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Showing posts from September, 2009

Freelance work for Comfy Chair Games

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I recently had the opportunity to work with Bob over at Comfy Chair Games. He is expanding his miniature line for W.I.L.D. fire, a 6mm mech combat game, and he needed a digital sculptor to flesh out his designs. Normally this is handled by the skilled hands of John Bear Ross (see my feed area to the right), as JBR’s plate is full at the moment he opened up a couple of accounts that were in need of some immediate work.

Here are a couple of examples of the work I completed for Bob at Comfy Chair; I cannot take credit for the designs, only the CAD execution of his vision. You can see the sketches Bob provided and the final CAD models built to his specifications. The building is one of four designs he wanted to produce; they are a clean lined and modern structure of the near future. The mech is the first flying creation in his current line. The other mech designs can be seen over at JBR’s blog page.

Parallax trix

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Since many seemed to enjoy the parallax mapping showed off in the material editor, I just wanted to show off the more advanced way of doing it and also giving some explanations.

No Parallax
This is when no parallax effect is added, just boring and flat. What happens is that the engine simple interpolates the uv-coordinate (the position on the texture map) according to the vertices (the points) of the model.

Offset Parallax

This technique is really just a cheap trick and as seen in the picture it fails at steep angles. Despite this, as the material editor video showed, it still gives a good effect in most cases! The way it works is by adding an offset to the uv coordinate depending on the height of the height map and of the angle of the eye (compared to position of the pixel). The biggest problem with this is that a pixel can never occlude (be in front of) another.

Relief mapping
This algorithm is a lot more accurate than offset mapping, but also a lot more expensive. This is no longer a ch…

I'm a Material Boy

Sorry for the long period with no tool show off. Blogging sure takes time :P

Here's the HPL Material Editor, our latest addition to the tool suite. This is what we use to create, edit and preview materials with. In a nutshell, a material is what's gonna determine how an object is going to look like in the engine. As of now, we have three basic types of materials:
- SolidDiffuse, which we use to model solid surfaces. Take a bit of a bump map, and another bit of a heightmap and you will have a more than convincing rock like material for example :)
- Translucent, to create a "glass like" look - Windows, ice... transparent stuff falls in this material type.
- Water, the most bleeding edge feature in the engine right now, used to simulate "liquid objects". Just like water in Penumbra, but now with more Reflection(tm).

Of course, it wouldn't be a HPL2 tool if it hadn't a realtime preview window, which is what really makes the tool worth it. In the good old Pen…

Puzzles in horror games. Part 5.

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Due to illness and an unhealthy obsession in making rendered water look nice this post is a little late. Hopefully no harm has been caused :)

Figuring out a good puzzle is often a hard and tricky process. Sometimes a puzzles presents itself from story and environment naturally, but more often it is put in just to add some gameplay and/or slow the player down. This means first coming up with some kind of obstacle and then designing some sort of solution for overcoming it. During this process, and especially when "forcing" a puzzles into the game, one has to consider a couple of things. The most important of these are:

Enjoyment
How fun a puzzle is to solve and how unique is it both determine the level of enjoyment a player gets from trying to figure and actually solving a puzzle. Solving the same kind of puzzles over and over is never fun and any appearance of a sliding puzzle is bound to bring forward feelings of unhappiness.

Cleverness
While a bit related to Enjoyment, a cleve…

Another factions drop trooper and rifle

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Faction Infantry Armor

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Some examples of one factions ground troops, in heavy, medium and light armor

Here is an easteregg :) my kickstarter project...