Hello there everyone!
Many awesome and unbelievable things have been going on lately after almost eight months of nothing new in this profile.
This seventh update will cover these past months letting all of you know about the progress this project has seen since then.
But first there's this question I've been asked the most, why have I been out so much time, and why no updates in such a long time? ->
I've been asked about the status of the project quite a few times.
Well unfortunately life issues have been tightening my workflow, thus slowing things down a bit. Hard bussiness outside, problems inside, not much spare time to actually work at a stable rate.
This however doesn't mean I haven't been working! On the contrary, the project has seen incredible progress since the last update the past year. So much has been going on, that most of it probably won't make it into this article.
P A R T 1:
What have I learnt so far...
This section is intended to provide an idea of what has been going on internally with the project.
C++ programming and incredibly improved overall game behaviour ->
About five months ago, I finally got round to get into programming and its advantages.
Almost each and every script function has now been moved into the game code, with the exception of the Interaction function, which is still handled via the DoomScript system.
In the future, I may as well move the whole Interaction feature to the code to finally "clean" the scripts once and for all.
At the moment, not only there's more free memory, but there are also plenty of additions to those already existent functions as well as brand new characteristics. There's still a lot of work to do with the code, and the project is in its deep development stages.
Modelling: The weapons... ->
Before proceeding, I'd like to give credits and my sincere thank you to @bladeghost for the pistol model he made exclusively for this project. It's always a pleasure to work with this guy.
At the present time, there are three fully functional weapons, two of which I modelled in 3D Studio Max, being the third one the aforementioned pistol. The modelling process is the most time consuming, but highly rewarding so far. The method is pretty much the one every game developer follows. High poly mesh, Low poly mesh, UV mapping, Normal mapping and texturing. Once the model's ready, it is rigged and finally brought to life with animations.
Later on, the models are polished and exported to the game. It is not an easy process (specially the animation part), but the results I'm getting so far are keeping me satisfied.
A render of the low poly pistol
A render of the high poly shotgun in its early stages (Non textured version)
Animations: Because they're 90% of a weapon. ->
Yes, the animations are certainly most of what makes up a gun view model.
For said reason, I aim for a balance between realism and look. Please notice that realism refers to timing of movements, hand orientation/position and weapon behaviour.
Why not a video?
P A R T 2:
Deeper into some of the game features...
The second section of this article provides specific info about some of the many new aspects of the game.
The S.T.A.R. 1088 Store Network ->
Over three hundred lines of code make up the S.T.A.R 1088 Store Network, and it's yet to be completed. There are many more characteristics on the way.
But what is the Store Network in the game?
All along the ship, you'll eventually come across Store Terminals, small cabins where you'll be able to buy anything from medical attention to ammunition, weapons, a wide variety of items, full slots of an ammo type, ammo packs and more.
But in order to be able to buy anything, you must count with the one and only currency accepted aboard: Electronic Credit Cards (ECC's) each marked with a different denomination, being the latter displayed through a cyan screen. These are a key element for you to perform your shopping.
As you run out of credits, the system will disable those items you can't afford, while leaving the ones you can still buy.
The Store interface is divided by categories and types. There are three different categories of items available (These being Items, Weapons and Ammunition) whereas the different types depend on which category has been selected.
Items (Category) -> Health (Type) -> List
You can also view the FULL SIZE image.
Reading notes, background story telling->
Every once in a while, you'll find pieces of paper scattered everywhere: Lying on the floor, on tables, or even sticked to the walls or other objects.
These can be divided in two types based on what kind of information they actually provide, which can also be recognized in real life: Articles / Notes.
The articles usually describe secondary story events that not only enhance the way the whole story is perceived by the players, but also act as secondary story tellers. Unlike these, notes contain other not so substancial information in terms of story, but instead are meant to provide data only useful for a specific situation.
P A R T 3 :
The maps, and what has been done in the meanwhile...
As I must have mentioned before, mapping is by far the most complicated and time consuming field there is to be, specially being maps for S.T.A.R 1088.
In all seriousness, there's a lot of things to take care of: Story telling, scene representation, all kinds of details, lightning, polishing, optimization, entity placement, and even realism when it's due.
All this combined together is basically what the mapping process consists of.
And it's not precisely something you would do in one day! It takes time, a lot of time. Many hours for a single section, entire days to even be a quarter through a map, and even months to finally complete a level. After that, there's the final polishing and optimization side of things, where every single square inch of a map is explored in search of any bugs or inconsistencies that might have remained. After all this huge process, a map can be considered ready.
With all this, the first level has seen a lot of progress. I ensured that all that's been built so far was polished and looking fine for it to be considered in its playable state.
P A R T 4 :
Questions and Answers...
We are getting closer to the end of this article, but before finishing I'd like to let you know that
the FAQ has been updated.
I've addressed a few questions that arrived to my inbox during my time out.
If you haven't, take a look at the FAQ article.
So we made it to the end of this article.
If you liked this, please track this project , it helps development a lot.
Please, share this with any other fellow players!
If you want to help spread the word, please help me do so by posting links to this article in other Doom websites you may know! This way we can make S.T.A.R 1088 be known by more players.