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Defender / Stargate 2010 in 3D ZOMYGOD!


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Defender / Stargate 2010 in 3D ZOMYGOD!
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scratt
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2010-06-07, 03:29

LOL

He asked. But I suggested he "educate himself" that writing an epic like this takes longer than a week!
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scratt
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2010-06-11, 13:59

Here is a quick set of teaser shots from my development sandbox... I think it is amazing how immediately recognisable the space craft, humanoids and aliens are. Nice work Brad!



At the moment the entire play area is an infinite square of procedurally generated landscape.
You can swing the ship around to face any direction in 360 degrees and fly forwards across the landscape.
When you fly off the edge you seamlessly come back on the other side, so although you are in a fixed play area it seems to go on forever. So exactly like Defender, except you can fly around in a 360 degree arc.

It feels silky smooth on everything down to an original iPhone. I also have a bare 2D version with a landscape more like the original in Defender made out of cubes similar to those of the enemy ships. But I think that will look too simplistic. I will however be developing a pure 2D version alongside this version moving forward also. If anything perhaps as an easter egg for the main game...

Ultimately I think what I am going to end up doing is making the landscape a gully running from left to right, kind of like the Grand Canyon, with any foreground elevations transparent, so we get a feeling of speed and parallax, but also depth to the play area. Instead of having the freedom of movement in 360, you will basically only go left or right, and perhaps have some control over 3 or 4 lanes of depth you can move forward or backwards in, as well as elevation. So kind of like LBP. At the end of the day the controlling factor for those decisions will be based on gameplay feedback. Too much freedom and it's going to be hard to aim at anything.

Our ship hugs the landscape at the moment. So you can't crash. On the original you could fly through the landscape. Obviously that won't work for us. So the idea I am working with is we hug the landscape, but can lift off from it to gain altitude. If you are carrying humanoids and come down hard towards the landscape as you bottom out you drop them back to the ground again. Again, feedback on that idea is welcome. It's the best solution I could come up with so far. But when you zip over the landscape and the ship follows the contours it feels great on my iPod! When I make a video you'll see how tight you can bank the ship, it tilts as you turn and you can whip around almost on your side, like you are in a jet fighter. That almost makes me want to keep the 360 steering in. But it takes a lot of getting used to. Especially when you are flying towards yourself. Feels great though!!

The Palm Trees, are just a bit of whimsey. We'll have something else for ground features. But whatever they are you'll be able to frag them also. On, and the landscape is theoretically destructible. So I am planning to have big explosions darken it and dent it as you progress on a level. The code for that is all done as the landscape is generated on the fly from a big database in memory. All the moveable objects in game have a coordinate that maps directly to the landscape height map, so it's easy to deform the landscape around them when they explode.. Should be quite impressive to behold!

On newer devices, if the water stays in (it's a just a rudimentary transparent layer right now) then it will be reflective. I also have a whole host of starfield, and lighting effects to go with a range of different other worldly sky boxes, like the yellow one I am using right now. So we'll have different colours terrains, and skies. So think, post apocalyptic Earth, Mars, Asteroid etc. etc.

If you want to test early versions then PM me the UDID of your iPhone / iPod or iPad and I'll include you in builds in the coming week or two.

This weekend my main task is experimenting with controls and shooting stuff, and also doing the conversion from models to cubes for explosions so everything explodes in fragments and bounces on the landscape. I'll also be tweaking the abduction logic for the landers so we can see that stuff working.

There are / will be lots of particles and flares, like the ones which look like a little glow under the landers. They will be tweaked as I go along. But rest assured this will be a fragment fest! For example, if you look closely at our ship we have a cockpit glow. I'll be adding lots of bits like that, so that things like the bright yellow points on the pods pulse and glow also.. Just to add some feel to it all overall. Also the particles from the landers and our ship are all single point particles, and just placeholders at the moment. Expect them to get bigger, softer, and to have more weight and relevance to them as I tweak stuff also.

I also have someone working on remastering the original Defender SFX so they are re-imagined for 2010, but still sound like the arcade game....

Feedback is welcome on the limited pictures I have put up so far. Bear in mind it's early days, and this will get more tidy, and more pretty in the coming week... I will also try to put up a video of gameplay and some more screen shots here in the next 48 - 72 hours.

I have been busy with a WWDC project, and another overdue project, so am fitting this in in the weekends, and evenings. So most big changes will come over weekends in the coming weeks.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt

Last edited by scratt : 2010-06-11 at 14:22.
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scratt
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2010-06-11, 14:56

Fixed. It was a Photoshop png. I re-saved it with Preview.
I guess I am able to see it as I have Photoshop on my machine.
Seems weird though.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
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2010-06-11, 15:00

Nice. I'm looking forward to seeing it play.
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scratt
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2010-06-12, 00:23

Oh. I meant to add I am also looking at a way to gently apply a kind of pixelation to the landscape. So that it looks blocky in an atheistically pleasing way.. We'll see how that goes... Might give the whole thing a more cohesive feel.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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scratt
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2010-06-15, 05:57

This is another couple of rough shots from my sandbox, but shows me testing the "Pixel Cube Particle" system for explosions. I'll be augmenting this with a normal particle system too. So we get more eye-candy, and the individual cubes disintegrate at the end of their lifetime.

You can also see some Swarmers, err.. swarming, in the distance!



The cubes are unlit at the moment, so appear to be just one solid colour. That's because I have not sorted out how I am going to light stuff to give it a nice shiny feel. But the cool thing about these particles is that they are actually geometry cubes, that can rotate, and also fall according to gravity and bounce on the landscape. (I noticed that one of my vertices is out on the cubes also when I looked closely at these shots. Easy to fix.)

I was mainly worried that this would be very slow, on the original iPhone particularly. And had some plans to vectorize the maths. But even in simple C, with a bit of clever batching it has turned out super fast. So I still have the vectorisation to use later if I need to squeeze more speed out of things. As it stands we can have a few thousand fragment cubes on screen, flying around, and bouncing on the landscape etc.

When they hit the water level, they'll fizzle out and I'll make some steam rise up also. I just decided! That is if we keep water in the landscape.

I've also got a description system, which is basically text files that describe the positions and colours for the particles for each type of explosion. So we get appropriatly placed and coloured particles for each type of enemy exploding.

Also because these are 3D objects and not particles / sprites they scale properly as they come out of the screen, and look exactly like the "pixel" components of the objects they come from..

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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bassplayinMacFiend
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2010-06-15, 07:17

Wow, it's looking great, scratt!
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Robo
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2010-06-15, 07:28

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
Oh. I meant to add I am also looking at a way to gently apply a kind of pixelation to the landscape. So that it looks blocky in an atheistically pleasing way.. We'll see how that goes... Might give the whole thing a more cohesive feel.
Hmm. Maybe giving it a wireframe/polygonal look, or (less drastically) drawing a sort of grid over it? Keane did a novel "grid over natural landscape" thing in their "Perfect Symmetry" video and I thought it looked kind of neat. (Keane : Robo :: Rads : FFL, apparently.)

I'm sure you'll think of something. I like the idea of having the ships explode into 3D "pixels" -- it sounds like an awful lot of work but totally worth it. And I actually dig the CMY cubes, but of course I'd say that.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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Brad
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2010-06-15, 20:04

If ever there was an appropriate thread for this image, it would be this one.

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Brad
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2010-06-15, 20:17

That said, I really like this idea:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
Hmm. Maybe giving it a wireframe/polygonal look, or (less drastically) drawing a sort of grid over it?
Let the terrain be dynamic and smooth, but overlay a wide wireframe or grid to keep that "techy" old-school feel.

edit: And to tie in with my MUCH WIN picture, I'm of course thinking something kinda like




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Robo
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2010-06-15, 21:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Let the terrain be dynamic and smooth, but overlay a wide wireframe or grid to keep that "techy" old-school feel.
Yeah, that's what I was trying to describe. In the video, they used real footage of like a waterfall and stuff, but they overlaid a grid over it all and had it only roughly match the actual shape of the scenery. It looks pretty and Max Headroom at the same time.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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scratt
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2010-06-15, 23:55

Thanks for all the feedback and comments guys. Really appreciate it.

I will certainly work on the outline for the landscape. Sounds like a neat way to get what we're looking for.

What I will most likely do is have a few options to try, so you can experiment on the Prefs. screen for the game. i.e. Switch to outline, or blocky etc.

In the Prefs screen there are also sliders to adjust sensitivity of the accelerometer etc. That's all part of my iPhone engine anyway.

I am still putting it together as being played on a big square landscape which wraps, but making it a 2D sideways scroller is as simple as constraining everything in the Z coordinate, and scaling the landscape so it has a gulley down the middle.

It is much easier if I put it together as a 3D gameplay area, and then constrain it later (as I think we'll have to), than writing it 2D and then wishing we had more freedom.

Ultimately I'll probably do a Zarch clone, which will need a 3D play area, in the future. So the engine is being written to be as flexible as possible.

Hope to post some vids later this week, or over the weekend.
And aiming to have a very very early playable demo sometime after that.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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Robo
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2010-06-16, 00:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
Hope to post some vids later this week, or over the weekend.
And aiming to have a very very early playable demo sometime after that.
And sometime after that, you should port it to 3DSWare.
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scratt
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2010-06-16, 00:43

You know what, just this morning I was considering looking up some old Nintendo contacts...
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scratt
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2010-06-16, 13:17



I put this in quite quickly tonight in a spare moment. Looks better when it's in motion. You'll see a video soon.
In static shots it looks aliased and dotty, but I can fix that with slightly thicker lines. It's a trade off on the iPhone screen without proper anti-aliasing though. Thicker lines can also be overkill.

In any case when the landscape's in motion you lose the bitty feel, and I can affect the colours of the lines to reflect stuff going on, blend it better. Perhaps the line colour can also affect the state of the planets stability as you get low on humanoids etc. And when the planet is about to get destroyed and you enter "Deep Space" (Defender aficionados will know what I mean by that) we could fade the landscape out and leave just the wire frame for a few seconds... before it all disintegrates!

I think just as a quick mock-up in this shot it already adds quite a lot to the landscape. But on reflection, looking at the static shot here, it certainly looked better when I was flying around!

I just came up with the idea of moving the blast from Smart Bombs out across the landscape through those landscape segments... in a ring growing out from your ship. I'll have a think about how to do that and add it to my ever growing list of wacky ideas!

Needless to say I'll refine it more yet. But just wanted to share as I go along.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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Xaqtly
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2010-06-16, 13:43

Awesome! I <3 this project.
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Brad
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2010-06-27, 23:27

More models!

This set includes the merged mutant (half lander + purple head humanoid) and a set of numbers.



Same password on this zip as the other. If you want access, feel free to PM me.
Attached Files
File Type: zip 3d-defender-models2.zip (12.7 KB, 6 views)

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Brad
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2010-06-27, 23:52

And of course I forgot to make the miniature versions of the numbers. Consider that omission corrected.

Attached Files
File Type: zip 3d-defender-models3.zip (6.4 KB, 24 views)
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Robo
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2010-06-28, 00:29

Brad, you're like the coolest person ever. You know that, right?

scratt is super cool too. Count me in for a copy when it's done
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scratt
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2010-06-28, 00:36

Hoping you'll be a tester Robo. Just make sure I have your UDID. Thanks for your kind words.

Thanks Brad. As I explained in my PM to you I am suffering from a mean Mohito hangover, and iPhone 4 lag at the moment! But I am sure you can all understand! Jesus! There's so many setting on these things. The iPhone 4 I mean!!

The models are awesome as ever.

The 3D radar is done on the program now.

I am just tidying some of the alien logic and do expect pics, and some vids imminently.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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Robo
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2010-06-28, 00:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
Thanks for your kind words.
YVW.

I've never playtested anything before, so I'm not sure if my input would be, uh, helpful, but I'll happily try it out on my iPhone 3G and iPad when the time comes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
2D or 3D?

i.e. Defender side view scrolling (with a 3D "feel"), or go the whole hog and take Defender into the realms of Zarch?

I am playing with both styles at the moment, and may in the end put both in the game.. Might be nice to morph between them.
If you do morph between them, be sure to call the 3D mode All Range Mode.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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Brad
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2010-06-28, 00:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
If you do morph between them, be sure to call the 3D mode All Range Mode.
Off-topic (click to toggle):
Whew. For a minute there I thought you were linking to the vgcats slash again and I was gonna be all "whaaa?!"


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Robo
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2010-06-28, 00:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Off-topic (click to toggle):
Whew. For a minute there I thought you were linking to the vgcats slash again and I was gonna be all "whaaa?!"


Off-topic (click to toggle):
I thought about it, but I thought that would be just a little confusing if scratt hadn't played SF64.

Also, OK, now I want to use that as my avatar.

EDIT: Look what you have wrought.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong

Last edited by Robo : 2010-06-28 at 04:27. Reason: updated link
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Graculus
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2011-04-19, 06:40

Bump.

What happened to this?

Just found some old Spectrum games and they reminded me.
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Robo
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2011-04-19, 07:02

This thread reminds me of Minecraft now. Brad, dock a replica of that spaceship you made at your airport!

Sort of relevant:

How do you pronounce "Galaga"? GAL-uh-guh? Guh-LAW-gah?

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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alcimedes
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2011-04-19, 07:47

LOL, minecraft Defender. It could happen.
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scratt
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2011-04-20, 06:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graculus View Post
Bump.

What happened to this?

Just found some old Spectrum games and they reminded me.
Still working on it.. But only on weekends.

I am rather stretched at the moment working on another rather special title... http://www.tequilabomb.com/shotglass...of-space-sims/

Once we get through our next push I *will* finish it.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt

Last edited by scratt : 2011-04-20 at 19:38.
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Brad
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2011-04-20, 10:44

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
This thread reminds me of Minecraft now. Brad, dock a replica of that spaceship you made at your airport!
Good call. Maybe not docked, but I could definitely seen an invasion force in the not-too-distance future.
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