Monday, April 13, 2009

Finally exporting the character!

Been having a hell of a time trying to get a test character exported into the engine with a few choice animations. Mostly my lack of understanding of xforms and pivots and the like. But feels like we've finally broken the back of it (thanks to Jerry Waugh).

At this point, the next bit is to work on the texture swapping code and maybe add atlassing in there (the FPS is low because each body part has a unique texture and that ups the batch count and batch count kicks framerates in the nuts :)) Atlassing will allow us to have a large number of characters rendered with the same physical texture (its just a matter of putting all the face textures together and adding them into the atlas and fixing up thier texture coordinates). But I'm a bit loathe to do that right now, so much else to get done first.

Here's a shot of the test character.

And here's a shot of the typical RTS view:

Here's what you'll spend a bit of your time doing. Here I've selected a number of agents in the world and the second button on the top right will take you to the agent editor, here you will choose which brains the agents have, you can edit the agents visual properties, splice brains together etc. Mostly the game will play out a bit like a RTS meets a more god/sims game. So this is the RTS overview where you can get a feel for the world. I'll show the various camera modes in a video soon I guess. I need to work on the agent editor first. Expecting to have to handle many hundreds of brain types (and many user-written ones) plus user created agent textures in a flexible manner. Trying to think of a way that isnt just a simple list.

Here's how I envision the brain selection to look like :)

The point is that for the most part, the game involves you swapping brains around on characters and watching what happens. So making the brain swapping quick is the key here. The F key interface we used in worms seems like a really slick way of choosing from what is a rather large number of possible items. Given I'm hoping to have in the order of 200+ brain types, I'm hoping having a paged version of this type of F key interface will work well. Basically, you'll press the Tab key to bring up the brain picker (it slides in from the right), you then select the brain you want to use an implant and then choose an "implant selected" icon on the main UI (not there yet).

Other options will be to edit the character (select its textures), take screenshots and videos, build buildings, create and delete characters and freeze time. Of course I'll get an artist to redo the UI once I have it fully functional.

Anyway, thats enough for now. Need to go and make some coordination code work! :)


1 comment:

  1. Hi, it's a very great blog.
    I could tell how much efforts you've taken on it.
    Keep doing!