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Early Basement / Headquarters / Illegal businesses

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I'm working on finalizing the gameplay elements this week. I decided how I'm going to do the illegal businesses. I've been back and forth a few times deciding how to do things, either via 2D GUI or have some kind of 3D representation that the player can interact with.

Whenever you walk up to a building's entrance you're presented with a menu of options -


1) Extort [collect $ that builds up if a bldg is under your control]
2) Intimidate [bring territory under you control]
3) Rob [steal money, sounds alarm and poice are notified]
4) Enter Building
5) Setup business [only if under your control & a basement is present]

Those are some of the options. Enter building only appears for buildings with a basement, and basements are required to setup an illegal businesses. There are only a few buildings in the city which are suitable for setting up illegal businesses so the players will be fighting over these.

Anyways, if you choose the enter the building option @ the building's entrance the screen will fade to black and you'll appear down in the building's basement.

You'll be able to walk around, and interact with objects. I'm going to handle going to jail in the same way, you'll appear in the jail cell after surrendering to the po-lice.

There are 9 illegal businesses you can setup....if anybody has any more ideas LET ME KNOW!


-Drug lab
-Counterfeit Money Press
-Loan Shark / Numbers racket

I've got a million ideas regarding all this stuff...things like upgrades, police raids, gun fights in the basements, etc. I'm not sure how much will be possible but I'll know in the next few days.

So I'm working on the visual representation of all this stuff [not only do I get to play designer but also programmer and artist]....

After slaving away for too many hours I have the "base" basement done...all basements start out empty and you have to setup a business in them to start generating income.

So when the player is in the basement nothing else will be rendered so I was shooting for a ~15k triangle budget for the basement. And I'm going to do normal mapping + reflections + lightmaps. I was thinking about using shadow maps, but decided against it because I wanted to have many lights per scene, and no aliasing issues plzkthx. So I'm using Lightmap Maker to generate the lightmaps for the basements.

Once I get the shaders in there it should look awesome. Currently I've created the first test model and have it loaded into the engine, and the beginning stages of the basement rendering code path completed.

I have to write a shader to do normal mapping on static geometry, right now the only type of normal mapping I've added is for skinned meshes. I also have to use a different vertex format because of the additional texcoord needed for the lightmapping. Anyways this should take no-time to get in there. I imagine most of the time will be spent generating convincing normal maps. Either way it should look good.

The texturing is finished though...this basement model uses 17MB worth of .tga textures [inculding 1k^2 lightmap]. Most of the 12 textures are 1k^2 size.

Ok...screenshot time starting from the beginning...keep in-mind this is still a work in progress & any comments are welcomed....

About a hour into it...

I added the rafters...

And then it started to get confusing...

This should be the final poly count for the headquarters...15k :-D

Early light map generation test..using only 1 light source placed @ the middle of the room.

This is with lights 4 lights placed in the room, and with an ambient value. I also hand tweaked the light maps to remove some imperfections.

These screens were all taken from inside Milkshape3D. I've got it in-engine using a skeleton shader. I'm writing a new shader for the basement rendering path. Once I add normal mapping, reflections, etc. it'll look sweet :-D

That's it for now...

- Dan
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Damn it, how come your good at art AND programming. That's unfair!
Just kidding, looking great as usual. Just don't make the game too complex, especially in the beginning phase. I'm kinda worried that there will be lots of micromanagement in the game.

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Wow I didn't know Milkshape was capable of level modelling and light-mapping. I've heard of people using 3D Studio or Maya, but never Milkshape.

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Yeah, I'm amazed how Dan manages to create these great models in Milkshape.

I really should go polish my 3D skills but before that I'd have to force myself to finish unwrap and texture my last model and I HATE unwrapping. Kinda stuck there I guess.

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Wow...pretty awesome stuff. I'm really enjoying hearing about the developing gameplay. I like the idea about the basements and businesses. I could only think of one more business, an illegal weapons shop. I don't know if that would fit with the game or if it might come under one of the other types, but it popped into my head.

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Hey guys..actually I use "Light Map Maker" to generate the light maps.


-In Milkshape3D Scale by 100x and Export to .3DS
-Import .3DS into Lightmap maker
-Generate the light map and export as .3ds [save lightmaps as .tga]
-Import back into MS3D, re-scale by 0.01, re-group all light map tris into a single group.
-As a pre-processing step in-game go through all verts determining the closest one in the lightmap mesh and grab the texcoords from it, and drop it into the second set of texcoords in your actual mesh.

That's basically how to get free light maps in 15 minutes on whatever mesh you want using MS3D and Lightmap maker.

Light map maker also does radiosity, caustics and a few other cool things...You can set the output texture size, and the world's sample rate to tweak the quality really easily.

Also regarding the weapons shop....all weapons that your gang has purchaes but not given to any gangster, will appear in your headquarters on the weapons rack...so there is no need for a weapons shop.

Thanks for comments guys.

- Dan

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