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Since this is basicly the same as game as the planned mod, the original post is included below.
[EVALDRAW AND BEYOND] Mar. 23, 2011
After quite a bit of work on the Duke3d total conversion, I have been convinced that it's best to move this project forward to a more modern engine, or at least more updated.
Both the original engine of Duke3d (build), and what I'm currently working with, EvalDraw, are both done by Ken Silverman and thus a lot of the conversion process is simplified.
Two things that sets me back, however, are:
1) I need to completely redesign the maps due to new features like lighting, and not aviable features, like masked walls. But lighting creates shadows and therefore eliminates all the manual shading techniques. I now have a native 32bit 6dof full poly and voxel support with Evaldraw, so I can create true water surfaces, and crazy room over room tricks with no apparent drawbacks. Limits on wall, sector and sprite counts are no longer present, but there is a 128 light count limit which is still pretty good.
2) Need to recreate the script and hardcoded features of Duke3d. Nearly everything needs to be written, except(thanks to Ken) basic map parsing, movement, basic enemies(floaters), door sectors and a few other things he provided. Everything else I need to code.
The greatest benefit to this transition is I'll have complete control over the developement of the game design and not be limited to Duke3d's hard coded stuff. That and prototyping this in Evaldraw makes the process of compiling it in C with some libs in the future much easier.
There are also more things to come for Evaldraw in the future, although I'm not sure what Ken's schedule allows for him to work on it, it seems to be his most active project and is worth a look as a great way to learn basic C coding.
Another benefit of using Evaldraw is I can easily provided techdemos for public comment, all contents required to play are self contained, making distribution simple. Altough Evaldraw is not ported to Mac OS or Linux, it should run fine under emulation like Wine.
This does limit the prospect of putting it on a handheld, altough from my working with the Duke3d TC, it didn't seem possible unless I really dumbed things down for those version. However Eduke32 seems to run nicely on various handhelds, with some issues of course.
Eduke32 did provided a very easy way to advance Duke3d's script however, and remains an excellent engine for developing either sprite or 3d poly model based game from what I've seen. The build map editor combined with the script system provides easy creation and it just requires some learning of CON scripting and resources. Its also open source.
Currently there is no name for the final engine that Black Shadow will be using, but I may intend to use it on one if not two future games of mine. For sure I will be using what I learn from this on The Crawl, the dungeon crawler RPG creator I original planned on makng with Voxlap, also prototyping in Evaldraw.
However I've ended up ripping content from that project(models) and using them in with Black Shadow. There is still a lot of content to create, and by switching engines I've reduced texture loads, but also increased voxel resolutions and possibly frame counts for animation.
Black Shadow was originally going to be a Castlevania inspired platformer game, feature lots of interconnected rooms and multiple directions. The basic story was that you played a night cursed by a magician into the form of a shadow spirit. In this form he sees other such shadows, including the many foes he has slain in his life.
All the graphics in the platformer version were pixel drawn in Game Maker 6.0, the idea at the time was to create a game entirely sustained in GM, except of course sound and music. Music was provided by a former GMC forums user whom I've lost contact with long ago...so I've been seeking a midi music artist which I may have found, but not sure yet...
I did a few test trys in converting the tile art into textures for Duke3d, or actually the Build engine in which Duke3d was created from, so it had a different palette, less features. That was a few years ago, but I didn't go after it until I started getting more into voxel art.
So most of the graphics are directly from the platformer version, with a good 100+ voxilezed sprites. Enemies and some models are actually created with Sculptris, converted, Rigged and posed in Anim8tor, exported, converted to a voxel with Poly2vox, then cleaned up and shaded in Slab6.
I created my own program to convert sprites into voxels, it uses a strip of images, basicly a film strip of slices for each layer, then converts it into a readable format for Slab6. Its proven for a few others work on other voxel projects for Doom, ROTT, and the original Duke3d.
The movement code, and most obviously the jumping of small ledges wasn't quite right, monsters got stuck and were not properly avoiding water.
Well hopefully all that's fixed, they can now traverse more varied flooring. Formless monsters still slide on the ground, but can go up slopes and small uprisings.
A little cleanup is need in the script and currently cliff detection has been disabled due to a conflict with the jumping on a sloped surface. This should also be fixed soon.
So besides these fixes the next tech demo I plan to release 'should' contain the following additions.
1) Breakable pots and barrels with debris projection on death.
2) Monster and container drops.
3) Tests involving keys and chests.
4) No more easy hopping onto tall monsters. (maybe)
5) Arrow traps
6) Explosions and possibly ranged area damage tests.
7) Cannon tests (maybe)
Main level design is paused as I figure out the enemies behaviors a little better.
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