Mork Calling Drilian, Come in, Drilian

I haven’t had nearly as much time to get stuff done at home as I’d like, as work has been a bit of a scramble recently. Working ridiculously hard at a code-related day job and then coming home and trying to code is…difficult. And recently, highly unsuccessful.

However, this last weekend I was able to get a few things done.

Silos Are Not Just For Grain and Missiles

First up, I decided to check out Nevercenter Silo, a 3D modeling program that I swear has to be the easiest-to-use modeling software I have ever SEEN. For some reason, this software just completely clicks with me.

Maybe it’s that it allows me to start with something as simple as a box and push/pull/extrude/warp/etc it slowly into the shape that I want, or maybe it’s that it has built-in support for symmetrical modeling (you basically model HALF of a model and the other half changes shape along with it). It’s hard to say. However, it feels more like sitting down with clay and slowly morphing it into the shape that I want vs. the usually-cumbersome task of modeling a 3D mesh.

Consequently, not terribly long after I got it, I modeled what will likely be the first ship for my new game!

Click to enlarge

I used subdivision surfaces to do the modeling, so the source geometry (pictured to the left above) is actually rather simple. But when subdivided, it forms (what I think is) a pretty cool-looking spacecraft.

S.S. Procedural Is Leaving Port

I also managed to get my procedural content (textures, mostly) generation ported over to run on XNA (from C++, so it was a bit of work). Since I’m aiming to release this game as part of the XNA dealy on the 360 (with an option for XBLA if I’m really, really lucky), I’ve been taking great care in ensuring that it is going to run well on the Xbox 360. So far, so good. I have background asset generation working, etc etc.

But more importantly, I have my ship model loading into the game.

AND it’s procedurally textured using my super-spiffo texture generation framework, so that’s awesome, too.

Check it: (Yes, that is a wireframe bezier patch in the background and yes, that means I’m also going to have procedural geometry generation)

Click to enlarge

So, to sum: not a lot of coding done (the overwhelming majority of that has been done at work), but I do finally have some pretty new screenshots!

The Topics Grew In Fields

A few things to talk about this entry (no screenshots, but there is an MP3 later):

Cube Farm

Cube farm is declared complete. I decided not to add any polish to it, because it was simply a test of my game development framework. It gave me a large list of things that I need to work on (better UI layout control, ability to put 3D objects into the UI, menuing systems, better input setup, etc) before moving on to the next game. Which brings us to…

Next Project

In keeping with my Konami-inspired game development theme, the next game that I’m planning will be a side-scrolling space shoot-em-up similar to Gradius.

The plan, however, is to have all of the entities and backgrounds be full 3D and make use of some of the higher-level features of my framework (some of which are actually implemented). These features include (but are not limited to):

  • Procedurally-generated textures (on-the-fly, cached in, no tiling)
  • instancing
  • Multi-core support
  • Procedural geometry

New Song

I was finally able to break through my composer’s block and get something (ANYTHING!) composed. I like it, though it’s a bit longer than it needs to be. Oh well, that I got anything written at all is good enough right now. I’ve been on a dry streak since the end of Mop of Destiny.

MP3: Longing – 4:31 (6.5 MB)