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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsBounty Road - Auto Gang RPG!
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thekosmonaut
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« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2016, 07:07:34 AM »

Yesterday I imported high poly normal mapped meshes my friend made for the game into the engine and it basically worked right away after I changed the shader to support normal maps Smiley

Am pretty happy about that.



I also finally made the decision to support high quality Torrance-Cook specular for local lights, playing around with roughness values of the materials is interesting, maybe I have to add some rainy sections now

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thekosmonaut
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« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2016, 06:27:02 PM »

Am pretty happy with how the dust/smoke looks right now. Smiley

What do you think?

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thekosmonaut
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« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2016, 07:30:10 AM »

I wrote some tips and tricks for MonoGame devs, especially stuff I wish I had known when i started out

https://kosmonautblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/tips-tricks-for-monogamexna-developers/
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« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2016, 02:03:01 PM »

Hi guys,

We have finally added motorcycles to the game. These are also the first entities that have textures right from the start (except for the placeholder gunner and driver)



I tried to make them feel nice, but I think the way they lean into the curve can be improved.


Motorcycles are unique in a sense that they are fragile, but fast and can only fire backwards from the gunner position. These would be ideal for laying down mines and traps in front of the battle as well as drive around quickly and cause chaos amidst the enemies.


Apart from that, there is a lot of wind blowing over the sand, maybe it's hard to tell from the gif.

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« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2016, 05:36:33 PM »

Hey glad to see your project is comming along nicely. Though i have a concern. I noticed in one of the videos you posted way back when, that when you click on one of your troops and attempt to guide it in a certain direction away from its location, the camera just jumps in that direction really hard. I think you should have the camera automatically try and frame both the player and the enemies that are near. Just a thought. Also, what are you using to make this? Unity?
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thekosmonaut
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« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2016, 07:42:07 PM »

Glad to get some feedback Smiley

The camera scrolls only when moving to the edge of the screen, I don't think this is an issue, at least no one ever raised that concern and quite a bunch played it already.

But I think I'll make it so the camera can't escape too far from the action.

Also, what are you using to make this? Unity?

No, I'm rolling my own engine, it's set up on top of the MonoGame framework, which is convenient so I don't have to build the most basic stuff and can mostly focus and game and graphics programming.

The thing is, I have never worked with Shaders/HLSL/DirectX before, so it's pretty interesting.

Anyways, I decided I would implement some basic fog for the game.

At first the fog was simply white (aka (255,255,255 / 1, 1, 1)) and then i wanted to make it reddish, just to see how it looks, but I mistakenly only deleted the green color value, leaving me with violet (red and blue).



And, uhm, yeah. I Like it. I think i'll use this sort of colored fog for sunset/sunrise Smiley

I added some Diffuse Hemisphere to the main model shader as well, so they get affected a bit with the fog color (facing away from camera)
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« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2016, 08:15:50 PM »

Rolling your own you say? so I take it the engine is a separate entity from the game? You strike me as a seasoned developereven,  though this is your first experience with shaders. Have you made any other games before?
 I've never worked with shaders myself, but my current endeavor will greatly benefit from it, andfrom what I've seen in multiple projects, one can create a myriad of effects. Was it very difficult jumping into them?
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thekosmonaut
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« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2016, 08:30:19 PM »

It's interconnected, everything is interwoven; the tech is created alongside the game specifically to my needs.

There are a lot of XNA or Unity tutorials for basic shaders out there. Start out with simply having ambient light, then sunlight, specular, shadows etc etc.

https://www.shadertoy.com/ is awesome to fiddle around with and get inspiration from others.

Eventually I faced problems that were specific to my game, so i had to come up with new solutions, like for example shadows for my smoke.

I wrote an article about that a while back: https://kosmonautblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/10/smooth-shadows-for-geometry-dust-clouds/

I have made other games before, but they were always browser-based 2d stuff, but I never properly released anything.
The latest one I did was a bit too ambitous for a simple browser game. I should have switched to compiled deployed stuff way earlier. https://scavengersfate.myfarynet.eu/

In the end, facing interesting technical challenges is way more interesting than gameplay programming, which most of the time is trivial.
In the HTML5 game above (scavenger's fate) every piece you glue to your ship changes its inertia and thruster placement matters. It was highly physical to a point where I had to tone it down so first-timers could play haha.

A lot of random generation and AI routines and sorts were implemented, along with some graphical feats like gaussian blur etc, which really doesn't work very in plain HTML5(non-webgl that is). I can't have screen space effects in real time, which was a downer.

So i turned to making "real" games with access to the GPU.

If i were to use Unity or Unreal Engine i'd be super bored, since many of the interesting challenges are already solved there (like physics, rendering, UI etc.)
Plus I wanted to learn how to code shaders.

The good part about this game is that I'm not making it alone, an artist supports me. Which is great, since I am less likely to abandon the project or overcommit to technology exploration.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 08:43:18 PM by thekosmonaut » Logged

thekosmonaut
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« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2016, 06:29:24 AM »

Hi guys,

not much visible happening lately. I implemented SMAA and it can be combined with SSAA for some nice IQ.



Apart from that i implemented some screen space dust corns and stuff flying around. Barely visible here:

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Emma Larkins
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« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2016, 10:24:26 AM »

Love the style! The smoke effects in particular look great.
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« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2016, 03:15:41 PM »

You know, aside from the obvious Mad Max angle, the aesthetics remind me a lot of the Little Big Adventure games. Very nice, following
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thekosmonaut
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« Reply #31 on: June 16, 2016, 09:25:03 AM »

thank you guys, positive comments like that really make my day
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« Reply #32 on: June 16, 2016, 11:41:57 AM »

I was going to comment and point out the Mad Max reference, but someone beat me to it.

Pretty remarkable at how adventurous this is looking. I like the overall concept so far, especially with the red / green distinction. That makes it very clear!
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« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2016, 07:44:21 PM »

This looks amazing, your graphics programming is really impressive!
What are you going to do about human characters? Are you going to use realistic (at least at the general viewing distance) models or keep them as modern art pieces? Tbh I really like the current models, they make me think the characters are all ancient, unfeeling robots in a post apocalyptic world. They give a very different feel then a human character would, but I guess it's all up to your vision for the game.
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« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2016, 03:51:10 PM »

This looks amazing, your graphics programming is really impressive!
What are you going to do about human characters? Are you going to use realistic (at least at the general viewing distance) models or keep them as modern art pieces? Tbh I really like the current models, they make me think the characters are all ancient, unfeeling robots in a post apocalyptic world. They give a very different feel then a human character would, but I guess it's all up to your vision for the game.

Thank you.

The models... originally we thought to make them human looking. And maybe even add visible customization. Especially since we have custom short stories for all the guys and random names etc. (I think it's shown in one video somewhere).

But tbh the rough models look pretty interesting, stylish almost. Gotta think about that.
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« Reply #35 on: June 21, 2016, 05:15:29 AM »

Hey,

I've already told you how much I like the premise of this, and the topic I want to chip in about is effects.

So we kinda have the same problem to solve regarding the playing field of the games (space in our case and desert in yours). It is a great percentage of the screenspace and can get quite static or boring if you don't spice it up. In Fabular's case we spice it up visually by introducing lots of background layers with different depths to them, and game mechanics-wise we introduce obstacles (which you can do as well with rocks and stuff) and skill effects.

What we also try and do very consciously is to make the playing field dynamic and ever-changing. Sort of to build a level on-the-fly by moving around obstacles and placing area-effects with gameplay modifying properties. Regarding obstacles, we have flying and swirling asteroids that bump into each other and are deadly towards the 'actors', and you have the cars and trucks themselves that are constantly moving around rewriting the dynamics of the level. If you couple those with obstacles coming in from outside of the screen such as chasms, rocks or buildings, that's a good start to have a dynamic playing field.

Then you can add another component, the area-effects. Imagine a skill or ability that generates a cloud on the playing field that slows or damages every actor that enters. You suddenly create a new obstacle that can be used to your advantage if you push others in it, or can be deadly for you as well. The more of these area effects you can create, the less static your playing field will feel. In your case it's probably harder to do this, because of the shmup nature of the fastly scrolling playing field, but you can get creative with this with things such as slow moving detonators on wheels you have to 'run from' or applying a damaging aura to one of your own vehicles and chase the enemy with it.

Another thing to consider that brings variety is the approach to visual effects. I would strongly suggest to use the terrain as much as possible when you design your effects. You started off in a very good direction with the dust clouds, that's exactly the kind of visual feedback that makes your playing field more interesting, but I think you should go further with that, and extend this to your gunplay as well. What I mean by this is that you definitely should use more bullets that hit less frequently, and telegraph your misses by the bullets hitting the ground layer next to the target vehicle. This way you can make nice impact effects on the ground kicking up dust in the process. This will make your desert grounds even more dynamic and interesting.

A very good reference for this would be the Company of Heroes series by Relic. Or even their newer WH40k stuff as well. If you watch anything on Youtube from those it will be pretty obvious. Lots of bullets with over-the-top ground impacts. Also the bullet traces worth analyzing as well, because I believe they don't do traveling projectiles, they just draw these scattered lines to the target, and this instant feeling of a bullet just being there and not traveling around in mid-air makes it much more dynamic.

I hope I could help, and forgive me if I sounded all-knowing, I'm not at all and I also seek ways to improve my own craft as well, but I try and share the things that I believe to be good advice.

Cheers!  Beer!
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« Reply #36 on: June 21, 2016, 08:05:51 AM »

Kudos to you, Batowski! I'm not working on the game, but I admire the time you've taken to give such extensive feedback. Awesome job on providing some sound advice to the development team Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2016, 01:21:25 AM »

This looks amazing, your graphics programming is really impressive!
What are you going to do about human characters? Are you going to use realistic (at least at the general viewing distance) models or keep them as modern art pieces? Tbh I really like the current models, they make me think the characters are all ancient, unfeeling robots in a post apocalyptic world. They give a very different feel then a human character would, but I guess it's all up to your vision for the game.

Thank you.

The models... originally we thought to make them human looking. And maybe even add visible customization. Especially since we have custom short stories for all the guys and random names etc. (I think it's shown in one video somewhere).

But tbh the rough models look pretty interesting, stylish almost. Gotta think about that.

Reaching a visual identity that looks nice, is easy to read, and is also economic for you to work on sounds like a GREAT plus. I'd lean towards it if I were you.

Also: I had big ambitions for giving unique generated names and stories to characters in my own game recently, but in pairing down the interface, making the game easy to read and understand, optimizing what I'm working on towards what's most important for the game, etc... I did drop it as a low priority. It was just more data pushing out of the screen onto new players, and it was soaking up the spotlight away from more important things like showcasing the game's mechanics.
Just a personal anecdote.
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« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2016, 02:39:08 AM »

Recently I didn't have much time for Bounty Road and in the coming weeks it's likely to look even worse. This weekend maybe my last free one for a while. But I'll come back stronger I promise Smiley

Time to answer some questions:


Also: I had big ambitions for giving unique generated names and stories to characters in my own game recently, but in pairing down the interface, making the game easy to read and understand, optimizing what I'm working on towards what's most important for the game, etc... I did drop it as a low priority. It was just more data pushing out of the screen onto new players, and it was soaking up the spotlight away from more important things like showcasing the game's mechanics.
Just a personal anecdote.

Ye, I agree. It's another point that's not really needed. But I have so many stories and name combinations already that even if I didn't do any more work it would be alright. Now - different portraits etc. are a different manner and they have low priority.
But the upside is - I can ask friends who are not involved with the game - hey what do you think would be a good short description of someone. Or a western-sounding last name. And so they feel kinda involved as well.

Plus, were i to go the kickstarter route this is the easiest way to make people involved ever.


Hey,

I've already told you how much I like the premise of this, and the topic I want to chip in about is effects.

... we introduce obstacles (which you can do as well with rocks and stuff) and skill effects.

What we also try and do very consciously is to make the playing field dynamic and ever-changing.

...

Then you can add another component, the area-effects. Imagine a skill or ability that generates a cloud on the playing field that slows or damages every actor that enters. ...


Another thing to consider that brings variety is the approach to visual effects. ....


A very good reference for this would be the Company of Heroes series by Relic ...
Cheers!  Beer!

Cheers! Thanks for the awesome feedback!

So you'll be glad to hear that I very much agree on most points.

It is imperial to require some sort of macro from the player that does not only come from positioning around the enemies. Canyons and bridges are something that is really interesting - maybe you can bump other cars off the road or from a cliff? That would be awesome!
Sandworms bursting from the ground? Oh yeah!

And the AOE is another component of that. Right now when you watch a gameplay video you'll see a pulsating circle around grenades, but we plan many more AOEs like that in order to require action from the player. Drones are one part of that - they buff/nerf or simply suppress a part of the playing field temporarly and act like a "control AOE spell" if you will.
I hope we get that implemented correctly.

Funny you mention CoH. I booted up the game some days before you wrote the comment to see exactly how they create athmosphere and to maybe grasp what makes a good RTS feel.

So overall - yeah good suggestions and if it works out you will probably see a lot of this stuff implemented.
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« Reply #39 on: June 25, 2016, 07:45:31 PM »

This is so cool!  Ever since I saw the new mad max I wanted a game where I could harpoon another car.

How do you handle camera control?

Will you allow pausing to issue commands, or are you keeping everything rolling all the time?

I noticed in one of the original post videos that issuing a move command did not change the heading of the car, only its screen relative position.  It seems like all the cars are always moving in the same direction and at the same speed relative to one another.  Is that sort of the underlying rule of the game?  Or is that just some kind of convoy movement mode?
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