During my experience in various commercial and non-commercial projects I’ve came across some interesting CG ideas, algorithms and approaches. Some of them I get to implement on those projects, some of those are already implemented and I just have to use them. Those that are left behind are still lingering in my mind with the label “I wanna do this”. That’s how I’ve decided to create a playground for myself.
First, it would be used to have slightly more organized (than regular drafty piece of code while trying something out) collection of various methods, tools and algorithms relating to 3D rendering and CG. Although it is way slower than just to bash some lines of code, but trying to fit methods I want into somewhat nice framework and pipeline is part of the task. In other words, it’s not really a playground, but more like a tool for myself, were I can play around with new CG and 3D stuff.
Another reason why I wanted to do this is to have a playground for shaders. There are plenty of shader authoring tools on the vast Internet, but I still haven’t found one that would fit my needs. At the moment I am using a set of ShaderMaker, Shader Toy and Shdr. Having my own environment suited for my style and needs is something I was misssing.
I’ve started it as a very simple “load and show” program. Since I had OBJ file loader implemented some time ago (here), I’ve started with using/adapting/adjusting the same code. And, implemented simple Phong shading with forward rendering using OpenGL. I did some more stuff on top of that, such as some GUI implementation, some abstract classes to support extensibility to some sort, etc.
Finally, as my next step (and one of those “I wanna do it”), I’ve started with deferred rendering. And I had my ups and downs. Idea is extremely simply. But it took me a lot of time to figure out and find that rendering empty vector of light objects results in empty/dark scene. Stupid me. Anyways, picture above is current screenshot of my test scene rendered with 500+ point lights and couple of objects. This is still not optimized version of the algorithm so frametimes are just around 15ms.
Coming up next: the shadow! Probably. Well, first I will optimize the rendering and then most likely will want to go for shadows. Or some spotlight implementation and some other cool stuff related to that. Argh, so much stuff, so little time… 🙂
Actually, this game is slightly earlier than BattleShades. I was playing around with libgdx and Box2D physics engine and decided to make something “driving and shooting” style. I managed that and then I decided to restructure code a bit to make modular and stuff and ended up not reaching the previous functionality. Although you can nicely drive and at least spin up the miniguns on top of the awesomely drawn combat vehicle 😀
Controls are: Arrow keys for driving, Space for spining up weapons.
Unfortunately, for some unknown reason steering is not working from up start. Try to relaunch if it doesn’t. I might some time return to this thing to play around more…
Once upon a time, a small idea for a game popped into my head. One or two evenings later I have realized that it does not pan out as I was expecting (and imagining) in my head, but something was already produced.
Idea is rather simple: You start as a colored fighter (box yeah!). You fight against other colored fighters. But the fighting is technically “stealing”. You steal the color from another fighter. How much and what kind of color you steal depends from both fighters in clash.
Unfortunately, gameplay was not as dynamic as I was expecting 🙁 And the current state is a crude prototype, no gui, no menu, no nothing…
Controls: WASD for movement, mouse for aiming, space for shooting.
I am gamer. And as it comes sometimes, I have some stupid idea that I want to create a game. And once I figured that it would be cool to have a nice board/card/rpg game. And then I made my first prototype, printed it out, cut all the cards. It took me a lot of time, a lot of printer toner and a lot of paper. That’s when I tried to come up with an easier solution – find a software which would allow to play various card games. But I couldn’t find any. This is why I’ve decided to try to create my own. For starters it had only two feature requirements: 1) you can add any image from your computer as card to the playing field. 2) you can move around, scale up or down and flip up or down the card. Essentially, that is the only things that you would need for a simulation of any card based game. For some time I’ve developed it a bit further, but then I’ve got carried away with the rest of my life and it got stuck. Furthermore, I was/am using quite out-dated engine for doing all the drawings (I liked it back then), which discourages even more from continuing it as it is now. But if I would migrate it to some other engine, who knows…
Since it is kind of in development, binaries are not ready for distribution, but you could build (it’s buildable and runnable in debug mode) from source yourself and play around. The source code is freely available here:
Alas, the first year of my master program has ended and I have decided to share one additional project I have been working on the last half of the year.
Actually, the course that I want to talk is Advanced Computer Graphics, which was extending through out both Study Periods of this semester, thus I am posting about it just now, when it is finished.
The course was essentially about doing a project work in a field of computer graphics with a chosen topic. And I chose spherical harmonics, because I was fascinated after our teacher introduced it. How powerful and fast it could be to make nice effects, such as world-space ambient occlusion and inter-reflection. Thus I have been working ever since the first seminars of this course in the end of February.
I’ve decided to try to work with OpenGL wrapper for Java – LWJGL. Thus I was able to work quite seamlessly both on my Windows and Linux installation (which I switched quite often). To begin with, I’ve wrote some helper classes to hold the information about vertices, vertex array objects and so on. But then the first problem occurred – I couldn’t find a decent model file loader for Java. Thus, I wrote one myself. I’ve spent quite a lot of time, but I wrote an OBJ file loader including with materials and textures. It is not fully finished (e.g. doesn’t support smoothing groups and such), but it was and is working for my needs. Later on I’ve implemented the classical rendering (the switch between classical and spherical harmonics could be seen in first part of the demo). I did that because I wanted to have some kind of point of origin, with what I could compare results of spherical harmonics (SH) rendering. And I wanted to test my OBJ loader without delving deep into SH calculations. After I’ve completed the classical rendering and OBJ loader, I’ve continued to work with implementation of SH.
I am not going to explain all the mathematics behind the SH because even for the course mates it was boring 😀 Thus I will tell what I have done with SH implementation. First of all, I’ve implemented all the methods required to calculate and use SH, but then, with increasing complexity of models, calculation times were going over the top. To construct SH for simple model with <1000 triangles would take about a minute or so. Thus I proceeded with research and implementation of ray tracing acceleration structures. That is construction of SH heavily relies on ray tracing from each of the model’s vertices. Because I’ve already had a small class representing axis aligned bounding box (AABB), I’ve decided to go for hierarchical AABB acceleration structure. According to my research it is not the most efficient structure, but it was efficient enough for me. After I have completed that, super complex models with hundreds of thousands triangles would be ray traced in a matter of minutes, thus it was sufficient enough. But still, the result of ray tracing is more or less pre-processing of the model.
That is why I have implemented SH saving/loading. Very simple and plain text format (I was inspired by OBJ format, thus very similar) which stores all the coefficients for SH for a certain OBJ file. If SH file is not found or is not representing the OBJ file (hash check! 🙂 ), all the SH harmonics are recalculated and saved again. This literally reduced pre-processing time almost to zero. Because of some complex models and high amount of spherical harmonics data, sometimes files with SH coefficients exceeds hundreds of megabytes, thus it takes a bit of time to load them up.
So, after core technology was done, I headed for the implementation of somewhat of a game. Downloaded several freeware models, created some myself. Created some what system for having complex models with separate parts, implemented interface, AI for enemy tank and even added fog effect so that background would blend seamlessly. I was almost ready to go. Almost.
After the supervision it was suggested for me to make something more, thus I have additionally implemented a skybox. It was rather easy to implement, but actually I was impressed about how it changed the feeling of the game. Because the skybox changed the ambient color of the background, I had to change the color of the fog and tweak the fog itself, but it was worth it. Then I have continued with the most interesting suggestion for me – screen-space post-process pass for volumetric shadows. Technically it is simple radial blur, but after some struggle with framebuffer objects I have implemented it and combined with the skybox it ended up to look super cool. At last, as a final touch I’ve added some textures to make it less plain and a small bar for displaying player’s health.
Below you can see the tech demo – a small video which I have compiled out of all small videos which I’ve taken through out the development.
Study Period 2 is nearing to it’s end, thus I decided to post about what I’ve been doing. Well, I’ll post only half of the stuff what I have been doing, because the other half is still in progress as one of the courses I read this SP is going to span over the next SP, too.
So, what I was doing? Simulation Engines. Course where we were supposed to build a simulation engine. We were working in teams, quite large, I would say. My team was made out of 6 members. After initial discussions we decided to make a fun “build and shoot” game, where you have a cannon, which you shoot, a heart, which you protect, and a bunch of building blocks which you use to protect your heart. Oh, by the way, each member had to implement different part of the engine, and in our case, those parts were software engineering (gluing part), artificial intelligence (smart part), physics (realistic part), graphics (cool part), multimedia (sounds and GUI part) and networking (social part). And I was responsible for the social part, networking. My extension idea and purpose was to create seamless connection between players, so that there would be no hosting or joining, nor lobbies or master servers. But that’s enough of talking. Here are some screenshots. And, of course, download links are below.
So. Happened that my university was one of the GGJ locations. I was planning to participate anyways, but still 🙂 It was really entertaining 48 hours and I had chance to try something new and get more experience. And the result is here 😀 By the way, theme this year was literally a sound of beating heart 🙂 Not kidding, what we’ve got was just a black screen with heart beating in the background 🙂
You can check it out directly at GGJ website – Heart Traffic or just download executables from down below (both APK for Androids above 2.2 and JAR for anything that has Java Runtime Environment 7).
Several minutes ago Fuck This Jam has ended. And I have managed to create and submit something. That something is of course Void of Hate, which I’ve described several days ago. But this time, I’m showing not just screenshots. Like these…
Unfortunately, because of various reasons finally leading to me, this game is far away from finished. Turrets in planets are not shooting, research options are vague and AI is as I call “Brownian Motion AI”. Oh, and by the way, there is no resources (so everything is free!), some descriptions missing. Moreover, … ah, what a hell, download and check it out yourselves.
Well, today was a bit less productive. But still, I moved forward, and here we go, with some nice interactive GUI, plus selection of both planets and spaceships and movement of spaceships. So far, so good. Next up – some rest 😀
So, today starts Fuck This Jam. The game jam about creating a game in a genre you hate. Thus. I’ve decided to participate in this jam.
I never thought that it might be so hard to think of a game you hate. Every single game I’ve played is appealing in one or another way. But. I’ve decided to look for a boring game for me. And this is the space colonization/strategy game. The ones like Master of Orion or Alpha Centauri.
Master of Orion
I’m going to use Java with GTGE and will see what is going to be. For now I do not have any details about the gameplay or anything else… Well, because I hate it… 😀