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Every Semicolon

The To Do List

Posted by , 29 September 2007 - - - - - - · 252 views

As well a new season of TV shows starting up, a wealth of new games coming out and limited "free time" because I'm interning in a programming position as part of my course 2 days a week, a big problem with working on the game at this point is the deceptively short to-do list. It makes me feel like I don't need to work too much to get the game done on time.

Basically I have about 9-10 weeks to do:

  • State Manager
  • Main Menu
  • In-Game Menu
  • Scaly AI Improvement
  • In-Game Help Text/Subtitles
  • Sound Effects
  • Optimisations: Quad-Tree system
  • Optimisations: Basic impostor system
  • Optimisations: Occlusion culling

Plus I'd like to get ragdoll in for the Scalies when they die.

Compared to the amount I did in the first half of development this is nothing, but my internship leaves me burnt out by the weekend. Still every Monday and Tuesday we have to go in and work on the game from 9-5 and show our progress in a weekly meeting, which is good cause it prevents any major slacking. Ideally I'd like to have everything on that list completed in 3-4 weeks so I can spend the rest of the time polishing and tweaking.

So a little more information on the game: Humans occupy almost all planets in their galaxy and in an effort to expand their empire, they send expeditions to neighbouring galaxies. One of these finds hostile alien life which then traces the expeditions route back to the human galaxy and invades. You play as Outworlder Alpha-87, the 87th inductee into the elite ranks of the Outworlders. These soldiers are sent to remote planets that don't have a strong defensive presence.



The game takes place 10 years after the start of the invasion and Outworlder Alpha-87 is sent on his first mission which is to retrieve new Fuel Cell technology that has been developed on a research planet. Unfortunately the aliens (the Maurosaur) arrive first and shoot down the Outworlder's ship. It crashes into the ocean with your equipment and you're left with only your jetpack to battle the aliens and retrieve the scattered Fuel Cell prototypes.

You jetpack has a main thruster which is mainly used for flight but can also blast all its fuel out at once, damaging nearby enemies and unearthing small rocks from the ground. The jetpack also has side thrusters that can suck or blow. They can assist in flight, blow rocks or suck up rocks and then shoot them out. The more Fuel Cells you collect, the better your abilities will be.

The main enemy the Maurosaur or "Scaly" is a humanoid lizard creature that shoots bolts of energy from their weapon. They will take cover behind nearby rocks and whatnot when being attacked.



The other enemy is the Scuttler. These are small crawling creatures that are about the size of the typical rock that the Outworlder can shoot. They will charge at the player and explode on impact, but the Outworlder can blow them back or suck them up and shoot them like grenades. They will explode after a few seconds once sucked up if not shot.



The game is being made to be short and sweet. It will take place on one level and there will be 8 Fuel Cells to collect. Once the player has collected them then he'll be able to fly high enough to reach the research outpost and fly away.

Very boring but I guess I had to explain all that. To show that I did actually fix the Scaly weapon offset after the last update, here's a screen:




Journal Justification

Posted by , 29 September 2007 - - - - - - · 508 views

If this journal is about my game, then it's not really procrastination, right?

I've been reading GameDev journals for years now and I've been waiting until I had something to write about before I ever made one of my own. I don't know if that time was really now, but I should be working on my game at the moment and this felt like a way to get my mind back on track.

My game is Outworlder, a 3rd person action game in which you fly with a jetpack and suck up rocks and shoot them out to kill enemies. I'm programming the game with 1 animator for the final project of my games programming degree using the Ogre engine. The other 4 groups making games for their final projects in the same course have 4, 7, 8 and 9 people; which I guess made us the 'underdogs'.

I'm sure I'll go into more detail about my game and myself in future journal entries and I'm determined to post pictures every update (they're what keep me constantly checking for updates to Dan Green's journal).

This time I'll start with some screenshots from various builds of my game throughout its development.

June 14 2007:

Small test terrain. Testing my texture splatting shader.

July 02 2007:

Cubes (placeholder rocks) with PhysX physics and ribbon trails.

July 13 2007:

The first "Scaly" (main enemy) model in the game.

July 29 2007:

Scalies with specualar mapping and crappy edge lighting shader effect I wrote.

August 15 2007:

Scalies moving to cover positions and shooting at me and my water shader I wrote reflecting terrain. The Outworlder model is finally in the game with specular mapping.

September 07 2007:

First pass of the level mesh put in the game and testing texturing it. Early lens flare effect. New Outworlder shader: per pixel lighting, rim lighting & specular map.

September 29 2007 (Latest Build):

Updated level mesh, terrain texture splatting sizes changed, lens flare changed to different sun flare effect. Added side thrusters to Outworlder.


Outworlder falling.


Outworlder flying up.


Outworlder flying forward. Starting island shown.


Looking out onto beach area from inside canyon. Trees.


Looking at beach area from water. Water reflection, refraction with fresnel term.


Blowing Scuttlers (other, exploding enemy) back. Fuel Cell pickup with shield shown.


Scaly with updated shader (basically the same as Outworlder's). Inaccurate weapon offset from hands (I'll fix that after this journal entry ;) )

I'm really happy with how developments gone thus far. We've still got a ways to go, but it's all starting to come together now. Check back in for my future updates where I'll detail more about the game's development and more about the game itself.






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