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About matthughson

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  1. matthughson

    XNA Jittering sprites (PLEASE HELP)

    Can you post a video?
  2. matthughson

    A tool I wrote

    Sounds cool! For people looking for task/bug tracking apps for small teams,I highly recommend Asana or Trello. Both are web/cloud based, and very simple to use! I've been using them both for a few years now and am really happy with them (although I prefer Asana for my own workflow).
  3. Trailer For anyone interested, I thought I'd take some time to write about the development of our Old Spice Challenge entry, Man Moments. I'm always curious what tools, development methodologies, and challenges, other teams have used and/or suffered through; so I figure others might be curious as well. This isn't meant to be a list of what to avoid or a blue print of success. It's simply a record of what went into making this game, so others can compare it to their own experiences. This post is more geared towards others who competed in the competition, so it might not make much sense to those not familiar with the Dream Build Play event. You can read all about it here. The first line of code for Man Moments was written on January 16, 2010, and the last change went in March 4th, 2010. In the month and a half between those two check-ins, a few thousand lines of code were written (just a guess, I haven't actually done any metrics), the entire game was designed, and almost 3 gigs of content was created. We started production with no real engine in place. I had gone through the XNA tutorials a few months back out of curiosity, but had done nothing with it beyond that. Man Moments is the first XNA game for everyone on the team. That team is made up of a lot of a couple different people, with varying degrees of contribution. There are 2 coders: me and my girlfriend. We both work day jobs in the game industry, but had little-to-no experience with C#. As such, most of our code ended up being C++ written in C# (not literally, just as far as design and architecture goes). When we hit a conflict in feature-sets, between C# and C++, that's when we'd have to dig a little deeper into the language. One critical mistake that came with this mentality was ignoring the garbage collector and its implications. We were calling new like there was no tomorrow! It all felt so liberating coming from the world of C/C++... until a few days before the end of the compo when we started seeing the GC Stutter... I don't want to go into to much technical details here, but this is significant enough that I think it warrants mention. I think this and this should be mandatory reading before starting a project! We used Google Code to house the project, and RapidSVN to access the project. Although getting this set up on each artists machine was a little bit of a hassle, having it in place was a god send. Not only did we have an easy way up passing content around, but we have revisions of every change to every file in the project. This means you never have to worry about a change completely screwing up the build; if it does, you just revert that change. As I mentioned, the engine was written from scratch for this project. The only 3rd party library we used (beyond the standard .NET framework and the XNA framework) was SoftImage's XSI Runtime for rendering and animating our 3D models. This was hit and miss. We obviously gained a lot of features right out of the gate because we used it, but there were a lot of issues to work through. Most if not all that I ran into have been worked out now, so I will hopefully find some time to post a thread on that some point, to save others from the same issues. Now that our XSI usage is pretty solid I will likely continue to use it for future projects. In fact I plan to look into using it for more than just models: lighting, cameras, even level construction can be done within XSI Mod Tool. I won't go too deep into the art side of things, since I'm not an artist, but I can give you the high level description of what we did. This 3D content was created in Maya and then exported to dotOBJ and imported into XSI Mod Tool. Inside Mod Tool the animations, texturing, and final clean up was done. Finally it was exported as dotXSI through the Mod Tool XNA integration (which is very cool!). Our lead artist hadn't used XSI before so there was a pretty steep learning curve, but by the end we had a pretty smooth work-flow going (aside from the odd animation just breaking for no reason...). All in all, it's been an insane month and a half. For the core team it has meant literally spending every waking (man) moment on this project. For me that meant, waking up for my day job at the usual times, getting home from that by 6-7pm and then working until 1-2am on this project. Everyday. Rinse. Repeat. My girlfriend and I live in Vancouver, and had to all-but completely forgo the Olympics in order to finish this project. Luckily we found an artist who was willing to dedicate the same amount of time and energy (often more!); this project would not have been finished if it weren't for him (maybe he'll hop on here and give his run down from the artist's perspective). We found all of our outside help through the Help Wanted forums on this website. Although it's been extremely draining at times, it's been completely worth the time an energy we put into the project! I'm absolutly blown away by what we've been able to create in such a short time span. It's not the most polished game I've ever worked on, but it's with out a doubt the one I'm most proud of! [Edited by - matthughson on March 5, 2010 12:04:16 PM]
  4. I was able to come up with a solution, detailed here: It came down to the fact that the default skinned vertex shader that comes with XSI does not transform the Normals with the World/Model matrix. You have to add that functionality to the shader. This is also true for the position of verts, but I had fixed that already.
  5. matthughson

    Models, Animations and XNA

    I suggest looking into XSI|SoftImage's free modeling software, Mod Tool. It has been fully integrated into the XNA work flow and supports a lot of different features (skinning, materials, etc). It seems like Mod Tool is becoming the standard modeling tool for XNA going forward. Aside from a few issues, I have been extremely happy with it. Especially coming from D3D in C++; this was quite a smooth experience. Our artist also works in Maya. He does his modeling there, but exports to OBJ. He then loads that OBJ into Mod Tool to do any animations, and final tweaks, and then exports to the dotXSI format.
  6. matthughson

    Ethanon engine (2D w/ per pixel lighting)

    Quote:Original post by andrew1b This video shows some of the content creation tools. Still, I recommend you to try it yourself, I'd be glad to know about your impressions. It uses normal maps for lighting. All the normals must be created using another tool such as Photoshop plugins or even 3dsmax. There’s no drawing or modeling tool, the entity editor just puts it all together. Yah I saw that vid. Looks great! But I meant more of a video going from start to finish creating an asset in Max, calculating the normal map, bringing it into game, etc. Seems like it would be interesting to see the process. I'd love to try it out myself, but too many things on my plate at the moment.
  7. I ended up using the solution found here. Simon has posted a porject with the full solution at the bottom of the thread.
  8. matthughson

    [XNA] Blurry Fuzzy Textures

    Quote:Original post by remigius You can turn off mipmap generation for a texture in Game Studio by opening it's properties from the content folder and under Content Processor setting Generate Mipmaps to false. That is looking really, really blurry though. Are you sure filtering is the issue here, or are you perhaps drawing it at a very different aspect ratio from the original? Thank remigius, Unfortunately, these models are being processed through the XSI content pipeline, which loads the textures manually. The textures are not processed through the Solution file like other model formats, so I can't set any settings on it in there. I believe the texture is so blurry in this case because it's quite far from the camera (i've cropped the screen shot), and thus using a very small mip-map. Thanks!
  9. Quote:Original post by Semei Well and if you want to animate a lot of models in the same way and speed you just create one(!) instance of that model, call one(!) PlayBack on that single model. And use shader/harware instancing to draw it. So simple as that. Its weird why did you even created multiple instances of some data if they all are supposed to be the same O_o You misunderstood the question. The default behavior for the XSI Runtime seems to be to instance all models of the same name. I'm trying to find out how to NOT instance them, so that they can animate individually.
  10. Hi, We are finding that some of our game textures are showing up quite blurry. I believe that this is due to mip mapping, or filtering of some sort. This is great for most textures in our game, but this texture in particular contains text, which becomes unreadable. Here it is: This is the source texture: Any idea how I can turn off filtering, or whatever is going wrong, with this material? I am using XSI and the default Phong.fx shader that comes with XNA. Thanks!
  11. Hi, I am using the XSI Runtime to render and animate my skinned meshes. It works fine, except that each instance of a particular model shares the same animation data. I believe it is instancing the skeleton, or something along those lines. This means that all models of the same type animate in time with each other (like a choreographed dance), and because each shares the same animation data, if I call PlayBack on all of them, the animations speed up by the number of instance. Is this something others are seeing? It seems crazy that I can't find anyone else running into this issue on these forums, since my code is based off the XSI samples. It would also be helpful to know if you are not seeing this issue, so that I know its something in my code. Thanks! [Edited by - matthughson on February 18, 2010 2:25:13 PM]
  12. matthughson

    Aces Wild, Baby!

    Video looks great! Great work on the camera shake and hit effects.
  13. matthughson

    Ethanon engine (2D w/ per pixel lighting)

    Looks great! Love to see some videos of how the content is created (does it use normal maps, etc).
  14. Ok, I am unable to post the code in a reply for some reason, so the best I can do is link to the files: Phong.fx xsi_defaultvs.hlsl xsi_include9.hlsl xsi_lightdef9.hlsl Hope this is enough to help me out with this. Again, sorry if you were being spammed with e-mails about my empty replies earlier. Seems like GameDev is having issues. Thanks!
  15. matthughson constantly down for me

    Ok well at least I'm not alone :) FYI: I tried both FireFox and IE; both behave the same.
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