Thursday, January 06, 2005

Modeling for the Camera

My previous contributions to the Crystal Space community have been my tutorials on map creation and character modeling. It got me a brief stint as a contributor working with the PlaneShift development team, but evidentially I've fell out of their good graces when I took time to look for a new job last summer. Since then I've been working on revising my tutorials, this time concentrating on Blender 2.35 as the sole design suite. I've been happy with the changes so far, and have posted the older and currently-being-revised versions on my IU CS site. I've also taken time to Wikify them (but alas, lost the witty footnotes) and place them as articles on the Crystal Space community site. They've received a fairly good response thus far.

I tried to start writing code tutorials, but then I realized how incredibly unorganized my brain is when it comes to writing clean C++. I deleted about 10+ pages from the tutorial because it made no damn sense, and thus decided to actually code for a while so I can organize my thoughts before I try to organize someone else's.

Then comes the chicken and the egg paradox: do you start writing code before you have any content, or do you create content before you actually have anything to place it in? I tried just creating half-assed content so I can get hackin', but I ended up with half-assed code. But if you're going to create nice content, why not have it accomplish something purposeful? Otherwise you're just wasting your time.

So I decided to start writing my first full-sized game. I didn't want to make anything grandiose... not a sprawling landscape for an RPG, but not as simple as a logic game. Not too many animated models... I'd like to keep framerates up and keep things simple to debug. Plus they take forever to design. How about...

Boxing!

I'm working on building a ring first, then a couple of character models with quick left hook animations. Thanks to the lovely MakeHuman project this shouldn't be too bad. I'm not sure how I'm going to render the crowd... that might be my first trial with mass-sprite animations. Or maybe I'll make it a two-state bitmap that flips back and forth like the old Nintendo days. Heh.

After I get one ring and one boxer, I'll work on the code... getting a third-person camera working intelligently promises to be interesting.

Cross your fingers folks... I'm hoping to have the artwork done by February...

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