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torcado
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« Reply #100 on: January 24, 2017, 11:37:38 AM »

thank you!

SO, as some of you  may have noticed, it has been approximately 2 months since I've posted any progress on this game. I assure you I have not forgotten about it and certainly have no plans to stop development. However, I have not worked on it basically at all during this time, and here's why:

I have been working on a different game as contract work for the past few months.


this is a very new experience for me, and I've learned a lot in the process. this is technically my first job (at least the first one I've been paid for), and I'm glad I took advantage of the opportunity.
unfortunately, because of the looming responsibility of working on this project, I felt way too guilty even trying to work on Ghost Bird. I feel like the work has been lenient enough to allow me to do so, but my own conscience definitely has not.

This is the main reason for the hiatus. I really want to get back to working on Ghost Bird. I feel pretty empty from not posting anything for months on any social media, which is something I really strive off.

this contract game will be done most likely within the next 2 or 3 weeks. definitely not more than a month. once that is done I will probably be completely lost on where to pick up on this game of mine, and I'm not sure how long it'll take to get my bearings again, but hopefully not long! I'll either finally start/finish a comprehensive design document for myself, or just start working on some fun mechanics or something.

anyway I assure that this game is still happening, I just took a break to work on another thing for other reasons. Thanks to anyone who's still interested!
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ShuddaHaddaLottaFun
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« Reply #101 on: January 24, 2017, 12:18:07 PM »

Hey Torcado! I've always liked the look of this game, so I'm super glad to see it's still in development.  I remember when it was an LD entry, and it was one of my favorites.  Such a unique look. Expect an update in 3 weeks. Grin
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torcado
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« Reply #102 on: January 24, 2017, 02:01:54 PM »

haha thanks a lot!
now that that goal is set I'm bound to deliver by then Wink
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Pixel Noise
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« Reply #103 on: January 25, 2017, 06:10:17 PM »

Good to hear from you - enjoy your work! Looking forward to seeing you pick this back up when you can.
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« Reply #104 on: January 28, 2017, 07:03:18 AM »

really striking such a nice balance in art.theme - shader experiments are tasty

does Ghost Bird (or failing that, you) have a perch on twitter? like to keep track there too if poss
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Kris with a K
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« Reply #105 on: January 28, 2017, 10:13:59 AM »

School and work are both important, we'll be patient!
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torcado
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« Reply #106 on: January 28, 2017, 08:40:25 PM »

does Ghost Bird (or failing that, you) have a perch on twitter? like to keep track there too if poss

Absolutely!

https://twitter.com/torcado

I usually post individual progress updates there and on my tumblr, and larger updates here, so definitely follow if you want!

Also looking back at that.. i completely forgot to mention i did ludum dare? you can look at that here if you want:

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-37/?action=preview&uid=5839

I did pretty well i think :O
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« Reply #107 on: January 29, 2017, 07:22:50 AM »

This looks great! Too bad I couldn't get the original to run here, don't know why.
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torcado
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« Reply #108 on: January 29, 2017, 07:29:22 PM »

hmm weird, maybe Ludum Dare changed something with embeds? either way, any of the other links on the ludum dare page work.
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torcado
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« Reply #109 on: March 22, 2017, 06:01:26 PM »

haha hhwow 3 weeks lasts a lot longer than i thought it did huh?

Anyway I'm finally finished with that other project, way later than i thought/hoped, but no matter. I'm back on ghost bird finally

Enough talk, here's some cool stuff






now aint that neat


WELL
Since it's been like 5 months since i've worked on this game, I feel like now is a perfect time to recode the whole thing! woo!

I built off of the original LD build into what it is now, meaning theres a ton of left over crappy code and assets that i don't want. I'm basically going to be manually programming the most important parts (game scale stuff) and copy/pasting the complicated stuff (shaders and lighting)and probably just copy-paste all the other stuff while moving things around, etc.

I've even written a design doc exclusively on how i'm going to organize my code and assets (which i won't share because it is probably of no use to anyone else)

So I'm going to try to get the bulk of that done tonight (if i even start), and probably do a live stream tomorrow! So keep an eye out for that if you are interested.

After the immediate future i plan on finishing up the design doc for the actual game, like the world and story and whatnot.



Anyway thanks for sticking around if you have been, and welcome anyone else that hasn't seen this yet! I have many plans for this game, I promise it's not going anywhere Smiley
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« Reply #110 on: March 23, 2017, 10:08:31 AM »

Beautiful pixel work!
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Pixel Noise
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« Reply #111 on: March 24, 2017, 04:37:43 AM »

Beautiful pixel work!

Seriously! Great to see you back to posting, and as usual, that looks fantastic!!
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torcado
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« Reply #112 on: March 24, 2017, 08:28:29 PM »

Thanks a lot guys! I'm glad so many people like it Smiley

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torcado
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« Reply #113 on: April 15, 2017, 12:28:44 PM »

Whew ok, i think i'm finally back in the swing of things.
have a gif!



this is mainly progress from rebuilding the game. the last posts were all on the previous build. This one is (and will be) a lot cleaner, but most of this is copied code so its not much faster, but that's fine.

I have finally gotten around to fleshing out the design for the world/story/etc. with the help of a friend or two. I've mapped out the base layout of the world, including zones and path progression. I've also figured out a general story and some branching paths/endings. Next will be to go into more detail, designing rooms and puzzles, etc.
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Kris with a K
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« Reply #114 on: April 16, 2017, 10:30:44 AM »


This looks frikken beautiful, man. You do damn good work with those shaders. Glad to see the project is still going!
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torcado
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« Reply #115 on: April 16, 2017, 02:11:45 PM »

aa thanks a lot! I'm happy you guys are still following! :D

alllsooo neW THINGS IM EXCITED ABOUT!



Check out these new and improved shrooms!!

Now, the mushrooms aren't the thing i'm so excited about, just a vessel of it:

I have finally figured out a way to draw on top of my lighting shader while still under the other shaders!*

*It's not actually drawn on top, as we will see in my explanation below

The thing I disliked most about my lighting, specifically the colored lights part, is that it washed out, flattened, and overpowered basically everything on screen in that area. I've spent the most time tweaking color values in such a way to minimize over-flooding necessary detail, while maximizing the prettiness of the lights, because the less opaque I make the lights, the less likely i'll get the colors to match up to the ones I want in my palette. for instance: the brightest blue in that latest gif needs to be fairly opaque in order to turn out that color, but because I couldn't draw beneath the shader, it would just make every pixel in that area that color, and I really hated it. You can tell in the older mushroom gif how low-intensity the lights are. That's the other end of the extreme, and neither looks that great in my eyes, or at least it's not perfect.



This is what they looked like before, and what they would've looked like if I didn't make the lights so dim. The light itself looks so much cooler, but it's totally useless if you can't see what's emitting it!

So, I basically needed a way to draw between the shaders.

For the longest time this has been the last thing i've considered impossible to do. I never thought I'd be able to do the original lighting, never thought i'd be able to turn it into a shader, never thought i'd optimize the lighting algorithm enough to use in the game, etc. etc. I've surpassed them all for the most part, except the one; drawing between shaders. I spent a long time thinking about this and basically regarded it as impossible to do in Stencyl, the tool I'm using to make the game. I needed to be able to split shaders into layers and draw between them, so I could have my pixel quantization, color palette, and screen warp shaders still in effect and the lighting shader overwritten. Before transitioning to shaders I could do this pretty well:







I have 2 different layers of lighting here: One in front of tiles, and one behind. and both are behind this beautiful ghost bird.

This was great because I could have high-intensity light on the background, while maintaining detail on the tiles and other stuff immediately behind the light.

(Also these gifs just made me realize I've forgotten to add the light-trail thing in the newer build. maybe it looks better without it? I don't know. Let me know what you think please thanks)

Anyway, here's how I did it.

Just like the dumb hacky way I'm currently sending the tile data and light color arrays to the shader (arrays of 10-digit integers, mod-ing/floor dividing to grab sections of digits as data), This "fix" is too, dumb and hacky.

Basically I'm doing another check in the lighting shader to see if it should draw onto the current pixel or not. The only data any pixel could have is 3 8bit RGB colors (and a useless constant alpha). So What I'm doing is i'm quantizing (boy I guess I love this word) each 255 integer to a multiple of 16, and checking if each R G and B value is a multiple of 16, and iff it is, don't draw on top of it.

Code:
vec4 origColor = texture2D(uImage0, vTexCoord);
if((colored) && (mod(floor(origColor.rgb * 255.0 + 0.5), 16.0) == vec3(0.0))){
gl_FragColor = origColor;
} else {

Because this is terrible and hacky, this basically only works in the case that Ghost Bird is in currently. I'm restricting the game to a small color palette, so I can almost guarantee that none of the colors in the game will randomly create a false-positive for this check. Even the lighting that uses very much off-palette colors, which used to be drawn on screen normally, is being drawn within the same shader so there's no way these colors could accidentally create false positives either. Any other game and there would be random misplaced pixels.

Also I'm not too sure about the nitty-gritty details of shaders, but this extra check could possibly be saving GPU time. I've read that if-statements are not good because of divergence (maybe this specific check is ok though?), so that may attribute to a slower shader, but if it's not too much slower the check basically exits the whole shader code for that pixel, which has a ton of stuff like color blending, etc.

But yeah. There you go. Final annoyance solved. I have full control over what colors are drawn to the screen. I no longer have anything to whine about besides my own working speed.

Time to go make everything even more pretty!
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ChemiKhazi
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« Reply #116 on: April 16, 2017, 06:29:25 PM »

Loving this unique style! Do you have a twitter I can follow?
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torcado
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« Reply #117 on: April 16, 2017, 07:30:15 PM »

absolutely!

https://twitter.com/torcado
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« Reply #118 on: April 16, 2017, 11:16:55 PM »

(Also these gifs just made me realize I've forgotten to add the light-trail thing in the newer build. maybe it looks better without it? I don't know. Let me know what you think please thanks)

I think those afterimages create a ghost-like effect, without it it's just Bird. Smiley But simply duplicating the original sprite seems to hard, maybe you could always use the first shadow color for the trail?

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io3 creations
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« Reply #119 on: April 17, 2017, 08:58:44 AM »

Hmm. For some reason, I still find all the visuals quite distracting.  Since there's a lot of change on the screen, I kind of feel like my eye going all over the place ~ trying to track down *all* the changes and my brain isn't able to process it quickly enough.  If I do focus on the bird and it's surrounding, then it's better but I have a feeling that I might end up with a headache like some people with certain VR games.

Anyways, the art style is still looking good though! Smiley

If you add it to your signature line, it'll be easier to find. Wink
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