Monday, February 11, 2013

Episode 2: Novskorad

The goal here was to ship a *weekly* updated game, and right off the start, I missed by one week.

That's okay though, I'll be caught up in a few days.

I had to refine my asset pipeline a little. What that means is that creating quality 3D (and other) assets normally takes a long time. I don't have a long time. I have a very small amount of time. So I have to have this down to a *science*.

I now have a really, really slick system for adding dialog, waypoints, and general in-game concepts. And I also have a really simple and efficient AI that handles badguy behaviors. Coupled together, you get the really fun dynamic found in Episode 2 of The Dark Reef.

I hope you have as much fun playing it as I have.

This episode is named Novskorad because I swear that's what one level of Apache Strike was called. This is my homage level to that game, which I spent probably a month of my life playing, on my Mac.

If you ever played it, you'll recognize some of the same themes here. They'll show up again in other levels as well, but this one in particular, with the city of storage containers, is a lot like that game in parts.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Your textures are bad and you should feel bad

I'm constantly walking a line between what I see as something that might take the user out of the experience and something that is just necessary in a game. This kind of thing (see picture below) is exactly what I mean. Repeating textures. Everywhere. This is a screenshot from the new game Aliens: Colonial Marines. The guys who made this game are not amateurs.

See that shit? But the reality is that you just can't have a million different textures all over the place. At some point, the player's brain says, "close enough, I get it, it's a wall with some lights."

...I just wish my brain would say that.

Because it doesn't. It says, "Look at that crap. Clearly, the gamer will stop playing in disgust."

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Magic EPS Number

The fastest, and most accurate way to get a clean UV Map in Photoshop is to export it from LightWave first, import it, and work with that. It will be perfect.

But you'll need this magic number, or you'll end up typing the new size by hand. Yes, I'm lazy. You are too, and you know it.

So if you're exporting your UV map as an EPS, export it at 7.12 inches. That's 512 pixels.

There, I just saved you some seconds.