Terrain Following Rats and Death

A bit of a weird and overly dramatic sounding blog title but anyway..

Ok more stuff behind the scenes. I’ve added load more attributes to npcs and made them editable. I realised I’d need my enemies to be able to follow the terrain like the player does but I didn’t account for the fact the non-bipedal creature don’t stay upright (like giant rats for example) when they run up hills. I guess humans don’t entirely but it doesn’t look ridiculous if they do.

In the screenshot above I’ve targeted a rat and I’m about to hit it with something and as you can see both rats look sort of ok but they should really be tilted to the terrain they’re on. I’ll have that working by the next blog post and that a promise. If you’re interested it’s not actually THAT complicated. Using the usual algorithm for calculating the height at an exact point of a triangle (you can find that anywhere on Elgooglado – no one call it that btw), you find the front and back height of the model and calculate the diference between and then using that different the angle you need to rotate the model about it’s X and Z axis. Not my work, some maths genius somewhere worked that out already so no need for me to devote my life to it.


This screen shot shows all the new attributes (I’m going to need a scrollbar or 2nd page for them clearly) and the terrain following kinda working. The rat closest looks good but the far one needs to be rotated sideways a bit (rolled in Roll, Pitch, Yaw terms).

Ok well the game interface also detects mouse clicks over the hotbar icons and whether something is targeted so now to make some basic combat code.

I also played with a particle emitter for blood splats or magic sparkles or whatever when you actually DO hit something but that’s not ready for public consumption yet.

Oh and the reason for “Death” in the title, NPCs can now be attackable (or not) and be dead. Right now if they’re dead they’re just rotated on their side. Obviously once I switch the NPC class over to using the AnimatedModel class they’ll play their death animation and end at the final dramatic pose.

Ok until next week: “Beware of Merinsard!” said the dark figure and rode away into the gloom.

Roads of the Realm

Sorry no update last week but I’ve been hard at work (at work too unfortunately).

The realm now has double blend maps so I can have grassy road or roady grass (whatever that means) or snow or whatever else really..

If you’re interested I’ll show you how it’s done. There’s basically a map of where the grass/rock/other should be that’s red for say grass, blue for rock and, green for mud. These can be blended together too. The more red the more grass, the more green the more mud etc.

Oh.. here.. a picture (or two) tell’s a thousand words..


So that’s blend map 1. Currently used for grass, rock, mud. And blend map 2..


Which is currently used for cobbled road and snow and something undecided. maybe another type of rock or gravel. We’ll see.

The end result in the screenshot at the top of this post.

I’ve also been deep in the bowels of the game code making the NPCs (non-player characters) which are, in this case, giant rats have attributes so they can be involved in combat of some kind.

I made a crude but effective editor for this too.


See? I’ve been hard at work since my last post.

I need to get my rats to follow the slope of the terrain properly since that doesn’t work and I still haven’t fixed the jiggly shadow bug for medium quality shadows. The NPCs need to generate shadows too.

Really trying to keep focused on getting an actual game that people can really play rather than small details like that though.

I’m thinking of switching out the log walled town walls for something in stone since i’m not sure they fit well with the more modern buildings. Some historian could probably tell me. The town needs a name.

Comments and suggestions welcome!

Till next time..

Flying Rat Army

My screenshots are getting a bit less pretty lately but I thought it might be interesting to show how I’m going about adding enemies/NPCs to the game.

Using a variation of my normal entity (rocks, walls, buildings etc) editor I am able to move rotate and scale my errr monsters or whatever. From the screenshot above you can see there’s a panel with space for the rat’s attributes like health, defence, attack power and other stats.

I feel like some form of combat is on the horizon I’m taking a slight diversion to add double blend maps to my terrain so I can have snow on the caps of the mountains and cobbles on the floor in towns etc.

Still have the jiggly shadow from problem with mid range shadows but I have plenty of resources to read on how to fix that. Other than that everything is moving along at quite a pace finally.

Better when I don’t spend 2 months getting the fog to look just right.

Realm of Game Interfaces

Well more work on the user interface for the actual player to, you know, play. Now we have a main menu (with a few items and keyboard shortcuts), bag/inventory, map and a knowledge book for whatever abilities/skills/combat arts or whatever they end up having. It’s a blank book for now as you can see. Anyway, that all works.

I’ve also knocked together a crude character screen for you to put stuff on your character such as clothes, weapons, armour, accessories.


I’m not entirely happy with it but it’s ok for now. I just need something as a placeholder really.

The final thing I need to add is some way of picking up stuff/loot/treasure so I’ll be adding a treasure chest for now for this purpose.

Also the UI will need some way of talking to other characters in the game. I considered floating chat bubbles (EQ/WoW) but personally I think they’re annoying; sometimes you can’t see the dialogue box properly or the option to continue the conversation bobbles around with the characters movement. I think I’ll go with a slight more old-fashioned (but I think easier to use) dialogue box approach. Nice looking dialogue boxes though of course!

I really wanted to end this post with a nice looking treasure chest but I’m having trouble getting one to look exactly how a I want so I’ll save that for next time.

Edit: Got a nice looking chest in the game before I had to stop for the day