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Friday, April 5, 2013

What I've been up to

As you may or may not notice i've been absent, I'm just posting to say that I'm still alive and much has been happening. I got a mononucleosis virus, went to the hospital, they gave me the wrong meds and i've ended up in bed/restrained for over a month.

After that I've been focusing my work on my dissertation because, well... I was a month late in work right? And just as I had ended a few docs I had to start working as a trainee in a company where I'll be developing a mobile app and do some research for my dissertation.

Anyway, I've decided to put my project on hold and work on Seelentanz on weekends. We don't have much work done yet but we are starting to shape the game. I've done an inventory and i've been working with an mixing box similar to diablo's. I might put screenshots on Seelentanz soon.

About OON I had lot of awesome ideas and i might end up changing the geoscape a little bit for something more like civilization. I think it will make the gameplay experience more interesting. Don't worry, I'll try not fill it with useless researches/resources... in my perspective everything in the game needs to have a purpose for usage

Meanwhile I'll keep working and researching for my thesis where I'll be dealing with cross-platform development for mobile devices and medical topics/techs such as openEHR.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Clouds and shadows

Picture of the moving shadows and clouds/mist
Just giving a quick update on what I've been doing... 

So I've been trying to figure out ways on how I can bring some more "feeling" to the game, and so I came up with the idea of adding moving clouds/mist and shadows and this is the result.

Can you see the shadow behind the player?

The basic idea is that the player has an area around him where he can listen the surroundings, so he knows something is there, but its hard to understand exactly what it is...

I also found out that the base rooms should be organized in some other way resulting in a remade of the whole structure. But at least now the game supports room's with different shapes. It's almost like tetris...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lots of little news

As you might notice I've been remodeling my blog and turn it into a personal presentation page. This is due the preparation to start working on my thesis, since I didn't had much time I've decided to merge it with the blog. I would be much more comfortable if I had a good host with PHP and database support but this will have to do for now.

So I've added a page with personal info, another page with many of my projects, I probably won't be adding all of them since some are really old and I have some sort of better project using the same technologies.

Since I've add a project demo page what kind of person would I be if I didn't add a OON video? Be aware that 90% of the 2D visuals are going to be replaced once I've found a 2d artist, most of those assets were found in internet... and believe me when I say that finding isometric content is really hard. Meanwhile you can watch in the video the geoscape, base and the player new perspective which will hide the terrain and the creatures outside of player field of view.

I'm also glad to announce that I've found a Musician/Sound Designer that is now helping me with the project. He already started working on 'OON' and I've created some controllers that will help both of us adding music and sound into the game. If you want check more info on him go check his twitter here.

While adding sound content to the game I've found that XNA supports a tech XAct which is design to give some independence to sound designers working with XNA but it seemed lots of work to learn XACT just to add some sound effect and since I've already done some code to assist us we have discarded that for now.

Finally I've been adding to the game the ability to import creatures and weapons into the game by XML which, once its done, I will be able to easily adjust it to allow me to read any kind of information I want or need. This is important because will give the players freedom to add more and more content into the game just by editing an xml, things like special ammunition, weapons, creatures with specific behaviors, tech trees, etc... Also don't worry because if it becomes too much information i might just make another app to be even easier to add content into the game ;)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Shine and Seelentanz

So, its been awhile since I made a post here.
I'm keeping myself quiet about some stuff that has been happening because I don't like to rush myself into taking fast conclusions.
Anyway I've decided to participate into Gamelopers 2012 which is a contest allowing participants to compete with their works on Java, Windows Phone or Qt.

I have already finish my work for sometime now but it's not exactly has I had initially planned. I could/might do some updates later to make it more interesting.  Have some screenshots:

You check the rest in here

I made this game while I was working on several projects and in a month... its not an awesome game but I think its playable.

On other news I've put myself on a journey to learn to work with Unity. I think this will be awesome since I've never work with a framework on 3d games or anything similar and its a path to learn something more on game development by myself.

This is the game/team I've joined

Its a friendly group fighting to learn more and achieve their personal dreams. We still have few members and some don't have much experience like myself (I've just start learning Unity) but if we gather a motivated team who knows where we'll end up :P

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Character vision

So I've had some time and, being anxious to make the player vision, I finally was able to investigate a little how this is done and start making some experiences...

The main idea is to make the player only being aware where his eyes are point to, so if  you look a way you wont be able to know whats coming from your back. I'm also thinking in adding hearing which will allow the player to hear noises in the proximity of his/her character. I think that might bring some panic to the players since they can't know for sure where the noise is coming.

Friday, June 1, 2012

lvlML alpha editor

So I finally sent out a video for the level editor... its far from a complete work but its a start and you can already export lvlML files.

So this work was made by myself and Joana Martins

heres the video:

hopefully I will publish the application and lvlML schema once I have a more functional version...

Monday, April 23, 2012

lvlML and xslt

Updating my status
I've been working around the lvlML language for the level descriptor and trying some outputs in XSLT and try to understand the potential this has for levels publish on internet. 
There are many websites allowing players to download customized levels to be used on multiplayer. My idea was try to use lvlML syntax to generate a html which would allow the player to preview the level before downloading. Usually people just take screenshots and place them on internet or somehow download programs that generate a 2d image top view. However if you use lvlML with XSLT you wont need to download any application or upload screenshots... The website could automatically understand the level by uploading the level itself (lvlML). The results are somewhat cute :P

Of course this might represent a small level but if we upgrade the language and the xslt it has some potential.

I want to share something with people out there that think games are degrading themselves for betting on computer graphics instead features.

I had some experience on playing with level editing and its entities since I was very young and I always admired the dynamics of level design... But nowadays the game levels lack of entities and functionality leaving few options to the level designers to have fun with... I guess we should blame multiplayer because for instance... If you look to counter strike you may notice that the doors are static... there's not much to do here... they could allow players to blow up locks and use cameras like rainbow six or swat games but they don't even care... 
For those who start playing counter strike after version 1.2 (i think) you probably wont even remember of an awesome APC you could drive on one of the rescuing levels and it was awesome... the problem was went players use the APC to drive over the team mates and kill them without penalization... So what did they do? They removed it... Instead solving the problem they just got rid of the feature. There are many other entities that were removed from cs such as lasers, trains, weapon mounts, light buttons...
I miss old days of half life level editing :(

Heres a screenshot of the old cs_siege

I'm currently working on the level editor that should be able to export and import levels in lvlML. So I will paste some screenshots when I get closer to finish the app.