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.

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