Apr 252016
 

Angry_Villain_01

Welcome to recap 13, starting today, I Lech Plešec will be taking care of the introductory parts of these posts.

In short, I’m mad, not because Krister made a fool out of Jona on 9gag, no I more than approve of that sort of behavior.

I’m mad because a lot of you readers don’t follow my page of Facebook! Get to it, and see me smile next week, well, maybe… I make no promises.


J Oh girl-boy, what a week! I’ve managed to fit in a lot of Eco Tales time this week! Most of it was spent on creating cloth and the rest on lighting and scene building for my Artstation Challenge.

Screenshot Saturday #2

Screenshot Saturday #2

This also doubled as our first, in my own humble opinion, quite nice looking screenshot!

My programmer Krister, found below is generally a nice guy, however, this week he decided to embarrass me on the web, using this 9gag post.

I can recommend reading the comments found in the link above, they’re really going all out, some helpful tips and some hilariously internet level rude things!

Offending gif

Never share WIPs with programmers.

Above you can see the offending gif which I shared in confidence with Krister “the Betrayer” Programmingsson.


K Even though I’ve had a busy week away from Eco Tales due to work and visiting Borås for LBS Media Awards I managed to fill my weekend with valuable Eco time.

At the moment I have begun working on AI, that’s Artificial Intelligence if you are not aware. I’m beginning testing and learning the system that we will use, trying simple AI tasks like getting characters to move, patrol and such things coding tasks suitable for the base and systems we have now.

When I feel more confident in using this system and have a good foundation of tasks I will have to create the behavior tree putting these tasks to use for an example AI that will find you and will battle you.

Some of the systems and tasks I will need to create (rough draft) are

  • Sight
  • Hearing
  • Patrolling
  • Searching
  • Targeting
  • Attacking
  • Following
  • Fleeing

Well I think that will be a good base, the difficult part will be to create a way for all of these to work together to create a believable enemy that will engage you, the player in a pleasing way, this will of course require tons of testing but thankfully we are a long way from that :p

As usual I don’t have any nice images for you to see, plight of the programmer I suppose but seeing what Jona brought to the table I’m sure you are not even reading this because you are passed out in your chair from all his mind blowing visuals but I will show you an idea of what a simple behaviour tree might look like so you will get to know a little bit of what my future will be.

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Apr 232016
 

Hello there!

By now you know I work as a teacher over at LBS Stockholm [SV], a great school and working place even though they take some time away from Eco Tales 😉

I teach programming, game development and those things but this past Friday I got the honor and pleasure to join some of the media students (film and photography) to go to LBS Borås and the first LBS Media Awards running for the first time ever now in 2016.

Some of the media students of LBS Stockholm

Media students and teacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First time running this is a major deal for all LBS schools and all of its media students and I really do hope it will grow and grow and grow for every year because what all those students had to show was so fantastic that it needs a proper venue like this to make it justice.

LBS Media Awards Photo Section

LBS Media Awards Photo Section

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plenty of things went right but what I would like to see is a web page up and running as soon as possible, should have been before the event to really draw attention to this great event. The food needs not to be what ever that was, some type of burger or… I just don’t know, also  have eating utensils for people.

Never ever bring up the wrong person for the award and then go oops, we ment this person, mistakes happen but do not let this be one of them, and in the same area, the presenters seamed ill prepared.

All and all it was great, they kept there schedule down to a T which is unheard of and hopefully I will get to come next year also and it will be even grander and more impressive.

LBS Media Awards

LBS Media Awards

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Apr 182016
 

This has been a very interesting week, but with Jona being away giving lectures on real-time rendering, VFX and shaders at Uppsala University things have been rather slow, at least for him.


J This week I’ve been quite busy with a lot of behind the scenes things, we got our first pre-pre-alpha screenshot out and after some more work I’ve now updated it, this is the first reveal of the first second screenshot!

EcoApril17th

We also published a new article over at IndieDB, here are some stats some of you may find interesting.

EcoApril14_IndieDBStatsBeforeBlog2

To the left are before the post and to the right are the new stats, while the numbers may not look like much, if you think about it in percentages instead, it’s a huge difference.

30% more views, 100% more followers (discounting us devs), while we were on the front page we also reached into the top 25 popularity ranking.

So keep writing those articles, if your content is interesting and well written enough, the front page will be yours for roughly 24 hours.


K This has been a great week where I have been able to put more focus on the actual game design beginning to flesh it out some more, now say what you want about game design documents but they sure will help us while discussing and planning the game.

Putting programming aside for the the week we have started thinking about different aspect of Eco Tales: My Item Shop like what locations we want in the merchant mode and the adventure mode and drafting when they should unlock and their timeline even though they will always have value for the player to revisit as shown in the image below, I’ve blurred out the different locations for now to keep some of the mystery, but why don’t comment on some locations you would like too see, you can do so on Facebook, Twitter or IndieDB?

Locations story timeline

Locations

 

 

 

 

We have also started drafting a backstory that will lead up to the mysterious events taking place in Ecbatana that will bring endless possibilities to those entrepreneurial enough to seize the opportunity, that and with your sales skill you will surely be able to maximize profits and soon enough be a part of Ecbatanas capitalistic top living on Easy Street.

We come up with ideas all the time and put them up for discussion, now we have a greater structure for it that will surely help us keeping focus and to remember what decisions we have made and as soon as we have set a few things, talked them over we will be able to reveal some more information.

Well ok, just because it is a glorious Monday when I write this I will mention some small secret ideas, just don’t tell Jona I’m doing this for you and I will have to write it really small so that he can’t see it because I might be a self-proclaimed wordsmith but he is the one that actually knows how to spell and stuff and we have not even discussed this text yet.

The inhabitants and visitors of Ecbatanas mindless waste management have over its long history abused the lands of Eco to the point where it finally reached the depths reserved for the wicked powers of this Earth.
What laid dormant awoke and started transforming itself in physical form and with a single thought in mind… Destruction!
Using the corrupting waste of the mortals that seeped down to their depths they manifested it, molded it into their companion to wage their war against humanity.

 

 

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Apr 132016
 

We’re almost at three months and things are starting to shape up, we’re still some ways away from showing off any actual game play, but behind the secretive doors of KJ Interactive studios, there has been sword swinging, that’s for real and for true!


J I’ve continued looking into shaders and post effects this week. Last week I showed off the first version of our main VFX shader.

This week I show off, what may very well be the final one, check out this fire burning in the forests of Eco!

 

I’ve also looked deeper into fonts, Alegreya has for many reasons been on top of my list for Eco Tales, but readability would be a problem within the game itself, so after roughly two seconds of googling I found Alegreya Sans, it was as you may imagine, love at first sight.

Not our logo!

Not our logo!

We’ve also changed the name! The old one was very descriptive, sure, but it lacked a certain… Punchiness… So, Eco Tales : My Item Shop, short and concise isn’t it?

EcoApril10th

ZBrush Hippo

The gear of our friendly little hippo is also coming along nicely, imagine filling all those boards with baskets and sword sheets! Quite the little carrier isn’t she?

Mainly this week I’ve been working on look development, getting colors and lighting to where I want it, more shaders are needed and while the standard shader looks good, it’s not possible to get where I want with it.

Going to further break it down and rewrite the overall light functions so that SSAO and other screen effects still work the way they should (my last toonish-reality shader really screwed the SSAO up).


K Well well well, lucky number eleven, just writing that sentence got me in the mood for Lucky Number Slevin, great movie, I mean not like The Room or anything but then again, what is? Anyways it is time for eleventh recapitulation of Eco Tales: My Item Shop so here goes.

If you remember from last week I’ve been working on the “soon” to be announced webpage for Eco Tales and it is getting ready, now we just need to set the texts and Jona needs to produce the graphics for it but as web development is not exactly what either one of us fancy and there is a bunch of more important and more exciting things to do on Eco Tales it just might take some time.

On that page you will be able to subscribe to our news letter and as an extra treat if you want to subscribe to us via E-mail so you don’t risk forgetting about us you can sign up here for future news letters, and I can’t stress enough that we will not misuse your e-mail adress in any shape or form, this is strictly about Eco Tales: My Item Shop and until our dedicated web page is up you will not be able to unsubscribe in any convenient way but that will hopefully soon change.


So back to what I have actually have done on Eco Tales, that is why we are here after all.
What we have now ins still early in development and requires different amount of work to make them as good as possible so keep in mind that everything you see is in test phase and considered temporary..
  • Player movement – WASD style moving the player in relative to the cameras view point.
  • Camera movement – Follows the player allowing for rotation around the player which snaps back to default view, zooming is also possible.
  • Inventory – With one equippable sword with temporary GUI.
  • Attacking – You can swing your sword around hitting things, a successful strike will not achieve much currently but the basic system is in place.

Below is a quickly recorded video with excellent programmer art and showing a small bit what I have done this past three months.

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Apr 092016
 

Hello everyone,

Today at work I wanted to setup my Maya to zBrush connection as I find collapse edges to be amazing… Not that you care about the reason if you’re here so, without further ado here are a few solutions.

Unable to install : First up, if you can’t install it for some reason, copy userSetup.mel from : C:\Users\Public\Pixologic\GoZApps\Maya to C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\maya\scripts if there is one there already, add this eval(“source \”C:/Users/Public/Pixologic/GoZApps/Maya/GoZScript.mel\””); to any line in the file.

Unable to find Maya : If the reason was that you have Maya installed in a custom location, there’s another file in C:\Users\Public\Pixologic\GoZApps\Maya named GoZ_Config.txt open it and add your maya.exe path to the file, in my case this us what was written in the file when I was done : PATH = “E:\Applications\Autodesk\Maya2016\bin\maya.exe”

Now to the reason you’re most likely here.

// Warning: file: C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2015/scripts/startup/rememberViewportSettings.mel line 43: Active stereo does not work with Aero enabled. Active stereo has been disabled. //
// untitled //
// Error: file: C:\Users\Public\Pixologic\GoZApps\Maya\GoZBrushToMaya.mel line 113: Plug-in, "Mayatomr", was not found on MAYA_PLUG_IN_PATH. //
commandPort -securityWarning -name commandportDefault;
// AbcExport v1.0 using Alembic 1.5.0 (built Jul 25 2013 11:21:20)
// AbcImport v1.0 using Alembic 1.5.0 (built Jul 25 2013 11:21:20)
updateRendererUI;
// Error: file: C:/Users/Public/Pixologic/GoZApps/Maya/GoZBrushToMaya.mel line 113: Plug-in, "Mayatomr", was not found on MAYA_PLUG_IN_PATH. //
// Error: file: C:/Users/Public/Pixologic/GoZApps/Maya/GoZBrushToMaya.mel line 113: Plug-in, "Mayatomr", was not found on MAYA_PLUG_IN_PATH. //

This simply means that you need to have MentalRay for Maya installed, you can find it here : Maya 2016. After you’ve installed it, make sure it’s active as well, just follow these steps.

  1. Install mental ray renderer, using the installer.
  2. In Maya, select Windows > Settings/Preferences > Plug-in Manager.
  3. In Plug-in Manager, set Mayatomr.mll to Autoload.

There another solution (I didn’t try it out myself) but according to a user at Polycount you can edit the file GoZBrushToMaya.mel which can also be found in C:Users\Public\Pixologic\GoZApps\Maya\.

Starting on line 109 you’ll find this.

// ------------------------------------------
// GoZBrushToMaya requires Mental Ray plugin.
if (`pluginInfo -query -loaded -name "Mayatomr"`==0) 
{
 loadPlugin "Mayatomr" ;
 //setCurrentRenderer mentalRay;
}

Just add // in front of every line or replace it with this code.

// ------------------------------------------
// GoZBrushToMaya requires Mental Ray plugin.
//if (`pluginInfo -query -loaded -name "Mayatomr"`==0) 
//{
// loadPlugin "Mayatomr" ;
// //setCurrentRenderer mentalRay;
//}
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Apr 042016
 

While some people have had an entire week of, grrr, other have not, but others aren’t angry about that! Because that means that some have gotten a lot done this week, at least that’s what others are hoping for!

IndieDB : You haven’t forgotten to follow us, have you?!


J Some have been looking into particles and Houdini Engine this week, it’s been quite a busy week for me and I’ve gotten way less than I wanted to done.

Hippo carrying sash

Hippo carrying sash

Got started on some gear for the hippo, a cute African Kayayo sash for head carrying practices, after that I got caught up in trying to create a wicker basket in Houdini Engine, mainly since I want to use it later to create nice dungeon tiles for Eco’s adventuring part without having to fit pieces together constantly, it will look great!

Clay pot!

Clay pot!

I skipped out on doing that in Houdini and instead maybe a wheel for a chariot, then I turned it into a modern wheel and saved, so… Here’s a picture of my mistake.

EcoApril2nd

Lastly I watched a nice talk on VFX by Blizzard’s Lead Technical Artist Julian Love, I decided I just had to implement in Unity, here are the three textures used to make the effect possible.

Starting from the right is the main fire sprite, the alpha doubles as a mask for Additive and Alpha Blend as well as just plain old Alpha. Next up is a noise texture which makes the entire effect come to life and gives a flowing/flaming look without the use of a sprite sheet. Lastly, an optional life giver to add some colour variations to the fire.

fire textures clouds rendered

Textures used for the effect.

Here is the final test effect! This is nothing but a few particles which grow over time, while slowly moving upward, the entire effect is  being driven by the shader, extremely cheap, even for mobile!

Testing out Blizzard's Main VFX Shader from Diablo III

Testing out Blizzard’s Main VFX Shader from Diablo III


K I love being a teacher, especially one that have the luxury to teach my passion of game development, another reason is of course that I sometimes get the same time of from work as the students do meaning I can put all my focus on Eco Tales.

This week being one of those weeks I got the full seven days off to work but also some other interesting but game dev related things that I will tell you about.

Starting the week with full Eco time I have worked on making my previous work as crisp as possible and ready for testing before we can show you that progress, now considering we are still early in the process you might not be impressed but we can’t go from point A to C before visiting B for the quality reasons, we want to make this proper and not half-arsed and sloppy.

What we have so far code wise is a working camera system and player movement in the dungeon mode, and yes the game has two modes, adventuring and merchant mode. We have a inventory system and a weapon you can pick up and equip, a Bastard Sword to be exact and you can swing that around against a training dummy.

Bastard Sword

 

 

 

Hopefully we will be able to show you a short sequence of this in a near future.

I have also been working on our upcoming website for Eco Tales and that my good people is a show of dedication from my part, I absolutely loathe web design, web development, web anything, it is not for me but I do it anyway because it needs to be done, for the project and for you and when we are ready to announce it you can lay your eyes on it but for now it remains hidden from snoopy eyes.

I don’t know if you know this but besides working on Eco Tales I’m also a teacher over at LBS Kreativa Gymnasiet [SV] in Stockholm where I teach programming and game development for young ones in their late teens and this weekend was the time for the Swedish Game Awards Conference and one of your groups Red Line Games got the opportunity to exhibit their project Turf Wars made with the Unreal Engine.

4 player couch game

Turf Wars – Red Line Games

I could only be there for a little while on Friday, the first day because I had a moving in party the following day.

The event was great, good speakers and most importantly awesome games.

So it has been a busy week indeed and the final bit related to my work as a teacher was when some of my awesome students asked me before their week of if we could sit in school and make games, and me and my soft old game developer heart smiled at the thought and here I am happily working on Eco Tales while my great students are working on their projects, this is why I love being a teacher, that level of passion is something I want to be apart of.

LBS Stockolm students

LBS Stockholm students

Now after such a hectic week ending with a moving in party on my part, a few months too late I can finally rest my head on my pillow and look forward towards a new week tomorrow.

Cherio!

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