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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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News around CodeImp game developments and releases

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CodeImp

Rampage M demo video

As promised, here is a video which gives an impression of our game! We are still in an early phase of our project (pre-alpha) which means we have a very long way to go, but a video like this is always good to show other people what we have and to align new team members in the right direction. Unfortunately GameDev.net only allows uploads up to 2 MB, so a one minute video isn't going to fit unless you want to look at only 2 pixels unsure.png so I have put it on YouTube. Don't forget to change the quality to HD (720p) wink.png

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The maps in the video are missing a lot of detail (some walls are even solid color) have a lot of texture misalignments and placeholder materials. But this video is just to give an impression of our work so far. Also there is no in-game sound or music yet. Music excerpt borrowed from Total Recall and solely intended to give an impression.

We are looking for a skilled 3D environment artist to help us out. If you're interested, please read http://rampagem.com/ for more information!
CodeImp

[font=verdana, geneva, sans-serif]Previously we called this the 'Monthly development update', but I skipped last month because there isn't always as much news more interesting than just another model or concept. So let's just call it 'development update' from now on and I'll write when there is stuff to write about.[/font]



[font=verdana, geneva, sans-serif]Now we do have big news! We have named this project Rampage M. "Rampage" for the destructive rage of the enemy and the "M" for Mercury. The website is now www.rampagem.com.[/font]



[font=verdana, geneva, sans-serif]We are still in the early phases of our project, were we need a lot of concept art to see what things will look like and a lot of testing needs to be done to see how things will work out. This is a very steep hill to climb for everyone in the project, because there is not much completed material to work with (but we are recruiting a 3D envrionment artist for that) and the progress is slow. This is a hobby project in which team members only have their spare time to work on the project. As much as I want more progress, I cannot (and will not) beat anyone to get things done faster. We'll just have to deal with a long development time.[/font]



[font=verdana, geneva, sans-serif]However, there is some new art for you to check out though! Here is a concept of our first level and a concept for a fence. In the screenshot below you can see the fence and in combination with some other test material in a complete setting.[/font]



[sharedmedia=gallery:images:3064] [sharedmedia=gallery:images:3065] [sharedmedia=gallery:images:3066]


[font=verdana, geneva, sans-serif]Yes, we have now have spot lights and point lights. And next month is all about physics. I am working on the implementation of Jitter Physics and after a few days it is already looking promising. Next week I hope to upload a movie which shows a little bit of gameplay and atmosphere, so keep your eye on my gallery ;)[/font]



[font=verdana, geneva, sans-serif]Rex Claussen joined our project as a level designer who will pick up our first level where Yoeri left off last month. And Tom Clercx has joined us as animator, so we'll be getting nice character animation as well! Oh and did I already mention that we are looking for a 3D environment artist? Well we are ;) So please check out our website if you're interested![/font]

CodeImp
[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]The monthly report with our current progress. Not a lot this month, but we do have 2 pieces of art and some research on camera and controls.[/font]

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Progress last month

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[font=verdana, geneva, sans-serif]I am sorry to inform you that September has been a slow month with little progress. Some of our team members have been on vacation and another is struggling with illness. Fortunately, the vacations are over and we hope to pick up the pace in the next month. Keep in mind that this is still a hobby project, so even when everyone in the team is available, most of us still only work on this project in the evenings and weekends.

We do have a little concept artwork on the player character from Duc and an alien environment concept from Antoine! There is more concept artwork, but these are the only ones that are final and accepted as the direction in which we wish to go. Without further ado, here they are.

[sharedmedia=gallery:images:2872] [sharedmedia=gallery:images:2873]

I (Pascal) have been researching game controls and camera behavior in other games and in open discussions on the topic to figure out what we would like. Obviously some people don't like a rotating camera, because it confuses their orientation or makes them feel nauseous. I personally like a rotating camera, because it better shows the graphical details in the game and gives a good view of the environment from all angles. But we don't intentionally want to limit our target audience to only those who like rollercoasters, so we were quick to decided that our camera will have a fixed angle. We may want to slightly alter the angle and the viewing height to get a better view of things though, but not at any cost.[/font]




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Planning for next month

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[font=verdana, geneva, sans-serif]Next month we will still be working on our first playable level. There are Alien concept sketches in the works and also more environments. The new controls and camera will be implemented and the game engine should get support for point lights.[/font]

CodeImp
[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Here is our monthly report on the current progress and a short bit on our planning for the next month. We are making good progress in gameplay areas and concept arts. Also some technical features have been added.[/font]

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Progress last month


Last month we have focused a lot on making gameplay decisions and concept artwork. We had only a rough story and a vague idea what we wanted to do with that, but now we have more details, thanks to Yoeri, who works on our game design.[/font]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]The storyboard, describing all levels roughly, is complete and work has begun on the details of our first level. We are aware that level 1 is somewhat special, because it introduces the player to the game. Our first design is just a prototype and will probably be changed completely for the finished game. But we have to start somewhere and this just seemed the easiest.[/font]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Yoeri also did a research into different aiming/targeting techniques and slopes in top-down games. This led us to conclude that as long as we have vertical automatic targeting and an indication where your shot would hit (for example: with a visible laser), we can deal with slopes and height levels decently. In our previous game Bloodmasters, this didn't work very well because the game was isometric (the player couldn't see the heights clearly) and the autoaim system always aimed up or down even when there wasn't anything to shoot at. But these issues are not present in our current game.[/font]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Antoine did some amazing work on environment concept art. While we don't have all the details for any of our levels yet, the rough storyboard did help him making some interesting drawings. Here we see an outdoor area where small spaceships (shuttle class) can land and dock. Also a drawing of a broken elevator and some concepts for wall decorations.[/font]

[sharedmedia=gallery:images:2726] [sharedmedia=gallery:images:2727] [sharedmedia=gallery:images:2728]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Pascal has been working on a technical feature that we call 'surface meshes'. These meshes can be used to easily add detail to the otherwise flat walls. The video below shows a mesh and its texture and the combination of those as a 'surface mesh' with a preview showing what it looks like on a wall or on a floor (no this mesh is not very suitable for the floor). After that, the video continues by showing a wall drawn in the level editor with the surface properties configured earlier. Then it shows the resulting wall in the game.[/font]

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Planning for next month


For next month we hope to get a glimpse of our first Level 1 prototype. Also some work has been planned on game controls and camera controls, to get these in line with our gameplay decisions.[/font]
[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Environment concept art will be supporting the design of Level 1, making drawings of interesting parts once we have more details.[/font]
CodeImp
[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Last meeting we have (based on discussions throughout the month) made some decisions on the gameplay direction we are going to take. We will be making this more top-down than 3rd person, because this simply has less technical risks and allows us to get away with less detail (and thus work). This implies no vertical aiming and such implication is correct. We won't have vertical aiming, because that would be just confusing to the player if we could make it possible at all.[/font]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]This introduces a problem with stairs and slopes, because standing on a slope aiming in the direction where the slope goes up, firing a rocket launcher could potentially be lethal to the player. We will have to do some research into how we could best deal with this problem.[/font]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]We also decided on a few features around cooperative gameplay and how the game will adjust the amount of enemies depending on the number of players (1-4) in the game.[/font]


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Progress last month


The team has grown to 5 members! Duc Nguyen has joined us to work on some concept art and will focus mainly on characters and aliens. He has made a good start with some artwork on our main character. Three of those are shown here, out of which the bottom one is mostly the winner. This is a work in progress, so more to come next month! Allert couldn't wait and put together a prototype model already.[/font]

[sharedmedia=gallery:images:2686] [sharedmedia=gallery:images:2685]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Previous month, Pascal created the initial version of the particle system in the game engine. Begin July he has connected this to the model system. A particle effect can now be attached to one of the attachpoints on a model and turned on/off during each animation individually over time.[/font]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Another technical change is the timing clock and time measurements in the game engine. The measurements were using 64 bit floating point (double) but appeared to be inaccurate due to the use of DirectX. Complete details on the problem are here. The internal clock has been changed to return only the time since the game started (not since the machine started) which allows us to work with much smaller values. Hence we could change time calculations to use the 32 bit unsigned integer for milliseconds or in some cases a 32 bit float for more accuracy.[/font]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Most of the month Pascal has worked on major changes in the level editing and the way how maps are stored and handled in the game engine. Previously we used Doom Builder with our own home grown plugin to edit levels, but our needs exceeded the capabilities of this editor. Now, we use a branch from the Doom Builder source code and are working hard to implement all the changes we need to make our wishes come true. This work will continue into the next month and possibly even into September.[/font]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]While Antoine was on vacation in this month, he still has found the time to do some drawing on environment concepts for the game. The environment is dusty and focused around mining activities on a hostile planet. Pictures say more than a thousand words, so here you have one.[/font]

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[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Yoeri has started on the game design and has come up with a good set of enemies so far. The document counts 16 individual monsters and that does not include bosses! We hope to get some concept art on some of these next month.[/font]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Because we are now a 5 man team instead of 2, emailing around just didn't work out as nice for our communication, so we decided to setup our internal forums. This is a standard phpBB forum with our own modification that allows us to link directly to our files on our shared storage (which is on the same machine) and for images it automatically creates thumbnails when inserted in a post. So far this has been working great, so that was a change we certainly don't regret.[/font]


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Planning for next month


I won't go into too much detail on our planning for next month, because I don't want to promise too much and risk that we can't deliver smile.png[/font]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Work on the main character will continue. We will also start working on alien concepts based on Yoeri's descriptions of the aliens. We will start with the weakest aliens, because these are the first that we want to use in the levels (chronological order).[/font]
[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Also planned is a beginning on the storyboard and hopefully we can get some details on the first level of our game (level 1 !) and do some environment concepts for this.[/font]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]On the technical side we will be working on the level editor and level structure changes. We have an experimental new feature in mind that (if it works) allows us to model walls and floors very fast throughout the levels.[/font]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]More news next month![/font]
CodeImp

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]In our project management, the lead developers sit together every month in a meeting to steer the project in the right direction. Starting today we wish to report on our progress each month (unless there is nothing newsworthy) and hope to get some people interested. So here it is, the first update of the month![/font]



Progress last month


[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Antoine Defarges and Yoeri Vleer joined the team. Antoine will be focusing on the environment concepts and Yoeri will be working on game and level design. Welcome guys!

Pascal recently finished the early implementation of the particle system in the game engine. This still needs optimizations and we still have to make a few changes to edit the particles the way we want them to behave, also some features are not complete yet.[/font]



[sharedmedia=gallery:images:2491] [sharedmedia=gallery:images:2492]

Planning for next month


[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]For the next month we are starting work on a specialized level editor. We are currently using Doom Builder with just a specialized configuration file, but our demands require more from the editor than it can do out of the box, so this will branch off of Doom Builder's source code to create Yas Builder. Along with this there will be an initial texture management system that we can use to manage the textures that can be used in the level editor on walls and floors.

Also planned is our first iteration of environments concept art. We hope we can post some potential concepts here next month![/font]

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