Saturday, November 5, 2011

Project dropped, heres the resource folder.

In addition to dropping Black Shadow 3d(contains resource files as well) I decided to drop this project too.  I'll be focusing what little time I have on a new project code named OCD using the Duke3d, also a Total Conversion, but with a sci-fi theme.

Here is the complete resource folder for The Crawl that was being developed in Evaldraw at the time.

I also have several versions made using Game Maker 6.1 which can be given or posted on request.  That version was just handling maps and some environmental effects.  First versions of the project generated polygons and simply used Direct 3d while a later version used a 3d plugin form GM 6.1 which I'm unsure if its still supported.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Future thoughts, new methods.

Lately I've been devoting my free time to work on my conversion of Black Shadow into a 3d voxel based game using the Build engine, or more specificly Eduke32.  The rendering method is still the original one though done by Ken.

Now working with build, I think the greatest revelation is been working with palettes and the CON scripting.  Its given be a bunch of possibly ideas for creating the engine for The Crawl once I finish Black Shadow.

I've learned quite a few things on how the build engine operates and handles actors, counting, and frame animations which can prove very useful in creating the engine for TC.

Currently the method I used to create the AI in previous demos left much to be desired in terms of flexibility.  However I got some experiencing working with A* pathfinding that also gave me some good ideas.  I may never actually use it and do something similar though.

Getting to the point, I'm not actually considering a scripting system for this, but a detailed editor and just saving the data as numbers to save space and memory.  I'll be basing it off how Ken developed the build script, just using byte data.

Another thing is I'll be planning to used a fixed palette like in 8bit, however the game would still operate in 16/32bit screen modes.  The idea would be, like the build engine, have a fixed palette so shading and color blending calculations are reduced to look-ups.  However instead of having a 256 color limit, it would be 1024, although I haven't decided on the amount of shade variations it should have.  I believe build used 8 points per shade, I could use 4 for smoother transition.

Anyway this is all speculations, but working with the Build engine has given me a good amount of ideas on what direction to take when creating The Crawl's engine and editing system.  I'd like to make the engine pretty flexible.  If possible I'd like to eventually create it all in GLBasic, but getting voxel rendering at the level of Build or Evaldraw in opengl is a challange.  Maybe theres something I can learn from the build source instead of working with evaldraw or voxlap. The benefit of using Glbasic is portability, as in I could have it accessibly to Linux, Mac, Mobile as well as windows systems.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Things on hold, what may planned in the future.

So it looks like this project will be on hold for a little while as I've gone into full speed developement of creating another voxel based project.  I'll be created a 3d version of my Black Shadow game.  Details will be posted on a new blog.

What does that mean for this project?  Well there were a number of setbacks from the beginning.  Although Evaldraw is perfect rendering wise, it's limited and wouldn't not make a very flexible engine to create this project.  This left me with two choices, use Voxlap or create my own rendering.

The latter is a challange in itself and I've attempted a few goes, but nothing close to being quick enough.

I had limited time to work on figuring out Voxlap's source code, but that may be a route I'll take in the future.

Another programmer was working on a voxel display engine, has started work on a GLBasic compatible DLL, but haven't heard any future results.  Last I saw it was displaying voxels, but it too had limits that would be too much for this project.

So in the mean time I'll still work on my Strip2Vox program for creating models for my voxel projects and plan on doing a Voxel To Poly for polygon alternatives.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Doom, or do it yourself.

It seems that voxels are starting to become a little more popular among the indie crowd, as I've seen some new activity in the creation of voxel engines and displays.

Lately I've been in contact with one such coder working on a voxel engine.  However it's more suited towards a different style of games instead of a FPS.  The limitations of sprite sizes will prevent me from being able to use it at its current state.  However I proposed to do a future project with it, geared towards a NES style to it, most likely adapting one of my other projects to the style...

There are some new options for progressing this project from it's current slumber.  Although I had iffy success getting the basics of Voxlap to work, and Evaldraw being not the ideal for creating a game such as this, I found that ZDoom has recently added a branch off project that supports voxel rendering.

What caught my attention was sample shots that some had of a wall and floor tile from Doom converted into a voxel object.  So I may be able to get what I need from it's open source code to figure out my own voxel sprite system.

My other choices are to go back to Voxlap, create my own voxel rendering system or find someone to create a basic voxel drawing chunk that I can incoorperate into my project from the Zdoom voxel project.

When I think about it, I may be stuck with trying to figure my own method of rendering...but time will tell.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New directions = new engine?

Well life and life had me away from coding. I was doing some tile mapping for another project or burning away precious time play Diablo 2.

I just haven't been feeling it for the last month. Maybe it's just August.

Anyway, I'm back up on my feet and coding again, but still haven't quite got into this project quite yet.

One reason is because GLBasic newest version has me playing around with some new features.

One such feature is the ability to load an image directly into an array, which allows me to make my Image to Voxel model program less limited and possibly much faster and accurate. The problem before was it was using getpixel, a kind of slow routine which on some systems would give inaccurate color returns.

But before I could start that, Desertfox of 64digits wrote out a nice algorithm for voxel ray tracing. Grant it, its still needs a lot more too it to actually render voxels, but so far I've achieved a few simple tests that seem promising.

If I can successfully recreate the function in Evaldraw which renders the models for this project then I can move the entire project to GLBasic, allowing me too connect a lot more things together and lose a lot of limitations I currently have.

While I doubt I'll be able to pull something off like Voxlap, doing voxels with ortho-squares is far more efficient then rendering cubes.  That and I've already have soom good ideas for lighting and fog from the Evaldraw version of the project.

At the very least I'll try and create a side-scroller/top-down voxel render for other possible projects, but I'm hoping I can achieve a decent 3d voxel engine for this.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Crawl RPG, game details continued, Kingdoms and climates.

I've decided to continue the idea I had in my concept RPG game and bring it to The Crawl. The world, posted prior to this, is divided into four major kingdoms.
One in the North, home to fair skinned, cold climate adapted people, the Western Costal region home to tan and warm climate people, the mid-land desert area which is home to people of a dry hot climate, ranging from tan and dark, and finally the Eastern islands, home to darker skinned and hot, humid climate people.
Boarder towns between these nations tend to be home to hybrids of the four major kingdoms, and tend to be more open to strangers, but as you get deeper into each kingdom, relations become a factor.
After that, each kingdom is broken down into three social classes: low, middle and upper. When creating your character, you'll be prompted much like in the Concept RPG, to select which kingdom and family your character has come from. The combination of kingdom and family determines your character's starting stats and skills.
For example, lower class tends to be more physical while upper class leans more to social and intelligence. Middle class would be the middle of the spectrum in most regards. Spiritual skill tends to span across evenly while combat tends to be a low-middle class range.
Game wise I've decided to drop the idea of hunger and thirst, as that just drags things down in the end, and I'd like other challenges then basic needs. Disease, poison and curses would be challenge enough then worrying about starving and drying up.
However I do think I'll keep the weather and climate system I had planned. Depending on which kingdom your player comes from, they'll fair differently in each environment. A Northern will experience difficulty in the hot mid-lands, energy and agility will be affected, as would an islander in the North. The western kingdom can more diversely migrate due to its average temperature, but they would also get a penalty in both hot and cold climates, although halved that of the others.
To negate, or reduce the affects of the climate on the character, in addition to armor players also have a clothing equipment slot. Wearing the proper clothing per climate can help negate or reduce the penalties incurred. Heavy clothing for cold climates, while not required by the inhabitant, would benefit a person from the hotter climates.

Only extreme weather would lead to actual damage/death. I'm not certain if this will be a common trend, as in weather event, or more localized like deep caves.
With the four major kingdoms being fairly different, they also have various trade goods which they are dependant on the other to produce, mostly foods and raw materials.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Using old world map.

Awhile back when I was working on the concept RPG, I had created a map with various layers as a reference.

I only manged to do a small portion, but now with variable map sizes I can probably handle more.

Here are three version of the map.

Here is the basic map.

This is a map of the general temperature ranges for the area.
And this one represents the four major kingdoms, with red as independent groups.