Week 10: The State of Things

After 10 weeks of non-stop work, it appears I have succumb to a thing called “Computer Vision Syndrome”. Who knew computer vision syndrome was a real thing? As far as progress, this isn’t likely going to put us back at all. I figure if I cut out all screen based recreation for a while, I’ll be okay. This has allowed me some time to take a step back and look at the state of the game, evaluate our progress, and plan for the future.

Pre-Alpha

As some of you know, we’ve previously stated that we are openly against releasing the game in any pre-alpha state. Let me know clarify what I mean by “pre-alpha”. By this, we mean we’re not interested in releasing a game with the core mechanics and few objects in the game (i.e.-where we are now). Ideally, we want to get to a point where a game round will have enough content to keep people occupied for the duration of the round and have the game as solid and stable as possible. We estimate that we can accomplish this in late Q1 to early Q2 2014. Don’t quote me on this, though. We have a lot left to do from now until then and many more things could potentially come up that we didn’t plan on.

As for distribution, we’ll likely be distributing the earlier versions of the game right here on our website. Obviously, we’ll let you know when the time draws near.

Kickstarter

In all honesty, this is a bit of a touchy subject for me. I read an article yesterday that well summarized how I felt about the whole kickstarter thing. The whole post is a good read and I would recommend it if you have the time. Basically, we’re using a number of free tools at our disposal right now to make this game. However, we’re realizing as we progress, we’re finding it’s going to be quite difficult to make a well rounded game in our spare time with these free tools without earning any sort of income. We’re also spending a lot of extra time recreating tools or mechanics that we could instead purchase to help us focus on developing the game and create higher quality content. Also, not knowing much about Kickstarter, I’m a bit skeptical as to how the whole thing works. People give other people their hard earned money for an idea? It seems odd. That’s why we haven’t done any sort of crowd funding, yet. We want to show the community what we have planned and not just tell you. I find it odd that people are asking for ~$1,000,000USD when all they have to show are some concepts or an early prototype video.

Since we went public with our game a little over a month ago, we’ve received a number of emails from people offering us monetary support. At this point in time, we feel we’re not ready to be accepting any sort of monetary support for multiple reasons. This is Indigni’s first ever game and I want to prove our worth before we ask for anything in return. That’s what we would expect from other developers in this market.
I should take the time now and state that we’re making this game because we love game development. Personally, I never planned on monetizing off of this. It started as a project to be considered for graduate school and in the matter of a season it evolved into what it is today. The ability to have an idea, create it, and let others interact with what we have created using modern technology is what drives us to do what we’re doing.

Updates

As stated, we’ve taken the past week to step back and analyze the direction of this game. We want to ensure that we’re consistent with our designs and code. We also have:

  • Started to implement the nuclear energy generator.
  • Interpolation. Basically, the client sends the server the certain information in intervals. Instead of sending the certain information ever frame (which would create lots of lag) it’s sent every x frames. So from point A to point B the server kinda has to guess.
  • More atmos assets.
  • Started Security assets.
  • Metal fabricator. This little mobile machine allows the user to make useful things out of metal sheets.
Posted in Uncategorized

Week 9 Update

Hello Everyone!

Today marks the start of the seasons for a lot of us and it also marks the point in which the game really starts coming together. We are now at a point where we can happily say that most of the core mechanics are in place. Therefore, adding new content is becoming a lot more streamlined and a lot quicker. We have come so far but we still have a long road ahead of us.

As an early holiday present, we’ve decided to show off one of our latest features. We’ve only spent a small portion of time on it and it still has a bit of a ways to go before we’re at a point where we can call it complete.

output_DOgQcD

Yes! Rag doll animations. Who knew they would be so much fun? I’ve spent a good 20 minutes simply running around and diving into things and letting my limp body flail all over.

As for a few of the other things we have been working on:

  • Corporation name and logo. These are the guys that supply the crappy building materials and equipment to the Primulus station.
  • Basic UI for character customization. Still needs a bit of work.
  • Text chat. The players are now sentient and have adopted a form of communication.
  • Fire.
  • Players can now pick up and equip things.
  • Raycast interactions refined.
  • New Character animation controller so animation fades are more fluid and realistic.
  • Portable Atmosphere analyzer. Now players can know the details of the air around them while on the go.
  • And lots of other small refinements and bug fixes.

Finally, we at Indigni just wanted to take a moment and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted in Uncategorized

Private Network Test

Hello!

We have just finished our first private network test. To start, thanks to everyone that showed up!

This week has been a week of bug fixing and solidifying what we have implemented to ensure the network test went over as smooth as possible. As mentioned, we just completed the network test and we had approximately 10 people on the server simultaneously without any issues as far as lag or client-server side communications. Unfortunately, Head’s hard drive took a turn for the worst just before we started the network test and had the only compiled host files. Thankfully, he was able to restore it and we got things moving again.

There wasn’t much to do in the test as we don’t have a whole lot implemented as far as interaction. The facility was almost immediately vented, though. As soon as people started connecting to the server, two people simultaneously opened both doors to the air lock and vented the entire facility. The oxygen tank we have that’s supplying O2 to the facility ran out almost instantly. Whoops!

Overall it was a successful test and we will definitely be doing another one in the future and, hopefully, have a video to accompany it.

Posted in Uncategorized

Week 8 UI and LoS

Hey Everyone!

It’s been a busy weekend and is going to be a busy week for us. This week we are focusing completely on bug fixing and implementing more UI components. We’re looking to solidify what we have so far to make it more efficient and function as intended. We’ve also started thinking about private network tests to stress test servers with more than just two people and to see how the game acts from multiple clients. More on this when we have it ironed out.

We’ve spent the last few days working on the line of sight. We want to make sure the third person camera can’t see through walls and objects. We have basic shadows in place right now. I will admit, it’s not the prettiest thing yet, but it gets the job done and quite well at that. A few of you may have seen our post on reddit about the shadows, but for those who haven’t, here it is:

 

los2los3

los4

Like I mentioned before, we’ve also been working quite hard on the UI and, today, we have a bit of a sneak peak at that for you all. Mind you, this is NOT in final form and it IS going to change. In fact, it already has. About 3 times. The reason we’re not showing the refined version is because we want to get it all finalized before we do.

UI

So that’s all for today. It’s about time we got back to refining and debugging. I bet if I did a word map for the most commonly used words on this blog, debugging would undoubtedly be the most used word. The life of a developer…

If you wouldn’t mind taking a moment to jump over to the forums and tell us what you think about the UI and LoS, we would greatly appreciate it. Heck, any feedback what-so-ever would be appreciated over there.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

End of week 7

Hello everyone!

We have just completed the end of week 7 and what a week it was. We’ve had lots of trials that we’ve had to overcome so far but this week had to be the biggest week of trials. It’s also been an extremely productive week and we’re excited to share what we have .

We’ll be posting a few screenshots tomorrow to show some of the updated and added features both here on the blog and on /r/gamedev’s screenshot Saturday on reddit.

Line of Sight

At the start of the week we had nothing as far as line of sight. We now have a basic LoS implemented. For those interested in the technicality behind the LoS I will be talking about it in detail earlier next week here on the blog. Basically, we have black cubes that extend across the scene that hide everything not in the player’s line of view. We have very little frame rate loss and are still siting consistently at around 200fps with both client and server side calculations happening simultaneously on one computer. The implementation of LoS is likely going to cause us to rework the camera position and angle to better view the scene. The player will see less behind them and more in front of them.

Revamped Animations

At the start, we made quick “filler” animations to get the basic idea of what the game would look like. We’re at a point now where we can start refining the animations and make them more fluid and realistic. We’re also working on adding more animations. We wont be highlighting on this tomorrow as it still has some ways to go before it’s done.

Clothes

We all know that running around a research facility on a distant moon in your skivvies is fun, but I’m sure the Administrator wouldn’t like that. We’ve implemented a base  grey suit and are working on a hard suit so you can explore the surface of Primulus safely and patch the holes in the facility without dying. Speaking of the surface, we’ve also started modeling and texturing the assets that would make up the surface of Primulus.

Construction

As you probably saw in the previous post, we’re still working on the construction and interaction. We can now remove floor tiles, and hide things under the floor then restore the tiles. We can also open up an electrical box and cut the wire to disable power to parts of the station. Fun.

We hope you’ll all join us tomorrow for Screenshot Saturday and to see a few of these features in action.

Posted in Uncategorized

Construction sneak peak!

Posted in Uncategorized

Network Demonstration Video

Welcome to the beginning of our 7th week of development. Here is a quick look at some of the network implementation we have to show. We also show off some of the interaction and electrical components in the game. We don’t have much as far as gameplay yet as we’re still working out the core mechanics of the game.

Posted in Uncategorized

Update

Hello everyone!

We have a bit of exciting news and a few updates for everyone. First off, we’ve been working hard on environmental interaction. Since most of the game is centered around this, we’re making sure we’re going about doing it right. Finally, we’re still implementing a lot of the electrical components and doing lots of bug fixing. We found and conquered a memory leak and are back up to ~180-200 fps.

batteryHere you can see a main battery mesh. Mind you, this is all subject to change. This battery sends electrical current to the ECU’s located around the facility which in turn power all the components (lighting, machines, environmental). We’ve thought of an interesting way to hook up the components to the ECU and as we get that flushed out, we’ll be glad to show you.

Finally, the good news is we’re ironing out some bugs to get a basic networking demonstration video to you guys within the next 24 hours. We’ll post to twitter @primulusgame when we have the video up here on the blog.

Posted in Uncategorized

Mystery Gas Name

mys

 

Hello!

So today is the day we settle on the name for the mystery gas. We had a lot of great suggestions and lots of good feedback from everyone. After going through all the posts again and talking them over, we have decided on the name…

 

 

Primulium

 

 

Thank you to Jalleo for the initial idea of the name and thank you to Mister Fox for suggesting this variation. Finally, thank you to everyone that gave us their input.

In other news, we managed to get two people on the same screen today. By that I mean we have basic networking in place. We are now in week six of development and we have come a long way. Finally, we have yet to get around to add the social media icons, but feel free to follow our twitter @primulusgame to be notified when we have a new blog post. I’ve said thank you quite a few time in this post already, but thank you to everyone for your support thus far. Thank you. Thanks.

 

tnks

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Another Shift

Hello Everyone!

It’s been a couple of days since our last post. As I said, we’ll likely be cutting down to about 2-3 a week to help us focus on development. Also, you still have one more day to get your suggestions in for the name of the mystery gas on the forums.

So what has been happening over the past couple of days? To start, we’ve completed the implementation of the basic power system.

electrical

Here you can see a floor with removed tiles showing the power boxes underneath. These wires will carry power to the Electrical Control Unit which will then power all the machines that are connected to that ECU. There’s still a few bugs to work out and a few more things to implement, but it’s coming along quite quickly. Now that we have things hooked up to a power supply, we’ve had a chance to look at the station in the dark when we inadvertently  ran out of power and the lights shut off. Honestly, we don’t know why we haven’t done this sooner, because it’s really freaky and cool looking. Because of this, we were inspired to make a digital painting to capture the effects of “Another Shift” on the facility. The painting is below.

Finally, we also have been working hard to implement environmental interaction. So that means tools! We have a lot of the basic tools in game now and we’re working hard to make them actually do things to the environment. More on this when we start to polish it out over the next few days. So, that is all for today, and now I leave you with “Another Shift”. Enjoy!shift5

Posted in Uncategorized