July “State Of The Game” Address

Jul
01

July “State Of The Game” Address

There has been a lot going on with the development of Imagine Nations, and we apologize for being as quiet as we’ve been.  A lot of the work being accomplished has been under the hood, so to speak, and there wasn’t a lot of fancy images to capture what was happening.  However, this month’s update will show where we’re at, and which features are still in the works for first build.

First Build

As we have mentioned before, these are the current features aimed for the first build (along with their progress and any changes to the goals):

  • One face of the planet generating (very large area to explore). – 80%
  • Dirt, grass, sand, generic rock, and water blocks properly loading in. – 80%
  • Trees with log, branch, and leaves block properly loading in. – 10%
  • All blocks come in 4 sizes (full, 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4) for a smoother travel experience.  All blocks can either be full height (0.5m) or any height less than that.  As shown in the last update, this allows us to have a gradual elevation increase to support mounts/vehicles moving along the ground easier.  – 50%
  • All blocks can be dug out and placed to build simple constructs. – 20%
  • All blocks can be subdivided by 3 levels to create smaller blocks for construction. – 60%
  • Simple day/night cycle with the planet face rotating and a nearby star acting as the primary light source. – 5%
  • Simple weather system with clouds that can form/dissipate. (No precipitation yet) – 5%
  • Full player movement including walking, running, sneaking, swimming, and jumping. (No player model or animations, only in 1st person) – 100%
  • First pass player UI implemented including: health/stamina/mana bars, skill slots, left/right hand functionality, and inventory, journal, character windows. – 5%
  • Fully working launcher to get the first build and subsequent updates. – 100%
  • Ability to choose what type of build you want to grab including: stable, test (latest but possibly not stable), and various tech demos being offered at the time. – 100%
  • Imagine Nations account to access the launcher (for backers once build is ready). – 100%
  • Launcher will include the latest news for the game, forums to post bug reports and discuss the build with the community, and the chat (yes we haven’t forgotten you). – 100%
  • Patches from the launcher will only push the changed portions of files, which should help out anyone with limited bandwidth. – 100%

Build Status

To sum up the above, our focus has been on planet generation which is nearly there.  To show this progress, a picture (or a few) are worth a few thousand words:

worldgen1As you can see, general world gen is coming along fine.  Alex is in the process of adding “layers” which will give us a much more realistic look (rather than having all hilly terrain).  Rendering of the blocks based on type (grass shown in these examples) is working appropriately.

worldgen2As mentioned above, once the new layers are added in, there will be many other terrain types outside of hills and mountains.  One big emphasis on world generation is that its not just a matter of plains at sea level.  With our world generator, there could be planes at massive heights just as much as at sea level, with towns being built next to rivers flowing from mountain springs and down a thousand block drop.

worldgen3The gray area is the rock block type temporarily being used as water until we get the actual water functionality in.

worldgen4A widescreen view of a large hill surrounded by a river and an ocean.

worldgen5Our first few passes at adding 3D elements to the generator.  Its a messy affair, but we’ll have it smoothed out by the end of this week.  This would handle overhangs, cave systems, tunnels, etc.

worldgen6Another shot at 3D generation, with the results getting a bit closer to where we want to go.  The end goal, obviously, is no floating blocks.

BlocksFor anyone that missed our update last month, this image basically encompasses the 3 types of blocks that can be found within the game (and are being incorporated into the world generation system now):  full blocks (at top) which are 0.5m (half the size of Minecraft blocks), sized blocks (grass block ramp) which can be any height up to 0.5m and allow smooth elevation changes, and complex blocks (rock pile in the middle) that will be used sparingly for some terrain generation, but overall used for detail in construction.

As it stands right now, we’re finalizing a lot of the layers necessary to generate the entire planet face.  We have all the necessary assets complete, so once the layers can support all the block types, we will see a more or less functioning planet with appropriate climates dictating the type of blocks seen in those areas.

We have also done away with any understand of “biomes” with the specific blocks, fauna, and flora dictating their optimal conditions to show up.  With the various ways we’re generating the world, appropriately content would show up at the proper locations, and blend accordingly between two areas of differing parameters.

Once we knock out these last few steps along with water and the weather layer, we will be ready to launch the first build to all backers.  For anyone that has already downloaded the launcher and can login without any issues, the build will automatically update when we announce its launch.  For all others, you can preorder the early access version of Imagine Nations which will get you the launcher now.  All builds from now to final release will be sent through the launcher.

We’re hoping we can get the first build out during July, but we can’t make any promises as we want to be sure everything is working to the level we’d expect playing the game ourselves.  As soon as we are confident its where we need it to be, we will get the build out.  Its been a bit of a wait, but we are almost there.  And we thank everyone for their patience during this time.  We expect the rest of this year to be a bit more interesting with some of these current tasks out of the way.

– The Imagine Nations Team

This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Temper 2 years, 7 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #2987

    Vaernus
    Keymaster

    There has been a lot going on with the development of Imagine Nations, and we apologize for being as quiet as we’ve been.  A lot of the work being acc
    [See the full post at: July “State Of The Game” Address]

    William Phelps - Lead Developer of Imagine Nations - will@catbananastudios.com - http://www.imaginenationsgame.com

  • #2988

    Andrew
    Participant

    With our world generator, there could be planes at massive heights just as much as at sea level, with towns being built next to rivers flowing from mountain springs and down a thousand block drop.

    Yes! Do that.

  • #2997

    Gaius Julius Caesar
    Participant

    sounds good!

  • #3002

    Vaernus
    Keymaster
    3D screenshot

    3D overhangs working a bit better now. More to come tomorrow.

    William Phelps - Lead Developer of Imagine Nations - will@catbananastudios.com - http://www.imaginenationsgame.com

  • #3004

    Vaernus
    Keymaster
    Hilly/Mountainous Area

    Last screenshot update for today. Showing a hilly/mountainous area.

    William Phelps - Lead Developer of Imagine Nations - will@catbananastudios.com - http://www.imaginenationsgame.com

  • #3005

    Ironmarck
    Participant

    It’s looking good. I just hope it’s not hard to make it work with the subdivided  blocks.

  • #3015

    Vaernus
    Keymaster

    We will be using the subdivided blocks very sparingly for terrain generation.  Only for a few detail objects like rock formations, the branches/roots of a tree, etc.  The rest would be full blocks, with the varying height sized blocks used for gradual elevation changes in beaches and plains.

    Few more screenshots for today:

    Beaches

    Adding some beaches in, and some more types of terrain.

    Elevation Changes

    This is mainly showing the elevation in our game. As mentioned in the update, we’d want there to be cities on top of high elevation areas just as much as at sea level, but this is only the start of it. Underground is layered and can also support cities and other places of interest, leading down to more hellish environments near the core. As such, depending upon the size of the planet, you could see as “few” as 4000 blocks from core to max height, to as many as 10000 blocks for a massive planet.

    Elevation And View Distance

    This shows both elevation, and view distance (with a bit overuse of fog that we’re testing out values for). Not only do we want a large amount of blocks for elevation to allow us to layer content down to the core, but we also want you to be able to see far without any major performance problems. Since we’re on a “flat” planet face, you will technically be able to see from one side of the planet to the other (with the huge edge mountain ranges looming in view at all times). We’d like you to be able to climb a mountain and be able to see various places of interests to plot out where you’d want to go, or simply take in the breathtaking view.

    Making steady progress daily.  Been a pretty exciting time in the team as everything is coming together.  Will look to post more tomorrow.  🙂

    William Phelps - Lead Developer of Imagine Nations - will@catbananastudios.com - http://www.imaginenationsgame.com

  • #3017

    Ironmarck
    Participant

    By “You will technically be able to see from one side of the planet to the other.” do you mean that this could be possible? I ask because all the time i’ve been around the minecraft comunity, it seemed that view range is the worst on the FPS, and the view range is quite tiny in minecraft. But i do know that minecraft is not optimized at all, so if you do manage that one i’m sure it would be an awesome feature and many minecraft fans might end out migrating just for it.

  • #3021

    Vaernus
    Keymaster

    You’d have to understand that everything in games is typically smoke and mirrors.  So when we have a view distance that shows the entire planet, we’re making sure that the amount of objects is still within acceptable limits.  Factoring in that generally, at a certain distance, everything just melds together anyway as its too small, we’d most likely always render the giant mountains, and then have low poly level of detail representations of everything when looking from on top of a mountain.

    You will still be able to make out well-defined points of interest like established cities, large castles, obelisks, etc. assuming they’re not mixed in with a forest or jungle.  And you’d be able to make out the various “biomes” pretty distinctly.  One of the big things we’d like to do is have the weather layer play an integral part in all of this atmosphere.  You could have heavy cloud coverage obscuring your view if above the layer, or various parts of the layer positioned as fog shrouding parts of the world.

    William Phelps - Lead Developer of Imagine Nations - will@catbananastudios.com - http://www.imaginenationsgame.com

  • #3049

    Vaernus
    Keymaster

    Some more screenshot updates.  Alex has been hard at work getting more terrain blocks loading in properly based on the climate and other factors.  Beaches are now properly showing up, and we are testing out “transitional” blocks that cleanly merge two block types as areas meet (rather than a sharp change from a desert to a jungle).  The transitional block would be purely cosmetic, with the block type being the primary texture used.  You would not get a sand/dirt block for instance.

    We’re expecting to have intro, menus, and GUI in very soon.  Andrew is currently knocking out the UI editor to allow Fatih to plug in his wonderful artwork.  From there, we’re very close to getting the first build out to everyone.  We’ve already knocked out digging and placing blocks, and Dan and I are currently finishing up support for our “Structure Editor” which allows Fatih (or anyone really) to build more complex structures in the world like buildings, rock formations, and trees out of the various sized blocks.  We can then begin adding more detail to the world (mainly the rocks and trees for now).

    We’ve also made some strides in optimizing the entire process.  The end goal is being able to see from one end of the planet to the other (with the gigantic mountain ranges always being visible no matter where you are on the surface).  It will be a WIP for quite a long while, but Chris has made some vast improvements over the past week.  Chunks load exceptionally fast, while we constantly push the view distance further without sacrificing performance.

    Rounding out this update with George working out the theme for Imagine Nations, and we should have a lot to show (maybe the actual build?) by August.

    New Screenshot 3

    New Screenshot 3

    New Screenshot 2

    New Screenshot 2

    New Screenshot 1

    New Screenshot 1

    William Phelps - Lead Developer of Imagine Nations - will@catbananastudios.com - http://www.imaginenationsgame.com

  • #3053

    Temper
    Participant

    Nice work! Can’t wait to see distant formations, massive vistas really don’t exist in this game-type yet.

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