Tuesday, 31 December 2019

The Boring Look Back Episode Nobody Likes

It's the end of the year highlights show - which I am fairly certain no one likes. So first, here's what happened in December.

I got PTSD from Christmas shopping. Shopping is a terrible thing at any time of year but when the entire country is in panic mode over a certain approaching date this gets amplified even more.

I put on half a stone (that's 7lb or 45grams in new money) in 4 days, and the amount of nibbles that I still have lying around doesn't look like it's going away anytime soon.

I got back into modeling - you know, that thing that I am actually supposed to be doing - and created an animation for the defensive airstrike powerup.


Here's an animated gif, which has been converted into an mp4.

And here's a video of it all in action. It's a defensive powerup so it has a chance to be triggered whenever the player takes damage.


So onto the boring recap.

With the addition of tentacles, I finally completed all the basic enemies and their various special attacks, finally relegating the need for the red placeholder cube enemies which had been the standard for x years too many.



Levels started to get designed (I am about half way through them) and the flat grid world was finally relegated to history.


I eventually upgraded to the latest version of Blender 2.8, after having previously been using the 2007 version which I had found more than adequate for the last 12 years - read as; I don't like unnecessary change for it seems to be a right old faff around.

This change was partially enforced as it deleted another Blender version 2.7 I used for editing normals when v2.8 installed and then it was a simple case of "oh bugger, no going back now".

Thus I was forced by circumstance and the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune to get with the 21st century and learn how to export models and animations anew.


The good thing about upgrading to the latest version of Blender was that PBR suddenly became available, though it was another thing to learn on-top of everything else. Whilst I work on PBR related materials and design, my main test engine is still Dx9.0c for the time being, but will be updated later to brand new fancy Physically  Based Rendering capable Dx11.

Ears go up ...
 
Ears go down ...

Placeholder Player yellow cube was also retired, and replaced with what will hopefully be the first of several playable characters. It's GunGirl, leggy catgirl strapped into a propeller driven harness.


I made a start on boss monsters for each level.


And that was the year that was. Somehow doesn't seem enough. Progress continues next year.

I've made one ...

tl;dr Some things happened, something didn't.

So onwards and upwards. Can't wait for the Olympics next year.



Saturday, 30 November 2019

The Clip Show Episode Except It Isn't

It's been a hectic month. So hectic I'm going to have to make a filler blog post. But first some actually useful progress ...

I was helping someone out who was having issues getting the exported collision meshes to work whilst using the imported FBX format from Blender 2.8, to the open source Torque3D MIT Version 4; Preview Build 5.

Binaries of which are downloadable here:
http://ghc-games.com/SC/Preview4_0_bld5_win.zip http://ghc-games.com/SC/Preview4_0_bld5_lin.zip http://ghc-games.com/SC/Preview4_0_bld5_mac.zip

Or at least I thought that was what the issue was. It might have been something else. Either way, I successfully resolved this issue, real or imaginery, so I may as well take the time to share it.

 The secret is to use the same node system as you would for DAE (COLLADA).

It appears that when importing FBX format naming is more required than when just using DAE. Anyhow I had a play around with exporting FBX from Blender and here's what I found.

1: It really likes the DAE hierarchy if you want working collision meshes when exporting FBX. :|

Image

2: If you import as SingleSize your object meshes require trailingNumber LOD else the collision meshes will not work. :o Weird right? :?

3: It will import working collision meshes when using DetectDTS or TrailingNumber (even when you have no trailingNumber) without trailing numbers for LOD. :shock: Did I mention trailing number in that sentence at all? :?

4: FBX is HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE. :o Importing at scale 0.01 is the same as importing a DAE at 1.0.

So, on to the filler bit.


Headpats ...

In other news I ventured into the 21st Century and got the cheapest fibre optic available, finally allowing me to upload files 9 times faster than attaching them to the leg of a dead pigeon and sticking them in the mail box.

Here is a gameplay video which was 2 gigabytes that uploaded in 30 minutes. You still have to manually select 1080HD on YouTube or else it'll play the 480 pixel version, even if you got full screen and it lies to you about which quality version it's playing ...



So, that was the month the wasn't ...

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Spooky Day: Space Year 2019


It's All Hallows Eve ... want to see something truly terrifying?

http://www.nationaldebtclock.co.uk/

Are you OK? Have you recovered? Take a few deep breaths, I know it was a terrible sight ...

In other news I have mostly been injured ... from doing nothing as usual ...


My neck went, then my shoulder went ... and now my neck has gone again ...



Okidoki, that's enough sniverling - back to the blog ...



I was testing a new binary of the PBRtastic Torque 4.0 version 5.0 build when I noticed many things were amiss. After much wailing and nashing of teeth and complaining to other people at the otherside of the planet that it was everybody elses fault ... I concluded that I was using the wrong branch ...

 Ahem ...

After this I managed to get some PBR catgirl with working transparency on show.

 Ears go up, ears go down ...
 

I also managed to break everything horribly by mistake ... but that just tends to be one of those things I do ... at least this time I knew how I did it so I can avoid doing that again ...


I tried to delete all of the shaders and ended up wiping out the ones which controlled the GUIs in the editor so none of the text would show up. Next time, delete the internal shaders manually ...

I had been planning on doing more on creating a new level featuring an abandoned and overgrown industrial site, but only got as far as stripping high density models down to a more workable poly number.


Pipes, need lots of pipes for industry ...

So, that was the month that was ... which ended up as a bit of a wash-out ... normal service shall hopefully resume November ... which incidentally, is the date in which Blade Runner happens ...