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Friday, December 31, 2010

Dropping Some Tunes

So I've gotten the music engine working, too. I never intended music to be a dominant feature in the game, and as such it will be quite subtle, and be made up almost entirely of ambient background noise that will flow in a musical manner. Hard to explain, really, but I'll put it in the next video so that you can hear it.

I've started playing with monsters. Just getting them into the world, mainly. No A.I. yet, but they're loading in nicely, and as I move around the dungeon I can hear them breathing or wheezing around the corners. It's very cool and creepy! So I guess you'll get to see/hear them in the next video, too!

Until then!

Drip drip drip

So as you can see, I have fountains working! Not only do they place correctly but they also generate a cool fountain-y positional sound, so you can hear an echoing trickle of water as you cruise around the dungeon. They also animate nicely. That stream of water you can see in the pic flows out of the gargoyle's face and into the pool underneath.
This successful model animation means that monsters will be coming soon!

Stay tuned! I'm going to bed!

New Cool Things

Well, I have been busy! The offset error when moving between floors is now totally fixed, but the algorithm isn't placing doors on floors other than floor 1.
Should be pretty easy to fix though. I have a feeling it's just a simple logic error hidden away somewhere that I haven't noticed yet.

One thing I did get working though is something i've been mentioning since the early days but have only just completed and that is the awesome 3D sound engine! In lay terms, it makes things louder or quieter based on your distance from them, but it ALSO makes things appropriately sound like they are to your left or right or in front of you or behind you, which is also cool. It also takes note of the surroundings and produces the appropriate noise dampening and echo for the environment.

To test this out, I am going to do a new decoration type: fountains! With this, I'll be able to not only test out the 3D sound, but also model animation. If I can get the animation engine working in the game then it will mean monsters will be a lot easier to implement as well :)

A new post soon once fountains are working and I've fixed the door problem!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Updated updates!

So we have progress! Doors are done finally, and there are also the tables and columns. Makes some serious improvements to the appearance of the dungeon. So here is that video I promised you!

In this video you can also see the new development console that I put in place. Makes development a LOT easier as I can real-time affect the global lighting and get info on various objects and player information.

Anyway, I'm still working on the game today, so I'll give more updates as I do more awesome things! Not too far away from putting in enemies, too, which is awesome.

That means I'm not that far away from having a playable demo ready! Woo!

Talk soon!

Doors to new places

So I made all this progress last night then forgot to blog about it!

So now there is furniture and doors! Doors which animate when they open/close! It's very cool and adds a whole new dimension to the levels. I still have an offset problem when moving between levels, which I hate, but still, it's not a big deal to fix.

There is some COOOOooooOOOOooooOOOOL art coming from Ordinary Obscurity soon, so you'll get to see that soon.

The game is looking so awesome lately that I'm going to put up a new video soon.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bright Lights

So with a new day comes new problems. I'm sorting out the advanced lighting system within the engine. I say advanced since it needs to process real-time ambient occlusion and normal mapping while the game is running. Sure I could use baked-in lighting or light mapping but that'd just be cheating. Besides, I'm trying to create an immersive experience here!

So anyway, in the spirit of learning I found that dynamically scaling objects down in the 3D space, exponentially increases their perception of the scene's lighting. Basically, the smaller I make an object via scaling it, the more it seems to glow under its own power, and the larger I make it the duller and darker it seems to be. This is a bit of a problem with what I'm trying to achieve, so I've had to re-write a few bits of code and a few assets to make everything work with minimal scaling. It was a pain in the arse and it took me two hours, but it ends up making the engine run a heap better, so I can't complain too loudly... More to come soon!

Colliding finally

Well, I got all of the in-game collision sorted out finally. That was an odd bug, but it's fixed now and it works a treat. It's much safer to explore the maps that the algorithm generates now since there is no risk of running off the edge of the map!

Another little feature I'm currently working on is that when you click on an object in the scene that you want to interact with, it pulses white briefly, just so that you can see which object you've selected. It's only a subtle touch, but I'm all about the user interface!

Well, it's 3am, so I'm off to bed.

Great Stuff

Well, today has certainly been a productive day! After much tweaking and coding, moving between floors of the dungeon now works without a hitch. Currently I'm working on player collision. Once that's done, it's all going to be about populating the dungeon, I guess. I also want to work a bit on the load times, as I'm not happy about them. 45 seconds is too long to wait for a large dungeon to manifest, so I'm going to do what I can to get that down to as small amount of time as I possibly can.

I'm really quite amazed by the dungeons that this algorithm is creating. My development speed has actually been slowed down by my constant stopping to explore each dungeon as I test the program out lol even with no furniture or decoration at all, it's just so fun to walk around in a huge world that the computer has designed and not me...

*sigh* I love it when a crazy idea just... Works...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Yay! So all that hard work paid off. I think doing this while on holidays is the ticket to success. I'm pretty much just working on the engine every waking minute, so I'm able to tackle the big problems well.

Anyway, I took the new dungeon generation algorithm and put it into a newly written 3D engine. This engine has basic lighting, normal mapping and depth fog and is loading in some mid-range 3D models with high-res textures applied. The result is pretty damn nice.

Yes, the walls/floors are quite repetitive at the moment, but that's just because I'm only using one set of models/textures at the moment. That will change once I put some more effort into that. What you see here is just me trying to get it working (and succeeding. Muahahahaaaa)

Anyway, another thing you need to remember is that I did not design this level. The Sword of Ahkranox has been written to create it's own universe procedurally. I had no hand in the design of this dungeon other than writing the A.I. that does all of the work. I keep being amazed at what the program is capable of creating!

Enjoy the vid. Talk soon!

lol HAAAAAX!!!

Yeah, so I found a really obvious solution to the stair problem that I should have seen ages ago...

Spiral staircases! They just go directly up or down. That way corridors can't intersect them. Duh.

Good news though is that in trying to fix it, the algorithm is now as sleek as ever and much smaller than it was.

In short, it now generates a dungeon with up to 25,000 segments in arouuuuunnnnd 4 seconds.


A Much-Needed Breakthrough

So I've finally managed to score some time to dig into The Sword of Ahkranox. Feels good to be back, but along with my return to the code comes a return to all the old bugs. Grrrrr...

So anyway, I did some late-night coding marathons (really takes me back) and finished off version 3 of the dungeon generation algorithm, and came across some REALLY interesting results!

Not only did I seem to fix quite a number of problems, but I accidentally came across an anomoly in the engine which made it create some really amazing looking dungeons. Naturally shaped caves, large rooms, huge halls to tiny nooks. It wasn't intentional at all, but I guess that's what you get when you write adaptive code where the game builds its own levels! Sometimes it's going to surprise you!

So what you're looking at in this picture is one of the newly generated maps. Stairs will be coming next, so lets home that my second little problem gets fixed with the new engine at the same time!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas cheer

Hi all! Merry Christmas!

I start my holidays after today, which means HEAPS of time to do some nice juicy work on MSoA finally. So expect to see some good things. I also know for a fact that Ordinary Obscurity has a few new masterpieces for the game almost ready to send through, too, so expect to see some of that!

Have a good break, and keep your eyes peeled for more blog entries!

Adios amigos!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Versiones Tres

So I've been working on version 3 of the dungeon generation algorithm and lately it's actually running the same algorithm on about 1/15th the amount of code of the last version (woo!)

This time around, I am building the dungeon entirely in memory first, then thoroughly checking it for anomalies, then fixing said anomalies in memory first, THEN building the dungeon in 3D.

Seems to be working a lot better now, though I still have one or two small creases to work out. But one thing's for sure, I don't have the staircase intersection problem any more!

Progress. Smells good.

Over the Christmas break I'll be doing more work on it, but I'm also currently working on an arcade game for the gaming lounge I run with my wife, and also a virtual reality system (virtual reality dungeon adventuring? Hmm.....)

So stay tuned! More updates soon! And hopefully we'll be seeing some more artwork from Ordinary Obscurity soon!

Au revoir!