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MotionCoil

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About MotionCoil

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  1. MotionCoil

    Boot.stem

    Boot.stem Like I said in my last post, I am getting the foundations to a C-Like scripting language in place as the native scripting language for the engine. There are several reasons why I decided to go head first into a making it C-Like: 1- Its easier to write scripts in since it looks a bit like the rest of the engine 2- Its easily imported into Visual Studio with the formatting 3- I wanted to make something familiar in general Anyway, heres the first CellScript stem file (insane terminology, but i'm having fun- Language is CellScript, each file is called a stem file... cell... stem... stemcell (haha)). This shot shows it happily imported in Visual Studio (and the script works which is a bonus). This script is the custom boot script that is executed when the engine runs through its boot up: Heres the joy- anyone used to C will be able to follow whats happening [grin] The language is quite basic at the moment but is progressing faster than I expected. At the moment its parsed directly but I do have plans in making it so you can semi-compile it into op-codes in the future. I'm quite pleased with it so far though
  2. MotionCoil

    Reformatted

    Reformatted Welcome to my reformatted journal! Reformatted? It looks like my other entries. That may be true from a cosmetic point of view, however I have changed the way I view my journal- thats the reformat. From now on I'm not going to update the journal every now and then based on Nanostem developments but also from what I have personally learnt about the whole development process from experience with Nanostem but also from other sources. Yes, you may well be saying there are lots of journals on here that do just that and there are loads of developer blogs but from my point of view this is for me to look back on. Partly to see progress and also to review and re-establish knowledge. The one achievement I have taken great pleasure in retelling is the fact I changed my girlfriends view of games and their development as something that is void of creativity and results in something of a pointless nature. From that point of view (which, might I add, was almost unmoving) to a view that yes, games are an artform in themselves, in their own right. That was a proud turning point and hopefuly I will bring that, along with my fellow GDNet'ers, to a far wider demographic. I have no doubt that many if not all of us are wanting to see games respected; not from the units sold to the unwashed masses but as something as critically viewed as movies, novels and paintings. Along the same vein, I regularly discuss the latest things I have learnt and appreciate in games design and implementation with my mother on dog walks (what better place?). Recently I played HL2:E1. Then I replayed the entire thing with commentry nodes on. I really like this idea since in a small way its provocing peoples ideas of games as an artform. I learnt ALOT from the commentary nodes in Episode 1 (if you haven't replayed it with commentry nodes- Do. It.). One commentary node stays in my mind- when you come out of the subway thingy (with the missing handle to open the door) and you emmerge to a scene of apocalypse with the citadel dead centre. The node explains how nothing in that one player view wasn't postioned willy nilly. It was 'painted' to make sure the players eye gazed over the destruction, a strider jerkily negotiating the rubble it created at its feet. with the once forbiding icon of fear and endless power, the citadel, now a decaying shadow of its former self dead centre with Dr kleiners voice echoing out with messages of hope. It was instrumented so the player would see all this and appreciate what it was trying to say. That is a work of art. The thing I learnt from just that one scene is two-fold: I knew design was intense, for want of a better word, but that really brought me to a new level of what it involves. Ok, it didn't cover every avenue of design but it opened a door for me and understand a little more which can be brought onto other aspects. Many of you may be looking at that and thinking 'well yea, thats stating the obvious. Of course thats the level that design involves'. Well lets not forget- I'm using this to look back on and lets me place the ideas and theories I have learnt for later review. The other thing I learnt is if people understood how much goes into one little thing like this they will begin to appreciate games beyond the button mashing. Thats why I like the commentary nodes that Valve do. The thing I brought up with my mother on the dog walk was the fact, ok this may be a leap, that epic game sagas are a culmination of so many, if not all, forms of art. She did agree, by the way. As far as Nanostem platform is going- well I have full collision detection, a basic form of troop movement and the foundations of a relatively sophisticated C-like scripting languages (parser within the engine- I know, not the most speedy way of reading scripts). My next plan is to get a decent level of control over the CellScript language and get the rest of the team to start with content building- thats long over due [smile] Anyway, just 2 weeks worth of thoughts and about 2 months of development spat out into one Journal. Hopefully see you soon back here /Charlie
  3. Design Tip #476: Make sure every team member is designing the same game In answer to the query I received from Mushu on my last entry: Its not that bad migrating code since there is only about a months worth of development in the engine. It may seem quite a bit but most of it is tweaks an things. Having said that, there has been alot of converting. How I started out the migration initially, or rather what I had in mind, was just to change all the OpenGL specific code to DirectX. In reality many factors arose, like a slightly different process to actually rendering items and the whole 'wow, the engine so far could be a hell of alot better in structure' thing. So the migration was, like I said, initially rewrite the classes to directX which meant basically rewriting the base classes of the graphics engine, which did get a bit 'icky' since the base required enough of a change in structure to be a pain in the arse. From there, most of my previous code could be plugged in- in theory- however, I took this as an opportunity to clean up the more 'complex' (read- sloppy [smile]) code I had written before. So yea, in short, the first stages were icky but from there I could just plug in all my old code with a change here and there. As far as our game design has progressed (Yea, I havn't touched on that before since it has been a real mess) We have finally got a back story in place and the sides you play integrated into the story. Its been quite fun, but a bit tenuous at times, designing this game. I'm doing it with 3 of my college mates and my gf. It started with an idea of having an epic RTS in the same manner as the legendary TA but since then it has... evolved. We have finally sorted out our main objectives. They are quite high but plausible: 8 multiplayer gaming at maximum No single player Full mode: long play times (4+ hours) Lite mode: short play times (2 hours maximum) Ability to save sessions to resume play later 2 tactical play areas- Surface and inter-planetary 3 different sides to pick: The Humanitarians, The Corperations and The Cult Gorgeous shader effects!!!111!1! Well, thats our engine/game objectives. The network code will be hell [wink] The full mode is basically for the people among us who enjoy long thought out tactical play but always found skirmishes to finish too quickly. The lite mode is for the quick destruction of thine enemy. Thats all i'm going to say as far as design is concerned. We have got alot further with the design, like the nitty gritty balanced play, we have designed the factions you play and we have a vivid vision to follow. But if I go into all that, its going to bog down this post more than it already has been [grin] /Charlie
  4. MotionCoil

    NanoStem Migration Update

    NanoStem Migration Update As I said previously, I initiated a group decision to migrate all the old OpenGL code to DirectX. Well, for the past 3 days I have been very busy rewriting pretty much everything and I'm still not there. Basically, I had the implementation in my head but inorder to do it with DirectX I had to rewrite the main base of the engine. Once I had my fundementals in place (DirectX Graphics Manager, Vertex Buffer Manager, Texture Manager etc) I could start rewriting the next level of the engine. Now, with all my projects I always like to have some form of interaction with the inside of the engine as the first step (I find its easier that way). So I always implement a console system- its invaluable in the early build/debug stages of the engine. However, my old console class was a bit clumsy and bloated so I decided to write afresh, infact I decided to go a little deeper and make the console class out of objects of the UI I am going to work on soon. So I wrote some fundemental bare-bone UI classes, like CUIPanel and CUIImage, and used them to construct the console. Whereas before, I had constructed the console out of its own bits and bobs- this way I feel it is more integrated. I have also looked at all the old classes and made them far more OO and writing them so they can easily be plugged into other classes without much hassle. I have also started writing up official reference documentation, which makes me happy. Along with that, I spent 45 minutes doing a new logo- I'm really pleased with it since it is more clean and professional looking. Anyway, heres the first blinking cursor of the Console: I have actually really enjoyed the migration so far. It went off to a bumpy start but I have got a vision to follow now [smile] /Charlie
  5. MotionCoil

    Migration

    Migration Hey all After about 1 month of development and having sorted out quite a few of the native formats for the engine we had a team discussion, initiated by yours truely, and we have come to an agreement that I will migrate all the current code over to DirectX. We came to this dicision for a number of reasons, including the intuitive structure of modern day DirectX. Thankfully it is only a months work and most of that has been a load of fiddling rather than anything too new. So anyway, you probably won't see a huge amount of updates for the next week or so as I migrate the current progress over to the DirectX platform. I'll tell you how easily or how sketchy the migration was when its done. It may sound like an unprofessional decision to change platforms but this is our first project so the beginnings are bound to be a bit wooo bit waaaay [wink] Anyway, I hope I will be more comfortable working with DirectX- will have to get my head round it again :) take it easy /Charlie
  6. MotionCoil

    Its a bit Shady

    Its A Bit Shady Hey all Just posting to say I have been working very hard on not only college work but also our engine. The landscape editor is becoming a most useful test bed for the engine. I'm using it to systematically implement and test features of the engine that are on my checklist. 4 days ago I managed to get simple lighting to work which gave me the natural direction of implementing shading. So here I am, implementing the shading engine and having great fun with it too! I'm currently only using the original specifications of GLSLang but will implement GLSLang 2.0 with a fallback to the original. So far its going ok, except for some of the vertex lighting so I gotta sort that out. I think it may be something to do with the normals... Anyway, the engine is generally flying on at high speed (well, high speed for me [wink]). I'll post up a picture of the editor once I get per pixel lighting to look good.
  7. MotionCoil

    Finally getting back

    Finally I'm getting back into the project. I sat down today and decided to start work on the editor. Basically I need to write a terrain editor for us and so far its been quite fun. Infact, version 0.1 of the editor (current version) has had the honour of my girlfriend actually enjoy playing around with it. Its about 6 hours of development into the tool and it only barebone infrastructure. It has my standard working console however and its quite easy to generate ok looking terrain (from a wireframe point of view [wink]). Anyway, its early days yet but just posting this up to prove i still have drive [smile]
  8. MotionCoil

    Its all so Procedural!

    Hey I have two things happening at the same time at the moment, and they are both quite procedural: For our course we have to learn the basics of MatLab but typical of me I'm throwing myself well into it. Its actually a very intuitive language for hardcore maths... thingys. By the end of this semester each group, we've been split into 3 groups, has to make a section of a genetic algorithm. We are the section that gets all the results from the initial population test and then we have to statistically select a number of the population to be passed on for the the inheritence sorting group. Its all quite interesting- basically taking a matrix, doing random selections of rows of that matrix and passing on another matrix of the same size. I'm now looking at procedural generation as one aspect of the engine. Since the engine will have huge open sections, procedural generation will be perfect to: Build huge vistas in one single generation and save it to the format. This avoids man hours in sculting out the land mass Keep resource files to a minimum since some of the ingame content will be generated on the fly Look pro and have the current buzzwords "Procedural Generation" printed all over the engine [wink] And thats pretty much where I am at the moment. However, when it comes down to it, I might just make a vista editor (No affiliation with Microsoft) so we have full control over the look. Either way, its quite interesting reading. /Charlie
  9. MotionCoil

    Love FMOD

    Hey I spent all day trying to work out what API I will use to play sound and music. In the end I landed on FMOD, and it seemed like Stompy had a lot of success with it so I thought... hey what the hell. I love FMOD! I got the latest release- FMOD-EX 4.03. It is fantastic with a fully object oriented approach to development. Anyway, just spend about 40 minutes writing a basic wrapper class and its working very well. I just played my first sound bite- The reconstructed voicemail from 12 monkeys. I felt it was kinda appropiate for the engine [smile] Anyway, HaVe a MeeeeeRRRREEEEEEEEE CHRISTMMMMMAAAAAAZZZZZ (12 monkeys reference if you haven't seen it[wink])
  10. MotionCoil

    Finished course work, getting on with engine

    I had about a good weeks worth of course work to blitz but now all thats done I've got back to our engine. I'm working on a lot of background stuff and writing old classes to make them easier to use and more efficient. The general blurb really [smile]. So no new pics. I was looking through the old Q3 source and loved the idea of that universal class that takes any data type and converts it easily into any other datatype. I think I might try and implement that swiss army knife. I aim to get some gfx done very soon so I can chuck up a few pics but at the moment its all very boring stuff. So just an update really. As far as life is concerned- not a huge amount going on, but got quite a few parties coming up. Anyway, catch y'all later -Charlie
  11. MotionCoil

    Stompy vs Breakout

    hey hey It's been a while since i last ventured into the dev journals but just letting you know, you have a regular visitor in me again. Dude, everything looks different but very cool. Now i gotta catch up on your current project. -Charlie
  12. MotionCoil

    Behold

    Been a very, very long time since I last posted. I've been too wrapped up in my degree. However, my mate and I have decided to work on a game. I've scrapped my old engine and started on a new one and hes doing most of the models and art. Anyway, I always get a rush when I first get the blinking cursor of a console. Heres the NanoStem Platform, first blinking cursor: I'm using a lot of the technology I created when working on my old engine. The console is the same for instance, but I have been rewriting it so its far more efficient code wise. (Oh, the console's background is mine- I'm quite proud of it actually [smile]) Anyway, good to have my journal back up and running -Charlie
  13. MotionCoil

    starting a well worn path again. Wish me luck

    hey Long time no update again. Well, thanks to all those who have helped me with collision detection. I have used that information in conjunction with some good tutorials and realised that my current LD map format is crap and is too mangled to actually perform collision detection happily and successfully. Taking that into account I am about to venture on a journey but this journey has already been done before. I'm rewriting HUGE amounts of my level format (thats quite a few months of work) and try and make it neat as possible. My idea is to integrate the level class around a tutorial I have read. I understand the theory behind collision detection but my level format is stored in such an obfuscated way that its almost impossible to do vaguely complex maths on it. I may even go so far as to scrap the current format and start anew. I can almost feel the fresh air sweeping over the age old cobwebs of my code [smile]. Well, here I go- starting some calm DJ Shadow and starting up Visual Studio...Wish me luck. MoCo
  14. MotionCoil

    I'm back (not that you noticed I'd gone)

    Hey all The Story So Far... God, its been a long...long time since I put anything into my journal. I've been quite busy just getting stuff for college sorted out in the past few months and havn't really had the time and/or motivation to work with my game engine. However, i've had my first few weeks at college for the foundation year before uni-proper and I'm really enjoying it (granted, i'm wishing I had actually turned up to my last year of A-Levels a bit more since I would be AT uni by now if I had). That aside I have a good bunch of mates at college now and will try and keep them as mates since we are all going into Halls of Residence next year at Sussex Uni. Engine Now I'm finally settled I'm getting back into programming and into my game engine. I think the reason for me not working on the engine is because I have come to the ever fun obstacle of collision detection. I'm diving and taking no prisoners; I will get my characters bouncing off the walls (...in a good way). After that I plan on getting the lighting a bit better and starting on a basic scripting language. again. Also I have in my mind to refine the map format a bit and add more flexability. In Other News An e-mail caught my eye today and guess what...? I love the new look to gamespot; everything is just a few clicks away. They have made it look far more professional and the integrated player looks sweet. A bit better than Windows Media Player style buttons. Fresh Tuesday is quite informative for a quick overview of the latest happenings of out mad-cap industry. On the downside are Gregg Kasavin's awful sarcasm/quips/jokes on the redesign overview video. Have rotten tomatoes at the ready[wink] I also got 'My First Car'- its a Ford KA that came with an OldSkool tape deck for a sound system. Blink and you'd miss how quickly i replaced that a Kenwood CD/MP3 player and Fusion Sub and Amp. I can pretty much roll my car from the vibrations. Anyway, peace out y'all -Charlie
  15. MotionCoil

    oh no!

    Just said goodbye to my gf. shes going for 2 weeks to the british virgin isles. I'm gonna be a wreck without her :( The plus side is, I will actually be able to really work on my engine for the next 2 weeks [smile] oh, and I treated myself to a new mobile phone to keep my spirits high: T-Mobile MDA Compact I've seen it in action and its a beautiful beast[smile]. Apparently it will arrive tomorrow...cannot wait! Engine Update: I've done pretty much nothing apart from start writing a wrapper for MD3 models.
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