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Submitted by Ted L. Chen, posted on December 10, 2002




Image Description, by Ted L. Chen



Here's several screenshots of the 9 month project I'm currently wrapping up as a job demo. It's an indie game currently without publisher. And no fear, I won't bore you with the engine checklist. :)

But, one highlight of the game is the use of a blended skeletal animation system similar to one fleetingly described in the May '02 Game Dev Mag. About a dozen nodes are used for each character, and the system seamlessly transitions between them. The mesh is then overlaid on top of this blended skeleton.

The hard part of the whole thing was to get the aim posing (like aiming rifle left, right, up, down) to work across the entire front half-hemisphere of the person. Corners (eg up-left) don't do well with a linear blend between up & left. The system employed uses a cake-slice approach, which actually fixes this problem with the traditional linear blending. It breaks the pose space into band slices and performs a two-pass interpolation within and between the slices.

The rest of the game is also home-rolled. The sound system is built on top of DirectMusic, for it's 3D and interactive music capabilities. The graphics extensively use the D3DX extension libraries in DirectX 8. D3DX is a very good boot-strap system, especially when dealing with meshes.

While most material dealing with DirectX usually leans towards left-handed systems, I've opted to use the right-hand - OpenGL style. This ends up making integration with the physics engine less tedious as you don't need to always flip your coordinates around. Which for this game, is most important, since getting the physics right has more effect on giving a 'correctness' feel to the controls.

The game has it's homepage at

http://tedlchen.no-ip.com/microg

TLC


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