The Blob

A place to show off your latest screenshots and for people to comment on them. Only start a new thread here if you have some nice images to show off!
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Oogst
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Post by Oogst » Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:48 am

What is it that makes this game run so much better on every other PC than mine? I only get 20 to 30 fps on my AMD Athlon 2500+, 1024mb RAM, Geforce 6600 GT. It's not fair! :shock:

Performance really is a weird and complex thing, I've bee surprised by the different framerates on different PC's over and over again.

Anyway: thanks all for the compliments! :D

@Sinbad:
Can The Blob be added to the Featured Projects Screenshots section thingie? Do I need to do something for that?

@eugen:
If you played on a shader 2 GPU, then the colour transitions where done by calculating the distance of a pixel to the hitpoint in the pixel shader and deciding the blend of the two textures from that. Very simply, really. :) On older GPU's it is just a fade of the two colours on the entire object at the same time. If you're interested: the shader is in ColourTransitions.cg.
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Post by yoshi » Sat Jul 01, 2006 12:52 pm

It's just a fantastic game, I had a lot of fun :)
Execellent work guys, congrats to your team :wink: (Works good on my 3Ghz Ati X600 256 mb)
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Post by SuprChikn » Sat Jul 01, 2006 7:35 pm

Fantasic work. Great game, very polished, and fun to play.

It runs perfectly smooth on my computer on 1280x1024: Athlon 2100+, 256MB 6200, 1GB RAM.

I did manage to get the blob guy stuck a few times, but much moving of the mouse and hitting jump got me unstuck eventually. Also, one of the textures is backwards on the Beatrix Theatre. On the south wall the name is backwards, both before and after painting it green.

I love all the little details too, like how the blue men are cops, the red guys seem to be walking little pet blobs, and of course the various blob-related ads on the billboards (one for each colour you paint it).
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Post by nfz » Sat Jul 01, 2006 9:10 pm

Don't forget the skateboarders and the guys with the jackhammers. The kids at the community centre here are enjoying the game too. We've had to translate a few words in some of the non english messages that popup when landmarks are painted but its a good learning experience for them. We used Google Earth to show them where the real city is on the globe and they were already experts in locating many of the historical buildings after playing the game most of the afternoon.
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Post by sinbad » Sat Jul 01, 2006 10:57 pm

Oogst wrote:@Sinbad:
Can The Blob be added to the Featured Projects Screenshots section thingie? Do I need to do something for that?
Way ahead of you - you're already on there, I did it yesterday :)

I still can't get over how well polished the whole thing is, you should be really proud of this. My wife enjoyed having a go too, the control system works brilliantly.
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Post by Louiz ofRohr » Sun Jul 02, 2006 12:27 am

Oogst, this game really rules :D

I just loved playing it.. the simple concept makes playing it even more addicting.. you know: nice audio, beautiful graphics, funny toon style.. smooth controls are a great reason to play it for long whiles, too..

I will keep this one installed here (close to Walaber's Stunt Playground 8))..

congratulations.. and thanks for the game :roll:
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Post by skatehead » Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:31 am

well done!

thats really impressive
and fun too :D
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Post by Oogst » Sun Jul 02, 2006 9:42 am

sinbad wrote:...
Way ahead of you - you're already on there, I did it yesterday :)

I still can't get over how well polished the whole thing is, you should be really proud of this. My wife enjoyed having a go too, the control system works brilliantly.
Ah, thank you, I see you found out that we did not remove the print screen button. ;)

As for the control system: about 50% of the users loves it, while other users hate it. Some think the mouse movement is too large, others get motion sickness because of the camera. Funny how it works for different people. We playtested it and we even saw some people making very small movements very quick, making the game look like 5fps while it runned on 60fps. :?
nfz wrote:Don't forget the skateboarders and the guys with the jackhammers. The kids at the community centre here are enjoying the game too. We've had to translate a few words in some of the non english messages that popup when landmarks are painted but its a good learning experience for them. We used Google Earth to show them where the real city is on the globe and they were already experts in locating many of the historical buildings after playing the game most of the afternoon.
Ah, yes, the names of the buildings, they are in Dutch, as they are Dutch names. How did you manage to translate these without being Dutch? :?

Fun to see kids like it. We did not start out making a kids game, but because we targeted non-gamers and had to make it non-confrontational, the result is that kids like it most. The my sister's children (2 and 4 years old) are totally hooked. :twisted:
SuprChikn wrote:...
I did manage to get the blob guy stuck a few times, but much moving of the mouse and hitting jump got me unstuck eventually. Also, one of the textures is backwards on the Beatrix Theatre. On the south wall the name is backwards, both before and after painting it green.
...
There really are still a lot of details left that are not so polished. The backwards texture is one of them (it is used twice in the unwrap in mirrored form, so the only solution without doing the whole texture again is by removing that name), the cars that are half inside buildings and that partially drive through each other on low frame-rates are another. It really bugs me we were not able to fix all these small things. However, looking at it now, I think it would take us at least another month to get rid of all the small bugs. As our supervisor said correctly: the last 20% of the work takes 50% of the time.

Especially the Blob getting stuck is a pain, because it is a physics thing. We tried shrinking the Blob a bit when it had collisions on two opposing sides, but this resulted in moving through walls in a lot of cases. :shock: Using proxies instead of meshes for collision detection on the buildings might have done a lot, but that would be an incredible work to do for the entire city. I really do not see a solution that would totally solve the getting-stuck problem.
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Post by eugen » Sun Jul 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Hm, i tried to get stuck but couldnt...
But u can maybe use less friction (or 0) at contacts in those cases or Flag_BothFrictionPyramids so u'll have more accurate friction method
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Post by vimes » Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:13 pm

Great game : awesome gameplay, great soundtrack, fantastic art direction... it would have made a great level for Psychonauts! Congrats, I hope to see more of your dev group in the future!
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Post by Gauntlet » Sun Jul 02, 2006 3:34 pm

I finally came along to play the game this day at 3 am and I really was tired, so I thought - "well lets play the game for some minutes".
Actually I couldn't stop and ended up playing the game for 1.5h!

So this is really one great game and I had so much fun to play it, thanks for this :)
This game really looks quite professional - the artwork is so great man.

I think you could even make some money with that game.
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Post by synaptic » Sun Jul 02, 2006 3:50 pm

this game is brilliant, my girlfriend has taken over my computer because of this game :shock: :roll: she has pointed out that this game is ok on the pc but she would love to see it on the Wii, and personally i agree i think this game would be a total money maker if you were able to do this.
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Post by Wolf » Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:12 pm

Am I the only one who can't launch your game ?

When I launch the game it says that "An exception has been thrown ! ........ Cannot open requested directory Assets\NL/Menus" what is normal because there isn't any NL directory in the english version (I downloaded it twice, once on the main site, once on the mirror... same results). I renamed EN to NL but the game crashed after the main menu.
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Post by Oogst » Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:23 pm

@vimes:
I asked our lead artist, but really we have no clue what the link is with Psychonauts. Someone else pointed this out as well, but I do not see it. We know the game, but it was definitely not an influence we were aware of.
eugen wrote:Hm, i tried to get stuck but couldnt...
But u can maybe use less friction (or 0) at contacts in those cases or Flag_BothFrictionPyramids so u'll have more accurate friction method
Movement is done purely in our game by changing the torque of the ball, so we need friction for movement. I am not sure I understand what you mean. How could the ball move out that way?
Wolf wrote:Am I the only one who can't launch your game ?

When I launch the game it says that "An exception has been thrown ! ........ Cannot open requested directory Assets\NL/Menus" what is normal because there isn't any NL directory in the english version (I downloaded it twice, once on the main site, once on the mirror... same results). I renamed EN to NL but the game crashed after the main menu.
My co-programmer Olaf pointed out that this is because you try to run the exe by hand. You should run it from the shortcut in the Start-menu. We have only one EXE for four different versions of the game and the command line decides which is run, so you need the link.
Last edited by Oogst on Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Wolf » Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:39 pm

Oh ok thanks... I didn't even noticed that there was a new shortcut in my start menu ;)
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Post by eugen » Sun Jul 02, 2006 5:14 pm

But what is the situation in which u get stuck? (i maybe missunderstood the problem). Either is a problem of the level design (so u can acctually get stuck because u try to move the ball into a narrow place) or u get stuck cause of the physics (i know ODE has problems with the frictional piramid used by default when the ball is actually having 2 contact points with 2 different bodies (for example entering the corner made by 2 different bodies) ...so using both friction piramids (which is more costly) help getting rid of the problem.
Like i said, i couldnt get stuck no matter how hard i tried :)
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Post by Gauntlet » Sun Jul 02, 2006 5:41 pm

eugen wrote:Like i said, i couldnt get stuck no matter how hard i tried :)
I got stuck after 5 min. the first time I tried the game, after this I was really carefull with my character going between narrow rooms.

If you were be able to detect those stucks you could after some time make something like a explosion were the character gets pumped out off the place (in the direction from were he came from), with a funny animation this would be a good way to go over this problem. But it wouldn't be the easiest thing to implement ;)

And yeah this game on Wii would definitely rock :)
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Post by eugen » Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:02 pm

i suppose u can detect such moments taking into account torque application and the main character position deplasament (is obvious that if u dont have the character moving while u applied a movement for a few steps then there is a problem)...then, like Gauntlet said, u can apply a push force (in general it will be good to have it comming from below while u set the friction of the contact to 0 for a few steps) so the ball will be able to jump from that place.
:) anyway, enough hijacking the thread, the game is great as it is!
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Post by jacmoe » Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:12 pm

Brilliant game! :D
Excellent graphics, great gameplay, and very professionally done! :)

It ran acceptable on my crappy AMD Athlon 1500+ with 1.3GhZ processor, 256 MB RAM and a crappy FX5200.

A little sluggish, but fun!
I could have wished for some jump-boost power-ups for getting out the water and unstuck between narrow places, but that's part of the game, isn't it?

Stick together Blob-team! 8)
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Post by SuprChikn » Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:28 pm

eugen wrote:i suppose u can detect such moments taking into account torque application and the main character position deplasament (is obvious that if u dont have the character moving while u applied a movement for a few steps then there is a problem)
Couldn't this give a false-positive if the player is facing a wall (or corner or dead-end; some regular obstacle) and continues to try to move towards it? The obstacle will naturally block their path without them having to be stuck, but their position and orientation will not change as they continue to try moving into it.

A simple (but maybe not the prittiest) solution is to give the user a "deflate" key, shrinking their size one step.
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Post by joi » Sun Jul 02, 2006 7:08 pm

Great looking game. We want more levels! We want more levels! I liked the camera/movement style a lot (plus+), just wished there was a better way to spin around the Blob. :)
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Post by Aiursrage2k » Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:20 am

Very nice game.
Ran fine on my computer, no problems. Force feedback joystick support would be killer!
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Post by celic » Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:12 pm

Very nici screens! :)

Where could I download the game? sorry, can't get a working link in this thread. :oops:

Congrats!
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Post by Oogst » Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:37 pm

celic wrote:Very nici screens! :)

Where could I download the game? sorry, can't get a working link in this thread. :oops:

Congrats!
Half-way the thread there are a few download-links. Were they broken for your connection, or were you just too lazy to search for them? ;)
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Post by celic » Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:34 pm

I've tried to download the sources but the link is broken :-(
http://binnenstad.hku.nl/Techdemos/DecalsInTheBlob.zip

As well I searched it on your site also with no success
Now I found the right link, thanks! :-)
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