Post-Mortem

January 10, 2006 · Print This Article

Maybe doing a full 3D game was too much for one person. I had no idea how big a project this was, and maybe should have picked something with a narrower focus. That said, I gained a new appreciation for how much work it is to make a game and got to see a cross section of all the different jobs that have to be done to make it happen.

One major problem was that I required an immense number of art-assets (textures, models, animations, sound-fx). Many of these I tried to do myself, with moderate success. In that sense, it’s kind’ve a cool accomplishment, but it was also a major distraction from the actual programming. It was also a problem, because even if I could program a new player-motion (dive-roll, slide, etc.) combat functions, or anything else – without an animation nothing would happen
on-screen.

I did get a lot accomplished, and solved some interesting puzzles along the way. Some of the key features I added in are:

  • Got the complete overworld-map built and working.
  • Built the entrance to Level-1
  • Built a working inventory module, and the status screen.
  • Integrated a game-pad controller.
  • Added a new 3rd-person orbit-cam.
  • Added in a lot of environmental effects including day-night cycles.
  • Got several sound-effects and intro-music working.

Indoor / Outdoor Transitions

The Level-1 Entrance was a challenge. The labyrinth is a giant building-model, which is supposed to be hidden ‘underground’, but the entrance is just a small structure on an equally small island. I solved this by using some ‘teleport’ code to teleport the player from the entrance to the actual labyrinth and back.

I then designed the level entrance, so that the player would never realize they were being teleported, it would all be a seemless transition.

Dynamic Environments

I also got very invovled with the dynamic weather effects and day-night cycles. Partly becasue, there was a lot of intresting programming that could be done here without requiring any new art-assets, and partly because it just looked cool! This has led to a lot of my later work on a project called EnviroTorque.

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