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What's this all about, anyway?

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Well, since this is my first *proper* entry, I might as well give some information what's this all about. I'm a long time poster on GDNet, but I decided to keep a journal only recently mainly because I wanted to document the development of my first 'serious' game project, and create some awareness about it. Outside my day job as a software developer, I have created many half-finished projects(engines,puzzle games,shmups,FPS clones, you name it), and only a handful complete ones, but I consider this to be my first really serious game attempt. Let's see how that goes.

The game has the temporary title 'God Complex'. It's a 3D fighting game, similar to those like Tekken or Virtua Fighter. The rendering engine is created in C++ and OpenGL, with thoughts of integrating Python or Lua for things like the game logic and AI. The twist here is that it features gods from several mythologies fighting each other. So far, I have plans to release a 4-character demo. Those four characters are Zeus,Lucifer/Satan,Anubis and Charon(or the Grim Reaper). Each of those characters has his own stage(for example, Lucifer has Hell, Zeus has mount olympous, and so on).

The choice for only a 4-character demo was, of course, because of limited funds. I plan to create a site when the project is almost complete it, and release it there for free, charging a small price like $5 for the multiplayer version. Of course, I will look for any publishers that might be interested, even though the chances of that are pretty slim. Also, I'm thinking about entering the IGF contenst next year, if the demo is ready.

I am collaborating with 2 great artists that create the art of this game, both found right here in gdnet. Karan_s creates the characters and ChewyBunny the environments. Collaborations via internet always have their difficulties, but I think we are doing well and it will get only better as we learn each other's way of working in the future.

To be honest, the artists so far have completed more work than I have. We already have 3 characters completed(Zeus,Lucifer and Anubis) and one stage(Hell), whereas I haven't done much in reference to coding. I've written though a 10-page design document that details the scenario(although it will be revised because, well, it sucks), the characters, their moves and so on.

Anyway, yesterday I found some free time and implemented importing the environments and rendering them. The first task was to chose a format. I initially went for 3DS, and was going to use a free library I found on the internet that's worked before. Unfortunately, it didn't handle local transformations very well, so some objects were really off. Both me and the artist tried some things that didn't work, and in the end I decided, instead of writing my own loader for such a complex format like 3DS, to write a loader for the human-readable ASE format, which would convert the data into a binary format of my own that I could use with OpenGL easily.

It didn't take too many hours to create a quick-and-dirty utility that did this. There were some problems with importing the per-vertex normals, and in the end decided to calculate them myself, which turned out good. So yeah, now I have screenshots:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

It's just basic per-vertex lighting for now,as I have decided to not work with fancy shaders and effects yet, and focus in gameplay for the next weeks. My next task is to create a Character Editor, where the developer create entirely new characters.

The Editor will work somewhat like this: The developer will load meshes,animations and materials. Then he will assign the animations to the few "basic" moves, like walking,running,crouching and so on. Then, he will be able to define entirely custom moves. Let's consider one arbitrary move, like "Kick". The developer will first load the "Kick" animation into the editor. Then, he will define the "hit areas". Those will probably be spherical regions that inflict some damage to the opponent. The developer can define their position relative to the character's skeleton, their moment of appearance and their duration, their strengths, the counter-moves that can block them, and so on. He will also be able to define other parameters, like forces or impulses upon the character's body, particle effects, emitting projectiles and that kind of stuff.

My ultimate goal is to be able to add a new character to the game simply by creating the character in the Editor and drop its file to the correct folder. Then the game will analyze the available moves of the character, and be able to AI control it, just like that. I figure, if I actually manage this, it will be great for the modding community, if of course the game actually attracts some attention.

Of course, creating that Editor will be a long process, so I don't plan on waiting until I finish it in order to start working on the actual game. I will work with both simultaneously, completing the parts I need at the time, and making changes as I go. This technique has proven fairly useful in the past, at least for me.

Well, that was a long post... Time to rest :)
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Wow. I've read a lot of posts here on GD.net but this is a first for me. It looks awsome to say the least. As far as charactors go I think it would be cool to not only fight the gods but fight their minions or deciples. It would be like campaigne (sp) mode. You pick your charactor and then a god you wish to fight. Then you go through a series of battles with minions of the god (maybe 2) then you are able to fight the god. The minions could be fairly generic and the gods could have some really flashy special moves.

With the charactor creator(editor) this would be easier to pull off then it is just being able to go from one fight to the next.

It is safe to say I really like the way your game looks. I hope to see it go far. :)

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Thanks for the comments :) Yeah, there are a lot of ideas floating around currently, the problem as always is find the funds for the artwork. My main concern now is finishing the demo, we'll see how it goes from there on...

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