A small deviation from the norm

The next couple of days i’ll have to focus heavily on my day job. I will not be available via e-mail, twitter or skype, nor will i be able to watch over the forums. I’ll be back on monday if all goes well, or friday in a week if all goes to shit.

If some of you could care for the people in the “Beginning Android Games” forum and tell them about my absence i’d be super happy.

I’ll be back.

QBOB First Render Tests

Tiny comment: this is the first rendering test, fully unoptimized. There’s a lot of knobs to tweak. I’ll try to make it work on the Milestone/Droid. Promise 🙂

We made some progress today. I finished a few things in the 3D API that made it possible for us to create our first render performance test. Here’s an image:

What you see is how our levels are going to look (at least in one of the worlds, codenamed “Blobbie world”). We use a tile approach as you can see, but instead of 2D tiles we use fullfledged 3D tiles with nice textures on them.

The lighting is of course not dynamic but baked. In fact, we have two textures here: one diffuse with the textures for the tiles (or brushes as we call them) and for each block of 14×11 brushes a 256×256 RGBA lightmap with shadows, lighting and ambient occlusion baked in. We think it looks awesome, and hopefully so do you 🙂

We need your help again! Please run the following rendering demo on your phone:

Please tell us what framerate you get (displayed at the bottom left of the screen) and what phone and Android version you used for testing. Post your results in the comments below.

Btw, all that code is currentl yin the libgdx repository, so you can see how easy it is to actually do that with our new 3D API. That’s all the code we have for the demo.

Announcing “QBOB”

Badlogic Games is announcing the development of it’s super awesome, super secret new game, code named “QBOB” alias “Insane Spacepopes from Y-7”. It will be available for Windows, Linux, Mac OSX as well as Android some time 2011 (yeah, right…). Get excited now or else the kitten gets it!

So what is QBOB? Cuboc on steroids! For now we play around with concepts for the most part and use the old Cuboc as a prototype to figure out control schemes and the like. The endevour ties into the libgdx work i do. First of all, it’s all about eating my own dog food. Second of all, i have a super awesome 3D artist that helps us (Eric and myself) immensely with getting the 3D API for libgdx right, especially the asset pipeline. Here’s a nice little sample of the 3D API, using an asset from QBOB.

Some technical details:

  • We essentially go for a tiled world, but use 3D tiles instead of 2D tiles.
  • All animations will use keyframed models due to better performance characteristics as compared to skeletal models. The jury is out on that one still, maybe i can pull of GPU vertex skinning that works acceptably on lower end GLES 2.0 devices as well.
  • The gameplay will essentially be 2D which allows us to integrate Box2d for extra awesome sauce.
  • The “engine” will use the fullblown 3D API of libgdx, anything that is developed for them game will become part of libgdx and vice versa. Eat your own dog food ftw!
  • I’m creating a fullblown level editor with quite a bit a few bells and whistles like visual scripting support, insta-playback and so on. You should see the design doc for that sucker, it scares me to death.

On the artsy fartsy side there’s of course a shitton of work todo as well. Shiu is spending all his time on concepting, modelling, rigging, building blocks and so on and so forth. Here’s a sample:

We have quite a hefty design doc that defines the entire story (which is pretty elaborate if i might say so), fitting game mechanics, the art style, and so on and so forth which makes me confident that we can pull it off. We try to keep the scope manageable which also means that some of Shiu’s artsy fartsy ideas go the way of the Dodo.

Apart from all this design work we also have to reality check out stuff. For now we use the LD Cuboc version to come up with a proper control scheme for Android. And that’s where you come in!

We prepared a special Cuboc version for Android that should reflect the mechanic as it will be implemented in QBOB. You can find it here or alternatively use the following QR code:

qrcode

We don’t give you any kind of instructions, you are supposed to figure out the controls yourself. What we are most interested in:

  • What do you think of the intertia, velocities, acceleration, damping and general feel of the controls?
  • What parts are intuitive, what parts aren’t?
  • What pisses you off to no end?
  • What makes you a happy kitten?
  • What do you think of the button placement?

Please do not judge the following:

  • The art style
  • Bugs, this is a hacked up thingy that is bound to crash every now and then.

We are aware of those short comings and will make darn sure they are not included in QBOB. We’ll have such public tests every now and then. No need to sign up anywhere, no need to pay up-front. Just look for news in this space every now and then. Looking forward to your feedback!

With love,
Team Douche Canoe