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New Car Prototype...

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As I noted in my previous entry, I'm having all of the art assets re-done at "next-gen" quality...I have some teaser images showing the geometry quality differences between the old cars, and the new cars.

I have 16 unique cars in the game currently, when the "upgrading" is done, I'll have 24 unique car models.

This prototype car will serve as the base for the Police Car / Taxi / Sedan in-game [that only counts as 1 car type].

In addition to re-doing all of the vehicles, I'm also working on getting 7 gangs created @ high quality. Check out my last entry for the whole list ;-)

But yea, I made two mistakes with this game...I had the art assets created @ the beginning of the project [2.5 years ago], and I picked a ambitious design. I'm not going to sacrifice the visual quality or my vision for the game...so work goes on :-)

Anyways here are some images...my "car guy" rocks, excellent use of geometry, I would have put the polycount somewhere around 8.5k-9k triangles, he got it down around 7000 which is impressive for the quality. I can't wait to see the other 20+ vehicles :-D

These are not renderings, they are in-editor shots. I'll post some pics of it textured in the coming days, as well as some in-game shots. I have to write a sexy new shader for these new cars :-)

Here you go -

Quality comparison

Some wireframes to show the polywork...very nice.

Oh yea, I'm also re-writing the network architecture, and switching from Newton -> Ageia PhysX.

- Danny
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what's with the move to Ageia? You prob have no time at all but it would be cool at some point to have an article on your experience with Ageia vs other physics at some point. What do you think?

Oh and the car looks nice.

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Physics engines are one thing I've had a lot of fun/experience with.

Just for this game I've moved from ODE -> Tokamak -> Newton -> Ageia PhysX

The reason is overall stability and quality. Newton is ~95% the quality of Ageia, but that extra 5% will make a big difference in the little areas, for instance an "step size" parm for the character controllers, or a slightly more robust/stable integrator which resolves some of the "bouncing" issues with the vehicles on terrain I'm having with Newton.

I've learned a lot from Newton and it's a great lib, especially since it's made by one guy essentially, but like I said in my previous entry...PhysX is the industry standard physics library for a reason, and I'd be a fool not to take advantage of it [for free under the relativly recent license change, no more $50k payment].

But overall it's that little extra stability, I massaged the hell out of Newton to get the results I did, and I've already got nice results from Ageia and I havn't even started tweaking things.

Wait till you see the car textured w/ the new shader, it's gonna be tight :-)

- Danny

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Nice job. The new car model looks awesome! Will you release some demo videos showing the new car models driving around the city?

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Props go to my car artist, he's been studying the GTA4 trailers, I told him to out-do them lol.

I know exactly what car I'm gonna have made next :-D Plymouth Prowler look-alike [ http://www.seriouswheels.com/pics-1990-1999/1993-Plymouth-Prowler-Concept-takeout.jpg ]...I wanna see it close to 10k triangles.

But hell yea I'll have some screens/vids once I get this badboy in-game. Still trying to find the best way to render / optimize things. Mostly deciding between multiple textures, or a single 2k^2 atlas per vehicle, I'm nearly convinced the most efficient way is a single texture per vehicle, so he's gotta re-texture the thing...once that happens I'll have some in-game screens. It looks much better textured...I just can't show screens of it yet because it's still a WIP :-D

- Danny

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the game looks really great... but one question: Are you really programming the game all on your own?

Have fun and keep on with the great work,

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Yes of course I'm doing all the programming myself.

You only need one programmer these days anyways...somebody to merge DirectX/PhysX/FMOD/RakNet/CURL/etc. into a usable game engine, then throw some gameplay on top of it. It's the artwork that is the bottleneck, I also made all the city artwork in the game, also the 2D interface art...well all art except the vehicles/people.

I've learned how to do all this, and have done it over the last 3 years...now that I have a framework of 100,000s of lines of code, my next game should be much easier/faster to produce.

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