Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Making a mess

I call this composition "Making a mess." It takes a bit of manoeuvring, but after 15 minutes of playing in the sand, the landscape looks considerably changed.

But the sad news is, I am still having a hard time finding a game play design for it. I've got this incredibly advanced simulation technology, but that does not make a game in its self. Should I just hide some treasure in the mud, and have the player dig it up? Maybe with a "warmer" "colder" hint system? Do I create a fancier version of the "Yukon Gold" level in The Little Crane That Could? I don't know at this moment.

Then there is the problem of hardware platform. Mobile is far too underpowered to do this. Even my second generation Mac Book Air is struggling to get fluid frame rates. So PC then? Well, steam greenlighting is not working out for me. And Amazon's app store keeps rejecting my PC build of Little Crane v1. Should I shelf it for a few years, and release it for iOS9 when cpu performance has increased another order of magnitude?


  1. Could release beta exe + editor where maps are shared on the web, looking for emergent gameplay.
    (bit a la minecraft beta)

    About optimisations ands ideas:
    - Did you check fluids related paper (lots of paper on optimising those)
    Or even that nice latest snow thing paper here
    - Voxeks route, at it's proven it does work real time, see for instance.
    - Did you tried using gpu for computation. (as your apps doesn't look too much demanding on graphics...)

    1. Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it a lot.

      About the snow simulation: it is amazing! But it is intended for off-line rendering of movies, not for real time game play.

      ABout voxels: I already use those. As a matter of fact, I use PolyVox, the underlying tech for cubiquity, and by the same author.

      GPGPU would be great, but the problems I need to solve are too diverse:
      collisions (particle vs particle, particle vs tertain, particle vs vehicle) and also constraint solver for collision constraints and joint constrains (hinges in crawler tracks, e.g.)
      A SIMD version of OpenDE would be very useful, but there is no such thing.
      Maybe I need to switch to another physics lib, but my 10yrs of OpenDE experience is too valuable to throw away by switching, I am afraid.

    2. Yes, offline only, but imho worth the read anyway, even for offline they need to speed up render too, and nice tweaks and speedup ideas lies there (most real-time algo comes from offline ones refined)

      I don't think it's a throwaway at all if you switch. I did switch from Ode to Bullet some time ago and felt at home very easily, same concepts even nearly the same names, just more choice and much more speed. The samples are really helpful and demonstrating a lot of what bullet can do.

      Even for cpu only, bullet will speed up things a lot from ode. (simd, cache-friendly, better algos, etc.) And bullet 3.0 will have gpugpu for nearly everything.
      So switching might help easing the burden on cpu a lot and will help for gpu switch afterwards

    3. Tuan,

      Good to know that your OpenDE -> Bullet switch went well.
      That convinces me to test out bullet.

      I like the SIMD and GPU work being done in Bullet.

      However, I am disappointed in the lack of C API, it seems to be a strictly C++ thing.
      The last few years I have been trying to move away from C++ and do as much as possible in C.

  2. +1 for Tuan Kuranes idea

    Also, I would like to have a lot of different machines and deal with imaginary situations problems of dirt work. A farm tractor would be a good addition.

    You could give a map editor for free and let people build maps on the assumption that if they make it to the final version of the game it would be free for those lucky :)

    I think that a lot of enjoyment on TLCTC was dealing with different situations and different machines.

    P.S.: I want to need to move a river and build a bridge :)

    1. Yeah, I've been considering landscaping with a river. That could be fun for sure.
      A map editor would take a lot of work to, just as much as creating a game I would estimate.

    2. Editors ease emergent gameplay, but really do take a lot of time .
      A easy start is giving a nice a txt map specification file people can tweak themself using notepad or whatever. Lots can be done with just that.

  3. WOOW
    Nice dude very nice...
    Wish i would be able to make such things...
    Would love to become a beta tester if you need one. I have Galaxy S4 and going to buy a beast of a gamePC in a week or so...
    can we have a demo?
    Would love to help. Doing an ICT study so maybe ...???