FPS

I haven’t made any more progress on the animation exporter’s transform issue. I’ll get around to it eventually.

Recall that a couple of months ago I followed a tutorial to build a simple 2D adventure game. Once that was finished I added the missing features to my engine and then reimplemented the game in my own engine.

Now I’m doing the same thing with a simple multiplayer FPS. I started to think it would be a good time to add multiplayer support, and I thought the book “Programming a Multiplayer FPS with DirectX” would be a good casual introduction / tutorial.

I ordered the book and have implemented most of the engine that it describes. Once I finish with it I will take whatever lessons I learn, and systems, and implement them in my own engine, much like with the adventure game. I think this will go quite a long way to rounding out the engine features. I haven’t had a sound system in the engine for years – it got “left behind” during one of my many refactors and never moved back in.

A couple of other features I’m interested in: their game state system, scene management, and of course peer to peer networking.

Now the cool thing about this is I will most likely have their FPS engine and game implemented by the time my Oculus Rift arrives. I think it will make a perfect testbed to learn about the hardware. I doubt I’ll have everything ported over to my engine before it arrives though, unless it is delayed.

You may also recall that my current “playground” supports first person and third person already so it might be a good jumping-off point to optional VR.

That Background, and Animation

I replaced the site’s stock background (above) with a giant Ms Pac-Man logo. There is actually significance behind it. When I was five or six my mother gave me a Ms. Pac-Man table top arcade “cabinet”. It is the first video game I ever played, and I might even get away with saying that it eventually led to me becoming a game developer.

The next big game that had any real significance for me was Super Mario Bros. on the NES. I’ll probably add a background for that when I’m not being lazy.

I also added a sort of disclaimer to the top of the portfolio page to try to make it clear that those projects are not related to the hobby projects on the rest of the site.

In other news, I got an animation playing in the game last night. It just so happens that it does so incorrectly ; ) I have some transform issues to work out on the data side. But, the pipeline is in place and working so things are moving along.

I don’t recall if I mentioned it before but I purchased a Fraps license a while back and I think once animation is up and running it’ll be time to start posting videos. I have to decide if I want to do commentary or not.

In terms of pursuing a particular game, I’m still not sure. So far the game that I’m using to develop the engine is designed to be a sort of playground. Practically on a daily basis I have different game ideas and interests that I want to pursue. I think that making a single player game that allows open world gameplay - sort of like an MMO without the MMO… is the best choice. That will allow me to ”plug in” a variety of different game mechanics into the same word without having to constantly re-roll different concepts that I’m juggling. For example I’ve wanted to play around with fishing and crafting for a while.

As I work toward that “playground” project I expect a more specific game concept will start to take hold and I’ll branch off of the playground to go in that direction.

Animation Exporter

It’s been slow going, but as always there is progress. I have been working a little bit hear and there on an animation exporter for Blender. Currently I have it writing out rotation keys for a “nod” animation.

Considering that my specialization at work is animation programming I’m pretty excited to get my own system up and running again. I’m looking forward to making some simple animations in Blender and toying around with them in the “game”.

I’ve also been thinking about getting a profile added to the site, and that is made easier now that I dug up one of my old hard drives and got some old project screenshots from it.

January was a really busy month. I returned from holiday break in MA, went to Cancun a week later to get some mid-winter scuba diving in, started a workout regimen, and have been test driving the idea of reading 52 books by the end of the year. Not sure if I’ll follow through with that one though. I’m currently on #3 but I didn’t start until the last week of January. On top of all that, the work schedule is probably about to pick up so probably all of the above efforts will crash and burn…

Oh yeah, and my employer went bankrupt and was repurchased fully intact so that was fun.