Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lightmaps, posting, errors, oh my!

Well I've spent the entire day trying to solve some pretty sizable problems. Firstly, the Lightmap renderer would not render the terrain chunks in the singleplayer module. After some help from the forums, I managed to render it in a different module, without the errors, but with black lumpy shadows everywhere. Thats to be expected however, since you need to render your lightmaps in the singleplayer module, but at least I can sort of identify where the problem is.

I've run into a bigger problem it seems though. Ever after a "successful" render, generating the pathfinding and adding a start point etc, doing a "Post All to Local" gives me some errors that I cant seem to work out. The last 5 hours have been consumed with forum scanning on top of a hope that someone will reply to my cry for help with a solution or answer.

So far its been pretty smooth up until now and I really don't mind being slapped with problems, as long as their is solutions to them. One user that had a very similar problem to me, had to restart his entire level again, but I've put about 200 hours work into this project so far, so I'll certainly not be giving up on it. I'll be knocking on Biowares door for a solution if I have to. Early days still though, hopefully won't have to do that just yet!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Phase 1 complete!

After some hours of touch ups and intense clicking, lighting has been setup and a render is in progress - hopefully it will turn out how I want it. I put the final touches on the Island today and I'm quite pleased with how its turned out. Lighting issues withstanding aside, I'll be moving onto the interior locations tomorrow. Yipee, something different! Its taken me 3 months from tomorrow, to get to this stage and I'm really excited to see it all coming to life.

How was your weekend? Following the World Cup? I'm not a huge football fan, but I do love a bit of drama. England are out, who'd of guessed. I think a part of the problem is they never looked like a unit. Stick a bunch of individuals from rival Premier League clubs into team and this is the result. Oh well, better luck next time lads.

Preordered Starcraft 2 Collectors Edition today, might downgrade to the normal boxed copy if its too expensive, plus I'm not that invested in the SC universe, but the guy in Gamestop did a good job in hyping it up, kudos to him.

If anyone missed Muse at Glastonbury on BBC2 last night, you should checkout their cover of U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name", featuring 'The Edge', awesome stuff if your a fan of either band.

Enjoy and goodnight.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I've been a bit greedy with my time today and given myself the entire evening to relax and play some games. My day was going swimmingly until I received the news in work that I and 1000 other disgruntled employees, would be taking a 10% pay cut effect July 2nd. There goes roughly 3,000 of my college fund down the toilet.. Fantastic. However, I've taken solace in the fact that there are people much worse off than me and with the state the economy is in, I can only complain so much.

Moving along.. My evening has been filled with a heavy dose of Raven Softwares 'Singularity' followed by a quick fix of Transformers: War for Cybertron. The former, whilst making its way onto store shelves without so much as a review to be seen, or any previews at that, in fact, has nothing to be ashamed of. I'm only a few hours in, but much like Bioshocks opening scene with the downed plane in the ocean, Singularity really eases you into its rich and detailed world; this is where Ravens attention to detail shows. Far from just a standard shooter then, you get a device that allows you to warp certain objects back in forth in time, for example, an old staircase thats collapsed, you can use the device to restore it to its original self, allowing you to progress past a previously blocked path. It's a very clever mechanic and so far there has been some clever puzzles to solve with it. Looking forward to playing more!

Onto Transformers briefly then, highly polished, rock solid controls, a blast to play, but just a bit repetitive so far. Its obvious the game was designed for coop as your 2 AI partners assist you throughout. Looking forward to trying it out online.

Anyway, a busy weekend ahead and I have some training seminars to attend next week. Hopefully I'll get the remainder of the polish done on Craggy Island so I can move onto the interior levels. Goodnight.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ok, I lied.

Well not technically, but with the official announcement of 'Craggy Island' via the Bioware forums, I attached 2 new screenshots for your (hopeful) viewing pleasure. I'm now practically complete on this phase of the project, with the actual Island itself almost practically complete, practically. Minus a few bells and whistles.

Let me know what you think of the stuff so far, my perspective is damaged, having stared at it all for far too long.

On a completely different note, with the summer gaming drought in full swing, it might not be such the drought I had originally anticipated.. This week we have the likes of Raven's 'Singularity' which is looking quite interesting.. Perhaps a bit Bioshock-y, but that can't be a bad thing. The lack of press is a worrying sign though. Normally I would feel ashamed to say this, but theres also a Transformers game that actually looks quite good, War for Cybertron, a Gears of War type clone. The Coop aspect is what caught my attention, check out some gameplay vids on YouTube, looks very polished and dare I say, FUN! Hopefully these will provide some entertainment until Starcraft sucks up my free time (which at the moment is well, non-existant!)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Last! Screenshot plus E3 is over!

Screenshot added, feedback welcome! This will be the last screenshot I give you guys as I want you to explore these locations in-game yourselves. I might put a short promo video together when I'm further along with the project. Of course, I'll keep you all updated as I progress. Subscribe to the project and or hit the popularity button on the project page if you haven't already! Your support is most welcome. I will officially announce the project via the Bioware forums in the coming weeks.

In other news, E3 was a bit.. meh. Perhaps my expectations were too high? Not as bad as last years at least. As for what stood out; Nintendo 3DS, sounds like some serious kit. Shame I have a squint in 1 eye.. Metal Gear: Rising, on the fence with this one, as little is known other than you can seemingly slice everything up. Sorcery with PS:Move, this is the kind of thing the Wii is lacking. If Move can give us games like this while packing some serious depth, Sony might just be on to a winner, at least with me. They seem to be catering to their core market along with trying to attract casual consumers.

Other things of note.. Halo is looking pretty good now, Portal 2 coming to PS3, Goldeneye on Wii.. Nothing more of interest really.

Lets talk about Microsoft's 'Kinect' for a moment. Off the back of the Wii's success in breaking into almost every living room, MS have decided that they want a slice of the pie and their answer lies in a controller-less camera that sits above your TV. The software on show at E3 was extremely underwhelming. It all looked very Wii-ish and considering the Wii console itself was built and marketed as a family machine to have in a living room, the Xbox wasn't and herein lies the problem. You can't aim a casual device at a market in which the majority of Xbox owners are adolescent males with a Call of Duty addiction. Would love to see their mother or sister try pry their Xbox away on christmas day, to prance around the living room playing white water rafting over some noob tubbing in Black Ops.

Microsoft should be focusing on getting Kinects into households via its core market, by baiting them with some killer titles, then opening the floodgates on the no doubt endless supply of casual junk that will potentially saturate the market and hurt our eyes while shopping in your local game shop.

Other functions its 'useful' for, like selecting a movie, moving through dashboard etc, I cant see how waving your hands about in the air will be more desirable than simply moving a few fingers on a joypad.

PS: Move has me quite interested, but for now, I think MS might of hit a doozey. We'll see.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Updated Shots!

I've uploaded 2 work-in-progress shots. I'm trying to setup the tone and mood currently, but the toolset doesn't handle night time and lighting too well.. Still, getting there with a few work-arounds.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Back from Italy

Well that was a mad few days! Just back from Milan and I'm shattered. 3 days of intense walking and traveling, but it was all worth it - if you have not seen Muse live, aren't too fond of them, or never really heard of them, do yourself a favour and go to one of their concerts if you get a chance. Mindblowing stuff, a complete assault on the senses, it was some spectacle. Words cannot describe!

Anyway, I'm straight back into DA: Toolset, with a splitting migraine and some much needed time away from the project, a lot can be said for a break away from your work, I was beginning to doubt the quality in some parts having stared at it too much, I now have some much needed perspective on it and I'm back to being happy with it again!

Will update soon.