Sunday, August 28, 2011

Obsession With Menus

Iv'e always been obsessed with putting in animations for the menus. We did put something together for Adrian, a game I worked on along with some friends at college. But the animations were pretty much predefined you could either slide them in blink them that kinda of stuff. It was pretty good, but in the recent times especially after watching so many iphone apps which have such smooth transitions etc between screens, And the wonderful ui you can create with html because of the javascript speedups Iv'e started thinking its' probably time to get this done right or at least to my satisfaction :D.

The weird idea i got was to create keyframe animations for the UI and then use it as the menu. This is pretty much the standard way of doing things in blender game engine. You just move the camera around in a scene or make the ui elements slide in out of the view. I wasn't sure if i could pull it off in my own game. So I kept putting it off to try later. Then i came across a video explaining how the UI designers used blender for Gnome3 as a prototyping. I fell in love with the Gnome3 ui right from the beginning and once i saw this, i was determined to try it out.. And so i started implementing a basic game engine in python which would be able to use the key frame animations and would be useful as menu as well. 

Here are some boss demon concepts i made for the game.. have to decide on colors etc
More Enemies
And ive' finally managed to create the model for main character, there is a lot of polygons spent on the head of the character, hope i can get the animation right, still have to rig the character though.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Almost Ready

With this, i think i've got all the characters i need to get the basic implementation started but, there are still some things i need to figure out about how to animate the expressions, eyes where the texture of the object changes. The easiest way out seems to be to just create another texture with required things changed. i.e the eye expression and the mouth. But may be there is a better way.. creating multiple textures for small changes seems a bit of an over kill.

The combat is very important and should be very fluid and fun to play around with. This requires a good co-ordination between the animation and the collision detection. Im' also thinking about easy way to create menus/animations as 3danim models.

Yesterday i had to work on porting the 3danim exporter to blender 2.59 and i swear it was hard.. so messed up i almost lost the whole day. I hope i dont' have to do it again. I was able to load the model of ram in python using the anim3d library.

I need to setup rigs for these characters and the previous character. As usual i intend to start from basic stuff. I am hoping ill' be able to come up with a design which will make it easier to be able to finish this project. I guess im' getting good at the inkscape for creating shapes,.. Iv'e been able to complete this faster than the other characters...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Another Character in Works

I've been working on making the characters from so i can use them in a game if i ever am able to make something good :D any way. without further delay.. here goes..

I've added the weapons as well, i've been itching to write some action game.. so probably will help me out with that. As usual i've been using Inkscape for designing these characters. I've rigged the other character i designed  in blender i have to do it for this as well... While making this characters i got an  idea about making a grey scale so i can change the color by setting the polygon color i guess its' worth a try because it makes it easier to create different characters.. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Online Leader Board

This is one of those things which is kinda straightforward to do, you get a username or something and add stuff in the database. There is a difficulty in discovering cheating scenarios but if we assume fairplay, it just boils down to a very simple thing. I was kinda lazy to do all the creating a db and writing queries stuff so I started looking for easy to use javascript based leaderboard service, sure enough I found I was skeptical about registering but once i decided to add the online leaderboard for my latest  game, I knew this would be the easiest way out.

Turns out it is really easy to use it. The documentation pretty much covers what you might want and gets working pretty soon. this is the page i used to get the version you see in the game running.

They do rely on code obfuscation to secure the app id and key but im' not sure if that really helps. But is vulnerable, but the score administration tools are really good (you need to login to see these tools). Over all it was a good exp coding with this framework. So basically that makes two frameworks used in this game :) not sure if thats' the best for performance though.

Bottom line, If you want to get a leader board, online high scores thing up and running asap this is the way to go. They have support for other languages as well so thats' good too :)

Experimental Gameplay

This month for experimental gameplay project the theme was "Offspring" but the broader meaning could be used like growth. So I've put together a simple yet challenging game called "tgif+" short for "Thank God It's Growing" see what I did there? :). This is the first javascript project where i used jquery for handling the ui elements, I must say its' pretty cool. It is kind of an overkill for the project because i dont' use much of the library, but it makes the ui handling so much easier. You can play my entry here.
I used Inkscape for creating the artwork for this game. Just love how the gradiants work. Along the way i even created a new logo for vkgamedev.
New vkgamedev logo
And now for the game screen shots.. i guess this is the first time where i have a "virtical" orientation of the game screen  :)
Start Screen
Gameplay Screen
I haven't added the game music, pause button or sharing options as of now. I will probably try to update when i can... Mean while you can play the game right now Here

Monday, August 01, 2011

Blender Rig For 2D Animation

Most people use Flash for their 2D animation needs, but apparently some people do use the 3D animation software tools for creating 2D animations as well. The advantage?.. i think it has got more to do with preference than anything else but then again.. 3D authoring tools are good with for doing camera effects and rendering effects if you want to do any. I recently discovered that south park is animated using Maya, I always thought it was stop motion animation oh well i guess they had to move to make the process faster.

The advantages of using 3D animation software for 2D animation in my Opinion
  • Ease of adding rendering effects to the scene.
  • Camera movement can be added easily (esp the z-axis movement)
  • The multi-bone setup makes it easy to animate snake like objects (curvy hands, fire, smoke)
So as i mentioned in my previous post, i've decided to rig the character in blender and here are the results..
The image to the left is the render shot from blender and the one to the right is the rig setup. It was pretty easy to set it up and quickly create an animation. Setting up the rig for the eyes was kinda tricky.. I took a lot of time to get it right. Now a lot of time will probably go into making good animations. I still haven't figured how i can manage the animation of hands and the mouth. Hope to fix that soon..till then, Here is a walk cycle test rendered in blender.