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Codathon: Week 2 Complete

We accomplished all our goals for this week, and have a working alpha version of the game, with an installer and everything.  We had an internal playtest and things everything is very promising and exciting!  We’re not quite ready for a general public release… but check out the screenshots in the gallery.  More updates on the way, so keep checking back!

Codathon: Week 2, Day 5 PrePost

Things are looking pretty good… even though I just accidentally deleted 2 important new files just before I checked them into version control and spent 3 hours redoing and redebugging them.  Private release party tonight~!

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FIREBALL FTW! (See that ugly little multicolored star? In Coda, health bars are circular.)

Codathon: Week 2, Day 3

So I’ve switched over to UnrealScript for the moment.  I did a lot of work on the sword swing animation system… which is improving by leaps and bounds.  Tony has been working on the magic system.  We should have a nice, dirty little mini version of the game up in time for our Friday deadline.  Mostly it will be useful to find any big unexpected problems which crop up during online play with how things are set up… fingers crossed for not many.  But hopefully it’ll be fun to play around with for a little while at least, and give us a few ideas for how to continue making gameplay descisions.  Everyone gets to play as Marek… who’s UPK file is hilariously (problematically..?) big (56 MB).  I think I’m supposed to cook the textures or something and maybe they’ll get a bit smaller.

Three cheers for my buddy Will who is starting to do some mapping for us.  Perhaps a little something for this release, or perhaps later.  Exciting either way!

Codathon: Week 2, Day 1.5

Quick update: since I loaded early versions of the body textures into Unreal for testing, I thought I might as well take a few screen captures.  (Not done yet, missing the tattoos and some more work on the skin and cloth)

Tony and I started a new workout routine today.  I stopped half way through and Tony almost died.  I’m pretty sure hes moving on the magic system, but we have opposite sleep schedules at the moment so I’ll have to check when he wakes up.

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Codathon: Week 2, Day 1

Made some solid progress over the weekend.  Tony and I were playing some Coda over the LAN, and things are really shaping up well.  The game is already fun to play, and several of the game mechanics are already showing up and functioning very well.  Having accomplished our goals for the first week, we’ve created a new set of goals which are to be completed by Friday night.  We plan to schedule the first major online play testing session for Friday afternoon.  By that time, the game should feature poorly tuned sword combat, a simple magic system and the resource/life system.  We are looking into getting some infrastructure which will allow rapid, simple distribution as we make updates and changes.

I’m at the point of configuring the in-game shaders for Marek, and I think they are starting to look pretty good.  While the hair needs more work, you can see the skin is looking substantially more natural next to the images I’ve been putting up so far.  I’ve only completed the face texture with all it’s various map types in high resolution (and they still need some work), but you can see the difference it makes when compared to the older torso shader in these images.

Coda’s combat is very tight and intimate, comparable to fighting games such as Tekken.  We are creating an entirely new character model system to ensure that this level of detail we will be possible in-game… so everybody go out and buy a new graphics card before Friday.  Check the gallery for more images.

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Codathon: Day 7

Started working on Marek’s textures.  I had not used Mudbox’s painting tools before, but I started using them to do his big Japanese style back tattoo.  Its pretty fun.  Still getting a feel for balancing the baked lighting with by hand work.  Tony’s new computer arrived and it looks wonderful.  There were no problems with the hardware, and its very fast.  UT3 and GTA4 look excellent.  We have people running around with swords and can do damage to one another… the next step is making that damage interact with other player’s swords.

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Codathon: Day 6

Tony and I have had several extremely long and involved discussions about the game system.  We are being very careful about the specifics of how each piece is implemented, because seemingly small decisions now will have a huge impact on the very delecate way things will work when people play the game.

Aside from this, I’ve spent some more time on my character creation tools.  I’ve automated several very tricky and interesting steps which will help as I do texture work.  Marek has become my test dummy for these new tools, and hes shaping up very well.  His face and torso have been high-res’ified in Mudbox, which I’m really starting to prefer over Zbrush.  I’ll be doing the bulk of diffuse and specular texturing work in Mudbox as well.  Tony continues to implement the ideas from our discussions.

Codathon: Day 4.5

“What time is it?”

“Um.. 12:10.”

“AM? … or PM?”

Codathon: Day 4

Some hard work today.  Tony spent the opening 7 hours trying to get the mod working with the -mod launch argument… which turned out to be a bust and the work was lost.  However, his new monitor mounts arrived shortly after this, and morale was restored with some Rasin Bran.

This was followed by a design meeting, where we coordinated plans for sword swing mechanics.  Tony will be handling all the gameplay logic, and I take over when the code hits the skeletal animation steps.  I spent most of my time on Marek.  His hair was very labor intensive, but its starting to take shape.  The main issue is that UT3 doesn’t have very good alpha blending… so I’ve done a ton of work in geometry I would have liked to have done in textures.


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Codathon: Day 3

I’m working on Marek’s hair at the moment.  I thought initally that we would be able to make use of transparency maps and have the texture blend out smoothly in strands of hair. Unfortunately, transparency of that sort cannot use lighting.  I’ve decided to go with a style which puts more emphasis on geometry for the shaping of the hair.  Bad cause it uses more polygons, but good because the shaders are far simpler.

Tony is working on sword collision techniques.  We are going to have a meeting to go over the game’s full design soon, where we’ll make a few important decisions about what paths to pursue in the code.