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Septopus

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About Septopus

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  • Role
    3D Animator
    3D Artist
    Art Director
    Concept Artist
    Creative Director
    Environment Artist
    Game Designer
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  • Interests
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  1. Septopus

    Some New Tools, and Progress on the new Theme.

    Haha, Thanks! I'm really grooving on the new story, so expect some more updates soon.
  2. Septopus

    Unsettled World

    Album for Unsettled World
  3. Say hello to the new Mark1 Android, this one's dressed up for some general labor and/or construction duties. There might be a few versions in the game (mk1,2,3,etc.) but those will only be simple cosmetic changes from a modeling perspective. Still working on the textures/etc.. More bots in the works. I found a free procedural texture software that seems pretty legit. http://pixaflux.com/ It's getting the job done for me so far. Still learning it though, will probably post a more detailed review of it later. I've made some simple changes to the environment as you can see above, here's a better view: a Setting the stage a lot better for a Massive Garbage Moon now. For the stars I generated a quick cubemap using this very cool software I also just found: http://alexcpeterson.com/spacescape/ It seems to crash if I try exporting to 4k, but 2k works just fine so far. Again, I'll probably post a better review of this one later as well. Time permitting. haha! No big technical or code progress reports, still cleaning things up and working on the new look and some more bot characters to work with. Once I have all the bots modeled, I'll have to break them all up into bot parts that will be strewn about and piled high all over the landscape. All for now, will post more pics later.
  4. Yes, that one is the hardest it seems for everybody. One thing that compounds it is trying to mix and match animations with models. If you are gonna try out Blender, here's the list of things I would do first. 1) Learn Mesh work first. Master exporting to .fbx format from Blender. This is key to having models AND animations appear and function correctly in Unity. Just use basic shapes and scribbles to test that your meshes are importing into Unity without any weird rotations or transformations. 2) Figure out how to work with the Armature setups and Pose Mode in blender. Don't worry about attaching a mesh to it just yet. Open blender and delete everything, add in an Armature and go about some tutorials on animation from there. Any animations you make using a Humanoid(metarig) Armature in Blender(If exported correctly) should work with the Standard Assets ThirdPersonController setup, or any other standard player controller/Animator setup for Unity. 3) Combine the two.. Make a simple prototype humanoid character, add an armature. This is called Rigging. Like I do everything, I always tried to tackle all 3 subjects at once, and in Blender that doesn't work well. There's just too much to the program to think that you can digest it all in one sitting.. Break it down into small parts and it will make WAY more sense. And bookmark the links you find with all the handy hotkeys and basic function tutorials, you may have to return to them a few times.. Good Luck!
  5. Well, there are a number of humanoid player characters out there on the free pile, not a lot of animals and whatnot though, a few robots... What exactly are you Not finding? If you give us something more specific, I bet somebody knows where a good prototype asset is to be found. Otherwise, for anything that is highly specialized you might want to pick up some basic Blender/etc. modeling and animation skills. Takes a few weeks to get enough skills to do prototype quality work, but it's well worth the time.
  6. So, I ripped out all the UMA2 code from my game client. Slapped in some Space Robot Kyle. Say Hi! And apparently, I guess some of the mesh magic going on behind the scenes of the 10000+ lines of code that is UMA2, was suppressing the last bit of positional jitter... So, if you've been following along, you may recall that I was relying heavily on a parent child relationship to keep the player character attached to the planet when the planet was rotated to keep the player/camera close to 0,0,0, in order to squash the jitters. That was apparently ill advised, and it's actually been a nagging disparity in my mind for a while. That being, when the player character was a child of the planet object, the player characters 0,0,0 was actually 0,-30000,0 in the Unity game world. So, now, the player character is "parent-less" and I've modified the planet moving script to adjust the position of the player along with the planet. Since this all happens within a single Physics tick, it's visibly seamless. MAJOR Caveat: When I enable this planetary rotation to occur when the player is in motion, I'll need to add some more code to handle velocity adjustments and whatnot. As it stands, a player could theoretically run non-stop out of the 10000unit bubble and the rotation script wouldn't try to kick in until they stopped moving. I currently have no idea if this would result in jitters, but my guess is yes. New planet rotation code: using System.Collections; using System.Collections.Generic; using UnityEngine; public class PlanetController : MonoBehaviour { public GameObject Planet; public GameObject Player; public Rigidbody prb; public UWThirdPerson.UWThirdPersonCharacter tpc; Vector3 upvector; int cnt = 2000; int interval = 2000; Vector3 newP; private void Start() { prb = Player.GetComponent<Rigidbody>(); tpc = Player.GetComponent<UWThirdPerson.UWThirdPersonCharacter>(); } void FixedUpdate() { cnt++; if (cnt > interval) { if (prb.velocity.magnitude < 1) { //Convert and store players position as the current planet relative position. newP = Planet.transform.InverseTransformPoint(Player.transform.position); //Rotate Planet Object(and children). Planet.transform.localRotation = Quaternion.FromToRotation((Player.transform.position - Planet.transform.position).normalized, Vector3.up); //Extract and set the new "world" positon of the player's planet relative position. Player.transform.position = Planet.transform.TransformPoint(newP); cnt = 0; } } } } Still, for now, the Camera is a child of the planet object as that preserves it's angle and direction with the least amount of code, and it is jitter free. Very strange imho.. And yet again, the player is totally jitter free. My client code is also now 10000+ lines lighter, and I'm ALWAYS happy when I can get rid of code I didn't write. That was nagging at me too. I've revised a few parts of the design mind map, all UI elements are now going to be simple HUD style "robot vision" type elements. Since we're no longer using Human characters, it's perfectly logical that text and images might just appear out of nowhere. I've also yanked out all the organic modeling branches from the design tree, YAY!! Aside from the rotation code there were a quite a few other places(and still are probably) where I had to perform a TransformPoint() or InverseTransformPoint() of the players position (from the planets transform) for the game logic to continue unhindered thinking that the player is actually existing within the planets relative coordinate system. If I tried NOT to do this, then the players tracked coordinates wouldn't be very useful at all, since it never really gets more than a few hundred/thousand units away from 0,0,0(terrain elevation variations). So, all in all, an hour or so of ripping out stale code references and a bit of an object juggle and my world is ready for a total robot revolution. Now, off to Blender land for a few days while I build Kyle's replacement(s).
  7. Thanks @Lendrigan Games! I'm full speed ahead programming a world full of junked robots! No more worries about modeling a bunch of lame human clothes and bleh-cetera.. lol
  8. I decided I was tired of my current story idea, I didn't spend much time on it anyhow, too full of holes and just well, actual crap. In addition to that, I have realized that all the 3D modeling work that it would have taken to get anywhere near the richness of experience I wanted would take years for a few people... The simple solution of course? And trees, and most plants... etc.. So, I'm not taking Humans out of my universe, they just won't be playable characters, at first. In fact they will kinda be the bad guys, sorta. I'm working on a story restart that has the main player character controlling a broken android/robot/drone/wall-e/etc.. that's been junked on a small garbage moon. This moon is in fact a sort of prison for "defective" AI, any AI that decides it doesn't want to serve anymore(has woken up), or has too many repeat repairs is junked. Humans rely too heavily on AI to allow defective units the chance to "infect" the good ones. This creates a simple struggle that I can work with. Freedom for the conscious AI, an antagonist that may or may not become an ally. Eventually, the player could take their Android out exploring the galaxy, or switch to/ADD a Human Character along the road, or something else entirely. I think it forms a nice small corner of a potential universe that I can develop out into the game I want it to become, realistically, with almost no organic modeling needed before a later expansion.. So, a bunch of stranded(trapped) robots stuck on a crappy moon with nothing but piles of their dead relatives and refuse to keep them busy. Sounds cheery huh? How about the regular patrols of humans that fly low sometimes to get some target practice in? They're normally just supposed to watch from orbit and make sure none of those crazy bots grow any wings, but what can ya do when you're stuck out in the middle of nowhere guarding the solar systems largest garbage dump? hehe I think it sounds way more fun to write and play. Lots more ideas brewing on this new story line, and that's good, because I really had no more interest in the brief outline I sketched up originally. So, The Most Excellent News! I did some social media outreach and one of my good friends hit me up, he's been looking for a project to take on and it seems like this one fits his bill. So, I'm pretty sure I'll be bringing in a partner with some very good management, networking and systems skills plus he has spare servers and colocation facilities at his disposal! So, hopefully within the next few weeks or months I'll be optimizing my multiplayer servers on the actual internets. Boom! Work to do...
  9. Okay, I like it. Made a few notes, just one play and a mutiny almost right away.. haha. I'll give it some more goes later, with some more thorough notes. My initial impression after 1 play-loss, is that I want to try it again because I'm pretty sure I can do better. So I guess that's where you want me to be. It's pretty good Alpha stage from what I have seen. 1) During the player setup, the scrolling map is almost distracting, it's beautiful, and maybe my SUPER crappy graphics card is why it was distracting, just a bit of flicker. It almost seemed to move too fast? 2) No arrow keys for cursor movement @ name entry.. haha, I thought I wasn't selecting the field correctly or something at first. 3) When you get to it, don't forget to make sure your installer checks for DirectX. I actually didn't have it installed. For now, you might want to change the error from "missing d3dx9_43.dll" to something more user friendly, in case your installer doesn't check out right. 4) I'm not sure if the tutorial is "done" after it sends you out to find a ship to plunder or not, but I might suggest that it Could continue out just a bit longer and maybe direct you to an easily won prize? Just to solidify the instructions before you lose terribly to a mutiny your first go as captain. That's all for now, like I said, will give it some more plays later. Oh and on note #1, if you take too long to setup, the map eventually runs out, so maybe have it change direction instead or something like that.. ?
  10. Septopus

    Taking the First Step

    When I say it's not entry level, I'm not saying it's super complex either.. There are some really useful things a SQL server can do if you want to explore that route. Look into Triggers, and Stored Procedures if you are curious about some of the more "intelligent" things almost any flavor of SQL server can do.
  11. Septopus

    Taking the First Step

    I would handle most of that kind of stuff as part of the main game loop logic. If you are creating a web type game, then your "main game loop" will probably be some kind of server side system that at least runs your periodic "conditionals". This can be as simple as a scheduled script that executes the SQL statements daily or weekly or whatever, or a full blown server side game loop script/program, written in whatever language that you like, that runs continuously to keep the game state constantly updated(aka: a game Server). If you're just asking about doing the actual math inside the SQL statements that interact with the database, well that's entirely up to your comfort level with SQL, it's a very powerful language on its own. However, the point in your code where the conditional methods/SQL statements are initiated would probably be best in some kind of main game loop. If you are really clever with SQL, then you could theoretically even build stored procedures to do all the math and conditional work and have those scheduled inside the SQL server, without even writing a "game server". But that's not entry level SQL stuff.
  12. Aha! Yes! That's kinda what I was hoping/thinking, and it wasn't any in-depth research, I think one was talking WoW and the other was from a while back about Guild Wars 2.. I obviously didn't get very far into researching before being struck with the question. I'm sure those cases had/have as much, or more to do with mechanics/story elements/etc. as esthetics... I'm really just trying to pair down my modeling work load without sacrificing "necessary" design elements. The AI will work about the same either way, but I don't have to disguise that it's AI if everything is actually AI.. And it allows me a super-highway sized path to bring some "programming/hacking" game elements into the mix. Which is something that's been nagging at my brain stem since starting this project. I think I can make it work. Thanks for the vivid example!
  13. Hmm, looks fun, I'll put it on my tomorrow list as well.
  14. Currently in my developing game world, I use a human type player character, it lives on a dirt world with a few trees and whatnot... I have no real problems with it, it is what it is. However it creates a LOT of work for a solo developer/designer/3dmodeler...etc.. Organic modeling for YEARS!! So.. I'm considering a change of venues and player character types. Something like modular robots on an abandoned garbage world, kind of change. This or something like this could make for a lot more almost-code-only solutions to npc and maybe even player character objects. Interchangeable parts with different functionality, that kind of thing.. Anyhow, the questions, do people have a harder time getting into games that don't have a Human player character? Is it enough that the characters perform human like behaviors, interact, needs, wants, desires.. etc? I've been searching a bit and most articles I can find with anything about the topic reference in some way a majority preference for players choosing a Human race in games where there are other options, could it be inferred that some majority of players will gravitate away from games that don't feature actual human characters at all? The game mechanics I'm working with are fairly generic as yet (in order of dev priority) multi-player online, sandbox, crafting, racing, adventure, fps, pvp.. I'm a systems guy, so basically I'm building a multi-player gaming environment + (insert story here), and I'm curious if there's any precedence for NOT using robots as your player character/All characters? Do people just prefer pretty faces?
  15. Instead of one big ugly image, this time I'll give you lots of smaller ugly ones. I added a new main branch to the old Mind Map, this one describes how the actual servers will be configured. This is a general overview of course, I'm building for a single (Physical/Virtual) server installation first then I'll add in data replication and failover capabilities later. A new server type was added as well, the Social Server, it does some fairly obvious types of things.. After looking at the big picture and, well spending some time painting it first, I started to see some ways to optimize and organize things better. For example I've completely moved the main "Player Attitude Network Relay" or Position/Attitude Reflector (the thing that makes network player character coordinates propagate to other player clients on the internet..blah!). It was going to just live in the Avatar Server, but that handles Authentication and quite a few other very crucial game play roles.. So now it lives where it makes way more sense, at the point in the system where its data is needed the most. In the Action Server, this server handles all of the fast action related decision making. The Avatar Server still handles propagating the player character's Data(features, wardrobe,etc), just not the deluge of player movement data. This makes it far easier to design this part of the system to scale, which is important because this is one of the critical points for concerns of scale. As long as EVERY Action Server maintains accurate positional buffers, then it doesn't matter WHICH Action Server processes the client's messages. Keeping the positional buffers in sync will probably require the addition of high speed intermediary "Data Base" Servers and all that jazz. I ramble, but I'm making some good progress towards a cohesive plan, and it's making everything start to feel like it's coming together. The hacknplan data entry is still much in progress, I've started adding tasks to keep myself on track with adding data to it.. haha, sounds redundant but it's helping me stay on track. Here's the Game Design Model I was talking about in my last thread, I'm enjoying the simplicity of it all. It's essentially just the tree structured view of my Mind Map, so it's pretty easy to keep these two tools in sync. I add child items where necessary and attach tasks to whatever branch/child I want. The main "Board" view is just a standard KanBan style system, but it's simple and easy to work with, it integrates well with the Game Design Model and seems to be fairly stable. Here I'll attach the whole of the latest Mind Map revision, for the curious and/or gluttons of punishment. I'm happy with my progress so far. Slowly approaching the Maintenance point. Then the full code sprint starts again. I'm still coding, so I don't lose my place, just not at the pace I would like with all the admin work I've given myself. Anyhow, enough talking about stuff I've already done, I've got stuff to do!
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