Monday, August 5, 2013

#11: Lens Flare Effect

The Cyclone Game Engine can now render a lens flare effect. It uses hardware occlusion queries to efficiently detect whether or not the sun is hidden behind the landscape. This will allow me to fade out the sun when the sun is not visible. I did not use my lens flare as a draw-able game component since it caused many problems. 

By changing the light direction vector I was able to position the lens flare over the sun on the sky-box. It took a while to position it just right but I eventually got it. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

#10: Cyclone Engine Menu System Update 2

By Jordon McClain 

       The following video above is a work-in-progress on the Cyclone Engine and does not represent final game footage. With the help of the Game State Management Sample, I was able to improve the menu system. Before the menu system was in the Game class and now each screen is a class of its own making the engine slightly more efficient and the menu more versatile. The menu system upon start up displays the Splash Screens which are the Studio Logo and the Cyclone Engine Logo. Then it takes you to the Title-Screen and the Main Menu following.  I am working on various transition effects as the user changes from one screen to another. I was able to get the menu system to display a credits video and I will be fleshing out the look and design of the menu system later. Other functioning screens are the Loading Screen and the Pause Menu Screen. 

       Networking functionality for online play is still in the works. The menu system displays an animated busy indicator whenever a network operation is in progress. In Multiplayer, once in the lobby, a list of players is displayed along with icons indicating who is currently talking and who has marked themselves as ready. When are gamers are ready, the menu loads the first map for now. Description text is displayed at the bottom as you scroll through menu items. I am currently improving the game's frame-rate on Xbox 360. The game currently runs at 30 frames per second on Xbox 360. I am still working on animations for the player and the gun. Soon, I will be adding the HUD since I was able to mix 2D and 3D. The Skybox displays better now in the game. Before, anyone could see the lines outlining the skybox. 

The Beast Model came from Psionic Game. Visit the following link:

#9: Mixing 2D and 3D

By Jordon McClain

Finally! The Skybox in the game is fixed since I have a little more time to actually work on the engine. The lines outlining the skybox would display in the game and I had to make sure they went away. Its tricky when the program is drawing 2d and 3d together on the same screen under the 'Draw Method'. Thanks to Shawn Hargreaves who provided the most efficient way to go in his blog post, I was able to fix my skybox.

When I was mixing 3D rendering with 2D objects using SpriteBatch, I may noticed that my 3D graphics no longer draw correctly after you have rendered sprites. All of the models triangles and polygons appeared to be disoriented and stretched leaving tons of gaps and holes. This is because the SpriteBatch changes several device renderstates to values that may not be appropriate for drawing in 3D.

Friday, February 8, 2013

#8. How Textures Look As of Now

By Jordon McClain

       Welcome back gamers to this new update on the Cyclone Engine. I am attempting to create a first person shooter using my game engine, that is built upon the XNA Framework. The following screenshots are just a demonstration of how textures would look as of right now in a game created using the Cyclone Engine. This is a very small map I modeled to test how textures would look. It took me a while to texture it. Part of the reason why it is taking me so long to texture is because I am trying to use as much real world references as possible. I have not applied any normal maps yet. With that said, once I finish programming the normal mapping processor and some other things, the textures will look a whole lot better. 

Majority of the textures I used came from pictures I took from my camera of buildings and places around me. I ventured through a couple alleys and places close to home to take pictures so I can get as much real world references as possible. I then touched up some of them in Photoshop to improve the quality of the textures. This is just a start and is still a work-in-progress.

I am pushing the engine to run more textures while taking up less memory at the same time. Too many textures as of right now slows down the frame rate, making the game run slow. Although this map is small, it has a lot of textures in it. To help performance, many of the models use the same textures to help the game run better. Although this helps performance, the goal is to get the engine to handle an enormous amount of textures, without clogging up the processing and running at 60 frames per second. This will help improve the overall detail and graphics in the game.

For now, the fence wires are mostly just textures to save memory but eventually I will model the fence wire once I am confident the engine can handle it.

The ground textures are coming along nicely. Again, there are no normal maps yet. Normal mapping is used to add details without using more polygons. The normal mapping processor I am working on right now once I get it working will hopefully greatly enhance the details. Right now, the textures appear too flat, but its a good start. Once I get the different mapping systems working, the textures will appear more 3 dimensional and have greater detail that the current textures.

Thanks for reading and sorry for the slow updates. I hope you like it thus far and I greatly appreciate your support. For more information on ways to support, click on the Support link near the top of the blog. You can follow Steel Cyclone Studios on Facebook and YouTube. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#7: Sky-box System Updated

     By Jordon McClain

      Welcome back gamers to my next blog post. I am working on a first person shooter in my spare time inside of a Game Engine I am creating using XNA. Recently, I have made significant improvements to the sky-box system in the game engine. Before the sky-box would rotate too much wherever the player looked. Now it stays in place and the visuals have improved since then. Next I would like to animate the clouds hopefully and have a day & night cycle functioning. The clouds are from a combination of pictures I took from my camera while lying on my back on the ground. I took the images and edited them further in Photoshop to make it "painter-like" if that's a word. The Cyclone Engine creates a box and places the textures on each of the sides of the box. So I had to determine which image to use for the top and the sides to make it look 3D when the player moves around in the world.

Check out the images below to see how it turned out.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

#6: Cyclone Engine Skybox

by Jordon McClain

     As of 10/12/2012 I got the skybox working inside the Cyclone Engine.