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5 weeks to build a playable demo for a major videogame event. That's week 1 !

Posted by William-SSS on Aug 5th, 2010

Next month, we will exhibit at the Festival du Jeu Vidéo 2010, a major videogame event that will take place in Paris from 10th to 12th September. These days, parts of Seasons will be playable at our stand, and you will be able to talk with us in english (and french, of course).

So, during August we are building the demo and, week after week, we will share this quite frightening adventure with you.


> New features :

A new game play element has been programmed for a natural object the player can only find in one season. You’ll have to play this to discover which object it is.

First lights integration : now we can create dark levels and set an ambient color on parts of the environmental. Right now, we light everything that is behind the light (but we have all the information we need, so if we want to reduce the lighting on some objects we can do it).

Light in Blender (top) and light in-game (bottom).

A new type of material to set different colors on a same object depending on seasons : we don’t have to use multiple textures anymore. It is made possible by using textures with grey levels and applying colors on it (multiply).

The superb user interface of Blender used to set materials (top) and the result.

> Bug correction :

The most we use Blender, the most we find bugs. Among them:
- Bad sorting of transparent layers.
- New feature == new bugs… The “multiple colors materials” bring bugs to old ones.

An interesting combo : bad sorting + a material that shouldn't use multiple colors + problem of texture's filtering.


> Level Design

The average length of the demo should be 15 minutes long in order to allow players to see a lot of things without losing their whole day on Swing Swing Submarine’s stand. That's why the demo will contain 4 various environments for 12 game screens.

Where is the 12th game screen?

Once the level design is set and the collision map created in Blender, the only thing left is the graphic part (Is that all? Well then it’s not a big deal!).

> Art

At first, we make the ground, then we start to “decorate” with the main visual elements and the background. At sketching stage, we still have stars in the eyes. But when we’ve done the first try, there’s no more stars : it’s just ugly, white on white, we see nothing, please help us and give us a proper artist ! Few minutes later, we are done with the depression and we start again, back on the battlefield. The second try is much better, enough to let this game screen behind and start working on a new one (we will polish it later).

Post comment Comments
MadMonkey119 Aug 5 2010 says:

Looking good. I love the art style!

+6 votes     reply to comment
Jack_SLO Aug 5 2010 says:


+3 votes     reply to comment
Anddos Aug 5 2010 buried:


only for kids

-12 votes     reply to comment
KEEP_IT_UP! Aug 5 2010 replied:

...absolutely not for the ones who were never a kid, mr. anddos.

i kept a little kid inside myself and can't wait to play this :)

+5 votes     reply to comment
Milch Aug 5 2010 replied:

I just hate thoose 14-year-old kids saying: "This game is just for kids - I play MW2 - a game for real men"

btw: That game looks awesome! I love the art style - very unique :D

+7 votes     reply to comment
iopzx Aug 6 2010 replied:

A "game" for real men! U surely have a great skill to make fun of people lol

0 votes     reply to comment
Stry8993 Aug 6 2010 replied:

Not like he needs it, those losers make fun of themselves. To appreciate a game for how it makes you feel, rather than what it is, makes people lose sight of what games are about. An expression, a world of your own, where you belong, and the the world belongs to you. Where you triumph, and feel good about it, and the world around you in the game see's it, feels it, shows it in all the things you do. Even Mario had that sense of doing something right, and great, and it didn't have to be anymore than an 8-Bit Side scroller to do it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
William-SSS Author
William-SSS Aug 5 2010 says:

We are still working on the art style, but thanks a lot for your messages :)

+3 votes   reply to comment
WingedBeaux Aug 5 2010 says:

So how is this being made? Is it all in blender or are you using that as a map maker? What is the programming behind it all? Cool looking game, nice art style, can't wait to play.

+4 votes     reply to comment
MadMonkey119 Aug 5 2010 replied:

Im guessing all blender. But I'm not working on it.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Guillaume-SSS Aug 5 2010 replied:

Hi WingedBeaux,

We use Blender as a map maker and a prefab maker too.
And we also use the curve / modeling / mapping / animating / material stuff in Blender and then we have a custom exporter to feed our engine.

To tag elements in Blender (physics, visuals, triggers, mask, lights, prefab instances...), we made some extra modifiers (directly in C++ since we get the Blender source code, maybe it would have been possible to only use Python scripts, but it's easier for me to write C directly in their source :)).
Since we do not support all Blender stuff, we had a file checker that verify during export that all feature used in the blender file would be supported in our engine.

Then in our engine, we play blender shapekey/ipocurve to perform animation, and some post-process shader, and the most important, we brought all the AI and character controls to the entities that requires it.

We were wondering if using the game engine in Blender would be a better choice, but we took the leap and we made our custom 2D engine. Because I had no idea how it will be difficult to integrate new feature in Blender game engine, and I was not very comfortable with the Blender game logic stuff (but I'm sure it's cool, since Blender rocks :)).

BTW, Thanks to all of you for commenting about Seasons.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Dremth Aug 5 2010 says:

This looks really cool!

+2 votes     reply to comment
BioFire Aug 5 2010 says:

i hope the editor is included :D ( i mean an extra editor)

+2 votes     reply to comment
SolidFake Aug 6 2010 says:

guess I will have to track this, awesome art

+2 votes     reply to comment
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