Roaming and Targetting

Ok loads of updates. Some of which took absolutely ages to get look reasonable.

First up I continued where I left off (which is rare for me since I tend to hop around rather a lot). So before I had it to a quest npc (a male peasant farmer) would offer you a quest to help him with a rodent problem. You can accept this quest and will be offered an item to help you complete the quest. A dagger in this case.

The quest object is added to the player object and appears in your journal a a quest name. Nothing too complicated there but it works pretty elegantly at least and lends itself to easily making so I can save the game state (ie the Player wants to quit and play something else – heaven forbid).

Ok so now I needed some rodents for said rodent problem. I already had my rats kinda walking in a straight line and following the terrain if i told them to however that’s all they did. Unless you attacked them in which case they will follow you to the ends of the earch (around 25km away in this case) and try and kill you. Since they hit for hardly anything that would take probably hours for a rat to kill you. These are, after all, the started quest monsters.

Anyway so I had to make the roam but not too far away from the farmers farm or else what kind of problem would he have exactly? “Oh these rats that are 10km away are bothering my crops?”. I’m not even sure rats eat corn.. but anyway. So the rats first had to roam within an invisible bounding box. That was simple enough,  I just had to add some code to the editor to allow you to set the min/max for the box and save it for each rat.

Now onto the roaming itself. There a simplistic AI for this. The rats have 8 different actions they can perform. One of these is randomly picked after a random time (only a second ish) and they will various in turning rate, speed, animation speed. Also they will avoid each other and try not to make it too obviously they’re in an invisible box.

Here’s a video showing how that looks. I’ll tweak it some more but i’m fairly happy with it:

So there you have it. Next up i’ll be making it so you can kill the rats (which already kinda is done) and make them respawn after a while. They will leave a corpse for a few minutes first and possibly even drop some treasure. Oo Treasure!

On a side note I’m really starting to see why there’s such a long list of people in the credit at the end os PS4 game. Wow there’s a lot of work. I’m glad I didn’t go with my original idea of making an MMORPG. I mean this isn’t going to be Witcher 3, let’s be realistic it’s also not going to cost £50-60. Also remember, No Man’s Sky was only 2-3 guys at first (6 in the end) and that was a pretty huge success. I loved it anyway.

Until next time.

 

Quest and Tasks

Ok lots more work behind the scenes with a bit more for you to actually see this time. So… NPC/Quest Characters can now have quests/tasks attached to them.

Quests contain some text for the name, what the quest giver will say to you to entice you to do the quest, an initial reward (for example something you’ll need to actually complete the quest) and any number of final rewards. Also, of course, it contains what you actually need to do.

When you select an NPC who has a quest for you he will talk to you about it and a summary of what you’ll need to do and what your reward will be with pop up too.

You can accept or decline this and then, if accepted, then “Quest Accepted” will dramatically appear and the quest object is attached to your player object.

quest2.png

Before this of course I needed to actually make a version of my villager that wasn’t a merchant (I only had a merchant). He stands by his farm and fidget a bit (weird how hard it is to make a fidget animation not look ridiculous). He’s also set as a different type of NPC so now I have enemies, merchants and quest/task npcs. And as I mentioned above npcs can have quests attached to them.

I also had to find a nice shiny font which I semi copied from Final Fantasy 14 (not literally – just based on before i get sued). There’s is far nicer than mine but I’m happy enough with the result.

Next up I need to make the initial quest reward appear (I’ve made a dialog for this already) and then when you accept it, it will appear in you bag and you should be able to use it (a dagger in this case).. So yeah a lot to do before you can complete a whole quest cycle (get – do- get reward) but that’s what I’m aiming for.

I keep seeing mist rising from trees in films and TV shows. I’d really like to add that effect to my game but I have to resist adding effect after I found myself spending 2 months getting ground fog looking just right.

Anyway, until next time…

 

A Village of New Beginnings

Ok more world building.

First off I had to fiddle around a lot to find some nice buildings that weren’t too modern or too basic, that were, in fact, just right. And I think I did. The new buildings fit in nicely to Noobadventurer Town. Since this is a small “hamlet” it will only consist of 2 or 3 houses, a farm house with some corn (possibly chickens? Who knows..) and a small tavern with a room or two for wear travellers.

I will use the more modern and opulent buildings (behind in the featured image) but in the larger walled city on the hill (I really need some names for these places!).

oldandnew2.png

Here is another style. A more white-washed plaster look and a different style of window. I can change the style of the thatch too but I just want to get the village basically laid out first.

I all looks a bit bare right now but i’ll populate it with general town junk soon and some weeds and flowers dotted about.

For those that are interested in that kind of thing, these buildings don’t even have their normal and specular maps in yet and they look pretty good already I think.

I have to keep tweaking various things I hate about my world editor as a I go which is slowing me down but eventually I’ll get to a point where it’s pretty user friendly.

Ok. Well, until next time…

Targeting Behind The Scenes

Hmm sometimes the life of a game developer isn’t all swords and sorcery. Lot’s of fairly dull behind the scenes stuff was done this week.

Animation reared it’s ugly head again and yet again i THINK I’ve solved the problem. I won’t even bore you with the details – and I really don’t want to be writing another post about animation (the problem seemed to be that my FBX importer doesn’t like root’s of bones being rotated – anyway that’s really dull).

I wanted to move towards actual combat with the picture rat so of course I need some way of targeting it. For now I’ve gone for the Everquest/WoW targeting arrow style. The reminded me that I already had a renderer for transparent models which works quite well. So I needed to make a targetting classes so the spinning pyramid could be attached to other game objects. As you can see in this picture I’ve targetted myself.

Luckily (or not really lucky at all) I already have a nice “picking” routine for my editor to allow me to select a house or a fench or whatever and move/rotate/scale it so I can use that to select the monster that I’m going to attempt to send to a higher plane of existance.

Oh and I made the blendmap higher resolution so I can change from grass to gravel to mud or whatever over a smaller area of land. I may well use a double blendmap to allow me to have 6 textures on the terrain but we’ll see. Maybe I can use the alpha channel in a png blendmap but that didn’t seem to work last time I tried it.

Here’s hoping for a more interesting update next week.

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.

ui2png

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

chestpng

Animation Working At Last

I guess this should include a video but I don’t have the time right now but I finally got animated 3d models working again.

I started from a small block “man” (see last post) with a few bones and then went to the basic nude male model that comes with XSI and then my own model with no material… then my own model WITH a material and it works.

I had to write down a very specific set of steps on what order to do everything and how to store the animation clip in the scene, how exactly to make the key set and store the keys. If I follow these step so far it’s working perfectly. I have a nodding man with his material in tact.

For some reason MG isn’t automatically including binormals and tangents with my animation processor  but I don’t care about too much. I can use the normal with my normal map and specular map and it looks great.

I’ll sling together a basic run animation (I’m not going to actually make the animations myself in the long run, I’ll find someone on Upword or Fiverr to do that) and get on with the village again.

I’ll finally be back to where I was before getting rid of any XNA connections finally. I can make my peasant npc’s into vendors for weapons and food. And a quest npc (someone to tell me to kill 10 rats 🙂 ) and maybe a dungeon entrance.

Ideally my village will end up something like this:

house3

Realm of Upgrades

Well not the most productive of weeks.

I’ve managed to finish off importing a couple of market place props (finished the weapon stall and added in a wagon) but spent a fair bit of time upgrading my development machine. My shiny new GTX 1080 graphics card was a complete pain in the rear-end to install. I won’t bore you with the details but it just simply refused to install the drivers. Eventually I found a way to get it to recognise it.

The plan next week is to get a load more of these props in and get some bones added to the peasants so they can at least stand around looking bored at least.

I also really need to make a few tweaks to the instanced model and billboard model UI’s. They’re “ok” as they are now but i really need to just be able to easily spray grass/miss/mud/pebbles where ever i want. It’s far too fiddly to use now.

I guess that’s it. Hopefully a more exciting update next week.

Guard Tower and Pebbles

Wow that’s not much of a blog post title is it? Oh well.. I’ll do better next time.

Anyway it’s been a week of improving and tweaking things – a lot of time was lost due to an instancing bug which was making the grass disappear when viewed from above. Deeply annoying. It was solved with the help of the great guys at GameDev and the solution was a simple bug in the end. As you can see theres pebbles mixed in with the grass. So I should now be able to mix in different type of grass and small objects dotted about the terrain to give it a more realistic look. These objects won’t cast shadows at this stage. I could add that ability and maybe make that an optional performance setting but it will certainly hurt performance to have every pebble and blade of grass casting shadows. Looks nice enough without anyway. Large shrubs and rocks will of course cast shadows.

I may well need to do some boring refactoring work again soon because the whole game engine is growing like a beast again.

As you can see there’s the beginnings of a medieval settlement starting to appear. I now how a great guy from America doing the actual 3d modelling for the generic things I can’t buy in.

I’m hoping to have a medieval settlement (well the walls of one) up and running very soon.