PandaDev

Happy Christmas, Everyone!

Happ’ Christas to ev’ryon!
Seems like I’ve got the common cold as a present for this year. :(
Not really, I’ve got a Wii U with my brother and so far it’s been amazing, I really enjoy playing Zelda Wind Waker HD on it.

It’s pretty funny looking back right now on my old tool development posts and all the suffering I’ve got from implementing the matrices myself. By now it became a second nature, it’s never really a thing that I have problems with. Currently I still haven’t made any complete games yet, however it is not my goal to do so either.

I’m developing a 3D graphics engine called EyeCandy to refine my modern OpenGL skills and learn a bit of trigonometry and algebra during the process. So far shaders, textures, OBJ model loading and rendering, simple point lights and a 3D camera has been implemented and overall it’s a breeze to use the engine.

Features that will be implemented in the future:

  • Better lighting system
  • Collada model loading
  • Advanced camera with path tracking
  • Skeletal animations
  • Particles (and effects)
  • Noise generation (for procedural textures, heightmaps, etc.)

After the engine gets ready I’ll probably publish it as an open source project on GitHub for learning material to newbies (decent tutorials on modern OpenGL/LWJGL are extremely rare on the interwebs).
Also I’ll probably make a tech demo, maybe a benchmarking tool with the engine but we’ll see about that.

Suzan

Rendering Suzan with her ~8000 vertices and a single pointlight using OpenGL 3.3 on avg. 6000FPS takes less than a 100 lines with my engine.


I shall continue on… or not?

image

The drawing is not mine. Click on the image to go to it’s author’s page.

It’s always really hard for an independent developer to come up with good ideas, and when you finally seem to do so, you just can’t be sure that it’s truly a good idea. As Phil Fish said in Indie Game: The movie: “I think it’s good, but I just can’t trust myself…”. Well, for those who haven’t seen the movie it might not make too much sense, but those who actually seen it will perfectly understand what do I mean. I can’t help but constantly think about if people will like it, or if people will even care about it, if it will be useful to anyone, ever. I know it’s a stupid thing to do, but I estimate the development time for this project to be around 4 months and this is not a short time, especially not because I will have to go to school in the meantime. What if it turns out that I’ve essentially wasted 4 months of free time just by trying to effectuate the wrong idea. However, I know that the right answer is yes, I shall continue on, it isn’t even really a question, rather just panic or something… I don’t even know… I’m sure there’s people out there (especially after the ridiculously successful voxel indie titles: Minecraft, Ace of Spades and the just releasing Cube World) who seek the tool which allows them to easily create cool looking voxel art, so I will go on…


When you’re at the edge of giving up something…

My drawing of Edward from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.

Well, yesterday I wrote a post about me being burned out, and not wishing to continue on with modern OpenGL. I’ve also mentioned that I’m probably just missing a very obvious thing and so it was: I’ve tried to use glDrawArrays with quads, and quads happen to be deprecated/removed after OpenGL 3.0. Also I forgot to check for GL errors in my main loop, that’s why my program weren’t reporting this deprecated quad issue. As I woke up today and drunk my coffee I almost immediately knew what the issue was and fixed it in 10 minutes or so, afterwards everything was working just fine. It is just really funny how my problems almost always got solved by pretty much themselves every time after I gave up on them. See, this is where too much work (and being tired) leads: You will just miss out the most obvious things, and you’ll just stress yourself for hours completely pointlessly. To fix my mistake I’ve decided to be lazy today: I’ve listened to music, drew this pretty cool picture, watched movies, etc. 
I haven’t met my friends in months now (not because I were chained to my computer, but because I weren’t at home during the summer holiday) so I will go and meet them tomorrow. After that? Well, I can guarantee that I will continue Voxelator. I really start to feel like that it’s a personal challenge for me to complete this project.


The result of the last three days.

Nothing. Literally nothing.
Well, this could do something with the fact that in the last three days I wasn’t really working on Voxelator but rather on learning modern OpenGL.
Everything seemed to work just fine, things were coming along just fine… until I did come along the new make-yourself-matrices thing. The built-in matrix stack was marked as deprecated in OpenGL 3.0 and was completely removed in OpenGL 3.1 core, along with all the other deprecated functions. Well, I’ve been cursing the OpenGL team for making this decision for quite a few hours now. Seriously, I feel like that I’ve tried out everything that is possible but not a single vertex gets displayed on my OGL context. My shaders compile just fine, glGetError() doesn’t return any errors, yet there isn’t anything on my screen if I try to use my own matrices. I have read parts of a few tutorials and I have even watched videos on the subject but with the written tutorials being 10 page long text walls, and because the tutorial video is 1 hour long, plus the language used in it is C++ with GLM library (so yeah, I had quite a hard time trying to port it for LWJGL and JOGL) I just simply don’t have the patience to sit through these things nowadays. Over the last few days I couldn’t really think about anything else than OpenGL 3.1+, so right now I feel really overwhelmed, a bit stressed and burned out. Seriously, I have a pretty bad headache from all this sh.t by now, however, I’m sure I’m missing something pretty obvious and self made matrices will become second nature for me soon, but for now I need a bit of relaxion. Watching a bit of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, playing a bit of Super Street Fighter 4 AE, browsing vines and 9gag, listening to chillstep and not even opening the IDE, that’s what I need now for a few days to feel better.
Until than be good guys, and try to avoid overwhelming yourselves like I did because it leads to no good.
Byee.


Voxelator: The 5th day

5 days spent since I’ve announced that I’ll start to work on a voxel modeling and compositing tool, called Voxelator.
Well, here is the progress what I’ve made in these 5 days:

  • Fully functional logging system.
  • Creating, reading and saving user preferences (e.g. background color, ).
  • Basic GUI (far from being perfect as you can see, but I’m able to resize the left menu and the OpenGL context which recalculates the projection matrices accordingly, giving a perfect image, no matter of the size).
  • Layer system.
  • Grid which represent your workspace (and those dots in there indicate 1 unit).
  • Movable cursor (the white cube on the screenshot), which shows where you will place your cubes in case of hitting space (the cube placing feature is not yet implemented).
  • Camera which allows you to rotate your entire grid and project around, taking a look at it from every angle possible.
  • Mathematical utilities for easier calculations.

Also I’ve reconsidered the project’s distribution and I will be probably aiming for KickStarter and if I can raise enough money I will make the project free and open source. I want to help the game developer community, but to do so I need help too, which in my case consists of money. I would use the incoming money for buying further developer tools like hardware (Macbook, Ouya, iPad, probably Xbox One?) and licenses (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Unity3D) so I will be able to target multiple platform with my games in the future.

Anyways, thank you guys for reading, I really hope that you enjoy watching how Voxelator grows and you’ll have good use of it once it’s released.
Have a good day!
, Krisztian


Just a little robot guy.


This image has been scaled up, it’s twice as large as the original.
Click on the picture to see the original.

I have started to work on a lil’ side project while developing Voxelator, which will be: A robot platformer game!
No, no, no. No. I haven’t give up on the idea of Voxelator, in fact, I’ve been working on it pretty hard on the last 3 days, and it’s starting to take shape, but of course it doesn’t mean that I won’t have side projects in the meantime.
On one of the afternoons I’ve been kinda bored so I’ve decided to draw some kind of robot and by the time I realized what I’m doing I’ve drawn an entire spritesheet of him with all his animations (of course those are just sketches on paper). I have started to like the idea so I decided to play around with it and drawn projectiles for this little guy, kind of formed out the game mechanics, the enemies, levels and such and so far it seems great!
Well, it’s always hard for a developer to just decide whether or not his idea is good just based on his own opinion, but I have a kinda good feeling about it. Oh, and as regards the image is just a pre-alpha sprite, it will be polished a hell lot until the final product comes out (if it will come out at all, lol).
The sprite has been made using ASEprite and it took about 1 hour to create it.


Starting to work on Voxelator.

Well, today I’ll start working on Voxelator.
It will be a voxel modeling and compositing tool for creating 3D voxel models and terrains for games that want to achieve simple yet good looking graphics. The idea is that Voxelator will be totally optimized for game developers, meaning that it’ll have everything what a developer can ask for: Animation, armatures, coloring, texturing, highly parameterizable dynamic mesh generation (for creating terrains and such), easy to interpret (yet compact) file format.
As I need money for buying further development tools (I’m aiming at mobile development, but I lack the hardware :( ) the software will have two versions: A free and a pro (paid) version. Although there will be a paid version of the software I’ll always concentrate on adding all the fundamental features to the free version too, so if you won’t have too big needs you can easily create all the voxel graphics for your game just by using the free version.
I’ve had quit a few big ideas and projects before this one but I really do hope that I’ll have the persistence to finish this one. Hopefully I’ll update on the state of the program soon.
Have a good day guys! :)