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Topics - Bahl

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Rival Species - News / Dancing skeletons
« on: August 31, 2014, 12:48:21 PM »
Hello again, and please welcome the all enticing, magnificent, dancing skeletons! In fact, after a well deserved summer break, I managed to put the success of last news to use and import the first animations! You can see the result below, the player now holds the bolter in animated fashion. There was an intermediate step of development one week ago, where I already imported the animations but they were not actually moving the meshes, so it looked much like dancing skeletons ^^.

Anyways, what you can see still has loads of debugging draw over and you may also notice that the marines arm actually flies up as if he wanted to save his eyes from the harsh radiation on an alien planet. He has a helmet for that purpose though, so this is just a little issue in skeleton importing where negative rotations are not treated correctly. That will be fixed soon, but more importantly, I will at the same time finish my second iteration (0.2) of all game parts with looking at the netcode again and checking if it's possible to actually play with two players.

Rival Species - News / Finally a skeleton
« on: June 30, 2014, 09:35:20 PM »
This place seems to have become my blog of RivalSpecies JMonkey conversion experience. Speaking of which I can report a success that I had to chew quite a bit before achieving it. But finally I can present a correctly converted Milkshape3D model properly adorned with it's skeleton! That may seem minor to you, but it is the most important step for importing the animations. I'm quite happy about it because it did cost me many attempts to find out why the model looked more like a Chaos Spawn than a Space Marine as soon as I attached it's geometries to an unsuspecting skeleton. But anyways, without further ado, the final result with extensive debugging draw over for all kinds of entities and skeletons:

Rival Species - News / two players on the score
« on: February 23, 2014, 08:41:07 PM »
Hello again, it is time for another screenshot! What you can see this time, is a basic scoreboard (very basic, admittedly) and for the first time, two players on the map:

I've also sorted out the spawn point selection so that players spawn at the correct location. So while I sorted out the basic network communication, there is still quite some things left to do, most visible is that the animations are not played. So that's likely going to be my next main task.

Rival Species - News / The menus and basic gameplay works
« on: January 25, 2014, 05:13:00 PM »
Hello, it is about time for another screen shot.

What you can see is that the menus now work. I've decided to stick to one size fits all so that they cover the same space no matter how large the screen is. That is at the lowest resolution 640/480 and currently lets some strings overlap but that is a minor issue for later.

Additionally you can see that the player and weapon model is displayed and the hud contains the corresponding information. That is also true for the control areas. So as of now it is possible to actually fullfill a winning condition for the gameplay and thus go through several rounds of basic game play.

There is still a lot of stuff missing as stated in earlier news. But I think my next focus will be to be able to connect to the game with a second client. For reasons of the Open GL rendering engine that means I'll have to connect headless, just by console, but I hope it'll be easy to implement a simple console client that allows basic menu interaction and spatial navigation.

Rival Species - News / Happy New Year 2014!
« on: December 31, 2013, 10:18:32 PM »
Last time, I had to realize that the level loading doesn't include the gameplay properties of the map entities. That is fixed now (for the most part) so you do have the right to have a bolter! You still see a tiny model of it because it takes a little more to actually implement dynamic loading ... plus it is New Year so I wanted to post anyways :-P.

In other news, I've fixed the new HUD, specifically the radar bit. So here is a new picture which also shows a few other improvements for the interested viewer. Happy New Year!

Rival Species - News / The hud is placed out
« on: October 12, 2013, 09:29:36 AM »
The Head Up Display is shaping up! Last time I've finished the hud in it's old form and this time it is placed out to the extents of the screen. Additionally you can see the physics box of the player in sort of debug mode and you can move around with it quite nicely. With that, the current list is three points down from four:
  • [DONE] Things need to move! With physics!
  • [DONE] We want to point and click on a menu!
  • [DONE] We want to see what's up on a hud!
  • When can I shoot the bolter? Effects!

Speaking of the bolter: While doing the hud shape, I had to realize that the current level loading doesn't include the gameplay properties of the map entities and that prevents you from having the right to have a bolter! So what you see now is just a tiny model of it that I loaded for the purpose of testing model loading and resources like textures and texts.

So what I have to do now is improving the level loading so that we actually have the gameplay entities!

Rival Species - News / First iteration finished
« on: April 28, 2013, 09:48:41 AM »
Hello again, I just wanted to let you know that the first iteration of RivalSpecies on Java has been finished! This week, I was finally able to get the physics into the game so that every major part of the game is somewhat covered. Now bear in mind that this is a first iteration so it has a lot of issues to deal with:

- Models: They currently lack animation even though the animation data is provided and the physics triggers can be added
- Maps: The texture resolution is pretty wonky and needs to be equalized even in the old HL1 sources
- Physics: That part is extremely basic and I currently have a loads of overlapping areas that mess up the collision
- Netcode: I got carried away by some presentation on JFocus in Stockholm and used akka. That framework is not fit for this purpose though, so I'll try switching to Kryonet
- UI: The current implementation inherited the original screen size and I'll need to flex the structure a bit

On other good news: I think I finally found a good way of dealing with spambots, yay. Now I just need to adjust it a bit and we are ready to reopen the forums.

Rival Species - News / The hud is up!
« on: April 07, 2013, 10:18:09 AM »
Here comes another update of my latest progress with the Head Up Display! Last time around the menu system was back in all its old functionality and this time I've finished the hud (for now). With that, the current list is two points down from four:
  • Things need to move! With physics!
  • [DONE] We want to point and click on a menu!
  • [DONE] We want to see what's up on a hud!
  • When can I shoot the bolter? Effects!

You can see that the hud (just as the menu) does not fill the screen. That is due to the original assets and system being written to the hold half life standard screen size (640 / 480, remember those days when everyone had a 14' monitor?).

It is not really hard to fix so I'll keep that for later polish iterations. That is generally the case with many things. There are a lot of things that need to be improved with every aspect that I covered so far, but I am currently trying to achieve something different: A proof of concept for the viability of porting a hl1 mod to a jmonkey standalone game (with bare minimal resources). Works quite well so far and so the next thing down the line is physics :-).

Rival Species - News / In the dark of the night...
« on: March 03, 2013, 03:48:21 PM »
Well it's actually quite bright and shiny over, quite contrary to what it was before. We're getting fresh out of the winter and ready for spring and so is a little update. It's been a while, but I finally got point 3 done from the list mentioned in the fore-foregoing news. This time around the menu system is back in all its old functioanlity and I have a screenshots to prove that:

So what is next? Point 3 is not actually really done, as this does not contain a hud. So I created a new list where this is true:
  • Things need to move! With physics!
  • We want to point and click on a menu!
  • We want to see what's up on a hud!
  • When can I shoot the bolter? Effects!

I've been trying to get point 3 done from the list mentioned in the foregoing news. The result is not exactly to my full satisfaction to say the least. But considering the time without updates, I thought it'd be best to show it as soon as there is something visible:

What you can see in the lower left corner are images of the teams flags (all of them painted on top of each other) as part of the actual menu drawing system. It required quite some work in the background with client initialization and so on to get there so while it seems little, it is a larger progress. Client initialization is far from done though, so I will mention it in the coming updates as well.

Additionally, I had to realize that the network library I chose (akka) is probably not fit for this service and decided to try out a different one (kryonet) which seems more appropriate for game clients. Feel free to leave a comment if you want links or a rationale why that is.

Rival Species - News / Finally the list of static features is done
« on: November 25, 2012, 06:05:16 PM »
It may still be quite rough around the edges, but the map models are being loaded and... we even have a bolter! You don't believe me? See for yourself :-).

This means the following list for the models is done:
  • It is not animate[DONE]
  • It has badly mixed up texture coordinates[DONE]
  • It is not world oriented[DONE]
  • It is way too dark[DONE]
  • It has no bolter![DONE]

And this older one for the maps as well:
  • The textures are only the color of their first pixel [DONE]
  • The view distance is too short [DONE]
  • There is no skybox[DONE]
  • There are no lights[DONE]
  • There are no transparency effects[DONE]
  • There are no map models[DONE]
  • Textures turned upside down and all around [DONE]
  • Different texture scales [DONE]

So it is time for a new list! We are getting to the exciting part of the story, the dynamic parts, the game itself! So far the gamecode has been running around in the background like a headless chicken, but now it is time to let it show it's face. Since it is all about things that happen, change or can be clicked and done, I think I'll start using short movies for the progress description.
  • Things need to move! With physics!
  • We want to see what's up, a menu and a hud!
  • When can I shoot the bolter? Effects!

I'm looking forward to this :-).

The models were only skinned with twice the resolution, so here comes the comparative screenshot with the assault marine in his original resolution. You can probably not see much of a difference, since the skins were not created to contain a lot of details. However this does open up the opportunity for a skin makeover.

Anyways, I'll move on and get the map models imported next.

Rival Species - News / Now even the texture coordinates work...
« on: November 04, 2012, 10:25:32 PM »
I've finally finished the texture scaling! For illustration purposes I'm linking the old and the new screenshots:

Rival Species - News / The hot autumn and the asset pipeline
« on: October 28, 2012, 07:25:12 PM »
And there we had a pause again, this time due to real life occupation (running through a hot autumn at the company) but I managed to clean up the asset pipeline and set it up again to support a clean build from the repository. Now that's a tone of technical terms, but I do have a visual as well ;-). Here comes a screenshot taken from the build using a different class (the assault) to prove my point:

What you can see is that the texture scale is currently not consistent, so I'll have to work on that. But at least it comes directly from the sources so all I need to do is scale the low resolution ones up and rescale the textures ingame.

It took a little while longer and as a result the list of issues is down three items!
  • It is not animate[DONE]
  • It has badly mixed up texture coordinates[DONE]
  • It is not world oriented
  • It has no physics whatsoever
  • It is way too dark[DONE]
  • It has no bolter!

You'll hardly notice but the marine now uses the idle animation in this screenshot. There seems to be an issue with the JMonkey animations though: They are not vertex bound! Instead they are geometry bound which makes it impossible to have for example the elbow belong to two bones.

After the static lighting, this is the second major issues with this engine. I hope they'll fix that before I get this game ready for playing!

Exterminatus beta 7 is released and you can grab your source engine 40k goodness at I reduced the shameless plug to a simple download link in order to provide you with a good overview of the good old Rival Species progress.

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