Stardale - Game

by Chris posted on Sep 18, 2014
(1,367 Views / 8 Likes)
Playing around, I was able to push past 1 million particles but there was significant lag at that point. Nonetheless, here you have it, one million dirt particles flying around off the screen with physics and gravity all bursting at the seams. Behind here is a ship that collided into a planet surface... I think it hit the ground a little too hard and not only made an impact crater but also obviated the entire world! :eek:
by Chris posted on Sep 16, 2014
(729 Views / 3 Likes)
We're almost there, we're so close, we're just about ready to release the Stardale trailer along with our Kickstarter! I imagine it will be this weekend that we're ready to go but no guarantee's. Cross your fingers no problems come up because so far it's epic and I can't wait to show you what we've made. While the alpha won't be available for a little while yet, at least we can show you a nice little trailer to give you a taste.

Since my last post I've updated the scene sequence manager even more for in-game cut scenes, continued to fix small errors with the animations, and smoothing out a few more bugs (pretty much further work on what I discussed in my last post). I'm also up north having changed locations. Generally I program from a shared basement apartment (aka Stardale Studio) but now that a family friend is away, we have the luxury of house sitting! Yess.

Stay tuned for more!
by Chris posted on Sep 12, 2014
(772 Views / 2 Likes)
The very first Stardale cut-scene is nearly finished and it's pretty epic if I do say so myself. I don't want to spoil the details so I won't say anything more about it's content but it will be featured on our soon to be ready kickstarter!

Creating this cut scene involved developing a scene sequence manager to manage all the events, movements, and animations that take take place in the scene; this could mean moving an object from point a to b, firing a weapon, moving an npc, so on and so forth. Rather than just hard coding in a sequence of events I've tried to create something that is reusable in different portions of the game.

Anyway, that's what I've been working on the past few days. Stay tuned for more soon. :)
by Chris posted on Sep 9, 2014
(889 Views / 5 Likes)

Today I ran into a little bit of a problem with shaders and lighting. One of the larger alien ships decided to stop working with spot lighting when I created an animation set for it. To overcome this I literally had to go all the way back to basics of creating a bare scene with the ship and lighting, nothing else. Still, the problem continued in a fresh setup. I tried using different shaders, nope still broken; tried recreating the texture thinking maybe there was an issue with importing the .psd file, still, the issue occurred. I tried changing the scaling (doubtful but tried it anyway), didn't fix it. Next I tried changing the lighting type - other lighting types worked however spot light did not. Finally I weeded it down to an issue with the way the texture was being split into an atlas and then diced up and drawn. I had to increase the poly count on this larger ship and it has now resolved the problem. Yay! :)

Today I also spent time working on animations, creating lighting transitions, and lighting colour transitions. Since things don't just "magically happen" even simple things such as slowly (or fast) smooth transition from one light colour to the next needs to be programmed. Same with light fading/brightness, camera controls, moving the camera around for custom cut scenes, etc. So I spent a little bit of time doing these small bit very useful scripts to do this. As a result, now I can easily control lighting of - say for example, the thrust of a space shuttle so the lighting fades in and out; not only does the light fade, but it smoothly transitions from one colour to the next. :D

Another cool little thing I was playing around with for fun yesterday were god rays (as seen in the image on the post). I can't promise these will be in the final version of Stardale (although you never know) ;). Nonetheless, it looked pretty epic in my opinion for the reason that there are dynamically created shadows blocking the sun shafts.
by Chris posted on Sep 5, 2014
(1,122 Views / 4 Likes)
I spent some time today adding laser turrets. It required a bit of math to figure out but the task was accomplished. For those who may be programmers or anyone interested, the way it works is as follows; if not, skip the next two paragraphs to continue ;).

This works within 2d space and 3d space. First you have to calculate the distance between your starting and ending position, in this case the turret and the target. Once you have this, you can use it to set the length of how long the laser beam will be. In this particular scenario the laser has a range of 50m and as soon as a target is locked onto, it fires instantaneously at light speed - so we set the length of the laser beam to the distance between the turret and the target. Second step, calculate the angle of rotation to set the laser pointing in the right direction of the target (using Atan2 - remember in grade 10 math class? sin/cos/tan? it is actually useful in programming for those still in school). If you don't do this, your laser beam will get longer and shorter depending how far away the target is but it wont point towards the target - or anything, it will stay at a fixed angle. At this point we have set how long the laser beam should be and the angle to position it at so it looks like its going towards the target, but there's more work to do yet.

Thirdly and finally, because right now the laser beam position is based on the centre of itself in my setup, we have to find the centre between the turret and target. Why? Because right now as I said, the laser centre when it was created is itself and because it was created beginning at the turret, it looks like a big long stick on the turret and like its shooting from two sides. When we increase the length of the laser, yes it gets longer, but because its centered on top of the turret it is increasing in size in two directions ----T---- (T is the turret, dashes are the laser) when we want it to only "seemingly" increase on one side T--------. It is still visually increasing in size on both ends but to make it look like its tracking the player and fixed to the turret, we find the centre between the two points. Since the angle is set in step two, it looks like its tracking the target perfectly. To find the centre between turret and target we use a little more math of adding the turret position + target position then dividing by two (you could find the centre of even more points by adding them all then dividing by the total number of targets added).

Now finally, done, the laser beam tracks and follows the target grilling them with a strong beam of radiation. All that just for one laser beam canon. :D And of course because we hate redundant code, we throw it somewhere useful so we can use it in other parts of Stardale.

What's next? We're working on our kickstarter page and getting things ready. The laser turrets are required for one of the bosses which will be available within a video we use on our kickstarter. Kickstarter details to come when it's available, but it's going to be good and come with amazing rewards - and for some rewards, even physical items! Fancy oh lala!

From the art dept aka Jose, he has submitted a dozen more tile sheets so we're well on our way. We have dozens of clothes, several character races, over two dozen tile types, bosses, backdrops, and more, so we're well on our way!
by Chris posted on Aug 26, 2014
(735 Views / 3 Likes)

The past day and a half I've been working on cleaning up some of the multiplayer aspects of Stardale and creating a small interface to connect to and save your favorite servers. With Stardale, anyone can host their own home server to run the game however we will also be hosting an official server. The final version of Stardale will include server options for small and large scale volumes of players if you want to host your own server. For those who want to play on a large scale server, we have your back with our official server which will be available down the road during beta and launch. The Stardale universe will be big, thus we will only be hosting one server given the expansiveness of the Stardale universe being on a larger scale. With that said, we will make sure that players don't have to roam an empty universe - unless you want to, which you can do that too if you want to explore deep space.
by Chris posted on Aug 20, 2014
(722 Views / 3 Likes)
Tonight I went through a list of bugs and made several fixes. Likewise I added Stardale's very first option menu! Right now the option menu just allows you to zoom in/out with the main camera so you can choose the size you prefer - but more options to come soon! Some other fixes tonight included issues with physics being too fast and some of the images not being proportional.

Time for bed, more to be completed later today, didn't realize it's 5:30am already. Eek.