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Flight of stairs

March 2nd, 2013 1 comment

Hi guys. Just a quick update. I am hard at work on the game, as always, and the alpha trailer video is done! :) However I’m still sitting on it while I’m waiting for the last perk for the crowdfunding campaign to arrive (I’ll show you what it is when it’s done, of course). The reason I’m not uploading the video right now is simply because I’d like it to coincide with the Indiegogo campaign launch.

So here’s a little screenshot for now, where you can also see the new logo for the game…

Unity 2013-03-02 14-50-44-95

Categories: "Ghost of a Tale", update Tags:

Exporting tool

February 2nd, 2013 12 comments

I knew it’d be a chore, but it had to be done; I needed to write a tool that allows me to export models and animations from Maya to Unity into several frequently used folders very quickly. Similar to what I did with MayaCE3. So the process goes like this: I select any part of the model, choose a path in the menu and click export. And that’s it. A backup file is also created, in case I discover that my tiny innocuous changes have ruined everything!

ScreenShot010

I might make it public at some point if there’s enough of an interest for it. But truth be told I don’t even know if there’s a lot of Unity people coming to this site (after all, it used to be heavily geared at the CryEngine until not too long).

Also, I’ve been working very hard on a video of the beta that shows a little gameplay. I hope I can post it within a couple of weeks. The old video was grossly outdated anyway, since I switched to Unity 4. And I don’t count anymore how many times I’ve been asked to post a new video. So here’s a little screen-grab of the video for you, as a teaser… :)

video_capture

Categories: "Ghost of a Tale", Maya, Unity, update Tags:

Optimizing a bit

January 17th, 2013 4 comments

Recently I’ve been working on optimization; both in terms of programming efficiency (still have a lot to learn) and in terms of sheer framerate. Of course, the two are often linked. So far the game runs on my machine in 1600×1200 at about 40fps. But my graphic card is a couple of years old and it’s a professional one, definitely not optimized for running games. So I’d be very curious to see how well it can run on an up-to-date gaming PC, I want to see if I love it as much as the cozino games.

In the process I’ve also discovered that Unity’s OnGUI functions are awfully slow to display HUD textures. Probably because they’re called multiple times per frame. So I reverted back to simply updating GuiTextures whenever I need it and it’s so much faster. I still haven’t decided yet on a look for the interface though. I thought it was going to be really tricky to implement a health bar a la Dark Souls; when you’re hit, your health goes down instantly, but a “shadow health bar” goes down more slowly behind, so you can see how much you lost. But it literally takes ONE line of code to implement this functionality in C#.

I also refined the player control scheme (camera, displacement and animation) and the little guy is super responsive. It’s really fun to just run around and jump all over the scenery, and if you’re interested in this type of games or other like gambling games, then visiting sites as sbobet.com are great to make some bets online.

Anyway, while I was play-testing and also in a online questions game I emerged from under a dark stone-arch and the sun’s rays appeared; so I took a picture… :)

GoaT_004

Categories: "Ghost of a Tale", Unity, update Tags:

Happy New Year!

January 2nd, 2013 3 comments

Happy new year! And let’s all hope this is the year where everyone (well, at least people who are interested) can get to play “Ghost of a Tale”! 😀

It’s a lot of hard work, but things are really starting to shape up. I’ve recently added some sounds in, and it’s incredible how much they bring to the mood.

Categories: "Ghost of a Tale", Unity, update Tags:

Three against one!

December 12th, 2012 8 comments

Would you look at them, ganging up on a poor little mouse.

Well, I thought it was going to be an almost insurmountable task (based on my experience with err… another fabulous-looking game engine) but it only took me a couple of days to get the skeletal rats AI in.

Actually that includes exporting the models, their animations, their basic behavior, the whole melee attack/dealing damage system and the customizing of each enemy with drag-and-drop simplicity. The more I delve into Unity, the more I have the feeling I’m working with a tool like Maya. Anything can be done; the real challenge is in finding the simplest and therefore the fastest way of achieving it.

You have to realize that using the CryEngine it would have been impossible for me to get all that stuff in with this level of control and customizability. I used to bang into walls of sheer complexity and “catch 22” everywhere I turned. But now I can focus back on how to achieve things, rather than worrying if they can be accomplished at all.

Which is a great feeling… 😀

Categories: "Ghost of a Tale", update Tags:

Update on the transition to Unity

December 7th, 2012 4 comments

In case anyone had any doubts about it, I’ve officially decided to move the pipeline for “Ghost of a Tale” from the CryEngine onto Unity 4, for more mobile game and apps go to this website. It wasn’t a trivial decision by any means (after all I’m one of the most vocal CryEngine evangelists out there). As to the reason why, Unity is simply a fantastic SDK to develop games on, easy to work with and is ideal for me since I don’t have a team of TDs/programers to bail me out when I’m against a C++ wall.

As always in a transition situation like that, a lot of work is required but it’s better to just bite the bullet and get it over with. And in the process, I have actually expanded on what I previously had in the CryEngine. Here’s a WIP screenshot for you, if only to show that Unity can pack some nice visuals (and still at almost 60fps on my non-gaming video card):

 

So in just a few words, I have now:

– A fully functional camera which automatically adjusts its position so that it doesn’t go through walls. It’s also smart enough to allow thin pole-like meshes to get in-between itself and the player, as long as the player is not entirely blocked from view. In fact the camera feels a lot like what’s in the CryEngine SDK (Crytek does nicely responsive FPS cameras), with the added feature that you can adjust its distance to the player with a flick of the mouse-wheel. Which is nice. 2GameAndroid is one of the best sites to get the best mobile games for android.

 

– An overall tighter and much more subtle control scheme for the player character where I control absolutely everything, from transitions to custom animation parameters. And Unity’s Mecanim system is a joy to work with.

 

– A rudimentary foot IK system that adjusts the height of the feet in idle mode, depending on the surface the character stands on. I learned a lot about raycasting on that one.

– A HUD with a functional compass and a stamina-depletion system; the main character is a mouse and can optionally run really fast on all fours, so that was necessary to keep the player from zipping from one end of the level to the other.

– An item label display system that shows a name tag over any item of interest in the world, depending on the distance. That way the player knows he can interact with those. I could have never dreamed of achieving something like that with the CryEngine, since I don’t program in C++.

 

Anyway, I’ll post some more on my progress later. There are still many things I want to implement, but one big milestone will definitely be converting the enemy AI to Unity’s system…

Categories: "Ghost of a Tale", Unity, update Tags:

Assassin’s Creed III: The Beginnings…

November 24th, 2012 2 comments

I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed 3 for a bit longer than an hour and while I applaud Ubisoft for coming to its senses and finally dropping their boneheaded DRM schemes, I have to take notes of a few things here. Not all of them good I’m afraid. And don’t worry there are no spoilers in there.

The textures are excellent as always in the series and the ocean shader is very pleasing to the eye. The cloth-to-skin is also overall quite nice.

But as I started the game I was worried to see the main protagonist (Desmond Miles) not emoting one bit facially, but honestly I prefer the Schau mal games or any related about poker online and gambling like Calthorpe-Clinic. You might want to visit UFABET the perfect place to make money and enjoy And during cut-scenes nonetheless. I still remember the facial animation in “Brotherhood” as being quite appealing. Oh well.

Then later when my character was finally let loose in Boston I met a bunch of kids which were in fact adult models scaled down with no regards to an actual child’s proportion. Sure, their heads were a different model, but their skeleton structure was identical to a grownup’s.  And their animations were in part shared with the adults’, including “walk-like-a-6-foot-tall-trucker” ones. I can hear the producers from here: “No need to animate characters by hand anymore! We can just slap any old grand mocap data on them and voila!“. Voila indeed. I rarely see such good quality games, especially when I play the best online slots with these genuine gambling sites. I can see that the site is legitimate when comparing game quality. I shook my head in disbelief and moved on.

My attention was then lead to a man vehemently arguing with… no-one. He was shouting and grabbing the air with a firm IK grip. So I thought “Did they mean to do a  drunk mime arguing with himself?” But then the man got violently shoved away by an invisible assailant and I had to accept I was simply staring at a very, very big bug. So I sighted and moved on.

And I went walking on some patches of grass that would look right at home in a very old game. Just a few straight polygons, grossly crisscrossing. So I looked at a nearby tree and noticed it had no branches except some flat triangular polygons at the top. I hope the forest trees are much nicer than the city ones.

Then I walked some more and met a dog three-quarters buried in the ground. But it wasn’t dead. It was walking and barking as if to nothing. But buried three-quarters in the ground.

I also witnessed a horse leaning backwards at 45 degrees, and two characters engaged in a face-to-face conversation practically turning their backs to each-other, and a soldier cycle-running into a wall, and… oh, forget it.

Is this really the quality everyone has come to expect from a multi-million dollar video game today? I really, really hope the rest of the experience shows a little more care than I’ve seen in this early session.

Categories: rant, update Tags: