Mulver - 3D platform game (Update 2008-08-11)

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Borundin
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Mulver - 3D platform game (Update 2008-08-11)

Post by Borundin » Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:23 pm

Edit: Mulver is released, see 2nd page.
Edit: WIP Demo available, see 2nd page.

My alltime favourite game is Super Mario 64. In my eyes its still the king of the 3D Platform game category. Some people http://www.stevestreeting.com/?p=448 just dont get this genre though *cough* :D :D

Anyway I have been trying to make a similar game using Ogre of course and a couple of other open source libraries out there ODE, LUA, OIS, FMod (not OS). I have also used AC3D for some modelling and Blender for Level Design and modelling.

Its intresting that the core engine and first test level was up and running just a couple of months after I started in May 2006. But to create a useful Art/level pipeline took much longer than I expected. I took a long break from programming during autumn and winter but still it was almost as much work as writing the game engine! Learning Python programming and the Blender Python API was also an intresting experience. Don forget those tabs :)

Levels are built in Blender using a custom level exporter together with reimpells Ogre mesh exporter. The generated levels are just LUA scripts that calls into the game engine to set up the world and handle events.

FMod integration and building a Demo with 5 complete levels is my next step. And getting rid of the crappy programmer art of course. That will be a tough one...


Here is a level concept with good old pen & paper I wrote a couple of days ago:
Image

Here is the level starting to take shape in Blender. Last shot is a Blender render of the level.
Image...Image...Image


Here is the level in Ogre:
Image...Image...Image



AVI video (Microsoft encoded Im afraid):
Video ~10Mb (mp42 codec)

Older format:
Video ~10Mb (mpg4 codec)



A couple of other levels Ive been toying with:
Image...Image


Edit: Added video download for older WMP
Last edited by Borundin on Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Post by Aladrin » Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:54 pm

I saw the paper sketch first and thought 'oh man, this forum is supposed to show off projects, not dreams.' Then I scrolled a bit more and saw the screenies ;)

For a 'starting to take shape' level, I think it's very well done. Better than I think I'd have managed in a couple days.

Mario64 is far from my favorite game, but it definitely was well done, and is a good genre. I'll be looking forward to playing this.
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Post by xplozyph » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:16 pm

I really like your visual style, it's great though only using 'simple color materials' (?!), never have thought such a good visual style could be achieved using a so 'simple' technique (and the background sky is also contributing to this). Great, really. And I really like you little 'player avatar puppet' :-)

By the way, as I am working on a relatively 'similar' project (understand: also a 3D platformer/adventure game) and also using Blender as my 3D art/world design centerpiece, I would have liked to know what kind of SceneManager do you use and also what kind of collision/physics do you use? How do you achieve that 'wonderful' (for me, lol) moving red square?

I hope I am not asking too many questions, don't mind about it :-)

Stick on with your work, it is definately cool. I also much like your music and it effectively reminds me of the Mario Bros theme (though I only have played Super Mario Bros on a Nintendo/Famicom :-P).
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Post by tau » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:32 pm

Looks very cool, Borundin!

I think I would buy such game to play ;)
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Post by xavier » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:33 pm

Erm, which codec is it actually using?
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Post by tau » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:44 pm

xavier wrote:Erm, which codec is it actually using?
MP42, plays fine in VLC media player
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Post by xavier » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:56 pm

I was still using stock WMP9 -- upgraded to WMP11, we'll see if that fixes it.
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Post by QuantumG » Sat Mar 17, 2007 2:36 am

crappy programmer art
Ya. Ok. Maybe your character could do with some work, but the rest of it is great work. A programmer who can use Blender to produce the quality of work you have is a rare thing.
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Post by DieHard » Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:09 am

Borundin or Anybody,

How do you get those nice shade of shadows onto the level in Ogre? I'm trying to guide my art team and getting the level's shadows are hard for us to implement in Ogre. Please provide us with some information and direction?

Thanks!
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Post by Borundin » Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:40 am

xplozyph wrote:I really like your visual style, it's great though only using 'simple color materials' (?!), never have thought such a good visual style could be achieved using a so 'simple' technique ...
Glad you like it. And Ogre is really overkill if youre looking at the graphics side of it. No shaders, low poly count, no LOD, no animation(!) etc. Still feels good to know you have all things should you need it later on!

xplozyph wrote:By the way, as I am working on a relatively 'similar' project (understand: also a 3D platformer/adventure game) and also using Blender as my 3D art/world design centerpiece, I would have liked to know what kind of SceneManager do you use and also what kind of collision/physics do you use?
Im using the ST_GENERIC scenemanager that defaults to the Octree SceneManager if I remember correctly. I havent had any issue with performance related to the scenemanager so havent been thinking about using anything else really. Something that does affect performance is the stencil shadows though. But cant find any other solution that gives the kind of shadows that I want...
Im using ODE for physics and collision (OPCODE). First I used it the way you should (apply forces and such) but it turned out to be a very boring experience to have Mulver move around that realistically. Now I set the velocities directly instead and doing all kinds of things you shouldnt with the physics. Was a pain to tune the rules and Im still not happy with everything. I might have to refactor this part. Only the avatar is an ODE body, everthing else is static geoms. I just attach Mulver to different scenenodes when it collides with those.

xplozyph wrote:How do you achieve that 'wonderful' (for me, lol) moving red square?
I create waypoints in Blender that each have a few properties in the game logic part. I think you can see a few in the first Blender screenshot, looks like little flags with poles. The properties are:
- Path Id
- Index
- Velocity
- Pause time

A path contains a number of these waypoints. Each waypoint having a unique index. In Lua I have functions that let an actor move between those waypoints by passing actor messages to the game enigine and that is how the red platform is moving back and forth.
xplozyph wrote:Stick on with your work, it is definately cool. I also much like your music and it effectively reminds me of the Mario Bros theme (though I only have played Super Mario Bros on a Nintendo/Famicom :-P).
Yeah I like it too! I bought a commercial license from productiontrax so that I can distribute it later on.


DieHard wrote:How do you get those nice shade of shadows onto the level in Ogre? I'm trying to guide my art team and getting the level's shadows are hard for us to implement in Ogre. Please provide us with some information and direction?
Nothing advanced, I just use stencil shadows.
Here is the relevant light and shadow setup in Ogre:

Code: Select all

	sceneMgr = ogre->createSceneManager(ST_GENERIC, "Generic");
	sceneMgr->setAmbientLight( ColourValue(0.5, 0.5, 0.5) );
	sceneMgr->setShadowTechnique(ShadowTechnique::SHADOWTYPE_STENCIL_MODULATIVE);
	sceneMgr->setShadowColour( ColourValue(0.2, 0.15, 0.0) );
	sceneMgr->setShadowIndexBufferSize(51000*10);
	sceneMgr->setShadowFarDistance(50.0);

	Vector3 sundir = Vector3(0.5, -0.7, -0.41);
	sundir.normalise();
	// Simple directional light
	Light *light = sceneMgr->createLight("sun");
	light->setType(Ogre::Light::LT_DIRECTIONAL);
	light->setDirection(sundir);
	light->setDiffuseColour(0.7, 0.7, 0.5);
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Post by Borundin » Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:42 am

QuantumG wrote:
crappy programmer art
Ya. Ok. Maybe your character could do with some work, but the rest of it is great work. A programmer who can use Blender to produce the quality of work you have is a rare thing.
Very kind of you :o
Will try to find a better main character at least.
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Post by xplozyph » Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:33 pm

Borundin wrote: Im using ODE for physics and collision (OPCODE). First I used it the way you should (apply forces and such) but it turned out to be a very boring experience to have Mulver move around that realistically. Now I set the velocities directly instead and doing all kinds of things you shouldnt with the physics. Was a pain to tune the rules and Im still not happy with everything. I might have to refactor this part. Only the avatar is an ODE body, everthing else is static geoms. I just attach Mulver to different scenenodes when it collides with those.
Yeah, I was also using ODE on a first time and also did not really get what I wanted, so I have switched over to a 'custom' solution :-)
Borundin wrote:
xplozyph wrote:How do you achieve that 'wonderful' (for me, lol) moving red square?
I create waypoints in Blender that each have a few properties in the game logic part. I think you can see a few in the first Blender screenshot, looks like little flags with poles. The properties are:
- Path Id
- Index
- Velocity
- Pause time

A path contains a number of these waypoints. Each waypoint having a unique index. In Lua I have functions that let an actor move between those waypoints by passing actor messages to the game enigine and that is how the red platform is moving back and forth.
Hehe, I also do similar things. That kind of flags and poles, like you say :-)
For the red platform, I was wonderfulling at the fact that Mulver moves with the platform and does not 'jigger' (unlike players on Quake 3 moving platforms, for example). I also had the idea of potentially applying the 'same forces' of a moving platform to my avatar when it collides with it but have been thinking it would not do it, you have proven me the contratry :D
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Post by Borundin » Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:00 pm

xplozyph wrote:I also had the idea of potentially applying the 'same forces' of a moving platform to my avatar when it collides with it but have been thinking it would not do it, you have proven me the contratry :D
Not sure we mean the same thing here.
Like I said earlier I have to "attach" (using platform_sn->attachToNode(mulver) ) Mulver to the moving platform to avoid jitter. Meaning I let Ogre move Mulver along with the platform, then I let ODE do its physics stuff but I do not let ODE try to move Mulver together with the platform using friction etc. That just didnt work out.
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Post by sinbad » Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:29 pm

Hey, looking really good. It's good to see a toolset revolving around Blender.

And yeah, some of us are so old skool we prefer 2D platform games, but we can still appreciate the 3D platformer craft :) I'll be buying Super Mario Galaxy all the same I'm sure.
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Post by scriptkid » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:16 pm

Looks nice :)

What is the idea for the gameplay? Having the player go through a number of worlds one by one? Or will you eventually have a (one) big world where a lot is going on?

Good luck on continuing this!
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Post by Borundin » Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:30 pm

scriptkid wrote:What is the idea for the gameplay? Having the player go through a number of worlds one by one? Or will you eventually have a (one) big world where a lot is going on?
My current idea is that each level can have different goals.
- Reach the exit
- Collect certain amount of gold coins
- Reach a specific position before a timer runs out
- Solve a puzzle
- Etc..

The different levels will be opened up a few at a time. Havent decided in what way yet. Maybe by finding secret keys in the levels already open. I have to think some more about this. Suggestions are welcome :)
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Post by Mishra » Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:58 am

Borundin wrote:
QuantumG wrote:
crappy programmer art
Ya. Ok. Maybe your character could do with some work, but the rest of it is great work. A programmer who can use Blender to produce the quality of work you have is a rare thing.
Very kind of you :o
Will try to find a better main character at least.
In fact, the only big problem with the character is that he is too small....(a gameplay-related problem, IMHO) but the rest is really good for programmer art :wink:
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Post by detox » Tue Mar 20, 2007 1:30 pm

I create waypoints in Blender that each have a few properties in the game logic part. I think you can see a few in the first Blender screenshot, looks like little flags with poles. The properties are:
- Path Id
- Index
- Velocity
- Pause time
I like that idea. I hope you don't mind if I try doing something similar!

Great work so far on the 3D platformer. It's one of my favorite styles of games too.
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Post by scriptkid » Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:13 am

Borundin wrote: My current idea is that each level can have different goals.
- Reach the exit
- Collect certain amount of gold coins
- Reach a specific position before a timer runs out
- Solve a puzzle
- Etc..

The different levels will be opened up a few at a time. Havent decided in what way yet. Maybe by finding secret keys in the levels already open. I have to think some more about this. Suggestions are welcome :)
Sounds good! Offering multiple ways to beat a level gives a basic feeling of 'open ended' gameplay. You can even add a bonus level when the player completes all objectives within a set time for example. Just some ideas :)

Good luck!
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Post by Borundin » Sat Jul 07, 2007 6:07 pm

Just a quick update. I have created a new website for Mulver here where you can find news, screenshots, videos etc. I also plan to release a demo sometimes later this summer if everything works out.
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Post by Prezadent » Sat Jul 14, 2007 4:28 pm

Nice looking website!
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Post by nikki » Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:27 pm

Hey Borundin! Nice website. May I ask what tool you used to create it? Or did you code it from scratch using HTML (unlikely, since it looks so good :) ).

I can also see a lot of updates to the actual game. Will it be commercial (since the demo link on the right emphasizes on it being free and the presence of a 'full' version)? If so, then I wish you the best of luck, and that you will make good money out of it. :)
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Post by jacmoe » Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:59 pm

A wild guess:
http://www.1234.info/webtemplates/
Yeah, the site looks great! :)
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Post by Fred » Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:38 pm

I do enjoy this "soft" style of these blocks. Loks really cool. Also the hompage is great, but I'm not sure in how far it make sense to write something about a download which will be 11Mb big if I cant download anything ;)

I hope we can play the game as far as possible :)
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Post by Borundin » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:20 pm

Nice looking website!
Thanks !

I can also see a lot of updates to the actual game. Will it be commercial (since the demo link on the right emphasizes on it being free and the presence of a 'full' version)? If so, then I wish you the best of luck, and that you will make good money out of it.
Not sure yet about the commercial version. Depends if I manage to get enough interest from the Demo whenever its released. Would be fun trying to sell a few copies. Seems that the hardest part is actually to get the word out about your game. I have been lurking alot on the Indiegamer fourms lately. Lots of advice there but seems like its alot of work unless you get a portal deal. In that case it seems to be somewhat easier.

Well, actually I got it from http://www.BLOCKED.org/design/wol ... ultiflex3/ but it is the same package really :)
Also the hompage is great, but I'm not sure in how far it make sense to write something about a download which will be 11Mb big if I cant download anything
Hehe, yes thats a bit misleading right now :o
I did manage to create a simple Setup a few weeks ago and its size was approx 11Mb. My guess is that it will be about 15Mb since I have added a few mesh files after that...
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