation in French

So yeah, it’s going well. I can feel some external forces luring me away from the SHMUP Creator and so I’m dedicated to work harder right now, when I still have some free time.
The beta version of the SHMUP Creator is coming, I can feel it!
S.
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DasBilligeAlien
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« Reply #77 on: January 27, 2018, 01:38:12 AM »

Time to pester you for an update :D

Still alive?
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suny
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« Reply #78 on: February 14, 2018, 11:10:13 AM »

Still alive, but too busy to work on this project right now.
But I will soon, I promise, I promise!
S.
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DasBilligeAlien
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« Reply #79 on: February 25, 2018, 12:37:36 AM »

No Problem. Smiley See you in two month or something for the next check up :D
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