Here’s a quick update on the PC release.
The Xbox version of Deadburg really had two animation systems in place. One for the zombies and one for the Avatars. This was due to how the animations were handled by XNA. The result is that both were brought to a level that was “ok” but not great. However since Avatar’s are Xbox only, they won’t be present in the PC version, which means all animations will be working on the same system/data.
The upside is now I can focus on improving the animation system and have those improvements apply to everything in the game. A good chunk of this month was working on adding features to the animation system. Some didn’t work out (Like mirroring animations), but others did (Like inverse kinematics and improved animation blending). It’s still not ready for prime time, so the benefits of these changes are something you’ll see later on.
UI systems are one of the more annoying things to deal with on the coding side of things. In the Xbox 360 version I basically did stuff at a very low level, drawing individual pieces of the UI. It worked well enough to get that version out the door, but it’s not particularly when making changes. That’s part of the reason the UI in Deadburg is somewhat basic/no frills.
That wouldn’t cut it for the PC version, since we already need to rework the UI for mouse + keyboard. So I’ve been adapting a system I built for another game to use in Deadburg. This includes some nice features that makes changing/editing the UI a lot easier, and allows me to rip out a bunch of boiler plate code. In short it should make the UI a lot faster to create, easier to change and ideally reduce the bugs in it. It also means I can implement features that will add some flair/polish to the UI.
Here’s another teaser shot of some of the new stuff coming.
So what’s been happening in January for the PC version?
So the new render system I showed off last update had some bugs. And normally I’ll punt that kind of stuff till the end, but I didn’t want them hanging over my head, so I decided to address them right away. That took a lot longer than I thought it would. But I can say most of the issues are resolved now. There’s still 1 or 2 big issues that I don’t have a good solution for, but I think the current version could go into Early Access.
The other item that I just started on last week was the prep/speccing out of the player character for the PC version. Since the game will be releasing on Steam we won’t have access to the Xbox Live Avatars for player characters. That means we’ll need something new. The first step is specifying exactly what I want that character to be before I hand that off to Liam to generate the actual model. The spec stuff was finalized this week and he’s begun work. It’ll probably be the March update before you see the result, since after he’s done I still need to get the model animated and rigged.
That’s it! Not a great month, although the holiday did cut into it a fair amount, and I’m glad to have most of the render bugs fixed now, when the whole system is fresh in my head, as later it would have taken a lot longer. Given that not a whole lot here is stuff you can see, here’s a teaser pick of some of the new weapons.
Just wanted to let you know I’ve moved web hosts for Deadburg.com. Also I’ve decided to kill off the old Forums, since they weren’t being used by actual players, it was just a bunch of spammers trying to post with bots. I might revisit forums later once the PC version is up and running, but for now I think it’s better just to turn them off.
If you see any issues with the rest of the site please let me know, thanks!
I’ve been fairly late with an update on the progress of the PC version, so I want to give a quick peek at what I’m working on.
Right now the goal is to get Deadburg into Steam Early Access on Windows next year. Hopefully sooner rather than later, but there is still a good amount of work to do in order to make that happen, so I don’t have a solid ETA at the moment. I don’t have anything to announce in regards to other platforms at the moment. I do still want to bring it to other platforms (Like consoles) but until I have the game running on them I don’t want to announce anything.
What’s Happening Now?
So the current focus is updating Deadburg to take advantage of the PC. Right now I’m focusing on improving look of the game, now that I no longer have to worry about getting it to run on an Xbox 360. Two of the big changes you’ll see in the PC version are real time shadows, and dynamic lighting.
Real Time Shadows
One of the things I really wanted to get in the 360 version was real time shadows. The tall buildings/trees really don’t pop when they aren’t casting huge shadows over the terrain. The PC version will include them, and I think it makes a pretty big difference. Here’s a comparison shot from the PC version (Note this is still in development, so it may look different in the final version).
One of the often request features in the 360 version was flash lights. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a dynamic lighting system working without really harming performance. The PC version now has a system enabled, so you’ll be able to have flash lights, and other moving lights, along with the static lighting in the game atm. I don’t have a good screenshot to show this off, but it is in game now so I can commit to it being in the PC release.
I’m going to try to provide semi-regular updates to the status of the PC release. If you want to be a part of the private beta (Which is still a ways off, but will be happening) then be sure to sign up for the mailing list.
Patch 1.2.1 should be on it’s way to you all today. Note that it may take 24hrs for the update to propagate Xbox Live and be available for download.
Changes in 1.2.1:
- Fix crash related to changing the player count of a private match.
- Added confirm dialog to using the Sucide option in the pause menu
- Added a compass icon pointing to your sleep/respawn location
- Added colors to player compass icons so you can find specific players
- Added new UI for dropping stacks of items (Will be used automatically if you’ve got a stack of more than 10 items/blocks)
- Added ability to rotate blocks with the B button (Or what you’ve remaped auxiliary to) prior to placing them in the world.