vrijdag 18 maart 2011

Test Day

Dear readers,

Today is the test day for one of our games. Luckily it's not my game being tested as it always provides some stress. As a tester you have to try to find bugs by trying many actions. If at a certain point you encounter a bug you have to remember what actions you did that led you to the bug. Then you try to reproduce the bug. If you can't reproduce it then you either forgot to do an action or the bug is very subtile or time-related. We also tag our bugs with priority. Naturally a bug that prevents game progress is a bug of high priority. Bugs like "this button has the wrong text" should be fixed but are of lower priority. Other bugs like the one shown in the screenshot below (where an explosion decal is partly in air) are not very useful to commit as they won't be fixed due to it being too hard to fix. Removing it all together however would cause lack of detail (you'd miss it).

An explosion decal is partly in air.

Luckily I didn't find many bugs in the part I was testing or perhaps I didn't test well enough (there are endless combinations) :P

-- Stijn

donderdag 17 maart 2011

Happy face....sad face.

It has been a while but here's finally another blogpost by Matthew. After some nagging, begging and harassing programmer Stijn approved one of my "feature requests" (probably just to get me off his back). The feature that got approved was some relatively simple face animation for the player character of Rhino Rush. The Rhino only needed some basic expressions like smile, fear, hurt etc. Here's how we set it up.

Stijn finally added some code to dynamically switch between the expression meshes. Even these few expressions give the rhino much, much more character. Looking at the end results gave us both a happy face expression. :)


woensdag 16 maart 2011

Something new

Hello readers!

 As you might know modern console games use a lot of pixel and vertex shaders to draw their 3D worlds and characters. Slowly we also want to go in this direction with our own games. But this comes with a lot of technical difficulties, also seen the platform we're developing on.

Today I made a 3d model for Pieter to do some tests with. It has 'next-gen' specs (although you could call it 'current gen' these days). It uses a diffuse, normal and specular map.

First I made a rough highpoly version of the fusebox. Which I used later to get the basic normals information from. I made the main shape out of some 'plate' like elements, as it would have been constructed in real life. I kept the rest of the highpoly simple and added all of the smaller normalmap details during the texturing stage.

It was nice to be working on something new, something we don't usually do. Normalmaps are always some kind of magic to me, makes everything pop so much more :)!


maandag 14 maart 2011

Still alive!

Hi all,

A short, but important update. We’re still alive! J
As Stijn told you in his previous post it has been very busy for all of us in the last few weeks. I it is not likely that this will change any time soon,  but this also means that we’ll have some cool stuff coming up/out quite soon!

Rhino Rush will be released soon on a portal near you and we got a nifty first person shooter thingy planned. Definitely keep an eye out on this one as it will push Shockwave to its limits. There will not be a cooler and visually more impressive online first person shooter on the webZ!

Currently I am finishing up an update of one of our hit games which needs to be tested internally at the end of this week. Not really looking forward to it as it’ll mean everybody will be shouting and screaming at me about things that aren’t working/unclear or are, simply put, ‘stupid’. Sigh…  anyways…

To end on a positive note. Diederik, Matthew and myself were at the GDC at San Francisco and we had a great time, met a lot of cool people and drank some beers J
It was a good visit and based on this we have some cool things to look out for this year. From now on we’ll update the development blog more regularly again so, if somebody is out there, keep checking for updates!


vrijdag 11 maart 2011

Rhino Rush Wrap Up

Dear readers,

It's been a while since any of us has written anything (and I for one am deeply ashamed for all of us (and especially for Matthew! ;D)) but don't worry Xform is still alive!
The past few weeks have been busy for all of us, but I'll let the others inform you about that ;)
The platform game I've been working is now pretty much ready for release and to this end I'd like to treat our dear readers to an exclusive shot which is my personal favorite.

This animated image is a APNG-file, internet explorer might not play it.

So I've been working on the last few fixes and cleaning the code up a little here and there (removing code/comments that got obsolete during development and small optimizations). There are some things that in hindsight I would do differently but you really shouldn't make too much changes to the game when you're close to a release as it might have more side-effects/bugs than you originally think. And then you'll have to fix those and you lose a lot of time. There are still some things that bother me and Matthew but we don't have time to change them. Expect a post on the official release of the game soon!

-- Stijn