November 04 2012: Status Update

 

Lobby Screen:

Hello crew!

For the past month or so we’ve been busy little bees, getting our foundations in place and preparing for what we’ll require for alpha. Our resident artist Supernorn has been working on the new lobby screen to replace our rather hideous placeholder!

Here’s a quick (not final) work in progress snap of how it’s coming along. Text content kindly borrowed from Goonstation .

The new lobby screen for SS13

Code:

On the code front, Enstorm has begun switching out our back-end graphics library from gorgon to SFML. Changing to SFML (Simple and Fast Multimedia Library) offers better cross-platform compatibility, better speed and allows us to do some more advanced things rendering wise since we have almost direct access to the OpenGL layer (whereas before we were relying on Directx 9). Opting for OpenGL is also necessary to future proof the game, what with Windows 8 recently dropping support for Directx 9.

Code wise there isn’t a whole lot left for the alpha, with the exception of a few things that could be tidied up and possibly re-factored after the switch takes place.

Human Mobs:

Our recently appointed modeller Hamshot has wasted no time whatsoever, cranking out a human model with a bunch of wearable items. Not only that, he’s in charge of creating our animations. The current method which we’re investigating is the creation of a low-poly 3D model which is then rendered out frame by frame and exported as a selection of 2D sprites. This method will save hundreds of hours of time and effort that would be required to do this by hand.

Here are some extremely first pass preliminary tests, with placeholder textures. But these generally show the method we’re investigating. Also note Hamshot has created a seperate walking animation for when you’re wearing heavier gear!

Preliminary first pass results below. These are tests to see how effectively we can achieve the ‘pixel look’ from a sprite exported from a 3D model

Preliminary first pass of 2D Sprite exported from 3D model Preliminary first pass of 2D Sprite exported from 3D model.

Got feedback? Join in the discussion here! Don’t forget to follow us on twitter, or like us on facebook – where we’ll post small updates every now and again.

17 thoughts on “November 04 2012: Status Update

  1. trbinsc

    Wow, this is looking awesome! One question though, when you say cross platform compatibility, does that mean support for OSX or linux?

    Reply
  2. Temia Eszteri

    Looking good! At this juncture though, might be worth just using the models straight up in the game. Trim down the polycount a little if you want, set up UVs, mark anchoring points for item positioning, etc. Assuming the graphics library you’re using is capable of rendering 3D models or allowing another library render on top of them, I guess. Hm.

    Reply
  3. Fayt

    Just putting in my 2 Cents worth of support. Keep it up. It looks way better than the byond version and I appreciate all the hard work your team is putting into the project. Much success.

    Reply

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