Monday, September 22, 2008

Back to School

It's been an interesting, if not productive, two weeks. A windows crash on the very first day of the holidays left me without a lot of functionality for most of the holidays. I still haven't got the internet working so I've been out of contact until now. I had to re-install windows, now most of my programs aren't working/working reliably. Thankfully I had unpartitioned space to install to, so I didn't lose any of my valuable files. By the second week I managed to get blender working again so I could start working. Two levels are more or less finished, but the code to switch between levels has been giving me trouble. With only three weeks left I have to start thinking about presentation, I'm hoping to have a third level done and the coding polished by then. I've also been churning out a bunch of 3D artwork to show. I'm confident there will be plenty of product, that being said I'm scared as hell...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sayonara for now

Well it's the last lesson before 2 weeks of holidays, so that means I will probably be posting less. I'm trying to organize ADSL at home, so posts in the next couple of weeks will depend on that getting done.
There's not a lot to talk about at the moment, I'm still coding the inventory, once that gets done I hope to start churning out more levels. So if all goes to plan there will be plenty to talk about by the end of the holidays.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Update

I've done my proposal, and I'm now working on that demo I released earlier. I've added a nice menu, a few decorations and some extra items to pick up. Right now I'm working on the inventory system which is pretty code-intensive, I enjoy the heavier coding but unfortunately it leaves me with little to talk about. So here's a little something I've been working on, I'm definitely wanting to put this character into the game at some point,
video

Monday, August 11, 2008

Demo release

http://www.4shared.com/file/58702524/ae695e35/THEdemo.html

There it is, should work. All the info is in the read me, just extract and play. I'm finally settling into python code so the doors are opening. But I don't have long and there's a load of work to do (typical of this course)
I'm gonna work on improving this demo for a bit, the room's a little sparse and the code is messy. But for now I'm working on my project submission.
There's also a video here of the demo thanks to roger. But if you have time, downloading it and giving feedback on performance and bugs would be extremely helpful.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I'm not hungry

Well it seems I'm obliged to eat my own foot, the demo's not finished. The coding is even harder than I first expected, but I'm making progress, and I'm hoping to have it ready by this time next week. One of the course criteria is about setting goals and deadlines, hopefully the focus isn't on meeting them.
Meanwhile I wanted to talk about free-ware and open-source, see over the exam period I tinkered with a program advertised on the class blog called endorphin http://www.naturalmotion.com/index.htm (natural motion software, character physics simulation, basically rag-doll on steroids), it's not free-ware 'gah' but I got the trial edition. Even with this free version it was clear to see that it didn't follow an open source philosophy. The program itself is entertaining, easy to use and relatively glitch free, but the endorphin user community is one of the most irritating and frustrating groups around.
You install the program, and instead of getting straight into it you are re-directed to the endorphin website where you are made to enter your name, email address, age, nationality and a whole bunch of other stuff. After this is done they tell you to check your email, five minutes later you receive the email telling you to go back to the endorphin website and activate your account. Only once you have registered as an forum user can you get the little bit of code which allows you to use the program. What's more is every time you open the program it will try to log you on to the endorphin website and encourage you to buy the full version.
Now imagine the whole process on dial-up, and that's pretty much why open-source is the best thing ever. Think that's a weak argument? I don't care.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gold mine

Hidden away in the archives of the old game blender community, I've been led to the old un-finished game 'Caffuffle', which operates in almost the exact way I'm planning for T.H.E. I don't plan on stealing the whole engine, but it's definitely a valuable resource to reference from, especially seeing as learning python is proving difficult.
All this has put me in the mood for technical tinkering, so I'm officially planning a technical demo to be released around August 4, end of MYAP. The demo will be a room with the character inside and a few objects to be picked up and used in certain places. This not only motivates me to get the scripting polished, but it will also demonstrate the game genre to anyone who's still confused, it's also solid evidence of work and my first 'checkpoint' to fall back on in the event that no more gets done.
So remember the date August 4th, and if it's not done I'll eat my own foot

Monday, July 7, 2008

Trying to keep up

You might have noticed that this is my first blog for a while. Partly because I'm lazy and partly because everything's been running smoothly. But mostly because I've been knuckling down with level and character design. You see, all of the sudden we're more than halfway through the year and I still have a ridiculous amount of work to do. Right now I'm power building about 20 backdrops, the scenes are disgustingly unpolished but they will serve as good testing grounds while I nut out the finer points of my game-play mechanics (Inventory/menu systems/Quest tracking?/Interaction) That's the important stuff, once that's done I'll make it look all purdy.
I've promised to post a plot summary, which I've been reluctant about because I'm not sure I can make it sound as cool as it seems in my head (always a dilemma)

The game is set on post apocalyptic Earth, (Global Warming maybe? a bit cheesy) where only the rich and intelligent have survived in WW2 style bunkers, with no outside communication. You will play a prototype robot made by the richest and the most intelligent, capable of learning and making informed decisions. To begin with there is no denying your objectives, but as systems sustain more and more damage and dodgy repairs (NPC and friend Jeffery is a fan of the masking tape and fence wire method) Independent thinking becomes a possibility, and one can begin to doubt their creators motives.
If you decide this is social commentary (Humans being damaged perversions of machines) that's up to you. If reading into it makes it more involving that's great. But I want to make it clear that that's not my intention. Don't assume for a minute that I'm shooting for points in the deep and meaningful department, it's just a bit of fun.
Robot with a soul? It's wouldn't be the first time. But there's plenty of my own original ideas in the characters and game-play, so don't fear for that.

Roger has been cracking down on establishing wide and efficient networks, which is a thorn in the backside because this is the exact time when I need to be putting time into game creation.
On a lighter note my network is in fact spreading, site-meter has recorded hits on this blog not only from the mainland but also Switzerland and South Africa, so a big 'hello' to everyone out there, so excited to have you following the project!