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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Virginia Beach, VA
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    861

    WIP - Chronos78's XNA Xtreme Space Fighter v.2


    Latest Screenshot




    -----------------


    This thread has been moved from the XNA Xtreme forum so that I may show off what I've learned in the XNA class and take it further as I develop this Space Fighter v2 project


    Update: 1.17.2009



    Since it's been almost 6 months to the day that this project began I figured the original post could stand an update to showcase the progress that has been made. While it's indeed been almost six months about 4 or 5 of those involved me slacking off and doing other things. So in reality this is about a month's worth of solid work. !!!XNA Rocks!!!


    Original Post:

    It's been brought to my attention that my first Space Fighter was not Space Fighter that it was in fact Cannon 3 and therefore does not count as Space Fighter. Also Buzz requested that I collaborate with Joker to produce a totally kick @$$ Space Fighter. So once again Laser Bikes will be shelved for awhile as this project is in the works.

    This is actually the 3rd day that I've been working on it and the 1st day that there is something fairly impressive to present to you guys.

    Day one was just watching the Space Fighter VTM's and roughing in the framework for the game engine as well as adding some person touches of course. Like a completely different input handling system. So no screen shots for the 1st day.

    Day two is when things got interesting. I added the ability to draw textures maps to a polygon and then apply a displacement map to that polygon to simulate height. The result was...


    The terrain is blurry because there is only a single tile aka polygon at this point which has been scaled up to cover the entire screen. But it did prove that my concept was possible.

    Day three started of with getting the tile system in place for the terrain. So now instead of a single tile making up the terrain for the level, there are 440 tiles or polygons in the terrain.


    Like the first image these are just temporary textures and sprites. Here you can see that the terrain is capable of much finer detail once all the tiles are put in place. This tile system is of course not without its issues. The biggest being the shear amount of memory required to hold all the textures. A quick calculation shows that a single tile with a diffuse map and displacement map each 512x512 takes up 2MB of memory. Now when you consider that the terrain consists of 440 tiles that means the system could potentially use up to 880MB of memory. All of which would have to be created by hand for every single level in the game.

    That left me with a major problem to resolve. After considering various memory management schemes: dynamic content loading, repeatable tiles, etc. I decided to use procedural terrain generation. Nothing like doing it the hard way. It is more difficult but it looks cool if you can get it to work correctly. The upshot of it is all the terrain for all 440 tiles is created using only 5 tileable textures and it looks like this when its done.


    There is still a ton of work to do. As you can see the tiles are still very apparent. That is because the terrain generation is handled via an HLSL shader whichs works off of a height map and a displacement map and currently those maps are being repeated across every tile. I'm very happy with it and think it looks fairly good, now the problem. For this terrain be the correct scale and seamless there has to be a different height map and displacement map for each tile that align perfectly with their neighboring tiles. Alright not a problem. Just download some DEM data extract it into Photoshop make sure its 5632x20480 turn it into a height map and a displacement map and then slice it up into small 512x512 maps, presto all done. Oh wait, that's 2 maps at 1MB each, times 440 tiles or 880MB's of textures. Damn it! I'm right back where I started. Now what? Actually the solutions is to generate the height maps and displacement maps at run time. Well it's that or load a huge texture into system memory and cut out pieces as necessary. (That idea is still on the table.) I'm not sure how exactly to do the former but I'm guessing that using a perlin noise function that can be seeded to ensure repeatability would do the trick. Then I'm going to have to figure out how to generate a normal map from a height map to be used as a displacement map. Yup I definitely took the easy way out on this one.

    As a side note: all this talk about terrain generation may have you wondering why the hell is it needed for a "SPACE" Fighter game. Well the answer is simple it isn't going to be in space. I'm taking my game play cues from Raiden II and if everything works out the way I plan it will be a steampunk style game taking place at the turn of last century. Think Jules Verne or Steamboy and you'll have some idea of what I have in mind.
    Last edited by chronos78; 02-06-2009 at 01:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    434
    images don't work

    *edit* wtf now they are cool ideas and looks great as always
    My 3DS Max Sprite Sheet Renderer
    A government big enough to give you everything you want,
    is strong enough to take everything you have.
    -- Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,529

    Cool

    Cool stuff. I look forward to seeing what you will do with it. Glad to have you in the class, it is always inspiring to see what you are working on, not to mention a little intimidating. Good luck on all this stuff for your Cannon 4... er I mean space fighter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    6,333
    Did you submit a basic version of your Light Bikes to meet the class requirements or do you just plan to get back to it before the deadline (if/when one is announced)? (I just want to make sure I didn't miss something)

    Anyway, as expected, this looks totally awesome. Although I am surprised you aren't using Google maps combined with topological data to create a realistic Earth that you can fly around

    Can you give us a hint as to what features you are going to put in?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    861
    I did turn in a version of Laser Bikes to Buzz that was complete enough to match what was provided in the VTM's (ie. the bikes moved, jet walls followed the bikes, collision detection between bikes and walls and bike to bike, and walls collapsed after collisions. This however is by no means a complete game and no where near the standards that I set for myself, which is why it was never released it to you guys and why it keeps getting put on hold. I do intend on finishing it at some point and then putting it up for download. The only problem is that Jason keeps coming up with all these really fun side projects that distract me.

    I'm currently using DEM's to generate the height & displacement maps which are a special type of satelite photo. The area in the last image is of the Elizabeth River near my home. I didn't want to use google earth since those photos contain buildings and vehicles that would be flat and completely out of place in the late 1800's, early 1900's.

    As to what kinds of features might be included, well I'm thinking about the following:
    - the lightning gun from Raiden II by request, actually it was more of a demand
    - the ability to scroll the map to the left and right slightly
    - trees and buildings that can be burned & blown up
    - deformable terrain that will crater when you drop a bomb on it
    - shadows from ships and clouds casted on the ground
    - clouds, smoke, steam, explosions, and other particles effects
    - since the terrain is actually 3D it will have lambert shading for the ground and phong shading for snow and water
    - animated water
    - post effects to include possibly a day / night cycle
    - a mixture of sprites & 3D that will be made with a combination of Silo, Maya, ZBrush, and Photoshop

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Sowerby Bridge, UK
    Posts
    935
    Damn you!

    I have also been playing with landscape backgrounds, but I was going down the route of a fractally generated landscape instead. I have it working as a rough version, but have not yet made the jump into 3d so only display something as a rough height field so far.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    3dbuzzmania
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    4,064
    Simply awesome. Can't wait to see progress on that puppy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    6,333
    That is quite the feature list! Raiden was my biggest influence but I had no idea how to do the lightning gun. I am really excited to see you implement all of these.

    I am sorry you didnt want to release a WIP of your Laser Bikes though. I know I was not alone in drooling whenever you posted your screenshots from that.

    Good luck with Space Fighter!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    962
    Nice start Chronos, I always enjoy watching you progress through your projects, can't wait to see more

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    370
    Looks like it will be another kick-a$$ game from you as always.

    Haven't you missed the original classroom members XSP deadline with this though (j/k)


    XNA Tip #1: Take it easy on the garbage collector, and your performance will thank you.

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