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DarkBASIC Discussion / Dark Noob Games HQ

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LBFN
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Posted: 1st Oct 2013 05:15
Okay, here is a .rar version of the game as I have it. All of the media and code needed to run the game is included. It does not include the Coldet dll. File is 18.4MB.

Notes:
For whatever reason, Coldet will not delete object number 17200 (the first alien created) - it registers the hit (I have it print the object number that is hit), but it won't delete it, but deletes all the other aliens fine.

When using the menus, simply move the mouse over the different texts and they will light up. Left click the mouse to select. In the Settings menu, your current selection will have a pink box to the left of it. When you exit, this is the input the game will use.

If you go to the settings menu to change the input, when returning to the main menu, go over to the right side of the text before you click to return. It is supposed to wait until you let go of the mouse button before it returns, but sometimes it returns to the main menu with the mouse button being depressed still; since it is over the Quit button, the game ends. I need to fix that.

Using the DShk mode, it may be a while before you see any aliens, as you are only facing one way. They will come up to the SW corner of the corral and stop. Since this is a temporary place (plan is to have some of them hop the fence), sometimes they will get re-used and will disappear on their own without being shot - this is only temporary. They still go 'nuts' when they enter the little shed and will run back and forth incessantly. All in time. It is possible to hold the fire button down to continue firing at a regular pace.

DShK mode puts a blue sphere where it hits. The aim needs to be lowered a little, but that shouldn't be too tough to correct.

The joystick works pretty good for walkthrough mode, but is lousy for DShK in my view. You can switch your input by pressing ESC - the main menu comes up. You have to click Quit to end the game

Deleting the dome did not have much of an impact on framerate; it is gone nevertheless.

I have fixed the problem with the aliens being placed too low when they are first transported down.

I am interested in the framerates that you guys see and any feedback you would have.


LB

So many games to code.....so little time.

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Latch
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Posted: 1st Oct 2013 10:45 Edited at: 1st Oct 2013 10:51
Nice job LBFN! I've only been able to mess around with what you've posted a little bit. It holds at 33 fps for the most part.

The gun should have 2 pivots: up and down between the brackets, and the base of the pivots rotate on the stand. But it looks pretty cool the way you have it controlled with the mouse.

That's pretty good work. I'll try and poke around with the code a bit to see if three's anything to help improve speed. Thank you for putting it together to this stage.

It's really cool to see the whole thing! I haven't looked at the actual farm for a while and seeing the ship and the aliens and just the lighting of the buildings and objects looks nice. Seeing the gun move around hints at the potential. I really wish I had time to just sit and play with the code! You've done a great job putting this presentation together.

Enjoy your day.
LBFN
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Posted: 2nd Oct 2013 03:44
Hi Latch,

Thanks much, I am really glad that you like what has been accomplished so far

I really like using the DShK. The modeling/texturing/lighting is nice. If I remember right, I reassigned the joints to it and exported it to DBC in DX 8.0 format. I then rotated it using the joints to make it work. With a little bit of 'shot hitting the ground' effects, some casings flinging here and there, animated aliens dying a horrible death and some good sounds, this could be really fun.

I see that you put in some functions for moving the tractor/wheels/trailer around. Care to give any advice on implementing them? I have not messed with them at all, but it seems like that should be our next step.

So many games to code.....so little time.
Ashingda 27
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Posted: 2nd Oct 2013 05:42 Edited at: 2nd Oct 2013 06:10
LBFN good stuff!


I made some adjustments to the movement controls. All three methods WASD, ArrowKeys and Joystick are now functioning at the same time.



Still reviewing and seeing what else I can contribute.

[edit]
For some reason DBC is running really slow for me. Did a little test and the max fps rate was at 500ish and then after a few seconds drops to 200ish. All I have is a blank screen printing the fps.

Quisco DaLuse
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Posted: 2nd Oct 2013 07:02 Edited at: 2nd Oct 2013 07:04
sorry, post deleted
LBFN
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Posted: 2nd Oct 2013 07:15
Thanks Ashingda 27,

I'm not sure I follow your logic in allowing input from multiple sources at the same time. We are concerned about gamespeed, so processing additional checks would not be something that would be as efficient.

In this _move_character subroutine, you also have to rotate the goblin on the Y axis based upon the user's input, see here:


Additionally, you would have to reconfigure things at the _user subroutine, to handle the DShK movement and shooting. So, either way you go, you are using extra time to determine the various inputs.

I appreciate the effort you put forth, but I think we should take a step back and consider this before we install it in the game.

So many games to code.....so little time.
Ashingda 27
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Posted: 2nd Oct 2013 09:26 Edited at: 2nd Oct 2013 10:47
In terms of speed I didn't notice any difference. The reason for multiple input is to allow easier control for multiple preference. I tried locating the major slow downs by shutting off routines but can't seem to figure it out. As I also have stated, my frame rates test gave an odd result.

With sync rate Zero, I tried moving to the edge of the map and look off into nothingness and got about 90 fps but looking back at everything it dropped down to 33. So something is causing a slowdown somehow. How is the sprinting creature animated?

I will try some experiment to see if we can get a faster animated creature.


[edit]
Ok I was able to import the models(Milkshape) into blender and will attempt to optimize.

[edit]
Started re-shaping the farmer. Also aiming to reduce polygon count in the process.


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Ashingda 27
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Posted: 3rd Oct 2013 06:07 Edited at: 3rd Oct 2013 06:08
Updates on farmer. I've also tried putting him into the project in place of the sprinting goblin, has no animation yet.



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Silverman
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Posted: 3rd Oct 2013 20:14 Edited at: 3rd Oct 2013 20:17
Hi Ashingda 27,

to easily find sources of slowdown may be that this will be useful to you. This is a set of functions that allows you to monitor the execution time of the program in various places.

demo:


DirectX 9.0c (February 2010)/ DBClassic v1.20
Ashingda 27
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Posted: 4th Oct 2013 10:25
I am finding it rather difficult using dark edit, going to try making my own IDE for DBC using DBPRO . So far I've gotten it to open up the .dba extension and compile, just need work on the actual editor now.

LBFN
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Posted: 5th Oct 2013 07:05
Personally, I like Dark Edit, but to each his own.

As to the farmer, it is only 883 polies, a very low polycount for a human model. I like what you did to make his face look better, but not the rest of it. I really think there are other areas to be concerned about as far as time saving goes.

Not sure where you are at with DBC, so please don't take offense if you know these things: The animations in DBC are not done via joints (like in DBP), but rather use a keyframe system. Poses of models are saved and DBC plays them out. However, the file format for configuring these models into animation frames (although it is .x) is obscure and the software used originally to my knowledge no longer exists. Latch has done some really cool things regarding DBC animation and is currently working on putting together an animator that we could use for this game. The plan is once he is done to animate all of the farm characters.

So many games to code.....so little time.
Latch
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Posted: 22nd Oct 2013 03:45 Edited at: 22nd Oct 2013 03:47
Just got back from a 2 week work function... blah. I haven't vanished though my brain has been turned to mush. I'll stick my head in the freezer for a while to get things solid!

Enjoy your day.
Latch
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Posted: 3rd Jan 2014 21:45
life

Enjoy your day.
Libervurto
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Posted: 4th Jan 2014 21:09
How is this project coming along? It's hard to tell from this string of posts. Got any small jobs I could help with to save you guys some time and effort?


Formerly OBese87.
LBFN
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Posted: 7th Jan 2014 19:18 Edited at: 26th Jan 2014 22:21
Libervurto, it seems we are at an impasse. We need to be able to animate characters with relative efficiency and at the same time provide speed-efficient animation in real-time. Writing an animator for DBC objects would be a daunting task, one that I am sure Latch is up to, provided he had the time to complete it.

Something I am thinking about is creating a series of images of the aliens (at minimum) that could be used to texture a plane. I could pose the aliens in a 3D modeling program and capture the frames. I could then use Photoshop to tweak them. aka Doom style.

Not sure if Latch is on board with this, but perhaps it would allow us to move forward with this project.

Another option would be to convert the project to DBP.

So many games to code.....so little time.

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Latch
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Posted: 9th Jan 2014 03:19
@LBFN
I'm on board with whatever you want to do. I have to apologize because I have so little time these days. I'm starting to forget how to program in DBC! Believe it or not though, I actually have a framework for the animation.

Enjoy your day.
LBFN
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Posted: 9th Jan 2014 03:51
Hi Latch,

Life gets busy and that's how it is sometimes. I totally understand and have been there many times.

My feeling is that even if you had the time to finish the animator, DBC seems slow to implement the limb rotations, especially if we have 30 - 40 aliens, spaceships, a tractor, DsHK, AI, main level collisions, etc., etc. Again, I am sure you / others are witty enough to figure it out, but then again that takes more time; something which is in short supply.

I really would like to finish this game. My sense is that it is a little more involved than what DBC can do (without a lot of extra work, that is), since we no longer can relatively easily produce the .x files needed for DBC animation. The option of creating DOOM type images to texture a plane is a thought. To be candid, I would rather re-write it in DBP so we can make it true 3D.

I have done some preliminary work with the conversion just to see how difficult it would be. I merged all of the farm .x files into one .x file. I removed the front door of the house and made it as a separate object. Through some meticulous placement, I was able to put the door on the house and animate it swinging open, much like the one in the DBC version. I also have it detecting when the player is at the separate barn doors, though they are not animated yet. You can move freely around the map (1st person) and can move in/around the stalls (some of the tightest spots on the map). The hardest part was placing the .x models so they were in alignment with the lightmap. Anyway, I am really liking using DBP and I think it is the way to go if we realistically expect to finish the game.

I will definitely need your help with the tractor movement/AI, though it should be significantly easier to accomplish in DBP.

So many games to code.....so little time.
Latch
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Posted: 9th Jan 2014 04:34
I understand your reasoning. I would like to finish it in DBC, just because of finishing it in DBC - challenges included. Hierarchical animation can be done in Blender - that's what I've been using for years to animate in DBC, though bone animation would be pretty cool to get going as a repeatable option. Though the swapping of mesh data in memblocks is really slow.

The original point was to do something basic, but fairly decent. What do we actually have so far?

* We have the farm and buildings
* we have the tractor and trailer with mounted gun
* We have the waypoint system in place for the tractor
* We have the basic AI for the aliens
* we have the alien model (with default animations)
* We have the farmer (without animations)
* We have a shooting system (or is this still iffy?)
* We have the basic collision working

What do we need?
* Animations
* The shooting working and hitting aliens
* What happens when buildings are entered (scoring, win lose game)
* What happens if an alien touches (attacks) the farmer/tractor?
* Overall game play mechanics
* sounds/music
* menus/game play options

We really have a pretty decent shell, but I think that waiting for me has made it feel like nothing has been accomplished, but really the pieces are there.

As far as the animations, for the aliens, the model is already limbed properly to be used in DBC, unless you want to use a different one. Is there any way you could list the keyframes and the rotation angles for the particular limbs? I could easily put that in Blender. For the farmer, I could do the same, I'd just have to divide the solid mesh into limbs.

That being said, if you want to move it to DBPro, that's fine. I've never used DBPro so I know none of it's nuances. I could advise on method and concept, and code in DBC style.

Enjoy your day.
LBFN
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Posted: 9th Jan 2014 10:07 Edited at: 6th Feb 2014 02:44
Quote: "I\\\'ve never used DBPro so I know none of it\\\'s nuances."


Wow, I did not know that. The two are very similar, and are different enough to aggravate you. My feeling is that if you tried DBP, you would see why few have remained users of DBC.

We have accomplished a lot, but progress has been almost nil for quite some time. My overwhelming feeling is that by the time we animate the tractor and the aliens and the people, that we simply will not have enough gamespeed to make it a fun game to play. The game FPS is already iffy and we don\\\'t have several of the animations playing. I think that we are asking DBC to do too much. In my opinion, we would have to get rid of the tractor and trailer and just make it a first person shooter to realistically have it playable. We put so much work into making that tractor that I hesitate to get rid of it.

Some key advantages to DBP are gamespeed and boned animation directly. To me, these two things would make for a much more enjoyable game. Some other advantages are global variables and User Defined Types (UDTs).

Since you know DBC intimately, the jump to DBP would not be that hard for you. I can do a majority of the coding if you could help me with the principles of the tractor / trailer / DsHK AI.

The shooting system for the DsHK does indeed work. I was unsure if we actually want to show bullets or not. Personally, I like them, though they need to be properly sized and textured.

Quote: "What do we need?
* Animations : [Easy to do in DBP]
* The shooting working and hitting aliens
[already working. Need dying animations and a flashing effect.]
* What happens when buildings are entered (scoring, win lose game)
[Rescue people, waste aliens, player at risk of dying from aliens, find ammo, find better weapons]
* What happens if an alien touches (attacks) the farmer/tractor?
[It would be funny to have the tractor run over aliens in it\\\'s path (with associated crunching sound). I have given this a little thought. An alien could easily attack you from behind when using the DsHK. The trailer is not big enough to turn the DsHK 360 degrees. We will need to figure this out. ]
* Overall game play mechanics
* sounds/music [DBC has a quirk in that when music plays, the game speed improves. Even with this, it still drags somewhat.]
* menus/game play options [easily done]
"


Got to get ready for work. I really think we should make the switch to DBP.

So many games to code.....so little time.
Latch
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Posted: 24th Jan 2014 02:36 Edited at: 24th Jan 2014 02:37
Screenshots look pretty cool.

But it looks like all of the rotations and limbing on the gun are not how it was designed.

I take a look at when I get home - probably more towards this weekend.

Enjoy your day.
Latch
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Posted: 26th Jan 2014 21:22
Hi LBFN,

Conceptually it actually seems pretty cool and fun! It seems that some of the models got reversed in the transition and the texturing and light maps are a little jumbled. But over-all, the potential is right there. Good Job!

Can I have a model of the Farmer in a T-Pose - no animations, just a static model. Also, could I have a fully animated model of the farmer as you have animated it? Maybe run it using a DBPro script so I can see what your animations look like.

You're right that it's probably a challenge for DBC to pull off a fast moving game, but it's the challenge that I like!

I'd be interested to see where you take this in DBpro. And a note, when I ran it, it was stretched across my screen. The aspect ratio didn't seem correct. Is that something that can be adjusted in DBPro?

Also, everything was limbed in the original designs of the models. Why can't those limbs be used in DBPro? The gun for instance, is designed to pivot in between the braces on the stand and the polygonal base is designed to rotate on the tripod. The braces remain fixed to base. If you have the original model of the dshk, the following code demonstrates the hierarchy of the limbs:



Enjoy your day.
LBFN
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Posted: 26th Jan 2014 22:19 Edited at: 11th Feb 2014 18:55
Quote: "Conceptually it actually seems pretty cool and fun! It seems that some of the models got reversed in the transition and the texturing and light maps are a little jumbled. But over-all, the potential is right there. Good Job!"


Thanks! It is nice to hear something, I was getting a little concerned.

I had to revise the texturing on the models somewhat when I put them all together into one model, plus I had to place them on the ground where I thought you had originally placed them in code. MS3D .x format defaults to export as right-handled, but you can override this, so it is possible that some things got jumbled up because of that too.

Quote: "
Can I have a model of the Farmer in a T-Pose - no animations, just a static model. Also, could I have a fully animated model of the farmer as you have animated it? Maybe run it using a DBPro script so I can see what your animations look like. "


Quote: "You're right that it's probably a challenge for DBC to pull off a fast moving game, but it's the challenge that I like! "


I appreciate that; however, with limited time to work on it the game was not going to get completed anytime soon. I think if we could animate easily and quickly, I would have continued on with DBC.

Quote: "I'd be interested to see where you take this in DBpro."

I was hoping to get some ideas from you. I have the farmer's wife animated now and put in enough AI for her to move from building to building (with arms flailing - it cracks my wife up), she kneels for a time in that building and them does it again at another. The boy is also animated, but I'm not quite sure what I want to do with him. I thought of putting a rifle in his hands and have him try to pick off the nearest aliens, but maybe something else would be better. Some other thoughts are to be able to stop the tractor while in DsHK mode and blast away when you get in a good spot. Another thought is to give the farmer a shotgun he can use to blast them when he gets off the trailer with the DsHK.

Quote: "And a note, when I ran it, it was stretched across my screen. The aspect ratio didn't seem correct. Is that something that can be adjusted in DBPro?"

I am running it in full screen windowed mode. I can change this to 1024 X 768 if you think that would help.

Quote: "Also, everything was limbed in the original designs of the models. Why can't those limbs be used in DBPro? The gun for instance, is designed to pivot in between the braces on the stand and the polygonal base is designed to rotate on the tripod. The braces remain fixed to base. If you have the original model of the dshk, the following code demonstrates the hierarchy of the limbs:"

I cannot remember why I needed to bring it into MS3D originally. Unfortunately, MS3D cannot load limbs on .x models, only the mesh. So, I had to recreate the limbs, which isn't terribly hard to do, so I didn't think too much of it. I realize it is slightly different, but did not think it would be objectionable.

So many games to code.....so little time.

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