Archive for category Work In Progress
Since the update for Tutorial 4 is taking longer than expected, I decided to switch from coding to art assets to keep the posts flowing.
Also, it’s worth noting that on the Gamasutra Web site, Chris Hildenbrand has added more helpful 2D game art tutorials (there are 8 in total, listed at Gamasutra and at Chris’ blog page 2D Game Art for Programmers. If your looking to improve your skills or looking to get up to speed with Inkscape his tutorials are a must read. What caught my attention the most was the tutorials he did on attack helicopters. Helicopters have always been a fun gaming element from back in the days of Choplifter and Infiltrator to Jane’s AH-64D Longbow (and Longbow 2). Chris’ tutorials are very straight forward and easy to follow. In just a couple of hours, you will be able to easily go from a blank Inkscape window to something like:
At this point we have the basis for the Python pygame model. We have the environment(outer space) and our player with the ability to move, but not shoot (nothing to shoot at yet). The game now looks something like this (using the more “modern” version of artwork):
But, ultimately what the window should look like, to make it more interesting and much more interactive would be something like the following mock up ( currently the game window does not look like this, but this is the intended final result). Currently I’m figuring out the GUI, I’ve gotten the furthest using Tkinter, but I haven’t gotten to the part where I can see the interaction between tkinter’s mainloop() and pygame’s mainloop().
Currently the work being done is on the GUI, to use what is available without having to include any additional install packages, this means that the GUI will be created either directly in pygame or using Tkinter(if possible). An alternate solution I’m thinking of is to create a transparent interface with SVG images and replace the option panel with that and then hardcode the buttons with pygame, but we’ll see how tkinter works out. The actual current window looks like this:
So I have been meaning to update this for a long time, but as my skills of procrastination are exceptional, I haven’t done it before now.
I was working on this while my nephew was visiting and he always gets a laugh out of watching me setting up animation keys in Blender. A concern that I have is when my nephew said that the model looks “familiar”.
I have also just finished a 2D map of the town, Tinyville. It has the layout of the parks, farms and buildings that will be accessible during the game. So I’m in the process of creating scenery and buildings, while also trying to structure what types of mini-challenges and upgrades will be available at the farms and parks.
One of the main things on my mind about this game idea was how the model for Teddy never looked quite right. From the many(very many!) drawings I had tried for this character, the one where he looks slightly younger was always the one that I felt had the most potential. It also brought better continuity to the models of the other characters. After re-creating the model over many iterations, my concern was that Teddy’s model wouldn’t have the features that the drawing had. I would resort to scrapping the existing model and trying to create a new one. But this current model looks like the most promising to date. Blender’s linking process helped speed things up considerably. I was able to create a file with just Teddy’s accessories (glasses, cap, mailbag, scooter, etc.) and then link each new character model to that file to use those objects to see if they worked well with the model.
A comparison of the last two models gives a good sense of the direction taken so far .
Now it’s on to materials, textures, and an armature…
It has been a really long time since any update. I have tried to work out game engine details, pros and cons, compatibility and incompatibility, limitations and advantages. I really like Panda 3D’s flexibility between Python and C++, and the fact that with some crafty work I can get content from Blender into it in egg format. I have thought about using Blender’s GE for experimentation and a short demo.
As for the character models, the dog and cats idea for now is getting replaced with “mutated” alien bugs. The angle I’m looking for is that if I can model 3 or 4 specific bugs and pay attention to body structure, then, I can do some creative combining for more variations. Here is a first draft of the spider I’m working on.
Also have tried to work out an alien form, and keep the poly count low, so far its at about 11k vertices but I’m hoping to bring it down. I have to clean up the body a bit better, because in the profile the alien looks like an over-nuked chicken. At this point I’m posting only a front view (who wants a drum stick?).
My first thought was to put a glow effect on the alien skin and animate it, but if that ends up being too much to handle, I’ll probably tone down the skin and brighten the eyes with a glow effect. Back to Blender! I hate UV-mapping!!!
If anyone has any suggestions on it?
Getting the 3D modeling of the main characters has been a serious obstacle. First off, Teddy the main character seemed a little younger than I had hoped. I went back and edited his features to get a slightly older looking character, but with the same cartoon feel. It ‘s been suggested that the Nic Cardi character looks like Nicolas Cage while on a mufti-day caffeine binge ( the rough sketches that posted are all sans upper and lower eyelids! – bug-eyed).
The town has a name,(not Smallville – that was already taken!) and a map has been completed. Points of interest will be in a legend on the map and the player will be able to click on them for direct access, after the first visit. With the amount of parks(5 total) and farmland(10 areas ) I was debating whether to put in a mini-game or skill building tasks. The way this is working out, the parks will be the skill building sessions, and the farmland will be various mini-games. Things like an obstacle course that Teddy will have to navigate using his scooter(skate park). For completing the course in the allotted time, Teddy will be faster on the scooter. A second skill builder will be throwing rocks at crows in Mr Myer’s farm. Completing that will give a bonus to Teddy’s throwing accuracy, along with the scooter challenge, once both are completed, Teddy will be able to defend himself with newspapers while riding the scooter. The use of the sling-shot will be an upgrade from throwing newspapers. Teddy will also get some type of bonus for collecting past due newspaper delivery bills, but he will have to chase down the “offenders” to collect. When Teddy is traveling through the town he will have to avoid obstacles like moving cars, delivery trucks, the mail truck, stray dogs/cats, and the occasional kamikaze crow! There will definitely be an ice-cream truck in the game, but I’m not sure if it should benefit Teddy or pose an obstacle.
After what seems like forever, I was able to manage a few basic character sketches that start to show the direction I’m looking for. The guy with the glasses (aka Teddy) was the hardest of all.
Our almost fearless and definitely unsuspecting hero Theodore Baeringer aka Teddy Baer, has only one thing on his mind. No, not that! he’s only 12!
Teddy was on his way to see his uncle, Jo Kester, at his comic book store, Kommic World, to get the latest issue of his all-time favorite super-hero, Captain Truth, issue #37, “Captain Truth Rescues the World From Dr. Droolz”. Unfortunately, on his way to the store, Teddy finds out that someone stole the very last copy! HIS COPY! The one Uncle Jo saved for him! The one he’s been saving 2 month’s worth of paper route money to get! (It’s a REALLY small and usually quiet town.) Determined to get his comic book, Teddy throws caution to the wind, for the first time, as he patrols the neighborhood, in search of clues (and unpaid paper delivery bills), to foil the culprit who stole his prized comic!
Follow our brave hero as he makes his way through town and parts unknown, avoiding obstacles and danger at every turn (well, almost every turn). Guide Teddy to avoid the local pests and parked cars! And find out who committed such a dastardly deed!
(Yea right, like you don’t have a favorite comic book!)
Prepared to defend himself using his wits and his almost instant reflexes, our hero sets forth on an adventure like no other. Armed only with the bare essentials, a full bag of newspapers, his older brother Dave’s new sling shot, his Captain Truth Scooter as transportation, and his faithful companion Blip, the toy robot (What’d you expect, Plasma Rifles, Particle Cannons, and Rail Guns? ), Teddy will bravely set out to overcome the almost nearly impossible!
Help OUR hero save HIS hero – Captain Truth, and bring the villains who broke into Uncle Jo’s to justice!
(AND hopefully get Dave’s sling shot back in his room before he finds out!)
You’re going to need nerves of steel, almost perfect timing, a healthy sense of humor, and a strong curiosity in the unknown to guide our hero through local neighborhood streets, parks, shopping centers, playgrounds, and to where ever else the trail will lead.