Xarelok (work in progress)

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by D0MINIK, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    Update

    Update: Military Tech Center

    Mid of the month, and time for an update. Today we're releasing screenshots of our first properly working in-game test, yet on a conceptional level. This level includes well established AI enemies as well as a new brand-new environment concept for a Military Tech Center.

    Time for Sci-Fi


    While the Mines of Gor Rugi environment has a rather run-down look and feel, the Military Tech Center Concept presents more of a sci-fi world than the mines did. We've done our best so far to create a techy and futuristc look for the base, yet keeping it from appearing too elegant and well constructed. As we imagine the tech center to be located on the mining colony planet Gor Rugi itself and it was designed as a part of the planets adminstrative, it has got elements of both: Dark and shabby sections as well as partly nice metal and light design.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Shaders and Light Effects

    Aside from lots of texture work, today's media release also covers light and shader effects we'd like to focus your eyes on. We've put much effort into the light halos, and although the technolgy behind these may be quite simple, we're using decals for these, we're very pleased with the visual outcome. Also, you can see we're using illumination map shaders on the walls. They are well suited for giving certain rooms and building sections special attention, enhancing the level design options and also adding something for the eye at the same time.

    Gameplay

    Our own team internal review of our first single-player gameplay test had a very positive outcome. We believe we're on a good track, to sum it up: The gameflow was fluent and motivating. However, although we were already able to solve many problems during this test phase in March, and made great steps in the development of this sparetime project, especially regarding enemy AI behavior, we also took notice of many things that still require lots of work. Our coming updates will add a few deeper story elements to Xarelok. No.... we'll not be saying stay tuned or something :p
     
  2. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    Update: Character Renders

    Update: Character Renders

    Some creative output of our pre level design phase are our game characters. We'd like to throw in some renders for the community to judge.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    We're not saying we would have created the outward appearances from scratch, you may recognize we're using sci-fi character meshes delivered with FPSC. The reason is simply our skills are not good enough (yet, meaning probably for this game being our first title) to create our own full character models. However, we re-textured the models to adapt them for Xarelok.


    Brief Descriptions

    Here is some background information we have drawn about the heroes of the game.

    [​IMG]Nall'Ly
    He is leading the small rebel group against the oppressive Worrajug Empire. He was sent to the Gor Rugi mining colony as a punishment for revolting against the authorities during a military mass arrestment on his home planet Thal. Nall'Ly was previously not meant to be arrested in that operation, but his protest against the arrestments has brought him years in the mines. But that will soon be over.


    [​IMG]Seraph
    Although she had her doubts about the rising dominion, she had no reason for rebellion against the Empire until the war against an alien species forced the Empire to send more people into the mines in order to gather more resources against the enemy. Seraph lost her job, her friends, her familiy, her future. And since then, she's being forced to work in the mines.

    (image limitation - more info on our website)



    New Web Presence

    Last but not least, we're proud to say we've got an overall new website and forum design. So come on and give us a visit, a comment, a hug - whatever you think it might support us!
     
  3. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    Update: The Space Station

    Update: The Space Station

    It's new, it's spacy, it's sci-fi: The layout of Xarelok is getting sharper, and closer to its final look. Today's media release covers the third environment for the game, following the mining colony Gor Rugi and the military tech center: The Worrajug Space Station. As it is the best guarded space within the Worrajug Empire, this is probably the place where you're going to have the most fun.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Light decals and shaders create a nice indoor-atmosphere, and our planet skybox in the background makes a good outdoor experience. And we will equip you with high-end weapons, the Mini-Gun and the Tavor Sniper Submashine, both powerful and suitable for a nice carnage in space.


    Goodbye Gravity

    Although the FPSC engine does not give us much scope here, we've managed to establish some kind of low gravity for outdoor areas. Whenever you move outside the space station, you'll have doubled jump height while keeping the jump height normal inside. We're using trigger zones for the control of this feature. Although it's not 100% the same as that original slowly gliding low-grav fun like in the industry games, it still does the job to create a good sci-fi gameplay feeling.

    We've had lots of trouble while designing the conceptional level for our space station environment, rendering errors as well as performance problems made Xarelok a haunted development project for nearly all the weekends of May. But now, we believe we've banned the ghost from the mashine, and everything works fine again. But... you never know...

    We are happy Thomas-Adam Habuda is joining dhk Games. He will be writing an exciting, driving soundtrack for the game. So come on, be nice, welcome him and say hello to Tom :) You can check is online portofolio here.


    New Landing Bay

    A landing bay we've lately found to be very useful and good for us is Twitter. If you like, follow us here, too!



    Links
    http://www.dhk-games.bplaced.net/
    http://dhkgames.freeforums.org/
    http://www.moddb.com/games/xarelok
    http://www.twitter.com/dhkgames
     
  4. chillypacman

    chillypacman Guest

    I'm very impressed with your progress, this looked like one of those DOA type deals where everyone would have just stopped working on it soon after the post.

    Just a bit of advice in regards to framerate: 300fps is nice and all but having a high framerate is not necessarily a good thing. I think 60fps should be what you should strive for, any more it's just excess. If you're shader effects which can only run in higher end graphics cards you're doing yourself a disservice by keeping the quality of graphics low to keep the framerate high as older graphics cards which would actually benefit from this won't be able to run the game due to the hard limitations.
     
  5. desmasic

    Original Member

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    Yeah, to be honest I don't really care if a game runs at 60 FPS or 5000 FPS for me myself. I have a habit of maxing out the detail level for games even if that means running them at 25-30 FPS as long as I get the best visuals.

    Oh and the biggest turn-off in ANY 3D game for me is the blurry textures. I could ignore lack of next-gen shaders as long as the weapons or wall in front of me isn't a next-gen blur-fest (for example, Just Cause 2 has REALLY ugly textures while sporting next-gen DX10 effects, game still looks ugly in every possible manner.. no wonder installation is so small).
     
  6. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    I disagree with the other guys here. There's a certain amount of framerate over 60fps that is useful as headroom for when things get hectic. You can also do some interesting things like upping the count of AI enemies if you have FPS to spare.

    Thats one of the reasons why the COD games worked so well. They tend to use a lot of the earlier quake style techniques for keeping the framerate high and this gave them the ability to do some pretty epic scenes in the earlier games. It also keeps the framerate very high in multiplayer battles, which means any lag you get is server lag rather than graphics card stall. I've been playing Bad Company 2 and the graphics dropout and stall rate is high (need to buy myself a new machine).
     
  7. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    I agree with zoombapup on the FPS issue. I have a GTX280 in my computer and i want to get a GTX480 only to avoid a couple of small framedrops here and there in some games. Also i play with vsync disabled even in older games. I want instant feedback when i'm turning the mouse and even with 60Hz vsync there is a small sub-second difference which i notice :).

    Don't enter the trap of visuals, you can't compete on that aspect with other FPS. Even if you could make awesome detailed assets, FPSC has a badly written engine and it'll make the game crawl. I would focus on level design and gameplay.
     
  8. Fauh

    Fauh New Member

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    Would have to agree with above poster.

    All indie-developers has to realize that there is no way to compete with industry-games when it comes to numerous things such as graphics. Even things like quality and content is very hard to match. However one thing that indie-developers has on their side when it comes to game-making is freedom. Because you have no restraints from producers and can in many cases "disregard" the mainstream market and really explore and take your games to the edge you can really create innovative games that can really make your game stand out.

    I would say that the best way to succeed as an Indie-Dev is to do exactly as the Industry but do exactly what they are not. In essence fill the gaps left by the mainstream industry!
     
  9. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    Ok, ehm... first of all, let's throw in a quote from myself, taken from the news post of April 1st:

    That was the article about an FPSC game running at 300 FPS :p


    We're currently running on a framerate of between 30-60 FPS, depending on the scene. Actually that's the really weak point of the FPSC engine, it offers the graphics of yesterday for the computer performance of tomorrow. We're strictly limiting ourselves in polycount while mapping, but that's especially hard as the engine counts the polys only very roughly (it kinda estimates^^).

    Don't worry about that. Even if we have to reduce the texture quality later on, we'll keep a hi-res version for users with good PCs. We're going to keep most textures as sharp as they are now.

    A good point, thanks. I guess it will be a balancing act in the end.
     
  10. hippocoder

    Indie Author

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    Looks good so far, keep up the good work, dont let this be another vapourware title.. keep on going.
     
  11. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    We'll keep updates coming. Thanks a lot for your encouragement, much appreciated :)
     
  12. ACasalena

    ACasalena New Member

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    Looks pretty good, had to turn the contrast up but looks bad a** so far.
     
  13. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    Update: AI Monkey #1

    Update: AI Monkey #1

    [​IMG] A weak point that especially FPSC made games have is the AI, the artifical intelligence. It controls the enemy characters. It oftenly appears to be rather Absent Intelligence. So we are introducing our article series, the AI Monkey, today. There are way too funny scenes that AI sometimes produces during the game creation process that we just cannot hide from you: Here he comes, the AI Monkey :)


    A good point to start with is the animations of enemy characters. Each character has a bundle of different animations (walking, running, shooting, ducking, etc.) at hand. The AI script then tells the character in-game to run one of the animations of that bundle, and that creates the illusion of real movements performed by real enemies.

    Now, our point of critics is the death animation that each character of the FPSC engine holds (the engine does not support Ragdoll). Look at the following image showing the death animation (a character in the moment he dies) from left to right:


    [​IMG]


    Does not really look too lovely, and not realistic, does it? Lying with his arms stretched on the floor? We've created a whole new death animation to cover that lack of beauty:


    [​IMG]


    Ah, that already looks a lot better! He first falls on his knees, and then goes down to one side. Fine boy, for that he'll get a banana from us!

    Links
    http://www.dhk-games.bplaced.net/
    http://dhkgames.freeforums.org/
    http://www.moddb.com/games/xarelok
    http://www.twitter.com/dhkgames
     
  14. desmasic

    Original Member

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    :(

    I saw AI Monkey (in email) and was expecting a monkey with an AI.
     
  15. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    Awww.... I'm sorry :p
     
  16. hippocoder

    Indie Author

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    I was about to comment that I liked the idea of having a banana for a weapon. It's the sort of thing I would probably attack a family member with in real life.
     
  17. Wrote A Game or Two

    Wrote A Game or Two New Member

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    Wow, good luck getting FPSC to behave well enough to release a stable game with it. Are you running 10 or 9? We tried with 9 and gave up in disgust because our games just choked on anything even resembling a complex level (but what the hell, I got it for free by signing up for Netflix). Then there was the attempt to use DarkBasicPro for a portal game only to have it literally blow up in QA when they locked the screen. ARGH.... It was a real shame too because if you want to make a 3D or even 2D game quickly and easily, DBPro is great for that. I actually prefered it over FPSC because I had FULL control over what was going on.

    Hell, I even made a rudimentary FPS with DBPro once. :cool: It didn't have all the particle physics whatsits and doodads FPSC does, but it worked. I even had bad guys running around for the player to shoot. It went nowhere but it was fun.

    Anyway, I just cringe now when I hear someone using TheGameCreator's stuff because of the issues we ran into when using their products. They were easy enough to use, and when you got everything working right, it was pretty cool to say "look, I made a 3d game in a couple of hours/days/weeks, etc" but when you crashed the damn thing trying to do what even a lowly N64 can do, the "neat-o" factor wore off really fast and I just became frustrated and started searching for a "real" game development product.

    Best of luck to you, hope you don't hit the same brick walls we did.
     
  18. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    We're using X9 with source code modification.

    Thanks! I can assure you we've already had to put more than just one weekend into the fixing of technical problems that FPSC indeed has with especially the rendering process. We're trying to abrade the brick walls piece for piece. :)
     
  19. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    So... why use FPSC over something like Unity or Shiva? Even in their cheapest forms, both leave FPSC for dead in every area I can think of. I'd love to know :)
     
  20. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    You've got to understand where we're coming from. About three years ago, we've started this indie game design thing with literally no skills in this area (ok, I had been modding StarCraft so far, but that's a whole different story). Over the past three years, we've learned procedures of how to create content and all the required stuff that you need for basic game creation.

    We've been playing around with Unity and Leadwerks lately, and we finally decided to start learning UDK while keeping the development of Xarelok on FPSC. But these engines are (yet) too complex for our skills. Hope that explains it :)
     

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