Archive for April, 2009

From sketch to model

Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update! As promised: now delivered weekly again.

An important advantage of weekly blog updates is that the number of topics to cover can be usually kept rather low. This time we’ll take a look into the latest map tests and present Zenbitz’s thoughts how combat could work in PARPG. Last but not least we’ll show you how a piece of concept art evolves from a mere black and white sketch to a colorized version of it and finally into an actual (work in progress) 3d model.

Map code tests

Maximinus has continued to play around with the map code of the game and tried to find out if there are sane alternatives to splitting up larger objects – e.g. buildings – into smaller separate tile-wide pieces. So far it looks like splitting objects is the way to go as it’s hard to work around z-ordering and collision (blocking) issues otherwhise. If you’re interested in the details: check out the thread at the forums. Maximinus does also plan to update the forums with new pictures of his latest tests on a somewhat regular basis. A thread has been opened for this purpose.

Try yourself

As building FIFE and running PARPG is usually quite easy (depending on the distribution that you use in case of Linux), some users might simply want to check out the latest changes themselves instead of just staring at screenshot. As we’ve changed the path of the game folder in SVN lately, the old guide at the wiki was not up to date anymore. So in case you tried to check out PARPG from SVN in the last days and it didn’t work for you, take a look into the now updated download article at the wiki.

Combat considerations

Zenbitz spent his week on thinking how the combat system in PARPG could work. He collected a whole couple of possible options and wrote them down at the wiki. Feel free to check out the combat article there.

From sketch to actual 3d model

As pictures often speak more than 1000 words, we’ve got some visuals for you again. Concept artist JustinOperable (yes, it’s a pun) started to create a bunch of black and white character concept drawings for the project. The next step was to colorize these drawings so they could be used as inspiration for an actual ingame model. Graphics artist Sirren was the one who started to work on an actual 3d representation of such a female ingame character.

Most important: the model is still heavy work in progress; so please keep that in mind! We know that it will still need quite some work but as we try our best to keep all progress transparent, we decided to rather post a work in progress version instead of hiding it from as long as no final version of it is availble. All kind of feedback is appreciated 🙂

Black and white sketch:
Justin's black and white sketch

Colorized version:
Justin's colorized version

Work in progress 3d model:
Sirren's work in progress 3d model

That’s all for today. See you again next week!

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Don’t look back (into the sun)

Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update. This one has been in the pipeline for several weeks and I would like to apologize for the massive delay. The original plan was to bring it to you around the 1st of April but a lot of unforeseen events occured.

ET (not) call home

While on my trip in the Netherlands I wanted to check the status of the project on a regular basis to have an idea what’s going on and to provide any help if needed. Unfortunately the WLAN connection in the beach resort where our delegation stayed was totally broken. I just had a working connection for two hours at the last evening when I moved to another bungalow where the connection was barely working (for a limited number of users).

Some delegates already arrived slightly ill at The Hague and after one week of close contact a vast number of delegates was infected as well. When I got back I felt sick and to make things even worse, it took me almost two weeks to get rid of the nastiest flu I’ve ever had. Thank god for modern medicine and antibiotics 🙂

Now that I feel well again, university started in this very week so there was not much time to take care of PARPG-related tasks either. You see how things add up :-/

Setbacks and changes

Our stance on public relations was, while staying positive, to always offer a rather realistic and honest report about our progress but also potential setbacks. Unfortunately our (now former) lead programmer icelus stepped back from his position while I was abroad. That furthermore means that our plans for a rather sophisticated story engine / AI system are on ice at this point as we rather want to tackle things in smaller steps now to avoid getting involved in something too large and ambitious. It will take some time to cope with the new situation and we’re sad that icelus left.

On the other side I’ve personally encountered such setbacks while working on FIFE. A single leaving developer does not usually make or break a project. What is important to the success of such a rather large scale undertaking is that the developers don’t give up early and stick to the project in the long run. We’ll work through it 🙂 Fortunately a new programmer – maximinus – already stepped up and is working on PARPG now. More news about his efforts later on.

Something to look at

As it’s often more fun to actually have something to look at instead of just reading about progress, here’s something for you! Graphics artist Gaspard found the time to create some nifty concept art for the project despite his tight schedule at art college. Enjoy: Gaspard PARPG concept art

Even more to look at

New programmer maximinus and graphics artist (but also writer eleazzaar teamed up to bring some visuals into PARPG. We’re still in rather early engine evaluation stage so don’t expect anything sophisticated at this point; they simply decided to play around with environment and transition tiles. You can check out the whole discussion about the topic at the forums.

Here are four little screenshots showing the progress from simple flat tiles to a more sophisticated transition layer approach:
Tiles #1

Tiles #2

Tiles #3

Tiles #4

Zenbitz galore

There would be a whole bunch of things to report about the efforts of Zenbitz after such a long news dry spell. But to save myself some time I’ll focus on two examples instead of covering all the details in this news update. He wrote down his ideas for encumbrance, inventory and clothing at the wiki; the topic has been further discussed at the forums as well. Last but not least there is a call for feedback concerning (non) action point-based combat systems: http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=156.0.

Reintroducing regular news updates

While I’ll be rather busy in this semester to finish my last courses in university so I can tackle the final exams in autumn and winter, I still plan to spend time on PARPG on a regular basis. I just finished planning for my semester’s schedule and I got several hours of free time on my hands every Monday to take care of news posting duties 🙂 So stay tuned for the next news update, coming to you at Monday, 27th of April (not at the 20th, that would be too early since today is Friday and I prolly won’t spread the news about this news update at the forums where we advertize before Sunday). Have a pleasent week 🙂

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