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Back To The Platformer

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Struggling to get going this morning, so thought I would update my journal for a change. Did a bit more work on the spaceship game I posted about last, until I decided once again to dust off the platform game and continue with that. The spaceship game was a neat idea but a bit too ambitious and was growing out of control.

So I'm hoping instead to use the spaceship stuff (i.e. the cube-mapped star-backdrop and the ideas i had about piloting ships) as a way to link normal 3D platform levels together in a game project. The character plays levels as in the image with normal gravity and interactions, but then travels from one level to the other via piloting a ship in zero-gravity space.

I've put too much work into the 3D platform engine to just scrap it. What I currently have working is pretty stripped down and simplified and have removed a lot of the more complex controls and interactions. Basically, at the moment, the character can run and jump and that's it. There is also a full rag-doll simulation feature that can be switched on to take over control of the character when he dies.

Before, I had things like edge-walking, edge-grabbing and shimmy and so on all working but I removed these for now. I may re-implement them later but took the view that I needed to get a very basic run-and-jump mechanic working well and fun to play before I added in any more complication. The model is also still just a placeholder (my own work, but not happy with it) and I need to create a character that can fire a bow and wield a blade of some kind for what I am looking for.

The level editor is not in bad shape. This is its third or fourth incarnation now and the current incarnation just allows you to build levels using primitive convex shapes (cuboid and wedge at the moment but easy to add more) along with face and vertex selections, texturing support and so on.

Making a real model for the game with the abilities discussed above is the real work and the real problem. My 3D model and animation editor (Charm) is in good shape - what is lacking is talent from my side at modelling and texturing support in Charm to really push this forward.

So, as usual for gamedev, the problem is not technology or programming ability, the problem is content creation. I'm at the point now in my game programming where I can do pretty much anything within reason with my current understanding of things like 3D physics and rendering. The problem is a lack of artistic ability or maybe just a lack of patience and too much obsession over detail. Not sure which it is really but need to push past this (mainly psychological I'm sure) barrier if I am to move forward with a game.

I keep wondering if I am wise to stick with Direct3D 9.0c at this late hour, or if now would be a good time to tackle Direct3D 12, but I keep coming back to the view that I can do everything I need for my project in 9.0c so not sure I would do anything except lose a lot of time learning the new approaches, which I understand to be damn hard and error-prone.

Hmm. I don't know. Going to stick with the codebase I have for now anyway and see if I can motivate myself to start working on a sort of over-structure in the game code. Two or three 3D platform levels loaded from file, and some kind of space transport to allow you to move from one level to the other via a star-drop cube-mapped space area.

Bit of a ramble today, just musing really so thanks if you made it this far :)

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The question of, "Should I stick with the old, or try the new" is pretty much up to your goals.  Do you want to make a game, to learn to make a game, or to learn graphics and DirectX.  Only the last one really would make swapping to Dx12 worthwhile.

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[quote name="ferrous" timestamp="1469332324"]The question of, "Should I stick with the old, or try the new" is pretty much up to your goals.  Do you want to make a game, to learn to make a game, or to learn graphics and DirectX.  Only the last one really would make swapping to Dx12 worthwhile.[/quote] True dat

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