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Wilhelm's Journal

Strife: The Boars Strike Back

Posted by , in Strife 28 October 2012 - - - - - - · 1,004 views
Strife, MMORPG

I feel like I'm making good progress so far with this ambitious project. Here is a list of changes following a small video.

- Creatures now attack back and will chase the player up to a certain point before returning to their spawn locations. They will also return if the player dies or manages to get a certain distance away from them.
- Creature run and walk animations now dynamically go faster and slower depending on the creatures speed and size.
- Started replacing place holder terrain textures.

Strife: Sticks, Tortoises and Healthbars

Posted by , in Strife 24 October 2012 - - - - - - · 950 views
Strife, MMORPG

Numerous updates have been made. See the list after the video.

- combat
- character portraits with healthbars
- (re)spawn points for creatures
- targeting circles
- new animations
- Tortoises!
- a lot of back end work on the entity system

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Strife: Entities and Selection

Posted by , in Strife 21 October 2012 - - - - - - · 866 views
I have started working on the server and I created a basic Entity system which at the moment supports multiple players and a couple of boars walking ("patting") around an area of the map. The server connects to an oracle database which at the moment it is only used to support basic login functionality. I've also implemented targeting using colour picking. When you mouse over an entity it gets a little brighter and when you select (by left clicking on it) a circle appears around it on the terrain. The colour of the circle will indicate hostility: green is friendly yellow is neutral and of course red is hostile (although I have not started with the combat system yet). I also added walk, run and idle animations for the player character model and the boar model.

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The next two screenshots where taken at the same time from 2 different players looking at each other.

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Strife: Beginnings of an MMORPG

Posted by , in Strife 05 October 2012 - - - - - - · 1,551 views
MMORPG, terrain, heightmap and 5 more...
Strife: Beginnings of an MMORPG Hi.

I recently started with the groundwork for a MMORPG with the working title of "Strife" using my own game engine. I want to use this journal to share my progress as well as a personal progress log I can look back on.
At this point I'm not going to go into high level game design choices instead I am going straight into the technical aspects of what I did so far.

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Currently the total world size is 20x10 kilo meters (of which 99% is still flat). The world is build up from 1023x1023 meter blocks. Each block is based on 4, 8 bit per channel 1024x1024 textures. The first texture has 3 channels and is used as a heightmap. All 3 channels are used giving 24 bits in total to store the height value. That is a maximum of 16777216. Each unit is a little less than a centimetre in the game world (or 2m/256 to be precise), so that gives a total range of 131 kilo meter. As can be deducted from the above each "pixel" is 1 meter apart. The second texture has 3 channels and is used to store uncompressed normals. At a later stage I will probably optimize that. The third and fourth textures both have 4 channels and are being used to store texture blend values. 1 blend value per channel. At a later stage I might store 2 values in 1 channel since 4 bits should be enough. Terrain is rendered by displacement in the vertex shader. And yes I did indeed rip these tile textures from wow ^^ they serve as excellent place holders. More on tile textures and blending later (still need to work out some details).

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The game dynamically loads and destroys tiles as the player moves. A grid of 7x7 tiles are always loaded around the player. Currently there is only one quality for all textures which might change, although It does not seem to be too heavy on video memory so it might stay like this. I do however have a LOD solution in place for rendering. A 1024x1024 block will split up and be drawn in multiple smaller blocks unless it is very far away from the player. The closer it is to the player the more the blocks will be split up. Apart from that, far away blocks will also be drawn using less vertices. For example a 1024 block 3 kilo meter away might be drawn using 64x64 vertices but a 128x128 block that the player stands on will be drawn using 128x128 vertices. My LOD system works nicely but it is still pretty rough and there is plenty of room for improvement. However it runs at max fps (60) on my pc and I have not even implemented any frustum culling yet Posted Image

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Camera and Movement

The height of any point on the terrain is determined using barycentric interpolation. I've implemented camera and movement controls that are very similar to wow's. Probably because I am really used to it and it is very smooth and easy to navigate with. And after playing Neverwinter Nights 2 I realised how agonizing bad camera and movement controls are.

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World Editor

This is what is currently taking most of my time. As you can see my world editor has 3 regions. A 3D view, A 2D view and a solid black area that is reserved for all the buttons and other controls to come (currently its still completely hotkey driven). To edit the terrain height you draw on the 2D area (as if you were creating heightmaps in a paint application) but the difference is that you control the height range you work with. See the blue and green areas on both the 3D and 2D views? Those are the upper and lower limits. They get shifter around by using the numkeys and any area in the 2D view that falls in that range will be coloured from white(highest) to black(lowest). This allows you to edit fine details using the full range of white to black.

That is it for my first entry. I hope to have more to share soon.

Thanks for reading!

October 2012 »