Monday, 31 August 2020

Character Selection Screen

So I've knocked up a character selection screen that, currently is rather devoid of any art work. It's failry simple, uses an array which the player can flick through, each character (currently a whole 2) then display an image of the character (which is currently a placeholder) and more importantly a series of statistics relating to the character at the side. These include the basics such as speed of movement, health and energy replenishment and strength for pushing enemies aside. This is followed by the 3 types of attack and evade, and their relevant statistics, so the player can move through character selection and view the differing statistics for comparison.

I have since changed the buttons to something less awful using a bitmap array and text.

Having finally dispensed with DirectX 9.0c in favour of DX11 and OpenGL, I set about converting some of my custom shaders with ... not particular success.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that isn't supposed to look like that ... This appears to have something to do with hardware skinning being controlled by the GPU when previously it was the CPU. As this only affects a few things I have come up with some workarounds for the fancy custom materials and will come back to this at a later date.

I've also had more of a play around with my XP-Pen display tablet and started to become familiar with the artist app Krita. I am planning on using this for the 2D art in game, and especially the selection screen for character portraits.

Drawing of an old oil painting I did some time years ago.

I also thought about reworking the artwork for Airship Dragoon, and knocked up a colour sketch idea for composition. Might not actually replace the original artwork but could use a new one for Steam's new capsule formats for updates - then again I could go the whole hog and use it for complete new rebranding.

I also did a whole load more stuff this month but can't actually remember what it was ...
Anyhow, onwards and upwards ...

Friday, 31 July 2020

My Feet Hurt, New Character And Goodbye DX9

So, apparently the new Blogger interface has been eating my images for the past 2 months ...
So expect to see a blank image leading to a 403 page soon™.

It's been the hottest day of the year here, so naturally I went out for a half marathon route march ... and now my feet hurt.

I finally finished off another playable character model, a shotgun wielding, propeller-powered catgirl, currently named "Southern Hospitality", complete with Daisy Duke hotpants. She has a short range playstyle with slow attack rate but high damage and medium manouverability. After each shot a new shell is loaded with a single handed pump-action for the obligatory "rule of cool".

And here's some video of gameplay.

Apart from finally completing a second playable character I have been porting over my project to the new and shininess which is Dx11 and OpenGl 3.2 (might be 4.0 I can't remember). This meant a final farewell to the much loved DirectX9.0c which I could just about write a shader with. No such luck on Dx11/OGL with such things as of yet.

This has required me to finally defeat the spaghetti code which I had previously wrote, slimming things down in C++ and removing bloat for the porting. I have only ported to the pre-PBR branch of the engine - so really 2019 code - as a stepping stone to entering the latest shiny stuff once I know what the hell is going on. So far so good. Everything seems to run fine - except for my broken Dx9 shaders but that was to be expected.

I've also stuck my hand in my pocket and made a new, capital purchase. Only had it out of the box once for a quick test. If Google hasn't yet fubared my images, here's a quick pic below.

It's been an awfully long time since I've done any drawing.

I also used a 14 year old camera to get some pics of Comet Neowise.

It was my parents Golden Wedding Anniversary. 50 years! Albert Speer only got 20 years in Spandau Prison!

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Flaming June

It's summer, it's flaming June.

Expectation ...

Versus reality ...

But then eventually ...

And now it's back to wearing a jumper :/

Steamworks updated yet again, so it was back to the; "how do I update Airship Dragoon again?" Seemed less hassle than usualy so I must have remembered how to integrate the Steam Client C++ this time around. Whilst giving it a quick test drive to make sure that it actual did work, I started to look through some of the old spaghetti code I had written all those many moons ago.

Comment out the old code on my local distro - incase I suddenly needed to change it back - I changed how panic works, making it more aggressive so that the troopers will always panic shoot if available and only flee if not. I also tweaked some animations and got impact reactions to being wounded, so the troopers now flinch when hurt. People did ask for this when I first released it but messing around with animation code was all rather confusing at the time so I avoided it. Oh well, seven years too late et al but here it is. Luckily I still had a 14 year old version of Blender available - otherwise I would have had to re-export every character and animation into the new format and that wasn't about to be a thing that was going to happen.

I'd also like to change the box art, branding and main menu screen art some time ... but one thing at a time.

Back to the current world of coughs and chaos, I spent the sunny days lounging about with a bottle or two of plonk, getting a tan - or at least turning quite red at some point.

Eventually I did get back to devving on the current - or at least occaisonal - project. One main character does not make a game, except all those games with a single main character of course ... However I was rather planning on having multiple playable characters based on weapon playstyle, so inbetween freezing fog, scorching sun and heavy rain, I eventually got round too booting up Blender and making another character. Whilst the original "GunGirl" was a long range fighter, this character is more short to medium range, with heavy hitting but slow attacks. Still need to PBR the shotgun - not that the current gameplay build is PBR, it's still stuck in the land of Dx9.0c until I upgrade to DX11/12.

So, next up is to finish off LODs, create an atlas map of textures and materials to reduce the all important drawcall number, rig up some animations (based on the previous character animations) and then get the model working in-game. The code for the character is done and works fine, having been a placeholder box for some time already.