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Work in Progress / Sports Fiction ®

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Chris Tate
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Posted: 28th Jun 2017 14:49
The AI punches and kicks - Facebook Post

So far I have gotten the AI to select and use basic melee combat actions. For now I have added jab-punch and push-kick as their available choice of close combat actions. In the real game, the AI will have their favourite moves and disciplines.

Timing

Thus far each action can have a minimum and maximum usage duration, and recharge delay. While in usage, no other action can be performed. While recharging, the action cannot be performed until recharged. The minimum and maximum values are passed onto a basic ranged randomizer function.

Two problems which need addressing with AI combat.

1. I need to get the AI to understand that it is OK to use certain melee actions such as push-kick even if the target player is not on the same level of ground. For instance, if on the higher part of a ramp, it is still OK to use a kick move one someone below (in most circumstances thus far). At this moment in-time, the AI can only determine if the target is on the same level of ground, and whether they are in front of them, beside or behind. Another function which needs to be added is for the AI to try to get into the ideal position to use the best attack they have.

2. I need the AI to move around ramps to get into a more realistic and practical position for using their attacks. At the moment they are attempting to kick a target player who is on the ramp, when the AI performing the kick move is on lower ground and off the ramp. Kicking the ramp instead of the player is not very smart looking; it would be better to get on the ramp or use weapon or projectile.

Knockback

Knockback is something I am going to add to the push-kick action and similar actions designed for pushing, or knocking back, an opponent. This was not implemented into the battle sport prototype I built last year. When an action indicates that it has a knock back effect, the player who gets hit by the move will be knocked back by a distance determined by the force of the move and the weight of the character. I will apply a relative force to the PhysX character controller and select the correct animation.

Grappling


Grappling moves are also unimplemented here and in the prototype. I have already used item throwing in the prototype, and will use some of the functions there for getting the grappling moves to work. Instead of grabbing an item, the characters will be able to grab other characters if their level of strength and physicality permits. The grappling moves in the game will for the most part exist for the purpose of holding opponents into a position, or pushing them or throwing them into another. I will override the location and animation of the character controller according to the grappling animation.

Melee Q&E favourites


As introduced in the previous update, the favourite action buttons (alternatively activated by the Q & E keys) can hold any frequently used action. When not using a melee technique, the AI will select a number of their favourite melee actions before making use of them in an improvised manner. I will get the AI to use techniques later, after getting them to throw, shoot and drive.
I am considering ways to have all hand to hand combat actions listed for human players to pick their favourites, and their actions for building fighting techniques.
Chris Tate
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Posted: 3rd Jul 2017 16:24 Edited at: 3rd Jul 2017 16:26
The AI gets damaged and knocked around - Facebook post

The player characters are now able to get knocked around by attacks which cause knock back. The AI receives damage the same way as the human players; there are no cheats or AI only mechanisms to reduce the damage they receive.

Numeric damage indicators and floating health bars will be used for you to see the current hit points of your opponents and team mates. An integer value floats above the head of players as they receive damage or extra hit-points —no pun intended. The intricate nature of the damage system in its current state will be briefly explained.


Hit-box Damage

Each player, vehicle or other destructible item will contain hit-boxes at significant components or limbs which are used to detect hit-scan, trigger box or projectile impact. The hit-boxes can be cubic or rounded, or any kind of shape; but tend to be boxes or rounded boxes . I use hidden hit-boxes for damage collision detection for dynamic entities instead of using detailed geometry for the following reasons:

• Hit-boxes can detect impact using less CPU/GPU calculations than detailed geometry
• Organizing parts of players and items into composite hit-box groups provides the game with its separated armour and limb/component condition functionality.
• Separating body parts for aggregation of damage modifiers is what will allow me to award more damage for impacting the head or other sensitive targets and sub-targets.

Having their own materials and optional armour, the hit-boxes receive damage from melee attacks, bullets and other projectiles according to their kind.

Base Damage Range

Each weapon has a number of 'item actions' which can cause a certain amount of base damage. Base damage is the first factor determining the final amount of damage to be received by the hit-box. The minimum damage and maximum damage of the range will determine the randomized damage values emanated from the weapon's impact. For example; if an attack has base damage of 5-10.

The base damage will be any number between 5 and 10; however the end result will differ according to the armour, skillset and collision-material of the entity or player receiving the base damage.

The hit-boxes, armour and weapon base damage are what determine the potential of damage. Other factors determine the final result which will be explained later.
seppgirty
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Posted: 3rd Jul 2017 18:39
Great to see that you're working on the bots. Sounds like a good start. Hope to see some pics or videos soon.
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Ortu
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Posted: 3rd Jul 2017 19:56
Do you have a target average TTK (time to kill)

More towards damage hits hard, a few good shots will do it or more towards tactics over twitch where more hits are required giving more room to counterplay?

Either can work well, but each will set a different tone to the game play
http://games.joshkirklin.com/sulium

A single player RPG featuring a branching, player driven storyline of meaningful choices and multiple endings alongside challenging active combat and intelligent AI.
Chris Tate
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Posted: 4th Jul 2017 14:57 Edited at: 4th Jul 2017 15:00
Quote: "Great to see that you're working on the bots. Sounds like a good start."


I think I'm doing OK. There is lots of fine tuning to do, but the AI is able to do 75% of what they need to do thus far.

Quote: "Hope to see some pics or videos soon."


Same here. After there is no need to focus on the code, then I will shift my full focus to the screenshots, videos and releases.

I will work on videos after some more modelling, sound effects, music, after implementing the jGpuSkin plugin for character animation and when the AI is able to drive and fly, By that point I can then concentrate more on the dynamic look of the game and building a pre-alpha build. I am going to need some new equipment to make the video capture more smooth and of higher resolution than is currently feasible; and some additional machines are required for local and remote service.

Quote: "Do you have a target average TTK (time to kill) "


I'm going to decide on that after more experience playing the early release with real people and some longitudinal player observations, surveys and analysis of complaints. It appears to me that the game will attract fans of the tactical style of play, thus favouring a long TTK; but I cannot back that up and do not like to assume.

I also expect that most players who end up disliking the game for any reason, including the opponent TTK, will rather just go play another game or two, than to spend their time submitting feedback. A reason why I feel the need to implement feedback tools into the UI. Furthermore when luckly enough to obtain feedback, their writen or spoken words towards the decisions may not be accurately aligned with what they really feel, or could be premature. For this reason I am procrastinating on certain design decisions such as TTK until more data can be obtained, maintaining an actions-speak-louder-than words mindset, and making the choice that the data supports; but i digress.

I think a low TTK would attract a larger audience, as is the case for CoD. But the futuristic-WWE-esque with guns theme of the battle sport mode is round based, and would require some melee action so we need to balance the gun-play with the melee, with armoured characters getting knocked down before being knocked out.

In addition, the primary aspects of SF are somewhat near the complicated end of the multiplayer action arena genre, which asks for time investment in return for a more intellectual challenge of skill and game sense, rather than mere head-shot kills and short bursts of fun. I doubt that the larger audience will be willing to invest much time in preparing complex tactics and special melee combat combinations, if this were true then more complex games like Arma3 (I am guessing which sold 2 million copies) would out sell the latest CoD iteration (which I am guessing sold 2 million odd in the US alone). Based on that prediction, and my goal of challenging the players, I imagine that I would end up having to cater to the high TTK audience, " more towards tactics over twitch where more hits are required giving more room to counterplay" but we'll see what happens.
Chris Tate
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Posted: 13th Jul 2017 14:08 Edited at: 18th Dec 2017 02:22
Starting to work on pushing, pulling and grappling actions - Facebook Post

So after a bit of a distracting week; I have continued to work on the combat actions.

So players like to play shooting games, fighting games and wrestling games, therefore Sports Fiction Battle Sport aims to provide a mixture of the 3, and will need to do so without forcing players to play roles they are not interested in playing., while not providing too much power to range or melee combat. This is not going to be easy, but the purpose of this development project was not to be easy; otherwise everyone would be doing it.

Players who enjoy the fighting and wrestling against foe, will have their fair share of moments and opportunities, particularly in the early game, and in latter parts of rounds where ammo is depleted.

Players who enjoy shooting, will have their moments and opportunities in the late game, and in the earlier parts of rounds were ammo is an abundance.

So far I have been implementing the fighting aspects of the prototype into the real game. Next will be to work on the wrestling, which is for players to push, pull and grapple opponents.

The first step taken was to incorporate the player-hold concept used in the battle sport prototype, which is a process of disabling (removing) the character controller, holding the character into a position determined by an animation, then enabling (rebuilding) the controller with any required force applied after the grappling, pushing or pulling animation is completed. It will be the similar process for throwing items.
In this real implementation, I will be creating functions to cause damage at specific points in the animation; and providing a means for the physically capable and well trained characters to break free from the hold.

Damage indication
This week I have been working on the damage indicators and energy bars which are going to be quite minimalistic, and very much an optional feature for players. The use of such damage indicators may be affected by player character statistics based on their character's level of awareness and the distance of impact from the eyes of the character.

I am going to have to leave the tweaking of the layout of damage indicators until the time to distribute the pre-release.




Dealing with simultaneous hit-box collisions


Sometimes the impact of a projectile or melee attack will strike more than one hit-box of the targeted character.

This week I created options for weapon and special move design for calculating damage across multiple collisions on the same target character.

Depending on the projectile or melee attack, one or more options will be selected for determining the amount of damage caused when hit-boxes are hit. One option is to only cause damage to the hit-box of initial impact, let's say the left-arm, but not the others, which may include the chest and head. Another option is to calculate an average, another is to cause damage to the last hit-box impacted; and finally to cause damages to all colliding hit-boxes and to do so with or without reducing the force of impact from point of entry to point of exit.
seppgirty
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Posted: 14th Jul 2017 20:50
Will there be crazy mortal combat type kills? Or will there be very little blood? Will there be beach volley ball
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Chris Tate
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Posted: 15th Jul 2017 16:06 Edited at: 15th Jul 2017 16:08
Characters will be equipped with mechanized armour to reduce the chances of death. I have yet to model the helmets and suits which is quite a significant milestone to take place in a month or so.

The Battle Sport Franchise is very much a commercial enterprise in a practical world; and it is in the very interests of the characters to preserve each other alive in order to make more money.

In the Universal Olympia Franchise, the sports are far less mechanized; therefore any inclusion of any hand to hand combat sport will result in a small amount of bloodshed as is the case in Boxing, UFC and JJB. The characters will not be wearing mechanized suits in these kind of challenges.

More Marvel-esque than Mortal Kombat.

Injuries yes, death not in this iteration of the game.

As for beach volleyball; probably in the Party game and Universal Olympia game. Something most likely to be done later in the year or early in 2018.
Dimis
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Posted: 17th Jul 2017 19:04
I missed a lot of posts, here, good to see all this progress Chris! Keep it up!
Chris Tate
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Posted: 17th Jul 2017 19:39
Thanks. I have not seen you post in quite some time. How are things?
Dimis
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Posted: 17th Jul 2017 20:33
Things are going pretty well, i haven't posted for quite a while due to the lack of time and also because of the number of changes and improvements i needed to make to my project, before sharing anything playable. I need to have my thread unlocked to post updates.
Obviously photobucket is doing an extortion to free users, demanding 400$per year to allow 3rd party hosting, so all my image links are gone...
Ortu
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Posted: 18th Jul 2017 02:53
Yeah, dropbox is making it harder to do 3rd party embedding also, a lot of my photos broke a while back.

PM a mod if you haven't yet to get the thread unlocked. VanB and Batvink are both pretty responsive to that.

Glad your back!
http://games.joshkirklin.com/sulium

A single player RPG featuring a branching, player driven storyline of meaningful choices and multiple endings alongside challenging active combat and intelligent AI.
Dimis
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Posted: 18th Jul 2017 06:08
Thanks for that tip Ortu. I was going to use my Dropbox account, too bad there are problems with it also.
Ortu
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Posted: 18th Jul 2017 17:01
You can still do it with dropbox (for now), but you now have to manually edit the generated links to point to the raw version of the file (change dl=0 to raw=1) something like that.

Sorry Chris, dont mean to derail your thread! Carry on.
http://games.joshkirklin.com/sulium

A single player RPG featuring a branching, player driven storyline of meaningful choices and multiple endings alongside challenging active combat and intelligent AI.
Chris Tate
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Posted: 18th Jul 2017 18:15 Edited at: 18th Jul 2017 18:20
I used to use Google Drive, but they stopped permitting URL use.

My two cents is about the best web hosting service I've ever had. The best web host I have ever worked with is myself. No fees. No contracts. Easiest upload processes in the universe, just copy and paste the file into a hard drive folder, or just save it there. I highly recommend it if interested in hosting your game service.

No bandwidth limits, I can put what ever the hell I want people to download on my server. I even have a couple of ASP real estate marketing websites I built running on there.

After quitting third-party hosting services I can't say that I miss the old days of opening my web browser to share images and files.

After a few weeks of commitment, besides having to pay for electricity to keep a machine on 24/7, you will not have to spend a penny.
Chris Tate
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Posted: 22nd Jul 2017 23:13 Edited at: 18th Dec 2017 02:22
The AI fires pistols at each other - Facebook Post

So, the gun fights have begun. The implementation of gun fire into the AI action system did not require much work. The functionality is just merely a long ranged version of a melee attack with some particle effects; nothing much to change because I already got the idea from the prototype game that melee and gun fire can use the same raycasting mechanism.

Getting the AI to fire the weapon was no biggie, but the aiming was another story. Back in March I wrote a couple thousand lines of code to allow the AI to aim at each other which works by first querying the visible hit-boxes from the eye of the AI, then locating the opponent or team-mate who owns the hit-boxes, then selects the favoured hit-box to fire at based on the AI's current behaviours and skill level. Once a hit-box has been selected, the AI aims and fires at the hit box. As discussed previously, each head-box accepts impact and hit-point damage differently, and only the intelligent AI character will consider that.

Something interesting about Battle Sport in Sports Fiction will be the use of wind and gravity to affect the path of projectiles (including bullets) accordingly, in order to make shooting a little bit harder than is common in shooting games for the purpose of balancing ranged combat vs melee combat. Wind and gravity was tested in the prototype which was quite fun, but how it will work in the real game is something I will find out after longitudinal tests.


What needs to be done next regarding AI gun fire/ weapon throwing:


At this point in time the AI does not understand what wind or gravity is or how it affects their projectile trajectories; but the bullet-drop and wind factors are only significant at long ranges.

The AI attempts to aim up or down before turning in situations where it would be more reasonable (and human) to simply turn around first, then aim up or down. This behaviour will be ideal for turrets and robots however.

Weapons have a range limit, but I have not created an ideal shooting range value, which represents the furthest distance the AI should attempt to shoot from according to the type of weapon. Long distance Sniper Rifles over Automatic Rifles, Rifles over shotguns; based on the distance to the target, the AI needs to not be attempting to shoot at a distance the weapon was not designed to shoot at.

Ammo and gun reloading needs to be implemented.

Finally the AI is moving while shooting, which is not always a good idea because moving while shooting will affect recoil when that gets implemented. The recoil system in the prototype uses the momentum of angular velocity (spinning the character) and weapon attributes to determine how the firing of weapons shifts aim.

The AI will need to learn how to pick up dropped weapons, and other items for that matter. This will be crucial for the next phase which is to throw items.


Game breaking lag caused by a single line of code


I noticed that the back-end process was taking 40 to 50 milliseconds to update 6 AI players. It should be taking about 5 or so milliseconds. I knew what process was causing the problem because of a timer assigned to each process; but the sub-process responsible for the problem could not be determined.
This is because I did not create timers for sub-processes in the back-end, like I did in the rendering and physics simulation processes.

I assumed that it had to be the AI logging system, but it wasn't because disabling AI logging made no difference. So I suspected that the AI code might need optimization, but needed to prove this to be true.

So after a few days creating the window and process timing system shown below, I was able to pin point the cause. Yes it was within the AI sub-process, but no it was nothing to do with AI, the actual line of code which caused the problem was a task scheduler for timing calls to a debugging UI update; it was scheduling the debugging UI update every loop, which would be 1000s of times per second instead of once every few seconds.



Sometimes within 100,000s of lines of code and data-files, a process can be made broken because of one very small mistake on a single line. Monitoring and compiling regularly allows you to reduce the time it takes to find the problem.
Chris Tate
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Posted: 7th Aug 2017 17:56
The AI shoots at specific parts of their opponents, but there are issues - facebook post

So the AI is now capable of open fire at specific limbs of their opponents. I have yet to implement gravity and wind affects on the projectiles, which will influence the effectiveness of the aiming functions of the AI. This is a trivial feature to produce as seen in the prototype.
I have had to improve the AI's tactical reaction functions which are used when a pursuing a target which is at a greater distance than an adjacent opponent. Rather than continuing to pursue the opponent at distance, it may be more practical to switch target with the adjacent opponents.
A typical series of operations performed by the AI while assessing their surroundings are demonstrated by the following log:


Quote: " Player3 has changed state from PursuingTarget to AttackingTarget at 17:03:07 (PlayerAIController)
back to index | back to index entry
Player3 wants to attack for 14.7 seconds because of a medium amount of endurance (DefaultBehavior)
Player3 has changed attack duration to 00:00:14.7450000 (PlayerAIController)
Player3 will end its attack at 17:03:22 (PlayerAIController)
Player3 has set pursuit start for 17:03:07 at 17:03:07 (PlayerAIController)
Player3 is attacking for 14.7 seconds after changing state to attack target (PlayerAIController)
Player3 is updating movement from -4505.82226563,4.09728908539,-4496.69433594 to destination at -4,505.6,4.1,-4,511.3
Player3 is preparing an attack (PlayerAIController)
Player3 has opponents with ranged weapons, but thinks it is safe because of having ranged attacks and sufficient potential for ranged attacked (PlayerAIController)
Player3 did not agree with melee safety by a random decision because of insufficient wisdom and intelligence, or by a random occurance (DefaultThinker)
Player3 did not initially think it is safe from melee attacks because at least one opponent is at a similar elevation and is close to the player (PlayerAIController)
Player3 's nearby opponent melee rating: 411.4 (PlayerAIController)
Player3 's nearby team-mate melee rating: 445.0 (PlayerAIController)
Player3 makes a brave attempt because of having more than 10% HP (14.0/100.0) or by random occurance based on braveness) (DefaultBehavior)
Player3 makes a brave attempt because of having more than 10% HP (14.0/100.0) or by random occurance based on braveness) (DefaultBehavior)
Player3 is preparing to use Pistol: Pistol for an attack on Player: Player5(Object: 5265) (PlayerAIController)
"



Final AI combat tasks and some problems
I was supposed to be finishing off the AI combat this week. The last task was to write the function for picking up dropped weapons. After that, it will be time to focus on vehicle AI. For the early release, there is very little that needs to be done in terms of combat AI.
After the driving and spacecraft riding, I will implement ball control and then that will be it for the AI for the early release.

Unfortunately I have encountered some problems in my code which has prevented the AI from detecting dropped weapons.
The past 3 days have been spent trying to find the cause of this problem. It is a very strange problem because the AI is able to detect each other, but items; even though both players and items are to be detected using similar procedures.
I have yet to find the cause of the problem, and may consider rewriting a large section of code if the cause of the problem is not found soon. When a problem takes more than 3 days to solve, it is quite alarming. There is something strange going on.
Ortu
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Posted: 7th Aug 2017 19:35 Edited at: 7th Aug 2017 19:36
How does it search for dropped items?

Iterate a list of dropped items and check coordinates for range/ line of sight/pathfinding eligibility?

Or is it something more 'blind' in which it doesnt have a known/omnipresent list to check against and has to go about discovering nearby items more organically?
http://games.joshkirklin.com/sulium

A single player RPG featuring a branching, player driven storyline of meaningful choices and multiple endings alongside challenging active combat and intelligent AI.
Chris Tate
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Posted: 13th Aug 2017 20:49
It works by checking a line of sight of a list of dropped items; then shortlists dropped items the AI has become aware of.
Chris Tate
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Posted: 22nd Aug 2017 13:20
Planning for animation
After completing 80% of the functionality of Battle Sport gun play and melee, I will be ready to start play testing the AI vs AI, and to also have a go testing out the latest version of the game myself.
So the mechanism for allowing the AI to recognize and pick up dropped weapons is flawed. This is being rewritten because I made things more complicated than what is necessary. The new way will eliminate some unnecessary filtering which was excluding dropped weapons from the AI decision making list.
Nothing of major concern, sometimes something silly discrepancies take the longest to resolve because you are not expecting something silly to be the cause of the problem.

Next
Before being able to record the footage and share it with you, I will have to plan and implement animation and particle effects with plugins such as jGfx and jGpuSkin by revenant chaos. I will also need to bring back my old shader system and implement it in this final engine.
I will have to upgrade my PC to today's standard now so that I can record the game without much lag. I also need a PC to as a dedicated server, and my laptop for working on the project on the go.

Tasks for the next month or so
• Fix major AI issues
• Fix memory issues
• Work on the comic-style shading
• Create driving/racing AI
• Animate the gameplay
• Save up for a gameplay recording PC
• Polish up the UI
• Make sound effects and temporary music
Ortu
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Posted: 22nd Aug 2017 17:12
For recording, I highly recommend nvidia's built in Shadowplay. Virtually no performance impact with high quality recording at nicely compact file sizes.

Can grab desktop as well as in game.

Integrates live stream broadcast services like twitch directly.

I'm not a die hard nvidia guy, I've probably owned more amd/Radeon cards than nvidia cards over the years, but shadowplay is easily the best screen recording software ive used.
http://games.joshkirklin.com/sulium

A single player RPG featuring a branching, player driven storyline of meaningful choices and multiple endings alongside challenging active combat and intelligent AI.
Chris Tate
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Posted: 24th Sep 2017 16:22
That's immensely useful to know, a timely tip. Thanks Ortu. I used to be a Radeon/ATI man; but I let my PC supplier pick my hardware this time, so I have an NVidia card.

Shadowplay.

Outstandingly brief project update

I have been away from the forums for quite some time due to having to make new changes to my business including this project. These structural changes have now been established and I will now continue to work on the project. I will also be looking for some freelancers to help build up the aesthetic of the demo and video footage.

I will be working with animation from this point onward to finish off the first demo.

There will be more frequency from me after a few weeks of paper work.
seppgirty
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Posted: 26th Sep 2017 22:53
Outstanding!!!! Very excited for this.
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Chris Tate
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Posted: 3rd Oct 2017 22:19
That's appreciated and reassuring.

So, I have tested the jPUSkin tool and so far I have got it to load 100 characters with a simple animations with a few issues that now need to be rectified. This is quite a noteworthy milestone because it was quite difficult to get more than 20 on screen without a major slow down.

1. The maximum bone count for this tool is 80, so I had to remove the facial expression bones. I will likely add a separate mesh for the face if I have to heed this limit.

2. The import tool rotates the character on the X axis by 90 degrees, so I will have to add an angle offset.

3. Some vertices in the test character mesh do not animate when loaded with the supplied shader; and nothing is displayed with the default fast bone shader. There seems to be no such issue when the character is viewed in the import tool.

So now I need to investigate these 3 issues, and ask the developer for his expert advice if I am unable to spot any mistakes on my end.
Ortu
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Posted: 4th Oct 2017 04:41
Quote: ", I have tested the jPUSkin tool and so far I have got it to load 100 characters with a simple animations with a few issues that now need to be rectified. This is quite a noteworthy milestone because it was quite difficult to get more than 20 on screen without a major slow down."


Very impressive. I may have to give it a try, but it is such a pain to get other shaders to play nice with AL
http://games.joshkirklin.com/sulium

A single player RPG featuring a branching, player driven storyline of meaningful choices and multiple endings alongside challenging active combat and intelligent AI.
Chris Tate
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Posted: 26th Oct 2017 17:52
So, I have been doing some external work in real estate for a few weeks to wrap things up; now I am back to all round games development. I will now get back to work on the animation.

The jPUSkin plugin seems very splendid; but I have got get it to work with Blender's exports. I will need to kindly ask the plugin developer for some help. The DirectX export script for Blender may need to be adapted to work with the plugin; preferably vise versa; the normals and Z sorting of vertices are not interpreted correctly. Everything else looks good to go.
Chris Tate
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Posted: 23rd Nov 2017 16:01
Getting lots of features ready


So, lots of preparation for an pre-alpha early release has been taking place. The intention is to start off by opening battle sport to the public for observation of how players get on with installing the game, playing the game, attempting the challenges, playing with each other and accomplishing things. It is difficult to structure the game-flow without mass feedback. Briefly after this version, a few other sports will be added as they are completed according to the feedback.

There will also be a lot of tweaking and bug fixing which is expected at this development phase.

The first release will be much smaller than the real product, but should still hold its weight as a fun to play game for the following reasons.

• Although a smaller game version, it will have the key player progression features
• The behavioural AI will be deployed to challenge the player, and fill in empty competitor slots
• The battle sport should please fans of the genre to enjoy aspects of third person action gaming that is unavailable or difficult to find elsewhere


There following tasks have been completed within the past month

• Particle effects have been implemented using Dark Physics
• An update-as-you-play server has been configured
• A client side performance monitoring window has been provided for players
• More multithreading has been used to improve the responsiveness of controls
• Sprites have been removed completely to improve performance
• Shaders have been tested on the 2D and 3D UI to give the look of the game a professional touch
• Replaced DBP 3D audio playback with simulated stereo panning and pitch shifting


I want to be able to apply minor updates to the game without requiring the players to shut down and restart the game, and to allow updates to be committed without much overhead at the backend. An update server is set in place for updates as you play.

Performance issues are being handled step by step to offer the best possible performance on multi-core PCs.

The 3D audio playback was not performing as well as I hoped it would, so for now I will provide stereo panning and pitch shifting to enable the players to listen to what is taking place around them. Later on if it seems reasonable, I may implement a better performing 3D audio engine into the client.

Particle effect functions have been completed, I can now attach the effects to entities and events. The next step is to create a particle effect enhanced heat haze and motion blur camera for medium to high graphics settings.

Now working on new character and item animations

seppgirty
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Posted: 16th Dec 2017 16:04
Great news. Looking forward to the demo.
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Chris Tate
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Posted: 17th Dec 2017 02:59 Edited at: 17th Dec 2017 03:00
Thanks.

I am currently completing the NPC interaction system and a reasonable amount of hours of gameplay for a test server I want to make live as soon as possible. There is a vast number UI templates, textures, 3D models, code clean ups, web pages, and installation packages I will have to work through, but any time soon now, and I can start exposing the product.
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Posted: 17th Dec 2017 16:51
Exciting stuff when you get to that stage Chris look forward to it.

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Chris Tate
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Posted: 18th Dec 2017 02:24
Same here Chris; looking forward to it. Things are getting more interesting, day by day behind the scenes.
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Posted: 27th Dec 2017 07:30
After a refreshing 2 day Christmas break, work is to commence with development of the pre-alpha. Today's tasks are based on the cut scene system I am using to reflect story progression and other aspects of the game. It will be something quite interesting for fans of comic books and solo/coop gaming. Expect be able to switch between story mode and competitive mode as and when you please.

Usage of the jGPU animation system continues on, with this week's task of animating actors and scenes.
seppgirty
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Posted: 29th Dec 2017 23:05
Quote: " Today's tasks are based on the cut scene system I am using to reflect story progression and other aspects of the game."

Sounds really interesting. Can't wait to see some screen grabs.
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Chris Tate
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Posted: 9th Jan 2018 16:49
The videos and screenshots are what I am working towards now, very important for these to be prepared as soon as possible for attracting attention to the project. There has been delay, but once I get through the current issues I'm having with NPC acting sequences in the cut scene system, I will need to start taking some screen grabs, without giving too much away because of a number of story components and strategies I want to protect.

I've recently obtained the new website domain, and online material is now being prepared.

Today I will be trying to sort out an animation problem, and will be working on the game's non-linear content sequencing.
seppgirty
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Posted: 10th Jan 2018 23:39
Do you plan on keeping this mostly in the "TGC COMMUNITY" while beta testing? Or do you want to get people from all over? Do you plan on putting this on steam?
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Chris Tate
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Posted: 11th Jan 2018 19:18
I do want to release it on steam, for customer convenience, but there is a high probability that the most inferior version of the game will be the first release, which will be a pre-alpha build. I do not want to put anything on steam that is not proven to be good, otherwise the reviewers will run riot on it. I have a clear understanding of the standard expected for competitive products on steam.

Once I generate enough income to install enough servers, and the game runs smoothly enough and I can prove that the game will have a steady shelf life on the steam platform with sufficient tests and feedback analytics, then that will be the cue. This could occur in pre-alpha, alpha or beta; it depends how well I do.

I am striving to fill in voids, providing experiences difficult to obtain elsewhere, and to lower the learning curve as much as possible without dumbing down the challenges. I think that this, plus a few surprises, will be what will please the target audience enough to get a good like to dislike ratio.
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Posted: 12th Jan 2018 22:31
Quote: " I do not want to put anything on steam that is not proven to be good, otherwise the reviewers will run riot on it. I have a clear understanding of the standard expected for competitive products on steam."


Good man. That was the advice i was going to give you.
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