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Sound, Particles, Water etc

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Time for an update to show how I'm getting on. A lot of what I've been doing is copy-pasting and reworking code from the old version of the game, so I'm progressing more rapidly than would otherwise be the case.

Some of the things I've added:


Now instead of just random test heights the landscape is made up of distinct hills, which raise the surface from their centre. I've had to compromise a bit with the heights available (bottom of the lakes to top of the hills) because it affects a lot of aspects of the scrolling renderer and I don't want to go above hardware limits for the render target size.


Just using my old dodgy shader from the old version, I'm currently just drawing a big quad at the water surface level. This may be changed to a rough polygonal shape around the lakes, to save on fillrate. It has to read the custom depth buffer so must be moderately expensive even when there is no drawing taking place.


I've added a very simple particle system, for things like fire, blood, splashes etc. You can place particle systems on the map and it will intelligently turn them on / off as needed as you move around. It is currently using point sprites, so the particles are flicking out of view as the point centre moves off the screen. This may not happen on the OpenGL ES version, I haven't tried it yet, but if it is still a problem I'll either switch to quads or try a workaround (I did read a suggestion of changing the viewport and using glScissor). I'm also considering using something similar for things like butterflies.


Minor tweak, I use the distance travelled to determine how far to advance the animation, instead of just time, so the footsteps are a better match to the ground instead of sliding so much.


Added support for altitude and gravity. This is mainly used for the player but will also be used for flying creatures. The bats are not yet implemented, they are at a fixed height for now. However it works with the collision detection, so e.g. bats can fly over animals and plants, and the player can jump over low obstacles. :D


The very basics of the LUA scripting is working again. I need to do more work for attaching it to characters, when I deal with level loading. You can use the scripting to drive subtitles for the game and speech bubbles on characters, play sounds, animations, move characters etc. :ph34r:


Finally I've got the sound working again. This was initially mostly a copy-paste affair, but I added support for looping sounds, for ambience around the maps, like insect noises, water rippling, fire etc. I also improved it to use a basic positional audio, where each sound has a location, and the listener has a location, and it smoothly interpolates the sounds in stereo as they move about relative to the listener. There is also reverb / echo and dynamic compression. I haven't tried the music tracker yet but I intend to change this considerably.

As usual any suggestions / comments are most welcome. :)

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Hmm, I'm aiming for a scripted jungle exploration game, where you will get lots of sub missions depending on the areas you enter, mostly from natives and chiefs, kind of like rpg like baldur's gate etc, but simplified without all the character stats and inventory. The animals will be there to bother you as you go about missions. There will be an overall story arc too. It is influenced a lot by things like the king kong movies. Although the test levels here are just random, the levels can have biomes such as desert, forest, plains, rocky, volcano, lake, sea shore etc. I'm keen to not get out of hand so the major technical challenges are scrolling renderer, animals, and hopefully some kind of geometry morphing for the natives so I can have a lot of variation. Then simple objects you can interact with / collect. I'm also planning on the player being able to pilot a canoe, swim, jump. Also there may be a wrestling sub-game, it depends how difficult it would be to coordination the animations, and how time consuming that would be. I have experimented with auto level generation on the previous version, and this works well while having the facility to manually map edit (in the game engine) and move things after the auto-generate. Then I would place actors and write scripts for the missions. Possibly some of the scripts could be auto generated too.

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