Tuesday, September 12, 2017

50. Character Armor Customization Part 2

       For this next armor customization update, I created a custom armor set inspired off of Link from the Legend of Zelda games and my personal favorite superhero... Iron Man. Due to the vast amount of customize-able options, creating all the art assets for players to choose from has been the most time consuming. I will explain how it works in further detail. From the menu, the player will be able to adjust the load-outs of their character. For the long-term project, new gear will become available when the player completes various missions or when goals are met. Players will start off with a basic armor set. Then they will be able to change different parts of their armor. The following options so far are: helmets, left shoulder, right shoulder, chest pieces, arms, gauntlets, legs, thighs, and backpacks.

       I might add the option to change knee guards and torso parts. I am also working on a way where players can add neon lighting for special effects. There are different types of categories for backpacks. There are jet-packs, capes and wings. They not only help with agility and speed, but jet-packs for instance will allow players to hover while jumping for a certain amount of time. The following pictures will fall under the category of Armor Presets in which players will have the option to purchase. Presets are pre-made armor sets inspired off of characters from a variety of sources such as games and movies  once I obtain certain rights. The armor sets for the most part take the same amount of damage, so they are purely cosmetic. This eliminates the issue of players having advantages over other players and the so called "pay-to-win" model. After all, playing "dress-up" with your character is fun.



Front View

Back View

Top View

In-game screenshot

Sunday, July 2, 2017

49. The Dream Build Play Game Development Competition is Back!!!

       My wish has been granted! The Dream Build Play Competition has returned. Only this time, you are not bound by the XNA Framework. Whether you are a “noob” or a veteran, all game developers are welcome. Over a year ago, on my FAQ page on question number sixteen; I proposed that Microsoft should revive the Dream Build Play competition for independent developers for the Xbox One platform. This strategy would help Microsoft gain more support from indies out there making games. This time, the competition is open to all developers, working solo or in teams up to seven people. As an added bonus, developers can use whatever tool, engine, framework or even their own engine.  The only requirement is that is must target the Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform.

       The Microsoft Dream Build Play 2017 Challenge starts on June 27, 2017, and ends on December 31, 2017. Microsoft Corporation will post the names of the winning Teams online at www.dreambuildplay.com. The list will remain posted for one month after the challenge. For more in-depth information you can also head over to Simon Jackson’s blog or his article on codeproject.  Also, to learn more about the competition’s humble beginnings, you can read more about it on the Dream Build Play’s Wikipedia page. Microsoft will reward four grand prizes of $225,000. Just like the good old days, Microsoft has divided the prizes up into four winners based on category. There is one grand prize per category just to be clear. Check out the prizes numbered below. 

  1. Cloud-Powered game - $100,000
  2. USD PC game - $ 50,000
  3. Mixed Reality game - $50,000 
  4. Console game - $25,000

Game Entry Requirements 
  • Game Title
  • Windows Store ID: Entry must be submitted and approved in the store but does not need to be publicly available.
  • Game Description: Up to a maximum of 2,000 characters. If pre-existing source code is incorporated into the Game, then this pre-existing source code must be clearly identified in the Game Description and must not infringe on any third-party rights, and must be used in accordance with all applicable licensing and use Official Rules;
  • Game Icon: .jpg format. Cannot exceed a maximum file size of 2MB.
  • Screen Shots – five (5): In .jpg format, which captures the play and style of the Game as accurately as possible and contains no unfinished artwork or graphical artifacts? Each screenshot cannot exceed a maximum file size of 2MB.
  • Game Video: Depicts the Game’s functionality and gameplay
  • Hosted on a publicly accessible, no password protected website. Game video is subject to the Official Rules of use mandated by the website where hosted.
  • Business Plan: Description of your plans on how you’d get your project to market. Up to a maximum of 6,000 characters.

       Also, dev.windows.com provides various downloads and code samples to help you jumpstart your own Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and desktop apps. Thinking about entering? Then check out the following links posted below to apply. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

48. CodePlex is Shutting Down


       CodePlex is shutting down after nearly 11 years since it launched in 2006. This is sad news for me because a tremendous amount of XNA resources are found on CodePlex and many of my links on my XNA Survival Kit page references to them. I was also able to convert some projects over to MonoGame. So now, I will be working on moving the kit’s links over to my studio’s Indie DB downloads page along with many others. For developers utilizing CodePlex, the news is not entirely bad since many open source projects being shared have migrated over to GitHub. CodePlex has migrated over to GitHub as well. CodePlex will be shutting down completely on December 15, 2017; so I don’t have a lot of time left to gather as much resources as I need from the site. You can find more information here in this blog post.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

47. Art Assets, Projects & More Updates

      Lately, I have been working on quite a bit so in this next blog post, I thought I'd share. Currently I am working on selling T-shirts and creating my online shop. Who is ready for Steel Wear?!! I've also been creating more armor pieces and helmets for character customization. . 

Buzz Lightyear
      The first three screenshots below were captured in-game. This particular set of armor is inspired from Buzz Lightyear, however it is not actually Buzz Lightyear. A simple lighting effect was applied to the light sky-blue ares of the model using the BasicEffect in XNA and MonoGame to make it appear glowing.

Back Bottom View

Desert Tank Train

Custom Indy Car Concept

Indy Car Monster Truck Concept

F1 Hot Rod Concept
      Below are some work-in-progress screenshots of my F1 Hot Rod 3D model. I drew inspiration from the Beck Kustoms F132 hot rod which is also playable in Need for Speed 2015. This model I made has my own touch to it. The spoiler is mounted to twin mini-jet engines in the back. The tires came from one of my 3D monster truck models.

Concept Moon Buggy Rover


Grave Digger
      Below are some screenshots of the monster truck Grave Digger in which I modeled just for fun as fan art. I used the rollcage of one of my earlier 3D monster truck models as the basis. The tire wheels were modeled in SketchUp. I then exported them and imported them into Autodesk Maya 2013 for further touch-up. Then I took pictures of an actual truck tire for texture reference and after creating a UV layout, I then assigned them to a material and applied them to the model. Texturing models has been a long process since I have to find free textures and take pictures for references. To speed things up, I recently acquired a program called Substance Painter. Substance Painter will allow me to paint textures directly on to the model. Its a great program and was used in games such as Horizon Zero Dawn. The textures of the vehicle's body will be removed in-game due to copyright of-course. I will either re-texture the vehicle's body or not give it any.

Bad to the bone for over 30 years..no car is safe against Grave Digger!

MonoGame FPS Starter Kit
      Next up is a screenshot of a basic map I am working on for the first-person shooter starter kit in I am creating MonoGame. This was simply an earlier design and just a start. The map will most likely change and evolve over time.  

      This screenshot above is a work-in-progress sniper gun model. The design is inspired by a nerf gun my friends and I had. 

Race Car Starter Kit
       I've been working on a stater kit to help people jump start their race car game. Here are some work-in-progress screenshots below. 

I've made some minor changes to the main website for Steel Cyclone Studios so far. Check it out!