DNA Gaming And Technologies
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Sep
24

Hey Peeps, its been awhile, I’ve taken a break from work for awhile and i decided to read up on articles, and one of it hit me, BUMP MAPS.

I haven’t actually used bump maps, but I’m getting the understanding. I used to know the concept of it, but diving down and knowing how it works exactly, that’s a different ball game!.

Ogre supports Bump map, same as irrlicht, lots of game engines support bump maps.

In a nutshell Bump maps makes games really cool and all, without making our PC’s choke.
The concept is simple, use a texture that defines how light bounces off an object!
One good example would be a ball
Ball Without Bump map
Now we apply the depth texture ( Or called a bump map )
Bump Map
Then we apply it to the little ball
WALA!

This are all done before the lighting calculations happen, so by the time you render the frame, the object looks like it has depth, but in actuality it’s still that little simple geom.

Here are few different techniques conceptually similar to bump mapping used in games
1.Texture Mapping ( OLD SCHOOL using U V Coordinates)
2.Normal Mapping ( Why normal?, cause normal is the term used to tell how light reflects of an object)
3 Parallax Mapping ( A better version of normal mapping and Bump Mapping )

Game engines like cry engine and the unreal engine use parallax mapping, its the standard now.

Another point about bump mapping is that, they are handled by shaders ( the pixel shader in this case ).
( Shaders are handled by our GPU, not our CPU ), so there is a good load off your CPU processing.

There is a difference between vertex displacment, and bump mapping, vertex displacments, means the actual mesh ( 3d object ) is modified (thus possibly handled by the vertex shader ), and bump map doesn’t modify the object at all, just cheats you into thinking that it looks like it.

Here’s a link ( WE LOVE WIKI ) There a pics to show you the before and after of Bump mapping
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bump_mapping

Cheerios peeps,
Ikhwan
p.s I so want to do OGRE3D again

Sep
21

Hey peeps its been awhile since i posted,5 days to be exact. I’ve been really busy with all the project C&Cs
tons and tons of stuff to change and add, but i know the games gonna be good!

Anyways i’ll start off by saying Selamat Hari Raya to all my Muslim peeps!, it’s been a good relaxing time for me to go out with my family and have fun with my relatives!

Actually i want to talk about GCA (Games Convention Asia), if I’m not wrong this is the 2nd year that they are having it in Singapore, it’s not about the game booths for me(NOT AS BIG AS TGS OR PAX..NOT EVEN HALF).The highlight for me for both years where the presentations. The first year, one of the developers from Assassins Creed came down, shared with us crowd control , it was amazing!. Then there was the panel, not very interesting cause they talked about the gaming industry in Singapore, it being new and all.

NOW THIS YEAR IS DIFFERENT!

Amazing Amazing Amazing, so many more technical people were at the panel, they talked about really really important stuff, stuff that we as game developers should bring on top of the table, tips on what to learn and packaging ourselves to the company.
I’ve learned a lot from them, and its refreshed my love for game development, I’m now 20% even more certain i want to be in the games industry(This makes it 220%).

I have to admit though last year i wasn’t really in the mindset of what specifically i wanted to do, designer?, programmer?. I know i wanted to be a programmer, but what kind?.I was stuck, but this year is different all the little things that I’ve been through and all the big ones, have finalized what i like about game development, and that is the technology behind it. Something i can build from scratch, technologies that make other game development people look at a game and go WOW. “His little engine is pretty powerful”. I want to be a game engine developer, i want to make the next UNREAL ENGINE.

Here’s my advice to everyone out there who wants to make it, go to talks like these, interact and talk to these professionals, and you will learn tons. SOCIAL NETWORK. AND WORK WITH PASSION, to really succeed!

Cheerios Peeps,
Ikhwan
p.s 7 More Days Till Submission 14 Days Till NS

Sep
16

I was always a Dead or Alive fan, cause of all the fighting mechanics, i was pretty good at it actually.
But of course i have to be honest the BABES was also a big reason i played the game. All those delicious looking bounciness, sex appeal, and mixed with some kick ass moves makes it one of my favorite tittles out there.
Tecmo knows what we need!

So again they hit home run with this one, its one hell of gimmick, but it caught my attention.
SIX AXIS BOUNCING!, SHAKE THAT CONTROLLER!
Here’s a link to one of their ads, super funny.

If you ask me, that is one interesting way to use the six axis controller so smart so well thought out, i could just shake my controller over and over again..

Please peeps don’t call me a pervert, i just love games which cater to our needs!..

Anyways i’m off to work again!

Cheerios Peeps,
Ikhwan
p.s I have both the volley ball games too!

Sep
16

Well peeps today I’m here to share about a new function that I’ll be adding to the CutScene Engine, and I’m also going to introduce my ScreenEffects library, like screen flashes, fade in, fade out, stuff that can be used over different projects.

First off, I’m going to talk about the CutScene Engine. I’ll be adding a scrolling function and a panning function, so as to add an element of movement and progression to the CutScenes .

Here’s a link to an example

It’s a pretty old game, but just images with a bunch of little effects.

So the idea is this, i’ll be including two functions the scrolling and panning, there will be a scrolling speed, and a panning speed.So its possible to go both ways ( Diagonal ). This is pretty easy, cause in XNA you render stuff depending on the rectangle size which you specify.
If the image is 2560 * 720, but the rectangle size is 1280 * 720, i’m rendering only half of the image, so by moving the X, Or Y Values i can create a movement effect on the image, cause the rectangle moves down and the focus on the image changes!

Doing this function has really made me want to expand a whole lot more on the Cutscene Engine, I feel like making it very complex, and maybe create a Visual Editor for it. Maybe once I’m done with the project, I’ll build up the engine, this will be my first full length library, and i have plans to release it for everyone to use.

Another cool thing that i developed on this project are the ScreenEffects, ScreenEffects include camera shakes, and transition effects that i explained on top. The ScreenEffects are used to make the game look a lot more polished, and just small little stuff like this, makes a big difference.

I use ScreenEffects for the CutScene Engine too, So when I’m switching to the next CutScene , i can use any of the transitions effects. So as i develop the CutScene Engine, I’ll be developing the ScreenEffects Library.

I’ll explain more about how i did the ScreenEffects, on other posts, and I’ll also update up on the CutScene Engine.

Cheerios Peeps,
Ikhwan
p.s Now to find a name for my CutScene Engine

Sep
14

Batman Arkham Asylum sold 2 million in its first month, if sources are to be believed. I’ve played the game and it done well deserve to sell. Batman Arkham Asylum, or BAA for short (snicker) is awesome.

It manages to appeal to so many simply because it does not try to be too complicated. Rocksteady took apart what makes Batman the Dark Knight awesome, which basically consists of a detective with cool gadgets, arse kicking with cool gadgets, scaring the living crap out of bad guys while silently kicking their arse and more arse kicking, and letting players experience the thrill of being able to do what only Batman can do.

Getting around the semi-open world was simple, the freeflow combat was simple to understand, gadgets did not feel tacked on nor unnecessary, boss fights weren’t over the top and fit very nicely into the Bat-universe (Harley Quinn kicking Batman’s arse in hand to hand? Come on.)

The stealth mechanics were simple to understand yet hard to master or take full advantage of. In addition to the gadgets which could be utilised in both non combat and combat situations. It was so much fun to be able to use the Ultra Batclaw to pull down 3 bad guys over a railing simultaneously or seeing the entire lot of baddies being strung upside down, unconcious. There were no restrictions in how you could overcome a situation, only the limits of your imagination.

Combat was fun and Batman’s moves felt very real and slick. There were tons of animations for each type of counter, attack, takedown, evasion etc. Not once did combat feel repetiive. Enemies were varied enough to keep even the Bats on his toes and seeing 20 of these thugs splayed on the floor at the end of a fight while Batman calmly readjusts his gauntlets is so satisfying.

Rocksteady even created challenge rooms where you can hone your combat and predator (stealth segments akin to Assasins Creed only better) skills. Each room you unlock in singleplayer (by collecting Riddler trophies) increasing in diffilculty. Topped of with an online leaderboard.

In short Batman Arkham Asylum is a must have even i you do not know who the heck Batman is (really?). It IS that good. Well polished, rarely repetitive and most importantly FUN.

Cheerio,
Ihsan aka dingo_d

FUN FACTS
Batman Arkham Asylum was developed by Rocksteady studios and published by Eidos.
Uses Unreal Engine 3.5
Story penned by Paul Dini, writer for the original Batman: The Animated Series.

Sep
14

Hello Peeps, it’s been 4 days since my last post, i’ve been pretty busy, DESTRESSING (Hanging Out), and of course i was still developing the engine, amongst all the fun

Well i’m going to update on the final build of the Cutscene Engine for our Game, take note though, i plan to expand A WHOLE LOT MORE, since my team is short on time,I’ve only added added a shake function!.

I used XNA’s CONTENT PIPELINE, to load the XML script in. So in total i have
1.PageReader
2.PageWriter
3.Page
4.Cutscene
5.CutsceneHelper ( This is dependent on the project )

1.PageReader, reads the binary and converts them into pages.

2.PageWriter, converts the XML file into XNA’s XNB format (BINARY).

3.Page, is the data structure used to store the info, it also has the update and draw functions, all page effects are also stored here, for instance, tinting, shaking and Warp effects.

4.Cutscene, holds the different pages, and does the animation, and apply transitions effects. It also stores the current cutscene’s state.

5.CutsceneHelper, for my case i use it to manage all possible, cutscenes found in the game. If there is a cutscene playing, i know throughout the Solution if it’s ended. It will update and draw all possible cutscenes that are playing. It can also abruptly stop any and all cutscenes.

Well with this, i’ve just added CutsceneHelper.ShowScene(“IntroScene”), into my code, and it will play that cutscene, if there is a cutscene playing the rest of the game does not update, or draw. Then after the cutscene finishes,the game resumes.

So I’ve added all the possible cutscenes in the game, before the level starts, and after it finishes.And now all my designer has to do, is to tweak the XML files, add more pages, and tweak variables to make it longer, shorter, or more interesting, all without changing code!

So a cutscene can be one hour long, and it won’t disturb anything, it’s like playing a movie, except with lots of pictures, just like an animated sprite.

A little insight, i’ve actually done the flipping transition effect, it looks good, but i think i need to make it look a lot more smoother, maybe add deceleration to make things look a whole more natural.

Well peeps, its gonna be a long 16 days left till Release, it’s going to be so worth it, I’ll share more game info after our release date. I’ll also start diving into the different functions, and classes!

Cheerios Peeps,
Ikhwan

Sep
10

Okay peeps, my team and i, plan to use CUT SCENES in our game, so i decided to create a SYSTEM to allow me to animate the different images according to time or button press. So throughout the days i will post my ideas, and my actual implementation of this new SYSTEM, be free to use my SYSTEM or ask me for the libraries, I’ll be glad to share.

Here’s a little bit of specifics:
I’ll be using XML to allow for variation adding scenes, tweaking scene without changing actual code, so my designers can tweak and make everything look a little bit better

A simple idea would be this

-Page-
-Effect- Left-Right -/Effect-
-Speed- 0.01 -/Speed-
-NextPage- Page3 -/NextPage-
-/Page-

-Page-
-Effect- Fade-In -/Effect-
-Speed- 0.001 -/Speed-
-NextPage- Page2 -/NextPage-
-/Page-

I will be using three classes
A Page Class That contains specifics about the page
A Cutscene Manager That controls all the pages and reads the XML files, Will animate accordingly to the XML FILE.
Cutscene Manager Helper Contains ALL CUTSCENES

You can check if the cutscene is finished, skipped, in between frames, check the current frame, last frame, and you can pause the cutscene!

I plan to do overlaying so. At one time in a cutscene i can have two images displaying the current one and the next one. I can do flipping to. from front to back and back to front!
I’ll list in specifics what i can do tomorrow, when i actually start developing!

Cheerios Peeps,
Ikhwan

p.s Be sure to stay tuned!

Sep
10

Cheers,
Darren~!

Sep
10

Well i shall continue from the last post, as the presentation is done and good!

3. Phase 3 is the planning of your programming methods, and classes. I like to use UML to plan my classes, cause its very visual and it’s meant for class relations and much more, there are pretty much freeware UML software online, you just have to Google. If you do not want to use the software you could just understand the concept of how the UML diagrams work, and you can actually freehand the UML diagrams, you just have to follow the UML Standards. With your UML diagrams in place, you will save a lot of time, i emphasize ALOT. Think about it, if you work as a group, everyone has a point of reference, so when you split your work, they know how the classes are related to one another, making everything fall into place nicely. Another point to note about UML diagrams, they are similar to pen and paper game ideas, they allow you to visualize all the classes, and allow you to make decisions, on whether its effective or not and if you need to use these following classes or these following methods. I’ll make a post about UML one day, be sure to stay tuned!

4. Well phase 4 would be the actual development, where hours and hours are spent, programmers, designers, producers, game testers, working in cohesion to portray their ideas and and to ultimately fuel their hard work into a game, in which people play and spend even more time, specializing and mastering every aspect of the game. ( I’ll be very vague about phase 4 (and i merged phase 5 in to), because there are a lot of things to talk about, another post i suppose! )

Again, please don’t take anything i say to heart, these are just my ideas on how i think a game should be managed, there are even more specifics for each phase, I’ll just write a new Post on each topic.

Anyways, I’ll post again about the presentation, and how it went, what they we’re expecting and about the advice we we’re given.

Cheerios Peeps,
Ikhwan

Sep
09

Presentation is today at 315, and right now, I’m thinking of things that i wish i could have done, both in the game and in life!

So people planning your life is important, SO IS PLANNING A GAME. There are thoughts and ideas that come into mind. These are the general ideas

1. First A Game Idea, could be a story element, a game play mechanic, or even a certain visual style, that your aiming for. Game Ideas are the backbones of the industry.

2. Developing the idea (NOT PROGRAMMING), work on story lines, refine your game play, go through paper prototypes, draw concepts out, get everything 90% settled in the beginning before you program. Get as much ideas out, if your doing in a group, banter and debate for functions, and game logic

2. Also part of phase 2. That is to start Technical research, the platform your working on, the libraries you will use, the limitations of the technology. Input options, scripting languages, Shaders, there a whole lot of things that you need to experiment with, cause you will not know what a SDK or a technology can do until you played with,So basically by experience, or by demos and more demos!

Cheerios Peeps,
Ikhwan

p.s Sorry to be a bummer but i shall continue again! presentation is today! Good luck to us!