SITREP - Week 023

published Friday, 14 Oct. 2011, 14:30 by Reese

Kim unlocked "Baby #3" achievement, coding skills are being upgraded, production is running smoothly and somehow its already Friday.

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Read last weeks SITREP [Here]

Team debriefing

Kim
Kim (ZPSHicks)
Game Director

"On short maternity leave".







heks
Mikael (heks)
Lead Programmer

"I've been acting in-house programming tutor most of the week, held a few job interviews, submitted bug reports to various middlewares, and coded a tiny bit on Deadlock".





Scribblehead
Jesper Andersen (Scribblehead)
Concept Artist

""What's up everyone, is it just me or are the weeks just going by blindingly fast? Next up halloween almost :O. Last week i mentioned we were starting to look into weapon designs, so this week has been full of research and blocking out silhouettes - i think its safe now to say that were focusing on the pistols at the moment.

At the same time we found this awesome website called pimp my gun, which basically lets you play with a variety of different weapon models and their parts, great fun for coming up with some really outlandish weaponry (and yet it still looks real :D).

Thankfully I'm soon done with my semester project at uni, so i'll be back on track time wise - i haven't forgot about the process report, but I'm sooo tied down at the moment, hope you guys understand my dilemma here :P (wanna finish it so badly haha).

I think thats really it for me, next week i'll hopefully be closer to a first iteration, think modular pistol!

Cheers"
".


"Anders and Jesper vs design considerations"
"Anders and Jesper vs design considerations"

Anders
Anders (cptKickASS)
Lead Artist

"This has been a fun week; Nics started coding (*ill say no more*). For me, This week has been all about weapons. Last week a had a weapons manager done, roughly. This week I had it re-factored a bit with the help from Heks, after that I started working on the marine prototype, creating a switch so that it knows the difference between third person and first person. I also spawn the weapon on the camera, and adjust the animation based on which weapon has been chosen and its position. Ahh its all coming together, and hopefully having 27 different weapons with a sick amount of extensions and scopes will be easy to implement.".

Jess
Jess (NecroSonic)
Level Designer

"First of all thanks for some great feedback on the last SITREP where we discussed some of the most pressing issues related to our level design. There were a lot of good suggestions among your comments. Regarding the issue of cutting holes in the terrain, it is not an option to simply export/import the terrain as a huge mesh with tons of faces. It is not preferable in terms of performance besides the issue of being a pain to tweak. One very interesting link to a Japanese (wtf?!) site was posted by Gotstyle. I ran it past Robert who is a graphics programmer at Unity and here is his reply.

Robert Cupisz: yeah, my Japanese is a bit rusty. Anyway, what they’re using to mask out the terrain for rendering is a standard technique and we e.g. used it to cut out water from inside of the boat here: http://vimeo.com/18687191

What’s more problematic, is the terrain collision. What they’re doing, is detecting when you’re close to the hole and disabling collision with the terrain. I didn’t remember you could do that. Anyway if that’s possible, you should try it out if it behaves nicely in your case and doesn't do some weird crap when you’re walking on the terrain and then disable its collision.

Based on this I think that we will at least do a test to see if we can use this technique to enable us to do underground buildings.

Besides looking into these matters I have been drawing up ideas for multiplayer maps on paper while waiting for the new modules. "
.

Nicolai
Nicolai (Reese)
CEO & Composer

"I've been spending the entire week learning the basics of C# so I can utilize the power of basic scripting in Unity, audio-wise; and it's actually going a lot better than I feared. Of course Heks and Anders assisted me when I hit a few (coding)walls / syntax error(s) but I'm actually getting very fond of this new world.. and the power of absolutely jawsomeness it provides me :)

Hopefully I'll shortly start implementing this newly attained wisdom in regards to audio scripting in Deadlock and I hope the next iteration of Deadlock will feature a numbers of those".


 

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All the best,
Nicolai (Reese) & the team at Zero Point Software

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Comments

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2 years, 6 months ago

Lol, Baby #3 achievement. Congrats :)

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2 years, 6 months ago

So, you just found pimp my gun? I would have told you about that one year ago if I had known it would help -.- Anyway, I like the fact that the multiplayer models of the marines are coming along nicely. Believable movement of the other players is always an important factor in immersion, imo^^

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2 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations on baby #3 Kim!!!

As a welfare state and sociology nerd I have to point out that Kim is on PPPaternety leave - which I applaud. Use your rights guys!

@Reese: I loved your code in last sitrep - please don't loose tihis artistic approach to coding, ha ha!

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2 years, 6 months ago

Oh, and by that I mean PPPaternity leave... sorry.

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2 years, 6 months ago

Kim congratulations :)

Jess you don't need to necessarily import the terrain has a single mesh, you can just break the terrain in chunks in your 3d app, import has separate objects and assemble in the editor, then Occlusion Culling will hide the non visible chunks improving performance.

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2 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations Kim

I hope that technice works for you. Just be care full if you deactive the collision of the terrain every object could fall throug it.

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2 years, 6 months ago

Whenever an audio artist starts programming, it tends to result into head related transfer functions, early reflection simulations, frequency dependant distance attenuation, occlusion, diffusion, acoustic impedance and so on... Let's hope Nicolai has no obsession in these details or he might require some medical assistance sooner or later. I recommend Heks to watch over his new apprentice carefully. Red eyes, listening to "inside engine" gunshots, voices or music for insane periods of time, tweaking a single parameter for several hours... you'll know the symptoms when you see them :-)

I am looking forward to see the modular pistols :-)

Did someone just say 27 different weapons? Holy .... that's a lot.

I hope Unity 3.5 will be out in time so there's a final solution to the problems with underground structures. The water workaround seems kind of dangerous. Reminds me of some broken parts in Project Reality maps where people could swim in the air and performed mass levitation parties or a bunch of cheating punks flying around in Vietcong until a friend of mine picked up a shotgun and decided it's time for a duck hunt :-)

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2 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations Kim!

Oh, and while you are at weapon development. Please make at least one bullpup assault rifle. If anything, there are fans of Starship Troopers here! ;-)

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2 years, 6 months ago

Did someone say modular pistol? Damn it, if only I were able to work... Sometimes I hate Denmark and their stupid laws for unemployed people. :(

I really wish I had anything to show, but I've been so fed up with a lot of stuff lately.. Sorry guys! Hopefully I can talk some sense into these people, so they'll allow me to do work at home, instead of doing a lot of things, which is totally un-related to my interests and skillset.

And congratulations Kim, job well done! :)

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2 years, 6 months ago

Congrats Kim! I guess that is why we didnt get a picture of the week ;)

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2 years, 6 months ago

Speaking of guns i was wondering is the ammunition for some weapons if not all of them going to be caseless.

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2 years, 6 months ago

@GortosXtreme: haha snarky comments :), but yea just found it - PMG is good fun, wish i had known about it earlier!

@Kosai: Those rules are f....ng useless! >:(
Next time you're coming by the office let me know, maybe we can talk about some weapon stuff then :).

@Madmule: Caseless ammo is an interesting point, though mostly i would from my perspective say no, mainly because the ejecting bullet cases you see in in-game weapons adds a lot to the feel of a weapon. From a technical perspective there's a lot of advantages and disadvantages that come with causeless ammunition.
Its just a game of course, though i still think people would feel weird about not seeing ejecting cases from a assault rifle for example. I know i would :)

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2 years, 6 months ago

that would be - causeless ammo, stupid spellcheck!

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2 years, 6 months ago

i give up :(

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2 years, 6 months ago

*gives scribblehead a cookie*

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2 years, 6 months ago

Oh Scribble, you poor bastard.

But yeah sure, let's figure something out in the near future! I have yet to meet you anyway, so that makes for a good excuse. :)

And regarding our unemployment system? Yes, yes it sucks and it's useless towards people who don't work behind a counter all day. I believe it's build to mess with artists and other creative people in this field of work !

Anyway, if you need any quick tips or some awesome references for guns, send me an e-mail! Ask around the office for the address.

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2 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations Kim. What game is this baby achievement from?

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2 years, 6 months ago

Hell, can anyone guess the weapon on Anders' computer?

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2 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations on the baby Kim.

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2 years, 6 months ago

@All: Thanks for all your heartfelt congrats, you rock!

@Kattis: I look forward to seeing you and J in the near future! :)

See you all online when I'm back Monday 24th of October, keep it thigh!

PS: Deus Ex: Human Revolution complete, Finally! (What a great game, very true to its predecessors which is jawsome beyond words) .. I'm currently about 11 Hours into Rage (Slow very boring first few hours but the stomach "butterflies" is spawning from time to time with more exciting missions and cool enemies that are a true blast to fight against!

For the love of the game!

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2 years, 6 months ago

@ Scribblehead: For the feels yes that would make sense since that is what we are use to and for guns that are pushing very high muzzle velocity like assault rifles sniper weapons and quite a few support and heavy weapons the cartridge strengthens the breach. But for weapons with lower muzzle velocity like a pistol or a smg then a caseless cartridge would make sense and with a pistol caseless ammo will allow for more ammo to be stored in the clip and with side arms thats a big benefit.

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2 years, 6 months ago

You're obviously right, i think in the end though the die-hard fans will be the only ones to delve this deeply into the lore and care about the weapon semantics - i love that the community and everyone is so committed to these kinds of details (details discussions like this would never work in a professional game development environment hehe).

Also i think Kim even mentioned in an older forum post that some weapons if not all utilize caseless ammunition (correct me if I'm wrong though).

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2 years, 6 months ago

a professional game development run by greedy corporations...indie all the way!

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2 years, 6 months ago

I vote we add a search function so i can find it easier. :)

And for the love of the game.

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2 years, 6 months ago

I would not move away from standard ammunition as a weapon concept, if i was you. Nearly all games out there utilize an altered version of the standard template which was introduced by games like Quake or Doom. Means that you'll mostly find something pistol-ish, maybe an smg which leads you to an assault rifle and after that introducing 'big guns' like Gatlin Gun, Laz0rs or utility weapons (i.E. Explosives which you can stick to enemies or Flamethrowers). However this means, that the weapons follow a classic pistol = bad, and last weapon of the line = uber. When it comes to Interstellar Marines, plausibility is a more important factor which can be broken by bad weapon design. For example the assault rifle. If you introduce caseless ammunition, the player has to know and 'feel' it. You can't just do that by removing ejecting cases but to supplement this fact with various visuals and sounds. Weapons are not important in a game because people mostly like to blow s**t up, however, they are important because its one of the points in the line of interaction within the game. Anyway, wall-of-text over. /done.

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2 years, 6 months ago

@ N0ken

As a rule of thumb, when you are making a shooter with a number of different weapons you should strive to make all weapon the best weapon in a specific situation. This means that you try not to make the pistol crappy and the machine gun insanely good, but to make the pistol the best weapon in some situations and the machine gun the best weapon other situations.

If say we limit the weapon capacity to one primary and one sidearm, the pistol should be your best choice at close range if your primary is the sniper rifle or the best choice at mid range if you primary is the shotgun. If you follow me.

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2 years, 6 months ago

That's what i was trying to say - maybe my english went down the road in that comment ;-)

Still, i was trying to point out the psychological factor when interacting within a game and the game itself. However, like i already said: the players weapon is important because its one of the primary interaction knots with the game. You could be amazed what you can change or do about a weapon, so it adds alot to immersion. I'm not even talking about visuals or sounds here. And this is what lacks in 99% of all games. Take Battlefield 3 as example: Very good sounds, but poor transmission between player and weapon. I see, i'm drifting off here. I'll wait until this topic gets more into focus within development phases, then i'll dump some scientific woga boga here ;-)

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2 years, 6 months ago

"Baby #3" Achievement heh! heartfelt congratulations Kim

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2 years, 6 months ago

....needs to be a achievement in the game too :D

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2 years, 6 months ago

Aw hell yes! :D But how would one get to unlock it?

Btw, I've sent my PSU in for repairs + bought 4 GB of additional RAM. (I now got 8GB!) so once my PSU returns I should be able to get work going again. (At least in the weekends.)

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2 years, 6 months ago

*cough*....alien evil babies...*cough*....shoot the 3 in the air....*cough*





Disclaimer: not really planned...but still XD

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2 years, 6 months ago

so uhhm....I am guessing no sitrep this week??

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2 years, 6 months ago

Seems like it.

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2 years, 6 months ago

Something tells me the sitrep is ready but we got the wrong link.

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2 years, 6 months ago

I can't speak for the rest of the team, but the last week i've been getting pretty heavy into researching the weapons.

Kim, Anders and myself had a longer concept meeting this wednesday, where Kim pretty much outlined where the effort concept art wise should be.
But we're also looking into updating some pretty significant things design wise, just generally bringing some art up to a modern standard.

Someone mentioned wanting rifles with a bull pup inspired design, I'm looking into that for other weapons, with 27 weapons needing a design (plus/minus the existing ones) i'm sure there'll be something for everyone. We've even discussed whether or not it'd be feasible with a stand-alone special IM line of weapons.

Anyways, thats about it for me, have a great weekend everyone!

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2 years, 6 months ago

thanks for the Update Scribblehead. And you get a Star for postion so much. At least i like to read as much as posible of this blue/silver text.

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2 years, 6 months ago

i meant posting

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2 years, 6 months ago

agreed ! Nothing like info! :D

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2 years, 6 months ago

Thank you, Scribblehead :-)

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2 years, 6 months ago

Yes, thank you!

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2 years, 6 months ago

Thank you for the update.

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2 years, 6 months ago

allmost as good as a sitrip ;)

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2 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the update, i got worried not seeing a sitrep this week lol

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2 years, 6 months ago

Thanks scribblehead. And the bull pup designs are a great of fitting a full size rifle barrel into compact package. And i think there should be special weaponry and equipment for IM they are after all suppose to be the best of the best right? I know of at least one weapon that was designed with a military branch in mind.
wow long posts are starting to become my habit sorry everyone

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2 years, 6 months ago

WHERS THE NEXT SITREPPPPPPPPP

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2 years, 6 months ago

oh w8 nvm LOL im such an idiot

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2 years, 6 months ago

ok..........

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2 years, 5 months ago

Guys, what is going on? Are you preparing something big for us? :D
2 weeks without any news is baaaaaad!

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