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Thread: [WIP] Pinball Racer

  1. #1
    Senior Member rachil0's Avatar
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    [WIP] Pinball Racer

    Got a new project in the works and thought I would share some early eye candy results. It's basically a mode7 racer with a pinball theme (proposal). The development team is 4 people (not all programmers - so hooray for some non-programmer art). The total development time is limited to 10 weeks, we're about 3 weeks in. Unlike most of the junk I do, this one will actually be finished because it's a course project. (Not for me, but for my teammates - I'm just auditing).

    Here's a demo of our renderer applied to a stock level from mario kart, with a little extra pinball stuff tacked on.

    I've also been working on a neat content creation tool, "ScannerProgram", that automates the point and polygon extraction process, so our artists can just sketch points on top of the mode7 texture and the renderer can yank it all out without them ever having to touch a keyboard. They got real excited about level design once they saw how easy it was to rip a texture into polygonal map geometry. You can see how this program works in the full source.

    Quite a bit of physics/gameplay code has been thrashed out by other team members, but we've yet to merge the display code and world state code, so the renderer doesn't show anything but static geometry.

    More to come later. Maybe I can get some of the other team members to blog a bit about their contributions here. (don't think any of them are FK'ers or lurkers though)
    Last edited by rachil0; 01-23-2008 at 01:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Elvis...who tha f**k is Elvis? phreax's Avatar
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    Looks like a good start rachil! Can't wait to see the finished game! - and the progress nonetheless
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  3. #3
    do your smiles love u? slicer4ever's Avatar
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    i can't find the server

  4. #4
    Senior Member rachil0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slicer4ever
    i can't find the server
    Working on my end ... but on the other hand, the server is down the hall from me. Perhaps you need to right-click and save as, then open it locally on your machine? I know direct linking to swfs sometimes causes them to be blocked by IE (presumably other browsers too).

  5. #5
    do your smiles love u? slicer4ever's Avatar
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    i got it thanks

  6. #6
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    it looks very good rachil. how come there's four windows though?
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  7. #7
    M.D. mr_malee's Avatar
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    yeah, very nice stuff
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  8. #8
    Senior Member rachil0's Avatar
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    The target platform is a standup arcade machine with four joysticks where every player is controlling their own little splitscreen, ala Mario Kart 64.
    (And I thought getting one window working at 24 fps was tough!)

    Target platform (video).

    Split screen racer.

  9. #9
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    awesome! excited to see it progress. seems to run fantastic.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rachil0's Avatar
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    An update today, now there is some non-placeholder artwork that has finally trickled into the game.

    This level is called "aztec gold". Players will race around a track inspired by the aztec sun stone (see Illustration 2) and activate all the symbols of the aztec pantheon/zodiac to jackpot the track. The central jackpot area has not been textured yet, just laid out.

    No physics in this one yet, those guys are working hard but the big merge has yet to take place. Will be in by next update.

    Here's the demo.

    Word of warning, it's 2.2 MB to download, so don't strain anything. (On your end or mine!). Hooray for content!

  11. #11
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    wow! that looks cherry.
    have you tried progressively blurring the slices as they receed into the distance. it might cut down on that flicker in the distance (there's a name for it but i can't remember it)
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  12. #12
    Senior Member rachil0's Avatar
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    I'd call it aliasing (too many texels being represented by too few pixels = undersampling), but there might be a more specific term that I'm unaware of.

    Yeah, z-fogging/blurring will probably be put in there at some point to make it less noticeable. Using the built-in filtering that flash applies to beginBitmapFills doesn't really help, because the image is drawn scanline by scanline and you'll never filter along the screens y-axis. But fogging would probably help.

    Glad you liked it & tanks for the feedback. More to come (~1 week?).

  13. #13
    M.D. mr_malee's Avatar
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    wow, that looks cool. Didn't understand the shaking though when you press the up arrow key, what exactly are the controls?

    anyway, looks amazing
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  14. #14
    Senior Member rachil0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_malee
    wow, that looks cool. Didn't understand the shaking though when you press the up arrow key, what exactly are the controls?

    anyway, looks amazing
    Controls are left/right and space to scoot ahead.

    The camera is wonky right now because it is yanked from a code with more degrees of freedom. Up/down is supposed to pitch the camera, but there's a different line of code elsewhere in the app that is resetting the elevation angle to -20degrees all the time. But the access to that variable is not synchronized with the display, so the camera pitches a tiny bit down, the frame is rendered, and then the pitch is reset again, then another frame is rendered, etc.

    In the final version the camera won't be under player control anyway, it will always be chasing a ball. There will put a similar wobble/jerking effect in the game for when you're driving over a friction surface, but it will be deliberately coded in and polished, not the result of a bug.

    Thanks for trying it!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    Quite *****ious for such a tight timeline.
    good luck

  16. #16
    Senior Member rachil0's Avatar
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    Update today. The physics code has been integrated with the rendering code so the game has collision rules instead of being a free-ranging camera demo. There are placeholder screens for the title, high scores and how-to-play - although none are production quality yet. Some support for obstacles (bumpers, drop down targets, rollover targets) is in there too. So you can roll over some buttons and they light up, hit a bumper and it will knock you around, and if you sit on the guys nose all the drop targets go crazy. (The collision detection doesn't work for arbitrary shaped obstacles yet, so their response is not yet tied to their geometry). Still no sound, maybe by next update.

    5 weeks down, 5 weeks to go! Are we gonna make it?

    Downloadable at same URL as post#1. Swf is now up to 4.4 MB.

    I expect the final product to be about 40-50MB, but since the game is not meant to be web deployable, we can make it as big as we want. We're choosing to go for a load-screen-free approach by embedding every piece of content directly in.

    EDIT: It will probably get upset that there's no high score server around (it does on my box, at least). That code is specific to our platform and doesn't fail in the most graceful fashion. Should still be playable however.
    Last edited by rachil0; 02-05-2008 at 11:56 AM.

  17. #17
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    always love your stuff,

    by the way who does the GFX stuff,- the other members? If you need some neat marble or ball renderings or some splash screen PM. I will try then to make some free time for that (not charging for that)

  18. #18
    Senior Member rachil0's Avatar
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    Thank you for the positive feedback

    The artwork for the Aztec level is actually all "programmer art" of my own and is intended to be a reference design for our artist & technical artist (who are currently painting designs of their own). I can't really take credit for the parts that look pretty, all the "daysign glyphs" are borrowed from:

    http://www.azteccalendar.com/azteccalendar.html

    Fortunately, they are all released under Creative Commons. I think they look gorgeous, finding them is what convinced me to do an aztec-calender level. I could never make it that pretty without 3rd party help. The rest of the painting was done in ... Paint (lol). I am learning Gimp and it's come in handy for the rotation and color shifting effects, but it's basically all composited using Paint because it's all I know.

    Our pipeline is intended to be: the artist and designer do a cocktail napkin sketch of the level and its key obstacles/features, then the artist creates a painting of the level. Next the technical artist creates a wireframe overlay that is passed into a (hackish) feature extraction program, and finally myself and the technical artist crank out the gluey code to make obstacles bounce and react to the players. Granted, with a 10 week schedule it's not clear how much pipelining really goes on.

    By next update I hope to have new artwork to share that is contributed by teammates. All the rendering tech in the world is still frumpy without some good art to back it up, so I am really pushing them to make some pretty content.

    If you need some neat marble or ball renderings or some splash screen PM. I will try then to make some free time for that (not charging for that)
    I would like to take you up on that, splash screens in particular. Let me consult with members of the team and the instructor and see what they think. (The instructor might insist that all content is created by us, but I am not sure)

  19. #19
    SaphuA SaphuA's Avatar
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    Subscribing to the awesomeness

  20. #20
    M.D. mr_malee's Avatar
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    that rocks, whats it like with 1 player? I wanna see full screen goodness
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