2007-06-26

Week #2: birth of the Bot 69

Long weekends ain't for working, right? I wonder where I've lost my time, most probably I was looking for fern-blossom...
Ok, back to PS - here I have a few screenshots of our untextured garbage bot model. Follow the Screenshots link on the right menu to see more bot creation pictures in full size.
Not so much of a progress since last week, but I'm still happy that we already have regular builds (Cruise Control). In the upcomming week I will spend only few hours working and most probably there will be no updates.

2007-06-15

Week #1: challenging NeoAxis

"A hammer?" he asks. "Nobody really buys hammers anymore. They're kind of old fashioned."

The first few steps may be vital for the project and one must take care when selecting tools and technolgies. Last weekend I've spent fighting with NeoAxis Resource and Map editors, or to be more precise - with the lack of documentation. Followed by countless crying out loud curses and a couple of "Svyturys Draught" an ice brakthrough pleased my heart - by the end of Saturday I had a funny rabbit running around our first test map who managed to take control over our main character Garbage Bot "Плюшкин 69".

The Story
Oh yes, the story now. The idea is pretty much the same, just a few details on what's going on. The rabbit is a character from NeoAxis demo, so - deleted. Our hero, the garbage collecting bot "Плюшкин 69", has malfunctioned and now collects everything it happens to find on the street - cars, lanterns, scouting droids, TV sets, babies etc. Ok ok, I was kiddin' about the babies :)
The bad guys (or as it turns out from the story - the good ones 'cause they're trying to stop a bot that went crazy), are coworkers of Plyushkin, also bots - they are chasing player character around the maze, desperately wishing to shut him down.
Here are a few sketches of our garbage bot on the right.



The Place
At the moment our bot went crazy, he was working on the space station, so that's the first environment for our map. The surroundings and background has only minimal impact on the game play, thus it's more like an eye-candy for the player and a playground for artists. It was also a strategical project decision - we don't have to finish the environment modeling if we're short on time and that won't affect our project much.
Ok, back to the space station (SS) - made a quick sketch how to arrange maze and things. Center disk of SS is a place for our maze and has a floating side mirror. The outer disk rotates slowly around two axes and has attached various fancy-shmancy moving gadgets. A little higher in the orbit let's place a Soviet space station MIR, and maybe some episode from Star Wars - a famous scene of Tie Fighters chasing X-Wing (let's hope they don't do much chaos there, or else player will stop gaming and starts watching this fight :).
Yesterday I've spent a few hours browsing through Hubble Space telescope image gallery on the web and hope they don't mind if I borrow a few star images for background of the game.


Summary
This was quite a productive week, most probably because it was driven by fresh enthusiasm. I'm glad we've solved Issue tracking and storage problems (thanks to TeaMan and Borg).
There are a few critical tasks left for this milestone, but still many of normal priority. Most of the tasks are modeling and content creation.

2007-06-11

Project Summary: Registration is over

First milestone is completed - registration is over: there are 26 projects competing.

Last week was tough, and by "tough" I mean we didn't have much development time. Major tasks achieved - we have developed System Design, but then again - unexpected problems with repository and issue tracking system. We hope to fix these problems soon.

A few tasks still not finished: final framework setup, nightly builds and unit tests.

We do not publish any art-work or screenshots yet as current phase involved mostly set-up and modeling tasks.

Good luck to other contestants!

2007-06-08

Great news everyone!

One of our team mebers has decided to have more fun in his life (huh?), and well... the best we can do is to support his choice. As long as he can raise a bowl of beer together with his friends :)
Best whishes and warm congratulations to TeaMan!

2007-06-04

Project Milestones

Major milestones and deadlines:
  1. End of registration (06/10/2007)
  2. Playable demo 1.0 (07/29/2007)
  3. Playable demo 2.0 beta (09/30/2007)
  4. Final release (10/31/2007)

Project Summary: Week before registration ends

Only one week remaining till the end of registration to the contest and I will shortly review our project status.
Main achieved tasks:
  • Selected development technologies. NeoAxis game engine powered by Ogre3D rendering engine will run our project.
  • Selected development tools.
    1. Visual Studio 2005 (C#)
    2. Subversion source control
    3. Trac issue tracking system
    4. Google docs for document management
    5. Magic Draw for UML diagrams
    6. NUnit for unit testing
  • Created System Requirement Specification document - a rough list of use cases we plan to achieve.
What still needs to be done this week:
  • System Design Document containing game architecture.
  • Set up application framework with stub methods.
  • Set up nightly builds.
  • Define unit test framework.
Shortly I also plan to post a few sketches - game characters and environment.