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Journal of Danny Green

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Just Death Update #1 - Fixes, HK G3, HiRoller, and Drugs.

Hey guys, This is the first update of Just Death since the Steam Early Access release a few days ago ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/336210 )! I appreciate all the positive support I've received from the community so far! I'm excited about what the future holds for the game. I plan on making weekly updates such as this one, with new content/features/fixes being pushed out to you guys each week - for another year, or until the game is "done". Future updates will be more gameplay centric, I'm still trying to catch my breath from the game's Early Access release. In this first update I'll talk about the new vehicle just added to the game, the "HiRoller" Luxury SUV. I've added a new weapon into the game - a .308 HK G3. In addition I've added drugs into the game, they are in the Headquarters purchase menu. There are 5 drug types I've created for this first pass. Also I'll talk about the fixes and additions made to the game :-) I appreciate the detailed feedback left on the Steam Community forum, and the clever finding of bugs I would have never thought of by some members of the community. Ok let's go ... New Vehicle - "HiRoller Luxury SUV"

This is the first of about 12 more vehicles I have to integrate into the project, so expect them to be sprinkled throughout the upcoming updates. I'll also be adding more uniqueness and tweaking handling features of all the vehicles on each update, I don't necessarily log all of these types of things. New Weapon - "HK G3 .308"

This weapon is one of about 40 more weapons I have already created that just need to be integrated, I can't integrate the weapons myself, I need my animator to make a few unique animations for each new weapon so in future updates there may just be batches of 4-5 weapons released at once. When the game progresses further and we start to nail down the balancing issues, I'll try to add equal "spread" of weapons, not just 4 new shotguns at once, for instance. Buying/Selling Drugs - First Integration

I've taken the first steps of integrating drugs into the game, you can browse all 5 kinds of drugs in the HQ purchase screen. There are basically two types of drugs, gameplay-wise... Pain killers, which heal your character (previously there was no way to regain health)....and Cocaine, Weed, Heroin, and Ecstasy, which you (and/or your gang) can sell to civilians for a profit. There will be a finite amount of money available to the civilian population in an area, and some areas will recharge faster. So this will put importance on controlling territory in the game world. I will also integrate a per-server/per-game instance of a supply/demand marketplace simulation, so you can't just sell the same drugs over and over. Please keep in mind this is the first build with drugs in the game, so only the painkillers are working at this first iteration. Noteworthy Fixes/Improvements Since Last Week's Build
- Remove smoothing transition from character's orientation -> goal aiming orientation, should remove "warping" effects when aiming.
- Fix Melee killing people in spawn Online.
- Don't open "store" while chatting Online, cancel all interactions while chatting Online.
- Only show stationary jumping animation for now, until final jump code is in. Remove jump code -> Bunny hopping ?!?
- Spawn in random HQs online, not always same spawn location.
- Show vehicle's top speed, weight, and more information on purchase screen, still need to hand-customize the values shown to player.
- Make it so you can't exit vehicle if you'd be outside of world.
- Make it so you can't exit your vehicle if you'd collide with a building [ perform raycast on vehicle exit request ].
- Pill bottle sound when you use painkillers.
- Fix bug with >= not being in weapon purchase code Online (now you can buy a weapon if you have exact cash).
- Fix some issues with the 'use' animations of the HK G3, Tec9, AUG, and AK47 - should look a lot better online & offline now.
- Fixed bug with shooting/use animations don't 'loop' constantly online.
- Painkillers should work Online.
- Damage is reduced and randomized Online, if you're inside a vehicle, to simulate the limited protection a vehicle offers from bullets. Highlighted Screenshots from Community
I'm really happy to see some cool screenshots uploaded by the community, I'll share a few of my favorites here!
Thanks a lot guys, I appreciate your continued support while I finish this Early Access product. Patience is definitely a virtue of anyone who will want to purchase this game, so please keep that in mind. Otherwise, if you've already picked up the project, and you appreciate my work or enjoy the product so far, please leave a nice review below, e-mail me, or post on the Steam community forum. - Dan




Just Death - Steam Page + Game Trailer

Hey guys, I've uploaded the trailer for my latest project, Just Death (http://www.JustDeath.com), and the Steam page is also LIVE for you to check out. If you don't know, Just Death is is an "Open-World Sandbox Crime Game" set in procedurally generated cities. There's a bunch of info on the website so check it out :-)

Here is the link to the Steam page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/336210

Ok, a picture is worth a thousand words - and you know I love posting screenshots - so that means this trailer is worth, like 1,797,000 words. Word.

I should be set to release the project, in Early Access form, in the next 2-3 days. I'm still working on adding more features to the "online open city mode" for the very first players (whose feedback I'm very much looking forward to). In addition to the 3 offline gameplay modes (Vigilante, Bank Heist, Gang War), to support the "Online Open City" mode - I've got game servers setup in NYC, San Jose, Sydney, and Amsterdam. If you're a game developer who appreciates the sh*t load of work I've put into this, writing the engine/game and all that jazz, all by my lonesome, I'd appreciate it if you'd pick up the "Dev Support Edition" from the homepage (http://www.JustDeath.com) for a few bucks more than the regular Steam key. I'm expecting it to be in Early Access for about a year or so. I've spent ~two years on it so far, and maybe 6 years on this engine (utilized through other games obviously). I'd be glad to answer any questions anyone has. As always, thanks for your support - and none of this would be possible without GameDev.net, so I sincerely thank you guys. - Dan




Video - AK47/ Unlimited ammo...weeee

Ayee...I've been tweaking a lot of stuff, removing the glow from everything that is visible in the old screenshots....I'm much happier with the HDR lighting etc. now.

This video just shows a character moving around while constanly firing an AK-47. I got brass ejection into the game and HDR muzzle flashes, I also added the firing animations and recoil while encoding this video, it really makes things look a lto better.

This video basically shows the HDR tweaks I did...and a little bit of how the gunplay will look [ I was not aiming, I was using the orbit cam the whole time, sorry if you get dizzy lol].

Expect more videos showing massive battles etc..."soon" :-D

I'm still working heavily on the AI/Squad tactics/cover etc. that the NPCs need to use to dominate.

I'll put up a video soon of me fighting off a stream of enemy gangsters to show what the combat will look like if you're fighting a NPC (either in multiplayer or offline practice).

Download video here - [ my comp can only record @ 11-14 FPS @ 1280x768...still have not hooked up my monster computer yet]
Click to Download 11MB .wmv Video

Preview Images [let me know if the muzzle flash looks white, or yellow on your monitor IN THE SCREENSHOTS...it really makes all the difference in the quality imo] ...




Killing Horizon Update - 9/18/2013 - Massive Progress!

Hey guys,

I've got an update on my latest project, Killing Horizon... my epic 64-player-online-RTS/FPS/TPS hybrid! I've been working almost 24/7 on the game since the last update, guess it has been about a month. This is going to be a huge post so buckle up, we're going to hit on just about every aspect of the game. In a few words - I've got new concept art of the first levels, and have written or updated major systems in the game such as: full vehicle physics on all 4 vehicle types, dome/shield rendering, NPC indigenous aliens, volumetric muzzle flashes, finalized interior lighting system, skid/track marks on the vehicles, and about 100 other items....and if you don't believe me, check out my todo list :-l

Oh, also before I forgot, I just created a Facebook Page for Killing Horizon, so go like it now!

Concept Art
Below you will see the first 3 pieces of concept art for Killing Horizon, the first one is of the Deadpool Arena, the second is the Reactor Arena. The third larger image shows a battlefield, and some Legion shields. Any comments or feedback are welcome!
Soldiers rush across the bridge in the Deadpool Arena - Concept Art

Legion Soldiers about to capture the Rebel flag in the Reactor Arena - Concept Art

Legion Shields dot the Battlefield - Concept Art

Interior Lighting System
I've not really shown any of the interior scenes or renders I've created for my game engine, so allow me to do that :-) I wrote a totally custom rendering system for the interiors centered around a shadow map atlas system. This allows me 10 shadowed lights, 10 lights per model, and unlimited lights per scene. I don't want to *nerd out* too much here talking about the technical details of the lighting system, but if anybody has any particular questions just shoot me a message, or post below! The image is labeled and should be reasonably self explanatory. I also did the modeling for the level, so ignore my programmers art :-) The 'Reactor Arena' pictured above will make heavy use of this technology. The image below shows how the system works on my 'Training Level'. I've never had an interior system like this in any game before, I want to have levels of this detail combined with my massive 9km^2 landscapes in massive 64-player battles...

The lighting system above also lets me do dynamic flashlights etc, check it out...

Volumetric Muzzle Flashes
I've been using just a simple quad mapped with a texture of a flash, for every single one of my games. This creates some artifacts when shooting guns from fast moving vehicles, etc. So I figured I'd created a 3D mesh for every muzzle flash in the game 8 weapons, 3 vehicle weapons, and the defensive bunkers and turrets. It looks SO much better than before :-) Honestly there is hardly anything I'd really want to change on the system. Below is a screenshot of how it looks on several of the human weapons in the game.

Vehicle Types in the Game
I've not really talked about the vehicles that will be in the first Prototype release of Killing Horizon, so let's take care of that now :-) I've got a Dune Buggy for recon, a Cargo Truck for transporting resources, a Battle Tank for serious business, and a HMMWV/Hummer for medium stuff. Only the Hummer and the Tank are armed with weapons right now, but I have plans for a 4 pack rocket launcher on the Dune Buggy. I'll paste an image showing all four of the vehicles on the primary Martian landscape...

Vehicle Physics
What good are all those vehicles without awesome physics to go along with it? I've written an entirely new physics system in my game engine, EVERYTHING, you name it, has physics on it. Due to optimization of the constraint placement, and exporting of all physics parameters to easier to tweak .xml files, it's been a great success! The main issue with my previous physics system [ why I had to fudge it for Gettysburg: Armored Warfare ], is because they were unstable at low frame-rates, below 24FPS the vehicles would gyrate and fly off into space. So I had to hand code a work around before the game shipped, what a nightmare. This new system is nearly perfect, and is stable down to 8 frame-per-second. I added a fake "lag" feature so I can test the game at absurdly low frame-rates. The system is VERY stable, and the Havok physics integration is nearly perfect. This will lend itself to some great videos later on. Until then please be happy with this image of a bunch of objects stacked on top of a Cargo Truck :-) ... just wait 'til you guys see this in motion...

Oculus Rift
I have the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset 100% integrated into my game engine, I'm going to post a dedicated update about it soon, until then here is an image output using stereoscopic rendering to an Oculus friendly format :-)

Indigenous Alien Mobs
One thing I thought would be really cool, is the have tons of alien creatures all over the massive landscapes, this way it wouldn't just be boring terrain, there will be hives of Creature XYZ in each environment of the game. For the Martian Landscapes, I've decided to go with the sand scorpion ;-) I've programmed flocking and AI evasion already, they are scared of vehicles and fire. LOL. This game already "feels" more fun than anything I've ever created, and it's in the PRE-PRE-ALPHA stages... here is an images of my sand scorpions btw.

Vehicle Skid/Track Marks
Figured I'd break things up with the Aliens ;-) back to the vehicles...I've added about 10-15 different effects from suspension sounds, first person cameras, unique engine and screech sounds per-vehicle, the list goes on. One of the main things I added was skid/track marks behind the vehicles when you pull the e-brake, or when you lose control of the vehicle and skid. It senses the friction values passed back from the Havok physics engine, and uses those values to determine if the particular wheel is 'skidding', the obligatory screenshot...

Shield Rendering , 3D World Cursor and Decals
If you noticed the awesome shield in the concept art at the top of the post, that's good. I'll post an image of how it looks at the bottom of this paragraph. Also you'll notice the debugging lines that represent the trajectory of the current weapon. Also a 3D world-space cursor at the ray-hit point. This is a great way to do aiming on the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset, which I've fully integrated into my game engine. Will make a separate post on the Oculus btw. You'll also notice in the below screenshot, another new feature to my engine, which is decals on dynamic objects like vehicles and animated aspects of the scene. Now you can rake a vehicles windshield with bullets and they will stay there.

Console search system, and a new mouse cursor
This is probably the nerdiest part of the whole update. To get the cursor to show up properly on the Oculus Rift, I had to move it into a 3D plane, which is 2D during regular game rendering. This means it can now be a fancy image/effect. Also I have an in-game developer's console, and I was always forgetting the names of my in-game variables and commands...so now I have a real-time strstr() output of all commands that macth a subset of the string typed into the console at the time. So typing "gv_" would show all the game variables in the engine. Check it out...

Well like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. So I just saved my ass some time. Thanks a lot if you've read it this far. Please register on my site, or follow the game on facebook. I'm self publishing this one so I'll need all your help! Thanks.

- Dan




Gettysburg: Armored Warfare Released - #1 selling game on Steam!

Hey guys,

As you know I've finally launched my first game on Steam! You can check out the website here http://www.GettysburgArmoredWarfare.com/

If you guys want to buy the game for the modest price of $9.99 and support your local developer, go here - http://www.gettysburgarmoredwarfare.com/buy.html ! As some of you know I've programmed this entire game from scratch myself, and appreciate the support! Thanks a lot.

It's also reached the top of Steams' sales charts for today! ( pics or it didn't happen ) here you go ....

Back to the forums to help support the release! Thanks for everything guys, I have gamedev.net a shoutout in the game's credits.

- Dan




Killing Horizon Update - 3/5/2014 - Plus 1 Million Journal Views!

I've got a new update on my project Killing Horizon [ http://www.KillingHorizonGame.com ], a 64-player-online-RTS/FPS/TPS hybrid wargame! In addition to some great new Concept Artwork, I've implemented a new visual style for the in-game rendering, which is centered upon a 100% dynamic-time-of-day system. Battles can start during the day and then continue into the pitch black only illuminated by the sparsely populated mining outposts. I feel like the new style, while a bit different from the colorful concept art - really goes a long way to creating the feeling of a desolate mining planet on the Battlefield style maps.

While I may prefer this visual style - I wouldn't let the rest of you guys down, who might not enjoy that kind of thing - so I've made this 'dynamic-time-of-day', a map-author-selectable option. The visual styles of a certain map/level is a selectable environment option from the game's World Editor when the map is created and saved. This functionality is a precursor to the detailed/varied environments I want to deliver later in the game's life cycle.

In addition to reworking the primary "look" of the default environment in the game, I've also made progress on a number of other, more gameplay relevant, features of the project. Implementation of a spline based road system, optionally imported from .svg ( Scalable Vector Graphics ) files, which is basically a XML-like markup of shapes/lines/splines...that system had a lot of interesting elements to it's implementation. I also spent some time on an evolutionary/procedural rock formation tool/system that, I can use to add variety to the game environments. Plus a few other miscellaneous things!

New Concept Art
Below you will see the next 3 pieces of concept art for Killing Horizon. The first one shows a Dropship assault - I feel this image represents the game best. The next image shows the dune buggy racing across the martian landscape. The third image shows a Legion posiiton being attacked by Rebel rockets being launched from attacking dune buggies.

New Visual Style "Dynamic-Time-Of-Day"
Like I said before, this new 100% dynamic time of day allows me to have the lights on the mining facilities 'click' on at a certain time, and really adds to the feeling of immersion you get in the game [ multiply it with the Oculus VR dev kit ]. These screenshots are at a very low texture resolution ~10% of actual size [ again this type of thing doesn't matter with a lower resolution VR dev kit ]. I snapped them on my dev machine a while ago. Trust me, I will go through and pile on the post-processing and anti-aliasing and create 'glamor shots' later on ;-) haha... if you want to see more, please visit the game's website @ http://www.KillingHorizonGame.com ...

The first image shows a Legion base/shield through the fog-of-war, as viewed in the RTS mode. The second screenshot shows a Rebel sniper outside a command point. The third screenshot shows a command point, full of resources, with a Rebel shield in the background.

So the main difference between the below screenshots and the ones in the last update/entry would be the sky and lighting system. In the below screenshots the sun ( or nearest star, hell I could have 4 suns... ) is totally dynamic and moves across the sky in real-time...when it gets dark due to the sun/light source being below the horizon - the lights ( if there are any ) on the vehicles and environment props 'click' on. I can't wait to further explore this ... I'll post a lot more about this in the future.


Vehicle Physics and Ragdoll Physics
I've tackled the physics in a big way, essentially re-writing the entire system(s) over a few weeks. It really produced great results. I'm running very smoothly on my min-spec machine with 64 player controllers and ~16 vehicles, +100s of props. All of that is occurring on a massive, physically simulated terrain and environment collision mesh [ dynamic/keyframed]. It looks like everything is holding together and all kinds of funny situations can occur using the dynamic testing tools I've integrated into my game engine. I'll let you guess what happens when you drive a battle tank into a dense crowd of human soldiers ...

Road System Progress
One issue I've had with my previous game, was the massive landscapes not being connected in any meaningful way. Also the sheer size of the maps was a huge issue. My solution is two-fold, first I've got an entire "Dropship" system for delivering soldiers and equipment around the battlefield, see the above concept art. I will discuss the Dropships at a later date. The second element to solve the size of the maps is a decent infrastructure/system that defines, and allows, clear movement/flow between "points of interest" on the battlefield.

Some of the screenshots below are taken from OLD version of my World Editor, but they show the imported .svg road path, as well as AABB bounding information which is useful for AI navigation, and various other algorithms. I basically generate a AABB around the entire 'road' (spline), and it's point-list representation 'clusters'(vertices). The pathfinding implications of such large maps and detailed accuracy is pushing the limits of the systems I'm using, but I've got some soutions worked out.

Enough yapping - here are some images of my road system in-game/in-engine/in-editor ... the last 3 screenshots show what it looks like when I generate geometry down the spline/road curves and apply a "road" texture. I plan on having many available road textures, and options for the map/level/world authors. The last 2 screenshots ALSO show some environment settings other than the "dynamic-time-of-day" I've described above...


Procedural/Evolutionary Rock System Progress
I've also been making progress on rock formations to represent shapes in between the 100,000s of small rocks placed around the world - and the large mountains made up of the terrain. I needed to be able to blend an arbitrary mesh with my terrain's hieghtmap system. I started by generating a procedural evolutionary skeleton beneath the rock and "shrink wrapping" the mesh around the procedural skeleton, that got very complicated very quickly. I will describe it in detail someday... I designed the rock subdivision gene pools and rule sets to be randomly generated. This system while cool, took a lot of work and produced mediocre results.

So I've still got that all into the game, but I've switch to a MUCH simpler noise based solution. These are totally randomly generated with the click of a button, within the World Editor. You specify the size and the noise model and strength of the rock formation ... the tool then builds and randomizes the rock. You can slide the "bump" around the terrain in real-time :-D

These rocks are about the size of a *very* small house.



1,000,000 Views @ Gamedev.net Developer Journal
Wow, I guess it has been since 2005 that I've been tracking my game development journey and progress on Gamedev.net [ https://www.gamedev.net/blog/289-radioactive-software/ ] ... recently when I logged in I noticed the journal has surpassed 1,000,000 views - so thanks a lot for all the support guys. I hope people out there can take *something* away from all my entries, and posts about my work.

I've personally received so much information and support from the Gamedev.net community I really want to thank you guys again for everything. Also, if any member of the Gamedev.net community ever has questions/inquiries about game development - I'm always available to talk, if you want to e-mail me questions [ dgreen@radioactive-software.com ] or post anything in the comments section below, or on my website's forum [ http://www.RadioactiveSoftware.com/forum ] I'll be sure to get back to you ASAP. Anything I can do to give back to the game development community that has given me so much.

Thanks a lot, I'll keep you guys updated on all the progress of the project! As usual please keep updated on social media!!

Facebook- http://www.Facebook.com/KillingHorizon
Twitter- http://www.Twitter.com/Killing_Horizon

- Dan




Bloom effect (Part2)

Alrighty, I'm just about done with this stupid bloom effect. I've still got some problems with it (blur is offset to bottom right due to the way D3D renders to targets) I have to fix that, and I might be overexposing the scenes. I think it looks awesome, but I've been working with this stuff for hours, so I'm probably too close to it, and need some other opinions.

Let me know if these screenshots look overexposed....I'm going to fade the level of brightness with time, so this is as BRIGHT as it will look, and they will fade as the scene comes into focus....but not too much :-)

Compare these screenshots to the ones in the last entry, and let me know which style you prefer...again, I like this new look much better. I think the effect was too subtle before, and the coloring was off.

I think the sidewalk textures are just too white, so they get washed out easily, bah.

Comparison...before bloom effect...and aaaaafter. Before, and after.
/me votes for after.

A sort of reddish tint on the scene makes it look a lot more realistic, IMO.


I started to change to a more yellowish tint instead.

I like this screenshot. I think it looks great considering I'm not using HDR, and this will run on anything supporting pixel shader 1.1

I like.


Ahhh...mein eyes!

Alright, the sidewalks miiiight be too washed out, but I still love the look.

Same as above.

While most people are up getting breakfast in the morning, these guys are causing trouble.

I like it. Let me know if you disagree. I could be crazy.

Comments are welcome...back to work :-)

- Dan




Anyone can be a gangster...


Just having some fun with the game - Radioactive-Software

[EDIT]...wait, new caption..."Damn it feels good to be a gangster" haha




Havok Ragdoll Physics - HD Videos

Hey Guys,

Here are some videos of the Havok ragdoll physics I've coded into the game in the last week or so.

Gravity is still a work in progress - I think it needs to be increased. I'll take care of that. Other parts of the engine have recently received a refactor / facelift so some things are rough around the egdes.

I've tried for a few years to get some good looking ragdolls - up until this point I think the best ragdolls I've had were in my game 'Gang War' using Newton Dynamics physics engine circa 2006. The recently written ragdoll code is replacing some Havok based ragdolls - but they didn't properly blend the current animation state of the visual model with the physics representation for a smooth transition. I also use triangluar shapes for the rigid body representation of each limb - the shapes are defined via 3D model so it's easy to tweak the ragdolls.

This new system supports up to 32 dynamic ragdolls at once - with no more than 1024 units on the battlefield this should be sufficient ( since ragdolls are a client side effect that doesn't affect the gameplay / character controllers / etc ). I'm pretty happy with how they turned out - though the effects will be much more realistic once I go through and add pre-limb bullet detection and apply an impulse to the limb in question. Another feature of this new ragdoll code is ability for breakable limbs - simply not creating a constraint will detach the limb from the ragdoll with no other changes needed.

Video links:
Video #1 - ">VIDEO 1 LINK

Video #2 - ">VIDEO 2 LINK

Video #3 - ">VIDEO 3 LINK

Here are the screenshots:

- Dan




Police station / jail...

In addition to starting a lot of final work on the real time strategy aspects of the game, I started working on the 'legal system' in the game. You have the option of surrendering to police officers, your gangster will go to jail for X amount of time based on the crime, he can wait it out, or you can pay to get them out. The whole time they are in jail they count against your gang member count, and you loose if all your gangsters are in jail. Also paying their way out of prison is expensive.

You can take control of your gangster when he's in jail, though you'll just see him standing in the jail cell :-D

I was debating between a Alcatraz style prison, or a downtown type police station / jail combo. I decided to go with the latter after seeing this image...I believe it's from a batman cartoon or comic. I really like the whole gotham city look associated with the batman series.

I really liked the way the stairs were setup...my police station was a near exact copy of this one, but the colors didn't look right so I had to go a slighty different direction....

Here is how mine looks @ a few different times of day...hmmm I guess I didn't include a night screenshot, I'm sure I'll have one posted soon enough though.


//Up high

//Inside Ms3d

Here is a little screenshot showing the way I'm going to do the jail cell, I'm going to implement smooth fading between scenes as well to make the transition to the jail better.

Obviously the jail cell hasn't been started yet...

Hopefully a update regarding some fianlized aspects of the RTS system tommorow...

- Dan




Multiplayer - 64 people per server / etc.

I'm working on all kinds of fun stuff right now :-D Here is a quick update/some info on a few random topics -

Multiplayer, 64 players per server
I've decided to make the game support 1-64 players per multiplayer server when I re-code the multiplayer in the coming weeks. There can be 3 - 7 gangs per city/server. There can only be 21 members in a gang. So in a server there will always be AT LEAST 63 potential player slots...the other dude can spectate until someone drops lol.

I'll have 3-4 + crysis-server spec'd servers running around the world at all times, as well as some other servers & a master server to make it all work [ yes I'm paying for it all, it's free for you].

I can make cities 8X bigger than I've shown so far, it's a simple slider bar in the city editor.

It's all planned out, etc...I just figured I'd let you guys know, and give you a little preview of the in-game ranking system. Ranks are assigned first come first server in the multiplayer lobby. In-game the ranks will shift around as players do more to help the gang they will rise in standing, and the ranks will shift around and generally settle.

Each player's avatar will appear in their place on the ladder to powah'...or there will be an generic AI avatar in the place of the ? mark avatar.

Rank will play a big role in precedence, ie: the boss can control any player at any time, etc. and the hierarchy also applies to giving orders, etc.

Yes, 5 minutes in photoshop ftw. There will be 2 of these, one for the gangs and one for the cops/swat team.

System Overview
I've had to create many different applications to make all this work out. Here is a little collapsed screenshot of the Urban Empires project...

-The 'UE Account Manager' is used to edit / delete / modify the multiplayer accounts/stats (from any computer). This application is not distributed with the game.

-The 'UE Auto Updater' is used to update UrbanEmpires.exe and to pull down new art assets, etc. from my master servers. When you click the UE icon this app is run, it allows me to update the game hourly if needed, it sort of 'wraps' around UrbanEmpires.exe(the game client). This application is distributed with the game.

-The 'UE Game Client' is the main game .exe, in other words, it's teh sauce. This application is distributed with the game.

-The 'UE Game Server' is the dedicated game server application used to host a game (even locally). This application is distributed with the game.

-The 'UE Key Gen' is the key generator for the game. This application is not distributed with the game, sorry lol.

-The 'UE Master Server' is used as an intermediary server which sends clients lists of active game servers, and also handles stat tracking, etc. All game servers attempt to register themselves automatically with the master server. Master&Game servers stay in constant contact with eachother. This application is not distributed with the game.

-The 'UE Package Reader' is an application I created to create / edit the game's custom .pkg package file format. It is used to protect the game's assets and also to keep the game directories clean (instead of having 6000 files on the HD, I'll have about 50 that are distributed with the game). This application is not distributed with the game.

Graphical User Interface
Here is a screeshot of the game's main menu [ I'm still working on it :-D ] you can see the GUI system I've created for the game as well as the internet radio. I don't think I've posted screenshots of this stuff for a long time.

GUI is totally skinnable, 6 - 7 skins will ship with the game. I wrote the whole GUI system from scratch. It's 1000s of lines of code, and after years of work is pretty refined / solid interaction wise. I use the same GUI system for the in-game management windows, all the way to the City Editor.

So here you go -

Back to work I go!

- Danny




3 new concepts + a new gun + other stuff

Here ya go, this finishes off the concept work for the Biker gang and Cuban gang...I'll just post them all so you can get the whole picture.

Cuban gang - [ might need skin lightened a bit, can handle that @ the model stage ]

Biker gang -

Spas-12 gauge shotgun [ ultra high res screen coming soon]

AK-47 shooting animation

Screenshots of a test app I'm playing with to nail down the character animation / AI / events / etc.

The shader used in these scenes is the most basic possible, it's just NdotL * color texture. This is NOT the skin shader I usually render the characters with, this doesn't even have normal mapping...this is the lowest quality shader you can imagine.

- Danny




New hardware

Finally got a chance to upgrade this computer...

I just bought:

Radeon X700 Pro AGP (256 MB GDDR3 RAM)

Sound Blaster 24 bit sound card (supports up to 7.1 suround)

Creative 5.1 suround speakers

I'm very happy with all this stuff...the main benifit will be that I can now program 5.1 surround into Gang War, and also the new video card will allow me to make a video with a decent frame rate, so that'll be ready sometime soon.

I'm NOT going to start upgrading the engine though with PS 2.0 stuff, which this card supports (my old 9250 didn't lol). I'm trying to get this game out the door sometime soon, though my next game engine will take advantage of every feature this card supports :-D

My old video card only had 64 MB of video memory, in my mind it's better to develop on a low end card...but I really think that was too low-end, if I'd been spoiled with 256MB of video memory, and this badass card the whole time....the game wouldn't run nearly as good as it does on low end machines.

Time to go "test" it out on Day of Defeat: Source which I've been obsessed with lately....I've yet to even see HDR lighting in person so this will be exciting :-D




Screen Space Global Illumination

I was browsing the forums and saw this thread about screen space global illumination (SSGI), it was written by ArKano22 ... he put it out there for anybody to implement/use so I spent a few minutes dropping it into my game.

I think it looks pretty good, it could use a blur pass maybe. Currently I don't think it's a good enough tradeoff for what it might potentially add to the graphics [ at this point ], so I'll probably only be including it in my enigne as some hidden away togglable feature. And I'll keep tweaking / playing around with it to see how good I can get it looking.

My post copied from the thread -

Obviously this is what everybody is trying to achieve, the SSAO from Crysis -

I'm pretty happy with ArKano22's implementation, the glsl / hlsl code is posted the in the thread I linked to at the beginning of the entry. Why not give it a try and post your findings there as well :-D

- Dan




Paradox Interactive publishing Armored Warfare!

For some time I've been quiet about exactly who is publishing my latest game "Armored Warfare", well the answer is the Swedish publisher Paradox Interactive! I just got back from their 2011 New York City event. I was demoing the game to 30+ press ( and people like Valve/Steam ), and they also made an announcement about the project. Basically the game is now called 'Gettysburg: Armored Warfare'. The game is a RTS/FPS hybrid supporting 64 players per server. The Gettysburg twist is one that I think people will either love, or hate. Essentially, in the year 2060 this evil Tony Stark esq guy goes back in time to change the outcome of the U.S. Civil War so that the South wins...the government finds out and sends back their own technology creating an arms-race in time. So we have this fusion of 2060s and 1860s technology, with a steampunk twist :-) The game is online only using Paradox-Connect technology, so the story is almost irrelevent except for explaining why these types of units exist ( there is no campaign mode in the game ). Here is a link to the facebook page ... check it out and LIKE! it hahah :-) http://www.facebook....180953878604592 also twitter - http://twitter.com/ArmoredWarfare

EDIT: The game also won 'Best in Show' from Strategy Informer [ http://www.strategyinformer.com/editorials/10636/best-in-show-paradox-interactive-convention-2011 ]

I can't wait to post images of the game, I've got to work within the framework of the publisher, so no-more posting updates the night-of as I've been doing on my projects for the last few years :-) I'm very happy with the work I've done so far, and the reactions of almost all the press has been fantastic - especially the technical aspects ( which is what I was showing, a tech demo ).

Well - I'll give you guys a bit of a preview - here is an image of the procedural farmland rendering system I wrote a few days ago ( actually in one night )...

Much more to come soon...

Paradox NYC Event 2011
I had a great time in NYC all last week...I took a bunch of pictures of the event, and my trip so I'll share some with you here...

We stayed at the Hilton NYC on the Avenue of Americas. This is also where all the press events were held. The view from my room...

Paradox Convention 2011!

Paradox taking over 8-) The room where all sales presentations take place...

My lil' presentation table...

Paradox Interactive Banner

CEO, of Paradox ( and all around cool guy ) Fred Wester giving some opening comments...

About this time I was busy presenting to press for 2 days...

Me relaxing after the first day event ...

There was a big party on Thursday at the Aspen Social Club...

Well I have a bunch of other pictures and things I'd love to post ( *shakes fist at new image limit on journals ... *), but that is basically the event...I had a really great time. It's nice to finally announce Paradox Interactive as my publisher, and I'm really looking forward to working with them!

- Dan




Gettysburg: Armored Warfare - Huge Update! 64 players-per-server, Steam, PIC 2012!

Hey guys,

I'm returning from the frozen land of Stockholm, Sweden :-o I was there for my publishers convention, Paradox Interactive Convention 2012, in a Swedish castle showing the game to a bunch of press. Sorry for the lack of updates lately, I've been super busy finishing up my latest game Gettysburg: Armored Warfare You can view the website here - http://www.armoredwarfare.com this is the game I was showing. If you want much more frequent updates, I post on the game's Facebook page as often as possible - http://www.facebook....gArmoredWarfare

A quick summary of the game would be - This guy goes back in-time to change the outcome of the American Civil War and you get this Steampunk mix of future technology and 19th century technology. The game is a RTS/FPS hybrid supporting 64 players per server gameplay, full stat and achievements through the Steam platform, cloud storage of custom armies, and a full featured world editor accessable in-game.

Since I wrote all this technology and the game in the last year, the game pretty much from scratch it's crazy for me to see it all working like this on BETA test servers all over the world, especially on Steam platform. I have a 64 player test session tomorrow, we are using a 3rd party QA studio to handle all the testing.

There has been so much happening in terms of the game and the technology behind it. The biggest thing I'm happy about is the achievement of 64 players per server, and the announcement that the game will be for sale on Steam platform in March of 2012. As somebody who grew up playing Counter-Strike and other Valve games on Steam...it's just awesome :-D

There are two key gameplay modes :
- Deathmatch ( 64 players per server, shared units, RTS orders disabled ).
- Army Skirmish ( 4 players per server, each controlling their own army, full RTS orders ).

You can also play the game offline practice with AI bots. I've included AI bots on the dedicated servers as well ... imagine running around in Battlefield with bots ? :-p

64 Players Per Server. *does happy dance* I'm very happy to have achieved data rates on par with some of the best games I've seen. I can syncronize up to 1024 units among all 64 players in the server. Data rates are about 10kbps-20kbps up from the server to each client, with the clients only sending about 2-5kbps up the the server in average situations.

PRESS - As you can imagine there has been a great amount of press from Paradox Interactive Convention 2012...I will link you guys to some of my favorite ones so far, there are a bunch I'm leaving out, just google for the game 'Gettysburg: Armored Warfare' if you want more :-o

Gamespy/IGN Preview of Gettysburg: Armored Warfare : http://pc.gamespy.co.../1217105p1.html

Rock, Paper, Shotgun preview of Gettysburg: Armored Warfare - http://www.rockpaper...rmored-warfare/

Great Interview with Angry Joe - http://www.blistered...iew-gettysburg/

RTS Guru Interview with me - http://www.rtsguru.c...anny-Green.html

GameTrailers videos - www.gametrailers.com/game/gettysburg-armored-warfare/14430/

Games Radar video walkthrough - http://www.gamesrada...e-preview-demo/

RTS Guru preview of Gettysburg: Armored Warfare - http://www.rtsguru.c...re-Preview.html

DESTRUCTOID posted a video of an interview in the castle - http://www.destructoid.com/gettysburg-is-an-alt-history-take-on-the-civil-war-220524.phtml

Gamers Daily News 3 page preview of Gettysburg: Armored Warfare - http://www.gamersdailynews.com/article-3243-Gettysburg-Armoured-Warfare-First-Look.html


Angry Joe giving me the treatment -

Oh HAI a picture of a tank ...

Anyways, the trip to Sweden was amazing, had such a great time meeting all the press and cool people at Paradox, they really are probably the best publisher in the world for an independent studio / team / dude like myself! I love them.

Again, sorry for not stopping by in so long ... I've been so damn busy with all this stuff. I plan to become a lot more active in the community again once I finish this project. Until then you can follow the game on facebook - http://www.facebook....gArmoredWarfare

I'm also starting to use twitter for a change - it makes it easier to release quick status updates - http://twitter.com/TheRealDgreen

If anybody has questions about anything in terms of the tech, or anything regarding the game in general I'd love to answer them...I've gotten so much out of this community over the years I'll do anything I can to give back to it :-)

- Dan




2 Next-Gen Character Concepts

I'm evaluating two studios to create my 30+ next gen player models. In the last entry you could see the first model delivery from one studio [well he's actually just an artist]...and now I have the first artwork from the other studio. Expect their first next-gen model early next week.

I'm having them do all the concept work / animation / rigging for the new characters also.

I told them to create concepts for the 3rd Latino and 3rd Italian gangster. There are 3 models per gang, and 8 gangs in the game. Also 6 civilians, and a Cop + SWAT team model on the way. And you guys get to see concepts of them all :-)

I'm excited...anyways...on to the concept art.

Here is the concept for the 3rd and final Latino Gangster...

And here is the concept for the 3rd and final Italian Gangster...

And just for a reference...here is a piece of concept art created for the original set of player models 2+ years ago. They emulated this concept art style which makes their work even more impressive!

More information as it comes in....

- Danny




Sept 06 - Some New Artwork

Busy coding...code...code...code. *head explodes*

I might as well dump the artwork screenshots out...I can't just keep them for myself :-D

I received one other model, though I sent it back for slight modifications, I'll post it soon, it's a re-make of an older latino gangster model.

Irish gangster A -
My shader

From the artist

Cuban gangster A -
My shader

From the artist

Biker gangster A -
My shader

From the artist

Concept Art -
Irish Gangster B-

Citizen Female A -

Citizen Female B -

Citizen Female C -

Citizen Male C -

.38 Special

Hunting knife

I had a crazy idea about some new kind of shadow algorithm...or rather a better way of packing shadow maps...using an atlas and rendering the shadow weighting values into one of the atlas corners, and using the other 3 as normal shadow maps of increasingly larger size, the last one being the entire game world, they would not be updated every frame, and I think if the texture atlas was large enough, say 4096x4096 it might work out quite well...still you'd have to render the scene 3 times....arg I'm tired of typing...lets just say I've been thinking a lot about it lately, and I wish I had time to explore this idea I had, but I'm probably just going to do an improvement of some kind of frustum aligned CSM, with 2 textures...it can look good w/ a 2k^2 and a 1k^2 if you place them correctly, and also I can avoid 2 scene draws by sorting the geometry by shadow map.


Back to work, or sleep...not sure which one.




Just Death - JustDeath.com - New Website & Details

Hey guys, I've created a new website for my latest game, Just Death... you can view it here: www.JustDeath.com there is a lot of new information about the game on that website, please let me know your thoughts!

The game should be for sale on Steam Early Access soon, I'm wrapping up the final elements of the latest build. Here is a preview image of the front page of the new website:
I'll also mirror almost all of the website's content here for your viewing convince :-) Front Page Artwork
Gameplay Modes
Vigilante Mode
You awaken, the city smells like scum. Somebody has to clean it up. In Vigilante mode you play as a "lone anti-hero" out to kill all the gangsters & bad guys in the city, while avoiding the police presence. You start out in your modest vigilante headquarters where you can purchase an initial weapon. There are ways to make money around the city to upgrade your hardware. While you have the option to rob anyone in the city - you get more points & credit for killing bad guys/gangsters and taking their money and weapons in this gameplay mode.
Objectives: Eliminate all gangsters from the city.
Time Limit: Open-ended.
Multiplayer Unit Sharing: No.
Bank Heist Mode
Your crew of four professional bank robbers have their eyes on the Gang City Bank, the largest pile of cash in the city. Hit the bank, grab all the money possible and reach the waiting getaway van with the loot. Oh by the way, Gang City Police and SWAT units might have something to say about it. There is a balance between gaining cash, sending one of your crew to get the vehicle, and shooting it out of the bank. The number of surviving bank robbers, and the total cash netted are two factors that determine your ending score in this gameplay mode.
Objectives: Steal as much money as possible from the bank, and escape.
Time Limit: 2 to 5 minutes.
Multiplayer Unit Sharing: Yes.
Gang War Mode
This city ain't big enough for all of us. Fight for control over the city against other gangs. You start with a small gang inside your gang headquarters. You have to expand your gang's territory to increase your extortion income. Additionally robbing armored cars headed to/from the bank, robbing civilians, and killing enemy gangsters are good ways to generate income and grow your gang's arsenal of weapons. You'll need to keep out a watch for the city's police and SWAT forces. Each gang's score is determined by their territory, influence, weapons, vehicles, and cash on hand.
Objectives: Conquer the other gangs in the city.
Time Limit: Open-ended.
Multiplayer Unit Sharing: Yes.
Online Multiplayer & Offline Practice
All of the gameplay modes in Just Death are playable Online and Offline. In Offline Practice mode, the artificial intelligence takes the place of all human players, and is played locally on the user's computer. In Online Multiplayer mode, the player joins a game server and can play with others from around the world in real-time. There are also two separate global scoreboards, one for Offline play and one for Online play.
Procedural Cities
The core feature of Just Death is the Procedurally Generated Cities. With a feature like this, I can provide the players with almost unlimited gameplay environments, by simply changing the "seed number" used to randomly generate the world, or by changing the simplistic input splines which form the "backbone" or basis for the city generation. See the image below for a visualization of the input and output my technology can produce.
Example input & output of my procedural city generation algorithm.
Procedural City Input & Output
One issue that has plagued procedurally generated environments for the longest time is that they always look "boring". My solution was to simulate every layer of a city individually with as much detail as possible, to hopefully alleviate the repetition. The static environment details I procedurally generate include: buildings, skyscrapers, roads, sidewalks, intersections, crosswalks, elevated train tracks, alleyways, plazas, parks, fences, traffic lights, street lights, trees, fire hydrants, phone booths, newspaper dispensers, trash bins, dumpsters, garbage bags, paper debris, sewers, vents, utility access panels, and more!
Results of the Procedural City Algorithm
Weapons & Vehicles
What kind of weapons & items are in the game?
There are over 50 weapons in Just Death. The game includes everything from pistols, sub-machine guns, tactical and assault rifles to swords & knives, all the way to mini-guns and C4 explosives. Soon I will post an exact list of the weapons I've had created for the game. What types of vehicles are in the game?
There are a total of 18 unique vehicles in Just Death. The game includes civilian vehicles ranging from sports and muscle cars, and SUVs to panel trucks and transport vans. There are also emergency-response and official vehicles such as Ambulances/Armored Cars & Police/SWAT vehicles in the game. Soon I will post an exact list of the vehicles I've had created for the game. Is there a fucking nail-gun in the game?
Yeah bruh. Ouch. Are there unique elements to each weapon and vehicle?
There are over 100 unique parameters to each vehicle. Every detail from the particulars of the engine and transmission, to the physics and aerodynamics values have been simulated, and are being continuously tweaked and refined.
When it comes to the weapons there are about 50 unique parameters to each weapon - elements such as realistic caliber, rates-of-fire, magazine capacity, and reloading time are simulated. Also the physics and aesthetic values of the weapons are faithfully represented in game. Frequently Asked Questions
What is Just Death?
Just Death is an "Open-World Sandbox Crime Game" set in procedurally generated cities. At its core gameplay mode - Just Death is my take on the Vigilante genre. You must rid the streets of "thugs and scum" using your antihero, playing in the first or third person. Due to the procedural cities in the game, I can provide ample replayability with ease. All gameplay modes have been designed to be played both offline and online. The game is being offered on the Steam platform, as an Early Access product. I want to take into account the player's feedback while I finish development of the game. . What is Early Access?
Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.
Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Where do I Buy Just Death?
You can purchase Just Death directly from me. You can also purchase the game on Steam. Why Early Access?
"I want to develop the game with the players! I know this sounds cliche but I really feel that building a "base" of a product, and finalizing it around the input from passionate members of the community is something I've always wanted to do. Instead of developing this product in a vacuum, or based solely on the feedback of a few testers, and execs at a publisher - bringing the game to passionate users in the target audience and tailoring the product to their feedback should save me time, and prevent unnecessary or unliked features from receiving my attention, while important features ( to the community ) will receive a majority of my development focus." Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?
"I'm anticipating the product being in the Early Access phase for 6-12 months. The actual answer is "as long as it takes" for the product to be fun, and to achieve the goals I've set for it, and those may change based on community feedback." What is the current state of the Early Access version?
"The industry nomenclature for the state of the product would be "Pre-Alpha", or "Alpha", depending on how many new features the community would like me to add to the product. The game has 3 major gameplay modes, and all are playable in Online and Offline modes. The game server technology is a constant work in progress, as is the game client. Some features are rough around the edges, and there may be crash bugs in the product. Also some visual elements of the product are in a somewhat early stage, and can be improved in the future, based on user feedback." Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?
"I anticipate the price of the product increasing gradually, as the quality and amount of features/content increases." How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?
"I love interacting with players/users and seeing what they think of my work, in a POSITIVE way. I've developed this game and engine by myself, from scratch. For a multiplayer "Open World Crime" type game, this is a huge undertaking. I have no illusions about the complexity and challenges of creating such a game. I've spent many years working on this and very much look forward to having constructive conversations with a mature gaming community as the product progresses in quality and content. Thanks a lot! Virtual Reality
Does the game support Virtual Reality?
Yes. Just Death was actually designed over the last few years from the ground up with virtual reality in mind. I've found some elements to be extremely immersive, for instance if you switch to first-person mode, and use the positional-head-tracking of a VR headset to put your eyes behind the weapon sights, you actually have to close one eye to aim. Obviously the interiors of the vehicles are also very nice with a VR headset. Based on feedback from early adopters, and players I will decide how much further to pursue integration of virtual reality. What VR Headsets have you tried it with?
I've only had a chance to integrate the Oculus DK1 and Oculus DK2 into my game engine. I will try as many HMDs as practical. Is the VR mode in the game hard to setup?
You'll need to edit some configuration files, and run a specific version of the firmware on an Oculus DK1 or DK2. I am not officially claiming full VR support because at this time ( January 2016 ), there are only developer versions of VR Headsets on the market. These Dev Kits inherently come with a slew of issues and hurdles to get things working on each user's unique computer configuration. World Editor
These stats are pulled from Steam, using the Steam Web API. Bullets fired, and every stat are updated nearly once a minute from Steam.
User Guides
- Dan




Gang War Progress

I have the master server online. It serves as a global matchmaker for Gang War games online. There is just one more thing I have to add to it before it's finished...a little bit better handling of dropped clients/servers. Also maybe a "purge" of all connections ever few minutes to ensure there are no errorneous connections.

The master server's IP address is resolved by downloading a .html document from my Radioactive-Software.com website. The .html document containts a IP address among other things (Message of the day, etc.) The Client then recieves a list of active servers and pings them all.

A game server always stays in touch with the Master Server every few seconds updating the game's status (# of players, state, current map, gameplay mode, server name, etc.). Everything is rock solid, and I'm very happy with the way it's working out.

I've got 3 Gang War servers up and running right now..though I'm the only one with the game...so nobody can play with me yet :-( Hopefully that will change soon. The game servers and master server are being hosted on a deticated T1 line, so they should be able to handle all the clients.

Each game server can host 6 connected players, so I'm only setup for 18 players online at once...hopefully poeple will just run their own server in the background if they want to play. Though it might require them to open some ports on their firewall...hopefully I can get around that by using a NAT punch through, via the Master Server.

I'm also adding the conversation system, and a radial action menu for interaction with NPCs, and in-game entities. I'm quite fond of the one they have in Star Wars Galaxies...mine will be slightly inspired by that. More to come on that later.

Tons of work gettin' done on the game...here's some screenshots:
//I thought this image looked cool...

//Cop & Car

//Me chillin in an empty server...fun stuff.

//Yup...me and myself are playing a rousing game of Gang War!

//Early speech bubbles for in-game conversation...example dialog:
// Pssst...wanna buy some dope?
// Sure...lay it on me!
// *Play CashRegister.wav*
// *Remove 10 units of grass from your inventory*
// *Add $100 into your inventory*

//A little picture of the "Speedster"

More progress soon...

- Dan




Gettysburg: Armored Warfare, Dev. Diary [ Feb 16. 2011 ]

This is a first official 'Developers Diary' for Gettysburg:Armored Warfare. My name is Danny Green, President/Lead Programmer @ Radioactive-Software, [ http://www.radioactive-software.com ] well I'm the only employee, so errrr... Those who read my blog on GameDev.net [ http://www.gamedev.n...ctive-software/ ] know that I love to post a lot of screenshots/images, so after 5 years and close to 1mil views of that, I'm not going to change :-p

I'll start out with an overview of the game+tech since this is really the first dev entry I'm making for the game on the Paradox Interactive site [ the game's publisher ]. To re-iterate, Gettysburg: Armored Warfare ( G:AW ) is a RTS/Action hybrid free-to-play online game. The tech supports 64 players per server, 9kmx9km terrains, 1024 controllable units, 2.4mil pieces of foliage, 100k+ fence/walls, a procedural farmland generation system, high resolution art asests [ 10,000+ tris, 4096^2 texture maps, etc], an integrated server browser + in-game lobby for chat/matchmaking, and of course a dedicated server topology! I really want to take advantage of all the things that make PC gaming great. Custom servers, dedicated servers [ sorry console gamers, host-migration doesn't exist in my world...], etc. Also, as usual it's worth mentioning I've programmed this entire thing myself, this represents about 4 months of work on the Gettysburg direction.

In terms of gameplay/setting, I don't think anybody can deny the game is pretty unique, the way I've been describing the backstory in a few sentences is as follows - "Essentially, in the year 2060 this evil Tony Stark esque guy goes back in time to change the outcome of the U.S. Civil War so that the South wins...the government finds out and sends back their own technology creating an arms-race in time. So we have this fusion of 2060s and 1860s technology, with a steampunk twist". There is no campaign in the game, only offline practice with bots.

A lot of people probably see the title of the game and go "wtf? tankz in the civil war, omg, rage. Gen. Lee is turning over in his grave, hhhhhhh, etc". I can understand where they are coming from especially since there hasn't really been multiplayer RTS/Action civil war game similar to this, er...ever? One thing I'm going to do with the game is making it so the server operater can determine what types of units are usable in the world. There will be 3 options:
1) Only realistic civil war units ( 1860s ).
2) Only hybrid futurisitc units ( 2060s ).
3) All types of units available ( 1860s + 2060s ).
This means players can turn the game into a pure civil war game if they don't like how the game was meant to be played ( option number 3 ).

Currently the game is still officially 'PRE-ALPHA' status, which means that it's still very much a work-in-progress. I've already implemented Paradox Connect technology into the game, meaning I can login to my servers using my Paradox Forum login information. We're going to start really testing the multiplayer outside of my offices in a few weeks.

What am I working on right now ? Too many things to list, today I got the futuristic hybrid rifle, code named 'X-122' it's a 5.56mm M16A4 type assault rifle. So currently there are 2 infantry weapons in the game, the X-122 and the Springfield 1855 rifle carried by vanilla confederate and union soldiers from the 1860s.

Screenshot time!

Yes this is my favorite part of any blog entry, let's get started...remember all of these images are PRE-ALPHA and some of the stuff shown is still a work-in-progress, or was added into the game a few hours ago...

Here is an image of the hybrid confederate armored soldier with the X122 AR...
Here is an image of a 'vanilla' Union soldier with his Springfield 1855 rifle.

Confederate hybrid armored soldier with X122 rifle.

Hybrid Union armored soldier with the X122 rifle.

Screenshot of the RTS view where you can give orders to your squads...

One more screenshot of the X122 rifle ;-p

Here is the last screnshot showing some WIP art assets - hybrid tank, civil war cannon, civil war gatling gun, and a bridge that will be used in the environments.

Well that's all for now, If you have any questions or comments just post them below...

- Dan




Unique way of rendering clouds...

Hey guys, I was working on my cloud system earlier today and decided to rollback to my old billboarded solution ... this is temporary until I get some more time. I have to put all my focus on the gameplay and more important parts of the visuals/engine so I can finally release "Armored Warfare".

Here is how the clouds are looking, I sort of came up with this hack/cheat of improving standard billboarded clouds in the last few hours...

I didn't take any screenshots of the old billboarded clouds, so I'm going to reference this one from my online gangster game [ Urban Empires ]
OLD...this screenshot is from 2007.

My old clouds looked 'alright', but I wasn't satifisied because there was really no form of light scattering, or 'silver lining' on the clouds. I was thinking I could possibly fake it using several channels of the billboarded cloud texture.

This is an example of one of the 4 clouds I created. The way the channels are generated is sort of complicated, if anybody is interested I'll type it up. The most important part of it all is channel G, which is multiplied by the dot(sun,cloud_normal) so it produces a glow/lining on the clouds when the sun is behind the cloud.

Here is the pixel shader code I wrote to render the clouds, very friendly indeed...

//CloudAtlasSampler = texture contatining clouds
// Alpha channel = Cloud transparency
// Red channel = Blurred cloud center darkening value
// Green channel = Cloud lining/rim value
// Blue channel = unused / saved for future effects
//Input.Lighting = normal vector of billboarded cloud
//g_SunVector = Sun's worldspace vector
//The "*0.75" "*0.9" are unique color scaling values for my game engine, to

float4 CloudPixelShader( CloudVS_Output Input ) : COLOR

float3 SunColor = float3(1,1,1);
float4 Texture = tex2D( CloudAtlasSampler, Input.TexCoord.xy );
float3 RimLighting = abs(dot(g_SunVector, -Input.Lighting))*Texture.ggg*SunColor;
return float4(((max(0.9,Texture.rrr)*0.75)+(0.5*RimLighting))*0.9,Texture.a);


Some pics of the result ... not bad for the nearly non-existant FPS hit. Plus they are lit dynamically, and scroll around the world. This would be a good base to render some truely volumetric clouds over.

And here is a debug shot, to show how low poly and cheap the whole effect is, IMO it looks pretty good, though is obvioulsy not 100% realistic.

Until next time...

- Dan




Gettysburg: Armored Warfare - Official Announcement / Press Release

Paradox Interactive, the publisher for Gettysburg: Armored Warfare just posted the official announcement press release, a developer inverview video, and we also released 3 new concept arts and the feature list for the game. The link to their site is HERE I also updated the Radioactive-Software homepage with the announcement. If you want me to love you long time, LIKE the game on facebook!

Here is the video interview of me :-) This one was recorded in NYC in January, so the in-game footage is a bit dated.

Here is the press release ...

[quote]GDC, SAN FRANCISCO - March 1, 2011 - Paradox Interactive today announced Gettysburg: Armored Warfare, a free-to-play, online action game that brings futuristic weapons to an alternate reality of the Civil War. The hybrid Real-time- Strategy (RTS)/ First-Person shooter (FPS) game will offer 32 vs. 32 battles with multiple game modes as Union and Confederate troops fight to change the course of history. Developed by Radioactive Software, Gettysburg: Armored Warfare is powered by Paradox Connect, and scheduled to launch later this year.

"History is a great setting for any game as it adds familiarity and an understanding of the motivations behind the opposing forces," said Tom Soderlund, Project Lead for Paradox Connect. "Throw in tanks from 200 years in the future as well as other modern weapons and you have a really interesting twist on history. That's what we're bringing with Gettysburg: Armored Warfare when it launches later this year."

About Gettysburg: Armored Warfare
Gettysburg: Armored Warfare is a free-to-play online game that merges RTS and FPS gameplay. With technology brought from 2060 to try and change the course of U.S. history, players will enter an alternate reality of the war as they fight for the North or South in 32 vs. 32 skirmishes. The game features persistent statistics which will showcase the best players in the game and offer modification and customization of player avatars.

Main Features:

Free-to-Play 64 Players per server 4 maps ( 9km x 9km in size ) Over 1,000 controllable units on the battlefield at once Play as Union or Confederate 10 Unit types Modifications & upgrades for units Persistent Point/XP system and Stat Tracking Upgradable avatars ( Using points/XP ) 3 Unit game modes ( Only 1860s, Only hybrid 2060s, and All types ) Paradox achievements
[/quote]We also released some new concept art showing the Heavy Soldier!

That's all for now!

- Dan




Respawn Bunker WIP, Part #2 (Lighting)

Respawn Bunker Lighting
Sup guys, I introduced the respawn bunker asset in the last entry. I only showed the exterior [ because I had not written an interior shader for this game ].

Well I spent some time today and wrote the shader path for building interiors.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I custom rolled most things for this asset alone, since it's the only one I can see being in this project, but still it will be trivial to modify the framework to support different types of lights per object. Right now I've got it setup to handle 10 dynamic spotlights PER OBJECT. If you can simulate spot lights you can do directional and point just the same, spot lights being the more complex of the three.

I moved the calculation of the tangent/bi-tangent/normal matrix into the pixel shader so I can do a loop through all the lights and get lighting on the normals/specular and reflection also. All with a single draw call per material.

The bunker asset was created by one of my contractors/buddies David Miranda

To recap, here is the exterior of the respawn bunker that everyone will spawn in...

Here is the beginning of the shader, support for 1 point light! Yeaa!

//Close up of the floor

Then I added support for multiple lights...

I obvioulsy still have to add lots of props, shadowing, etc...and mainly axis aligned light shafts from the ceiling lights.

Yessss...here are some pics of the interior shader as it stands today.

Remember this is a WIP, after 1 day of work ;-)

Oh I also got fading names displayed on the various active players...

That's all for today...[grin]

- Danny




Animation Video + New Biker Concept + Another gun

Quick 7 second video of a pistol shooting animation...

You can see the gun's slide moving and everything. It's going to be awesome once it's all in-game.

[ http://www.radioactive-software.com/urbanempires/August28/UE_Pistol_Fire_Animation.mpg CLICK THE IMAGE ]

Beretta 92f gun model

Biker B - Concept art

Here are some images of the gangster Level of Details...

It's not all smiles over here...I'm dealing with all this new artwork and having some issues merging animations across each model, since I want to have a shared skeleton between all character models.

Also my skin mesh rendering code blew up since moving from the 2002 version of the DirectX SDK to the August '07 version of it, so I'm porting over the SDK sample that loads + renders + animates my character models. Just finished that, now to adapt the skin shader effect, etc.

Back to work.

- Danny



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