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Main Menu / Alley Scene / Video

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I'm starting to get back into development on the game engine / game client. I've been spending a lot of time on the database / account aspects. I'm still working on those parts but I'm going to start integrating all the account stuff into the client.

I have plans for a 'global lobby' where you'll be able to search for available servers, see who/how many players are online, message other players to setup matches, and handle all the user created gang stuff.

Anyways that's a different story. I'm also working on the game's website which is 90% done.

As a little warmup exercise I decided to use the rendering path used for basements / illegal businesses and create an alley scene which will be in the background @ all times when you're not actually playing a game. I was thinking I'll have civilians / cops / traffic cars driving by randomly. It should look pretty cool.

I've recorded a video and uploaded it here - VIDEO DOWNLOAD 18MB .MPG

Preview Image - Click to download video -

Here is an image of the final setup...It'll probably be tweaked some, we'll see.

Here are the steps of creating the alley scene over the last day or two...

Lightmap test...

Logo test...it's interesting I converted the logo created by Salsa into a 2-tone bitmap, then used a program called Font Creator to create a .ttf font containing the logo, this way I could use Milkshape3D's "Create geometry from font' plug-in to import the logo...it worked out pretty well.

Then I started experimenting with different lighting setups...I was certain I was going to go with something w/ red in it...though it turned out that it didn't look that good [as you'll soon see].

Inside 'Light Map Maker' a free program I use to generate the lightmaps.

As you can see the red-light didn't look at that good [this is just ModelTexture*Lightmap, nothing else].

Yea, hand painting the lightmaps for the trees was fun...

Again you can see the red isn't working out as I'd hoped...

I'm much happier with this look...

And here are some 'spare' parts of the scene...

That's all for now hope you found that to be interesting [grin]. Any comments are welcome as usual. Download/Check out the video above!

- Danny
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Too cool! I want to do a big slick title screen for my next game, too. Perhaps I'll write a static scene importer and do this.

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Not cool! Make the camera move around a bit in the background (EDIT: I mean just turning and/or moving a little bit like when you finish a level in Quake 1, not a camera walk-around), or it looks like a rendered picture from the 90's games.

Oh, and if you're going to make cars and people pass by, add some car chases! (just an overspeeding car followed by one or more police cars). Not too often, but every 10 minutes or something.

I believe these things would add a lot into the general look of the game, and shouldn't require much work to implement.

Too bad you can't use the day/night cycle in this scene.

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day/night cycles would be an amazing touch, but my general vote is to keep it as simple as possible it is the background after all [smile]

Reminds me of the 'Deus Ex' menu sequence as well...

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The scene itself is really great looking but it just doesn't feel like I am standing in that spot as the menus are being used.

I think the cars and peds will make that a lot more believable, but as it stands, that little scene in the city doesn't feel alive and really could just be a screenshot.

I think you should add some ambient city noise to it. Have some car engines and horns in the background. Maybe some shots being fired if it is a nasty part of town. The occasional police/ambulance/fire engine sound in the background and maybe even some dogs barking or cats fighting (it is night time after all).

All the best,

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Yea slight circular camera movement in on the list, also I'm going to animate the light behind the user so the logo reflects differently. That's about 5 lines of code, I'll get that in there today.

I'm about to yank out the old OpenAL sound system and solely use FMOD so the background sounds / etc. will be totally different. I think it'll look awesome with random peds / traffic going by...it's just supposed to be a background image / screen...and it'll almost be totally obscured by any lobby the user has open.

- Danny

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I second the camera movement. But what about making the light flicker a bit? It might increase the feeling of decay.

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