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Work in Progress / 3d Battletech Game

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RussCarl
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Posted: 12th Dec 2012 03:17 Edited at: 12th Dec 2012 19:02
So I found myself with some free time and was lamenting the fact that the upcoming Pay-to-Win mechwarrior tactics will most likely be horrible when I thought to myself, hey, I could probably make a simple battletech game with darkGDK (I'm using the 2.0 version).

So here is my pre-alpha. Haven't even finished with the basic mechanics (heat isn't modeled for one example), but I like the way it's going so far.



Currently I've got 5 different mechs free-for-alling on a premade map. It's fun on a deep, primal level to blast light mechs with the Hunchback's AC20. Hope you guys enjoy it. Should be more to follow.



I could use some help though. I'm a terrible modeler and even worse texturer, does anyone know of a source for some low cost mech models or know anyone who would be willing to put some together? Also, I eventually want to have the ability for the user to click directly on a hex instead of pushing overlay buttons. Is there an easy way to do that using GDK?



Zipped download of demo

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Chris Tate
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Posted: 12th Dec 2012 16:07
Actually, I think I like the way your scene looks; it may not be realistic but it is consistent (except for the backdrop). If you used hexagons and boxes to produce a backdrop then people would say that this is a stylistic work.

Anyway, you can use the TGC model packs, make use of Turbosquid, pay for the modelling, ask for any free assets in the 3D forum or you could learn how to model.

Coincidentally, I have taken a week off of Sports Fiction to work on 3d modelling tutorials specifically for DBP or DGDK. They are video tutorials, and should be uploaded in 4 or 5 hours. I will probably post them in the 3D section, and will post you a link here. They cover a little bit of Blender modelling and texturing, plus lots of 3D World Studio basics.

MrValentine
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Posted: 12th Dec 2012 17:45
Chris Tate - Looking forward to it

RussCarl - I really like what you have done here, keeping my eyes on it

TheComet
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Posted: 12th Dec 2012 18:55
Looks pretty good!

May I suggest having a backdrop similar to this:



TheComet

Chris Tate
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Posted: 13th Dec 2012 03:49
Where did the post go? There's no original message? Oh well.

Van B
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Posted: 13th Dec 2012 11:36
Looks very cool, and looks like you've got a lot done on it.

Personally, I think it needs to be a little grungier, a little more like those Battletech figures and board pieces. Like, the hexagons look very clinical. For example, say you made 3 hexagon pieces for each type of terrain, sand, grass, rock etc - just a texture job and a normal map for each, so they look a bit more like some diehard Battletech wargamer painstakingly made them and added flux grass painted highlights etc. Just a simple normal map would give them that look. Because they pieces are hexagons you could then rotate them to give 6 variations, so with just 3 different pieces per terrain, you could have 18 'different' board pieces. Then just use a random board piece for whatever terrain, and it'd have a more organic look to it. Things like roads, rivers and board pieces that are mixed would of course need to be rotated exactly, but that's the sort of thing that would be fun to work on I think, making nice looking board pieces and seeing them all work together in game.

Also, I'd conside raising the camera height and making it more like a table top. When people play these games, they like to feel like some sort of commander, overlooking the battle and making decisions based on the whole battle - having a more first person view like you have detracts from that I think. Of course that could be an option, but anyway, personally I'd rather play games like that as an overseer, looking over everything and considering all the units in play.

There was a board game developed recently by the Overgrowth team, very tactile - picking up die and cards and game pieces, throwing die, stacking cards, as if you had the actual boardgame right in front of you, that's the sort of thing I'd go for given a chance. Videogame versions of board games and tabletop games always go better when they have tactile elements... rather than playing the tabletop game as if it was real, you play the tabletop game as if your playing the game in a perfect environment designed just for playing that game, with no tidying up afterwards. Hope this makes sense.

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RussCarl
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Posted: 13th Dec 2012 20:24
Here's a video. No sound.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/3RBq_G0nowo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

http://youtu.be/3RBq_G0nowo

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Ortu
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Posted: 14th Dec 2012 20:54 Edited at: 14th Dec 2012 20:58
This is looking really cool!

Embed YouTube like this:




mr Handy
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Posted: 14th Dec 2012 23:10
Needs more style (or textures).

Looking nice. I wish you to complete this project.
MrValentine
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Posted: 14th Dec 2012 23:15
Now I know what this project reminds me of...

WARNING 47:11 MINUTE VIDEO



RussCarl
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Posted: 15th Dec 2012 00:19
Van B - Yeah, I think your completely right. I'm planning on redoing all the Hex models and having them draw from a several random versions of the same terrain type. That's still a ways down the production schedule.

Currently I load an model of each type, hide it and then store the Object ID as a Int and then when I actually make the map the HexMap class clones (dbCloneObject) the hidden object and places it. Much faster than having GDK load a new model for each Hex. What you mentioned should fit in this system pretty easily.

As for the camera height, I actually had 3 modes: over the shoulder, isometric and entire board. Back when I was using the keyboard for the input I had a way to toggle them, but now that I'm focusing on GUI buttons I haven't re-implemented it.




Eventually, a while from now, I could do a free-cam type view using the mouse wheel to scroll like many RTSs do.

Ortu - Thanks for showing me how to link to youtube. I'm not very good with this forum yet.

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Chris Tate
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Posted: 15th Dec 2012 14:32
Wow, this is going to be a good one. Will you go for an orthographic or perspective camera view? Or will you decide later?

Dar13
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Posted: 15th Dec 2012 19:33
That video was great, good work! One thing that bothered me though was the jerkiness of the camera when the battlemech was moving or turning. Was disconcerting to say the least.

Keep it up!

MadBit
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Posted: 16th Dec 2012 00:10
Umm, I love battletech . In your last picture in the top of the description stands a commando (com-2d), but you're doing to display an argus mech.
Is the displayed info the target of the Argus?

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RussCarl
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Posted: 16th Dec 2012 01:31
Well spotted Madbit.

That's from very early build. I don't have a commando model, but I was able to find an Argus on sketchup that I used as a placeholder when I was trying to get the Hex system ironed out.

The text in the upper left is the mech data for the currently selected mech, the targeted mech's data shows up in the upper right when applicable. I'm working on a graphical readout to replace the text. I hope to have a mech diagram with different colors representing damage to locations and have the critical components display in a pop-up menu anchored to the left side of the screen.

Unfortunately that Argus is way better than anything I've been able to piece together and I'm currently focusing on 3025 mechs so I won't have an Argus for quite a while yet.

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mr Handy
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Posted: 17th Dec 2012 17:02
I remember Battletech on Sega Genesis... oh nostalgia. Nice screenshot.
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Posted: 22nd Dec 2012 23:59
I like the clinical look. It needs a bit of jazzing up but, if I was doing this, I would keep it simple (probably along the style of what TheComet suggested). I wonder how many projects have been abandoned because people got over ambitious with the media?

Having played the demo I can see there's a lot of work still to do but it played quite well (the camera needs to be smoother when moving). You could strip the gui down a bit by having the player select hexes to move and turn and probably to select targets as well. That way they'd only be selecting weapons from a menu and keep the screen less cluttered. Just an idea.

This is a good effort so far. I hope you keep working on this.

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RussCarl
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Posted: 7th Feb 2013 03:22
Mechwarrior Living Legends (the greatest mod in the history of modding, in my opinion) has recently been shutdown by a C&D order from the owners of Battletech.

This basically means that I'll never really be able to go anywhere with this project, and I probably shouldn't have picked an active IP for its basis.

I'm stopping work on this, but I still consider this exercise a success because it taught me a great deal on designing a OOP program instead of just making it up as I go along. Also, this was my first project after I made the switch from GDK to GDK2.0 (which is wonderful).

I'm going to clean up the sourcecode a bit and post it all on the forum in a bit. The Hex Map system is really modular and should work with any Hex Map models so I hope someone will be able to use it to speed development of one of a future project.

Thanks for the input and suggestions guys. I'm going back to my 3D space combat sim project and try to revamp it with some of the techniques I learned from this.

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Posted: 9th Feb 2013 19:18
Using an existing IP is always going to be a problem.

However, couldn't you just change the style of the game? For example, instead of having Battletech mechs, just design some of your own? Or maybe use futuristic tanks or soldiers in chunky power armour? You might also have to take out some of the more Battletech style game play elements (like over heating and cooling down) but it's not as if Battletech has a monoploy on hex grid game play.

I suppose if you had your heart set on making a Battletech game then I can understand the decision to shelve this project, especially if you have something else to work on, and learning new stuff is always good.

Good luck on your space game.

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Ortu
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Posted: 10th Feb 2013 01:56
mass effect 1 made overheat/cooling a core mechanic, and most any fps with a vehichle weapon uses it as well as a trade off for infinite vehichle ammo. its common enough that it is hardly copyrighted to battletech

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Posted: 10th Feb 2013 21:53
Yes, you're right that other games use cool down.

In the Battletech board game (if I remember this correctly), the player had to assign heat sinks to their mech. If the heat sinks were destroyed then the weapons couldn't cool down. If the heat sinks were on the mechs legs and the mech was in water then the weapons would cool down quicker. That's the game mechanic I was refering to which is something I haven't seen in other games (although I have seen variations off it). I was really just using it as an example and I agree that Battletech doesn't have a copyright on it. I suppose my point was that just making the game look different may not be enough. If it plays exactly the same as an existing game then this might cause problems.

Not wanting to hijack this thread too much, but the reason I bring this up is that Games Workshop has seen fit to trade mark the phrase "space marine" and someone had an ebook pulled off Amazon because it had "space marine" in the title .

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21380003

As far as I'm aware, no one has yet tried to copyright or trade mark a game mechanic but I wouldn't be too suprised if did.

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