Saturday, November 5, 2011

Project canceled, so free resources and such.

There was two parts to the 3d Black Shadow game, the first being created in Duke3d as a total conversion and the latter using Evaldraw and a private copy of the build2 map editor.  However I'm not at liberty to release the build2 editor, you'll have to request that from Ken Silverman, however the code done in Evaldraw I'll will be providing.

The ED version of the code is far from finished, but contains a lot of the basics and if you know your stuff, or can figure out how to expand on it then you can use it for anything else.  Scroll past this for the Duke3d version.

Here is a package of demos I created for tech demonstrations. <Pre-compiled Demos>

Here is the last version of the code plus the resources and a few maps. <Code and base Resources>
And some notes. <Useful notes, needed for above.>

You can use maps from the original build engine, if you so desire, but may require some tweaking.  Also the water submerging effect was only made for the build2 maps.  Combat, pickups, and leveling should be working.  Basic jump, block, duck, attack functions, and weapon pickup included in code.  Textures that are animated need to be hard coded, the water and fire has already been included.  Sector and wall tags set them to animate.

Of course it would be easier in general to work with the duke3d version, although it uses lower resolution models for enemies.

To make things simple, I just packaged the entire dev folder for the Duke3d total conversion version.  It includes original graphics, notes, mockups, raw models, animated models, converted models, voxel models, image strips for making voxel models with Strip2Vox, palette tools, and various other things needed in development.

<Black Shadow Duke3d complete resources> - Huge file.

Tools required that are/may not be included.

Slab6, Sculptris, Anim8tor, MS Office or Open Office for documents.  Some PSD are included as well with layers and such.

The included Excel document includes most of the details you need to work with it, indexes in the ART files and DEF, enemy stats, planned enemy, item, and weapons stats, and conceived ideas on what resources would be needed, who was involved and so on.  Other tools related to voxel creation, and duke3d editing are also included.  A hacked version of  DukeRes is included do to issues I was having with a palette color and the transparent color conflicting that seems to occur in PCX images created in certain image editor like Adobe Photoshop.

For videos of gameplay for both the Duke3d version and Evaldraw versions are available on my youtube channel.  <Black Shadow Videos>

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The new engine, changes involved.

Now thankfully I got a good taste of what Evaldraw, the new engine for Black Shadow, can do with my early work with The Crawl.  With that project, the entire world was generated by voxel models, draw was handled by ray casting for objects(much faster) so there wouldn't be any over draw.

With wall, floor and ceiling tiles along be 64x64x? in voxel size, there was a lot of voxels put on the screen, and the performance was good on various systems.

Now combining a Build engine map, constructed of polygons for real unlike the Duke3d original engine(polymost and polymer for eduke32 are polygon based), and a faster voxel rendering, I can do a lot more, and handle higher quality models.

So lower resolution models are most likely going to be replaced with ones converted from actual 3d models I'll be creating in sculptris.

Also I'm going to have to create a new "engine" that behaves somewhat like the original build, with Evaldraw.  Thankfully Ken was kind enough to provide me with a script that contains all the basics I need to get started, I just need to invent additional sprite and sector effects for what I need.  Some things should be easy, others might not be.

I'm also considering upsizing enemy models, and I will also be adding additional frames of animation for them.

Currently the average enemy is 80 voxels high, I may double this, or just increase it an additional 50% for better detail.  Some monsters would benefit greatly from a higher resolution.

 Current progress on the new engine, I completed a rough method of entering water.  It needs some polish, but its true water entering unlike Duke3d where you are teleported to a different sector.  This is pulled off using Evaldraws ability to handle true rooms over rooms and using a dividing sector that is but a pixel thick.  Anything thicker and you start falling out of the map...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lets start over, new engine.

This is a sample video of a new version of the first map I've started for the Evaldraw engine.  After some playing around I've decided to make the switch do to a number of factors.  One of them is no limits on sectors, walls or sprites, something that posed a threat to some of my levels in the Eduke32 version.

That and the engine supports radial and spot lights, better voxel model rendering, and shadows.

The only thing I need to do is recreate the AI handling system, or at make something similar.  I'll still be using CON scripts from the Eduke32 as reference to develope the system and the monster's behavior.  Hopefully I can still retain Deeperthoughts assistance despite me no longer needing CON coding to work on the project.  Testing AI in eduke32 and attempting to match it in Evaldraw is going to be a challange.

Also maps are being redone for two reasons. 

1) Lighting effects negate all the shading methods I performed in the first several maps.  Shading will now be dependant on actual lighting.

2) True room's over rooms, meaning a lot of things I couldn't do I now can.  Meaning my vision of the maps has changed.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Map creation progress, and other details.

Currnetly the first map is just about done, all the essential areas are completed with some alternative routes and secret areas left to complete.

The player starts in the first area called 'Bloody Caverns' which is also the home to the palace of the Scarlet Queen.  The place has been gradually devoured by the earth and is left in a state of fractured ruins.

Dwelling within this area are three different monsters, and the queen's personal guardian.

The Formless, a blob of mass that represents and completed dominated soul cursed into a mass of shadow.  They spit globs of their own fluids which burns the player and temporarily blinds him.  Aside from being annoying, they area realtively harmless compared to more humanoid monsters.

The Henchman is a soldier under loyalty to the queen.  They will charge and strike with the insetted hatred to you as you had slain her in the name of the king when they all once lived.

The Bowman is the quiet deadly sniper for the queen.  They lurk in hidden places and attempt to pick you off from afar.  They have no true means to protect themselves in close combat, so they tend to flee or stay out of sight.

The Guardian, the upper half of the queen's guardian.  In battle the player had sliced the guardian in two, leaving him only half of what he was.  The dark powers of the shadow and his hatred has twisted his form and his desire to seek your destruction is undying.

The Scarlet Queen, once to be wed to the king, this devious woman secretly enjoyed in the slaughter of innocents and opponents alike.  At times taking the killing into her own hands.  Her bitter defeat at your hands left her pinned into her throne with a sword, waiting for you to show yourself again...

The second area that directly follows is more a transitional area, which will link up with about 4 different maps.  At this time all maps are planned to be revistable

This area, called Sparrow Valley, was once a fairly open area of grass lands dotted with trees near the mountains.  To the west lies a small town affixed to the Baron's Keep.  These people live in fear of both the Baron and the Queen's goons if they wander into their town.  Nearby a massive sink hole sucks in and corrupts the surrounding earth, a ominous tower with massive gemstones sticks out in the middle.  The valley is now littered with massive chasms that spawn from the sinkhole.

Monsters from both the Queen and Baron wonder this area and will kill one another if they meet.  But they'll most likely focus on you.

In the Baron's ranks are the following...

Silent Soldier, they do not speak, they only seek and destroy their targets.  They are stronger and tougher than the Queen's soldiers.

Quivering, similar to the Formless, except more aggressive, can leap long distances and has an acidic touch.  Far more dangerous then the other.

Broken Shade, these hunched servants to the Baron are not his strongest, but their ability to vanish into thin air and still strike you is their strong point.  They will sneak up on you and appear to rapidly strike at you before fleeing and vanishing again.

Steadfast Guard generally stay where they are put, but once they see you they stand guard and prepare for attack.  Their range is great with their halbreds and are capable of sending shock force from their swings to get you at a distance.  They are very tough and hard to knock down.  Thus they tend to stay infront of importance entrances.

More details as they develope...

Here's a more recent video and a sample map of the first two areas.
As you can see in this video, I recolored some of the tiles, among other additons and replacements.  Still plan on touching up the font since  the 3's look like 8's and so on.  But that's the price you pay with a fancy font in a lower resolution.  Its really just a matter of shaving some pixels off.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Current Monster made and in the works.

Currently I'm not sure what the total count for monsters will be, I have a certain set planned from the original but there are still two addition groups.

So to start let me break down the different groups of units you will encounter.

1) Red Units - Belong to the Scarlet Queen
2) Green Units - Belong to the Baron
3) Yellow Units - Belong to the Shadow
4) Blue Units - Belong to the Mage*

*also includes neutral townfolk who have been cursed.  The player is also blue do to being cursed by the mage.

Currently in the works are:

Henchman - Red Unit - Complete

Bowman - Red Unit - Modeled

Formless - Red Unit - Needs coding

Guardian - Red Unit, Mini Boss - Complete

Shademer - Yellow Unit - Complete

There are 3 enemy units, two mini-boss and a boss planned for the green.

3 units and one 1 boss planned so far for yellow, but more will be added.

Nothing designed for the blue units beside the player and neutral town unit.

Enemy units are not all allies and tend to attack one another. Killing a neutral unit, though, is a bad thing.

This newest video shows some of the new destroyable objects and some increase gib splattering of the enemies.

However I've made a few changes since this video and certain textures and gib spawning have been altered. Waterfall effects may be changed too.

More details on enemies upcoming...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A 2d game made 3d but still 2d?

For awhile now I've been in and out of doing or planning something that makes use of voxels.

I had rebooted The Crawl, a planned dungeon crawler rpg that's doubles and an editor and creator not unlike RPG Maker and the likes.  However time limitations and techincal troubles have stunted this.

However one day I was browsing around the internet and started to get renewed interest in Voxels being done in some classic engines.  Doom had recently added voxels, but Duke3d and the Build engine had it in there from the start.

Knowing how well Ken's engine's perform with voxels, I decided to give it a go and convert Black Shadow, my platforming Castlevania style game into 3d.  In a sense it will be like making a Castlevania game 3d but still a Castlevania type game.  Unfortunatly Castlevania itself has never been translated to 3d properly.

Thus I'll be creating a complete original total conversion inspired by both Metroid and Castlevania.

The story behind Black Shadow is that you play a knight recently cursed into the form of shadow and faced with the foes of his past, revived as solid shadows.

He must re-defeat his former enemies and find a way to turn back to his normal state and escape the world of the shadows.

Graphics, at least strututure wise are being taken directly from the platformer with objects being converted into voxels.

Character models, and a few others are being created in Sculptris, converted with Poly2vox and shaded and touched up in Slab6.

Before being converted into voxels, I use Anim8tor to do the boning and animation.  Do to the fact that voxels hender the loading time, and too many high detail models can effectly kill the engine, I'm keep resolutions modest and animations close or the same amounts as Duke3d's.

And heres the same model converted, recolored and shaded.  Use of top shading in Slab6 to create the detail since actual voxel shading in the Build engine is on a per-object-per-sector basis.

This is the original platformer's cast of characters as of the last I've worked on it.  There are still more to do, so far only the Henchman, Bowman, Guardian and Formless have models.  Only the Guardian and Henchman have been animated.

CON scripting is being handled by Deeper Thought who's resposible for DukePlus, a rehauling of Duke3d's gameplay and hi-res updates and WSGR2, a total conversion of Duke3d that has a ton of impressive modifications to the CON code.

As for game play features, here's what's planned and in the works:

  Leveling system
  Money/Shop system
  Shield blocking system
  Interconnected Maps, revisiting, saved states
  All new weaponry and items
  Large levels with lots of secrets, alternative paths
  Two Episodes, 14 levels total
  5 Major bosses, 5 Sub-Bosses
  Original Music
  Pots and Barrels drop random loot
  Weapons and shield breakdown
  Custom AI monsters.
  And so on...

At the time it's prefered to use Classic Rendering to achieve voxels, although OpenGL 32bit mode in Eduke32 does handle voxels, there's some drawbacks with speed and custom scaling.  The scaling can be handled but the speed could be a probably if it persist on faster computers.  An alternative is converting the voxel objects into polygon models for alternative play in a different renderer, but that'll have to wait until things are near the wrapping up phase.

In the mean time here's a few video links.