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The Slammer.

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I've been working on the jail today [which is in the police station's basement]. I wish I had more time to work on it, especially the light maps, but I've only afforded myself 1 day to work on this, I was hoping to get the illegal gambling business finished today as well....but things dragged on. Numerous bugs in Milkshape3D & Light Map Maker, particularly the way it handles large groups of triangles > 30k...I'll spare the details, but I was going around and around just trying to get the 10000+ surfaces exported from light map maker into a single group in Ms3D, I ended up having to ues multiple groups, and export in steps, etc...what a pain...and I'm not 100% satisfied with the lightmaps which took about 20 min to generate.

It looks awesome with 1 light source...with 6 of them the lighting becomes confusing. I'm thinking it might be better to just seperate each gang into different rooms, verses having all the gangs in one common room, so they can see eachother. I'm sure once the player models are rendred the FPS will be shitty on most comps. My 8800 gets ~500 FPS with just one jail cell...with 6 I get about 200 FPS. @ 1280x1024 8x FSAA and full motion blur + bloom I get 120 FPS which is totally fillrate limited due to motion blur / bloom...ehhh.

Here is the final result...at least until I get more time to work on it....

The reference photos, I liked the bed from the alcatraz cell, the bars from the other cell, and I was really going for a large 'holding cell' look for the jail cells, since each gang will have their own cell.

And here is the step by step....

Screenshot from Light Map Maker...I get like 0.01 FPS...but the results are good, so I can't really complain. They saved me a lot of time.

Nicely packed lightmaps...thanks Light Map Maker *thumbs up & cheesy smile*

Thats it for now...next 2 days will be spent writing code to handle all the basement stuff. Yay.

- Danny
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Looking good. I'm just afraid you're spending a lot of time on smaller details. Don't get me wrong, it's great and it makes you're game stand out but I think you should try to get the core stuff finished first so you can start some real gameplay testing done while you finish up the rest.

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Well, he's gotten this far so I guess Dan knows what he's doing [wink]

On a technical note, I always thought precomputed lightmaps feels a bit like cheating compared to real-time lighting, but there seems to be no denying them fancy results. As for gameplay, will it be possible/feasible to break into the jail and bust out your own gang members and kill/extort other gangsters? Meaning, would this be a suicidal fight against an army of cops or something I'd considering doing during regular gameplay?

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Yeah, I'm pretty sure that he has a handle on what he's doing [smile].

The reflectiony sort of effects on the walls and floor in the first couple of screenies is frighteningly realistic. I suppose I haven't played a lot of high end games since I only have a GeForce 6 on my home PC, but I've never seen walls and floors look like that before.

Awesome stuff as usual.

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Gaheris - Actually I'm doing the absolute minumum amount of artwork so I can test everything...it's hard to get arrested and go to jail if the jail doesn't exist...unless you'd just want to stare at the outisde of the building and just see the icon of your gangster under the police building....it's very un-satisfying. Now you'll get arrested, screen fades to black, and you come-to in the cell of the police station. Much better [grin]. And now things like jail-breaks, etc. are possible. That is just the jail, I can also do SO much more with the businesses now.

Anyways, having interesting visual representations of things really helps the player get into the game...people would say the same things years ago when I changed the game from a top-down isometric to a full 3D, or in this case...from a totally 2D representation of the businesses to a interactable 3D represetation. Sure this requires "more work", and a lot of time on the visuals...but it is TOTALLY worth it in my opinion with what it brings to the game.

Now that I have 1 of each type of basement done, I can focus on writing the code aspects. I don't really have time to explain further...but yea, just trust me [grin].

remigius - I'm still thinking / working on this stuff so I'm not sure yet. I'll know in the next 2 days.

EasilyConfused - Yeaa jail cells are the perfect candidate normal mapping [grin]. Glad you like how it's looking.

Thanks for the comments guys.

- Dan

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Fable actually had a pretty cool jail. They used shadowmaps so the shadows of the bars kinda fell over your character and it was dark and moody.

Love the progress though; once again your productivity amazes me! keep up the great work; I really looking forward to your next journal entry ;)

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I'm not worried, you know best how to finish up your game and I'm digging those basements. However, sometimes I have to say something else than just "Awesome!" or "Best shit evar!!!11" or you'll stop believing me. ;-)

Looking forward to the next basement, you've still got some nice businesses on your list.

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Looking really good. Biggest jail cells I've seen :)

For the business ideas I was wondering if you were keeping away from an auto theft type business? It seems an obvious one to include but maybe you don't want to because of the comparisons to GTA? I was thinking about the scenes from Gone In 60 Seconds where you see them cutting the cars up.

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Heh yea they're supposed to be large holding cells, one per-gang. Seemed that was the best way to do it, verses having 60 smaller cells which was the other option.

Well I'll probably have some degree of car theft..just stealing and brinigng them to chop shops...something like that. I'm not sure...I'm trying to stray away from having the player perform those types of tasks. If anything car theft would be a order given to your gangsters who would then go out and steal cars, though I suppose the player could do it as well if they wanted :-)

- Dan

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