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The Kingdom Of Soul
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #211
RE: The Kingdom Of Soul
Game development continues:

With the underlying mechanics of my camera control working I need to expand it now to support all the camera control modes I envisaged.

I want to direct my attention next though to game saves and loads, ensuring I have that fully operational before getting deeper into game play and mechanics.

I'm expecting my Perception Neuron (mocap system) shipping notification email any time soon now so want to try and finish any outstanding coding prior to its arrival; as I'm sure that's going to take up a considerable amount of my time once it's here.

In the meantime I thought it was about time I designed an intro and menu system for the game. It's just using a placeholder font for now but otherwise the basic mechanics are in place:





Esenthel makes it so easy to do what I need to ... it's a superb engine and a pleasure to work with smile
08-18-2015 10:27 PM
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rstralberg Offline
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Post: #212
RE: The Kingdom Of Soul
Fantastic. You have really got an atmosphere of old time and nature there. Very nice
08-18-2015 10:33 PM
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RedcrowProd Offline
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Post: #213
RE: The Kingdom Of Soul
really nice one comment tho, the guard seems not attach to the world ( hes a little bit floating over it ) other than that, can't wait to see some more smile
08-19-2015 05:33 AM
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #214
RE: The Kingdom Of Soul
Thanks for the positive comments guys, there's a tendency as game developers to just keep plugging away at what we believe in without ensuring we are taking the rest of the world with us! It's nice to get feedback from time to time smile

@RedcrowProd
Well spotted sir ... in my advanced years I really should wear my glasses more often wink I'll adjust the character controller capsule to bring the character down to ground level.
08-19-2015 10:08 AM
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LDA Offline
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Post: #215
RE: The Kingdom Of Soul
Looks good, Pixel Perfect, good job smile
08-19-2015 03:51 PM
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kreathyon Offline
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Post: #216
RE: The Kingdom Of Soul
wow beautiful, good work wink
(This post was last modified: 08-19-2015 05:51 PM by kreathyon.)
08-19-2015 05:50 PM
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #217
RE: The Kingdom Of Soul
Cheers smile

This next video demo's some of my scripted Camera Control functions in operation. It starts with a 'StaticCameraFollow' function using the same position as the last video but tracking the NPC 'Brenda'. It also demo's a change in the weather!

Also included is a scripted camera switch to whichever of the four patrolling guards on the Village walls has a 'Change Of Guard'; at the point at which the guards face each other and speak. The speech, yet again, is just some random placeholder speech. I have yet to write the voice scripts and record the voice-overs. These can wait until the game mechanics are complete.



(This post was last modified: 08-26-2015 08:36 PM by Pixel Perfect.)
08-23-2015 11:51 PM
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Ezequel Offline
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Post: #218
RE: The Kingdom Of Soul
Amazingsmile the birds are also cool
08-24-2015 07:54 PM
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #219
RE: The Kingdom Of Soul
This week has all been about TIME, that is ensuring that my game world maintains it's own time and that everything that
needs to be is tied into that.

I added the ability for my lighting objects to respond to time so they can be automatically switched on and off (or faded in
and out gradually) according to specified game times.

I did the same for my sound objects allowing them to play for specific game time ranges if required. Ambient Day/Night
sounds are an obvious example for this.

I added a flag for day/night transitions which can be used by various objects to determine aspects of their functionality
(animals going quiet at night for instance).

I set up events to pass both the game time and the day night transitions to the AI engine so it can make use of these too
and remain synced with the game engine.

The first implementation of this is in my AI for the animal behaviour. When night falls I need most animals to become in-
active ... so now I have access to the day night transitions I was able to expand my animal behaviour Finite State Machine to
have them return to their initial spawn points when night falls and remain inactive. They will still respond to close proximity
of a deemed threat (the player for instance) and go into an initial Alert State and then an Alarmed State and take flight should
the threat continue. But once that passes they'll return to their spawn point again and rest. Once morning arrives they'll
resume their standard wander and graze behaviour responding to threats as previously described.

A screenshot of the flow chart showing the basic design:

   
09-06-2015 12:05 AM
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #220
RE: The Kingdom Of Soul
My latest Day Night cycle combining all the latest time related functionality I've been working on. Dramatically speeded up to keep the video to a reasonable length:



09-06-2015 11:28 PM
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para Offline
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Post: #221
RE: The Kingdom Of Soul
Great progress and interesting read, as always! (the AI and camera stuff)

The various environment sounds you have going on really bring life to a scene. Though in the latest video I noticed the birds keep singing during the night, which got me thinking how I'm going to handle time contextual stuff like that and what uses I could come up with in my own project. Hm...
09-07-2015 06:09 PM
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #222
RE: The Kingdom Of Soul
(08-24-2015 07:54 PM)Ezequel Wrote:  Amazingsmile the birds are also cool

Cheers Ezequel smile

(09-07-2015 06:09 PM)para Wrote:  Great progress and interesting read, as always! (the AI and camera stuff)

Thanks Para, it's been fun devising ways of using the AI capability of EKI One and I'm pleased to find that it appears flexible enough to handle most things if you put a bit of thought into it.

(09-07-2015 06:09 PM)para Wrote:  Though in the latest video I noticed the birds keep singing during the night, which got me thinking how I'm going to handle time contextual stuff like that and what uses I could come up with in my own project. Hm...

The two sound objects I use for the day and night sounds are set to fade in and out over a configurable start and stop period, currently set at 10 seconds which is definitely too long for the speed the day night cycle was set too whilst making that video. The night sound is meant to be Cicadas (bugs which sing at night to avoid predators) however you are not the first person to think they are birds (if it's not simply the lengthy overlap you are referring to) so maybe I need to change the night sound file for something else!

I'm currently still waiting for my Perception Neuron Mocap system to be despatched, I got in right at the end of their Kickstarter campaign so I'll be one of the last to receive it. I've not wanted to do much more with the human AI until I have the animations built and am able to animate more complex scenarios so have been spending my time coding some of the other things on my extensive (seems sometimes never ending) 'To Do' list.

I'm currently looking at how I can implement saving and loading within EKI One so I can restore the AI along with the game engine stuff. As great a job as they did with the AI engine it doesn't look like they got round to adding the ability to serialise it before the product got dropped ... so it might prove to be quite a bit of work.

Out of interest ... how did you get on with that vegetation pack you were putting together? I really liked the look of that and would still be interested in purchasing it should you make it available.

Good to hear from you. Would be interested in an update on your projects when you get a chance smile
09-07-2015 08:56 PM
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para Offline
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Post: #223
RE: The Kingdom Of Soul
Quote:The two sound objects I use for the day and night sounds are set to fade in and out over a configurable start and stop period, currently set at 10 seconds which is definitely too long for the speed the day night cycle was set too whilst making that video. The night sound is meant to be Cicadas (bugs which sing at night to avoid predators) however you are not the first person to think they are birds (if it's not simply the lengthy overlap you are referring to) so maybe I need to change the night sound file for something else!
Aha! Must be overlap from the quick day/night cycle I was hearing, the Cicadas I've mistaken for Crickets (similar insects, very common in this part of EU, but now I know they're not the only ones).. so there's probably no reason for a change.

Quote:I'm currently still waiting for my Perception Neuron Mocap system to be despatched, I got in right at the end of their Kickstarter campaign so I'll be one of the last to receive it. I've not wanted to do much more with the human AI until I have the animations built and am able to animate more complex scenarios so have been spending my time coding some of the other things on my extensive (seems sometimes never ending) 'To Do' list.
I was very exited when I saw their Kickstarter campaign, but sadly lacked the funds to acquire a set, maybe someday... anyway I'm really interested how this thing turns out in practice, so hopefully you'll keep us informed about your experience as you go along using it wink

Quote:I'm currently looking at how I can implement saving and loading within EKI One so I can restore the AI along with the game engine stuff. As great a job as they did with the AI engine it doesn't look like they got round to adding the ability to serialise it before the product got dropped ... so it might prove to be quite a bit of work.
Hmm, that's very unfortunate. I was under the impression it was supported because I saw some classes related to that (I think BinaryWriter/Reader), and I think there's a Serialize method in the main engine class itself. Also, could the manifest/configuration file used at engine/virtualworld init be somehow used for loading a state?

Quote:Out of interest ... how did you get on with that vegetation pack you were putting together? I really liked the look of that and would still be interested in purchasing it should you make it available.

Good to hear from you. Would be interested in an update on your projects when you get a chance smile
I took a bit of a break, but I hope I'll be able to make it available soon. As I don't want to be selling a cat in a bag (or pig in a poke as they say in UK?) I was thinking of going "early access", that is if you're willing to help me work out the kinks and find any necessary improvements? (I want to make it as best as I can, before taking anyone's money)
09-09-2015 06:58 PM
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #224
RE: The Kingdom Of Soul
Quote:Aha! Must be overlap from the quick day/night cycle I was hearing, the Cicadas I've mistaken for Crickets (similar insects, very common in this part of EU, but now I know they're not the only ones).. so there's probably no reason for a change.

Thanks for the clarification ... I'll keep the night sound then smile

Quote:I was very exited when I saw their Kickstarter campaign, but sadly lacked the funds to acquire a set, maybe someday... anyway I'm really interested how this thing turns out in practice, so hopefully you'll keep us informed about your experience as you go along using it wink

Yeah, I did have to think twice about making that investment! But yes. I'll happily post some feedback regarding my experience with it and hopefully demo some of the output.

Quote:Hmm, that's very unfortunate. I was under the impression it was supported because I saw some classes related to that (I think BinaryWriter/Reader), and I think there's a Serialize method in the main engine class itself. Also, could the manifest/configuration file used at engine/virtualworld init be somehow used for loading a state?

There is some support for serialization within the engine API but as far as I can see not sufficient to save and load the entire AI state at any given time. Apart from the low level read/write support provided in the binary classes you mentioned there is seemingly only support for serializing entities (Agents or Objects) with the SerializeEntity function which is described as follows:

this function serializes an entities state onto the specified writer

This can be used for transferring single entities between engine instances for load balancing purposes for example. If you want to serialize the whole state, use SerializeState instead.

Interestingly it references the SerializeState command which is undocumented. Also, no corressponding Deserialize functions are available!

As this support seems to extend only to entity level and not capturing the state of Plots, scenarios, FSMs etc it seems inherently insufficient for completely saving and restoring the state of the AI.

Quote:I took a bit of a break, but I hope I'll be able to make it available soon. As I don't want to be selling a cat in a bag (or pig in a poke as they say in UK?) I was thinking of going "early access", that is if you're willing to help me work out the kinks and find any necessary improvements? (I want to make it as best as I can, before taking anyone's money)

Thanks for the update and yes 'pig in a poke' is a well used expression wink I'd be more than happy to help iron out the kinks and provide constructive feedback if that helps it come to fruition. Give me a PM and we can discuss it further
09-10-2015 04:35 PM
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #225
RE: The Kingdom Of Soul
Re-entrant behaviour.

Due to the previously highlighted shortcomings of the EKI One AI engine in the serialization department (looks like they didn't quite manage to finish it before their finance was pulled) I now find myself having to redesign my existing AI routines in the engine to be inherently re-entrant as I don't have access to their underlying mechanism controls and states to simply restore them.

The support for cut scenes (complex plots) is too complicated to warrant trying to devise workarounds, I shall simply set a flag during these that disables saving.

However, I seem to be successfully devising methods to save and re-enter other behaviour constructs which has been a huge relief. It involves making the configuration dynamic rather than statically defined (built at run time using LUA by assembling from tables of parameters); so I can keep track of where I am in any running sequence and save that position enabling the dynamic recreation of the sequence from that point onwards when re-loaded.

This nicely takes care of Agent Plans which consist of sequences of Actions and form a major part of the AI execution. This has been tested on my Patrol, Movement and Speech mechanisms and is working well

I've yet to look at the FSMs I've written but I'm hoping due to fairly sensible design they should be pretty much re-entrant anyway or will be with the saving and loading of a few more Agent properties.

A lot more work than I'd initially anticipated but that seems to be 'par for the course' for us part time game designers wink

[EDIT] Have coded the saving of the FSM states now and that appears to be working too.
(This post was last modified: 10-17-2015 05:56 PM by Pixel Perfect.)
10-10-2015 09:49 AM
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