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Let's Make a Game - Procedual Content Creation (part 03)

About: This is a short series for the Leadwerks community on the process of creating a simple game using procedural content.   This week we implement the map creation process discussed in part 02 then add the mesh generation and a controller to fly around our level. Then we'll have the first iteration of our procedurally generated map.   Part 01 Part 02       Starting with the Map class.   Map:Create Function...first iteration, no corridors.   Simple nested for-loop to generate a ro

Flexman

Flexman

Let's Make a Game - Procedual Content Creation (part 02)

About: This is a short series for the Leadwerks community on the process of creating a simple game using procedural content.   In part 01 we looked at one theory of generating random maps in the style of old school dungeon crawlers. This week we'll put that into practice to generate map data, room geometry and mesh colliders. The easy part was adding a flying physics based camera to act as our first-person flown "spaceship".     Again I want to flag I'm not a LUA expert, this is not a LUA t

Flexman

Flexman

Let's Make a Game - Procedual Content Creation (part 01)

About: This is a short series for the Leadwerks community on the process of creating a simple game using procedural content.   A short while ago I was approached to write a book on terrain generation using dedicated tools for a variety of game engines. There's a lot more to game content than just terrains. Josh's recent blogs on CSG got me thinking about one of my favourite games and had me itching to re-visit the genre.       This series is an exploration of topics I don't normally exerci

Flexman

Flexman

Mossie concept art

Just a short post since I'm busy being pulled in a dozen different directions; I got roped into helping someone create a short health and safety film, drafting a project proposal, raising finances and even managed to fix a long standing bug in Combat-Helo. Now the sensors, line of sight and all that guff is now WORKING again, Hooray. A quick background on that, an engine update needed to fix some occlusion issues slightly changed the Model hierarchy in a subtle way that changed how actual filen

Flexman

Flexman

US Army presents "Mast Bumping"

I know it's a little late for Valentines Day. Excessive flapping, bumping and separation is discussed in this priceless US Army video from 1980. If only they had "RotorCam ™". The Apache has a fixed rotor, mast bumping isn't an issue but it's all part of helicopter theory.       I've been forced to continue hunting for other employment to deal with a mounting debt crisis. As a result work was put on hold the past two weeks (hence the lack of updates). I apologise for letting my post sli

Flexman

Flexman

Stuff you thought was going to be simple but wasn't

Swimming was one.   Setting up controllers in XPlane is another.   Yes the things you thought were going to take a few days which turned into a week and a bit (you could almost say 'two weeks'). Josh at Leadwerks gave me a leg-up on how to put an MMO style launcher together and I've almost done wrapping up all the security for the necessary database, key code generation, CVS style updates and all the stuff we need to match individual content to clients. We'll make available downloadable cont

Flexman

Flexman

Nothing serious but one reader sent in this...

From an Australian gaming mag (and those guys are tough cookies) at the bottom of a review of Take On Helicopters...     Thanks for the mention guys the picture is a bit out of date though, but what the hell.   Source

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Flexman

Smoke ribbons, when emitters are too slow

Particle engines are commonly used for fire and smoke effects adding a lot of eye-candy for little effort. Every frame an emitter creates a number of billboard sprites along a vector. Normally this is not an issue when movement along this vector between frames is quite small.   But what if you're talking about something that moves really fast between frames? Such as a rocket launcher or space-ship? Fellow Brit and indy developer Cliff Harris of Gratuitous Space Battles fame ran into the same p

Flexman

Flexman

Fingers crossed for good weather on Tuesday

Fingers crossed the weather is not too bad tomorrow at Gilze-Rijen air force base. Our man in the Netherlands is prepared for a day of audio recording for the Apache and Chinook.   Good luck Reck. Weather is pretty lousy here, high winds, low temps and rain, sat images and forecast is so-so. Expect wet weather and don't forget the 'dead cat'   Source

Flexman

Flexman

Tuesday - map almost completed

Spent a lot of time today house cleaning. No not code, literally the house. It's amazing what teenagers can do to your treasured Monty Python DVD collection, it's not funny. Stop that, it's silly.   I over-complicated the map drawing and stripped it down. Added functionality to the TSD page for controlling the map scale. I'm happy that it will work with 3rd party maps too. Oh I just noticed in the screen shots the scale index is off by one.   The green colour is from the low elevation rang

Flexman

Flexman

TSD started, avoiding work for a Split Second

Another little progress update but first a diversion. Yesterday I took some time-off to brush up on gaming skills and really enjoyed Disney Interactive's "Split Second", one of the few car games I keep going back to since I typically find racing games tedious (lack of skill and patience on my part). However this game is almost pure adrenaline and I find my self coming back to try and shave off 2 seconds while avoiding exploding aircraft and collapsing control towers. Split Second is actually the

Flexman

Flexman

Virtual Waypoint Marker

The HMD of the new MTADS Apache comes with a number of 'virtual' items displayed to the pilot. The currently selected waypoint is made virtual in cruise and tranistion modes, the waypoint position is marked with a flat bottomed diamond with a dot in the centre. See the take-off point (W00) on the image below.   Flying with the flight path marker inside this symbol and you should head right to that spot.   Waypoint marker     Source

Flexman

Flexman

Not a good sign - drive IO failiure

Another disaster strikes, PC wont boot at all. Strange thing happens on the BIOS screen, the moment any attempt to detect any drives (and I tried a few different drives that I know were fine), a bright underscore character appears under the circled comma (picture above).   So apart from my laptop I'm now without a working PC and no means to fix it atm :/   Source

Flexman

Flexman

HMD flight symbology

More flight symbology added today. Raining almost non-stop and my cars wiper motor has failed, so wasn't going anywhere.   We added a couple of items that make it possible to do some precise flying.   Velocity Vector Acceleration Cue The Velocity Vector is the blob on the stick that originates from the cross in the centre of the HMD. This is a representation of the direction and speed of your aircraft. Think of these as "top down" views with your aircraft in the middle, forwards move

Flexman

Flexman

HMD virtual symbology

HMD = Helmet Mounted Display   Remember when Virtual Reality was going to be the next big thing? Seems odd having to re-create something virtual in a game that is virtual, the modern Apache has evolved a bit since the late 1990s. Being able to display in the pilots 3D monocle (yes that's a joke) a lot of data to the crew about targets hidden behind objects, terrain contours. These 'virtual' items are matched 1:1 with the crews head movement unlike a lot of the symbology that is static.   The

Flexman

Flexman

ENG rebuilt

Been pretty ill this last week, progress has been sporadic. I took time out to rebuild the engine code so it's now the same for all Apaches, AI and player alike.   Pilot feedback from screen-shots and videos also allowed me to rebuild the whole engine start-up and ENG display page. Automatically switches to in-flight mode. Things blink, change colour, are boxed appropriately. Couple of bits left to do, the biggest headache was dealing with all the fiddly scale changes and adding new code to si

Flexman

Flexman

Combat-Helo to offer a special 2D mode

That's right. No 3D glasses will be required. Full support for the very latest 2D high-resolution monitors will be included, no additional headache inducing hardware will be required.   (yes I am loosing my mind)   Source

Flexman

Flexman

Tonight I have mostly been coding...rotor RPM

Actually the rotor brake system. I'm not really clear what would happen if the rotor brake is off when you move the power levers from the Idle to Fly position. Procedures say DONT, return the switch back to on until the engines are at flight speed (approx 100%). Once the engines are happily settled at flight speed flip the brake off and the rotors begin to turn. Watch the rotor RPM gauge on the MFD until it's in the yellow close to 100% then you're good to go.   Conversely, I'm not too clear w

Flexman

Flexman

Units, Events and Triggers

I'm putting together specifications on the mission side of the game. To me, the bit that you 'play' is every bit as important as the simulation side, and while it's taken a back seat for now, things are getting to the point where it's time to get on and make it all work. Going through some of my older material on this, it needs to play like Longbow 2, have the crew management elements from Gunship 2000 and strategy elements from tactical board games on guerilla warfare and a bit of a story eleme

Flexman

Flexman

New video finally ... free flight

Finally a video showing the free flight mode we really wanted to show at Summer Sim 2010. Thanks AD for doing an amazing job of making it all look good.     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ILqIQDaio     Sorry about the lack of blade-cam, LUA object reference problem. Will get it sorted.

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Flexman

Camp....insert name here

AD has been working on a new FOB which will be the "other" main camp you'll be deployed at during the course of the campaign.   It's a triangle arrangement used by some forward operational bases. Here the CH47s are ready to be deployed.     And finally..   Don't have a name for the camp yet.   Source

Flexman

Flexman

Missing lighting knob

Dave, the kids must have been playing "pilot" again, they've gone and pulled off the knob for the standby instrument lighting, make it like the other two rotaries. I'll fix the camera clipping on the seat     Source

Flexman

Flexman

Saitek Instrument Panel test

Had a quick play with Saitek's DirectOutput SDK, results are mixed but not bad. The MFD resolution in Combat-Helo is a native 512x512 and the Saitek Flight Instrument Panel is VGA 320x240, there's a bit of difference.   Sampling the buffer down to a smaller surface and then adding a suitable BMP header to send over to the device. Remarkably easy. I'll have three more please Saitek   BUT please can you make an FIP version two with a 512x512 square ratio display? Or at least increase the ve

Flexman

Flexman

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