Proun - OUT NOW!

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Re: Proun

Post by Oogst » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:44 am

Whoops, I set the default to very high and then added the DoF shader to the menu, so now you cannot change it in the menu anymore. Doh! I really need to add 2.x support to all shaders quickly.

Anyway, can you try setting it in that config file to Medium (instead of medium: the caps matter). Does it work then?
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Re: Proun

Post by Joric » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:52 am

Oogst wrote:Anyway, can you try setting it in that config file to Medium (instead of medium: the caps matter). Does it work then?
I've used "Medium", 'cos if I use "medium" it just says "access violation" (which is not a great error handling, by the way =). Still won't run.
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Re: Proun

Post by Oogst » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:27 pm

Okay, thanks for trying! I guess I will have a version with better shader support in a couple of weeks, so I would greatly appreciate it if by that time you could give that new version a try.
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Re: Proun

Post by SpannerMan » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:26 pm

Just played it - I love it. Very crisp and refreshing graphics. I don't think their has ever been a more abstract racer, but with the post processing effects and the music, it works. Well done and good luck with it.
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Re: Proun

Post by dudeabot » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:27 pm

Great game :D but i thought the music didnt mix well together, i was waiting for a more eletronic fast beat, but i think this is a personal taste ;)
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Re: Proun

Post by Hratan » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:24 am

What a truly fantastic game - I'm not quiting until I beat you on hard as well^^ Reminds me of all the good things from many generations of racing games - from amiga 500 favorite "Stunt Car Racer" to more contemperary games like "Trials 2 Second Edition". I really hope that the level design of the coming levels, will match the artistic creativity gone into making the look and feel of this game.

Like it has been said above, the sphere/circle feels very static and you do not get any real sense of speed while playing this game which is a minor flaw. Short of rendering the actual sphere realtime, I don't really know enough about 3D to come with any suggestions. Some animations on the sphere/slight "bouncyness" would probably help.

Ohh, and one other minor issue: The other players/spheres seems to dangle off the cord. If you follow behind another player, you can see that they are not really on the cord but hovering somewhere close.

Keep up the good work!!!
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Re: Proun

Post by Oogst » Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:29 am

dudeabot wrote:Great game :D but i thought the music didnt mix well together, i was waiting for a more eletronic fast beat, but i think this is a personal taste ;)
I personally don't like electronic fast beats, although they do go very well with racing games. However, I specifically don't want this game to sound like most other racing games. Anyway, an awesome audio studio (GrandBrother) found Proun and they are willing to do sound design and music production, so hopefully that will simply make the current music sound a lot better. I am happy with the composition, but the guitars and saxophones just don't sound 'real' and powerful.

Hratan wrote:What a truly fantastic game - I'm not quiting until I beat you on hard as well^^ Reminds me of all the good things from many generations of racing games - from amiga 500 favorite "Stunt Car Racer" to more contemperary games like "Trials 2 Second Edition". I really hope that the level design of the coming levels, will match the artistic creativity gone into making the look and feel of this game.

Like it has been said above, the sphere/circle feels very static and you do not get any real sense of speed while playing this game which is a minor flaw. Short of rendering the actual sphere realtime, I don't really know enough about 3D to come with any suggestions. Some animations on the sphere/slight "bouncyness" would probably help.

Ohh, and one other minor issue: The other players/spheres seems to dangle off the cord. If you follow behind another player, you can see that they are not really on the cord but hovering somewhere close.

Keep up the good work!!!
Thanks! :D

As for the speed feeling: I got more comments on that. The difficult thing is that I don't want to add speed particles and other things that clutter the overal composition. The graphics should remain simple, big shapes, as they are now. I experimented a bit with motion blur, but together with depth of field blur, that simply meant that the entire screen was blurred, so that didn't work. I hope audio effects when you pass close by an object help here. So if you have some suggestions on how to give the game more feeling for speed, then do let me know!

As for the floating opponents: so does the player, but the shadow ties him to the track visually. Because the other vehicles are transparent, I did not give them a shadow, and so their floating looks bad. I'll try adding shadows for them. :)

The ball, by the way, is already rendered in real-time. I'll think about the whobble thing you mentioned. :)
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Re: Proun

Post by Oogst » Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:14 pm

Update! :)

I have been hard at work at polishing all kinds of things and the most interesting one is in terms of performance. Since my Depth-Of-Field shader requires shader model 2.x, at least a Geforce 6 or a Radeon x1 was needed to play the game. Now I added a Very Low graphics quality that can be played on anything that supports shader model 1.1, so that is from Geforce 4 and up. I need to do more testing, but I think crappy Intel cards will now also be able to run Proun nicely. :)

Obviously, this goes at a loss of quality. This comparison shows the look of the game on the different graphics qualities, plus the framerates on my laptop. Note how the blur is much less smooth on Medium than it is on Very High, and notice how Very Low does not have any blur at all.

Image

With some number fiddling, I was able to get the HDRI effects to work on shader model 1.1 on Very Low quality. This was difficult because of a rather funny thing: in shader model 1.1, constant values cannot be higher than 1. So this is not possible: colour = colour * 1.8. After some thinking, I realised that the solution is really simple: colour = colour + colour * 0.8. Doh! :D
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Re: Proun

Post by tuan kuranes » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:44 am

A) DOF seems the clear perf killer here...
Did you try downsampling, 2 pass blur, bilinear sampling trick ?
Just in case you need some optimiziation/quality inspiration, here's some good read on the topic :

http://ati.amd.com/developer/shaderx/Sh ... essing.pdf (bilinear sampling trick page 16)
http://www.gamerendering.com/2008/10/11 ... er-shader/ (2 pass blur + shader)
http://developer.amd.com/media/gpu_asse ... fField.pdf (DOF downsample + better quality)
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3 ... hp?print=1 (blur tricks)
http://http.developer.nvidia.com/GPUGem ... _ch28.html (DOF trick list)
http://www.ogre3d.org/forums/viewtopic. ... al#p366766 (blur discussion)

Other techniques:
http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~koslofto/Images/kosloff.pdf (layered DOF, might nicely fit here)
http://artis.imag.fr/Publications/2009/SSDHS09/ (fourier DOF)

B) About quality motion blur, the "detail motion blur" could help getting a very effective yet cheap speed impression, blurring only the "track" texture:

http://www.talula.demon.co.uk/detail_bl ... _blur.html

Whole blog serie is a must read for any "race game dev"
http://blogs.msdn.com/shawnhar/archive/ ... -hack.aspx
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Re: Proun

Post by Oogst » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:24 pm

I am aware of those techniques, but the depth of field blur used in regular games has a terrible bleeding of sharp foreground objects over blurred background objects. I fixed that by doing DoF in a different way, but because of that, those optimisations don't work anymore.
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Re: Proun

Post by tuan kuranes » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:59 pm

doing DoF in a different way
sry, didn't know. New paper on the way?

Did you check the B) on my post, the "detail blur" link, which is a preprocess single directionnal blur, that would give a nice speed effect on the "tube" without much speed impact.
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Re: Proun

Post by Oogst » Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:07 pm

I agree that motion blur seems like a very obvious addition to Proun, since it is all about movement and speed, so I was already working on making a full motion blur effect. :) However, then I made the target render below in 3D Studio MAX, which has both depth of field blur and motion blur. As you can see, the result is that the entire screen is blurred! :( The motion blur has a lot of effect on objects close to the camera, while the depth of field blur has a lot of effect on objects far away. This is just too much blur, so I removed the motion blur before I got it fully implemented...

Too much blur:
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Re: Proun

Post by ekt » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:22 pm

hei joost, maybe you have already seen it
http://www.idealsoftblog.it/2009/11/pro ... della.html

it is an italian review - basically it reads "proun: a crazy race on the shower pipe" :)
there's an idea for a bonuse level!
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Re: Proun

Post by Oogst » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:27 pm

Yeah, I already found that one and pulled it through Google Translate to read it. It is pretty cool how quite a few game sites already picked up Proun. Especially Rock Paper Shotgun and the IndieGames.com blog got me a lot of views for the trailer on YouTube. :)

The shower pipe would make for a nice Micro Machines level, I guess! ;)
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Re: Proun

Post by Oogst » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:44 pm

Okay, finally, I have the beta version of Proun! :D Almost everything is in now, except that sound effects are still missing and it does not contain all the tracks the final version will have (gotta keep something interesting behind for release day :)).

You can download it here: Proun beta installer (39mb)

I hope lots of people can try this version and let me know if it does not work, so that I can try to fix all issues. The game should run on almost all hardware now (except some really old Intel cards and Geforce 3 and earlier, basically). It also has an installer, joystick support and online highscores, so I would like to know for all of these things whether they work. This really is a technical test for me.

These are the things that have been added since the last version:
-Online highscores
-An installer
-Joystick support
-Works on shader model 1 videocards (without depth of field blur, though)
-Supports anti-aliasing
-My own modified configuration menu (instead of Ogre's standard menu)
-Lots of polish and bugfixes
-Documentation for the exporter: those who know 3D Studio MAX can now add their own tracks for Proun!
-Blocked out version of the second track (so the gameplay is nearly done, but the graphics are placeholders)

The following features are still missing from this version of the game:
-Sound effects
-One more track
-Graphics for the second track
-One more song in the soundtrack
-Better production quality of the music
-Game modes: championship, time trial and free play

Let me know what you think! :)

Image

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Image

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Proun: abstract racing game (PC)
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Re: Proun

Post by MrD » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:08 am

That's real fun to play, the only complaint I have is that holding down forward all the time makes your hands ache, is it really necessary to make the player hold down forward all the time? I have yet to find a condition that would make me want to slow-down.

For now I hold the (online) high-score on track 1 easy: 3:34.048 :)
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Re: Proun

Post by Klaim » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:04 am

Really cool and beautiful game :D

I played the first level only several times but it's really entertaining !

The only thing I felt was missing was that the ball is not "rolling" and it's visible when you're hitting something. With the ball rolling you should have a better physical credibility!
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Re: Proun

Post by RapchikProgrammer » Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:54 pm

The game is amazing man, really nice work.. just one thing i noticed was that sound was the first thing that was affected when i increased the detail to very high and enabled anti-aliasing.. the fps didnt drop below 50, but the sound started having artifacts and jittered a bit..
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Re: Proun

Post by Blazeix » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:48 am

This looks really cool. Is there any chance of a linux port in the future?
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Re: Proun

Post by Vectrex » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:31 am

I tried it on my old laptop and it crashes with a cg compiler error. The menu's work and it's locked to lowest graphic settings. It's only when I go to start it it crashes.
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Re: Proun

Post by Champi Atomik » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:00 am

Maybe because your graphic card doesn't support shaders used into this game ?
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Re: Proun

Post by Vectrex » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:45 pm

Champi Atomik wrote:Maybe because your graphic card doesn't support shaders used into this game ?
Yeah it does, it's a SM 2.0 card. Plays Half life 2 fine (just ;) )
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Re: Proun

Post by Oogst » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:05 pm

Those who did: thanks for testing!

Vectrex wrote:I tried it on my old laptop and it crashes with a cg compiler error. The menu's work and it's locked to lowest graphic settings. It's only when I go to start it it crashes.
ATi 9600 64meg
Pentium M 1.6mhz
1.5 gig ram
The game should definitely run on that GPU, although I did not have a chance to try it on an old one like that myself yet. Could you mail me the files Ogre.log and Application.log? Maybe I can use them to figure out what is going wrong. My mail address is joost |at| ronimo-games.com.

Blazeix wrote:This looks really cool. Is there any chance of a linux port in the future?
I am looking into that. I have no experience on Linux and Mac, so I am looking for someone to help me with that. The code itself should be totally okay for porting: all libraries I use are also available on those platforms.

RapchikProgrammer wrote:The game is amazing man, really nice work.. just one thing i noticed was that sound was the first thing that was affected when i increased the detail to very high and enabled anti-aliasing.. the fps didnt drop below 50, but the sound started having artifacts and jittered a bit..
Hmm, interesting, and not so good! I am using FMOD for the sound, so I don't think I have that much control over the audio, so I don't think I can fix that, unfortunately.

Klaim wrote:Really cool and beautiful game :D

I played the first level only several times but it's really entertaining !

The only thing I felt was missing was that the ball is not "rolling" and it's visible when you're hitting something. With the ball rolling you should have a better physical credibility!
I am going to try the rolling thing, I heard other people mention that as well. The ball is currently supposed to be floating over the track, but I can imagine rolling might look better.

MrD wrote:That's real fun to play, the only complaint I have is that holding down forward all the time makes your hands ache, is it really necessary to make the player hold down forward all the time? I have yet to find a condition that would make me want to slow-down.

For now I hold the (online) high-score on track 1 easy: 3:34.048 :)
The game is designed so that all tracks can be played perfectly without ever letting go of the acceleration button on the Easy, Normal and Hard difficulties. However, on Impossible you will have to let go of it once in a while. I think the main issue here is that playing a racing game where you don't have to accelerate yourself would feel rather lame.
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Swords & Soldiers: side-scrolling RTS (PS3/Wii/PC/Mac/Linux/iPhone/iPad/Android)
Proun: abstract racing game (PC)
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Re: Proun

Post by Klaim » Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:54 am

I am going to try the rolling thing, I heard other people mention that as well. The ball is currently supposed to be floating over the track, but I can imagine rolling might look better.
Well without rolling, it looked like a bug or task not done yet... maybe because a "ball" going over a surface makes you assume it have to roll...

But maybe another effect might work too, I'm not sure.
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Re: Proun

Post by spacegaier » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:46 pm

Another option instead of rolling would be, to somehow tie the ball to the cable (e.g. put some kind of ring around the cable to which the ball is bound). But personally, I prefer the rolling idea...
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