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Submitted by Dermot Gallagher, posted on October 10, 2001




Image Description, by Dermot Gallagher



This screenshot is taken from the TechDemo that can be found on our site: http://www.torcinteractive.com. This being FlipCode, then I'd better go into some detail on what it is, and now it came about. I'm probably the worst person to do this atm, having been dragged away from my current baby (DB Engine) to tidy the TechDemo up so that we had something for the punters that visited the site, which only just went live on Fri 5th Oct. But now it's done and up there, I can hopefully put it behind me and get on with more pressing matters. But I suppose there's something there to take some pride in - it's a 'relatively' complete game engine and it's been FINISHED. Completing projects (whatever size) isn't something to be sniffed at, so I guess I'll take some heart in that.

Anyways, the TechDemo. To cut corners, we decided to use Q3A BSPs and MD3s as our level and model formats respectively. This brings plus's as well as minus's, but for a team working entirely in their spare time, we felt it worthwhile to cut our game development teeth using these well established formats - and it sure as hell helps when you've no profiler and you KNOW your code should run at X fps at this section in a level, when you've world-class software to test against.

As I say, a full-time job, a wife and 3 wanes kinda limits the programming opportunities, but when you're addicted, the only 'cure' is getting in front of that keyboard. We've been at this craic now for well over 3 years, and we look at this TechDemo as a learning exercise. We pretty much went thru the entire game development cycle to complete it, well I'd the benefit of someone else writing the level and model compilers, but our content guys had no such help.

Our next project, FATE, has us developing a 4-level freeware game (episode) using entirely our own tech. We're really just getting into this now, and I hope to have maybe another IOTD in the not too distant future. Again, this is a learning exercise - on both tech and content counts. We hope at the end of all this (6/8 months - who am I kidding!), to be finally in a position to approach a publisher for backing to do our 'real' game, tHE SeVeN - the reason why we're putting our lives on the long finger.


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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.
 
The Wolf

October 10, 2001, 02:02 PM

Hey!! becareful ! that almost took my eye out.

Nice work!

 
Goz

October 10, 2001, 02:04 PM

Impressive shot :)

What sort of performance do you get compared to the Q3A engine?
Did you add any features that Q3A doesn't support?

 
lycium

October 10, 2001, 02:58 PM

how hard is it to code an md3 loader?

nice work!

 
richard

October 10, 2001, 03:04 PM

Aaaargh, everything is white!

I didn't knew I should've installed those A3D drivers (I know, silly me, I should read the manual ;) so the techdemo bombed back to windows because it couldn't load the A3D DLL..

After that, everything was white, as you can see:



Argh, my eyes.. couldn't you just leave the gamma settings the way they are?
(or make it go back to the normal settings if the game crashes)

Well, other than that.. it's a nice demo.. and it's surely not too dark :P ;)

 
richard

October 10, 2001, 03:10 PM

Ey, that's weird.. the pic doesn't show everything in white?

Well, it's normal again after doing a reboot, problem solved :)

 
TunJin

October 10, 2001, 03:29 PM

Quite easy, more or less an md3 only contains one or more md2's plus some extra info.

you can take a look at http://lonerunner.cfxweb.net he has posted an md3 loader...

 
oisyn

October 10, 2001, 04:02 PM

nope, that's because color settings won't affect the framebuffer, but only the output signal for your monitor during D/A conversion... so next time, take a picture with a digicam :)

 
Ogotay

October 10, 2001, 04:11 PM

Nice demo!
However, it crashes at the initalization stage when I don't turn off sound (I have a Terratec Soundsystem DMX card).
Good luck on your next project and with getting a deal with a publisher... dammit, is there something better than to live in Ireland and earn a living with game development? Beautiful country... =)

 
Andy Maddison

October 10, 2001, 05:05 PM

Dermot, you don't referee football matches in your spare time do you?

Andy.

 
RCV

October 10, 2001, 05:41 PM

Nice looking shot.

Good work.. Is it a Q3A feature complete?

 
Octopussy

October 10, 2001, 06:19 PM

Whoooww.. your tech demo is amazing.

I tried it using OpenGL as renderer and it works really fine on my computer, lets say about 60~100 fps in 640x480 on my duron 750 + TNT2 + 256Mo.

Your graphic team is damn good too.

 
Max

October 10, 2001, 06:32 PM

Is there anyway to turn off the enemies? I want to walk around and check out the environment but I keep getting shot... :)

The sound initialization also crashed on my computer, but I don't know what kind of sound card I have.

Max

 
bwalmisley

October 10, 2001, 06:58 PM

Well that didnt last long on my HD - Its FAR TOO ADDICTIVE. This is one of the most playable self build games I've seen for a while. Nicely balanced.

Its a shame you cant blow the crates up. I take it they're baked into the level data?

Ben

 
Max

October 10, 2001, 07:03 PM

Nevermind about the enemies... 'P'.

Max

 
[-WD40-]

October 10, 2001, 07:48 PM

It crashed here also, twice... the first time with the creation of the sound device and then the second time when it was loading "animation frames"..."error memory at 0x2343424(...) couln't not be written" or something like that...and yes the gamma setting doesn't come back to the old mode when it crashes.

On Win2k / SoundBlaster Live! / GeForce 256 DDR

 
Dermot

October 10, 2001, 08:28 PM

If you want sound, you need to install the A3D drivers that are part of the setup - they should work with a SBLive. Again, we have experienced some problems under NT with the sound engine, so if you're using that OS it's probably better to turn it off altogether (could possibly be the same under Win2000).

For the other problem, try running the NormGen program again before loading the TechDemo - also, up the Content Memory on the Developer tab of TSetup to 36 or higher.

 
Dermot

October 10, 2001, 08:58 PM

you can find a wee program here that should set your gamma back to normal: http://users.tinyonline.co.uk/dermotg/Gamma.exe

 
Kail

October 11, 2001, 12:05 AM

!&^*(!^$(*!$(!!!!

There goes 44 days of uptime...:(

 
Dermot

October 11, 2001, 04:15 AM

Apologies to anyone who’s had their m/c killed by the TechDemo. There’s only 5 of us on the team, and our range of hardware isn’t that extensive tbh. Here’s a few pointers that may save some frustration (using TSetup):

- Run in windowed mode to begin with (Video tab)
- Turn off the sound engine (Sound tab)
- Set texture memory to 12 (Developer tab)
- Set content memory to 48 (Developer tab)

 
Tristan

October 11, 2001, 05:13 AM

Great work, very nice map and nice music as well, although jumping is a bit dodge (I'm sure this was just cause you rushed out the Tech Demo). Anyway great work, keep it up.

 
Dermot

October 11, 2001, 05:19 AM

From the beginning I wanted the TechDemo to run under both OpenGL and Direct3D7, so I decided to use a generic buffer for all the vert data that could be used in both APIs. The plan was to then use CVAs and VertexBuffers after the shader code had been written, but I then got pulled into the whole 'game' part and never really got back into the rendering engine.

Q3A has better vert-reuse as it takes advantage of CVAs, so it performs better in areas where there's a lot of shaders passes - though the TechDemo does comes out on top in areas where its a simple texture & lightmap pass.

The main thing we added was the the single player nature of the demo. Each enemy has between 3 and 7 locations where they can spawn, which are chosen at random when the level loads or you die - just to break up the 'samey' feel.

 
CGI Joe

October 11, 2001, 05:55 AM

Very impressed, especially with the speed! I love some of the wee effects. Very cool engine.

Jumping is a bit dodgy though : )

 
xEricx

October 11, 2001, 06:42 AM

Just to let you know, I'm under the requirements (P2 333, GeForce2) and it ran from 28 fps to 60 fps... that's quite good! You might want to change those requirements.

 
Ron Frazier

October 11, 2001, 07:27 AM

Pretty good demo, however, you do get some special distinction in my book. I have had Win2000 installed on my machine since the day it came out, and in that time I have had to reboot the machine only TWICE because a program completely locked up the system. Guess whose tech demo gets the honor of being number three....

It happened when I exited the game accidentally then tried to restart it. As soon as I double clicked the program icon, it totally locked up the system.

Anyway, aside from that, very good except it seemed to me that the weapon damages needed some tweeking....I was taking more damamge from a shotgun fired at like 50 yards than I was from a rocket exploding in my face. Of course, its a tech demo not a full game, but just though I'd comment.

 
L.e.Denninger

October 11, 2001, 07:45 AM

Crashes my machine (Win2K, P3 800, 384Mb, Gforce1SDR, OpenGL mode).
Last log-line was "loading soundsmusic.mp3".

I could use ctrl-alt-delete, get the task-manager but couldn't do anything as it wouldn't accept keyboard or mouse-input so had to hw-reset even!

Looks cool though (the screenshot, not the crash ;))

 
Tristan

October 11, 2001, 07:57 AM

Only three times? Not much of an achievement. I've got win2k to lock heaps of times. Infact I have written my own programs that cause my computer to lock. One thing I found great for locking my machine is rendering heaps of shit in a loop and forgetting to swap the back buffer with the front...... works everytime. But if you don't program at all then just download heaps of different ppls demos from the internet, one of them is sure to lock win2k up for ya. Experiment! do drugs!

Well I hope I helped,

Tristan

 
Ron Frazier

October 11, 2001, 10:29 AM

me? not program at all? PLEASE! Wait until you get into per-pixel lighting, and read some of the popular tutorials...then you just might have some idea about how much programming I actually do (hint: I wrote a few of them). Its actually part of my lifestyle.

I do tons of programming, everyday, in all sorts of things, and have never managed to lock the system. I have had tons of things bring the system to a halt (including forgetting to swap buffers, like you say), but everytime I just do a ctrl-alt-del, wait about 30 seconds and the little window pops up, I bring up the task manager, kill the app, and Im good to go. I've had a lot of really close calls like this, where it takes me a few minutes to get everything straightened out, but this is only the third time I have had an absolute-100%-nothing-responding-even-after-5-minutes type of lockup.

And I have downloaded lots of really bad demos, but none ever locked me up. Oh, and no drugs for me, thank you. The last thing I need is to be wasting time I dont even have staring at the screen saying "wow man, that code is, like, really not compiling".

 
L.e.Denninger

October 11, 2001, 10:42 AM

Ron - calm down, take it easy on the caffeine :)
(Maybe you should *try* drugs, you'd probable be less uptight :))

 
jmixon6

October 11, 2001, 12:38 PM

I downloaded the demo on 3 computers and it worked great on all of them. The demo is amazing and I think you and your team did a fantastic job. I think that those people who are trying to maintain long periods of uptime probably arent very smart in downloading and executing game demos ;)

 
Taharez

October 11, 2001, 01:29 PM

System:
p3-450, tnt2 ultra, 384mb ram, win2k

Same problem as L.e.Denninger, but I checked 'no sound', and it ran fine. The graphics flowed nice, but the input ( especially the mouse ) was quite laggy. Cool with the chase-cam.

 
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