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Submitted by zed, posted on February 28, 2001

Image Description, by zed

a bit of background. ive been wanting to write this game for ages ( as well as 2 others one set in space + the other a rpg ). currently this is my fourth attempt. the first attempt was with the zxspectrum in the early 80's in z80 asm, then came amiga in c, then directdraw (in icsometric style) and now in 3d with opengl, i keep telling myself this time ill finally finish it but history aint on my side meeewwwhaha

on the code front lately ive been simpliying the code of my bollux engine(TM), cleaning up the hacks etc which has resulted not only in the code being more readible but also the engine is now running at greater speed.
  • ive also ditched the heightmap/landscape restriction so now it can display indoor/outdoor maps, well basically it draws any crap that u throw at it.
  • im using static LOD with my meshes, i have experimented with various LOD systems but have yet to find a acceptable one though if anyone knows of a good demo with source i might switch back
  • dumped doing my own lighting and have decided to let opengl do it all for me (part of the simplification process) and r pitty happy with the results.
  • a personal gripe 'where can i find DECENT texture mapped low polygon models on the web', ive wasted so much time in making/mapping models myself with little success. i wouldnt mind starting up some sort of model group like where ppl would have access to its the models u have to supply one decent model ie u pay for one u get a hundred. not money wise u know just effort what are other ppl's thoughts

    a final note prolly the greatest achievement about my game sofar is its been written on win2000 with 64mb 'so many magical 5 minute moments ive enjoyed sitting twiddling my thumbs, listening to the sweet sound of my harddisk have a heartattack whilst vc churns over my code' tommorrow im getting an extra 128mb. damn my thumb twiddling days are over!!

    Image of the Day Gallery


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    Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

    February 28, 2001, 05:36 AM

    Wow first!

    Anyway, it looks stunning, hope you finish the game this time!


    February 28, 2001, 05:45 AM

    heh, going to 192 megs as well I see... (i did it around christmas time)... still have to spend those 5 mins rebooting when you *really* screw something up though(getting out of the various os prompts adds about a min to startup)... cool image, yeah I've been having trouble finding good models on the net too(just went looking about an hour ago, so come on people, cough up those links...heh)...

    Saad Faisal

    February 28, 2001, 06:04 AM

    This is one cool picture, i must admit. I am also planning to do my engine with Opengl, i have just completed my 3DS Loader cuz i am fed up with displaying a simple cube, so i think i have a very long way to go. Lucid i think romka has put a great site full of models and textures, you should check it out.


    February 28, 2001, 06:14 AM

    Great coloring/textures :)
    Theres a lack of colorful rpg“s nowadays. :)


    February 28, 2001, 06:27 AM

    Great shots, something in them really tells me that these are works of love and not misplaced algorithm haste. The setting is also quite interesting, care to add a few words about the game itself zed?

    (Concerning the upper right shot, is that a Samurai Bunny we have there? Or perhaps the Charred remains of a plasticine man with fork stuck in back? :))

    good luck!


    February 28, 2001, 06:32 AM

    The screenshots look very good and well colored ;)
    I am glad to see another zx spectrum veteran.
    Its still my fav. machine , but ok i become nostalgian again ...
    I hope this time you'll be able to finish your game and then please promise me
    to go back to zx spectrum and the finish the game there as well ;)


    February 28, 2001, 06:34 AM


    February 28, 2001, 06:53 AM

    found one with high quality meshes... doesnt have any human models, but they're good none the less

    Peter Mackay

    February 28, 2001, 07:07 AM

    Good work! Topsweet IOTD!

    I'm a "gimme an inch and I'll take a mile" kinda guy, so any chance of a demo?

    - Pete


    February 28, 2001, 08:05 AM

    Hi Zed, I started on C64 and am yet to fully complete a game. My asm code looked like this:
    120 DATA 30, 127, 68, 4, 0, 0, 26...
    Anyway, enough reminiscing... What do you mean by static LOD? I used to merge and split runtime, but have now segmented my landscape into a grid of mipped meshes. The appropriate detail mesh is loaded as the camera changes sectors. I use a few tricks to avoid cracks between sectors. I want a large terrain as in Daggerfall, so some sort of file cache is inevitable anyway.
    Your trees intrigue me. Could you tell me about them?
    PS Is that 100 at the bottom left frames per second?!?
    PPS Do you know about ?


    February 28, 2001, 08:28 AM

    Im pretty sure the 100 is the health amount.

    Richard Garand

    February 28, 2001, 10:05 AM

    i've done the same thing as your planning, but double all the values. That's right. I have 384MB of RAM. I haven't seen the hard disk swapping in a loooong time.


    February 28, 2001, 11:51 AM

    Very nice use of colors! This is why I never really liked Quake I or II. Sure, they were technological marvels of their time, but as games, they fell short in that the moods and themes created by the colors were just TOO repetitive and blah. That's what made Duke Nukem 3D, IMHO, more fun to play back in those days because it was colorful and had variety. Good job!

    BTW, how are you doing the shadows that are cast onto the terrain by the trees etc.? Are they part of the ground texture or is it done another way?

    Matt A

    February 28, 2001, 12:15 PM

    Very nice indeed, the upper left shot with the trees is my favorite. How are you generating or getting your textures?

    Nice to see some feedback about where to get models, I was wondering that myself.


    February 28, 2001, 12:49 PM

    re: Win 2000

    Ha HA!! I know what you mean. I had to get an extra 128 because when we did a main compile you could go get a pizza!

    game looks awesome, btw.


    February 28, 2001, 02:23 PM

    Hey, awesome sense of designing maps also, that's what I really like. But: why are all the trees bent in the top left? Well, not all, but they don't seem like they're all standing up straight ;-)

    And one ore thing: I like the fact that the guy rus up to the cliff and looks at the mountain range, it looks very panoramic ;-)



    February 28, 2001, 02:25 PM

    Hey, awesome sense of designing maps also, that's what I really like. But: why are all the trees bent in the top left? Well, not all, but they don't seem like they're all standing up straight ;-)

    And one ore thing: I like the fact that the guy rus up to the cliff and looks at the mountain range, it looks very panoramic ;-)

    Just make it not just a backdrop mountain and sky! :)



    February 28, 2001, 03:25 PM

    graphics wise it lokks finished to me. I agree with your problem of decnt models.

    zed zeek

    February 28, 2001, 03:45 PM

    -yeah as u can see is i like colour , one thing i cant stand is before playing a game is having to ramp the gamma way up.
    -the player models are just quake3 models which u can download from polycount
    -aticatac excellant made by the best company ever 'ultimate' i suggest everyone to go and download knightlore made in 83/84 (the first game in 2.5D made) though i never understood why they coose the 'qwert' keys to move + shoot doh!
    -about a demo im waiting first for nvidia to release the next major drivers first cause a few effects really need pbuffers to be accelerated fully.
    -about the various model places 3dcafe etc, the models tend to be upwards of 1000's tris even for a simple thing like a rock also they are ususally not texture mapped.
    -all shadows are calculated in the mapmaker program also all static objects can receive shadows the reason why the trees in the upper left dont cast shadows on each other is cause it takes ages for a map to compile i luv raytracing :). also every object, the ground the trees and the players etc are drawn using the same object ie a MESH which means they all obey the same rules eg shadow casting.
    -im getting about the same FPS as quake3 on my system :) im sort of doing the same thing as quake3 and drawing 99% of my polys through the same place. simplication has many benifits ;)
    -ild ditch doing any of the standard LOD stuff for terrain , im yet to see one that works well.


    February 28, 2001, 04:12 PM

    Very interesting looking game, you sure have nice textures.

    As for 3D models, I go to sometimes, although the selection is somewhat limited. And if you happen to be writing a Star Wars game, go to I know that's not a lot to go on, but I don't use 3D model sites that much.

    Warren Marshall

    February 28, 2001, 04:31 PM

    *pfft* Wussies. I have 512MB in all my machines. ;)


    February 28, 2001, 04:46 PM

    You two cant be serious, iv'e got twice as much, and thats just cache.


    February 28, 2001, 05:36 PM

    So the ground shadows are precalculated into the ground texture by the map designer? But you said that all objects cast shadows as well, so how are you casting shadows from objects to... well, what ARE you casting shadows onto? And how? It looks beautiful.

    Dean Harding

    February 28, 2001, 07:34 PM

    At first, I just thought he had an overly-high FOV (I think that's a great effect, BTW - I loved playing as an alien in Aliens Versus Predator for that exact reason), but now that you mention it, the trees *do* look bent...

    Dean Harding

    February 28, 2001, 07:44 PM

    Great shot!

    I really do like the colours, one of the many complaints I've seen about quake3 was it's cartoon-y style, but in my opinion, that was what made it look so good. All those brightly coloured and bouncy pickups, etc. We have over 16 million colours to work with, why make everything a shade of brown or gray?

    Just two questions, first, you say it can render anything the level designer throws at it, but I'd like to know, how difficult is to design a level? What sort of editor do you have? Did you make one from scratch or are you importing from (say) 3DS? And how big can each map be?

    Also, are all those textures unique? You say that the level compiler computes shadows, so are the ground textures all unique, or do you have a shadow map or somesuch on top of the terrain texture? They're really high resolution for unique textures.

    I look forward to a demo!

    Steve 'Sly' Williams

    February 28, 2001, 08:14 PM

    The extraordinarily long compile times... the developer's bug-bear. That is one reason I use Delphi for my personal projects. I have yet to see a C++ compiler come even close to Delphi's amazingly quick build times.

    CGI Joe

    February 28, 2001, 11:39 PM

    "Bollux engine".. LOL .. I like it =)

    That screenshot is beautiful! Where do I hand-over my cash?

    zed zeek

    March 01, 2001, 12:52 AM

    all the shadows are precalculated in my level maker program which is nothing special all it does is for every polygon cast a ray to the light source and see if it intersects with any other polygons if it does then it checks the alpha of the intersected texel to see how much light to let through. the lightmaps are saved along with the world map and during the game the whole thing is loaded. all shadows are uniques but a lot of the other objects share texture eg the trees,ground. funny how ppl say its colourful cause a lot of the textures i use are actually grey scale. made in gimp btw its got some very nice filters.
    heres some more shots going back over the last couple of years so u can see the progress


    March 01, 2001, 01:59 AM

    Cool, I also like that forest with the shadows :P


    March 01, 2001, 07:39 AM

    To really improve compile-times, try to avoid including files in your headers as much as possible.

    Don't include files if you can get away with just forward declaring the stuff you need.

    After sorting all this out for the project we're working on, it compiled 2 to 4 times faster.

    (even if you use #ifdef _BLA_H_, define _BLA_H_, #endif, the preprocessor still has to read the entire file. If this happens in all of your header-files, this is *slooow* !)

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