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VladR

Road Rash pre-alpha on Jaguar at 30 fps

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1 hour ago, Swansea_Mariner said:

Does each area have a different look to it?

No, that would be crazy. There will be 6 different environments spread across the 500 levels.

 

Then again, now that I have real-time engine preview of the currently edited 3dsmax mesh, I might be willing to burn more time on the environments.

 

However, it's not easy to design something jag-optimized.

 

I could easily create 20 environments in a month, but they must confirm to the strict 60-fps requirement, so I can't just smash polygons together so they look nice. That's easy.

 

Plan B is to implement user choice of level of detail. Thus, unlike all other games on Jag that forced their compromise between visuals and frame rate, I will leave it up to player.

 

I know for sure now that I can have two more 60-fps environments.

 

And this is where my PC-based real-time preview comes in - it gives me real-time update on scanline count, so now I don't have to wait till I import the mesh to my source code to find out how it behaves , performance-wise.

 

 

Oh, and I will absolutely not allow the frame rate in game to drop below 30 fps.

The hangar is high poly, so the frame rate there doesn't matter much, as it's mere script. But the game itself won't drop below 30 on Ntsc (25:PAL).

 

 

If you ask how is it possible to ensure that then it's actually simple: At the start of each new frame I check the last frame time and if it's below 30, I halt with a debug message, so it's unmissable during overnight automated tests as I simply find the game halted in the morning.

 

I still need to implement the option of vsync, as currently it is forced. Then you will be able to have a frame rate of 57 or 43 or 39( unlike Vsync's 60 or 30), if you desire to do so. 

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13 minutes ago, VladR said:

No, that would be crazy. There will be 6 different environments spread across the 500 levels.

 

Then again, now that I have real-time engine preview of the currently edited 3dsmax mesh, I might be willing to burn more time on the environments.

 

However, it's not easy to design something jag-optimized.

 

I could easily create 20 environments in a month, but they must confirm to the strict 60-fps requirement, so I can't just smash polygons together so they look nice. That's easy.

 

Plan B is to implement user choice of level of detail. Thus, unlike all other games on Jag that forced their compromise between visuals and frame rate, I will leave it up to player.

 

I know for sure now that I can have two more 60-fps environments.

 

And this is where my PC-based real-time preview comes in - it gives me real-time update on scanline count, so now I don't have to wait till I import the mesh to my source code to find out how it behaves , performance-wise.

 

 

Oh, and I will absolutely not allow the frame rate in game to drop below 30 fps.

The hangar is high poly, so the frame rate there doesn't matter much, as it's mere script. But the game itself won't drop below 30 on Ntsc (25:PAL).

 

 

If you ask how is it possible to ensure that then it's actually simple: At the start of each new frame I check the last frame time and if it's below 30, I halt with a debug message, so it's unmissable during overnight automated tests as I simply find the game halted in the morning.

 

I still need to implement the option of vsync, as currently it is forced. Then you will be able to have a frame rate of 57 or 43 or 39( unlike Vsync's 60 or 30), if you desire to do so. 

I'm not a programmer but from what you just said it. It seems like you have put a tremendous amount of work into your engine/programming. Can't wait to see what kind of games you will be releasing! 

 

Hopefully your series of games will be super successful. Cheers!!! 👍

 

 

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Looks like I'm a little late to the party, but here's a video I took of the game at PRGE.

 

 

 

Edited by KevinMos3
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Thanks Vlad great to get more detail on your vision.

 

How many different types of vehicles do you anticipate creating,  the one in the video looks great but as with most things variety is the spice of life!

 

Also what sort of backgrounds to you anticipate, will you have a range of atmospheric conditions, day, night etc.

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Could you do things like following the player from side to side with the camera, or small bobs up and down according to the bumps in the track? (also for the camera, with a spring or sine-like smoothing).

Maybe allowing the ships to "jump" when hitting bumps, or rolling a little when moving from side to side.. also projecting a fake shadow in the ground (a black circle/ellipse sprite would be enough).

 

There is a lot of small details that would allow you to "sell" more the 3d effect, but I don't know how flexible is your current engine / 3d pipeline.. :)

 

And after that, things like allowing the camera pitch to change according to the pitch of the track, or allowing the camera to roll a little if there are turn sections..

Would be too much work to generate your track points procedurally?

 

Regards.

 

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I like those suggestions.

 

While at the PRGE there were some firsts for VladR:

 

Playing the original Star Wars arcade.

Playing Outrun. 

Playing Klax. 

 

And we played the hell outta the free Pinball. Mostly the new Jurassic Park Pinball. 

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4 hours ago, VintageGamer74 said:

I'm not a programmer but from what you just said it. It seems like you have put a tremendous amount of work into your engine/programming. Can't wait to see what kind of games you will be releasing! 

 

Hopefully your series of games will be super successful. Cheers!!! 👍

 

 

Thanks, I am indeed trying to make sure the technological side of the game doesn't suck for the player. I could have gone with the typical excuse of "first game on the target HW", and have released it 6-12 months ago, but I will rather put in a lot of work into it.

 

Gameplay, of course, I don't really expect too many people to truly enjoy it the same way I do, since I was always a fan of games that weren't exactly popular.

 

As far as success, I obviously don't expect it to be nowhere near financially rewarding as a financial industry in New York.

 

But in my current stage of life, I will much rather earn 10% of money I could have had at a job, but do what I love, as crazy as it sounds.

 

In last two years, during transition from highpaying job, there have been many crazy amounts flying around, in terms of my living costs.

 

But, two months ago I paid off one card, last month second and this month third one. In 4 months, another one, which should coincide with the pre-orders, at which point I should fall under $1,000 per month, though that still includes some remaining payments to IRS.

 

So, nobody has to feel like they are supporting some extravagant American lifestyle by buying the game.

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1 hour ago, JagChris said:

I like those suggestions.

 

While at the PRGE there were some firsts for VladR:

 

Playing the original Star Wars arcade.

Playing Outrun. 

Playing Klax. 

 

And we played the hell outta the free Pinball. Mostly the new Jurassic Park Pinball. 

Now - not trying to be a jerk here.  But if Vlad's 1st foray into this was coding Klax, and 2 years later he says Outrun can be finished in 40 minutes, why are you saying him playing those games are a first for him?  Did his previous info come from the same place as his glorious all knowing frame counters (i.e., watching Youtube videos)?  If so, that answer a good many questions.

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Yes, I was a hardcore PC player. There were very limited arcades in Eastern Europe when I was growing up.

 

So,he only said the truth - I finally got to play those games on real arcade and not some emulator.

 

I now understand that the 40-minute outrun playthrough on YouTube requires quite a skill to pull off.

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2 hours ago, Swansea_Mariner said:

Thanks Vlad great to get more detail on your vision.

 

How many different types of vehicles do you anticipate creating,  the one in the video looks great but as with most things variety is the spice of life!

 

Also what sort of backgrounds to you anticipate, will you have a range of atmospheric conditions, day, night etc.

Vehicles should not pose the same performance problem as tracks, so six is a very minimum.

 

As for backgrounds, I obviously have a lot of features in my wish list, but at the very minimum:

- terrain

- buildings

- fog

- clouds

- antialiasing

- some sort of daylight/ sun color - e.g dusk, Dawn, midday, afternoon, etc.

 

This is the reason why I had 16-bit background bitmap from very start, just with skybox gradient, even though it took few years to get to this feature.

 

Think of the backgrounds like it was some modern open world 3D game, where you put the camera at any spot in the world, take a snapshot, and use it as a background. Performance of rendering is irrelevant, as it happens at loading time. Object processor doesn't care if the bitmap it fetches is just some skybox gradient, or a full blown 3D render of a large world. It's still the same amount of bytes being transferred each frame.

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2 hours ago, NRV said:

Could you do things like following the player from side to side with the camera, or small bobs up and down according to the bumps in the track? (also for the camera, with a spring or sine-like smoothing).

Maybe allowing the ships to "jump" when hitting bumps, or rolling a little when moving from side to side.. also projecting a fake shadow in the ground (a black circle/ellipse sprite would be enough).

 

There is a lot of small details that would allow you to "sell" more the 3d effect, but I don't know how flexible is your current engine / 3d pipeline.. :)

 

And after that, things like allowing the camera pitch to change according to the pitch of the track, or allowing the camera to roll a little if there are turn sections..

Would be too much work to generate your track points procedurally?

 

Regards.

 

Literally everything you described is in my to-do list, but it's fairly low in priority.

 

But I agree, those features would be great, but they're not a two-day effort, unfortunately. Doubtful any of them (except the jump buoyancy) will happen.

 

 

As for the procedural generation, I can't store 500 tracks as a 3D mesh on cart. It must be procedurally generated at loading time. Right now, at loading time, I extrude the track's 3d mesh along the curve displacement points.

 

But, so as not to have a completely random aesthetics, the curve points will be done manually in 3dsmax.

 

But, yes, I could spend 2-3 days and generate bezier curves and avoid manual track creation. In future, there could be an endless mode, running till the Jag overheats :lol:

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Well he did whip my ass at Klax first time out. Like he had a natural aptitude for it. 

 

As for the dirty Jag I cleaned it off a bit. Then Sunday he went and bought a new shiny one. And went and bought an AvP cart to test it with. 

 

Anyway he plugged the cart in and it ran fine. Then he went to walk his dog for about a half hour. In that interlude James purple Hampton showed up and asked if I needed him to sign anything. So I yanked out the AVP cart and handed it to him and told him to defile it. I had a black marker I borrowed from Albert to defile it with and Hampton held up his hand as if to say nay and proceeded to pull out a purple marker and went about defiling. 

 

So VladR has an AvP cart autographed by the man himself. 

 

 

 

Edited by JagChris
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Nah, it was the other way around - I needed a Jag to test the avp cart on without disturbing skunk, so I went and bought a new Jag under $300 :lol:

 

None of that would have happened if you hadn't found out about the Avp producer panel. I clearly missed it when checking out the Sunday lineup previous evening.

 

How crazy it is that two hours prior to that I didn't have a second Jag, Avp nor producer-signed cart :lol:

 

That panel alone was worth the trip !

 

This PRGE, for me,  is definitely up there with the best ECTS expo in London, before ECTS went down hill.

 

Hopefully the August schedule for PRGE'20 won't screw up their incredible run! 

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7 hours ago, NRV said:

Could you do things like following the player from side to side with the camera, or small bobs up and down according to the bumps in the track? (also for the camera, with a spring or sine-like smoothing).

Maybe allowing the ships to "jump" when hitting bumps, or rolling a little when moving from side to side.. also projecting a fake shadow in the ground (a black circle/ellipse sprite would be enough).

 

There is a lot of small details that would allow you to "sell" more the 3d effect, but I don't know how flexible is your current engine / 3d pipeline.. :)

 

And after that, things like allowing the camera pitch to change according to the pitch of the track, or allowing the camera to roll a little if there are turn sections..

Would be too much work to generate your track points procedurally?

 

Regards.

 

That is the greatest issue for me: the ships look like totally detached from the track, they are on a fixed horizontal line and only moving left and right no matter how the track "wobbles", the collision did not work properly, the ships look like they are going trough the side walls, the track object itself. To me it looks like there is no real interaction with the track, which means 3D calculation is at a minimum and physics are not implented yet.  I hope that is not the final game, it's still a tech demo which gives you a very rough idea how a game could be. 

Edited by agradeneu
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Well done VladR showcasing your proof of concept. Without sounding too negative, as I appreciate the level of time, determination and dedication you must have applied to get to this point, how far down the line is this demo in terms of completion? The reason I ask is I share the same concerns as a few others regarding ship movement, the lack of movement to the road itself, the lack of texture and detail. If it's only 50% complete, fair enough. Is this the case, or is the game much closer to completion in your view? Just trying to ascertain how playable the experience would be as an actual game versus a tech demo showing possibilities and potential of your engine. Did anyone else get to actually play it?

Also, what does this mean for a Road Rash themed clone? Is that now a non starter? 

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11 hours ago, KevinMos3 said:

Looks like I'm a little late to the party, but here's a video I took of the game at PRGE.

 

 

 

I know when you started posting still images of the your work it looked pretty promising, this video looks freaking great... I had no idea it would look that good. Congrats VRVlad...! All of your hard-work looks like it's paying off.

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7 hours ago, agradeneu said:

That is the greatest issue for me: the ships look like totally detached from the track, they are on a fixed horizontal line and only moving left and right no matter how the track "wobbles", the collision did not work properly, the ships look like they are going trough the side walls, the track object itself. To me it looks like there is no real interaction with the track, which means 3D calculation is at a minimum and physics are not implented yet.  I hope that is not the final game, it's still a tech demo which gives you a very rough idea how a game could be. 

1. Ypos / Vertical alignment of ship with track : yes, this was disabled for the demo. I made some changes to the handling of lasershots recently that require update on the ships as well. 

 

2. Xpos / collision detection - this is just optical illusion due to the Ypos feature above. Once ships are at proper Ypos following the track curvature, it looks correct.

 

3. Physics - each game has it's own implementation of the physics. There's a huge difference between simple linear strafing and the inertia based one - in how it handles.

 

That's not something that you see on YT vid, you feel it when controlling the ship. It doesn't simply"skate like on ice" as would be the case if there was no physics- it has weight and when you change direction, it first must slow down the current direction and only then accelerate in the opposite one.

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4 hours ago, RetrousJag64 said:

the lack of texture and detail. If it's only 50% complete, fair enough. Is this the case, or is the game much closer to completion in your view? Just trying to ascertain how playable the experience would be as an actual game versus a tech demo showing possibilities and potential of your engine. Did anyone else get to actually play it?

Also, what does this mean for a Road Rash themed clone? Is that now a non starter? 

1. Textures - we had this discussion in this thread long time ago but my position hasn't changed - I still feel like there's too few games that used flatshaded polygons and the ones that are, aren't as colorful either. Jag was built for this style and I intend to explore it as far as I can.

 

Textures will never give you this vibrant color look, you can't have such stark contrast between surfaces, unless they are extremely low resolution at which point their performance impact is not worth it, imo.

 

2. Yes, people played the demo - from 6-year olds to 60-year old :)

 

3. Road Rash - I know for sure it's not No 2 in my Roadmap, neither No 3. Maybe No 4. But, I might have a playable demo on next expo.

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4 hours ago, philipj said:

I know when you started posting still images of the your work it looked pretty promising, this video looks freaking great... I had no idea it would look that good. Congrats VRVlad...! All of your hard-work looks like it's paying off.

Thanks man, I appreciate it.

 

I'm still driving home, a bit slower than going here, so I don't think I will resume coding sooner than this Friday.

 

After about a week of coding I should have a new video with at least one new environment and the ship, plus enabling the shooting enemy, track Ypos following and other features.

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38 minutes ago, VladR said:

1. Textures - we had this discussion in this thread long time ago but my position hasn't changed - I still feel like there's too few games that used flatshaded polygons and the ones that are, aren't as colorful either. Jag was built for this style and I intend to explore it as far as I can.

 

Textures will never give you this vibrant color look, you can't have such stark contrast between surfaces, unless they are extremely low resolution at which point their performance impact is not worth it, imo.

 

2. Yes, people played the demo - from 6-year olds to 60-year old :)

 

3. Road Rash - I know for sure it's not No 2 in my Roadmap, neither No 3. Maybe No 4. But, I might have a playable demo on next expo.

Thanks VladR for clearing things up. The texture thing I must have missed. Apologies. Excited to see the full potential of this game, and hopefully it's a deep, playable arcade affair. All being well, what's the projected release window for this, and do you intend it to become a fully boxed cart, manual etc to purchase? 

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While I wasn't there at the booth to hands-on with the project, I gotta say, VladR showed up and presented his game.  Went out of his way to rent a booth and show progress on the floor.  Awesome man, best of luck with bringing this game to completion and giving us Jaguar fans more things to mess around with!

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2 hours ago, RetrousJag64 said:

Thanks VladR for clearing things up. The texture thing I must have missed. Apologies. Excited to see the full potential of this game, and hopefully it's a deep, playable arcade affair. All being well, what's the projected release window for this, and do you intend it to become a fully boxed cart, manual etc to purchase? 

No worries, this is a road Rash thread where there was a video of textured road and buildings, so it's understandable there's a confusion.

 

Regarding box/manual - I believe that people who don't have the space or inclination to store the boxes, should not pay for them. So, there should be a cheaper cart-only option.

 

As for the release, as of now I still believe I can make the Jan-01 pre-order start - the 60-day campaign.

 

The single biggest unknown right now is the music component- that can swing the date by couple weeks in itself easily.

 

In the middle of December I will know for sure based on progress and remaining features.

 

For sure, I want to avoid a scenario where I would ask for money and then take another 4+ months as then I would be pressured to release unfinished game, so unless I am reasonably sure that there's no more than two months of work remaining, I am not starting the 60-day pre-order campaign.

 

For the last 60 days I don't intend to do any new gameplay or engine features - just art assets and gameplay balancing.

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Vlad why would you put yourself under that kind of pressure? Why not release the thing when it is ready? It took so many years to come to this point and while I think it is good that you had something to play at the show, from my perspective this is still quite a long way from a finished and fun game. I mean it sure is good to have a goal in mind but January is two month away... Don`t get me wrong but this sounds like a scenario not unsimilar to the one you described above just with maybe slightly less pressure. Unless I am missing something, there is no real world deadline for this game or any new Jaguar game for that matter.

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As someone who was a victim of the whole Paprium pre-order debacle for Sega MD, I appreciate your honesty Vladr, and a thoroughly pretested product, good to go, bug free (as humanly possible) is the best way forward to create trust in your other future projects (still hoping for a Road Rash homage). I for one would be happy with a Spring 2020 release if it meant you hit your creative targets and quality control standards. 

 

Edited by RetrousJag64
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