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Another 3:00AM entry

Posted by , 18 July 2005 - - - - - - · 500 views

I've been putting in 15-20 hours a day *gasp* on this game...it's really my only purpose for existance in the next few months...so I don't have any problems spending that much time working on it. It is tough though.

I'm currently working on a lot of the gameplay features as opposed to the graphics...which I prefer working on. I've designed the diplomacy window recently which allows the player to propose alliances, declare war, send/demand tributes, get basic info on other gangs, also set the default reaction upon sight of 'gang X' in 'territory y'. So you can say you only want to attack a gang within your territory (defensive stance), or only to attack them in their territory (offensve stance)...and you can set the reaction state for all other territory.

Right now the player can give orders to his gangsters...then take control of any one of them...once they take control they're presented with a standard "shooting game" GUI that shows health, inventory, etc. In the bottom of the screen it shows their current order ie: "The boss wants you to move to this location"...I then display the point on the GUI with a label, and the distance in meters. So it would display "Move here (35m)" over the point, so the player can navigate there and complete his own orders from the perspective of the henchman. It seems to work well.

I tried to make some good videos of the game...with not much success....I need a faster computer to capture at a decent framerate :-( Or maybe I'm not using the right software...I really need to try the full spectrum.

I've also been working a lot on creating a speech/conversation system...this is a picture of how the speech bubbles are looking...

I got an idea of how to do the voices after seeing a cartoon on tv earlier, there was a robot character that spoke with a "sped up human voice", almost like the effect of fast forwarding somebody talking on a tape recorder, so I'm going to try that tommorow (actually this is the tecnique used in the first GTA game :-0). I just need something that resembles human speech to match up with the text, when characters are talking via speech bubbles in the game.

I'm, also working on adding curved roads ;-) and overpasses into the game.

Here's some pictures of how it's looking...

Ugh...so much work still left to do, I hope I don't go crazy before this thing's done...heh...eh...uh...*nervous laugh*....*slowly backs out of the room*...*runs*

Vehicles :-)

Posted by , 12 July 2005 - - - - - - · 671 views

I'm still putting in hours on these vehicles...it's worth it though...I now have a fully simulated gear gox, transmission, drivetrain, engine, and brakes on all of the cars. Right now I'm just using a linear torque curve with the maximum torque value for each vehicle to look up the torque at each RPM...simulating the actual torque curves of each vehicle is a little out of the scope of this game ;-).

I'm plugging in realistic values for the mass, max torque, redline, differential and the gear ratios, so the cars accelerate through the gears very realisticly. I've got 3 different drivetrains simulated (4 wheel drive, Front wheel drive, rear wheel drive). I use all this to figure the exact torque values to plug into Newton, it really works out great. Here's a image of how the cars are looking so far...I'll have more pictures soon, and a video showing a car chase hopefully...

- Dan


Posted by , 10 July 2005 - - - - - - · 217 views

I've very excited about these images of some of the cars that will be in the game, I'll post a collection of images down below...there will be 30 different cars in the final product :-D

There will be a "dealership window" in the game, that you can use to purchase cars for your gang. You'll need to own territory that has a parking lot though, that will be the limiting factor as to how many cars you can purchase for your gang. Of course you can also go around stealing cars for your gang...this will really help your gang members get away from a robbery (for instance) without connecting your gang to it...but the longer you're in the car the more attention will be drawn to it, and they run the risk of being pulled over/caught after the fact. Also armoured cars will make scheduled delieverys to banks throughout the city, and the player can order their gang to ambush them.

I realllly can't wait to get these cars in the game, each with unique physics, handling, and transmission...mmmmm. I'm so happy with the way these car models are looking (remember they all have full damage modeling too!), he really did an amazing job on them. I should post some high res renders, but I'll just wait 'til in get them into the game.

Also I've added skidmarks and smoke and stuff into the game...it looks awesome, there's no smoke in this image though. It does show what the dirt clouds look like....I think I need to make them more prominent, right now I'm just additvly blending smoke/dirt which looks great for the smoke...this is the best I could do brown dirt using an additive blending mode. I'll probably change it around later though to look a little thicker :-) Also I'm working on adding the particle system, it will shoot up dirt particles as the car drives through grass/dirt, I'll also have sparks flying everywhere on collisions, as well as a lot of blood spurts to compliment the ragdoll physics ;-).

- Dan

Vehicle physics

Posted by , 09 July 2005 - - - - - - · 535 views

So in order to have the game ready for the initial round of the Independent Games Festival I've created a itemized list of everything I need to do to get the game where it needs to be in the next 2 months. I've alloted myself a few days to get the vehicle physics up to par, and tommorow is my last day. Thankfully it came together quicker than I expected...the vehicles look amazing in motion, hopefully I'll have some videos or something of them in a little while.

Tommorow I'm going to add all the flashy stuff to the vehicles...skid marks, smoke clouds/dirt clouds depending on what material the vehicle's wheels are over...also I'm planning on getting the particle system started, and emitting sparks when a vehicle collides with another object, just to test the system. Also I'm going to simulate a gearbox/transmission which is always fun. I think I'll give the player the option to shift gears manually....so they can rev the engine up, and throw it in 1st and do a nasty burnout ;-)

I've already got screech sounds playing when the car looses traction....it sounds pretty cool, and isn't annoying...it fades in/out based on the lateral speed of the vehicle.

Here's some images of the police car turning sharply....I've still got some tweeking to do in terms of the suspension stiffness and things like that...this is the 3rd (and hopefully final) time I'll have to integrate a physics engine into the game...it takes so much damn tweaking to get it looking right, I hope this one works out. I've heard that they're overhauling the vehicle functionality in the next release of Newton and it's supposedly going to be much better, so I'm looking forward to that.

- Dan

2006 Independent Games Festival

Posted by , 06 July 2005 - - - - - - · 383 views

I'm shooting to enter the game into the 2006 Independent Games Festival ( http://www.igf.com ), the deadline for the initial round is September 6, 2005...and I guess the game needs to have completed gameplay to be considered. This means an insane amount of work for me in the next 2 months...but I'm up for it :-)

If the game gets accepted as a finalist (*crosses fingers*) I can submit another version before January 16, 2006 for the Game Developers Conference in San Jose :-) Hopefully I'll have the game completly finished by then.

I'll post updates every few days with my progress. I'm hoping to detail most of the development process in this journal.