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Thread: An Update

  1. #1
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    Default An Update

    I am working away on this. Sadly, I cannot really share much of what I'm doing with you guys, for fear of spoilers. Even the most innocent comment from me would reveal things about the game I don't really want public. There has to be an element of surprise and exploration in the game for it to have the maximum amount of fun. So I have to be careful about what I say.

    So I can't show you levels or talk about the side activities right now. But I will soon be able to show you a model or two I have been working on. I'm not done with them yet, but hopefully it won't take me too much longer to have the first one ready. I'll show it to you guys after the modelling is done, but before I UV map or rig it, so it'll be in a T-pose and very monochromatic

    I have a list of all the set pieces I need for at least the first level that are mission related (although come to think of it, I suppose I need to make some decisions on what side activities will be there and get a list done for those as well). So I'm going to be starting the level design fairly soon. I'll start by grey-boxing it (which is a fairly easy process). So it shouldn't be too much longer before we have an actual level to run around in. Good stuff.
    "They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian ... They're not laughing now." - Bob Monkhouse

  2. #2
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    I was hoping to be able to show you a model I've been working on by now, but it's not ready yet. In fact, I still have quite a ways to go with it. But hopefully pretty soon. I do have quite a bit of it done.

    Just so you guys realize I'm not sitting around on my arse, this is what I'm working on right now, in order of how much time (percentage wise) they are taking up:

    1. work (cause you gotta pay the bills)
    2. learning my way around Unity and unity scripting (I'm running through three different rather extensive tutorials right now).
    3. model for the game
    4. Our dishwasher blew a gasket last week and spent a couple of hours destroying our tile floor in the kitchen by pouring water all over it. So I'm replacing that. Grrr.
    5. Still working on various aspects of the design doc for the game
    6. The Character Planner (this is going to have to move up the list a bit, though, it's in need of some love in prep for the DDO expansion coming this summer).
    7. Level design for the game
    8. Some concept art for the game

    So you can see why my time is stretched pretty thin. Especially right now. We seem to be moving into a period where I'm going to have to give up some sleep to get through all this. Other than maybe #2 and #4, none of these are going away any time soon (I'll finish up #3 sooner or later, but then I'll be moving into UV mapping, texturing, rigging, and animating it).

    Speaking of those last four things, let's add to that list: Level designer, concept artist, audio engineer, producer. These are a list of things that I am NOT. I know a little bit about all of them (I do know a little more about audio, having spent a good deal of time in studios when I was in the various bands I was in, not to mention for a time in college I thought I might want to be an audio engineer), but not enough to call myself good at them. What I am is a programmer, which means I can script (C# is not my native tongue, but I've used it enough to be comfortable with it, plus it's not really that far off from C++). So this is going to be a hell of a learning process for me. I'm throwing myself into the deep end for sure. And there are probably a bunch of other aspects I'm missing that not even thinking about right now.

    So yeah, it should be interesting. I'm definitely out of my comfort zone here. But that's good, I am already learning a lot, and I expect I will learn quite a lot more. And I always have the most fun when I'm learning new stuff

    I will be showing you guys some stuff, more than what you would typically see from a game studio. On the other hand, I can't show you everything, for obvious reasons. But I will show you as much as I can, and for certain we can discuss various play aspects of the game, as we get further along.
    "They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian ... They're not laughing now." - Bob Monkhouse

  3. #3
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    Derp. I hope if you are replacing the tile you'll replace it with a non-water-soluble kind.

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    Yeah. The tiles themselves were okay, but the water got underneath and popped all the seams. When I pulled them up, I found they had layed the tile right over linoleum, which also had water underneath it (the linoleum was ugly crap, I don't blame them for wanting to redo it, but if I had done it, I'd have pulled it up before putting down the tile. That sort of thing is the reason I don't hire contractors). So that had to come up as well (otherwise it was going to mold). I've got it down to the foundation now and letting it dry out. We're going to replace it with Pergot, which is what we have in the rest of the house. But the moisture content of the cement has to be less than 4%, or (apparently) bad things will happen. So I'm going to make sure it's nice a dry before I start laying new flooring. Until then, we are walking on cement in the kitchen.
    "They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian ... They're not laughing now." - Bob Monkhouse

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonHiler View Post
    Yeah. The tiles themselves were okay, but the water got underneath and popped all the seams. When I pulled them up, I found they had layed the tile right over linoleum, which also had water underneath it (the linoleum was ugly crap, I don't blame them for wanting to redo it, but if I had done it, I'd have pulled it up before putting down the tile. That sort of thing is the reason I don't hire contractors). So that had to come up as well (otherwise it was going to mold). I've got it down to the foundation now and letting it dry out. We're going to replace it with Pergot, which is what we have in the rest of the house. But the moisture content of the cement has to be less than 4%, or (apparently) bad things will happen. So I'm going to make sure it's nice a dry before I start laying new flooring. Until then, we are walking on cement in the kitchen.
    Oh god. This crap, along with a friend who had to gut his master bath when, in the course of a *minor* renovation, someone accidentally tapped a half-wall next to the tub with a hammer, causing the entire face to collapse, whereupon they discovered that nothing had been done with greenboard, meaning the entire room was surrounded in black slimy mold, not to mention that the studs weren't even remotely evenly spaced, is why I don't want to be a homeowner.

  6. #6
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    Hey guys,

    Well, I'm just about done with the engine tutorials. I'm basically working through the last one (I'm 375 pages complete of a 450 page book). At this point I feel reasonably comfortable with making my way around the engine. I've also sharpened up my C# skills (heh, that wasn't an intentional pun, but I'll let it stand).

    So yeah, we're just about ready to go here. I'm going to be resetting the milestone list back to zero. The first milestone list I'm going to leave pretty much as is, since it deals with setting up the database, the patch server, and the client. The second milestone list will be modified fairly heavily (a lot of it dealt with the technical aspect of moving assets into the C4 engine, something we still have to deal with for Unity, but which is much much simpler).

    For those of you that are testers, you will essentially be able to log onto the update server at will once I complete Milestone 1. Prior to that, there may be a couple of connection tests where I may ask for a volunteer or two, just to make sure everything works at various intermediate stages. The first step is going to be getting the server to communicate with the database. There are no tutorials for that sort of thing (too specialized), so it should be interesting

    I do have a model that is nearly complete that I keep promising to show you guys. I want to try to finish up at least the modeling part before it goes out. I haven't had much time to work on that lately though (so much to do with all the other aspects of the game, I just haven't gotten to it).
    "They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian ... They're not laughing now." - Bob Monkhouse

  7. #7
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    Work has begun...

    The very first line of code for our game:

    Network.InitializeServer(...);

    Hehe. And so it begins
    "They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian ... They're not laughing now." - Bob Monkhouse

  8. #8
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    Been a while since our last public update, hasn't it?

    Work has continued. We're on Milestone 2 now. For best results, keep checking the milestone list. I try to keep it more or less up to date. We have the start of level 1 put together. It's just in greybox form right now, but I don't think it will be much longer before we start putting textures up on the walls and such. So far, I'm loving the Unity engine. It's making my job as a programmer very easy. We are making what I consider to be good progress. Stay tuned...
    "They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian ... They're not laughing now." - Bob Monkhouse

  9. #9
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    Hey gang,

    It's sometimes hard for me to remember what I've discussed with which group. We do have a couple of private forums for the testers and one for the developers (for discussion of technical stuff that really wouldn't interest testers, and for stuff that is super-spoily that we don't even want the testers to know at this point). But I also want to keep anyone that is not in those groups in the loop as to what is going on. Sometimes I forget what I've shared publicly versus what I've shared with the testers verses what we've only discussed between the devs.

    [BTW, if you want to get in on the testers group, more people are welcome! Just drop me a PM and I'll set you up. Not only do you get access to the actual game builds, you also get access to the tester forum. How cool will you be?].

    Things are progressing. I'm working on a whole lot of fronts right at the moment. We have a partial level built that you can run around in. The primary coding I am doing at the moment is with the character control and camera systems. This (like the entire game) is an iterative process. The first version allowed you to move around, but it didn't have any gravity (which could cause some odd behavior). I have subsequently added gravity and jumping. Yesterday I added a sliding function (for when you are on a steep slope). There is more to do with the camera for sure. And the character controller for that matter (I added a skeleton of the class that will be responsible for firing movement animations later on, and that will need some filling out as we continue). I want to get this pretty much to a "done" state before we move on with the coding of any other systems.

    On other fronts, I'm continuing to work on that first level geometry, adding more detail. Mostly it's just greyboxed, but I did add some test texturing to a few of the walls this last weekend. That's a nice step, because it really starts to make the environment come alive!

    I've added a fair number of props to the sandbox and first level. Some of these models I bought, others I have created from scratch. The one in particular I'm proud of right at the moment is our firebowl model. It's a fairly complex prefab, in that it has a model, a light, a particle system, some scripting (to control shadow jitter), and an audio source (flame sounds). So yeah, it's pretty cool. It's our first sort of semi-dynamic item. And I built it entirely from scratch.

    We are also in the process of designing systems (combat, character advancement, and so forth) and how they relate to the overall game. Good stuff there.

    I need to update our Milestone list. It's a bit tricky though. At what point, for example, do you say "we're done adding props for this milestone"? Hard to say. Most of the items on that list don't really have defined end points. At some point we have to say we are done with this stage. I don't think we're quite there yet, though. I'll have a better feel for this I think once the first level is completed in at least a greybox form (or at least at as done as we need it to be to have all the locations we have to have for the storyline and side activities).

    And we still have some writing to do. We are scheduled to have all the scripts written (and I don't mean code scripts, but rather "lines to be read" scripts) for the first 10 missions. We're not writing a movie here, we are going to keep the cut scenes fairly brief, but still, all those lines have to be written out, and we have a story to tell. So yeah, there's going to be some writing coming up soon.
    "They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian ... They're not laughing now." - Bob Monkhouse

  10. #10
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    I think I will be giving you guys our first screenshot tomorrow (Sunday). Nothing super exciting, mind you. But we do have an area that is coming together enough that you can get an idea of where we are going. Just need to fix a couple of places I'm not happy with and it should be good to go.

    So yeah, watch for that tomorrow.

    Also, there is some good news coming down the pipe with regards to the game. Not quite ready to share yet, but soon [how's that for a tease ]
    Last edited by RonHiler; 08-11-2012 at 04:11 PM.
    "They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian ... They're not laughing now." - Bob Monkhouse

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