MyI@FarNiche

Building an XNA Game Studio XBox360 Indie Game.

[page 0071] ~ Once It Starts Just Run With It :

Updates: –  : Substance Painter – Open Beta 9 – Build 0.9.0.403 .
DownLoads: –  .

Well, this month was not what I was expecting.  I was on a tear getting my Titan finished off and setting up another group as a set of web services, tumblr, Wikia and WiX pages that follow the artistic background theme of my Research home site section that I am currently building.  It is becoming a consolidation of ideas for what I would like to see happening as I piece together my game piece asset library, all that, and then building my game for One Game A Month plus a few other things.  So scatter brained could be a good description of the general state of affairs recently.

And while making the rounds about my new webby web production pipeline I noticed that Wikia has released a thing called Wikia Maps.  This new addition helps create maps for use in a Wikia site.  Seeing this, it started another maelstrom in my mind of what to do next and how to do it.  Back in my OGAM profile I found my first Unity game that used a terrain object to construct, build and show a 3D map, in WaterPod.  Looking up that Unity asset folder for that map, I notice that the hierarchy used as my folder structure that holds the different asset types while being produced under different asset creation tools, is lacking in a consistent structure.  Sooo, what you do is open up Unity to try an figure out which map was used to build the terrain in that game and find that not only is the name of that map not in the folder structure of that months game, because it was imported from a different file location, or logically assumed so, but the name is also not in the project itself, hmm.  And just why would I need to do this?  Because, somehow, building an asset library, and then having where each of the assets grew from along with their respective origins just seems to be a good idea, good practice.  Now for the exhaustive search, be right back.  Whatever.

Or, when all else fails, just start over.  I need a new map for this game, Flag-e-llum.  And it looks like, for now, that it’s back to the old drawing board.  Also, I will need to refresh this old memory on how to build another map of this type.  That will inevitably take me back to, “Where is that paper with all those wonderful notes of mine “.  From that set of notes, as they have been refined over time should and will become more helpful with each iteration.  And seeing that these notes themselves are meant to be a type of help file, it makes me want to begin to form a more comprehensive ding-ding-ding Déjà vu help file.  So I look up some of my old programs where I know that I have already built some HTML Help Files for those programs.  These HTML Help files come together as a *.chm file with a Table of Content, a Search and an Index with all the accoutrements that will become my in-house offline trade secret repository of “How do I set up my game build” kind of help file.  So, of course, after searching for all the different help files that I have built I find one that is most representative and most applicable for this application.  My final decision, when finding that Help file, is that now, somehow, for some reason, it makes sense to make a You Tube Video called HTML Help Ten Years After.  This particular help file, with all its bits and pieces, was the beginning of what is currently my base website, FarNiché.

I’m finally ready, after all of that, where I can begin to piece together an HTML Help File for what will become the starting point as most of my Unity Games into the foreseeable future.  This next step will continue to add to my Library “Generic Structures & Resource Templates”.  It is also to be my next adventure in conjuring up a Wizard of Old that will help me guide and piece together my games so they begin to have the same consistency and feel, which will allow me to move further into game play mechanics, and, of course, aid in building more help files that help me remember just what I need to do as I get to each next step with every new level.

Well the Titan results are in, and nope, I didn’t make it into the top ten, but they did have a very nice parting gift for participation.  They have sent out a 50% off coupon for any of their products, which is a valid forever coupon, until cashed in of course, for being a participant in their Titan Contest, thanks again Allegorithmic.

Again, this months game,

FLAG-EL-LUM

and their Titan Winners revealed!

 

But now, I must be running with that 96 hour grace period, yep, not done yet.

G’day.

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August 1, 2014 Posted by | 2014 [0050] to [00??], The Process | , , | Leave a comment

[page 0065] ~ The Doctor and My Titan. :

Updates: – .
DownLoads: –  .

This OGAM DOCTOR is in.

… and so is my Titan.

I have been giving my Substance Designer Contest Challenge some thought.  So with what I have accomplished thus far and the way that the storyline has taken hold of the character, I think I could use even a little more articulation to bind the Titan with the story.  This Titan is huge.  And what I am doing is personifying the concept of the Titan because this Titan, “The Titan God of Spatial Perdition”, does not have any natural human form, per se.  Like the Gods of early Mythology and more precisely, those descried by Mythopoeic Thought, my Titan is only an “idol“.  It is a fleeting glimpse of a representation that conceptualizes its power by drawing from the beings that deem themselves affected by it through relational reasoning.  The myths of this Titan are bound to those it protects only because they have become aware enough to acknowledge the powers of this Titans existence and have attributed that power to that Titan. To this end, I will attempt, in part, to form the where or how this Titan came to be.

The concept of “Spatial Perdition” comes from what I saw as Earth’s magnetic field.  This barrier is not only essential to complex life as we have come to understand it, but that it also protects us from even greater Titans or Gods that would befuddle the more basic concepts that lead to the evolution of evolution.  I know, recursive is the thought of evolution being a part of the process that evolves evolution into its own evolutionism, and it is, yes … , I won’t say it, “evolutionary”, but I did.  So this Magnetosphere, our squishy torus of safety, is what I am calling “The Titan God of Spatial Perdition” because it saves the lives on this Earth but it has also made us fully unaware of the deathly dangers it has been protecting us from through our sorted evolution.  And because of this “cradling in the arms of our protector” we, have instead of growing in enlightenment, have been dragged through a world of protected disillusionment.  This Titan is therefore a protector of life because it has taken residence inside a place that is another perfect balance of powers, the proverbial “Goldilocks Zone“, another Titan God.  But my Titan,  “The Titan God of Spatial Perdition” has also, by its very nature, deceived all those that it has come to protect.  But then again, maybe that’s too much to ask of a Titan that can only express itself through protection, for its leaving would produce utter annihilation.

So that is a continuance of the larger picture and is a greater storyline of “The Titan God of Spatial Perdition”, my Titan.  Although this Titan, actually the powers of this Titan, which have been at work from time beyond the time of our sorted evolution, has in some way become an integral part of every life on this Earth.  But this Titan has been locked out, as all Titans are, and will never participate with us through communication directly as we have found ourselves able to interact with each other.  But as a Titan, it will continue to communicate its mercy and fury, the whims of the gods, which will always remind us of its powers as we recall them through their Mythos.  Now, back to the picture, the drafting room, the cutting room floor.

One Game A Month continues once again with the terrain for my game being refined as a part of my pipeline process, always different, though cast of the same mold.  Each time I use my guideline schema, to format my next terrain, I find that what was previously written becomes more stable and requires less modification internally.  The guideline sheet, however, becomes slightly more lengthy because what I have accomplished will always add a few more objects to fill out and fit in what apparently is missing as each build becomes more routine. So after the terrain is up and running for this new game, I find I need a Doctor along with a Plumber.  My last games tried to incorporate the Yellow Mechanic that is a free asset from Unity to begin to understand how Unity character animation works.  But this time around, instead of using one of Unity’s starter assets as the main character as in my previous games, which was in this case The Plumber (a.k.a. the maintenance guy), I’ll be trying my hand at building my first animated character from scratch, The Doctor.

This months storyline:  The Plumber has gotten himself into a little bit of trouble and has injured himself.  Per usual, his Air-Wray island hopper craft is far away and because of some mishap,  the plumbers’ ship is further away than he can move.  Luckily his friend, The Doctor, was going to meet up with him to do some rock climbing on the old volcano in the island chain where he was sent to do some plumber maintenance.  This game will be another search the terrain for something, this time it is a , find the Plumber game.  The Doctor starts out at the Plumbers ship because they were to meet up and start their little rock climbing adventure from there.  But the Plumber was nowhere to be found.  This is highly unusual, the Plumber is usually very punctual, so the Doctor leaves behind a walky-talky at the ship and takes the other on his journey with him.  The Doctor must now run around the island chain looking for the Plumber.  That is it, that is all.  The Doctor must find the Plumber, The End.

It may not seem all that much of a game, but what I am doing this month is building a new character, The Doctor, my first most complete Avatar to date, starting in ZBrush.  This process starts out using ZSpheres to form a basic biped that is turned into a PolyMesh3D object with a Unified Skin.  The initial poly count for the Doctor is around 3500 and is somewhat faceted.  So the next thing to do is to build some UV’s and then subdivide that mesh so the poly count is about 800,000.  This will set the mesh up for Poly Painting where each vertex not only retains its position in 3D space, but it is also given a color value.  The 3D mesh is directly painted on in concert with the UV’s using the Poly Paint texture map.  The ZBrush tool is saved as a .ztl file that can be reloaded back into ZBrush.  An .obj (object) file, along with a clone of the Poly Paint texture map are saved which allows me to transfer my work initiated in ZBrush to be continued in Maya LT.  These last two files are then imported into Maya LT and, after a little bit of rigamarole, are turned into a single mesh that is retextured from the previously painted map so it looks just like what was seen as the exported file from ZBrush.  But in Maya LT, the next step is to build a skeleton of IK/FK joints which are Inverse Kinematics and Forward Kinematics chains.  Building these chains produces an artificial bone system which becomes the base structure that is bound, skinned, to the model mesh.  Once the skeleton chain has its relational influences bound to the mesh vertices, a series of secondary controls are constructed to form the basis of its animation rig, for example, Beginner’s Guide to Rigging in Maya.  This is where I am right about now so I should be able to accomplish something to this effect by the end of this month and have something to submit that is, more or less, gamelike before the start of the next month.

Needless to say, I am no where near finished yet.  All of this learning and building leads me further on to my next uncharted venture, for me at least, and takes me to Creating Run Cycles in Maya.  This looks like what I will be needing to create the animations for my Doctor if he is ever to find his buddy the Plumber.  The Plumber, the freebee asset from Unity, has an idle, walk, run and jump cycle for the characters animations.  But for now, in this story line, his only animation will be a “Help, help!  I can’t move” cycle.  In this game, the Doctor is the one that needs to move around and get to the Plumber, in such a way, that it preferably resembles something similar to bipedal ambulation.  But for this to happen, I will need to figure out how to build these character animations.  Then I will need to export them so those animations that are built in Maya LT can connect up with those of my Avatar Doctor back in Unity.  And this will complete this months game cycle using assets from my previously built games of “Hide and Seek”.  From those games I can borrow the previously built logical assets, which have made them play as they do, and then add this newest asset, the yet to be built Animated Doctor.

Doing this by studying more Digital Tutors videos, continuing to build my Substance Designer Titan, working on the Research pages of my website, keeping up with this blog and figuring out what I need to keep track of additions to my month by month calendar is “The Doing” for the foreseeable future.  So …

Again, My Titan Concept.

G’day.

June 8, 2014 Posted by | 2014 [0050] to [00??], The Process | , | Leave a comment