Thursday, February 9, 2012

Screens of the day 23 - Some new model tests

I've got my desktop back! It was repaired a few days ago but we were hit by an uncharacteristically snowy winter. We did not have such a winter in a lot of years and I had little inclination to spend time on the streets, even if that meant recovering my PC. But anyway it is back and works apparently well. I missed it! I am going to give it a name now! The desktop has been repaired and has two extra coolers so now it is loud as hell and greatly effects the temperature in the room. Having used my laptop for development during this period I can tell that my laptop is an awesome piece of hardware with sufficient performance. Well, it is a 600€ laptop. Still, using a 22 inch monitor on my desktop is a lot more comfortable that the 15 inch laptop screen. Just need some earmuffs now...

When my desktop broke it killed two 650 GB (not GiB) hard disks. There is world wide hard disk crisis (which I feel is partially artificial because of retailers panicking and buying more hard disks than the real demand) so I won't buy new disks right now because they are 2-4 times more expensive than before the crisis. So I am stuck with a 320 GB hard disk on my desktop. I have the habit of creating a partition for my Windows and a separate partition for everything else so I can format and reinstall Windows at will without having to back up data. But this time I made a single 200 GiB partition for everything. What am I going to do with the rest of the 90+ GiB? Install a few version of Linux and see if I can get the Linux version working. Using virtual machines is not a good idea at first because my game requires a lot of GPU power and hardware support under Linux is hardware support under Linux. Sigh...

Anyway, Snapshot 5 is buggy as hell. I fixed most of the bugs but there are still a few big ones left. And I've been working on some fairly interesting things. One evening after fixing some bugs I started playing around with the game and without noticing 30 minutes have passed! Everything is starting to come together and I think I'm only 1-2 snapshots away from a version that puts together everything you have ever seen in one of my videos or posts regarding the 3D engine. And about 3-4 snapshot away from finishing stage 1 creation mode. This version will be officially designated as version 0.2.5, while a stage 2 creation mode will be version 0.3.

Most of the new features and tweaks are only half way done so I can't really talk about them yet. I already have a 14 point changelog. While there are a few very interesting changes there, one of the more minor changes overshadows I feel even the huge ones: scrolling and zooming has been smoothed out. No more jerky camera movement. And using fullscreen without vertical synchronization has significantly less screen tearing. Before screen tearing was so bad that turning off vertical synchronization in fullscreen mode was a very bad choice. Probably no one could play like that without rage quiting and probably getting a headache. Still, the amount of changes is comprehensive enough that I probably won't finish and test everything by Monday, so it may turn out that Snapshot 6 will be delayed/kept private. I don't want another super buggy Snapshot 5.

So what can I talk about? Hmmm...

Here, have some new model concepts:

The above thing is a weapons rack. It is a little bit high poly, but I generally like the shape. It is meant to be made out of wood, maybe with the little things that stick out make out of metal. for now I am not planning to add stone weapon racks, but if I ever do they need to look differently.

This model combines smooth shading with flat shading. I have no idea if my engine likes this and the item will turn out looking OK. This render uses shadows so in the engine it will look slightly worse because of the lack of shadows. I really need to find a way to bake the shadows into the textures and see if this looks good. This will not work with dynamic lights, but for now I have no such things. Actually, I have absolutely no idea how all the items I am going to show today look in game because I haven't had the opportunity to check them out yet. The items are modeled quite amateurishly and are not optimized.

Above we have an armor stand. Low poly but it looks good. I need to add a little rounding to the bottom of the central pillar because it looks too flat but overall I am happy with it. Made out of wood.

Above we have a wooden chair. Low poly again and this model really lends itself to the "diversity" approach, that is making a lot of alternative models. The proportions are a little bit of, but generally it is good.

And finally we have the wooden table:

I wanted it short and stumpy but I don't like the result. The wooden models were designed to have a different shape from the stone ones. No effort has been put in yet to make sure that items look good and are instantly recognizable from a top down view, because this is how you will spend most of your time interacting with the world.

Still no luck with finding a modeler. I really need someone with good artistic vision to make sure that all items are consistent and look like they were part of the same universe. If said artist can also create more unique aesthetics so that everything not only looks consistent but also has personality, that would be just spectacular. Meanwhile you'll have to do with my models.

In my next screen post I'll show you the items in game.


  1. What for mat do the files need to be? can you import a collada *.dae file?

  2. nevermind... a quick look in the dwarves and holes shows the .obj and .mtl files.

    I have no interest in any long term work, but would be happy to throw a couple models your way just because I am bored. If I send you an obj file would you be able to easily use it?

    1. You must be using an old snapshot. I still import *.obj, but all the meshes are imported, preprocessed and saved into a single file.

      From here they can be just read from the disk and instantly sent to the GPU without needing to interpret the data, thus greatly increasing load times. The format is custom.

      I already got your workshop and posted about in on the blog. Thank you! I'll get back to you regarding it.

      Soon the editor will do the importing job, but right now it is only possible in dev versions.

  3. These look nice. Will these also have versions like barrels? If so, there's all sorts of things you can add- not just embellishments but things like loose planks, short legs, holes, cracks.

    Also, did you try adding small imprefections or unevenness to the models? It might make them look more natural, especially with wooden (and low quality?) items.

    And about the table, looks like it should be slightly bigger (25%?) with slightly thinner legs. Also, make the legs closer to the outside and connect them with horizontal supports?

    1. I tried to make some objects not perfectly symmetric.

      Multiple variants will be created when possible, but it is a slow process.

      I'll post about it if I mange to improve the table.

    2. Ah, that's exciting to hear (together with your reply in the other post).

      So are you working on this by yourself? Is there a site besides this and your YouTube channel? And how do you plan to run this project? Will it be your baby until you get bored of it, or do you plan to accept asset or code contributions? Will you ever open the source?

    3. Here on the blog you get most of the information. There is also:

      There you can download the latest stuff, but information wise it is behind.

      I'll work on it probably alone until I get bored of it. Some minor stuff I might "outsource".

      As for the engine I have plans to make it run on any shape of a map, from a small multilevel one to a single level continent sized one.

      I won't opensource it. Well, maybe if this becomes lucrative and I think I've made most of the money that I am going to make and have already decided that the project is finished, I might open-source it/give the sources to a worthy successor to keep the project alive beyond my ambitions.

      Getting code contributions is tricky. But I could formulate some tasks that could be executed. I am also planning to release the API one day.

      Assets I do accept.