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Author Topic: From Above  (Read 1716 times)
StanleyT
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« on: May 11, 2016, 04:50:53 AM »


Introduction

From Above is a procedurally-generated planetary exploration game. You play as an engineer on a small planet (mother ship) travelling to different galaxies and exploring planets for resources. Resources are gathered using your trusty multi-purpose capsule-bot. These can then be used to upgrade your home planet.  New buildings and factories will allow advancements in technology and weapons for exploring more challenging galaxies.


Features

  • Procedurally-generated planets, some with inner layers that can be explored
  • Environments that react to local events (shock waves, surface damage, etc...)
  • Upgrade and personalize your home planet (mother ship) adding new abilities and weapons to explore more dangerous galaxies for higher rewards
  • Dangerous creatures that attack you in space and on planet surfaces
  • More to come...


Development

From Above is being developed by myself right now and has been in development for over a year.  There are many aspects of the game that I'm still deciding on.  The bulk of the work over the last few months was on completing the procedural planet system and fine tuning the transition sequence from galaxy exploration to planet exploration.  

The main tools being used are Unity, Blender, Paint Tool SAI, and Audacity.

About Me

My name is Stanley Tsang and I have been programming for almost half my life. I have always enjoyed creating my own games and From Above will be the second game I release. My first game is called The Master Of Tea Kung Fu.

Links

website
« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 06:09:39 PM by StanleyT » Logged
Pixel Noise
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2016, 07:32:30 AM »

Hey this looks really cool so far! The art is cute and inviting - I really like the second gif of the capsule entering a planet. The way the trees shake and environment reacts is a very nice touch.

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StanleyT
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2016, 03:35:25 PM »

Thanks, glad you liked it!  There's still a lot of work left to do but I'm quite happy with the current style.

Here's a video showing the full transition from galaxy exploration to planet exploration and drilling down into the inner layers.



« Last Edit: May 11, 2016, 03:44:09 PM by StanleyT » Logged
Bakuda
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2016, 08:43:59 PM »

Hey, this looks great!!!

I'm loving the art style and bright color palette.  Very cute looking.  And I love procedurally generated games.  Makes things more interesting.  Keep it up!
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StanleyT
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2016, 10:52:58 AM »

Most of the work from the last few weeks were focused on re-coding the galaxy generation system.  The plan is to have different galaxy types with their own set of planets.  Each planet type may contain different resources and creatures.  There's still a lot to do but I did also spend some time on environments.

I was also able the complete the ocean region!  This was a more difficult region to create because of the water rendering and simulation.  I'm pretty happy with the results so far.  I'm not completely happy with the reflections, it's tricky with the curved water surface.  I will probably do a few more passes to try and improve on that.





Grass land had some minor updates to the way grass was rendered.  The heights of the blades of grass vary slightly and darken a bit at the roots to give more sense of depth.  Background detail objects have also been redone to add some more detail.



« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 05:47:55 PM by StanleyT » Logged
StanleyT
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2016, 06:54:35 PM »

Hey, this looks great!!!

I'm loving the art style and bright color palette.  Very cute looking.  And I love procedurally generated games.  Makes things more interesting.  Keep it up!

Thanks!  This is my first stab at procedurally generated content.  It's just been a blast developing this stuff.  By far the most interesting thing I've ever worked on.
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Davi Vasc
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2016, 10:36:50 AM »

I love the way your game looks, really pretty colors. The dust that flyes when the robot hits the ground looks awesome.

Do you intend to release it on PC?
« Last Edit: May 31, 2016, 10:42:32 AM by Davi Vasc » Logged

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Tuba
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2016, 10:42:00 AM »

Oh, this has a lot of potential.

Also love the colors and the idea of layered planets is pretty cool.
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bdsowers
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2016, 10:55:19 AM »

I'm always a fan of procedurally generated content and the nuances that are behind it. Could you talk a bit more about what you're doing there, and how you're generating things?
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StanleyT
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2016, 06:10:25 PM »

I love the way your game looks, really pretty colors. The dust that flyes when the robot hits the ground looks awesome.

Do you intend to release it on PC?

Thanks!  For now I plan to release on PC/mac through Steam.  I'm using the Unity engine so deploying a build for consoles should be doable but most likely at a later date.
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StanleyT
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2016, 11:22:40 AM »

The last few weeks were focussed on implementing the underlying framework for the game. Mainly recoding the galaxy system. I also started implementing the tools and upgrade system. Enemy creatures were also added to tweak and test combat. It's all still in very early stages though and not ready to display. But I thought I'd share a bit about how the procedural planets are created since I've had a few people ask me. Perhaps one day I can post a more detailed write-up but I'll keep it brief for now.

A hierarchy of meshes are modelled in Blender and are used to define a transition from one region type to another. Two transitions are displayed below. One is for grassland to water and the other is for sub-dirt layer to sub-dirt solid region. When the planet is generated, copies of the transition meshes are modified to wrap around a sphere. New geometry is then generated to connect the ends of neighboring transitions.



The inner background geometry you see such as the crystal cave are treated almost the same way. The left and right caps representing the ends of the caves are used at the ends, and the middle section gets tiled to fill up the area inbetween.  Below is the mesh model used for the inner crystal cave area.


The image below shows how all the pieces would be combined together in generating a planet. The outside crusts, planet core, sky and decorative pieces have been omitted for clarity.  Proper materials and UV coordinates are generated afterwards depending on the surface type.

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mgrilec2
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2016, 01:40:15 PM »

Keep up with the visual feedback. Tree's moving, water splashing, that's so pleasant.
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StanleyT
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2016, 04:51:46 AM »

Keep up with the visual feedback. Tree's moving, water splashing, that's so pleasant.

Thanks, creating the shockwave system and making the environment react to it was one of the most enjoyable parts.  There's also a layer of clouds updated using fluid simulation and it reacts to larger shockwaves but you almost never get to see it in the game.  I looked at Crash World and it looks like a lot of fun!  Lots of potential.
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jctwood
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2016, 07:33:13 AM »

wow this looks pretty complex and exciting!
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2016, 08:27:05 AM »

I'm liking this!
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