Aug 152016
 

Neutral_Villain_01

Things are returning to normal after vacations and other unforeseen circumstances.

Let’s see what the boys have been up to over the last week.


J Starting off I’ve radically improved the water shader and the automatic flow map generation, check it out, pretty neat for an automagic system, wouldn’t you say?

Aug10th_WaterFlow

There are multiple parts to this, part of it is shader based, but most of it is done in Houdini, clamping the red channel helped a lot with consistency,  across the surface, here you can see the difference in colors from the last week to this week.

July28th_AutoFlowmap

Before

The red areas above are the main reason to the flow seen below, however, some broken math inside of the shader didn’t help!

Aug10th_Waterflow

Aug10th_Houdini

After

The color of the terrain (red, green and blue) only relates to material type so that can be ignored, what is interesting is how subtle the red gradient is in this new version.

I’m still trying to figure out how to make the water flow, away and around based upon a general ocean direction, but I will put that on the shelf for now, most players wouldn’t notice it anyways!

I’ve also created and scraped two terrain systems over the last week, I may post a break down later, but I didn’t find them to be useful, at least not for Eco Tales.


K After two failed albums and a rather unfavourable review from, “Positive Reviews inc.” Krister is now back on track with game development.


J I managed to catch Lech in the act of listening to the first single.

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Song free intro.

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Singing starts.

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Three seconds pass.

Screaming_Villain_01

Four seconds in.

Angry_Villain_02

Five seconds.

Gaping_Villain_01

Mp3 player off.


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Aug 112016
 

Jawning_Villain_01

Doesn’t look like a lot has happened this week, although, allegedly making water look worse takes a very very long time.


J I have not managed to do too much this week, at least not on the game, but what has been done is quite cool, if I may say so myself!

Aug10th_Waterflow

Here is the shader to which I’ve added flow (vertex map) functionality, working side by side with the Digital Asset I created in Houdini, as you can clearly see here, the flow map is way too strong, that’s something I will have to managed next week.

I’ve also started working on a custom terrain tool for Eco Tales, that will suit our needs, everything will be built by hand but placed procedurally, in a way that will make sense to all of you readers once I start showing off the assets I have planed.

Suffice to say, there will be no measurements and strict asset height, widths and lengths to fit into a grid based system!

Aug7th_Wall

Ack, definitely going to have to send along some attributes to keep walls from being built upon water and similar surfaces!

Houdini… I can’t recommend it enough, can’t wait for the moment when time allows for a deep plunge into simulations of various fluids and destruction!


K Krister is working on his Hip-Hop career currently, this is a graph in Lech form predicting the buildup of his fandom.

July26th_fracturingRealTimeReverese


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Aug 052016
 

Selfie_Villain_01

For this week’s recap I had to take a selfie, as Jona didn’t have the time to take a picture of me, I think it turned out quite well, I’m much better at this than he ever was!

The fun is over, let’s see what the boys have been up to.


JBeing an avid KJ blog follower, you probably already saw this, but I created a short tutorial on getting pre-fractured animations from Houdini into Unity. If you didn’t see it, I don’t blame you, but do make sure you head over to that post, after reading this one.

Due to a family tragedy this post is rather late, but hey, better late than never, as some people I know are very keen on saying.

Let’s start off with what you’ll be able to do if you follow the above mentioned tutorial, pretty cool, isn’t it? Imagine doing that to a door or a chest your character’s been beating at for a while!

July26th_fracturingRealTime

One of the main things I’ve been working on this week is a water shader for the game, and to help me in that endeavour I’ve used a custom Houdini asset which easily allows me to raise and lower water levels and create peaks of different heights.

With that said, it’ll work on any surface and the waves are fully customizable inside of the shader.

July31st_WaterTest

I have since creating that gif also added in a flowmap which is automatically generated based upon where islands are intersecting the water, it colours the verts and then smooths it into a plane which looks like this.

July28th_AutoFlowmap

There’re a lot of other things I’d like to share as well, but that would make this post a bit too long and I’d rather have it more easily googleable than in just a “regular” Weekly Recap, so look forward to that mostly Houdini and shader centric post, soon… ish.

Joul-joul over and out!


K Boy oh boy did I have a bad week, completely overtaken by a cold bringing me to the brim of death. Even Mr Plešec almost felt sorry for me, almost…

3D printed Lech

3D printed Lech

What energy I did have went into doing these 16 hours 3d prints of Lech 3D printed Lech Plešec this time much larger than the first and just waiting for a paint job by me and Jona.

Well now when this cold is finally starting to change for the better we are beginning to finalize some parts of what we have so far to put together some early gameplay.

This week also marks the end of my vacation so back to work.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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May 172016
 

ProfilePicFinalArtStation

Oh my! A scary amount of things have happened this week what with one of my devs being sick and having been unable to party for a weekend.

Others than me have received clothes now and I’ve brought out some pillows and such for you to put your merchandise on once you’ve rented that patch of land from me.

Ambrosia isn’t too happy with my company though, so you should get here quickly, she is YOUR pet after all.


JI’ve been sick! Huzza, loads of things have been finished thanks to this, also I’ve held my final lecture at Uni so that didn’t take any time either.

So what have I done then you ask? Let’s start off with this image of some tables and merchandise holders.

EcoMay14th

With the help of Marvelous Designer I was able to very quickly create table cloths and some rather nice pillows for showing off merchandise.

I also created a new PBR shader for the cloth which allows for more advanced manipulation of detail textures, you will be able to buy patterns and cloth colors to customize everything about your shop!

EcoMay15th_Instagram

As you can see, this isn’t restricted to your shop, you will also be able to customize your clothes to fit with your personal style!


K It continues being the end of the semester, on top of that what little time I did have I spent on Gotland celebrating the birthday of my partner, her sister AND her mother, I did this of course with great dubiously joy.

For Eco Tales my work on AI continues, trying to reach our first basic and primitive something to fight against, doing so I have introduced a small bug which I’m sure is an easy fix as soon as I have more than a few minutes to spend on it.

Much joy and hopefully a can scramble together some more time for next week.

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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 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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Mar 212016
 

Two months now, time sure goes by quickly when you’re having fun. Which we are! A lot of nice things have been said about the game since we went live last week.

What is the game really about many have asked and well, we’ll get to that soon!


JSo what have I done this week? Mainly painting swords, but it’s been a busy week at work so I’ve done way less than I wanted to.

Here’s the main villain on Sketchfab!

Looks mad doesn’t he, might be because you haven’t yet liked our Facebook page! So get on over there and like it!

Four low tire swords for sale!

Four low tire swords for sale!

We’re going to need a lot of different weapons and armours for the adventuring part of the game, I’ve had my fun creating these four base swords which we will need when we show off how different sword weights influence your adventurers’ swings!

Next up is the first set of armour and the interior of the shop where you’ll be able to sell these wonderful swords to customers and even friendly adventurers looking for an upgrade.

Alright, phew, so, I’m not really known for my 2D skills but since we want feedback from fellow devs and gamers I’ve got to bite the dust, would you like to see an adventurer you hire in @EcoTalesGame wear something like what I’ve painted below?

Speed concepts

Speed concepts

Here are two variations of a low tire leather armour, one of them complete with a duelling vambrace, the 3D version will most likely look quite different and naturally be a lot more detailed, there’s also a high tire steel armour on display.

While these wouldn’t land me a job as a concept artist I know what to take away form them when I go into 3D, and that is enough, time is a precious commodity after all.

Since we’re on the subject of concept art, the right most one is my first attempt, I spent way more time on it than any of the others, most of that time was spent just rendering each piece, and putting them into layers. I never stopped to consider the change in silhouette or if the design was at all interesting.

photoshop concept

Time waste traps!

Isn’t it lovely, that amount of work and dedication put into each piece of the armour, named layers and a pattern layer not to break what’s underneath… But in all fairness, isn’t it just… Brown? As well as dull design-wise? It barely changes up the silhouette and… It’s brown, I don’t be dissin’ on brown but how about throwing in some blues? Like in the second concept that took a fraction of the time.

Learn from my mistakes young pawans and sithlings, first silhouette, then values (enough to bring out a shape), after that toss in some colour and voila, concept art! Want my number one time saving tip? Well, you’re getting it anyway!

  • Set your brush to 100% opacity with only line thickness based on pressure.
  • Then try to use no more than 3 colours/values to define your concept.
  • You know you can’t make it perfect so you’ll stop as soon as it looks like the design you’ve got brewing inside of your head!

Oh, back to the number four again, including the fit female we now have four body types. These three body types will be what all other human males are built upon, we’d love some feedback on this, different enough or nawwt? There will naturally be more skin tones and different characters will have different faces, but model-wise this is looking to be it!

Three male bodies and one female so far.

Three male bodies and one female so far.


 

K I have managed to spend my entire weekend on Eco Tales, pure joy!

Swordplay

Warrior poses with Butcher Sword

The combat in Eco Tales is physics based meaning that if the weapon actually touches the enemy during and attack there is a good chance some serious damage will be dealt, unless your Kung Fu is weak of course, but remember practise makes perfect.

So one of the things I have done this weekend is prototyping such a system and we now have a beautiful (programmer made) area in which you can try your chances against a dummy trainer.

A game like Eco Tales requires some fine tuned camera work and animations and I believe that is something that will require our attention throughout the complete development time of the game but I believe I got the first system ready for testing and evaluation to see if we need to rethink it all together or go forward with this style.

Well after such a great weekend filled with much work and little sleep I think I deserve a trip to the gym and some housework so I will hopefully hear from you next week for some more great news and progress.