E.X.P.L.O.R. in development now! Cool Developer Stuff

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Tech Demo 1 - March 23, 2011

I mentioned in the introduction to this blog that the Emergence Game Engine has already come a long way from the groundwork foundation. To give readers an idea of where the game is at now, I'm presenting the first tech demo.

This demo will show a glimpse of the animation system, AI scripting, pixel shaders (though the best effects are not seen in this demo), and the lighting scheme.

This is a basic game demonstration, and is meant to show that the game is currently a working engine. That is, it is far more than a rasterizer which draws a few triangles on the screen. Later posts will get into more specific details on how this engine works.

As an aside, you'll have to forgive the boring texture design and "ugly" actors and objects. This demo features "programmer art". Also, the levels in this demo are designed to test certain underlying features of the game engine, and not necessarily represent actual gameplay .

Categories: Development

Introduction - March 22, 2011

An introduction is in order. Admittedly this blog comes a little late in the development process of the Emergence Game Engine. I say that because the engine is already a working game engine (well, at least it resembles a working game engine), which means that much of the gruntwork has been completed. That means I'm beginning this blog with most of the groundwork laid, and I won't be able to comment that work as it is completed. Luckily, I did keep a few notes in the development process, so I will be writing posts that outline the early stages of development.

I hope this blog will be useful to anyone interested in software development, and specifially anyone interested in video game development. I want to say that the process of developing a video game is not easy. I started programming when I was fourteen years old with one intent in mind, I wanted to make video games. It's been a long journey from my early days developing 2D games that ran on DOS to the Emergence Game Engine that I'm working on today, and the prospect of developing video games is all the more better for it. Video games have evolved for the better. It's a longer process to develop them, but it is also a much more rewarding process, and the end product is much more impressive.

I will be writing posts on the development process at the end of each day of development. These will outline the work accomplished for the day, as well get into my reasoning behind certain design decisions, and other remarks as I see fit. Welcom to the blog, and I hope you enjoy!

Categories: Development

Recent Updates - March 19, 2011

Quite a bit of new progress has been made. The portal rasterization system is complete, and for the most part seems to be working. Major improvements to the audio system have been completed as well. General improvements to the code have been made, and the server and client now communicate better, plus clients can be disconnected and connect in a more efficient manner. The skybox is now part of the save state, so it can now be customized. Other improvements of "hard coded" items have been fixed as well. There is still a lot of work to be done, but progress is coming along. I may be done with the client side for a while, as I need to get into AI control, and things like joints for doors.

Categories: Development

Faster Progress - September 7, 2010

Wow, I made a lot more progress than I ever imagined. I implemented a sort of faux lighting system. It's not optimized yet, but it looks pretty dynamic. Not up to today's standards by any means, probably Max Payne 1 quality. Also, I've implemented shaders. I also learned quite a bit more about shaders, so they share values, such as the current time, the time elapsed for the frame, and textures and stuff. Also "#include" in .fx files works with the file system. I have also very much setup the rasterizer engine to work with a portal type system. The client is a little more complex, and now keeps track of which region an entity is in. I haven't implemented portals yet, but the foundation is laid. (I'm talking about culling portals, not like the game Portal.) Overall I'm really happy with the progress I'm making. Sound still needs a lot of work, and I still want to make it so you can shoot some enemies dead, and have moving doors and stuff. I made this test level called sorpigal.emap. It is based off of the first town in Might and Magic: Secret of the Inner Sanctum. It's really cool. It doesn't have doors yet, as those aren't implemented yet, but still it is a much funner test level than that shapes level that I was using.

Categories: Development

Slow Progress - August 26, 2010

Well, I haven't updated this log in a long time but I am still working on the engine. Scripting has been implemented to some degree. Graphs were added to the map format, and I developed an AI that will follow a graph, it won't take multiple paths, just the first one that it finds. For that reason a path must be circular. Also, I've worked on sound quite a bit, but some core problems with the game design are making that very difficult. I wanted to assign sounds to an entity based on the animation, so a certain sound would play when a certain frame of animation of the skeleton was played. This didn't work because as far as the game is concerned animations are played based on percentages, not actual frames. For that reason I'm still working on the same idea, but the percentage of the animation where the sound should be played needs to be estimated. I've also rewritten a lot of the video code. The texture manager has been seriously updated, also I fixed some issues where the device could not be reset. Many other code problems have been repaired as well. I mentioned in the start of this log that some of the problems with Legacy was that it was trying to be too ambitious, and unfortunately parts of Emergence are too ambitious as well. It's just so hard for me to try to be really basic. In all honesty, I could probably build a working demo in a few months, but I'm putting a lot of work into the finer details that might not be so important. I started developing a window system, that could be used for menus and interface items. This replaced the old CDrawPad that I had, which was way too intertwined with the CVideo class. Now it is much more independent. The graphic console was also ported to the new window system, and that seems to be a better choice as windows are more streamlined for use in the engine, than an independent graphic object. I am kind of disappointed at how little I've worked on this engine this summer. I wanted to put a lot more work into it. It's going to be difficult to work on the engine while school is in. I suppose the main thing I really need to do is get sound worked out, and built some kind of basic demo where you can at least shoot some entities dead.

Categories: Development

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This blog chronicles the development of the Emergence Game engine. The Emergence Game Engine will be a fully functional 3D game engine with support for the latest technologies in video game development. This blog features the remarks of the lead programmer, Blaine Myers, as he comments on the struggles and joys of developing a 3D game engine.


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