My hobby prior to RCM

My hobby prior to RCM

Postby teh_leet_haxor » Thu May 16, 2013 3:11 pm

Now that the RCM site is fairly well up-and-running, and the solid level of support I believe it deserves is using less time per week to attain, I'd like to resume a little something-something which I'd put on ice. Of course, the ice is just a figurative metaphor for not having opened the project file for a few months, and 'little' is a total euphamism.

I can't be arsed to describe it, so I'll let the visual media do that for me, hopefully in a vague chronological order. Commence dump of everything I've captured thus far!


First build from when I decided to actually post stuff about it:

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First attempt at randomly-generated nebulae; not bad, though has line streaks all over it:

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Bit further in, things looking a bit nicer, especially with the nebulae:

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Spawn warp-in effect added, and some combat footage:






Update with targeting and HP bars; Each block actually has individual HP, but I believe Shawncaster suggested it could show an overall amount anyway, which has worked out well:

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Menu added; it has since maintained a very high degree of possible customisation:

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Explosions (and some other random footage)!












Beam weapons!

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Smoke trails!

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The starting area that acts as the player's base; the base avoids being attacked by permanently residing in Hyperspace, complete with strange, randomly-generated fractal-shaped nebulae and swirling stars:



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More base features including customising your ship; also added a small flying unit to provide some light:

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Colours!

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Sorry about this, it just had to be done:

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First boss concept (a second boss is actually design-complete, but barely started in code):

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Target frame:

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Missions, objectives and tutorials (sorry for the truly unimaginative test data):

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Target markers, some of which are animated:

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Option to control the RNG; this mostly acts as an equaliser in the sense that some zone/mission seeds could be easier for getting a high score than others:

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Re-coded the generation of nebulae (both in Hyperspace and normal-space) to use the GPU (e.g. CUDA) if available; a single typo in the code produced this:

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Aaaand fixed:

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When comparing those two images, I realised that the first image revealed extra patterns that were being wasted in the dark areas in the second image, so I ended up re-balancing the colours to help show them.


Tutorial tips for a new player, some of which (like the target markers) are also animated:

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Gadgets and weapon/gadget configuration! (yes, the Afterburner effect does stack)

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First good push to get some sounds going:




Test video for a new warp effect:



It would have been cool to have something like that for normal movement, however it is merely an illusion that only works while decelerating in a straight line.


Usage of the warp effect as originally imagined:






Added meta-configuration for joystick/gamepad; this is because some controllers (e.g. PS3) register their D-Pad as 4 buttons instead of an actual D-Pad:

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And finally for now, added an EM sensor into the UI; its real purpose is to be a tool for missions/story/bosses, but gunfire and explosions also cause it to spike:

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*

I realise that this sort of thing really warrants a blog instead of a forum, but I'm not really the blogging type, and occasionally discussing it is a nice bonus to supplement posting about it.

The stage of development it's at right now, in a single word, would be 'audio'. I'm pretty much gathering any sort of utilities for producing sound effects I can find, doing whatever I can with them, then picking out effects I can use.

What it will inevitably need, at some point, is a voice or two. In a way, this is holding me back from getting too far into making its campaign missions, since voice will play a reasonable part in the first mission and I'd like to use that mission to iron out the process before I go making a bunch of stuff that ends up needing heavy modifications later. The current state of missions (except for voicing) is like:
  • Mission 1: Complete
  • Bonus mission 1A: Design-complete, not yet started
  • Mission 2: Mostly complete; it works, but it's designed with the Afterburner in mind, which currently has no real introduction.
  • Mission 3: Unwritten / no design started
  • Mission 4: Mostly complete, it just needs a win-condition added.
  • Middle of campaign: Totally unwritten
  • Final mission: Design-complete.

TL;DR: I like Elite, Descent, and Freespace.
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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby Sinvicta » Thu May 16, 2013 4:50 pm

Voice overs for the tutorial section or prior to each mission?
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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby teh_leet_haxor » Thu May 16, 2013 6:36 pm

Mostly during missions, including tutorial missions. I had planned for one main voice as a commander-type role, one voice for a small part towards the end, and could also fit in an optional secondary role as the base computer (similar to EDI or Jarvis (actually I found out yesterday that Jarvis is a real character, but I still thought it was an AI for ages)).

I also need to make myself some sort of EQ filter preset to produce that radio effect used in stuff like Dead Space, Mass Effect.
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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby Sinvicta » Thu May 16, 2013 7:06 pm

Cool, I'd like to do voice-over work for games so if you need a test dummy let me know.
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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby teh_leet_haxor » Fri May 17, 2013 11:55 am

Can't refuse taking you up on that :D

A quick brief of the role is to be the mission handler / voice speaking through the player's ear-piece.
Everything for the first mission is here; it has a few markings for emphasis, and I can add a few theater-style hints if it should have that.
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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby Varyar1G » Fri May 17, 2013 2:35 pm

Leet, this is awesome, I'd be happy to help also if there is anything I can do.
"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced, to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth - and the amusing thing about it is that they are." - Father Kevin Keaney - 1st MarDiv Chaplain - Korean War
"Despite what your momma told you, violence does solve problems." - Ryan Job
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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby Shawncaster » Fri May 17, 2013 2:54 pm

You need game play testers? Id love to help (again) :P
When in doubt, blame the other guy.

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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby Sinvicta » Fri May 17, 2013 3:08 pm

What type of character is speaking in that script? Is it like a flight-control type scenario or more of a commanding officer speaking to a lower ranked individual?
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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby Varyar1G » Fri May 17, 2013 5:07 pm

Is anyone else really excited to hear Sinvicta's 'Command' Voice?
"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced, to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth - and the amusing thing about it is that they are." - Father Kevin Keaney - 1st MarDiv Chaplain - Korean War
"Despite what your momma told you, violence does solve problems." - Ryan Job
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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby teh_leet_haxor » Fri May 17, 2013 5:53 pm

Definitely flight control; the role is as one of the last remaining humans and the player is an AI, so it would be the humans' best commander/operator, but actual rank is non-existent.

Back-story: Robot apocalypse, in which AIs built for war are putting self-preservation above anything else. The last remaining humans activate the 'master copy' AI (from which all others were created), which is the role of the player. The master AI is like a clean slate with no pre-built ideas or purpose, though it can be assumed that it has already deduced the need to co-operate.


Edit:
Varyar1G wrote:Is anyone else really excited to hear Sinvicta's 'Command' Voice?

Even his on-the-air voice could work :>
Also, cheers!
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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby Sinvicta » Sat May 18, 2013 4:06 pm

Do you have an email I can send some test clips to or would you rather just listen to them and give instant feedback on Skype / TeamSpeak?
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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby teh_leet_haxor » Sat May 18, 2013 6:32 pm

E-mail: teh_leet_haxor@41pi.co.uk

I was thinking I would put the clips into the mission, so they're in context and have the band-pass filter, then see if you like the result :)
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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby Sinvicta » Sat May 18, 2013 6:45 pm

I sent a few samples to that email you provided.
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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby teh_leet_haxor » Sat May 18, 2013 9:27 pm

Cheers! Tomorrow will consist of making anything it needs to produce the relevant footage, which includes finishing the Transmission UI, and possibly making a sound effect or two.
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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby 7TailedWolf » Fri May 24, 2013 6:18 am

Awesome work hax! I'd be happy to help in any way I can, though i have no game design knowledge and you've got your voices, but if you need a tester or anything else let me know :)
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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby teh_leet_haxor » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:05 pm

7TailedWolf wrote:Awesome work hax! I'd be happy to help in any way I can, though i have no game design knowledge and you've got your voices, but if you need a tester or anything else let me know :)

Thanks! :)

I'd intended to post an update sooner, but my brain is a massive hypocrite when it comes to making progress videos in that it likes having them but doesn't want to make them ahead of adding features it wants:

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The voicing is turning out really well; I know Sinvicta is going to cringe, which is something I should have known from S.S. Radio before deciding that he should be the first to see/hear the result, but here's a mashup of the voicing for the first mission:




Also, Youtube is officially the new Clippy; this message needs a button with "cock off and don't be so condescending":

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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby teh_leet_haxor » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:25 pm

Started to address the problem of flying far out, away from the 'map'. I did consider making a chunk system, which would update and display every unit in the 3x3x3 set around the player and keeps shifting the origin as the player moves, however that would be a bunch of work which has no planned features to take advantage of it (and making new plans would be major feature creep).

Instead, true to the eventual story setting (i.e. the same excuse used to justify respawning), the player ship now has an 'uplink signal strength' on the UI. Flying far out into space causes this bar to deplete and the video to start fading to static. If the signal is lost completely then the player has one more chance to recover, if they manage to pilot the ship back again using only a remote camera, before the ship is eventually lost.

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I did make a video of this as-is, however the artificial static caused a MAJOR problem with encoding (it's possible, but needs a bitrate of 3 times more than YouTube provides), so I disabled it for the purpose of keeping a video log.

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Signal loss and recovery, without static:

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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby teh_leet_haxor » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:35 pm

Everything related to flying too far should now be done, including UI and respawning x_x
Probably moving on to intro sequence, missions, and sorting out upgrade unlocks.

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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby Techpriest » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:11 pm

Looks nice :D
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Re: My hobby prior to RCM

Postby teh_leet_haxor » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:46 pm

Been working on engine sound loops and the intro sequence!

For the engines and Afterburner, it seems quite effective to put various different types of random noise through low-pass filters of various different shapes. It currently has one strange glitch I need to sort out before I make a video of it; the sound loop keeps getting random blips of volume for a fraction of a second.

From what I can see and test, the problem seems to be that the engine noise absolute position is set towards the beginning of the update loop (as part of updating all units), and the listener absolute position is set at the very end (after everything else - debris, projectiles, particles, scripts, events, ui, and virtual lights). This gives a window of time where the sound source relative to the listener will be incorrect, so the engine audio will sound different when the occasional piece of audio buffering happens during that time... which is actually common enough to happen several times per second. It seems to behave better if I specify an audio source as being relative-to-listener, which has the added bonus of only needing to tell it the relative position once, so I'll try implementing that as a sort of special case when the engine in question is part of the player's ship.

Intro sequence is design-complete and partially made. The player plays an AI, and the first part of the intro is done in the style of a boot-up sequence.
  • The first screen is mostly for effect/mood; it spits out some information about video/runtime/audio. For a bit of fun, most of the info is taken from the actual PC/platform running the game.
  • The second screen is intended to convey some story; it makes it clear that an AI is booting up and that it is a prototype version with no determined behaviour.
  • The third screen fades in the game audio and video. The player will hear gunfire and hopefully some lines from Sinvicta (script not yet finalised) about starting the AI and fleeing to Hyperspace, then the video kicks in to show some enemies destroying transport ships getting destroyed and a few remnant human ships flying into a jump gate and warping out.
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