Just completed the high poly modelling for this twin mounted gatling gun. Uploaded at:

Artwork Progress Forums

Posted by Prometheus
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Woo hoo! I got it working. :D The editing part is done. You can now add/remove them grass and pebbles. Adding other custom brushes is easy too. And if there needs different fading out options, one can create multiple layers of paging geom detail.

However right now, the current version only support simple batching. It doesn't deal with the grass plains feature. This means that we have to use this as sparingly as possible as it's not cheap. Though significantly cheaper compared to the static batched geometry.

I'm planning to add another type of paging geom type that specializes on grass plains. That one requires more complex UI as there will be a need to use a heightmap. It also have some limitation which I won't talk about for now.

Next is to get this damn thing to save and load. After that, I can let Yap do the thing that he does to beautify the level. As it is now, the programmer grass art is really spoiling the level. lol
Posted by Lf3T-Hn4D
We've been pretty overwhelmed by the response for our request for music and sound fx for our game its taking longer than usual to pick the right one for our game. Apologies to you guys as most of you are really amazing composers and sound designers.
Posted by Prometheus
Many features are still not in place; Particle effects, Paging geometry (grass & pebbles), Script Engine and Sound Engine, just to name a few.

Right now I'm busy adding Paging geometry so Yap can start planting grass. :P The difficult part about it is that I needed to build an editor around the Paging Geometry engine. I'm hoping it won't take too long to build. As it is, I'm already off schedule by two days.

I'm planning to work on the craft balancing, Network and Script engine next. Without these, we won't have any game at all. :P So, yeah, sparks can come later. Be patient alright guys. :) We'll definitely have sparks and fancy wobbling camera.
Posted by Lf3T-Hn4D
It aint easy designing logos as its supposed to represent the company's brand. Created a 2D version but couldnt resist making a 3D one since we already have holographic effects for our direction arrow in our game.

Posted by Prometheus
Finally figured out how to make a simple animation in blender for the swarm missile hatch closing and opening. The way it handles animation is a little different from 3ds max . Well interface wise anyways. The rest keyframing ,Ipos...are generally the same. :D
Posted by Prometheus
Phewh~ finally got the forum up. Took us quite a while due to our crappy ISP. The whole nation was experiencing a slowdown to international sites! Thankfully today was much better. :)

It's been a while since I touched web development. Getting back into those php/html/css stuffs took me a while to get used to. Good thing I had enough experience on this before hand. :P

(check previous post for link)
P.S. Domain name is temporary. We will register a real domain soon.
Posted by Lf3T-Hn4D
Yes! Finally our very own forums. >:) Check it out.

Liquid Rock Games Forums
Posted by Prometheus
Here's how the low poly swarm missile launcher would look like at the moment. Until I can come up with more ideas on how to texture it. The weapon is to be mounted on top of the player craft. These old but functional weapons were once used by the military and adapted for this race.

Posted by Prometheus
As we all know, racing game is about the feel of the physics. Since this is a sci-fi racing game with hover craft, we need a good feel of hover craft physics. But here lies the problem. What exactly is a hover craft physics?

The hover crafts of today uses air pressure to keep itself afloat. The way they work is by having a skirt around the waist of the craft to keep air flow tight between the ground and the craft.

How hover craft works.

Ok, so this doesn't work. Now what about all those cool fancy sci-fi movie type? They look pretty darn cool and feels like hovering. Those are in fact for the most part totally fake. There's no relation to Newtonian physics in any way. However, we need to define that kind of behavior within Newtonian physics.

First of we thought of using propulsion physics. The whole idea is that the craft pushes itself upwards through propulsion force. All nice and dandy, but it doesn't really work. Why? If you think about it, our space rockets uses propulsion force. With a constant propulsion rate, they go up into space!

How rocket works.

Ok, crap now our craft's flying into space. We need it on the ground. So we came up with a new idea. Why not detect if it's close to the ground, we add more propulsion force and when it's away, we decrease until a certain height, we loose propulsion force completely? Sounds great isn't it? That would guarantee we will hover at a certain height... or at least so in our mind simulation.

Well, it didn't work. It went bouncing like a perfect spring. A very happy lil giddy bouncing hover craft.

Ok, so it's bouncing, we want that. But we don't want it to bounce forever. It should bounce only a few times and have to be done slowly. So we added damper to our physics which worked like a charm. :)

We were happy with the result until we hit a problem with our anti-gravity track. As we want high speed, our craft didn't have enough propulsion power to sustain it's hovering state on sharp banking on the anti-gravity track. Due to the velocity, it was pressed down pretty hard when doing the bank and ends up hitting the surface and loose control. That was pretty darn annoying.

To cut story short, we had to tweak the damping really high to slow down fast enough for the craft to not hit the track when banking on high speed. This of course killed the hover feeling. :(

That's what happened in the video.

Right now, I'm tinkering on a few tricks to help solve this problem. The first one was to use quadratic equation for the propulsion instead of the linear method. This gives us a bit of improvement (but still no good) on the hover cushion feeling we were trying to achieve.

However, there's yet another idea we have that will hopefully solve the anti-grav problem while giving us more better cushioning. What we will try next is to provide dynamic propulsion control base on craft velocity. Hopefully it will yield good result for us. :)

P.S. Craft hover balancing is a pain in the ass. We've been tweaking this thing for months and still tweaking. It's one of the hardest thing to get right I must say. (what's so hard about racing game? vroom vroom... lol)
Posted by Lf3T-Hn4D
Just started work on craft weaponry. This first one would be a swarm missile launcher capable of launching multiple missiles at one or several targets at once. >:) be afraid...be very afraid......

Posted by Prometheus
Here's a screenshot slideshow and video with improved skybox and lighting effects. There are some missing details like fallen leaves on ground,wild grass,debris and pebbles on road. etc... Will get those up as soon as we get paging geometry to work with portals on our level editor so we can "paint" those details directly onto the track mesh.

Direct link to Liquid Rock Games Flickr photostream here

Direct link to track 1 HD video preview on YouTube here

Posted by Prometheus
Heres another high poly model for the 2nd craft.

Posted by Prometheus
An early take on rebuilding the track again. Skybox definitely needs work. Its toooo...orange...definitely not the nice warm afternoon/evening sun I had in mind.

Posted by Prometheus
Heres our take on how the count down machine should look like.

Posted by Prometheus
We figured racing around the track in loops beating the clock isnt much fun and decided to add deadly traps to make life more miserable. (hey if we're miserable and tired from developing this game-the gamers should feel the pain too right?)

Posted by Prometheus
Heres an early attempt at HDR or High Dynamic Range post processing. Older games generally use LDR or Low Dynamic Range lighting. With HDR lighting we are now able to capture a range of light exposures which makes the scene look richer as more details from the under and over exposed parts are visible.

Heres a shot with bloom and HDR post processing enabled.

Posted by Prometheus
We've decided to go for baked ambient occlusion mapping per building rather and shared AO maps for track blocks than go for creating a lightmaps for the entire level.

One of the main reasons for doing so, its alot easier for us to change lighting on the fly without re-rendering the entire level lightmap and with the new shadow system we've implemented lispsm+pssm which works really well for outdoor scenes.

Newer games such as Assassin's Creed also use this method where they only bake AO maps instead of lightmaps and do real time dynamic lighting and shadow.Besides AO maps may not look as good as radiosity maps but it does give a decent sense of depth and realism to the models.

Here's a screenshot of the buildings with AO maps in the level editor.

and heres a test scene composed of objects with baked AO maps.

Posted by Prometheus
Heres a test run vid of a simple track to showcase the building holos in action. Fraps to record ingame vid, virtualdub to encode the vid for upload.

Project Aftershock - Building Hologram test HD from yapdakilla on Vimeo.
Posted by Prometheus
Tested out real time distortion on the holographic images. Pretty neat effect by adding noise to the image. Inspired by holographic signs in the Space Siege game.

And heres a vid of the noise effect on the hologram real time.

Animated Hologram vid from yapdakilla on Vimeo.
Posted by Prometheus
Decided to add some flickering glowing holographic building signs to show that these were once futuristic buildings and some of em still have their signs partially working.

Posted by Prometheus
Glow test material on mesh objects. Gonna use this for cool looking pointy arrows..

Posted by Prometheus
Thought it would be cool to have this super massive dome built over the destroyed city . Sorta like a stadium ceiling over the tracks.

Posted by Prometheus
Added detail map to increase the details on base textures which appear stretched due to scaling.

Posted by Prometheus
I love Ogre3D. :) Without it, I'll be in a lot of trouble by now. Open Source is one of the greatest thing ever happened. You get access to all source code and you get to use other people's contribution. Last but not least, you get to add your own feature if it lacked any. What a win win solution. :)

Right of the bat, we knew we needed Portal to keep our scene rendering to an optimum level. Octree just doesn't cut it for complex scenes. We were really lucky to have someone already doing that for us. Thanks Chaster (Eric Cha)! :)

All was great but we realized all these weren't enough. We needed PSSM shadow if we want our scene to look good and a way to create materials and shaders that has optional features that can be dynamically turned on/off.

I couldn't wait for Ogre's dev team to add PSSM shadow to their system. So I ended up helping them add that feature in the end. :P But I think that's a good thing. :) It's a way to contribute back a little of what I got for free. :)

The material problem was quite the beast to solve though. It took me quite a few iteration before I managed to get them sorta working. I wanted a smart way to generate shaders with given options. But found that it's painfully impossible. In the end, I resorted to shader preprocessing and my own special material template generator. Personally I believe it could be done in a much better way, but what we have right now is a good middle solution. :)

The funny part is that having this solution automated for Yap to easily deal with required me to add support for the blender exporter of Ogre. Doing that made me discover some complications with the exporter that I didn't like. So I made many fixes and changes to it and tried to contribute it back. In the end, I ended up being the maintainer of the blender exporter. lol.
Posted by Lf3T-Hn4D
Heres an early attempt at track level design using prefab models built using Blender and exported into Ogre3d format.

and a test run of the built tracks. Hey! its looking AAA+A already !

Posted by Prometheus
Tada!Heres a screenie featuring our super duper awesome level editor where there are no need for GUI buttons and is capable of reading the artists and programmers minds...Nah just kidding..its our first early level editor prototype which allows for basic level building (arranging level block prefabs) and currently has 1 directional light source-the sun.

Posted by Prometheus

When we first started, we knew we needed a good development pipeline. First there must be a distinction between the art and the tech. The whole idea was to push for efficiency as we don't have anybody to cover up for us. This is where tools come in. We needed tools where art can be exported, placed, previewed and tested without the interference of the programmer.

With that said, we knew damn straight we need a level editor. This was a good decision even though it was quite a difficult task. The good part is that I know we needed one, so when coding the core game engine, all design were done with having an editor in mind. However I knew that it's impossible for me to come up with a full fledged editor with great GUI in a short time. This is where I think Blender3D really saved my ass. I basically made the editor with keyboard short-cut interface like how Blender3D does it. Yes very unfriendly, but hey, it worked. :P

But one big mistake we made the first time was (as Yap said in the previous post), to design the whole level in blender, then chunk it up into pieces for placement in the level editor. Boy that was seriously crazy. Good thing we switched to a prefab placing one. :)
Posted by Lf3T-Hn4D
Some renders of the early level design done in Blender. But in the end we realized not only modelling entire levels in Blender tedious and unwieldy, it does not allow for faster iteration cycles to test if the level was fun and to do that we needed to build a level editor and model out smaller building or track blocks separately in Blender. Therefore we stopped all level modelling works in Blender when it was still in its early stages.

Having a level editor also allows the artist to test materials and force out problems early so that they dont creep up on us later which would've made debugging alot harder then.

and here are some shots in Blender for the untextured level.

Posted by Prometheus
And here is how the craft looks like in game at the moment. Players would be able to swap colors as well as change craft designs based on predetermined templates. A feature to be added in the near future.

Posted by Prometheus
Work on the art side kicked off by modelling the first hovercraft. Was kinda aiming something abit more organic in feel, not too sleek but also not too clean either.

Posted by Prometheus
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