Tuesday, 27 April 2010

FYI: Save games and chars in user home (.jclassicrpg subdir)

Smaller news is that save games, screenshots and created characters are going to be saved in your home directory under '.jclassicrpg' sub-directory -- instead of the game's main directory's sub-directories. Packaging the release will be easier for distribution package maintainers (if there are any...I know of one package only tho' - for OpenSuSE -, but later there might be more packagers as the project gets more complete). Other lesser tweaks happened since last post, leaving around 2-3 things on the TODO list before committing and releasing the first Ardor3D version of jcrpg.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Forging a perfect weapon takes a lot of time

It takes a heap of time to get the things really polished and perfectly working. I've stumbled upon a dozen of smaller things that block the way. 80% of them eliminated, so the code is getting into shape. A few still left on the list but I hope to get those done in the next week or so. Well, just to name one heavier problem that took hours to conquer was Terrain reloading... starting at a different point than new game's origo rendered it ruined..now it's origo is the saved coordinate of the player and that way it's working flawlessly.

tidbit is restlessly helping out the content side. This time a new guardpost has been raised from the ground. Thanks tidbit!

I have some bad news, some newly inserted 'assert' codes in the current stable and development version of Intel GPU driver for linux (gma965 that I know of) is making the game stop just upon starting... I hate to say, but without removing those assertions directly in the driver game won't start for you. If removed, it works okay... ATi and nVidia drivers are both working nice under Linux/Windows - except ATi's framebuffer doesnt render texture shadows (Rikard @ ardor3d pointed me to some sites were people had the same issue, thanks), so you can assume that the shadows of the foliage won't be rendered (under both Win/Linux). nVidia is perfectly fine again.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Depth of Field shader porting to Ardor3D - screenies

I've been messing with the Depth of Field render pass today, porting it from jme2 to Ardor3D. Finally it worked out quite nicely! Could find my previous fault I made when ported an ogre3d example to jme2 - near blur wasn't working. The new ported version is fully functional and a tad bit more optimal as well as the depth buffer generated by drawing the root pass is used instead of generating a new one. Focal plane, nearblur and farblur depth are all parameterized. I'll polish it a bit more. Thanks Rikard of the Ardor3D team for helping the process with many useful pieces of advice!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Clash of Terrains - we hope you like it

Texture baked realtime on terrain with TexturedGeometryClipmapTerrain is starting to get into shape. The baked texture isnt going to be of high qualty, to prevent CPU overburden. As the heights of the terrain point are exactly matching the old tiled terrain heights it blends more or less okay with the old system. In the game while walking around it's really fast. But the loading of the saved games takes about twice as long. Anyway now it's possible to see the faraway deserts, mountains etc. I'll try to look into adding some kind of vegetation to the further away parts too, but the edges wherre the detailed vegetation meets with the low detail... might look too rough...it will need some experimentation... Well the terrain still needs a proper Normal buffer calculation as well, hope to see that Ardor3D terrain codebase is going to get that someday.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

New buildings by tidbit + further testing/bugsquashing with Ardor3D version

Pleased to inform you that in the recent weeks tidbit created some nice new 3D content, namely new buildings for a temple and a shop. Thanks! Meanwhile I've been pushing the tests/validation of the ported code, squashing some upcoming problems and bugs. It looks like it is steadily becoming more and more finalized. Latest improvement was the restructuring of the directories containing textures and creating a separated media-raw hierarchy which servers as convenient base for batch converting images to the different detail levels and ultimately to DDS file format. I'm happy to tell that now 98% of the images are converted to DDS with mipmaps with AMD ATi's Compressonator and that all of these finally got their proper detail level versions (high/middle/low/low_png) obsoleting most of the textures found in the 'common' category. The DDS part was hiding some traps for me, for now I had to change to use the Compressonator instead of the GIMP DDS plugin as that one was generating DDS with missing mipmap levels somehow - interestingly it was okay under Linux + ATi, that way I didnt notice until I tested it under Windows where it presented small gaps in the texture. (Another thing that I should rant about is Intel's driver -- works under Linux but the UI part crashes under Windows + Intel GPU... this is still unresolved, funny thing is that if I downgraded to a 3 years old Windows Intel GPU driver the crash went away.)

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Migration done, next is profiling/testing

I can proudly report that conversion of code to Ardor3D is fully completed! Water reflection, particle effects, load/reload is now working nicely. Next comes testing and profiling, further stressing stability and memory consumption before I consider the whole story to be finished regarding Ardor3D. I have some performance regressions, but I couldn't yet correctly set up the use of DisplayLists with Ardor3D's SceneCompiler. BTW water reflection looks nice...