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Work in Progress / Carnage Game Show

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greenlig
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Posted: 8th May 2012 06:39
It's looking really good, Fallout. I'd be keen to know how you are finding GDK, I'm considering switching over to something more c+plussy.

Also, I would LOVE it if you added some detail maps on different areas. With the standard of today's PCs, there's no reason not to customize the visuals to the high heavens.

Really liking the look, and looking forward to playing it!

Greenlig

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Fallout
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Posted: 8th May 2012 15:31
Hi Greenlig. GDK is fine for the most part. The main weaknesses are it lagging behind DBP on some areas of functionality, but I've been able to work around every issue so far, without too much fuss. After a short C++ shock factor/learning curve, it's now as easy to use as DBP.

Overall it's slower to develop in, because of C++. So header files, defining functions/classes, inheritance and all that kind of stuff, but these 'slow downs' are also making it much easier to organise and structure the program.

The upshot is, I will never make a complex game in DBP again, but I will still always use DBP for quick prototyping and testing.

As for the detail mapping, I have no plans to implement a texture based detail map. The level shader is already dealing with light mapping, normal mapping, pixel lighting and soon dynamic character shadows, so it's a bit busy. But I agree, more detail being crammed in is important, so I plan on adding a detail/decal system to the editor. You'll be able to place your own debris, blood pools and various other bits of detail anywhere you want on the level. Hopefully that'll keep it varied, but also give the level design the freedom to add that detail wherever they like.

greenlig
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Posted: 9th May 2012 05:35
Thanks for the info RE: GDK. I've been around c++ and variants of it for a few years now in my work, but I manage people who can code, not code myself. I think I need to change that though.

Good luck with the game, it looks really cool. I guess playing Rage has made me want to texture the ass out of everything at the moment

Greenlig

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Fallout
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Posted: 9th May 2012 20:31 Edited at: 9th May 2012 20:32
Finally cracked the incorporation of shadow mapping into my level shader. Loads more to do and a few problems yet to solve, but things are looking up.



Andrew_Neale
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Posted: 9th May 2012 20:47
Nice work! A little blocky perhaps this close up but when everyone is running around in a panic trying not to get blowed up I'm sure you won't notice. How did you do it in the end if you don't mind me asking? I'm afraid I've not had a chance to look again yet between my actual job and finishing my new scripting language off.


Previously TEH_CODERER.
Fallout
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Posted: 9th May 2012 22:00
I literally just cracked it 5 mins before I took that screenshot and logged off the dev PC for the night. I've not looked into smoothing the shadow yet. What I need to figure out next is:
- Blending it properly with the lightmap, so when the lightmap is darker than the shadow would be, it doesn't make it even darker.
- Optimising the render distance. So rendering the light depth texture such that it doesn't render more than it needs to. That'll increase the resolution.
- Smoothing it out and softening the edges.

It may also be possible to have each object have it's own shadow light location, which would be awesome for keeping shadows more appropriate for each object. Need to experiment.

Once I've got that all sussed though Andrew, I'll be happy to give you a heads up on how I did it. It's all based on Evolved's shaders, but it's actually a lot simpler than it first seems. Evolved's shaders have a lot of funky stuff going on with normal mapping, light attenuation etc., but when you strip it right back to just render a simple shadow, it's a lot easier than you'd think.

More tomorrow.

Fallout
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Posted: 10th May 2012 18:56 Edited at: 10th May 2012 19:00
Got some other cool stuff done. I've incorporated some animation code into my actor shader, so all animation is performed on the GPU. I needed this to render my shadow depth texture with animation included, and the side affect is I've solved part of the animation speed issue too.

There are 50 medium poly models here, animating and dropping shadows onto the arena and I'm still getting 110FPS on my 9800GT (up from 45 with CPU animation). Shadows are also multi-sampled to make them a bit softer, and the light render camera has been optimised to only render the visible area to improve shadow resolution. Shadows also blend with the lightmap brightness. Characters have no lighting effects applied to them yet.





Fallout
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Posted: 17th May 2012 19:40 Edited at: 17th May 2012 19:41
I'm having lots of problems with Enhanced Animation. I think the GDK version has probably never been used with a vengeance by anyone, because from what I can tell, it just doesn't want to blend anything! Going to do more investigation into that before I hassle anyone with bug reports, but I've at least got non blended animation in now, and an implementation of Matty's Dark Dynamix, which is doing the job nicely.



TheComet
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Posted: 17th May 2012 21:11
This is and looks amazing Fallout! Will you add one of your sick DnB tunes to this game? I think that would fit nicely.

TheComet

Fallout
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Posted: 17th May 2012 21:24
Thanks buddy. Not sure if I'll have the time to make the game and write music for it, but I might be able to squeeze something in there somewhere if I can find the right place. Maybe an easter egg Fallout power-up secret?!

Matty H
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Posted: 18th May 2012 00:51
There was a thread on the GDK forum a few months back about a couple of undocumented functions which allow you to animate individual limbs, I will have a look around for you tomorrow.

I can't remember if they got it working or not but at least it's another possibilty if enhanced animations is giving you trouble.

Matty H
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Posted: 18th May 2012 00:56
Some info Here.

Good old Pauli

Fallout
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Posted: 18th May 2012 10:26
Gah. It always amazes me the little things that crop up in DBP/GDK that slip in under the radar. That would've been pretty handy several months back. However the problem isn't to do with blending two animations together for different limbs; it's to do with blending between different frames of animation. i.e. Blend from a running to a jumping animation smoothly, without the sudden leap between frames.

In DBP, I always used to stop the current animation, set the animation frame to the start of the new animation, let DBPs interpolation smoothly blend there, and then start playing the new animation. The problem with that is, it's really not that great a mechanism, plus DBPs interpolation happens on a per sync basis, so it's not frame rate independent.

The crux of it is, Enhanced Animations has one simple excellent command:
EnAn_oacSetInterpolFrame(oac,limb,animation1,frame1,animation2,frame2,interpolation,excludeChildLimbs);

With this one command, I can set the character frame to any frame of animation (frame rate independently), then blend in another animation, which could be running at a different speed entirely, and control the blend speed with the interpolation value, again independent from the frame rate. It's really simple, it's really effective, and it doesn't work!

I'm going to put a demo together now and email it to poor old Ron and probably destroy his weekend. Thanks for digging that out though Matty. If nothing else, it's entertaining to see yet another hidden DBP engine command I didn't know about.

Fallout
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Posted: 18th May 2012 15:01 Edited at: 18th May 2012 15:03
Using a pre-calculated height map, the players spine is bent so that he is always aiming at the correct height for the crosshair. This is what allows height based aiming from a top down perspective (hopefully!). Shown here at more of an angle so you can see the effect. Note, because of the camera angle, where the crosshair is doesn't actually represent where he'd be aiming in game, but you get the idea!



TheComet
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Posted: 18th May 2012 18:16
Really nice!

The ground texture should be scaled a bit smaller. Or is that still a placeholder?

TheComet

Fallout
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Posted: 18th May 2012 19:04
They're all placeholders at the moment mate, except for the character model (but this will probably change too). I do put a bit of work into placeholders so they're not hideous, but the media should be way better when we get someone who knows what they're doing on the case!

JLMoondog
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Posted: 18th May 2012 22:49
Quote: "but the media should be way better when we get someone who knows what they're doing on the case! "


What happened to your help?

Fallout
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Posted: 19th May 2012 00:00
Waiting in the wings mate, I hope. Just need to get to the stage where everything is designed first.

Fallout
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Posted: 21st May 2012 19:34
Static grid lighting. Essentially setting actor diffuse values to blended static light values. This way the character is lit by the static arena lights which the lightmapping is cast from but without any intensive ray casting, and with smooth blends.

There's room for improvement here. I could add normals to the light data, and also set the diffuse of each vertex individually to get more accurate blending. I may try that in the future, but this combined with the dynamic pixel lighting (not shown here) should give more tools to get the lighting just right.



Fallout
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Posted: 31st May 2012 14:59
Massive thanks to Ron for fixing EnAn interpolation. Animation blending is now in, plus there has been some work done on projectiles, sound etc.



Fallout
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Posted: 1st Jun 2012 12:08
Particle effects code started and pixel lighting system updated. Here's the muzzle flare effect.



Fallout
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Posted: 1st Jun 2012 17:45
Shell casing particles are in, complete with a basic physics system so they run fast. 100 casings shown here, with a crazy AK for testing purposes!



Ron Erickson
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Posted: 1st Jun 2012 19:55
That all looks fantastic. Great work!

a.k.a WOLF!
JLMoondog
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Posted: 2nd Jun 2012 00:33
This is too much awesome. Love the particles, really enhances the look of the game.

Matty H
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Posted: 2nd Jun 2012 15:39
Looking great Fallout.

What are you using for particles? I am about to look at particles again for Dynamix and any feedback on what might be needed would be great.

I will do some testing to see if I can get particles to stick to the walls for blood effects etc, I think it can be done, just not got around to trying it yet.

Fallout
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Posted: 2nd Jun 2012 19:44
Cheers Ron and Josh. More to come soon I hope.

@Matty - I've just written my own classes. I prefer to do it this way so that I have total power. Mwahahaha. So the muzzle flares are simply alpha blended scaling planes, and the shell casings are 3D objects, and I just use ray casting and my a simple reflection function to bounce them around. I think that'd be a lot faster than allowing PhysX to handle it as an object with size.

I've never really used particle systems in physics engines, so I wouldn't know exactly what to recommend. The features I would want would be:
- Collision with a sphere/cube, or point (for best speed), or no collision at all
- Optimisations so that objects that don't collide don't run any physics commands at all
- Good control over the maximum number of particles. So perhaps a per emitter maximum and a global maximum, so 10 per emitter, 100 maximum in the world. (For performance reasons)
- Particle resizing (all my particle effects scale the object to give it a sense of growth)

That's all I can think of for now.

Matty H
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Posted: 2nd Jun 2012 20:01
Thanks Fallout, I'm pretty sure all those things you mention are in there already.

I think it might be worth your while trying out the Dynamix particle demo and trying a speed comparison between your method and using PhysX particles, for the shells that is.

PhysX particles can have collision and since they are just points(although you can give them size) it should be pretty quick too. It only processes(and updates) the particles in use at any one time.

The only thing I'm not sure about is the spin, you would need to add that yourself.

The reason I think it might be faster is because the calculations will be done on another thread but I guess that depends on which thread is more busy

What you have is pretty cool though, I could not tell whether you were using PhysX particles or not

Fallout
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Posted: 3rd Jun 2012 11:53
I'm still using the awesomely fast PhysX raycasting. When I have 100 shell casings in existence, that's 100 ray casts per program loop, and I saw no FPS drop.

You're right though. I forget about the physics thread running during the render. I'll have a play with the dynamix approach and see what it can do.

Matty H
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Posted: 3rd Jun 2012 13:03
Quote: "that's 100 ray casts per program loop, and I saw no FPS drop."


Well then I would keep it the way it is, no FPS drop will be hard to beat

I am getting lots done over the bank holiday so the update should be pretty soon.

Fallout
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Posted: 3rd Jun 2012 15:16 Edited at: 3rd Jun 2012 15:17
Probably still worth giving it a try! The FPS is capped at the moment, because I'm currently using a set 1/60th timing interval for the physics update. Uncapped, it probably would drop the FPS a bit, so I'll give it a try and report back.

Really looking forward to that update though. Then I can get my crushers working, start playing with rag dolls and stopped having to bash the keyboard every time the actor doesn't exist message pops up!

Anyway, vid update in HD. Wall impact debris particles, bullet hole particles and a volumetric dust haze effect. I think I'll be changing the bullet impact sounds at some point because the "Piiiaaaaaaoooowwwww" sounds are starting to annoying me.



Dimis
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Posted: 4th Jun 2012 13:41
This game is going too well!!! Definitely my favorite wip!


RickV
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Posted: 4th Jun 2012 18:00
Great work Fallout. Much better use of your time during the weekend. I stupidly sat in watching boats on the Thames!

Rick

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Fallout
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Posted: 4th Jun 2012 19:50
@Dimis - Thanks mate. Keep following progress. Hopefully things will get exciting soon when I start to tackle the dreaded multiplayer ...

@Rick - 2 minutes of boats on the news was enough for me. I still think the best thing about the Diamond Jubilee is the sales!

Mychal B
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Posted: 6th Jun 2012 01:09
Ahahah, have fun with the multiplayer. I just about blew a fuse simply trying to get the networking for my tower defense game working

The fastfood zombie killer
Fallout
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Posted: 6th Jun 2012 16:04
Yeah. Not looking forward to it, but it must be done!

Working on arterial spray particles ...



JLMoondog
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Posted: 6th Jun 2012 19:44
This made me giggle. Really cool effect. Reminds me of Mortal Kombat.

Fallout
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Posted: 6th Jun 2012 20:38
Cheers Josh! Yes, gore should make ya giggle!

Some screenshots from the gore layer effect ...





Dimis
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Posted: 6th Jun 2012 23:27
The arterial spraying looks good!
Did you manage to make the particles adjust their orientation relatively to any surface that they might hit? Even on surfaces that are not horizontal or vertical?


Fallout
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Posted: 7th Jun 2012 00:30
They'll orientate to any flat surface at any angle, but if the surface has different angles (like a staircase) it'll cause problems. It'll potentially stick out over corners etc. I still need to think about the best way to deal with that kind of thing. Probably extra ray casts around the perimeter or similar.

JLMoondog
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Posted: 7th Jun 2012 03:46
Very kul! Is that the new character mesh? Looks like a good upgrade from the original. Hoping to see some new work done on this.

Dar13
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Posted: 7th Jun 2012 05:11
Quote: "They'll orientate to any flat surface at any angle, but if the surface has different angles (like a staircase) it'll cause problems. It'll potentially stick out over corners etc. I still need to think about the best way to deal with that kind of thing. Probably extra ray casts around the perimeter or similar."

I have the same problem with my game. This is when a batch raycast would come in handy. Does PhysX implement a way to do batches of raycasts at a time?

Fallout
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Posted: 7th Jun 2012 11:36
@Josh - The's the same character model, but I think you're seeing improvements because of the character shader. I think we'll probably stick with this same character, except for a few skin/design variations and also modifications for the dismemberment action. I wanted to start work on removing limbs and correctly positioning blood/gore today, but I can't export the model myself without it messing up, so I'll have to hold back until Mark is commissioned to modify it himself.

@Dar13 - I don't think it does, so a rough guess with a few ray casts around the perimeter will have to do.

Modified the blood layer memblock code and shader to correctly blend wounds together and alpha blend them onto the skin. Proper gorey!



Olby
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Posted: 7th Jun 2012 13:27 Edited at: 7th Jun 2012 13:28
Wow that looks just amazing. Well done.

Away with the niceties, now share the secrets.

I suppose you use additional layer for damage, right? So how can you texture certain parts of UV map without affecting the others (e.g. drawing a wound on chest would make a tail of it appear on top of the head).

Thanks.


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Fallout
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Posted: 7th Jun 2012 14:55 Edited at: 7th Jun 2012 14:56
Not 100% sure I understand how you're thinking of it Olby, but I'll explain it. I basically have my character texture and the model all UV mapped. No two polys are mapped to the same area of texture (thanks Mark!), so the texture has two arms, two legs, two feet, a whole head etc.

The blood layer is just a blank texture, but it uses the same UV coordinates. When I want to add a blood splodge to the chest, I just draw an image to the chest portion of the blood texture. Since that area of the texture isn't mapped to anything other than the chest, it only appears on the chest.

Hope that explains it!

Olby
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Posted: 7th Jun 2012 15:52 Edited at: 7th Jun 2012 15:56
Yes, but in the code how do you distinguish between chest and the head (for example). Is it all hard-coded or you use some kind of area-map for different body parts. I suppose I could use alpha channel on the blood layer to divide the texture into certain areas (based on shades of grey).

Hope this image can explain it better (skin texture taken from Google Images):


See how the blood splats on right are overlapping with other parts of the body (mainly hands and the back). How would you avoid that when automating it.

Am totally not getting this, or is it just a lot easier than I thought?


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Fallout
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Posted: 7th Jun 2012 17:40 Edited at: 7th Jun 2012 17:41
Ahh, I get ya. Well, I think you may be over complicating it. Your texture isn't dynamic, so there's no harm in defining areas. At the moment I just have a square range defined for each area of the body, in which I can paste the image and I know it'll be in the right place (hard coded UV values). So I have 42 body zones, all with defined squares, and if I want to put blood on the face, I just paste within that square.

There's a thread running on the DBPro forum about detecting UV coordinates from a ray cast and then painting onto the model. We haven't come up with a fool proof solution for an animated character yet, but there are some good ideas in there, and a nice demo from The Comet.

For the moment though, I'm sticking with a 'per limb' kind of method, where I'll detect a ray cast against the head, determine if it's the face, left side, right side, back or top, then paste a gore texture to the pre-defined square zone I've already set up.

Olby
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Posted: 7th Jun 2012 17:55
Thanks Fallout, I'll check it out.


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TheComet
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Posted: 7th Jun 2012 19:24
GLaD to see you implemented those blood decals Fallout! How did you get those functions fixed in the end? I had that problem where vertical faces wouldn't return the correct UV coordinates after the 3D to UV transformation.

TheComet

Fallout
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Posted: 7th Jun 2012 19:38
At the moment its random Mr Comet. Until I have my final character model and the rag doll physics objects in place, I'm going to leave the actual placing of the blood textures. No point working on something that may need to be changed a lot later. For now I just splat gore on using good old rnd()!

Moved onto more particle work in the interim. I've got explosions in now (minus weapon based shrapnel and other effects goodies). Explosions take a collision normal and then project away from the surface they hit, which I think is quite realistic. So explosions detonating from the floor go largely upwards and explosions detonating from a wall go away from the wall.

I also spend a bit of time tweaking the particle shader and how the lighting is blended, so the explosion can start of full bright as it flames, then blend to use pixel and light grid lighting as the flame dies out.



Andrew_Neale
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Posted: 7th Jun 2012 20:50
Wow, that is looking impressive. Reminds me of using the rocket launcher in Unreal Tournament 3; a real plasma feel to the explosion. Looks like someone is hogging all the awesome. Give the rest of us a chance to catch up, hey?


Previously TEH_CODERER.

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