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AppGameKit Showcase / [WIP] Skyway

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CodeMonkey
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Posted: 17th Feb 2014 23:14 Edited at: 3rd Mar 2015 17:47
Blog Intro
Hey! Welcome to my new blog! My name's Conor and I'm a hobbyist game developer. I started programming about 6 or 7 years ago, first with BASIC and then slowly moving on to C# and some C++, learning various video-game libraries in between, including XNA, DarkGDK, and AGK.

This blog marks the start of the development diary for my new game 'Skyway'. It will be my first commercial project as well as the first time I've developed for iOS/Android, so it should be an interesting experience! I also plan to target Windows and OSX.

Skyway is a 3D platformer inspired by the classic Dos game SkyRoads. Featuring online multiplayer, an in-built level editor, and polished graphics, this game will bring a sense of nostalgia to fans of BlueMoon's classic, while keeping things fresh for newcomers.

I'm working alone on this project so I'll be wearing many hats during it's development and learning a lot along the way. I've created this blog to start spreading the word about this game to as many people as possible, as well as to gain support for the Alpha-Release on Desura in the coming months.

I'll be posting here regularly with updates on the progress of the game as well as explaining the work I'm currently doing, so keep posted!

Cover Art [Work in Progress]
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 20th Feb 2014 22:16 Edited at: 3rd Mar 2015 17:47
Design Document
I've decided to create a simple design document for this project: The purpose of this is to outline some of the core elements I'll be working on, to keep track of everything, and to help people gain an understanding of what I'm trying to achieve with this game.



Project Concept

Game Genre: Skyway is a 3D platformer created for all ages in mind, with arcade style qualities. The game focuses on fun, pick up and play gameplay, rather than on story narrative. It is a simple concept which pays tribute to retro gaming.

Gameplay Style: Race against the clock to reach the end of the track while avoiding obstacles in your path and picking up items, or go head to head with a friend in an online session. With multiple game modes Skyway is a game with great replay value.


Game Engine

Graphics Engine: Custom shaders supporting dynamic ambient, directional, and point lighting, with specular highlights and normal mapping on Windows/OSX. This game is built with mobiles as well as desktops in mind, allowing for a wide range of visual fidelity.

Music System: Full original soundtrack composed with Ableton Live and Massive, as well as an in-game radio system where channels are streamed from Soma FM [unconfirmed], meaning no constant repetition of the same music.

Networking: Host/Client multiplayer networking for competing online in various game modes. Win against others to increase your global score and get a place on the leaderboards. Win prizes in official monthly competitions.

Game Mechanics: With the integration of the Bullet physics engine the game will be balanced between realistic movement and arcade style controls. A built in level-editor will hand over the creative control to the users that want to take things one step further and create their own tracks.


Publishing

Alpha Release: Desura's Alpha Funding will help support me financially during this game's development, as well as help to get rid of any bugs, and improve features. Early buyers will directly see their purchase affecting the quality of the game through feedback.

General Release: For the initial release I plan to target Windows and OSX. The game will be released on Desura, and on Steam, if greenlit. The second stage of the release is for mobile platforms, which means the Google Play, and iOS Store.
Ched80
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Posted: 20th Feb 2014 22:41
Sounds great. Good luck with the alpha funding!

CodeMonkey
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Posted: 21st Feb 2014 19:29
Thanks for the support, Ched80, hopefully I'll get more support with further updates!
Ancient Lady
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Posted: 24th Feb 2014 00:07
CodeMonkey, is this being done with AppGameKit? What Tier are you using?

Cheers,
Ancient Lady
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CodeMonkey
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Posted: 24th Feb 2014 17:28 Edited at: 3rd Mar 2015 17:48
AGK Game Launcher
To develop Skyway I'm using App Game Kit [Tier 1]: An OpenGL wrapper and BASIC compiler. Due to the fact that AppGameKit is currently in a fairly primitive stage there is no support for resizing the OpenGL window at run-time. This is why I've created a Game Launcher for Windows in Visual Basic to allow for the end-user to choose resolution settings before launching the game.

This post is for any developers out their that may also need something like this in their projects. I've included the Game Launcher with instructions as well as the Visual Basic Project below. Please refer to the instructions provided in the text file for help on how to set this up with your own AppGameKit Tier 1 Project.

Note: This application is for Windows only, and requires the .Net Framework to run.

Note: The attached file has been compressed with WinRar.



Download Game Launcher
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 25th Feb 2014 21:58 Edited at: 25th Feb 2014 21:58
That should answer your question, Ancient Lady.

I'm surprised that no-one is in need of a free resolution chooser for Windows.
xCept
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Posted: 26th Feb 2014 00:03 Edited at: 26th Feb 2014 00:05
Skyroads was my favorite game in the 90s! I even had the "Christmas Edition" they came out with, but it was much more difficult. Really looking forward to this one, and props for making that launcher! Very useful.

EDIT: Thanks also for that link to the Skyroads downloads. I think the versions I had were just on some Shareware compilation so it's cool they've released the full version for download. Think I know what I'll be doing next weekend, it's been about 15 years since I played it
Ancient Lady
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Posted: 26th Feb 2014 03:36
Thank you CodeMonkey. Sometimes I worry about people posting here who shouldn't (it happens a lot).

Pretty cool, by the way.

Cheers,
Ancient Lady
AGK Community Tester and AppGameKit Master
haliop
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Posted: 26th Feb 2014 04:04
cant wait! sky road was such a good game.

CodeMonkey
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Posted: 26th Feb 2014 19:36
Great to see some fans of SkyRoads. I wasn't sure anybody would know about it!

No worries, Ancient Lady, I've seen some of that myself around here.

Anyway, new post to come tomorrow.
Naphier
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Posted: 1st Mar 2014 04:22
That's a nice game launcher you have there.
I was going to make one with DBPro, but that looks nicer.
Thanks!

CodeMonkey
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Posted: 1st Mar 2014 12:10
Happy to help, Naphier.

I don't know how I'm only finding this out now, but it seems as though AppGameKit T1 doesn't use it's own setup file as you would expect: when running in windowed mode the defined resolution is used, except when approaching the native screen resolution, in which case it is lowered slightly. As well as this, when running in fullscreen, AppGameKit tends to try to force native resolution.

I also want to clarify that when specifying the executable name for the game launcher to run there is no need to include the file extension.

Apologies for the delay on the next update. Expect it shortly!
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 1st Mar 2014 12:41 Edited at: 3rd Mar 2015 17:49
Basic Lighting
Due to the wide range of devices this game will be available on I have written many different shaders which can be swapped in/out at run-time by changing the graphics settings in the options menu. The lighting used for the mobile version of the game is quite basic to keep the overhead low. It consists of three separate components:

Ambient Lighting: Controlled by two variables [color/intensity] ambient lighting is applied equally to all polygons within the scene. This is the most basic form of shading, which attempts to simulate global illumination. In the real world objects are never completely black, they receive indirect light bounced from other nearby objects. Ambient lighting approximates this in a crude way by acting as the minimum light component received by all surfaces.

Diffuse Lighting: This is where the real shading comes into play. For the mobile version of Skyway a directional light is used, which defines color, intensity, and direction. A directional light simulates a light source positioned at a great distance such as the Sun. Due to the relative distance between objects being so small in comparison to their distance from the light source the object position can be disregarded in the lighting equation when using directional light, meaning that the diffuse shading is based purely on the surface angle.

Color Map: A two dimensional image is then mapped onto the object to define the texture of the surface. This is multiplied by the sum of the lighting equation to get the final image drawn to the screen.



In conclusion, the mobile shading algorithm uses a basic ambient light with no position or direction, to control the model's ambient component, as well as a directional light, which has no position, but only direction, to modulate the diffuse light of each surface.
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 11th Mar 2014 15:48 Edited at: 12th Mar 2014 16:25
Advanced Lighting
The PC and Mac version of Skyway will support more advanced lighting than the basic ambient/diffuse model used for the mobile game. As well as having an ambient light, and a directional light, it will feature point lights with specular highlights. The engine supports up to three point lights, each of which have an inverse square fall-off for added realism. As well as using diffuse shading, point lights introduce a new component to the lighting system:

Specular Lighting: This is the glint that your eye catches off shinny surfaces. The shinier a surface, the more defined but smaller the specular reflections are. Unlike Ambient and Diffuse lighting this component is dependent on the observer, meaning that the camera angle and position must be taken into consideration to realistically calculate where the specular reflections are located.

The video below shows a scene with three point lights, each with a red, green, and blue slider to control the color. The white slider at the bottom of the screen controls the global reflectance of the world, increasing the specular intensity when turned up. Unfortunately the shininess can only be controlled globally, rather than on an object by object basis, due to the way AppGameKit handles rendering in Tier 1.

Digital Awakening
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Posted: 11th Mar 2014 16:34
Wow, those lights looks really nice

Cliff Mellangard 3DEGS
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Posted: 12th Mar 2014 08:08
Be sure to share your shaders later on

Android 2.3 , ZTE Skate , 480x800 , 800 mhz , Samsung Galaxy Y , 240x320 , 832 mhz , Sony ericson arc 480x854 , 1 ghz
Android 4.0 , Dmtech 3g 9738B , 1024x768 , 9.7 inches , 1.2 ghz
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 12th Mar 2014 16:24 Edited at: 31st Jul 2014 19:26
Thanks, Digital Awakening, they took a while to get working but it was worth it.
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 16th Mar 2014 21:39 Edited at: 25th Mar 2014 22:20
Edit: Update to follow shortly.
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 25th Mar 2014 22:35 Edited at: 3rd Mar 2015 17:49
Normal Mapping
To add more depth to the game's graphics without hurting the frame rate too much I've implemented normal maps. Normal mapping is a technique used to add details to a model without actually adding any extra geometry. This technique results in much better performance than processing more polygons, as the GPU doesn't have to draw any extra triangles.

As with color maps, normal maps are wrapped around the surface of the object, with each pixel of the image assigned to a particular co-ordinate. Unlike color maps, normal maps do not store color, but instead use the RGB [Red, Green, Blue] component of each pixel in the image to define a vector [X, Y, Z], which the shading algorithm uses as the angle of the surface at the given point, over-riding the real surface angle of the mesh.

Below are three images: To the left is a basic plain, made of two right angle triangles, without a normal map applied, in the middle, a normal map generated with CrazyBump, and on the right, the same flat plain again, but this time with a normal map used in the lighting, rather than the real surface normals of the mesh. This results in the model appearing as if it has a much higher polygon count due to the shading, although if viewed from a low angle it can be seen to be a flat surface.

The Zoq2
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Posted: 25th Mar 2014 23:50
That looks really cool, and your description of normalmapping makes a lot of sense aswell I should really try learning more about writing shaders sometime soon

Say ONE stupid thing and it ends up as a forum signature forever. - Neuro Fuzzy
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 27th Mar 2014 15:21 Edited at: 3rd Apr 2014 14:51
Thanks Zoq2.

If you purchase Skyway you are free to use these shaders for your own projects.
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 8th Apr 2014 20:51 Edited at: 9th May 2014 03:25
Alpha Release [I]
It's finally here! The first alpha demo of Skyway is now available as a free download!

Because things have been running behind schedule, I've decided to postpone commercial release on Desura until the game is in beta. This means that I'll be releasing a few alpha demos before then, as free downloads, starting with the first one today. These alpha demos are targeted exclusively for windows, and only feature the core elements of the engine. Therefore, game mechanics and graphics are in no way representative of the final product.

Note: This application is for Windows only, and has been compressed with WinRAR.

Download Alpha Release [I]

Funnell7
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Posted: 8th Apr 2014 22:17
CodeMonkey, the exe doesn't seem to work. I get the 'Failed to open file for reading media/ at line 0'...
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 8th Apr 2014 22:33
I accidentally deleted a file in the original upload.

I've re-uploaded so it should work now.
Funnell7
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Posted: 8th Apr 2014 23:02
Good stuff! Works fine now and I love it... Takes me back all those years when I used to play SkyRoads! One thing I notice, I cannot seem to jump when holding Up and Left, it works fine with Up and Right though!?

Are you going to go all out and have different coloured surfaces do different things!
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 8th Apr 2014 23:32 Edited at: 10th Apr 2014 16:19
Glad to hear it, Funnell7!

Quote: "One thing I notice, I cannot seem to jump when holding Up and Left, it works fine with Up and Right though!?"

Thanks for pointing out this little bug. It seems as though this is only a problem on some machines, as it doesn't occur on my own laptop. I'll get on to fixing it for the second alpha. I'd also like to point out that it doesn't seem to happen with the WASD controls.

Quote: "Are you going to go all out and have different coloured surfaces do different things!"

I've been thinking about this. What I think I'll do is add pickups throughout the level, to serve the same function.
Jack
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Posted: 9th Apr 2014 21:57
You can fall through surfaces, if you drive your ship at highspeed and crashing into a white wall from the side.

I just tried to play your demo always at highspeed.

[Like]

[/center]
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 10th Apr 2014 16:22 Edited at: 10th Apr 2014 16:23
Quote: "You can fall through surfaces, if you drive your ship at highspeed and crashing into a white wall from the side."

The physics still needs a bit of work. It should be more stable for the second alpha, due to release in about a week.
Jack
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Posted: 13th Apr 2014 02:01
Quote: "The physics still needs a bit of work."


I also have the same problems the the slidesphere collision.

Quote: " due to release in about a week. "


I am gonna keep and eye on this project

CodeMonkey
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Posted: 24th Apr 2014 15:11 Edited at: 21st Jun 2014 02:05
Edit: Apologies for the delay. The second alpha will be released in June.
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 28th Apr 2014 20:36 Edited at: 1st May 2014 04:04
Edit: Skyway has been submitted to the Nexus 10 Competition.
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 21st Jun 2014 02:13
Hey

It's been quite a while since the last update so I just want to assure everyone that this project is still in development. I haven't been working on Skyway as much as I'd hoped to have over the last two months but the next alpha demo will be released this weekend! I apologize for the major delay, I hope there's still some interest in this project.

I've just set up a Facebook page for Skyway, so go ahead and like it to help support the further development of this game!
Skyway Facebook Page
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2014 06:31 Edited at: 23rd Jun 2014 17:52
Alpha Release [II]
After a long period of inactivity online the second alpha of Skyway is now available as a free download.

Due to the lack of updates with AppGameKit I haven't been able to implement the Bullet physics engine yet, as was planned. It may be another month or two until I have a physics engine in the game, but the next alpha will be focused on improved collision detection, as well as getting multiplayer working, and improving the games graphics. The final alpha will be released early July.

Note: This application is for Windows only, and has been compressed with WinRAR.

Download Alpha Release [II]

Chris Tate
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2014 10:55
This looks like a well organized project. I made something similar to this 4 years ago, just not as well established as yours. I am creating a sport like this in my current project.

Are your levels CPU generated or designed?

CodeMonkey
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2014 14:57
Thanks, Chris. All the levels in the game have been made with the level editor that will be released with it. I may add procedurally created levels at a later stage.
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 25th Jun 2014 18:11 Edited at: 30th Oct 2014 14:14
Edit: Skyway on Facebook..
Facebook Page
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 15th Oct 2014 14:57
Alpha Release [III]
Apologies for the lack of updates over the last few months, I haven't been working on Skyway as much as I'd hoped to. Attached is the third and final alpha release of the game. Although there is still no physics engine I've improved the collision detection and implemented timer based movement, which should help to keep the game mechanics consistent across all devices. I've also added one-on-one pier-to-pier LAN multiplayer, where you can race against your opponent to the last track, or play arcade mode in which the first player to reach 5000 points wins.

The next release of Skyway will be a paid beta for Windows and OSX through Desura. Keep posted for updates.

Note: This application is for Windows only, and has been compressed with WinRAR.

Download Alpha Release [III]

CodeMonkey
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Posted: 17th Nov 2014 15:28 Edited at: 30th Dec 2014 20:25
Edit
unlikely
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Posted: 17th Nov 2014 17:40
Good to see you're still at this!
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 30th Dec 2014 21:12 Edited at: 3rd Mar 2015 17:50
Shader Pack
To help out any AppGameKit developers that plan on learning GLSL in the new year I've decided to release a royalty free shader pack. The pack contains two vertex shaders and five pixel shaders, which will help with rendering high quality 3D scenes. Details of the shaders are listed below. There is also a ReadMe contained in the download which explains each shader and the required inputs in greater detail. If you find these shaders to be helpful and would like to return the favor then please support my current project by liking the Facebook Page.

Frag_Directional: Ambient/Directional Light.
Frag_DirectionalDetail: Ambient/Directional Light + Detail/Light Map.
Frag_PointLightToon: Ambient/Directional/Single Toon Point Light.
Frag_MultiPointLight: Ambient/Directional/Multiple Diffuse Point Lights.
Frag_MultiPointLightSpec: Ambient/Directional/Multiple Specular Point Lights.

Note: All shaders require a diffuse texture. A 1x1 pixel white texture can be used for testing.

Note: The attached file has been compressed with WinRar.



Download Shader Pack
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 22nd Jan 2015 15:25 Edited at: 3rd Mar 2015 17:50
Design Document [Updated]
I've updated the design document for Skyway to reflect the changes in the development of this title: Due to the slow development of the game, and wanting to get Skyway in the hands of the player sooner rather than later I've decided to postpone some of the planned features until a future release. This means that Skyway will be available in digital marketplaces in May 2015. I'd also like to announce that the beta releases will be available for free right here from next month.

CodeMonkey
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Posted: 22nd Jan 2015 16:43 Edited at: 23rd Jan 2015 01:59
I'm currently looking for a 3D artist with experience UV unwrapping and texturing models. Please contact me here with '3D Artist' as the subject line and a link to your portfolio if you are interested. Thanks!

Edit: This position has been filled.
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 23rd Apr 2015 21:27 Edited at: 14th May 2015 01:40
Sorry for the delay guys, the 3D artist has disappeared from this project. I'll be updating the graphics myself over the next month.

Also, I'm applying to Steam Greenlight at the moment
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 6th May 2015 01:27 Edited at: 14th May 2015 01:41
I'm looking for a new 3D artist. As previously, experience with UV unwrapping and texturing is essential. This is paid work. Please contact me here with '3D Artist' as the subject line and a link to your portfolio if you are interested.

Edit: This position has been filled.
Chris Tate
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Posted: 9th May 2015 14:42
Hasn't been a good 3 months in the art department I see. Just a word of warning and general advice.

You'll be extremely lucky to find a 3D artist to work on your game in a decade unless you pay a large salary or contract fee; there is a negative stigma surrounding the use of forum thread recruitment. Even if you find one, they will not stick around for long unless your development group turns into the likes of Rockstar games.

I have been in your situation in the past; the best solution to this matter is to learn to be comfortable working in 3D modelling software, using packages like Blender or perhaps 3DS Max if you can afford it. It is all about self reliance in this day and age.

6 months down the line you will either still be looking for a 3D artist or you will become one. I always thank myself for taking the learning route, now there is no problem.

A good set of begineer Blender tutorials are available on the following vimeo channel: https://vimeo.com/channels/blendervideotutorials

When you get more comfortable you can find more advanced lessons at www.lynda.com and www.blenderguru.com

At first it feels really bad to not be focused on your project and end up watching a bunch of videos for months; but it really does better than waiting for a dream artists to come along.

CodeMonkey
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Posted: 14th May 2015 02:00
Thanks for the input Chris. I generally agree with learning a skill and being self-reliant, but I'm just not at the level I'd like to be at to produce the graphics for this game right now, and with all the delays I don't think it would be the best use of my time. I'd rather pay someone who's skilled in that area so that I can focus on the other aspects of the game.

I do have a fairly good grasp of the basics in blender, I've followed some of Andrew Price's tutorials on youtube, and do some 2D/3D artwork in it, but my main focus right now is on game design, programming and audio.

Luckily I have another artist on-board, so we'll see how that goes
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 4th Sep 2015 00:53
Cheeky little bump to keep this thread from going into auto lock.

Expect the Beta very soon I'm looking forward to getting it out!
BatVink
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unlocking
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur
TutCity is being rebuilt
CodeMonkey
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Posted: 26th Feb 2016 14:27 Edited at: 26th Feb 2016 21:08
Beta Release [I]
It's been far too long without an update here. I'm glad to say I'm back working on this project and I have the first of three Beta demos available for download. Collision detection still needs improvement, which I'm sorting out for the next build, but other than that the engine is mostly complete. Most of the work now is on optimizing the code, finishing the media, and polishing the game. I'll try to release these demos within at least a few weeks of each other. In the mean time; Enjoy

Note: This application requires DirectX 9.0c. If you do not have this installed the application may fail to launch. For this reason the installer is included (dxwebsetup).

Note: This application is for Windows only, and has been compressed with WinRAR.

Download Beta Release [I]

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