Saturday 30 June 2012

2D Tile World: Part 2

This whole blog thing is going terribly! I haven't updated in like two weeks! This may have been because I have technically been working the past two weeks, but that's not the point. The point is, it's time for a new blog post!

Today I have taken it upon myself to get some stuff back on track with the tile project and the results are good! This morning I started with something not far off the program mentioned in my original post, however I have since added a lot of features.

A lot of these are hard to show off, so instead I will provide a list:

  • Mouse support
    • It is now possible to move the camera around by holding the mouse near the edges of the screen
    • Right-click scroll/dragging the view is also in.
    • Zooming with mouse wheel
    • Click to place blocks
    • Middle-click to remove blocks
  • Weather
    • Clear
    • Rain
    • Storms
    • Snow
    • Lava Rain!!!
This mouse support is a pretty big deal, this program now feels really nice to move around in, compared to before where I had to use a keyboard setup that just functional and not hugely pleasant to use. Also as part of this it is now possible to modify the generated world. To make things like this:

The ability to modify the generated world brings us things like... this? The bridge breathing dinosaur rock castle!
 I feel so proud of my bridge breathing dinosaur. Also note, water is currently falling from the sky in a rain-like fashion. Currently elements like water, lava and snow still do not react with each other, which is next on my list of things to change.

Zoom levels! Higher detail dinosaur!
I am pretty happy with this thing, apart from the fact that I still haven't managed to turn it into anything that even remotely resembles a game. That's also one of my next steps that I need to work out... maybe in the next post I will have worked out something!?!?*

*seems unlikely

Saturday 16 June 2012

2D Tile World: Part 1

I have been a bit quiet on here recently, but this doesn't mean that I haven't been hard at work. I have spent some amount of time creating a projects page on this blog which I will attempt to keep updated with the notable projects I have worked on. I have also spent some time tidying up one of my older projects, Anaconda, which I will probably talk about in another blog post at some point.

However, most of my recent time has been spent with a new project. This one is making use of my previous work on value noise (the technique that was used to calculate the 3D terrain in Project Alpha) but implementing it in a 2D environment.

I decided to do this as I wanted to see how versatile this technique truly is, also a 2D world will be easier to turn into an actual game. So far I feel like I have had a lot of success in producing an interesting looking world and I have a very basic feature set in place.

As a picture paints a thousand words and I can't be bothered to write thousands of words, here are a few pictures that show what the project currently looks like:

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Gaming Archive: World in Conflict

This wasn't originally going to be my next post in this series, but the sudden popularity of this game at the most recent BUNCS LAN made me decide to write about World in Conflict. The game itself is pretty hard to explain, however I will try to do my best.

World in Conflict isn't really the snappiest of names, but at least it escapes the trappings of the X of Y formula (just).

World in Conflict is a team-based real-time tactical strategy game set in an alternate history 1989 where the Soviets have decided to invade Europe and the US (A very different take on a cold war alternate history compared to Battlezone). The game has a large focus on competitive team-based multiplayer. Compared to other strategy games, World in Conflict has a much greater focus on unit control and special commander abilities and does not feature any base building. In the game, players buy units by spending points from a constantly replenishing resource pool and then these units are dropped by air into the game. Players use these units to engage the enemy and compete to hold as many capture points as possible.

Monday 11 June 2012

Unreal Engine 4 Tech Demos

If you have any interest in games will be looking like on the next generation of consoles and what the development tools are going to look like, you should watch these two videos.

Watching these videos makes me very excited for the next generation of games which will be coming in the next few years. The updates they have added to the Unreal Editor look like a major step forward, notably the real-time script debugging and hot-swapping are very impressive. Hopefully these tools will be coming to hobbyists in the form of the Unreal Development Kit at some point, like Epic have done with Unreal Engine 3.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

OpenGL: Terrain Project First Finale

It has been a while since I last posted about my progress, however I am glad to say that things have improved by quite a bit since then. A lot of time has been spent trying to get my head around how to dynamically generate new terrain segments, thankfully I did finally manage to come up with a solution that I am fairly happy with. This is a bit hard to show off in screenshots, but what this essentially means is that you can now keep travelling and the program will keep generating new terrain to explore. Originally I had hoped this could happen indefinetly, but due to the way I finally ended up implementing this, there is a limit to how much terrain the program will generate. The world is still vast though, and you will probably have gotten bored long before reaching this point.

Implementing a dynamically and procedurally generated terrain system was the main goal of this project, so I am very happy to have been able to reach this point.

Sunday 3 June 2012

Gaming Archive: Descent

Descent is another game that I feel does not get anywhere near as much recognition as it deserves, even though personally it is one of my favourite games. The original game was a fast-paced 3D action game classic released in 1995, just over a year after the first Doom game. I mention this because there are many comparisons to be made with the two titles, as Descent comes from an era where the genre of first-person-shooter was more commonly known as a "doom clone." Out of the games that were released in this this time period, Descent is one of the few games that really tried to stand out from the crowd and do something very different.
While most of the games that were coming out were essentially 2D games played from a different perspective (Doom was very much like this, originally there was no jumping, and as far as the game mechanics are concerned the game might as well be played from a top-down perspective) Descent provided true freedom to go in which ever direction you wanted. This makes the game a very different breed even compared to modern games, there are few that do what Descent originally did 17 years ago. In Descent, things came at you from any and all directions...