Mr. Project DX

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.

Post Sep 4th '12, 18:24

Just a rough draft, but I wanted to see what an enemy might look like in-game. Very un-polished, very preliminary. Also very goddamn creepy to have one of these advancing on you in a dark corridor. Then again, it's got a radius of 1 WU, so it won't fit through most doors. Still, very nice possibilities. The melee weapon is the rotating metal brush on the front, I guess? Aside from the mesh and texturing that needs work, I need to make a separate dying and dead sequence (possibly animated?), and assign sounds, also find a way to get the damn thing to turn smoothly, since all monsters can only move in an integer number of directions... Anyway, just a little preview...

[attachment=5761:ohnoes.png]

Going to add some glow to the warning beacon on top, possibly add glowing red sensor eyes on the front, maybe some caution stripes and labeling to the skin, damned if I wouldn't be happy to find a way to get that brush to spin for a melee attack sequence. I need to know more about animated 3d shapes implementation... Any ideas?
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Not Invented Here

Post Sep 4th '12, 20:00

I think a combination of the limited number of frame views and the lack of dynamic shadows moving across your relatively realistic-looking creature is going to make it look really strange and unconvincing in action.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Sep 4th '12, 21:59

RyokoTK wrote:I think a combination of the limited number of frame views and the lack of dynamic shadows moving across your relatively realistic-looking creature is going to make it look really strange and unconvincing in action.


Yeah, frame views suck.

Even if you increase the number of frame views, there's no way to keep them from turning on a dime unless you change the engine.
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Not Invented Here

Post Sep 5th '12, 02:25

Not Invented Here wrote:...all monsters can only move in an integer number of directions...

They may turn on a dime, but I'm reasonably certain a monster can face any of the 512 different angles that other things can face in Marathon. A 3D model wouldn't be limited to the 8 discrete angles you see with sprites. At least, that's what I remember from the last time I loaded up spnkrghol's 3D phfor fighter. Speaking of which...

I need to know more about animated 3d shapes implementation... Any ideas?


I don't know how useful this will be to you, but I'm not aware of any better documentation.
http://jemmet.home.xs4all.nl/spnkrghol/3D-...3Danimated.html

You could also ping the guys working on Halathon. They're doing a lot of 3D models, though I don't know how far they've gotten with replacing monsters, specifically.
Last edited by Crater Creator on Sep 5th '12, 02:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Crater Creator

Post Sep 5th '12, 02:48

Crater Creator wrote:They may turn on a dime, but I'm reasonably certain a monster can face any of the 512 different angles that other things can face in Marathon. A 3D model wouldn't be limited to the 8 discrete angles you see with sprites. At least, that's what I remember from the last time I loaded up spnkrghol's 3D phfor fighter.


My experiments confirm this is true. I was worried about nothing, except for the fact that enemies tend to turn on a dime. That's a little discouraging, but I may be able to do something about it with Lua. No glory without strife, eh?

Crater Creator wrote:Speaking of which...
As far as I know this is the best information we have for getting 3D characters in Aleph One.
http://jemmet.home.xs4all.nl/spnkrghol/3D-...3Danimated.html

You could also ping the guys working on Halathon. They're doing a lot of 3D models, though I don't know how far they've gotten with replacing monsters, specifically.


Wow, things looked different in 2004. Well, I'm sure I can suss out the details with experimentation. Halathon looks fairly sweet as far as 3d stuff is concerned, if they did do anything with animation or 3d monsters, it would be good to get in touch.

I did some stuff with physics, and added a glow map, along with some other model refining. The results are promising. You should see one of these eat a crowd of BoBs for lunch, it's amazing. It just mows them down. One problem with dead monsters is that they have no radius, so I'm going to either need to replace dead street sweepers with scenery upon death, or more likely make it so they get blown to smithereens and leave behind nothing that you couldn't walk over. Again, the death sequence will probably demand animation or a really big boom, or something. But so far I'm encouraged by my results.

[attachment=5763:sweeper.png]

In terms of the model and UVs, you can see the obvious edges on the model. These go away when you get closer. I'm guessing this has something to do with the texture map and how finely divided these faces are on the UV map. Blender has a lot of UV unwrapping options, but the simplest and quickest one produces results that sometimes are less than optimal with more complex shapes. I'll need to work on that. A happy coincidence is that these edge distortions interact with the glowing parts to make the warning light seem to flash somewhat when the object is moving at certain angles.
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Not Invented Here

Post Sep 5th '12, 06:58

One problem with dead monsters is that they have no radius, so I'm going to either need to replace dead street sweepers with scenery upon death, or more likely make it so they get blown to smithereens and leave behind nothing that you couldn't walk over.


While I'd say it would be cool if the corpses stayed around and acted as barriers, from a game play perspective, it is definitely superior to be able to walk through them. Since the mower is so huge, and won't fit down the ally's, I could definitely see it dying in front of the ally opening and preventing leaving. This is also partly the reason that many games allow you to walk through your teammates; being blocked by things out of your control is just annoying. Don't know how much lua you want to invest, but you could maybe have it scatter chunks around in a small radius that you could walk through when it explodes. (Possibly gravity affected projectiles leaving scenery on floor impact).
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Zott
Earth

Post Sep 5th '12, 16:19

Zott wrote:While I'd say it would be cool if the corpses stayed around and acted as barriers, from a game play perspective, it is definitely superior to be able to walk through them. Since the mower is so huge, and won't fit down the ally's, I could definitely see it dying in front of the ally opening and preventing leaving. This is also partly the reason that many games allow you to walk through your teammates; being blocked by things out of your control is just annoying. Don't know how much lua you want to invest, but you could maybe have it scatter chunks around in a small radius that you could walk through when it explodes. (Possibly gravity affected projectiles leaving scenery on floor impact).


Yeah, the projectiles are one option. I've got the maximum / minimum ledges set at 0, so they won't even step up onto the curbs (kills the realism when they just pop up on a curb). That limits them to whatever level they start out on. After that, it's really just a matter of smart mapping to keep them from causing impossible areas by obstruction. If I went with the disposable exploding debris option, I'd probably make some kind of a robot dispenser that sends out another one when you kill it. The streets are meant to be kill zones in MPDX, which is why you want to use the sewers to get around. Of course, once the player has a grenade launcher, these guys aren't really any threat.

A bigger problem is keeping it away from ledges (and other baddies in 3d). The issue here is that the radius which detects impact from the player and projectiles doesn't necessarily mean it can't bump it's center point against a side or another enemy. I noticed this when I placed about 5 of them up against a squad of BoBs. It was fun to watch the BoBs get mowed down, but disheartening as the sweepers often merged together. The original engine was never designed with 3d in mind, so these things come up.
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Not Invented Here

Post Sep 5th '12, 17:02

The sweeper might jump the curb if the player is using explosives on it. Something to look out for when mapping.
underworld : simple fun netmaps // prahblum peack : simple rejected netmaps
azure dreams : simple horrible netmaps // v6.0!!!: thomas mann's greatest hits : simple simple netmaps
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irons
(.Y.)

Post Sep 5th '12, 17:34

You could set the enemy's External Velocity Scale to 0 to prevent it from being bumped around by explosives.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Sep 5th '12, 22:21

One thing I want is to make sure everything has proper external velocity scaling. Then I want to make sure that this thing probably won't survive anything that could knock it up and over.
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Not Invented Here

Post Sep 5th '12, 22:46

Not Invented Here wrote:Then I want to make sure that this thing probably won't survive anything that could knock it up and over.



[attachment=5764:sweeper.jpg]
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underworld : simple fun netmaps // prahblum peack : simple rejected netmaps
azure dreams : simple horrible netmaps // v6.0!!!: thomas mann's greatest hits : simple simple netmaps
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irons
(.Y.)

Post Sep 6th '12, 02:25

Hey, you might be on to something!
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Not Invented Here

Post Sep 6th '12, 05:00

[attachment=5765:popewars.jpg]
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patrick
末法

Post Sep 7th '12, 00:35

HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO ASSERT THE INFALLIBILITY OF THE POPE
underworld : simple fun netmaps // prahblum peack : simple rejected netmaps
azure dreams : simple horrible netmaps // v6.0!!!: thomas mann's greatest hits : simple simple netmaps
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irons
(.Y.)

Post Sep 7th '12, 03:00

Last edited by treellama on Sep 7th '12, 03:02, edited 1 time in total.
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treellama
Pittsburgh


Post Sep 14th '12, 10:04

popefrog the new werefrog?
What are you, if not seven different shades of stupid?
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CryoS
The Dungeon

Post Dec 2nd '12, 16:31

This project looks great! What happened to it?!?!
gentleniceguy

Post Jan 30th '16, 05:58

gentleniceguy wrote:This project looks great! What happened to it?!?!

Well, it’s been a while, and another since then. I’ve finally wrapped up my educational pursuits for the time being, so I’ll share some thoughts…

MPDX was a constantly churning clutch of disjoint notions I came up with while playing Marathon and living in Japan in 2009. I wanted to create a somewhat open-world, non-linear, sandbox-esque game out of a game that is none of these things, using the then new-ish potential of LUA scripting, high-res textures, and 3d models. If you reread the thread, you can see what happened, but the summary in my own dim recollection is as such:

I had gone about all sorts of muckery in exploring the various avenues through which I could push things to their limits. This even included an inventory system that replaced the map, arbitrary items (you can do a lot in LUA through the map with annotations, so long as you don’t use the map,) moving interactive 3d scenery such as doors and interactive vending machines… Oh, and hallucinogenic drugs, too.

Over time, the sheer vastness of things I could do kind of bogged me down in a situation where there wasn’t any clear plan of what I actually would do. In the end, what bled off any chance of MPDX becoming an actual scenario can be broken down into the following:

The time to create all the content assets I wanted
Textures in high-res with bump maps and all the bells and whistles, 3d objects (again with nice texturing), and so on. It’s the little details that make up for simplistic map geometry, which is why these are probably the most important parts of anything like MPDX.

The implementation and testing of all the LUA scripting to make the game actually work
Again, essential to making it happen. You need more than one map to fit everything, and you need to stitch it together with script tricks. Doors and interactive scenery, as well as other RPG-ish crap all need a lot of stuff happening in scripting. I wasn’t a very good coder/scripter back then anyway, but I did learn a bit from the experience.

The mapping
Oh god, the mapping. If anyone has seen those maps I did for one contest or another, I can’t remember if anyone actually did get to see the finished product. I think at one point it actually broke Aleph One because of a hard limit on indices or something like that. TL might remember that, I think it annoyed/flabbergasted him a bit. I had overlapped a bunch of floors, split polys everywhere, and basically tried to cram as much shit as possible into a single map. That was like a pretty solid month spent just on that, which was fun, but borderline obsessive. I would have probably expected myself to keep doing that for as many maps as necessary to build the world for MPDX. I even had thoughts to have like a sewer underneath the entire city that would have had non-linear exits and stuff so you could move around… It was a mess. Getting that deep into things means spending time fixing things, tweaking things, and sleeping poorly. I wound up with writers block more than once trying to sketch out parts.

Things I couldn’t/didn’t figure out or just weren’t possible
Bridges, tunnels, buildings with doorways, windows, AND roofs without being too gimmicky or buggy, elevators, escalators, etc.

Ultimately, one person isn’t enough to do all of that before hell freezes over, especially if they’re also trying to have a life, go to school, work, and so on. It just kind of faded after a while. Never mind the fact that I have like 3 gigabytes of random crap including textures that were redone or not used, models that were half finished, and levels revised 1000 times. All sorts of junk that just became too much of a task to sort through, and were shuttled around through new computers at least once or twice.

So to look at the more recent history of nothing…

A couple of months ago, I decided I’d at least finish the vending machine. I planned to make a really nice model, with high res texture, bump, glow, the whole nine yards. I was going to rewrite the LUA script, and include the HUD script to do the whole buying items thing. I had pretty much finished the project, and then… crash. Lost a lot of data due to corruption, including the model and the texture files. Oops. That basically killed it. I had more important things to deal with, so I forgot about it. I don’t even have any of the surviving stuff like screenshots right now, since I’m overseas and using yet another machine at the moment.

I decided to stop in and see what was going on today. The most recent Halothon stuff is actually starting to make me reconsider taking this up again as a hobby, but I realize that any promises would be worth as much as used toilet paper in a world of shit. If I could get thedoctor and co. on board, that might help seeing what they did for Halothon. I think that nothing I have proposed or imagined is entirely impossible, it just really needs a lot of work, and better organization/planning. I've at least laid down some examples of what *can* be done in esoteric avenues, and Halothon is also proving the flexibility of Aleph One in a very promising way.

If anyone wants to hear about some of the weird crap I did, or to discuss the stuff I didn’t do, I’d be happy to talk about it. I can’t really do anything about uploading the old stuff until I get home sometime in April, but otherwise I'm down to extrapolate on anything I've mentioned so far.
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Kuurin

Post Jan 30th '16, 15:01

Shit, it's amazing re-reading this thread. I used to be something towards the edge of an idiot savant, apparently. At least now thanks to my mid-level luxury sedan debt-ridden education I can code worth a damn (I do a lot of embedded RTOS crap these days,) and it sure is amusing to see how far I have come since then. I owe it to you all, in some way or another, perhaps. We've come a ways past Fortran, haven't we? So, yes, if anyone is still interested in this, by all means, let's talk about it. I'd like to make a scenario with MPDX connotations for sure.
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Kuurin

Post Jan 30th '16, 23:23

Holy cow, I've missed you, Kurinn. Vasara, the project I'm most proud of, grew out of conversations we had about player inventory UI and pushing Lua beyond the bounds of sanity. I think you'd appreciate it. Let's shoot the breeze sometime.
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Hopper

Post Feb 4th '16, 19:19

Aleph One's Lua persistence got added because of MPDX (and MPID)
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Feb 4th '16, 21:23

Did you ever play Blauwe Vingers, Kuurin? Many parts of your summary remind me of that scenario. I made an English translation since you left, and I think you'd particularly enjoy it.

thedoctor45 would probably let you look at Halathon's files if you asked. He might even let you contribute, too [MLaugh]

You should release what you have of MPDX as soon as you're able, unfinished or not. That's the kind of content I imagined the Orphanage was best used for. But now that I've looked again at what's there, your stuff is leaps and bounds more advanced than what the Orphanage had. All the more reason to make it available before another hard drive crash.
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Crater Creator

Post Apr 25th '16, 07:54

UPDATES!.. ha, not really.

Still putzing around in Japan, job hunting to be more specific. I'm going to try and sort and upload stuff whenever I get back to the states.
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Kuurin

Post Sep 20th '16, 02:04

Back from Japan. Didn't get a job, but I did realize I'm probably better off for it.

In other news, still haven't made much headway on excavating old MPDX files. Since I couldn't sleep last night, what I did was, I stayed up and put together a more modern vending machine demo from scratch. This was what I was working on when my computer ate itself last year. This one has a voice interface, like those wacky talking vending machines in Japan. Also it has a kamikaze function, which I don't think the ones in Japan have, as far as I know.

http://simplici7y.com/items/vending-demo

So, I guess I'm back, or whatever. Real life sucks, but it's a perfect excuse to putz around with extra free time now and then.
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Kuurin

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