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The Blob

Posted: Sun May 21, 2006 5:27 pm
by Oogst
Edit: The Blob is downloadable now, click here for the post with the links!

For the past four months I have worked together with eight other students to create The Blob. The game is not finished yet, but we are getting close to the deadline. Because some issues still remain and I will ask those on the forum, I figured it would be nice to show what all those questions are about. :)

The Dutch city of Utrecht is having a great make-over of the city-centre during the coming 10 years and this game is to show the player how the city will look in ten years. In our game, the player has to paint the new city centre as it will be 10 years from now.

The player plays a ball of paint that rolls through the streets. When it rolls over a paint-character, it absorbs its colour and grows. This way the player can become different colours. With these colours the player can paint the buildings, trees and cars in the city. Cars only start driving when painted. The main goal of the game is to paint the 14 landmark buildings that each have small puzzles to accomplish this. Sub-goals of the game are to paint all other buildings and collect all hidden coins.

For technical stuff, we are using Ogre for graphics (of course), FMOD for audio and ODE for physics and collision detection. Interesting technical details:
-the ball is fully controlled by physics
-there are over 200 NPC's in the city
-most objects are seperately paintable, so that makes over a 1000 paintable objects in the level
-the ground is lit using pre-rendered lightmaps, rendered with VRay
-shaders give the ball and NPC's a funny look
-vertex shaders make the ball deform to make him look really squashy and fluid
-the game uses a custom hierarchical scene-exporter that is built on top of the MAXscript exporter and supports a lot of custom gameplay-objects.

I am the lead programmer on the team, which further features one other programmer, one audio designer, one level designer and five artists.

I hope a downloadable version of the full game will be available soon, but that depends on the client we are making this game for (the city of Utrecht). It will be playable in an information centre within a few weeks anyway for those who live in Utrecht.




Posted: Sun May 21, 2006 5:28 pm
by danharibo

Posted: Sun May 21, 2006 5:33 pm
by joi
That ball looks awesome! Nice work! Very colorfull! :P

Posted: Sun May 21, 2006 5:36 pm
by xavier
Looks rather fetching, Oogst!

How large, would you say, is the packaged installer at this point?

Posted: Sun May 21, 2006 6:47 pm
by Oogst
Thanks! Currently the game is about 60mb, including some 10 minutes of soundtrack.

I already said I was posting this because I have a lot of questions, so I opened these topics about them (seperate topics, because the questions are not related, I think):

Problem with loading and unloading of resources [solved]

Two mip-mapping questions [solved]

How to pre-load textures? [solved]

Entities automatically get mutliple SubEntities? [solved]

Decals on an Intel 82855/82852

Hardware and software skinning in different techniques

I feel a bit ashamed about asking so many questions, but I only have until June 1st to finish all this, so postponing the asking any longer is not an option anymore. :oops:

Posted: Sun May 21, 2006 9:49 pm
by sinbad
I like it! :)

Posted: Sun May 21, 2006 10:17 pm
by Sinister Chef
Lol! That's great :lol:

Can't wait for it :P

Posted: Mon May 22, 2006 11:34 am
by curantil
reminds me somewhat of Katamari Damacy which is regretable only for consoles. (Warning, site is flash heavy)

You are developing for a client, so I guess there will be no release of the source or parts of it?

Posted: Mon May 22, 2006 12:34 pm
by Vectrex
haha, finally a game that looks actually funny :)

Posted: Mon May 22, 2006 1:44 pm
by BlasterN
Nice screens! downloading.

DECALS!! how you do it! plz, share the code ^^

Posted: Mon May 22, 2006 2:13 pm
by Oogst
I know Katamari, the idea comes a little bit from that, but no one in the team has actually played Katamari. Also, I think Katamari has quite a different feel from our game, judging from trailers. But yes, it was an inspiration. :)

The decals are not finished right now, because they simply clip over the edges of the polygons. A solution for this is planned, but there will probably not be any time to implement this.

As for how it works right now: there are three versions of this.
  • -The shadows for NPC's get decals at a constant distance below their centre, so if an NPC would float, so would its decal.
    -The shadow of the ball is done by casting a ray downwards in ODE.
    -The painttrace is done by using the collisions that ODE generates anyway for the physics.
As for the actual code: the classes PaintTrace and ShadowMesh inherit from the class DecalMesh. The code as it is, is linked to the code of The Blob, so you will have to check for yourself what needs to be removed for your own application.

Download the source

Posted: Mon May 22, 2006 10:40 pm
by Crashy
Really good looking, I love the blob's style. 8)

[OT] Is that me or the character on this site is a bad copy of the king from "le roi et l'oiseau" ?

Posted: Tue May 23, 2006 5:13 pm
by jacmoe
I like the arcade look of the game! Looks like you've put in some fun gameplay there! :)

Posted: Tue May 23, 2006 6:40 pm
by Oogst
I hope you still think so when the game is playable in a couple of weeks. :twisted:

Posted: Tue May 23, 2006 7:03 pm
by raicuandi
Very nice! :wink:
Is this the blob season? :) Latest OpenBSD's "nickname" (release name, whatever) is "Blob" too... :D

Posted: Tue May 23, 2006 7:13 pm
by BlasterN
I only have to say one thing. Multiplayer.

and thx for the code.

Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 12:58 am
by walaber
i just want to re-iterate what everyone is saying... this game looks really beautiful and original! it's a cool idea and I hope we all get a chance to play it for ourselves!

Posted: Fri May 26, 2006 11:19 am
by xplozyph
Yeah, what a cool game! :)

I defenately love your blob character, that ball really rocks :D

Posted: Sat May 27, 2006 4:48 pm
by Oogst
Here are some more shots to show the size of the level the game plays in:

Painting some landmark-buildings:



The map:


During the camera-transition to the map:


Note that lightmaps are really important for the graphical look and they are not in these screenshots.

Posted: Sat May 27, 2006 5:42 pm
by joshcryer
Okay, I'm sorry, but this is really just great, and I wish I had this idea first. :D :P

In the age of "Quirky Japanese Games," this game would sell. Not to dissuade you from releasing a free demo or anything. ;)

Just LOVE the shots.

Posted: Sat May 27, 2006 7:02 pm
by Kezzer
Looks awesome. How come you aren't allowing the buildings to cast shadows?

Posted: Sat May 27, 2006 7:19 pm
by Oogst
For the simple reasons that the shadows need to be generated and this is not much use if the geometry is still changing daily. By Wednesday, the definitive lightmaps will have been rendered using VRay and will be in the game. :)

The full game will be free to download, don't you worry.

Posted: Sat May 27, 2006 8:23 pm
by Jerky
Truly awesome.

Posted: Sat May 27, 2006 9:35 pm
This looks really cool! :) Looking forward to trying it.

Posted: Sat May 27, 2006 10:44 pm
by Kezzer
Will the source be available for it or not? :)