Monday, December 13, 2010

I love it when a plan comes together

Where is part three of the Deferred/Inferred story? Well, last weekend I had beer-drinking duty on a little vacation with friends :p So, next week hopefully. Adjusting the rendering pipeline correctly (including some other aspects) is quite a struggle.

As for the game & next demo-movie, there are some interesting developments going on that I'd like to share. The chaos in the mailbox with people offering their help was over, but last week there were about 10 replies again. Varying from students who like to build their skills with this project, artists, web-designers, and also interesting; Pascal community members who asked if this project could become "Open Source"... With limited time and hands full on programming and keeping the three other team members busy I have to pick carefully though. Don't carry more than you can hold!

As said before, replying to all these mails is difficult for me. Not that I don't like answering mails, but I just don't want to sound like a jerk when refusing someone’s help. As the whole thing is based on charity basically… "Kijk een gegeven paard nooit in de bek"

In the ideal situation, one or two experts reply right at once for either sound, modeling, mapping or concept drawing. Two days later a team was formed… Right. In reality a mixture of qualities, styles and experience levels drop a mail once in a while, and you have to pick really carefully. Don't rush (difficult!!!), and don't put four men on the same task. If I would have let everyone in so far, we would already had about 5 character artists/modelers for example. While one or two is more than enough. Hey, we’re not making World of Warcraft here! I'm not an expert, but I guess mixing different styles and ideas is not a good idea anyway. Steering a ship with 8 captains at the same time...

Work from Jesse. Nothing to do with Tower22, but nice to show neverthless. Uhm... I still don't have new game-pictures anyway

Nevertheless, I was pleased with the offer from a concept-artist who mainly showed environment-art. Exactly one of the missing keys in our team setting so far. Hey, that whole skyscraper has to get filled right? From macro level (global overviews like the Zelda or Metroid maps) from micro (corridor atmosphere, bizarre environment ideas). Say hello to Jesse Maccabe as our Environment artist:

Now that I'm thinking about it, I guess it's fun to let the modelers/artists/writers and sound composers write "how they do stuff" here on this Blog once a while. A little view in the Tower22 kitchen, asides from spicey programming with Gordon Fuck! Ramsey.

And… we’re getting help from another person on the main character of the game. Worked on a couple of games, including F.E.A.R. 3. Currently teaches at the Full Sail University. Hands up for Robert Brown:
Right now we are brainstorming how the player character should look like. No, I’m not telling anything yet, but that rusty robot has to be replaced obviously. Started to malfunction anyway. Well, with six people in total now, it’s time to shut the cry for help, as we are pretty much complete. For now. In the future we probably need a map & asset modeler, but… let’s first make a second demo movie ok? All in all, I can’t complain! Seriously, I really didn’t expect to get so many reactions, and certainly not from people with this kind of experience!

Robert's golden handshake

About Open Source… This game is made with ancient alien techniques so far. Delphi 7, OpenGL1.X and Windows XP Paint of course. Anyway, the Pascal(programming language) got interested because of that of course (thank you!). All those C++ boys keep telling that Delphi sucks, here, eat that sucker  But seriously, some were interested in the code. How to reply on that? Since I'm using quite a few free tools, and learned most of my skills from free tutorials/demo's/projects, it would be a little bit selfish to keep the cake for myself right? Yet I refused for now. Why?
- No time (to do it properly)
- This Blog gives some learnful information, hopefully. Using that to repay my debts :)
- I worked hard on it for many years. Sorry, but giving it all away right away...
- What if... this project would actually get a chance to become something more serious?

Basically I have no problems with Open Source. In fact, if T22 would be released tomorrow, you are free to look in the code in the next week. Kinda sympathized id Software for opening their Quake2 code (years after though) for example. But the main focus is to have fun and to create a game/movies for now. I simply don't have time for side projects, teaching students (I would like to though) or very detailed tutorials on this Blog. Sorry!

And wouldn't it be stupid to give it all away if this project might get a "commercial chance" in the future (after making more movies)? I'm not much of a materialistic guy (give me a chair and a computer, that's enough), but if making a living with doing what you like most is something everyone likes. I can't look in the future, but watching your steps is always wise.

Last but not least, we have a second movie idea. Quite a lot more complicated than the first one. Not in size, but it requires more interaction, showing some actual action-puzzling elements the game should have. And a far more bizarre creature than the Meathook guy… Since there are artists now, I'm hoping to post a couple of teasers in the next few months!


  1. Cant wait to see how the project looks with the work from the new members!

    good luck

  2. Thanks. Going to need that I think. Plus many many free hours, a new videocard (Santa please!), a few nightmares and a cup of coffee :)

  3. Nice to see that all goes well.

    Keep up the good work, you and your team members ! :)

  4. Just a quick question. How do you do deferred/inferred rendering with OpenGL 1.x? I didn't think FBOs, MRTs, and shaders (at least modern shaders) came along until OpenGL 2.0 or later.

  5. You got me thinking... I'm saying that GL 1.X is used, but that just goes for the old headers I'm using. I had to add a couple of functions and constants to use MRT and such. But that doesn't mean the old GL version is used of course. Hence I'm not even sure what version is installed on computer...

    Doh! 2.X :#