Tea ‘n’ Cake


An Absense Of Sorts… With Spaghetti

I have’t posted for a while. I could give you any number of reasonable and believable reasons for not posting, or tell you that it was indeed a swarm of techno virus infected guinea pigs that stormed the office and sliced things up with tiny retractable buzz saws (some of you may still be thinking “Yup that sounds reasonable”). It’s not true though. The simple fact has been that I just haven’t felt up to it. Despite my arrogance I’m not prone to thinking that anyone want’s to hear anything about what I’m doing… which is probably why I often resort to nonsense.

Speaking into a vacuum isn’t something that comes naturally. Just like making small talk, which is why I’m either arsing around or going straight into the guts of a complex subject matter rather than talk about the weather. I don’t tend to do that online though because when it’s a technical matter It’s hard to gauge how well any given audience member is following, and political conversations online are usually partisan and involve the left and right extremes lobbing metaphorical grenades that usually hurt the majority of people who are just trying to get on with life in the middle.  Basically it’s a sad state of affairs when people people know (or think they know) one thing about you, and assume they know all the rest of your political views. Of course it would be much worse if that ever became true. That would normally mean that you haven’t thought about things enough.

So back to the blog before I say too much about the real world. I’d be lying if I said that I’d been pushing on at full throttle. I haven’t, but I’ve still done a lot over the past month. This week, I’ve decided that all I’m going to do is tease at those things with related images… Because It’s hard to stay serious for more than a paragraph at a time. Think of it as a picture quiz… Ah Hah! Now you’re interested!

Picture 1. I made math spaghetti. It’s beautiful just in it’s natural state here. Regardless of the end result. Yes. I am a nerd.

1 point for stating what this thing is. 3 points available for correctly stating what it actually does (hint: it does 3 things), and 1 easy bonus point for a correct guess as to what it will be used for in game (Max 5 points)

ShadeyBusiness

Picture 2.  This time. Metal Spaghetti… From a thing… from the past… but now.

1 point for stating the type of controller AND what the problem is with it. 1 point for guessing/deducing (regarding recent local events) what inspired me to do something about this problem. 1 point for naming my tiny assistant. 1 point for spotting the other subtle mistake I’m making with this controller (that I decided I don’t mind), and 1 bonus point for guessing what caused the damage in the first place (or a suitably ridiculous but amusing story) (5 points Max)

RetroNoNo

Picture 3. Code spaghetti (or not as I think the code actually pretty decent). It’s fairly clean and doesn’t use an update function until you need a watching thingy to keep tabs on some stuff (because pointless efficiency). Could be commented better of course. I’m always a little guilty of that on a first pass. What’s it all about though?

1 point for guessing what the little pink boxes are. 1 point for guessing what the little red glowing spheres are. 3 points available for guessing what these things might do as groups or individual sets. (There are actually a lot of correct answers that should be easy to guess if you got the first two points correct). There is a bonus point if one of your guesses is wrong, but the pink boxes with red spheres should do that thing. (5 points Max)

SwitchinItUp

Picture 4. And finally, Metaphorical art spaghetti. It’s a collection of random art pieces from a variety of projects, in a variety of styles.

1 point for guessing a decent reason that I might collect a bunch of my art together like this. 2 points for naming 5 distinct art styles/types used in this montage/ collage (depends how you view it).  1 point for telling me which piece of this image you hate the most, and 1 bonus point for pointing out which compression I used that made the whole image blurry so that all the detail just gets lost and I’m totally wasting my time here.

ArtStuff

These are 4 topics that I might talk about over the next few blogs. If you have a preference as to which one I talk about first, make a suggestion. You can even have a bonus point for that. As for the quiz… There is a maximum of 20 points available. 10 points is a passing mark. The winner (assuming anyone actually does the stupid quiz) will get a random genuine thingy. If you feel like getting in touch use the usual channels such as TwitterFacebook… And please do, because I’m slowly going unhinged over here. Bye for now.

 

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The ISS Thingemy?

 

Ship01V2Angles

This is “Last Week Tonight!”, but not with John Oliver, and not a political satire in the slightest. It’s a very spurious comparison really,  in that I made this stuff last week, and I’m showing it tonight. I finally got round to fixing the default ship. Still kept it really basic for mainly style reasons… Admitedly a style choice driven by my desire to NOT have to spend years making gorgeous high detail ship models. As tempting as that is, I’d starve. You’ll all just have to settle for beautiful low detail ships instead.

I do love great art, but I’m very much a gameplay first developer, and since the artwork is generally small and visually informative in game, rather than stunning and the star of the show, I’m more than happy to show everything in it’s worst light. After all, what is teh point of doing a dev diary if you only do it when the game is finished and fully working. Here is a tiny, low colour, granular gif to demonstrate… something.

 

Brighter_Ships

Even if you dislike the simplified style, I hope that you can appreciate that every feature of the ship design does have a purpose. From main gun, to missile launchers to directional jets to… other parts that have not quite been coded in yet. Go on though, you can have a guess if you like. For those of you you are in the “whatever, don’t care” category. Have a screen grab taken from an angle that is never seen during active play.

Ship01V2

It’s  a Tonka toy train… In space, which I’m sure @Tom_SaysHi would approve of. It’s also the red team! Which may get voted off the X-factor soon! I say that because there is a small chance that the red team is doomed. Either that or the green team, depending on colour blindness testing.

Last week I also spent a bit of time tidying up code and getting rid of some of the smaller and more obscure (but annoying) bugs. The most amusing of these was the teleportation system bug. I ended up rewriting  a lot of the teleportation code since after looking at it again to fix the bug I released much of it could be done in a cleaner manner. The initial bug was that, very occasionally, the teleporter just didn’t work. Very occasionally is still a huge problem when a giant ball of plasma is flying straight at you. I did fix the bug, but before that I created a far less stable teleportation system that just went on and on.

NewTeleportMadness01

As you can see, it may not make for sensible gameplay in the long run. The actual problem (occasionally failing to teleport) was a simple one to fix. I have commited the old sin of collecting my input each Update, and acting on it during the FixedUpdate. for those who don’t know. The Update loop often happens at a much faster rate than the FixedUpdate loop, which is designed to keep the physics running at a constant predictable rate. Long story short, I was collecting input and dumping and resetting that input, all before the other part of the code had a chance to do anything with the input. It was an easy fix once noticed, and then I had a very long drive across France. If you care about the game, or are just nosey about my holiday adventures do the Social media thing. ( TwitterFacebook, and Youtube.)

bye for now.

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Le Homme et la femme. Deuxième partie!

This week I’m continuing on from what I talked about last week, specifically the evolution of the original chosen concept art. By the end of last week we had made the sculpt of the player characters, but still had a couple of issues to deal with. IF you forgot, or didn’t read, get on back in time and read it… or follow this link to that blog post.

The most important design change that was left to visualise was the gun being too bulky when running around. This has now been redesigned to be a simple bullpup rifle that can fold in on it’s self. Here is a picture.

ReplacementRifle
Kept things simple detail wise because that is the style and keeping the poly counts down means I can have more things happening in general. So it’s a simple model that could be simpler if need be, and we’ll leave it at that.

The characters are geometrically fairly simple also at around 600 polys. Both of them + guns +back packs are still under 2K polys. So stylised… or lazy. Whichever you fancy.

Wireframe
One of the wonderful things about modern tech, is that there are a lot of fab tools which make doing simple things very quickly. Back in “The Day” I’d have spent a lot of time painting on shadows and the illusion of shape, but now, with modern per pixel lighting and normal maps, it’s usually better to trust the tech to do all that for you and leave well alone. The only downside of this is that the colour/diffuse/albedo texture doesn’t look very interesting in comparison to the fab painted textures of yesteryear which were works of art on their own. Nowadays we spend our time creating clever materials and then launching them onto the model with a magic spray can, so we end up with multi image uninteresting textures that we present like this.

CharTextures
That is probably the only time you will see one of those from me because I don’t think they are worth anything except to acknowledge how many images make up a texture. On the other hand I do see the value in showing off a basic model in it’s standard pose. It’s not super shiny or covered by post processes, and is a good place to stop and think before trying the asset in game (and under game conditions rather than a fancy “In-Engine” production render). I’m not saying never do that, just that I am unlikely to. An artist will make a beautiful piece or art. I will make an asset for a game. The two things are not mutually exclusive, but they aren’t the same.

SpaceTimePilots
I’m quite looking forward to getting back to the UK so I can get these peeps through Max and into the game for a proper test. Perhaps the backpacks are still too large, and maybe the top view of the gun isn’t contrasting enough. We’ll only know for sure when it’s in. You can send me stuff on social media as usual ( TwitterFacebook, and Youtube.) but you won’t get a reply this week since I’m not on them. Just sign up to everything @radiationburn related and nothing could possibly go wrong. Bye for now.

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How a Concept Evolves

The concept art you see for many games is usually a little different from the final version that you see when you play. Sometimes it isn’t, but that’s normally because it isn’t concept art at all, but rather illustration for the purposes of marketing materials. We aren’t going to bother talking about that today though. Today, we […]

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A Variety Of Things That Were Done!

Hi Everybody. Sure. It’s a lazy title given that almost every week I do a variety of coding, designing, animating, and arting… Why is “arting” not a word? Is art supposed to be too metaphysical to be a verb or something? meh. Nevermind that, I need to get on talking about nothing in particular including some […]

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The Complexity of Simplicity

See the picture above. That is an explosion which could be used to demonstrate the concepts that I’ll be talking about this week, but instead I’m just going to leave it there, completely detached from this weeks dev diary except by happenstance to demonstrate that the inside of a ship blows up when the outside does. […]

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Social Mediocraty… And Explosions

There was no blog last week and I don’t even feel guilty about it. That’s because… well, it’s a blog. I didn’t kill anyone or steal someones lunch. Geeeeez, get off your moral 15 blogs a week high horse. OK. Take a minute to get over your ‘lack of blog’ rage… There we go, just breath, […]

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Spool Up The Jump Drive!

Welcome back to another episode of me just talking crap. From the title of this week’s blog you might have guessed I’m a Battlestar Gallactica Fan. I did enjoy it very much overall, and especially loved the very reality grounded look and feel of the tech. I wasn’t big into the spiritual side of things […]

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What’s the Verb for Boundary?

Clank! Clank! Bink! Bink! That’s the noise of things being tinkered with and “mostly” being fixed. Still a lot to get through in the next few weeks but at least there are some visual changes as you can see in the image above. You may also notice that there is an obvious collision bug. Specifically, the […]

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Things Divided by 2

Lots of little things have been happening, although admittedly, the blog being updated hasn’t been one of them. The most amusing thing that has happened is that the world has been properly scaled. All the ships and particle effects and various other things have been shrunk to undo when they were made twice the size […]

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