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Squared'D's Journal

To Say Or Not to Say

Posted by , in Project B 07 August 2013 - - - - - - · 827 views
project b, game, game development
To Say Or Not to Say
I've been trying to program games for many years now. I've even been a user of this site for like 13 years but under a different user name. My thinking has changed a lot over the years. When I was younger, I think I was very idea focused. I felt like ideas were precious like gold and needed to be protected at all cost, so I rarely let ideas known to anyone outside of my inner circle. My long time development partner who is a 3D modeler felt the same way.

This "ideas are like gold" mentality has cost us a lot of problems. Probably the biggest issue with it was it actually stopped us from finishing any games. This would always happen. We'd start making a game with a nice story and suddenly one of us would say, "this could turn into a really good game, but we don't have the resources to do it justice. Let's make a different game first to make some money and then we'll go back to the original game." Needless to say, we've gotten close, but have never finished a game. Eventually we'd get so enamored with our "quick development" games that we'd stop making them because, "they were such good ideas, we wouldn't be able to do them justice with our limited resources." We had one game called "Cybernetic Dawn" that had levels, AI, music, menus, etc. It wasn't the greatest game, and the AI needed work, but we were so worried about the idea, that we couldn't see that. Even Genesis SEED suffered from this.

Now let's think about the title of this blog entry, "To Say or Not to Say." As I said before, we were so fixated on the idea that we were very secretive, but as I've gotten older I've realized something. We are just indie developers and indie developers need to think and act like indies. Community support is needed to stay focused and motivated. Once people know about your ideas, you'll feel pressure to finish it. This is one of the reasons why I feel it's necessary for indies like myself to talk about our games. I don't see many benefits in saving ideas. It's better to let the idea be known and just try make it quickly so no one can copy it.

Another reason why I think it's better to tell people about your projects is publicity. Imagine there's a person who has been following your project for months. Later you decide you want to try Steam Green Light. Well, if you've been telling people about your project, you'll already have potential supporters. Then those supports can help you further advertise your project in a very grass-roots way. Sites like Gamedev.net are great for getting your ideas out there.

This is my thinking, but unfortunately my development partner still feels things should be kept secret. That's why I haven't been able to really describe the project as much as I'd like. I'd like to be able to talk more about more game specific stuff and show some of our concept art, but I can't right now. Hopefully I'll be able to reveal more as the project moves further along. I'm tired of that old mentality because it hasn't worked. We've accomplished nothing being secretive. It's time to try something different.

Thank you for reading my rant.

Project B Progress
If you're new to this blog, I've been updating my engine to run on Direct X 9 and 11 and I hope later I'll be able to port it to other platforms. I've had a plan for it, but things have ben going slower than expected as I sort through thousands of lines of code and fix bugs and defects along the way. The good news is though, I've ported systems to the new framework that I hadn't expected to finish yet.

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Project B - 2013-07-30 Update -- She Moves!

Posted by , in Project B 30 July 2013 - - - - - - · 663 views
animation, project b, indie
I just wanted to post a quick update. The female running animation is in. It still needs some tweaking, but it's starting to come along quite nicely now.

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Project B - 2013-07-17 Update

Posted by , in Project B 16 July 2013 - - - - - - · 733 views
Project B, game, game programming and 2 more...
Project B - 2013-07-17 Update

Progress has been going well though a bit slower than I had expected. I'm still behind after spending more than a week working on this problem. (direct-x-11-problems-on-windows-8-laptop). I've gotten a lot of work done. You can take a look at the current state of things.

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I've been building a model tool that will be used in my content pipeline. After I get real models into it, I'll post a video blog. Right now it allows me to configure shaders and textures. Here are a couple of screenshots. For me a skin is defined as a texture/shader combination to be used with a model.

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Thanks for reading.

Project B - 2013-07-08 Update

Posted by , in Project B 08 July 2013 - - - - - - · 602 views
Project B, game, game development
2013-07-08 Update

Progress has been going at a good pace, albeit a little more slowly than I had thought. The code that the entire engine runs on has changed, and I've been trying to slowly reintegrate everything. A lot of the low-level graphics code is done. That last little tech demo that I did may not have looked like much, but there were a lot of things going on under the hood. Shaders, textures, post-processing, rendering to a texture, rendering states, blend states, and basic start up code are all in. I've now been developing some of the more high level engine systems. These are the systems that game itself will touch.

I already know what things too make as I'm making exactly what I did before, but it's not as easy as it sounds. For one, as I've been writing this code, I've found that I've also needed to write the code that connects everything together. For example, the last demo that I made uses a temporary framework, but I've had to upgrade that a bit so I it behaves more like than final stuff.

I've also be taking some time to try to upgrade some of the engine's designs. From my own personal lessons learned and also from reading articles, blogs, and forum post, I've decided to change some things especially when it comes to asset management. I also want my future code to be multi-platform, so I have to make sure Direct X specific stuff doesn't rear it's ugly head in my higher level things.

One other thing that has cause a little bit of a slow down is I don't just copy and paste code from the original engine. I examine it. Because of this, I've found some bugs. I had a bug in my old game whereby, objects would look dark if you looked at them from certain angles. It turns out that the code that sets some of the shader constants wasn't getting the correct camera position. It was always getting (0.0, 0.0, 0.0).

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I'm a little behind schedule, so I've updated things a bit to show where I am.

Project B - 2013-07-03 Update (with download)

Posted by , in Project B 03 July 2013 - - - - - - · 828 views
project b, game, game programming
Project B Update

Progress has been going well. I'm kinda sorta keeping up with my schedule. I got a little behind because of a bug that shows up on some laptops (WIN 8 LAPTOP BUG) so I had to postpone some GUI things. I originally used the DXUT GUI for all of my GUI needs, but I've since re-made the GUI from scratch in my effort to one day go multi-platform. I won't be able to add loading from files until the end of the month.

Here's my updated schedule.

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From tomorrow, I'll start working on shaders and textures. Yes, the program is using shaders and textures now, but I need to re-build the higher-level system that my previous game used. My hope is that once this is finished, the systems will for the most part resemble the old engine's interfaces. That way I'll be able to change the game to the new framework without much fuss. This is a big job and I'll need to do a lot of testing a long the way.

I want to submit the final project to IGF again so testing is important. If you want to help me test by downloading the current framework test, I'd greatly appreciate it. (Sorry no source code)

DOWNLOAD NOTES: If you download the test, it'll first prompt you if you want to use DirectX 9. If you don't have DX11 hardware, or Windows 7 or 8, you must click "Yes". I think the next prompt will ask for DX11. If you say no, it will still use DX11, but only the DX10 level shaders.

I may be able to post again this week, but it'll probably be next week.after I have something to talk about.

Thanks for reading.

Attached Files

Project B - New Project

Posted by , in Project B 30 June 2013 - - - - - - · 811 views
game, game project
Project B

Hello all. I've been working hard on putting the graphics-less game together and I'm going to continue to work on it, but work will go a little slower as I'm starting to work on a new game project. I've already developed a 3D multi-player game engine that was used for my last IGF entry shown here (Genesis SEED), but these days I've been doing some major improvements and updating the rendering system. The project was in limbo so I started doing other things. Now with this new project, I need to quickly get my improvements up and running. Basically, the old system was DX 9 only, but I've been building a new system that I hope will give me multi-platform capabilities in the future. Currently it supports DX 9 and DX 11. Here's a list of the things that I need to finish by August. While I the old project was in limbo, I also started building a new GUI system. I want to finish it and use it with this new game. I'll try to provide regular updates here, maybe even some videos that detail my progress.

Here's my task list:

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I picked up the color-coded system back when I was working for the USDA. I use to do contract management and IT security while I was there. The project managers for the database systems would use a similar color-coded system. I like it because it easily lets me see what I need to do. And I hate seeing red. That motivates me to work faster. Right now, there is too much red.

I will update this blog weekly. I'd like to submit this game to IGF so I'll probably post some test framework code for the public to try out.

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