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Aug 11

So.. the project is coming to an end. 🙁 Today is 10th, Chris’ flight is August 30th, and mine is 31th, that makes 20 days of work from now, we made a daily schedule till the very last day.ScheduleAAAARRGHH

With the time we have from now, we managed to split it in a way we could continue wrapping up the game, and still have enough time to invest in the most important aspect of the Apricot Open Game Project, Documentation!

Basically, on my side I will be working one more week (next one) in the game itself, then move completely to work full day on Tutorials/Documentation (the week after), then the last week will be for making the design for the DVD and content. On Chris’ side, he will work on the game for a bit more, since now there is mostly work to do in the Logic/Python and special effects, something he is very good on 🙂 with the online help of Campbell who is working from home back in Australia, he’s the most busy of all of us i think, among all the additions to Blender and fixes, he made literally magic with the logic, making the gameplay a charm, oh and by the way he already got the BlenderPlayer to work! So Runtimes are possible now with GLSL and complicated Python stuff (Mathutils), all in one double-click-and-run file! 😀

So, as said before, the most important aspect of the project is Documentation, because “ok.. is very nice to have this little game and characters and everything, now you say we could make our own levels and expand the game with more episodes, but how do you expect us to do that?”, and not only that, because you, the people, the main sponsors, need to have something back for your support, not only the finished game but a lot of documentation and tutorials up-to-date with all the new features in Blender, and clear instructions in how to proceed to make new stuff.

At this point, thinking about the DVD content, what is the best way to keep this project as open as it is now? and make it *more* open?, let’s ask them what they want to have in the DVD!, we are not making it for ourselves, we are making it for them!.

So here is the list of tutorials we have in mind till now, tell us what you think about them and drop any suggestions for new ones. We have scheduled to work on them the week after this one, so there is time to think about.

Me (Pablo):

  • Lighting: Baking Lightmaps, AAO, Shadows..
  • Characters: Pipeline, how to make from scratch the modeling, texturing, simple rigging, shapekeys (ipodrivers) in real time, linking. Tips.
  • Overview through new features (there are so many! in UV editor, mesh editing, animation wise, GLSL and sooo on). Tips & Tricks.
  • Logo?

Chris:

  • Trees: *huge* topic in Game development, making trees from scratch, texturing them, optimizations.
  • Extend YoFrankie!: Explanation in what you need to make a new level, put all the assets on, enemies, power-ups, making ledges to grab on, loop-the-loops, and sooo on.
  • Overview through new features in the BGE, GLSL, splatting, etc.

Campbell:

  • Overview of Frankie’s logic – Explain each state, property and object in frankies group.
  • Break Frankie’s logic into 5-10 blend files each with an element of frankies logic, so its not as confusing.
  • Tutorial on adding a new action – we have tailwhip, kick, throw, you might want to add another ;-)
  • Enemies, overview of their logic – how to use the same logic for multiple enemies, adding some variation.
  • New features in logic bricks and python api, and now we used them.
  • If this doesn’t take too long Ill go into details for the enemies and do some screencasts too.
  • There is some overlap with game logic and level design, Chris and I will share this.

Now is your turn to tell us what you think about this list, and don’t hesitate in leaving your suggestions for more tutorials/documentation.

On the Crystal Space side, Dariusz and Frank already made tutorials, that you will find in the DVD, covering Scripting (main character, NPC’s, interaction), Linking, Shaders making, and so on.
But feel free to suggest/request CS-related tutorials anyway. There’s some chance Frank or Dariusz might have time for them.

Yo Frankie tshirtIs your DVD! you choose what to have inside, and if it is still not yours, go grab your copy here! and support this project, by the way the new Yo Frankie! t-shirts are already in the e-shop, among with the brand new design for the Blender ones. 🙂

That’s all folks! 🙂
venomgfx


PS: First picture: my schedule, slowly starts to get more annotations on it, next to it is my Pocoyo toy I got back in Barcelona, and the reason why I’m awake most of the time.. Coffee!, Red Bull and the nice caffeine gums I got from the guys in Denmark (yes, they are legal).

icon3 82 Comments!


Aug 2

GDC Students and PabloLast weekend I’ve been out of the Blender Institute, spending it in what would be a presentation of Yo Frankie! on the Game Development Campus 2008, in the University of Aalborg, Denmark.

The goal of the Camp was to share ideas about games, get to know each other, make groups, and then each group (7 groups in total, with 6 people each) will have to develop a game for the end of the week, using Blender as the Game Engine where all the games will run.

It ended up being lot more than that!  met a lot of people and made very good friends over there.

But the good news are that they are releasing all the games under the Creative Commons license! quoted from the Press Release:

“Inspired by the open-source game project, Yo Frankie!, all the teams have decided to release their games under the Creative Commons license.
The teams decide on the specifics for the licenses individually. This means that the games created at the summer camp will be made available on the website, along with all the code, 3D models and textures. All the games will run on all operating systems (Mac, Linux and Windows).”

And is all thanks to you people for making this game as Open as it is, sharing characters, animations, textures, and helping with constant feedback.

Also, the Game Development Camp is going to be giving away each student in the camp a copy of Yo Frankie!, and the Essential Blender book. Isn’t that awesome?

GDC CrewSadly I had to hop back to Amsterdam and couldn’t spend the entire week there, we have to finish a game here!, but I will love to attend next year 🙂

Here you can see the Official Press Release.

Games OnLine!:
Check them out here.

Each game have its own section there, where you can see:

  • Group’s Blog (Danish)
  • Download Source Code (.blend file)
  • Download Game (.zip)
    It’s .exe, but they run perfectly under Wine, however you can always download the blend file and press P, or save your own runtime file. 🙂

Updated the Press section in this site as well.

Thanks to everyone there, I had a great experience and learned a lot, see you next year!
(charlieee!)

icon3 29 Comments!


Jul 16
Yo Frankie!
icon1 venomgfx | icon2 Apricot Press, Random Fluff, Uncategorized | icon4 07 16th, 2008

Yo Frankie!

Yo!, we got a name:  Yo Frankie!: A Furry Vendetta

People voted for this names (ain’t open source beautiful? =), and we sorted them out like: Yo Frankie! the main name, and “A Furry Vendetta” as the name of this episode, now is your time to start thinking/making the next episodes 🙂  Yo Frankie: “Point Blank Frank”, or “The Rise Of Frank” are the most voted, pick which one is going to be the name of your own level (s)! 😀

You can download our new logo in all this flavours:
Big 3DLogo, with background – 1440x810px
Big 3D Logo, no background (alpha) – 887x670px

2D Yo Frankie! Logo – Small Size / Bully Size
2D Yo Frankie! Text – Small Size / Bully Size
2D Frankie Icon – Small Size / Bully Size

.zip file with all this (~2.2mb).

Peace.

icon3 55 Comments!


Jul 9

“Hola!, this is Pablo..”, that’s the first thing I say in this video that tries to explain a couple of effects I came up with the last week, playing around with shading nodes in real time.

The thing was that Mist option is still not supported in GLSL, how can I work around this?, Nodes! the great “Camera Data” is an input node that let you use information from the camera view to play with, such as the View Vector, View Z Depth, and View Distance (which is the one i’m using in this video). After playing for a while, I found out that this method was much more better than the boring Mist!

I ended up using this method for effects such as:

  • MultiColor Mist:  Color in front of the camera is more peachy, slightly noticeable, then more far away is a bit orange/red, and veery far away the color tries to mix with the sky.
  • SunRays: Just planes with a bright alpha texture, the trick is made by the View Distance factor of the camera, changing the alpha to zero when you get close to them, or far away from them (you don’t want to always see sunrays).
  • ChangeAlpha: for walking through trees leaves in a way that they don’t block the view, they have a node setup that makes them alpha zero when they get close to the camera, so you can see through.

Here the video:

Download the OGG version. (~30mb)

Nothing of this is actually new, you can do this for rendering since past year, and for GLSL is also there since weeks, so you can play with this by using any barely recent build.

* by the way, expect more videotutorials like this one (but better explained, better quality, etc), in the Apricot DVD! 🙂

That’s all folks! Enjoy!

icon3 48 Comments!


Jun 25
Shadow Baking!
icon1 blengine | icon2 Uncategorized | icon4 06 25th, 2008

More awesome blender dev. It’s there at last, the bake panel has existed far too long without the shadow bake option. Thanks Cambo! The plan for the BGE game is to use dynamic shadows for the character, and bake shadows for the level.

Note the quad split option in the image above. Blender’s baking needed an option for quad splitting as well. Internally, most systems will split a quad into 2 triangles, and blender’s no exception. It checks for non-planar (bent) quads and splits them in the direction that gives the least distortion.

While good for rendering models, this causes a problem for baking because the split direction can differ from the one used to display and export. One solution is to triangulate all faces before baking and exporting, but this isn’t ideal since it would loose the edge loop topology and make models harder to edit later. To make matters more confusing, graphics card don’t all split quads the same way, but many game engines just convert to triangles when exporting.

Campbell was also kind enough to add this option to split quads in a predictable manner (0,1,2) (….) etc.

icon3 29 Comments!


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