Game turned in!

Now the game is turned in for the SGA competition, wish us all luck. The game turned out pretty well, I would never have expected it turning out this well two or three weeks ago, but now here it is and I am very happy about it all.
The artists have done a damn well job, making loads of levels this last week, and the coders should have a gold star too for all bugfixes and tweaks and things done lately.
This last day was hell though, and we had things we wanted to change the last minutes, heaps of things that required to be done, and a game breaking bug that required fixing. And also a huge memory leak.

Thanks to Gustav ‘Gugge’ Sternbrant (I tried to mispell his name, and if I spelled it right it was by pure accident, or at least I will use this as excuse if I spelled it wrong…), for fixing that huge memory leak last 30 minutes before we turned in the game.
In the end it all turned out well and the game was on SGA’s ftp with 7 minutes to spare!

A public release of the game accessible for everyone will come up within a few days.
Thanks for me.
Good job team.
//Daniel “Lorden” Hambraeus
Coder and Lead Design

Booom, all of a sudden I apparently became a voice actor in this project. It hit me like lightning from clear sky, I was not prepared at all, it was all like “Hey we totally imagined this dudes voice like yours, and we’re trying to immitate your voice, can’t you do your own voice yourself instead?”. It’s pretty much the only voice acting the game too.
Throughout the project I had thought Jonas “Yoshi” would do the voice acting for the character, now it’s apparently me.
I have no idea if it sounds good or anything, but I trust in our sound dude, he knows what he is doing, and hopefully this will turn out well.

Sooo, now you all get the chance to hear my golden voice in the final product of the game. Cheers!

//Daniel “Lorden” Hambraeus
Lead Design, Coder, and now voice actor too

In the beginning of a project you feel like you can do anything, and that of course you’ll take care of everything, if there is anything undone you grab it and see it done. If you can’t do it yourself you make someone else do it. This is true especially to the boring things no one wants to do, you should grab those tasks, and make sure they are done, either by doing them yourself or ensuring someone else does it.
That’s how I think it should be at least, and how I try to do things myself. The more the project progressed, the more I realized I didn’t have time to do all the things I really wanted to do, the more stressed I became over not being able to finish all I put on my table, the more tired I became. And recently I’ve realized that my energy is slowly draining away from me. All those things I wanted to do, and have tried to do have dropped a bit in favour for other things.
My daily blogging isn’t daily any longer, I don’t work with the design as much as I work with production now, and I have to work alot more with the coding. Of course the blogging and design then suffers a bit, since I was mainly the one doing those, but there is only one me, and I don’t have unlimited amount of time.

Realizing this is very frustrating, I feel I want to do more, but I can’t, there simply is too much and there is only one me. I wont be able to make things as good as I possibly can, I wont be able to make all things I touch to my full satisfaction. I really wish I could, but simply can’t. Time is a bitch, and now I am time’s bitch as well, just as everyone else.

//Daniel “Lorden” Hambraeus
Lead Design and Coder

Under  a few weeks time, me and some other artists have been working on the animations for our game. As we decided to have a game that could toggle between first and thirdperson, most of our animations efforts were put there. Especially the thirdperson animations have taken much of our time, since one can , of course, see the whole character and its movements. Runcycles, jumping, absorbing elements and death animations are a few examples of what we’ve been working on. All animations for the thirdperson are currently done and being moved to one take in maya so we can later cut them up in clips in nebula. The skinning of the character process is also almost on its way.

Due to some scaling problems (we didn’t know which scale we should have for the physics to act right) we had prevoisly in our project, the character had to be skinned to a new joint chain which had no scale transforms on it (not even on a group). The first skeleton worked as it were, in maya, but as it would turn out, not in nebula. This took some time to find a solution to, but thanks to Caroline Näslund who also made the rig in the first place, we got around this problem. Good job Carro!

The animations for the firstperson is all done and imported to nebula. Right now our programmers are tweaking their timming. Since the firstperson view only consists of the weapon, we only had to do animations to the claws and recoil movements. It was good to test our animation pipeline on the firstperson weapon, since there was some more problems we could identify for the thirdperson character. For example, the baking of keys, had to be in 25 fps or the animations would not work as excpected in nebula.

Well, that was a little update from the cg artists

Tove Kellner – Cg Artist and Management

I am not overly much an alpha male, so I guess that’s why  I am not naturally attuned for things like alpha layers in 3D. And while this engine is unstable and often have its problems, most of the problems is caused by the user not by the engine, and if the user knew how to use the engine properly there wouldn’t be any problems.

It seems like these windows doesn’t work exactly as intended. You’re supposed to see through them, and not only see the ambient occlusion, and the alpha objects.

Aha! This is how it was intended to look like all from the beginning. The problem was the settings of the alpha it was set to not show anything through, so it was kinda solid, but alpha and ambient occlusion was still showing through making things look a bit funny.

//Daniel “Lorden” Hambraeus

Coder and Lead Design

At times things are stressy and frustrating, especially when you’re getting closer to crunchtime, and realize just how much you need to get into the game, which you yet have.

There is one thing that can make you really want to pull out your hair and eat it at times like those, the times when you just have too much to do…

I love changes, I love new features, I love when I get all the stuff I have asked for, but if it happens during crunchtime, forces me to spend a day finding bugs in said feature and help change how things work for hours because whole engine got an overhaul, at those times I am not sure I love those features as much as I could have.

At those times my hair seems like something I very much want to eat, especially after having pulled it all out and streaked about naked screaming slamming my head into every wall I pass by… That is very much how I felt today. Hopefully things will look up and tomorrow will not be as frustrating day as today is.

//Daniel “Lorden” Hambraeus

Lead Design and Coder

Well, at least it will be soon. The music for the game is currently being created by a group of composers in Piteå, who we were lucky enough to get in contact with through LTU. A few weeks ago, they came to visit us and got to try out an early build of the game, and we discussed what sort of music we would like for the game and the mood and tone we want to portray with it – all in all a very successful meeting and when we parted, both our team and they had reached a common understanding of how things should be.

Just a few days afterward, we received a first draft for the general sound of the game (a single jam track with ideas for tempo and groove), and our development team sat down and listened to it together. Afterwards, we responded with our thoughts about the track; what was good and less so, suggestions for how to get closer to our vision, and general thoughts and ideas.

Today, I contacted the composers again to check up on their progress and inform them of a change of deadline for the sound. Luckily, they had already set the same deadline for themselves to as to have a bit of margin. The music is progressing steadily, the persons responsible for in-game and menu music are working to create a cohesive theme for the sound, and this weekend they will be recording all sound effects we will need.

So far, everything seems to be, if you’ll excuse the pun, safe and sound on the audio front.


William “Wiki” Wiklund

CG Artist / Game, Graphical and Sound Designer

Who needs water?

We do have some problems with our textures currently, they get flipped all sorts of weird ways. And we also have other sorts of graphical artifacts right now… Some more amusing than others.

//Daniel “Lorden” Hambraeus

Lead Designer and Coder

Today we got textures for the character, some basic sounds, checkpoints and respawning, and other small things. The game is really starting to look fairly good. Also level 2 and level 4, and maybe level 5 is in the works.

Ohh yea, happy birthday Tove.  She is the managementy artist, that have done most of the time planning, creds for that, good job and happy birthday!

//Daniel “Lorden” Hambraeus

Lead Design and Coder

Animations! Wooh!

I’ve already showed off the animations a bit, but they wasn’t in the game yet then, the first animation ingame is now there. After a bit of facepalming and frustrated swearing I got it in there! A beautiful button that goes in and out in and out in and out like it’s… well… uhh anyways, it’s there and it’s beautiful! I could probably capture a video of it so you could see the beauty of a button going in and out, but I don’t think you’ll appreciate it as much as I want to so I wont.

Milestone 2 on wednesday and we have bigger interest in game testers now that things start to exist, and it’s not only cubes!

//Daniel “Lorden” Hambraeus

Lead Design and Coder

Our artists have gone mad! They are running about, jumping from chairs and whatnot! They are almost as crazy as the coders now, it’s totally weird! Most probably they just started doing the animation though.

Oh yea, we’re starting to get our first textures into the game now. As you’ve seen in our older videos the game was fairly dull and grey till we started putting out hordes of point lights. Now we’re starting to get some pretty textures too, the game is progressing rapidly in  a way that people can see now.

Oh yea, speaking of animations and all that, check out this sexy death animation by Caroline Näslund. ( which is also the one that made the rig for the rat)

Sexy Death Animation

//Daniel “Lorden” Hambraeus

Lead Design and Coder

With many many hours spent on UV-mapping and normal baking some resaults are finally starting to show up.

Here’s some shots from a rather central object on the second level, the box in which the first level is played out.

Then again it might take a bit longer for it to look like this in nebula3


/Erik Johnsson – Art team

Point lights is made by god obviously! They are just too perfectly fitting in the hands of a programmer! We have now added point lights to as many things we can. When you shoot a point light follows the shot, all elemental generators have a point light, the water have lights that light it up, the cut off cables show colours. SO MANY THINGS CAN HAVE POINT LIGHTS!

The more the better!

//Daniel “Lorden” Hambraeus
Lead Design and Coder

As promised!

A 2 minute video of the first level, remember there is still no textures or animations. And there is still some placeholders about. The light looks funny, it’s because I made it today, and it’s just something to make things look less grey. The mechanics still require tweaking too, the jumping, the running, friction against the ground, the aiming and shooting, the camera, how some of the objects works etc. Remember this is just an alpha and things will be much improved in a few weeks.
Oh yea and the crosshair isn’t visible, it disappeared when I captured the movie.
Anyways, enjoy 😉
Pretty link to video of our game!

Also still no playable release for people, there haven’t been time to fix such a thing.

//Daniel “Lorden” Hambraeus
Lead Design and Coder

Or: “How to have no clue about what you are doing. Part deux.”

That’s… the story about the marketing division’s life right now. First of all, it has no idea of where to go, or where to go to. The blog is not being updated by as many groups as hoped, and a lot of the time, it’s more about ideas than actual progress. We need to have tech and art active as well. Not just the extremely active (on the blog side. The other groups are not lazy.) design group. We had set a goal for each and every group to blog at least twice a week, and with the current pattern, it’s just one group that has a near constant flow of updates.

This has to do with the marketing division being too lenient, and focused on other work. The priorities have clearly been elsewhere. This shouldn’t change, but it needs to do what work it was assigned to do.

What the marketing division needs to do more is to stimulate facebook and twitter activity; get people to post there. And post project-progress relevant information. Also, people have to learn to share WIPs, it goes for both programmers and artists alike. Just because it isn’t finished doesn’t mean it’s not showable.


As for now: a status report is in place:

Game wise: it is coming along decently. We’ve got light into the editor, and we’ve got people working on bugs, on animated shaders, on joints.. etcetera. Some can’t explain what they think, and sometimes have strange ideas; others just work and let the result speak for itself. The artists seem to have a lot up their sleeves, but also a bit of trouble considering what we have got and what we want.
// Sir Klas

Hopefully tomorrow or day after tomorrow the release will be here, it have been delayed a bit, but hopefully it will be worth it 😉
I also might post it so people can download and test it as an early alpha.
You can now get to the end of the first level, though there is no victory at the end, and the final part of it, is there. Still require a little bit of coding to make the final few objects for the level logic, and there is shitloads of tweaking to be done. Most stuff is a bit rough at the edges.

Cheers, and ‘Trevlig Valborg’
//Daniel “Lorden” Hambraeus
Lead Spammer

There is those times when you get a brilliant idea(according to your own bright and perfect self) how to fix a problem, and then you proceed to implement your idea, and the implementation works flawlessly, no bugs when writing the code, no synax errors, nothing. And the idea you had, worked just as planned and fixed the problem you had.

Those times are very rare as a coder, but damn that feeling. Everyone should become coders just to have that feeling once or twice, to feel it. You have not lived until you have felt like that!
//Daniel “Lorden” Hambraeus
Coder and Lead Design
Want more details about the bug? Look below.
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